Just keep going, Sir Richard.

Generally speaking, I have no problem with the weird things people spend their money on. I reserve the right to have opinions about it, but your money is your business, etc. etc. Then I saw a photo on Twitter of Richard Branson riding a bike to his zillion-dollar space flight, escorted by a matched pair of Range Rover SUVs, and thought: Jeez, what a douchebag. The copy on that Space.com story didn’t help:

In the video, Branson cheerfully parks the bike, hands it off to a staff member and exchanges excited hugs with the rest of the Unity 22 passengers.

I remember reading that Jann Wenner and his wife always took a professional photographer with them on vacation, to document the memories. Today I hope those photos are stored in a damp basement somewhere that will soon flood, because there are rich people and then there are rich assholes, and there’s a marker for one, right there.

Yesterday was an overcast, dreary day, but I’d have thought it no matter what my mood was. And my mood wasn’t bad — it was a good weekend. Kate’s band got back on stage at a local bar, it wasn’t too hot, and nothing flooded. It felt like the BeforeTimes, which I guess we’re kinda back to, at least those of us who live in blue/purple states and have been fully vaccinated. That said, I’m glad the show Saturday night was outdoors. Damn kids and their we’ll-live-forever attitudes.

I had plans to go on at some length today, but now it’s Monday, a federal judge is holding a hearing on possible sanctions for Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and other Trump lawyers who filed those ridiculous suits last fall. And this tweet just came up:

So I may have to peel off for this. Ha ha ha ha ha, repeat one million times.

Posted at 9:58 am in Current events |

88 responses to “Just keep going, Sir Richard.”

  1. Deborah said on July 12, 2021 at 10:09 am

    LB reads some postings called Am I the Ass Hole, she shows them to me from time to time, I don’t know if they’re real or not but there are an awful lot of people out there who don’t have a clue.

    The Spaceport where Bronson took off from isn’t in Truth or Consequenses as I said previously, it’s 25 miles south and east. But T or C is the closest town off of Interstate 25.

    Those Trump lawyers need to experience truth or consequences.

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  2. LAMary said on July 12, 2021 at 11:21 am

    Yeah, that bicycle with the Range Rover escorts was deeply assholish. I’m sure Bezos and even moreso Musk have equally obnoxious things going on. I would be ok with that if all of them would give a whole lot of their money to a project to feed or educate or provide medical care for millions of people. These three billionaires could do this and still be billionaires. I know this is not an original idea. I’m just fed up this morning. For one thing, a minor but very annoying thing, a cat shat on my chair. I got up this morning, grabbed two oranges, which I always do. Tossed them onto the chair where I sit when I read emails and news. Got my coffee sat down and noticed my oranges, my computer charging cable and the chair had cat shit all over them. The guilty cat is now hiding behind the couch.

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  3. Icarus said on July 12, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Columbus got closer to America than these billionaires will get to actual “space”.

    They could do a lot of help and still be billionaires but they don’t have any incentive to do so.

    Oh and Musk is an asshole


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  4. Mark P said on July 12, 2021 at 11:59 am

    I saw Branson on the news this morning crowing about being an astronaut. I also noticed that on the news last night, the reporter was careful to say that both NASA and the military define the top of the atmosphere, where “space” starts, as about 50 miles (80 km) in altitude, which is what Branson’s toy space ship reached. But that is in no way the “top of the atmosphere.” It’s not even close. One definition of the top of the atmosphere is the place where the air is so thin that an airplane would have to exceed orbital velocity to get enough lift to “fly.” That’s generally considered 100 km, the Kármán Line.

    Here’s what a NOAA site says: “The world governing body for aeronautic and astronautic records, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), and many other organizations use the Kármán Line as a way of determining when space flight has been achieved.”

    Just for the record, the first US suborbital spaceflight by Alan Shepard reached 116 miles.

    So it looks like Branson isn’t really an astronaut after all.

    Oh, but NASA says if you get over 50 miles you are an astronaut. You just haven’t been into space.

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  5. Sherri said on July 12, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    I have no problem with billionaires going into space, as long as they don’t come back.

    Billionaires are a policy failure.

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  6. Diane said on July 12, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    The mention of Musk being an asshole lends me to a question I’ve been meaning ask here because there seem to be some car savvy people here. My knowledge of cars is pretty basic and that of electric cars is Limited to what I have found on the Internet.
    I really want an electric car but the research I am doing keeps pointing me to the Tesla Model 3 as the best option at my price point but I hate, hate the thought of giving Elon Musk money. There are other makes well outside of my budget but the Model 3 Long Range is already at the very top of my budget. I want overall quality but my real concern because I live in the middle of the mountains is range.
    Does anyone here have any experience with of knowledge of electric vehicles they would be willing to share?

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  7. Julie Robinson said on July 12, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Amen to sending them all to space for good. It’s no coincidence that rockets are phallic. As many other have stated, these men could be helping so many with their money instead of feeding their monstrous egos.

    Dog shit and pee are plaguing my life, Mary. Yesterday I stepped in some shit as I was taking clothes out of the dryer, and this morning the dog peed in front of the toilet in the bathroom my mom and daughter are sharing. You guessed it, daughter was not home either time. This will be a topic during our next family meeting.

    And then there’s our darling contractor, who keeps sending people over without warning us. This was an inconvenience when it was just the kids, but now we’ve got a frail 88 yo here and it’s just not okay.
    This morning a guy came and said he was here to look at our roof. I asked who sent him, thinking he was a scammer. The contractor hadn’t mentioned a roofer. He pointed to his truck. Yes, but what is the name of the person who sent you here? After about six tries he sighed deeply, pulled out his phone, and told me the contractor’s company.

    Most of the guys don’t speak a lot of English, which is okay, because they’re just trying to make a living. But sending out someone by himself who doesn’t speak English, and just telling them they need to look at the roof is not okay.

    I could go on and on but I have to try to create some order out of our chaos. None of this would have happened if he just would have finished the project before we moved here, a mere five and 1/2 months after the permit was issued. I deeply despise this guy.

