Cake and spam.

I get a lot of spam. Everybody does, I guess. On my Gmail account, which is rapidly becoming the one I use most, it’s generally sales pitches and the like, which at least fall into convenient folders. One or two clicks, and it all goes away. My Mac Mail account, the one associated with this site, is more of a pain. But sometimes, it’s fun to look deeper.

Most of it is pitches from crap outfits pointing out that something on this blog from, say, 2006 has a dead link, and would I like a replacement? They have a suggestion! (No.) I ignore these, of course. They generally come in threes — first pitch, second pitch (Hi, Nancy, just checking to see if you had any response to my offer last week…), third pitch (I know you’re busy, but I thought I’d circle back and…). Then they go away. Usually.

I also get an occasional threat from someone who claims to have hacked my entire computer and recorded me “wanking to YouPorn.” If I don’t pay up in a specific amount of Bitcoin, it will be sent to everyone on my contacts list. I keep thinking I should respond by asking to see some frame grabs from these recordings, just to be sure it’s me.

Then there are the poorly spelled and punctuated warnings from various entities offering me a $20 credit at CVS if I just click the big button. One had a return address that was something like kiVHeish@yahoo, etc. As the kids say: Seems legit.

Bottom line: 90 percent of my inbox is garbage. It strikes me that sooner or later, American capitalism + freedom ruins everything. When was the last time you answered an unknown number on your cell phone and the person on the other end was someone you actually wanted to talk to? We have this wonderful technology that allows us to make phone calls from a slender rectangle we carry in our pockets, but it’s mostly useless for communicating with anyone other than people we already know. All because we wouldn’t regulate.

I don’t have a transition from spam to turkey, but I guess I don’t need one. Thanks for the birthday greetings. The actual day is on Thanksgiving this year, so I’ll be observing my birthday by making a big meal with two desserts – pumpkin pie and birthday cake. I’ll be 64, which moves me into the Medicare Penumbra, during which your phone rings with odd numbers every day and the spam — oy, the spam. (I know this because for some reason Alan’s name was associated with my number, and I’ve spent the last year declining his calls.) Got my first call just the other day. It’s gonna be so much fun. Only 365 more days of this.

Happy birthday to me, happy Thanksgiving to all of us and happy weekend, likewise. Random France photo of the day, an unusual civic sculpture outside Nice city hall. Nice thumb, I guess:

Posted at 10:21 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

54 responses to “Cake and spam.”

  1. beb said on November 25, 2021 at 12:13 am

    I read an article by someone complaining that his 1000 item spam list had overflowed and he was getting so much spam now. I thought it was just me and my 500 addresses blocked folder. I am so tired to hearing that my liver may be making me sick. Or I need to verify my eBay account.

    I’m sorry to say that even after you qualify for medicare and select your provider the spam from other providers does not dry up. Every year they hope that you will change them.

    After five years or more the city came around and tore down two burned out houses on our block. That is an improvement but it looks so long!

    Thank Birthday Nancy. The Crazybatlady’s Birthday was Wednesday. She turned 66. We had Italian. And Pumpkin cheesecake for afters.

    And Alex sympathy and courage for your mother.

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  2. Deborah said on November 25, 2021 at 1:19 am

    Nancy, where you are it’s your birthday, in NM we have 45 mins until Thanksgiving and your BD. I’m thankful for you and everyone who comments on this blog, you’ve given me much enjoyment through the years. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. And Happy Birthday Nancy, I hope you have a great one.

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  3. Sherri said on November 25, 2021 at 1:37 am

    Happy birthday, Nancy, and Happy Thanksgiving, all! My husband and I celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary on Sunday, nothing in particular planned, which is fine with us.

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  4. Dexter Friend said on November 25, 2021 at 1:55 am

    Eat the turkey and be thankful. That’s about all I have.
    Happy birthday, nance.
    We need ya’
    We’ll feed ya (posts)
    Now that you’re 64.
    And yeah yeah YEAH…the Peter Jackson super-show featuring the 1969 Beatles is on Disney+ today.