    Edited to add: Diane, I only know a little, mostly to avoid a used electric since the batteries degrade. Consumer Reports had a good article, and you may be able to access that online through your library.

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  8. Heather said on July 12, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Maybe I’m just in a liberal bubble, but it does seem to me that the billionaires wasting their money going into space are really not reading the room right now.

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  9. Little Bird said on July 12, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    The amount of taxpayer dollars that went into that “space flight” is enraging. My governor posed for a photo op with the flight crew (Branson was not in the picture) and posted to Facebook. I couldn’t help myself and commented that the money could have been better spent on the homeless and hungry. A couple of others jumped on what I said saying it was his money so he can do what he likes, and that I must have wished he would spend some of that money on me.
    It’s irritating that so many (republican) people seem to think that the mega rich should spend their money however they please, on ridiculously frivolous space flights and ginormous sprawling mansions, instead of paying their fucking taxes.

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  10. Jeff Borden said on July 12, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    J.K. Rowling is my kind of billionaire. She gave away so much of her money from the Harry Potter series she no longer is one. Plenty comfortable, sure, but not a billionaire.

    Illinois has done a pretty good job during the coronavirus, though the QAnoners and tRumpanzees in the Land of Lincoln screamed bloody murder about the closings. (At a protest in the Loop last year, Gov. J.B. Pritzker was called a Nazi, a rather unfortunate choice of words since he’s a Jew.) But now rates are rising again. . .particularly in areas abutting Missouri. . .and vaccination rates have fallen off. So, this morning’s NYT focuses on the anti-vaccination drivel being marketed by the Fox White Power Prime-Time Hosts like Tucker McNear Swanson Carlson and Laura Ingraham including tales of the “thousands” who have died after taking the vaccine.

    Thanks, Ronald Reagan, for gutting the Fairness Doctrine. Fox wouldn’t have been born if that old regulation still existed.

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  11. Sherri said on July 12, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    But it’s not his money. That spaceport he took off from was built with taxpayer money. New Mexico taxpayers built it, and since it has been sitting mostly unused for several years, paying for operational cost deficits. Billionaires don’t get rich building huge facilities on their own dime!

    Just like Tesla doesn’t actually make money selling electric cars. They wouldn’t make money if it weren’t for being able to sell emissions credits to other auto makers. Basically, the government gives Tesla something for free that it can sell to other car companies for $100% profit.

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  12. Mark P said on July 12, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    I have only ridden in the back seat of a Model 3. My impression was that it was a very, very well-made kit car. Making a car is complicated and Tesla doesn’t have the corporate knowledge that the legacy automakers do. Putting everything including the speedometer on the center screen is a no-go for me. I don’t trust it as a car, and I don’t trust Tesla as a manufacturer. Remember, Tesla doesn’t have dealers, so if you need help, it could be a long time coming, and inconvenient when it arrives. Plus I detest Elon Musk. Lots of owners love them, but I would never buy one.

    There are more EVs coming out all the time. I have read good things about the Ford Mustang and the VW EV. I also no longer trust VW as a company, but if I were in the market for an EV I would probably test drive one. There are other manufacturers whose EVs look interesting, but I don’t know much about them.

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  13. Deborah said on July 12, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    There were 3 earthquakes not far away in the last 24 hours. The last one was 4.2 at 9:33 am in Los Alamos or south of it. The other 2 were sometime prior and were very slight. Some said the last one could be felt in Santa Fe, but we didn’t feel anything. LB and I may have been in the Jeep at the time but my husband was in the condo or walking back from City Hall where he had gone to discuss window replacement permits.
    Not California earthquake levels but still.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on July 12, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Though not a genuine soccer fan, I watched the England vs. Italy match yesterday and really enjoyed it, not so much for the play as for the intensity of the emotions displayed by players and the crowd at Wembley. Today, my feelings have done a 180. The black players for the Three Lions were singled out for hideous, racist treatment by the English “fans” after missing penalty kicks while “hooligans” attacked Italian fans outside the stadium.



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  15. David C said on July 12, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    I’d prefer taxing away the billionaire’s money and spending it as a society rather than depending on their whims. Remember Zuck’s $100 million donation to Newark, NJ schools. It was a total disaster because he swept in and thought he knew everything and nobody who actually worked in education knew anything.

    I rode in a Tesla Model Y and a Chevy Bolt but never driven either. Mark P’s description of a Tesla as a well built kit car is spot on. If I was in the market for an electric right now, I’d get a Bolt in a heartbeat. Tesla over engineers everything. It’s complicated for complication’s sake. The Chevy is conventional in all the ways you would want a car to be conventional. The radio and heater knobs are what and where you expect. The doors unlatch with good old fashioned pull rods. There’s no hidden emergency door release in case the overly complicated door release on the Tesla fails. From what I’m reading, the new Hyundai Ioniq is going to be a Tesla killer and there will be more electrics coming on line in the next couple of years. I’d probably wait and see how things shake out.

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  16. LAMary said on July 12, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    Jeff, when the English Premier League games start up again watch those. The UEFA games are very different. Because there is an in house brit I have seen many hours of EPL games and I haven’t seen any racism or hooliganism. Dexter will back my up on this, I’m sure. Watch a team like Liverpool or Manchester United or Manchester City. Their team managers are brilliant and the players function as a team in the best way. The fans are emotional but not ugly emotional. Rashford, one of the black players the fans were attacking after he missed the penalty kick, is held in very high regard by Manchester United fans. He’s a local guy from Manchester from the estates, aka the projects here in the US and he’s done a lot for the children in the estates. He started with United when he was a teenager. What you saw at UEFA was about racism, nationalism and prejudice against Italians.

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  17. Julie Robinson said on July 12, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    Jeff B, Rowling has unfortunately made hateful comments about transgender women, so she is on the shit list for many.

    D is enamored of all things Tesla and took a test drive a couple of years back. Since then the fires and Elon Musk have caused me to vow it will never happen. A neighbor has a Bolt and really likes it, but man is it low to the ground for a girl with bad knees. Our daughter was very interested in a used EV from Nissan but that’s when we learned about the battery issues, and determined it wasn’t going to be a good buy.

    We likely are a few years away from buying so I’m holding out for one that is higher off the ground. If Mama’s knees aren’t happy, Mama isn’t happy.

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  18. LAMary said on July 12, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    A 4.2 quake is easy to miss. No a lot of shaking. It could feel like a truck going by. Really anything below a 6 doesn’t do any significant damage. The stuff in your kitchen cabinets might jiggle around so when you open the cabinet door something falls out. I’ve learned to slide my hand in before opening the door slowly. Everything fell out of one of my kitchen cabinets after the Northridge quake, which was sizable. Of course it was the cabinet with the vinegar, soy sauce and maple syrup in it so there was a big mess.

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  19. LAMary said on July 12, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    Julie, take a look at the Kia Niro. The main drawback I see is the 239 mile range per charge.

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  20. Sherri said on July 12, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    Billionaires like Musk and Bezos will say that they are doing space because it’s necessary to save humanity. That is, earth is fucked, so for humanity to survive, we need space colonization. They are, of course, full of shit. Mars is more hostile to human occupation that earth is ever projected to be under the more dire projections of global warming. So is the moon. A self-sufficient Mars colony is a fantasy, not something achievable with a lot of hard work and lots of money.

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  21. nancy said on July 12, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    Some journalist for…maybe Axios? Can’t remember. Anyway, she had a piece recently on buying an electric car, and laid out the limitations/advantages to each, stuff like cost, range and — the biggie — lack of charging stations. In the end, she bought a Prius, but said that when it gave out in a few years, the landscape would likely be transformed.

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  22. Deborah said on July 12, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    We’ve been looking into electric too. Hoping our next vehicle will be one, but not sure our current Jeep will outlast the wait. We’ve been looking for an SUV model for hauling stuff to Abiquiu, one that’s high enough off of the ground to traverse our rocky roads. Also one that doesn’t cost a bazillion dollars and have too many computerized screens.

    LB is greatly suffering pain from her shingles, she’s waiting for a call back from her Dr’s office that they’ve called in a pain med prescription. I suggested driving over there to hurry it up but she doesn’t think that will help.

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  23. Mark P said on July 12, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    I figure we could drive an EV and charge at home for >95% of our driving, approaching 100% for most years. We just don’t go anywhere that finding a charging station would be a problem. But I think I could make a cross-country drive in an EV with some planning. It would require more and longer “refueling” stops than in a gasoline-powered vehicle, but I think it would be doable. I suspect the writer wanted convenience comparable to gasoline; it’s true we aren’t there yet, but she maybe leaned too heavily on that as an excuse out of fear and and just not wanting to try hard enough.

    Ford will sell a electric pickup fairly soon, and Jeep is advertising an EV. They are probably going to be expensive and hard to find, but this is just the trickle before the flood. And, to give Musk and Tesla credit, their EVs might have their faults, but they played a big part in making it necessary for the legacy automakers to build and sell EVs.

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  24. susan said on July 12, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Nancy @21 – This article, maybe? Thinking of buying an electric vehicle? Read this first.
    Government incentives and charging stations are considerations for the climate-conscious consumer
    . WAPO

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  25. LAMary said on July 12, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    City of LA has charging stations in lots of random places. There are signs on utility poles identifying charging stations. Also a lot of employers who have parking lots provide free charging. That’s all great but it wouldn’t get me to San Francisco without a long stop somewhere to recharge. I am still sticking with my Kia recommendation. Not too expensive, great warranty, good reputation for reliability.

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  26. Snarkworth said on July 12, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    Diane, we have a Bolt and like it a lot. It’s not “my” car, so I don’t know details, but it’s a pleasure to drive.

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  27. David C said on July 12, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Chevy Volt seemed to be a good compromise car. It was a plug in hybrid with a 38 mile electric range. Only problem is, it didn’t sell.

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  28. jcburns said on July 12, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    Our Prius Prime, which plugs in AND uses fossil fuel is really the right combination. Great as a hybrid for long trips, and around Atlanta it’s effectively 100% electric.

    Absolutely the best of both worlds.

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  29. Sherri said on July 12, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    I know people who absolutely love their Teslas, but I’m fascinated by the Venn diagram overlap of people who fanboy over their Teslas but avoid all things Amazon because of how Amazon treats workers.

    I have a friend who uses his Chevy Bolt for trips, but doing so does require a lot of planning for charging. Most friends who have electrics use them primarily for local trips and commuting.

    JC, when we bought our most recent car, we were interested in the Prius Prime, but there were no dealers in Washington that sold it. We would have had to go to Oregon, and we didn’t want the bother.

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  30. David C said on July 12, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Looks like the Kraken hearing went as well as you would expect.


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  31. Julie Robinson said on July 12, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Well, honestly. The electrician had to come back through today, and instead of a ladder, he decided to kneel on the washer. The brand new, not even a month old washer. I’m telling you, it never ends.

    Hybrids like the Prius seem to me to be the best of both worlds.
    when we asked about charging, the Nissan people were very happy to promote their free charging stations. Planning my trip by Nissan dealers isn’t my idea of the best way to travel. Plus you almost have to put in a charger at home. Somehow they didn’t know how much that would cost.

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  32. Jeff Borden said on July 12, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Those of you who are electric car curious: Please check out the July/August edition of “Car and Driver,” which arrived in my mailbox today. (I’ve been a subscriber since the late ’60s.) The cover touts the EV of the year and the majority of stories are about electric cars and trucks. It’s true “C&D” is an enthusiast magazine and often test vehicles that are stratospherically out of my price range, but the article titled “20 Questions about EV” is very informative. And there are examples of electric cars (they compare 11) at a number of price points. (Spoiler alert: The Tesla Model 3 is highly regarded, but starts at $58K. The model profiled here is priced at $66K.)

    I’m a late adapter. I was the last person I know to ever buy a CD player. Late to Blu-Ray. Late to “The Simpsons.” Late to everything. I’ll probably buy a used electric car as a way to dip my toe. We currently have a 2012 Acura TL AWD (59,000 miles) and a 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth (17,000 miles). They are paid for, running fine and are lightly used. We’re good.