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  5. David C said on November 25, 2021 at 6:19 am

    My dad’s post-retirement job was driving a school bus so my parents get their Medicare supplement insurance from the Michigan school employees insurance. It’s damn good insurance. We think dad clicked something or said yes to some phone call, they answer every call, and a Medicare Advantage plan tried to cancel their insurance. Fortunately, someone at the school employees plan thought it was fishy and sent them a letter – an actual letter and stopped it. For the past ten years or so, we’ve been awaiting the the day we could get on Medicare. Now it just “Oh shit, more damned phone calls”. American capitalism ruins everything.

    Happy birthday, Nancy and everyone else, have a good bird.

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  6. jerry said on November 25, 2021 at 6:44 am


    Happy Birthday from your British twin.

    A sunny day over here even if chilly.

    Everyone hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner whatever form it takes.

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  7. ROGirl said on November 25, 2021 at 7:27 am

    Happy Birthday! Now even more offers for medicare plans will start arriving from health insurance providers.

    The spam seems to go in waves. I’ve been getting penis enlargement offers recently, hadn’t gotten any for a while. A long time ago I made the mistake of signing up for some political thing (democratic party). Somehow I ended up getting emails from republicans, which I sent to spam and eventually tried to unsubscribe from, but it was apparently too late to stop all of the blasts. I get regular spam emails from something called the Reagan Broadcast, which will probably continue well past my lifetime.

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  8. alex said on November 25, 2021 at 8:30 am

    Happy happy!

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  9. Suzanne said on November 25, 2021 at 9:00 am

    I keep getting spam addressed to my Gmail username which is funny because I never ever used aol. I have started getting spam texts occasionally, too.
    I try to unsubscribe from emails but so many go on anyway. I have no idea how to stop it. It is overwhelming.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!
    Today we celebrate with the in-laws, tomorrow with my family including my very right wing brother who loves to make idiotic pronouncements. My mantra all week has been “breathe deeply and deflect deflect deflect.” At least, he believes in vaccines…
    Wish me luck!

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  10. kv450 said on November 25, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy your cake and your friends.

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  11. Dave said on November 25, 2021 at 10:33 am

    Happy birthday, Nancy. Funny how they sneak up on you, isn’t it.

    Our Thanksgiving today is with two of our three children and their families. We’re grateful for that and tell ourselves this is what we moved for, it wasn’t this gray looking day.

    Alex, I’ve been reading your comments about your mother and can only offer sympathetic thoughts. May today be a good day for her with her family all present.

    Suzanne, I have two right wing brothers. One of them doesn’t voice his opinions but the other one always manages to blurt out something stupid. I usually can’t restrain myself but in the interest of family peace, I can manage. I try to imagine what my lifetime Republican father would have thought of all of this, I remember how disappointed he was in Nixon and Watergate and, from that, think he would have been outraged at today’s party full of fools and morons.

    I get e-mails, sometimes two a day, offering $100 gift cards from T-Mobile if I just fill out this survey but the e-mail addresses read much like the ones our hostess posted above. Sometimes, they have Walmart on them, instead.

    We talked to a lady the other day who told us her mother had gotten the, “Grandma, I’m in trouble” call. Her mother said, “Well, which grandson are you?”, and it was, “Oh, Grandma, don’t you recognize my voice?”

    Grandma knew better, she told the caller she had 27 grandsons and they all had jobs and the caller needed to get an honest job. Click.

    She doesn’t really have 27 grandsons but it was an effective number.

    May you all have a day of peace and delicious food.

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  12. LAMary said on November 25, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    Happy Birthday! And yes, the Medicare calls will never go away. They increase. I got 18 on Monday.

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  13. basset said on November 25, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    Happy birthday, Nancy… don’t lose your hair.

    About to start “Get Back”… been waiting quite awhile for that one.

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  14. basset said on November 25, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Happy birthday, Nancy. Don’t lose your hair.

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  15. Kim said on November 25, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Happy birthday, Nancy, with much gratitude for your regular insights and the community you’ve built here. And a happy Thanksgiving to the NN.C community!

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  16. Diane said on November 25, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    Happy Birthday to the proprietress!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I do am thankful to this blog for the respite of sanity it provides.

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  17. Deborah said on November 25, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    We just spent three hours making homemade pasta. What in the world made me think it would be less work than making a turkey and all the fixings? We have enough pasta for an army now. Pretty soon we’re starting the Bolognese sauce which simmers for hours but at least it’s not hands on constant work once everything goes in the pot. It’s going to be tasty and we started the pasta making with mimosas so it’s all good.

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  18. Ann said on November 25, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    Happy birthday. Enjoy the pie. Enjoy the cake. We got 2 1/2 inches of snow today, which made walking the dog a lot easier than it would have been if was the sleet turning to snow they’d predicted. Windchill is 2. Above, at least. Meanwhile the kid who just bought a house in New Orleans mentions that it’s 76 there and it’s pretty much the same for the one in Arizona. That’s okay. It was a lot nicer here in June, July, August, September. And we didn’t have to evacuate to Houston with the dog and two cats for ten days. Thanks for the community.

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  19. Dexter Friend said on November 26, 2021 at 3:49 am

    Years ago I got regular money/guarantees/ prosperous rewards requests from that Nigerian prince that we all know; I also got the same emails from a Nigerian princess. Nigerians cover all the bases, y’see.

    The Ville De Nice sculpture looks like a gag from an old Mel Brooks movie, although I can’t picture just exactly how Mel would fit it in. I recently watched his 1977 classic “High Anxiety”.
    I strove for moderation as my plate was loaded…why did I even try? Wipers on low all the way to Commercial Point, then possible ice warnings appeared on the weather radar. I opted to leave for home instead of couch crashing. The spare bedroom was already taken. I’m just too old for couch surfing, even for one night. I am home now and it’s cold and windy and my vans are covered in snow, a light coating.
    We had 23 people for dinner, all family. Pretty joyous.

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  20. David C said on November 26, 2021 at 6:06 am

    We had a nice quiet day yesterday. We had salmon en papillote instead of our usual Thanksgiving chicken. We watched the dog show. Even though we are cat people there’s something about a dog show and this one had a back-to-back winner. Today, I’ll have the snow tires put on the car but I’ll otherwise avoid contact with the Black Friday crazies.

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  21. Deborah said on November 26, 2021 at 9:25 am

    We’re going to Abiquiu today will stay for a few days but my husband has 3 zoom calls on different days later this week so we may not get back to Abiquiu again until next Sunday. I’m looking forward to being out in the cabin again, and will be going more this trip in NM compared to the summer, I had my burning face to deal with then.

    Two years ago today it snowed about 3″ in Santa Fe but today is sunny with a 55 degree high. There is snow in the mountains though and today is the official beginning of ski season here.

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  22. Julie Robinson said on November 26, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Temps in Orlando were perfect, fortunately, since we don’t have room inside for 14. Our kitchen is too small, our oven is too small, and our amperage is inadequate so we tripped the breaker a couple of times. Dinner was late and a few tempers flared. Dinner was loud, messy, and beautiful, with too much food. It was a Robinson Thanksgiving. And boy howdy do my feet hurt.

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  23. Heather said on November 26, 2021 at 10:27 am

    I went out to my car on Thanksgiving Day to drive a friend home and discovered that my catalytic converter had been stolen. So that was fun. Between that and my cat having cancer, I’m feeling a bit under siege today. But one good thing about getting older is the perspective, so I recognize that while bad things happen, there is still much to be grateful for. I did manage to get to dinner with my sister, nephew, and an old family friend, which is what matters.

    Also: Happy birthday, Nancy! Wishing you many more.