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  33. LAMary said on July 12, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    Not sure how much a car charging plug costs now but about three years ago they were around 4k to install. That’s an LA price. Might be cheaper in other places.

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  34. jcburns said on July 12, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    Sherri…we bought ours in Oregon en route to Seattle!

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  35. diane said on July 12, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    Thank you all very much!!!
    I will read that Car & Driver article (easy access to magazines is one of the perks of working at a library) and also try to find the article Nancy mentions. I am going to relook at the Prius. I was trying to go total electric but a hybrid would help my range anxiety. I am a tall, large person and a the Bolt just looks too small for me. Yaur comments have been great-nancynall.com is so awesome.

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  36. alex said on July 12, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    I’m holding out until EVs have the same range as combustion-engine vehicles and can be charged as fast as the latter can be fueled. In the meantime there are plenty of good hybrid vehicles to suite every fancy and taste. I’m surprised the EVs aren’t working with the same technology as the hybrids, which harnesses the energy from braking to recharge the electric battery. Why isn’t there an electric vehicle that can recharge itself simply by using it?

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  37. Deborah said on July 12, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    Whoa, a car starting at $58,000 is outrageous, sorry no, no no, not gonna go there. Heavenly days that’s expensive. Our bottom of the line Jeep with roll up windows, manual transmission, no frills at all except air conditioning, and these days that’s not even a frill, cost us $18,000 brand new in 2012. I can’t imagine paying $58,000 for a car. I just can’t.

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  38. Ann said on July 12, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    Only tangentially related, but a recent Consumer Reports made a pitch for electric lawn tools. Since I wasn’t able to start our gas mower last time I tried to mow the lawn and wasn’t impressed by my brother’s casual comment that I just needed to go to an auto parts store and buy something (could he really have said “ether?”) to spray somewhere (pretty sure he said “carburetor” but I’d have to google how to i.d. that) and since then the person I hired to mow the grass instead cut down a peony, a poppy, all the milkweed, and all my father’s raspberry bushes, I sent my husband 70 miles to the nearest Home Depot to pick up an battery-powered Ryobi. I did the front lawn with it this morning. Much quieter. No smelly exhaust. Starts with the push of a button. I’m sold.

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  39. Mark P said on July 12, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Alex, are you pulling our collective leg? Most, if not all EVs have regenerative braking. I have heard you can drive a Tesla in most conditions and barely use the actual brakes because of the regenerative braking. You can also apparently vary the amount of charging it does in braking. Some people might not like the way it slows so quickly when you take your foot off the accelerator. That is apparently one thing Tesla does well. I’m assuming you know that perpetual motion machines don’t work.

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  40. Deborah said on July 13, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Totally off subject again. we had a weird experience this evening, we went outside and an umbrella over a patio table on the condo property is just… gone. It may have lifted off in the wind, because we did have a strange wind shear this afternoon out of the blue, but I even looked at that umbrella out the window to see if it was OK during that wind and it was bobbling a bit but didn’t look like it was about to launch skyward. If someone decided to come onto the property to help themselves to an umbrella they would have passed 3 other umbrellas to do so. And if they came from any other direction onto the property to steal an umbrella they would have had to scale 8 foot fences all around. So it must have lifted off. We went up to the second floor portal to see if we could see it on any surrounding properties and it is nowhere to be seen, and my husband drove around the neighborhood to see if he could find it and it was not found anywhere. I suppose it could be in someone’s backyard and we’ll never know. I just hope wherever it landed, it didn’t do any damage, it was a 9′ umbrella. So now we have to replace it on that patio because since our neighbors cut down their trees it’s in full sun and the patio is uninhabitable without an umbrella. Odd.

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  41. Dexter Friend said on July 13, 2021 at 4:28 am

    Vehicles. I never stop and take photos unless I see a beautiful SoCal restored 1966 Bubble Bus VW with Oregon plates sitting parked at the local diner. I parked across from it and just stared at it for like 10 minutes it was so beautiful. I had one just like it in 1973, took it to Cape Cod. I rarely see them anymore; I had 4 buses, a ’66, 2 68’s and a 1969, all Bubble Buses and I loved them all.
    But I need input on fashion wear. I just saw a Texas legislature member, on the run now to help with the voting rights kerfuffle, wearing a jean jacket, like I wore 45 years ago. I see Elon Musk wearing one. That liberal msnbc dude that does Zooms in front of his portrait of a Pinto Beans painting, yeah, he has taken to wearing one. Young Black girls on my favorite new show on Showtime, “Flatbush Misdemeanors”, wear them. Who started the re-kindling of that great utilitarian jacket? I saw a pundit on “Morning Joe” (msnbc) wearing one, open, to show his dress shirt and tie. I see them more and more. I love it. I wore mine when I drove my VW buses, my long hair a-blowin’ in the wind, seeds and stems on the floor mats, a roach stashed away hidden in case the coppers stopped me. All those buses, all those miles, and never once was I stopped by John Law. That damn blue Chevy Nova was a cop magnet…constantly stopped for speeding and other moving violations.

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  42. David C said on July 13, 2021 at 6:15 am

    I have a Fiskars me powered lawnmower. It works pretty well and is no harder to push than a regular, not self-propelled mower. The down side is it’s fiddly and needs to be adjusted about every month and sharpened twice a year. None of the sharpening places around here will touch it so I have to do it myself. That involves painting the reel blade edges with grit and cranking the reel backwards for ten minutes to hone the blades. When I get tired of all that, it’ll be replaced by a battery electric.

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  43. basset said on July 13, 2021 at 6:17 am

    Taking the Subaru back to the dealer again today, they’re giving me a loaner so their service manager can drive it for a few days and maybe encounter the same problems I have. And you know how that’s gonna go.
    Looking at a Hyundai and a Toyota as possible replacements, I understand that buying a Toyota is a sign of support for the far right now, though? Something about the company’s donations to certain legislators?