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  24. alex said on November 26, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    Sorry to hear about your catalytic converter, Heather. Years ago we inherited a gently used car from my mother and discovered that the catalytic converter had been stolen — and replaced with a piece of PVC pipe! What thieves would take such care? Mechanics who rip off little old ladies?

    The Washington Post spatchcocked turkey with tarragon butter came out beautifully and the meat was tender and juicy, the skin crispy. But the cramped little wall oven in my mother’s kitchen aerosolized the fat and generated more smoke than the kitchen fans could handle. It may have been a primo appliance in its day but it wasn’t meant for roasting a turkey.

    So we awakened to snow on the ground and it would be lovely if it weren’t covering the enormous amount of leaves we had hoped to clean up in the yard today. Guess we’ll have to find some other projects to tackle inside.

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  25. tajalli said on November 26, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Happy Birthday to Nancy, many thanks for your posts and pictures, thanks to jc for his behind the scenes efforts, and thanks to everyone for your heart-felt, entertaining and enlightening comments. My world would be much smaller without you all.

    Thanksgiving was quiet with my famous chicken burrito soup starring on the menu, today I made a good-enough salmon, mushroom pea casserole while I’ve been watching episodes of tv series (Psych, Royal Pains, and Jessica Jones – rather too dark but part of my marvel universe marathon) intermingled with taking little steps on various mildly onerous but necessary projects. Weather has been sunny with highs in the mid-60s, cold enough at night to need the quilts, perfect for walks.

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  26. basset said on November 26, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    Turkey breast brined in salted buttermilk for us, turned out really well. Watched the dog show on NBC, then “Get Back,” which is really interesting if you have enough background knowledge of the topic.

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  27. beb said on November 26, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    We had picked up a 12 pound turkey from CostCo. Surprisingly moist and tasty. I am not one for breast meat so I never understood the obsession with big turkey’s. Their dark meat is very tasty, though. So in our future will be turkey sandwichs, turkey soup and Turkey Impossible Pie (a Bisquik recipe.) My loves dressing more than the rest of us so that lingers in the fridge until it’s thrown out. She stopped stuffing the turkey years ago and the bid has been so much better since.

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  28. Deborah said on November 26, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    When I’ve been away from Abiquiu I’m always gobsmacked how incredibly beautiful it is. I’m looking out towards the snow capped Sangre de Cristo mountains with a cloudless blue sky behind to the east. The sun will be setting here in a little over an hour MST behind the flat top mountain called Pedernal to the west of us. It’s not really flat topped from the side view it’s pointed, I don’t know what that shape is called, kind of a sky facing wedge or blade? We’re all unpacked here and settled in. This morning I polished the copperware that we returned and hung on the cabin wall. I love looking at the copper with the warm colored wooden walls and doors. Pretty soon it will be what I call the golden hour when the sun comes in low into the cabin. Sigh.

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  29. Brandon said on November 26, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Stephen Sondheim has died.

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  30. Deborah said on November 26, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    The stars!!!! Oh my. Something I never see in Chicago.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on November 26, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    Very sad about Sondheim. Somehow I thought he would go on forever. He was working on another musical and in my dreams it will be finished by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

    Our son has a gig tomorrow morning playing trumpet from the top of a building downtown for the opening of a festival. There will be three other trumpets, a vocalist, and two train horns. If they pull it off it could be quite spectacular, so fingers crossed.

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  32. Jeff Gill said on November 26, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    Sometimes people leave you halfway through the wood. Do not let it grieve you, no one leaves for good.

    ~ Stephen Sondheim

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  33. Dexter Friend said on November 27, 2021 at 2:17 am

    The first segment of the Disney+ Beatles special, the Peter Jackson extravaganza, left me wishing this damn thing would end. Watching any band rehearse for hours and hours…how much did the producers and editors think the public could take? I was the perfect age when The Beatles broke, 14. I was a fanatic, crazy and crazed. I still listen regularly for a few songs daily on XM16. But this first segment of the 3-parter was killing me.

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  34. Suzanne said on November 27, 2021 at 7:47 am

    We watched the Beatles documentary as well. It starts really, really slowly and I almost gave up, but then became fascinated with how they worked together or didn’t. Sir Paul was clearly the driver of the Beatles train by then, George tired of being the caboose, John’s mind mainly on Yoko, glued to his side as she was, and Ringo rarely seemed to have an opinion about much of anything. I also was amazed at the serious consideration given to having the Beatles concert in some ancient amphitheater on the coast of Libya. I am hoping that the next episode has a bit more action, though.

    We made it through Thanksgiving part II with the right wing brother, who was in a surprisingly good mood and only said a few odd things. I deflected well and we had no incidences. Hooray!

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  35. nasset said on November 27, 2021 at 7:58 am

    I like watching the songs and arrangements develop, and picking out little details like who’s walking around in the back of the shot, which instruments are being used (for example, George’s “Lucy” Les Paul), and how all the participants relate to each other.

    Dexter can watch a baseball game and see details I would never notice, same thing with this. That being said, part two was probably more interesting as the project hit bottom and started to turn around.

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  36. Julie Robinson said on November 27, 2021 at 8:13 am

    As much as I love the Beatles, I can’t help thinking that Peter Jackson wasn’t the best person to direct. This is the guy who turned The Hobbit’s one book into three long and overblown movies. Same here. I think the material could have been edited to one night’s viewing but Jackson has succeeded at excess, so it’s another trilogy we get. I dozed off early in hour two and woke up to Yoko howling into the mic, at which point I addressed some more of the kitchen cleanup.

    Give me Sondheim over Yoko eight days a week.

    Alex, our kitchen has that same little cramped wall oven, as did our last house before the remodel, and my folks’ house too. I wonder if people will be complaining about farm sinks in 30 years.

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  37. Deborah said on November 27, 2021 at 9:30 am

    I only just heard of the Rivian SUV a couple of days ago and I really like it, except for the price, it starts at $71,000. Way too much to pay for a vehicle. Ridiculous.

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  38. alex said on November 27, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Julie, they might complain about the dated look of farm sinks someday but not the utility. We have a bar sink to fit the modernist aesthetic we were trying to achieve, and it has the same openness and depth of a farm sink and it’s great for washing large pots and pans, filling tall stock pots with water, etc. I don’t know how we ever lived without it. The old shallow double sink was a pain in the ass.

    We expect to eventually move into my parents’ house and it needs tons of work. I hadn’t considered a kitchen remodel to boot, but I don’t see how I could live with the wall oven. It can barely accommodate a small sheet pan. I remember now that there was an auxiliary kitchen in the basement when we moved into that house in the 1970s and it had a ginormous range with warming ovens. My parents got rid of those appliances because they weren’t using them.

    Between the popcorn ceilings, outdated wiring and other benign neglect we’ve got our work cut out for us.

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  39. Julie Robinson said on November 27, 2021 at 10:33 am

    Oh I am dying to redo this kitchen but the way I want to do it will be super pricey. It’s a galley with a nook at the end, if only they had made the nook into a U it would all work so much better. The eight windows would have to be replaced and we’d also want to enclose the weird outdoor entry.

    But first the bathroom with the bouncy floor and grout that disintegrated when I scrubbed it.

    Alex y’all could retire down here and make a killing because the contractors are all crap and there aren’t enough of them.

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  40. Deborah said on November 27, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Oh great now there’s variant omicron.

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  41. David C said on November 27, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    Jalopnik says Rivian is planning on making $15,500 extra per truck on subscription based features. It sounds like all the automakers have similar plans.

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  42. Deborah said on November 27, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    I’m hoping that when our current Jeep conks out there will be cheaper electric vehicles by then. Wishful thinking probably. We need a vehicle with high clearance and space for carting stuff around, but not a pick up. A smaller SUV is what we have and what I hope we can find then, hopefully our current one will last a couple more years.