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  44. Dave said on July 13, 2021 at 7:18 am

    Basset, we recently had our first problem with our 2019 Outback. Twice in about a five week period, it would not start. Push the starter button and nothing. After a few minutes, try it again and it starts. The second time, I called the dealer and took it in. They found a faulty circuit in the starter button, we’ve had a 2021 loaner for a week while we waited for the part to come in. I find that I like the 2021 better than ours, it’s quieter and I believe it handles better. It is a bit larger, too.

    Yes, that’s the issue with Toyota, some of the donations the company has made to some politicians. Also, Toyota owns a percentage of Subaru, as you may or may not know.

    Our son has a new Hyundai Sonata and his screen started acting up the second week he had it, he sent us a video of the screen changing and then going jiggly, it somewhat reminded me of how TV’s sometimes would go haywire and roll. He had no control of anything when the screen aced up. It’s happened twice so far, he was back to the dealer both times.

    Deborah, is there any possibility your umbrella got launched up to the roof?

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  45. jcburns said on July 13, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Reading through the comments on electric cars here reminds me: people are confused by the different kinds. Pure electric. Hybrid. Plug-in hybrid. And so on. Very different, all!

    I’m very happy with our plug-in hybrid because it’s completely electric near our house and then very optimized gas/electric combo when we’re driving to the west coast or up through Ohio and Michigan.

    As far as the Toyota/US Politics goes, I think the US Toyota goofballs are being…hmmm…reeducated about human rights by their Japanese bosses? I sure hope so.

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  46. ROGirl said on July 13, 2021 at 9:40 am

    I have a Toyota, am not happy about their political donations. I’m kind of surprised that an automotive company would be so fucking clueless about how that resonates with their current customers. I doubt if the mother ship in Japan has any higher level of insight on the topic.

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  47. JodiP said on July 13, 2021 at 10:04 am

    I would have loved to get a Prius last fall, but they are not great for winter driving….so I got a Subaru Impreza with AWD. I just took it up to the MN north shore and it was really comfy, able to pack all that I needed, which was mostly food for my stay in a studio in Grand Marais. I did so much hiking to different state parks every day–they were all so beautiful, as there are many waterfalls in that area of the state.

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  48. LAMary said on July 13, 2021 at 10:07 am

    I know three people with Kias. Never had any problems. Ever. 40k for a new KIA EV. Are they cool? No. Are they reliable? Yes.


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  49. Deborah said on July 13, 2021 at 10:26 am

    I thought Toyota reversed their donation policy, first they said they weren’t going to donate to insurrection provoking Republican politicians, than it turned out that they were back at it, donating to them. Then they saw the error of their ways and decided once again not to donate to them. I thought that’s where we are today, but I’m confused?

    Dave, we thought that the umbrella might be on the roof, it’s a two story building and that patio table with the now missing umbrella sits about 10′ away from the building and that would have been quite a leap straight up, which I guess is possible. In any case if it’s up there I’m not going up there to check and it will probably eventually blow off. I just hope if that is the case no one gets hurt or that it damages anything on its descent.

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  50. Deborah said on July 13, 2021 at 10:36 am

    Have any of you read the excerpt in the WaPo from the latest Rucker Leonning book the excerpt describes the night of election day at the White House? Wow, it’s a pot boiler, riveting. I have always thought that Trump was a lying grifter, but now I think he’s stark raving mentally ill. He really believes that he won the election, no matter how many people try to convince him otherwise or how much evidence to the contrary is out there. He fricking believes it, period. Don’t get me wrong he is a lying grifter but in the case of the election it seems as though he is truly delusional. Maybe it’s dementia?

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  51. Julie Robinson said on July 13, 2021 at 11:04 am

    We have a battery powered lawnmower here in Orlando. We started with an electric, but after the third or fourth time the cord got mowed in half, we decided the cord wasn’t a good idea for a family of ADD people who are not thinking about mowing the lawn while they’re mowing the lawn. The bigger problem is the neighbor who borrowed it and broke the handle, which so far doesn’t seem to be fully repairable. It’s on the list, but the list is very, very long.

    In Fort Wayne, we came home during a windstorm, and as we were rushing to get the umbrella, the wind lifted it right out of the table and up and away. It didn’t go far but was too beat up to use again.

    Cool is the last thing I think about in a car. D never got his little red sportscar and that may be why the Tesla appeals. Actually, he had one of those when he was 16 and has never talked about getting another one, just sighs when he thinks how much it would be worth now.

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  52. Scout said on July 13, 2021 at 11:18 am

    Without doing enough research we bought a used 3 y/o Nissan Leaf in 2015 and soon realized we had bought ourselves a super fancy golf cart. It worked well enough for us before Spouse retired. She was able to use the HOV lane to and from work and charge it at free chargers her employer provided. But we couldn’t take it on a road trip, the battery was so weak. We recently traded it in on a Subaru Forester because we started getting into off roading. We rarely drive her other than for that purpose and mostly use our 2013 Prius for regular driving around. When it’s time to trade in the Prius we are probably going to get the Prime next time unless we can get a deal on a Tesla or if something else becomes the top choice by then.

    Deborah, I heard what you did about Toyota’s political contributions. For now they say they’re not giving any money to anyone who supports the Big Lie or who voted to overturn. I hope I can trust that the watchdogs who track these things will be keeping an eagle eye on them. It will definitely inform our buying decision.

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  53. basset said on July 13, 2021 at 11:29 am

    We had several Leafs at work, drove OK but I was always worried about the range. Only had to limp back to the office with the a/c and radio off and zero on the range meter once.

    Dave, our Outback is a 2020, that’s when the larger, heavier body came in. We had an 07 and loved it so when it came time for a new car we got the 20 without really looking it over, which was a mistake. Even when it’s running perfectly, which it hasn’t very often, you have to make several layers of selections on the touch screen to do complicated stuff like turn on the a/c or the radio.

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  54. Mark P said on July 13, 2021 at 11:39 am

    We have a 2017 Outback. It has a touchscreen for all the audio functions, which is one reason I’ll never have a Tesla with all the control functions on a touchscreen. It’s neat and cheaper than physical switches, but it’s far more distracting to use. It’s really a pretty stupid idea.

    Aside from that and an almost illegible clock and outside temperature display, it has been a great car.

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  55. Dorothy said on July 13, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    I don’t currently own a patio umbrella but we had one a couple houses back. I could have sworn they come with some gizmo that you add sand to, and it sits at the base of the umbrella to hold it in place. I supposed nothing is completely secure-able so maybe it could still take off to the sky if the wind is churning just right.

    I got a 2021 red Chevy Blazer 2.5 weeks ago and it’s very groovy. I feel like I’m driving a space ship, it’s so smooth. We’ve had excellent luck with Chevys for many years. I wasn’t interested in exploring other options – I’m bullheaded that way.

    Deborah I have suspected for a long while that Trump is sliding into dementia. Didn’t his father suffer from it, too? It’s a shame no one can make him go get checked out legitimately. I’m generally not very worried about him running again. I trust that at some point he’s going to face an avalanche of legal issues that he can no longer escape.

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  56. Deborah said on July 13, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    Dorothy, we have a sand filled base but the umbrella just lifted right out of that. I ordered a new umbrella from Amazon. I tried to find something locally but everything is either ugly or sold out. The Amazon one is probably a piece of shit because it was so cheap but at least it will last us through the summer and early fall (I hope) until I can get a decent one. Otherwise that patio would be completely out of commission because it gets full sun all day. I am going to rig up a way to zip tie the new umbrella to the table it sits in so if the wind ever picks up like that again it would have to take the whole heavy metal table with it. It will probably just knock the table over instead. We usually close the umbrella if it’s windy or stormy, but that wind yesterday came out of nowhere. We used to close the umbrellas every night in case a wind would pick up while we were sleeping but we had gotten kind of lax about that. But we’re going back to being more careful.

    As I said before here, I hate the touch screens in cars. We’ve had them in lots of the rental cars we’ve had and they’re a pain. They’re hard to figure out and distracting, so I think dangerous, at least for us old folks. I’ll take knobs and push buttons any day. Our next car is going to drive me nuts.

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  57. Deborah said on July 13, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    This is a good new (at least new to me) website https://notanaudit.com/ shows what’s happening at the ridiculous so called audits (fraudits) that are happening, or are planned in a few states. It’s all theater, finding any vote tampering isn’t the point, the point is stretching it out over time so they can get press and rile people up in time for the 2022 elections and to foment distrust in elections and democracy. The one currently going on in Arizona was supposed to be complete in May.

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  58. Colleen said on July 13, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    Yes. Ether/starting fluid in the carburetor. When I was growing up we had some lawn implement or another that required that kind of encouragement.

    We are on our 5th Subaru, a 2020 Impreza. Been a great car so far, as have all the other ones. Steve has a Civic, which we got because it was less expensive than another Subie, but I don’t think he likes it as well as the Subaru. We should probably look into a hybrid the next time we are in the market…

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  59. LAMary said on July 13, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    I’m happy with my 2016 VW golf wagon. Touch screen controls for the audio and the phone connection but the rest, like defroster, A/C are old school. I get good mileage and it’s zippy as hell. With the back seat down it holds more than the brit’s SUV. The only repair in five years was new brake pads. If I was to switch to an electric car I’d look at VWs and the KIA I keep recommending. I usually buy certified used cars at the dealership and I get five years of free service with that.

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  60. Julie Robinson said on July 13, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    Question for the room: drywall subcontractor cleans his tools in brand new and pristine laundry room sink, leaves huge mess with spackle all over sink. Is homeowner right to be upset?

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  61. Scout said on July 13, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    Julie: I. Would. Be. Livid.

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  62. Julie Robinson said on July 13, 2021 at 7:28 pm


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  63. David C said on July 13, 2021 at 7:57 pm

    Without a doubt Julie. Even the really bad ones that I’ve dealt with bring a bucket and cleans them outside.

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  64. susan said on July 13, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    Julie, are you getting all the worst contractors around there? Or is Florida just like that? Full of horrible businesses? Gads. Have you had any subcontractors who do their job really well, are reliable, and are affable, as well? What a never-ending nightmare.

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  65. LAMary said on July 13, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    Between putting my dog down and the BS of the last two days related to my new job and now another crappy thing I’m ready to scream. I was supposed to start my job yesterday but my laptop and monitor didn’t arrive. Laptop arrived today with a non working user name and password. Kept trying, getting message that I did not have access to the domain I was trying to get into. I called the corporate IT office. Waited on hold for 80 minutes. Got a guy who asked for my one letter six number user name. I had a one letter seven number user name. That was an error. Got that worked out, still not authorized for the domain. He said I needed the SoCal IT people so he opened a ticket and said they’d contact me. They didn’t. I spoke to the company that was placing me with Kaiser. They said this has happened before. I asked if I would be getting paid for sitting home waiting for someone to call me from IT. They said probably no. Fuck. Then two hours later I get an email from UPS telling me there’s another package from Kaiser arriving tomorrow around 7 pm. I let the recruiting company know. They’re all excited that maybe it’s another laptop. I look at the details of the shipment and it was sent Monday, before I knew I needed another laptop. I ask again if there will be any compensation for essentially being on call until they get their shit together. I get a maybe this time. Another email saying I may need to go to local Kaiser office and have their IT people unfuckup my laptop. Ok. I better be getting paid for this. So I’m sitting here, waiting for a phone call to let me know which Kaiser office to go to, and I hear a big crash outside. It’s trash day and sometimes there are crashing type sounds but no it’s not a garbage truck. Someone has driven into my redwood fence, taking out about ten feet of fence, a gate and a steel upright for the gate. Then they left. On foot. Left the car there. My son thinks it’s a patient of the guy across the street who calls himself a therapist. So my son is sitting on that guy’s front step waiting for the patient to come out and either give him some insurance info or a bunch of money. I wish I could do a cbd gummie but if Kaiser decides to drug test me it would be real drag to get let go for THC in my pee. I don’t drink, so that option isn’t available. There’s the front end of a Toyota Corolla in my front yard now. Who walks away from that?