    I realized after looking at videos that the Rivian SUV is gigantic, not that we’ll be buying one. I don’t like driving large vehicles, I had MGs and Miatas in the past they’re easier to park and drive around.

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  43. Sherri said on November 27, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    I watched the first episode of Get Back, and yes, it was overlong, but it was fascinating, as basset said, to watch the songs develop and the relationships. All four are clearly ready to move on; in a sense, they’ve outgrown the Beatles, this band they started when they were kids, and as they have up, their interests have diverged. Even so, it’s amazing to watch the magic that can pop up between Lennon and McCartney, and a little heartbreaking to see how dismissive they can be towards Harrison.

    I only wish the microphones had been able to pick up that conversation between Linda and Yoko that was caught on camera.

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  44. susan said on November 27, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    Deborah @43— Subaru is coming out with an electric SUV in 2022, “Solterra.” It has ground clearance of 8.3″, which is pretty good. Seems that Subaru is being mum about things people really want to know about, though. Such as, how fast it charges. Reported range, as these things go, is so-so, 220 miles. That’s better than 60!

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  45. nancy said on November 27, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    Alex, that house will need a ton of work, but you’re up to it. And it’ll be gay-fabulous when you’re done.

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  46. Joe Kobiela said on November 27, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Certainly hope Dexter got to watch the game today, heck of a win for Michigan against that team from down south. Old fashion big ten football and in the snow too.
    Pilot Joe

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  47. LAMary said on November 27, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    Kia Niro.Small, hybrid or electric, great warranty, great reputation for reliability, not expensive.

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  48. Deborah said on November 27, 2021 at 8:07 pm

    I’m probably looking for a unicorn, all electric SUV with a boxy back, not sloped, high clearance, I think our current Jeep is more than 8 1/2” and it’s about as low as I’d want to go. I’ll have to measure it. Plus I don’t want to spend a fortune, don’t need bells and whistles, just basics. I haven’t done exhaustive research so maybe I need to get cracking.

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  49. Joe KOBIELA said on November 27, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Ford Maverick, front wheel drive hybrid,40mph, 4 door, small bed, starts at $20,000, getting great reviews.
    Pilot Joe

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  50. Dexter Friend said on November 28, 2021 at 12:34 am

    Yeah Joe, every play, every second, two thermoses of coffee to keep me wired, and a sweet victory. Now the Wolverines play Iowa for the conference crown.
    The perfect weather Saturday, the snow, wind, the competition, it was a real lifting of the spirits. 42 Michigan, 27 Ohio State.

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  51. Dexter Friend said on November 28, 2021 at 12:43 am

    My Honda Odyssey is a great vehicle, but only gets 22.6 mpg. With a full tank I drove from here, Bryan, to Commercial Point, then gassed up in Van Wert. 140 miles, $44. No, that doesn’t bother me because many days I only drive 12 or 15 miles now, but for commuters with a bit of a drive, that is a real dent in the purse. Gasoline is $3.35 here, $3.04 in Van Wert. 40 miles apart, 31 cents difference.
    We’ve been here before, but Biden’s day-and-a half’s worth of oil-release from the Strategic Supply isn’t helping much. I may never get an EV; by the time internal combustion engines are gone, I may not be driving much at all. Tesla has been getting really bad press for drivabilities and regular maintenance issues. There’s plenty of time to sort these problems.

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  52. LAMary said on November 28, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    Check out Hyundais as well. My son’s Tucson made it to over 150k miles. He bought it used.

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  53. Deborah said on November 28, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    I was sad to see that Virgil Abloh has died. He was the design director of Louis Vuitton, a young black man, married with kids. He went to high school with Uncle J’s grandkids in Rockford. He had cancer and had been battling it privately for a number of years. He was a student at IIT when my husband taught there. Way too soon for this, the guy was very talented.

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  54. Deborah said on November 28, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    NYT on Abloh

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