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  66. Julie Robinson said on July 13, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Yes, apparently, I think so, and no.

    I doubt he’s making any money from this after all the times he’s had to make corrections. If he’d just do things right the first time it would cost much less, and maybe it would have been finished on time.

    My patience is entirely used up and I’ve become a snippy bitch. He’s very quick to note things called for in the contract. Now he’s asking for a majority of what is owed, including the 10% holdback. The contract states the holdback isn’t paid until the punch list is complete and final inspection has been passed, so I am going to stick to the contract.

    And if the drywaller doesn’t leave that sink as pristine as I left it last night after cleaning my paint supplies, he can buy me a new one.

    We are buried underneath boxes that we should have been able to put away when we moved here. No one can find anything they need and we’re stuck in an endless game of Tetris.

    Edited to add: oh man, Mary, you win for worst day. Son’s gf who works for the mighty rodent down here had a very similar IT incident just last week. Wasted hours and hours being told she was dumb when it was actually their fault. The crap is everywhere in the universe.

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  67. Mark P said on July 13, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    Julie, I think I have already mentioned what I think of your contractors. It is absolutely unprofessional to clean drywall mud in a sink. That’s a good way to clog the pipes. Any halfway decent drywall guy would never do that. It’s a totally incompetent do-it-yourselfer’s move.

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  68. beb said on July 14, 2021 at 12:03 am

    Ars Technica has an interesting eulogy for the BMW i3 electric car
    Basically after introducing the car BMW did nothing with it, Especially not improving it.

    We’ve had an electric lawnmower since we moved into the house. Gone through two of them. The frame rotted away while the motor continued to work just fine. Never ran over the electric cord but I get tired of dragging the cord around. The next mower will be battery powered. I’m thinking of getting s sawsall to cut back some of the brush overgrowing the backyard. I’d like a battery one but the battery alone costs almost as much as the saw. Can’t decide whether I’d too cheap to get a battery or drag a cord around.

    We really enjoyed the week of mostly dry, cool weather. It looks like heat humidity and rain for this week.

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  69. Dexter Friend said on July 14, 2021 at 12:36 am

    Good call LA Mary. My grandson got 3 days in stir for dropping 2 drops of cbd oil on his tongue. He knows drugs up and down, and thought there was so little trace THC in the oil, he’d pass the piss test. Wrong.
    Anybody recall the cable show “Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia”? This 30-ish chemist traveled the globe exploring tribal usage of herbs of all sorts, the kind that expand your mind, even salvia. One episode he had the “LSD King of the UK” on with him, Casey Hardison. Casey was manufacturing huge amounts of LSD in an old castle. He spent quite a bit of time in prison there. Well, Casey switched to marijuana in all its forms. What was of interest to me is that I knew Casey’s dad, “Barefoot Bob” Hardison. He even visited me here at my home 10 years ago, on his way to Montreal to begin fitting his Catamaran for a solo voyage across the Atlantic, leaving from Florida eventually. It’s all on the internet, Barefoot Bob’s adventures. He capsized near Gibraltar and was rescued by an Egyptian freighter like in the movie “Cast Away”. I never met Casey. Not my interest. But old Bob was sober and that’s how I got to know him.
    My problem of the day: So much rain forced the sewer lines to backup and shoot nasty black sewage into the bathtub, and through the pipes into the kitchen sink. It quit raining and the mess subsided and I used a large bottle of Drano Gel and after 7 hours of intermittent dosing the pipes, I think I am Ok for a while. I flushed probably 100 gallons of water through the pipes and did a lot of disinfecting.

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  70. LAMary said on July 14, 2021 at 1:26 am

    Next time Dexter try green gobbler line cleaner. They make drain and toilet unclogger too but the jug of line cleaner did a great job getting through tree roots and toilet paper here.

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  71. Julie Robinson said on July 14, 2021 at 9:45 am

    Dexter how horrible. That has happened in Fort Wayne many times and the city is spending zillions of dollars on a sewer separation project. Not willingly, it should be noted, under mandate from the federal government.

    I joked that our contractor was getting his workers from the day laborers hanging around Home Depot. Now I think any of those guys could do a better job.

    Hell, I could do a better job, based on the spackling and painting I just finished in the old part of the house. It’s really not that difficult; you just have to be meticulous. My mild OCD qualifies me there.

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  72. Heather said on July 14, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    Breaking news confirming what you already suspected: Ken Starr is an evil hypocrite. https://medium.com/@judihershman/ken-starr-brett-kavanaugh-jeffrey-epstein-and-me-ba2dbf77b0da

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  73. LAMary said on July 14, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    I apologize for not remembering to whom I should attribute this but someone in this group has repeatedly call Ken Starr a panty sniffer.

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  74. Jeff Borden said on July 14, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    I’ve always referred to Ken Starr as a panty sniffer, but I’m sure it was something I picked up when Bill Clinton was still in office

    Of course Starr is a Class A, premium hypocrite. He was a lousy prick as president of Baylor University, where he helped protect those accused of sexual assault and molestation. No surprise he helped out Jeffrey Epstein.

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  75. Deborah said on July 14, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    AND Kavanaugh too.

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  76. Deborah said on July 14, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    Urban heat is a big problem that’s only going to get worse. Chicago is number 7 on this list https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/14/weather/worst-urban-heat-island-cities/index.html

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  77. Julie Robinson said on July 14, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Completely off topic: most of us don’t have school kids anymore, but I’ve just been looking at the supply lists and I’m pretty astounded at how much is required these days. Sarah’s church collects items and then has a day when they’re distributed to the community without charge. Not just dry erase markers and erasers, but they’re own dry erase boards. Their own set of headphones, no earbuds for elementary kids.

    Of course they need hand sanitizer, wipes, kleenex, but also bandaids, lysol spray, clorox spray, etc. Not just lined paper, but several reams of white and colored printer paper, magazine file, index cards, ziploc bags. Not just crayons but very specific Crayola crayons, tape, packing tape, and your own stapler and Post-it notes.

    And on and on. Yikes. Time to get out the credit card and step up for the community.

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  78. Deborah said on July 14, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Oh my, I can’t imagine little kids keeping all of that stuff organized.

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  79. Jeff Borden said on July 14, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    Hey Buckeyes!

    Gov. Mike DeWine, working his ass off to avoid a showdown with a tRumpanzee, has signed a bill forbidding universities, colleges and schools from demanding proof of vaccinations. Isn’t that great? Freedumb!!!

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  80. Deborah said on July 14, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    In the end, water will be about money… https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/legislature/experts-tell-new-mexico-lawmakers-swift-action-needed-to-address-dwindling-water-supply/article_0a1273ba-e349-11eb-8473-3b131fb9f5ff.html Soon, there will simply not enough to go around. It’s raining right now as it does in the afternoons during the monsoon season, but it’s not enough, by a long shot. This is what you get when you move to the desert.

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  81. Dexter Friend said on July 15, 2021 at 2:30 am

    OK…nance proposed this years ago: let’s all chip in our cookie jar rolls of cash and fund a water pipeline to Arizona. We’ll sell our surplus water for a ridiculous markup and all be able to retire in abso-fuck-en-lute luxury. Who’s in?
    And well, it had to end, I guess. When I mow the grass people see me with a cane, pushing the self-propelled mower. Nearly each time, people will actually park their trucks or cars and run over to me offering to help the poor cripple cut his grass. But I am not in pain, I just look like I am. And today as I was loading Pogo Dogg into the old dog-van, my recently retired neighbor walked over and bluntly said the same story; as he sits on his porch swing it makes him feel bad to see me mowing with a walking cane. He told me he has a new Huskqvarna rider ( I knew this) and his yard doesn’t give him enough time in the saddle to even enjoy it. He said he already cuts his side-neighbor’s yards and he wants to mow mine. I caved. “I insist on paying for your time and gas.” He vehemently shook his head and said no-no-no, no charge, glad to do it.” And so. I told him I was grateful. And everybody’s happy…I guess.

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  82. Suzanne said on July 15, 2021 at 8:46 am

    LAMary, your story of IT computer/log in chaos doesn’t surprise me. I went through a few years of bouncing from crap job to crap job and I think only one had me set up with a computer and log in info on day one. I can’t explain it. Why have a new employee start with no ability to do any work because nothing is set up for them to do so? One job, I sat for several hours in the lobby because my work area did not yet exist. I finally asked to go home. Another job, I was sent some instructions via email to an email address that I didn’t yet have access to nor a computer to use to read it.
    Truly, after the jobs I have had in the past few years, I am astounded that anything is ever accomplished at any place of employment.

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  83. Deborah said on July 15, 2021 at 9:47 am

    I think I am experiencing The Reckoning. After the TIFG’s term, the pandemic, the insurrection, climate change, etc. Things in some people’s lives are somewhat chaotic right now, I know they are in my life. I’m a stress bucket. I’ve got a couple more weeks here in NM, then back to Chicago for a few weeks there. I wish I was more optimistic about the future.

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  84. LAMary said on July 15, 2021 at 10:34 am

    It looks like some computer issues might actually be worked out today. In any case I’m going to get paid for today, maybe for yesterday. A new staffing agency person was assigned to me and he seems to have a grip on who can get things done at Kaiser. I have a training session today using my own laptop and when that’s over I assume I’ll schlep over to a local Kaiser location to have an IT person get my laptop issue fixed. This is a big company. I understand they are short handed today. All healthcare companies seem to be since the pandemic. Delaying the start of someone who will help them hire people isn’t the best option. The place where I temped for seven days last month is still advertising for all the jobs I was working on when they sent me and the other recruiters packing. They need to get a clue about their hiring process but what do I know. Let’s hope that Kaiser lasts a nice long time. Oh, and I was being emailed instructions on what to do about my computer that I couldn’t get into using the work email address I didn’t have yet because I couldn’t get into the computer. I found that out yesterday when someone kept mentioning emails I had been sent. Um, no.

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  85. brian stouder said on July 15, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    Here’s a little (very little!) ray of sunshine, that completely surprised me today.

    I took 2 bags of smashed aluminum soda cans to the recyclers over lunch, and I had decided if they were lower than 25 cents per pound, I’d come back next month (COVID seems to affect everything, and it occurred to me that they might have a glut on their hands.

    Instead, it was a “New Track Record” high (at least in my experience) – at 50 cents a pound!

    Made me smile, and smile some more!

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  86. Deborah said on July 15, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    I started binge watching a series on Netflix, I’m too embarrassed to admit what it even was, pure sappy, preposterous, junk, but somehow I got hooked through 2 seasons, I got into the second episode of season 3 and I finally said, nope that’s it. Weird how you can get sucked in though.

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  87. ROGirl said on July 15, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    Deborah, I finally signed up for Netflix a few months ago and binged through Queen’s Gambit and all 4 seasons of the Crown. Did the first season of Broadchurch and Bloodline. I started a few others and stopped after the first episode. This past weekend I watched the Ricky Gervais series After Life, which had me laughing out loud a few times. The episodes are short and there weren’t a lot, unlike some that seem to go on forever.

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  88. Dexter Friend said on July 15, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    Showtime now has a Dick Gregory doc that I am going to watch tonight. I also watched the first vignette of “Heist” about the young woman and the murderer who stole $3mil in Las Vegas by just driving away in a Loomis armored car. ROGirl, Ricky Gervais’s two series are just awesome. I loved every episode.
    Bernie, Joe, Sherrod Brown, Chuck Schumer…all are strutting about bragging about the tax breaks for poor folk. Remember Trump bragging about his massive tax cuts, saying all Americans would love it so much? Then we read the thing and all it did was cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires. So good for Joe and his allies. Brown just said he wants $300 checks to go to less fortunate families with kids indefinitely. Monthly $300 checks. Doesn’t sound like much , unless you always fall short $300 each month. It’s goddam life-changing!

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