Unpacked, finally.

This is a story probably little-noticed outside Michigan, the Midwest, and/or political-junkie circles, but the newly created Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission finished their work (for the most part) last night, approving new district maps for the U.S. House and state legislative districts.

The state is losing a district, which will make for some musical chairs. As for the Nall/Derringer co-prosperity sphere, we’ll move from the 14th to the 13th, expected to be a safe hold for Rashida Tlaib, the pottymouthed Palestinian-American squad member of impeach-the-motherfucker fame. The state districts are more of a we’ll-see situation, but most agree that the new maps, while still imperfect because of course they are, will make for a more representative state legislature and federal delegation than the disgraceful gerrymander they will replace.

There’ll be a lawsuit filed in the 13th, in fact, over the loss of majority-minority districts, and in fact, Michigan could end up with no black congressional representatives, which is startling for a state that contains America’s blackest city. On the other hand, “packing” is one of the ways to dilute black political power, and blacks have been moving to the suburbs for decades. Rashida is Arab-American, but she’s been a stand-up voice for people of color in her district so far. The courts will decide, I suppose. But for now, I’m pleased. (Tossup districts are way more competitive now — in that they exist. And if Trump tries to steal another election in 2024, we might have more of a fighting chance, at least in Michigan.)

This is the current 14th District:

And barring court modification, the purple-shaded area will be the 13th:

At least I’m no longer in a district with Pontiac, which would take me nearly an hour to reach by car. On freeways. In a densely populated urban area.

From the whining I’m picking up in rural areas of the state, I’m calling this a success.

That’s the good news. The bad? Kate went back to her house two days ago, after testing negative for five days previous AND the day after Christmas, started feeling bad, tested again and came up positive. So now we wait, and isolate. Oh well — we didn’t really have any firm plans for New Year’s Eve anyway. And she was feeling better within a day. Me, I’m fine-ish, in that I’m not sick but not not-sick, if that makes sense. Alan’s fine so far. Me, I’m running on about 87.5 percent, which is indistinguishable from the mildly bleh feeling I get after the rich foods, too much wine and scarcity of outdoor exercise during the holidays. But I’ll be safe. No socializing until I test negative and another week passes.

Some stuff to read in the slow week? Sure:

Here’s the always-interesting Olivia Nuzzi on Dr. Oz’s Pennsylvania Senate bid, which contains a hilarious long anecdote involving an improperly disconnected cell-phone call to Mrs. Oz:

To my surprise, she picked up — for about a second. Just as quickly as it started, the call was over. I had barely said hello. Unsure if we’d been disconnected or she’d hung up on me, I tried her back. The tone of her voice suggested it had definitely been the latter.

“How did you get my number?” she asked sharply. I told her that her number was listed in public records, and this annoyed her too. “Oh,” she said, “I should have gotten rid of that.” I was about to explain that public records don’t work that way, but she cut in. “Have a nice day,” she said, but it sounded like a cross between the way women of the South say “Bless your heart” and men of Brooklyn call some asshole “pal” after being cut off in traffic. Then she hung up.

Or she thought she did.

It may be paywalled, and if so, I’m sorry. Try an Incognito window.

Also, the battle over wind power in west Michigan. Not everyone thinks it’s wonderful.

Me, I”m off to work now.

Posted at 7:59 am in Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

63 responses to “Unpacked, finally.”

  1. David C said on December 29, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Did they put that dipshit Melissa Carone in a district where she can be easily knocked off?

    I hope the you’re all feeling better soon.

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    • nancy said on December 29, 2021 at 9:20 am

      Mellissa is a funny case. She originally announced she was moving to Lake Orion, in Oakland County, and would run there. Then she ended up moving to the decidedly more downmarket Memphis, Mich., in Macomb County. I’m not sure what the portents are for that seat, but I do know she’s embroiled in a lot of messy internecine squabbling within the state and county GOP. You know the drill — lots of “RINO hunting,” etc. I’m sure the sane wing of the party would like to see her go away, but she’s running around claiming she’s been endorsed by Roger Stone AND Michael Flynn, etc. etc. Meanwhile, her “fiancé” appears to be permanent; if they have wedding plans, she hasn’t shared them. Whether her past (stripping, sex tape-sending harassment, possibly esc*rting) hurts her with the voters up there is a toss-up. But you’d think, once you have a kid with someone, you might as well get married. Knowing her, she probably wants a million-dollar wedding and they can’t afford that, either. She’s fundraising HARD. I know because I’m on her mailing list.

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  2. Deborah said on December 29, 2021 at 10:08 am

    I’m going to have to look up how to make an incognito window because I’ve used up my clicks on NY Magazine.

    New Mexico redistricted too, there are only 3 districts in the state but they reconfigured them so the southern part isn’t mostly Republican. For a brief time there was a Dem rep from that district, but she only won by a handful of votes and she got voted out after her two years were up. Northern NM is fairly safe for Democrats, around Albuquerque in the center(ish) the Republicans say they have a better chance now. The Sec of the Interior Deb Haaland was formerly the rep from that district and the woman who replaced her in a special election is a Dem too. That district changed slightly and somehow the Republicans claim it is to their advantage but I don’t see it. I vote in IL but I watch politics closely here, LB votes here of course. Currently both Senators are Democrats and two of the three reps are too.

    The weather report for Santa Fe is that it snowed! Only about a 1/2″ but it’s so pretty. In the winter without snow Santa Fe is all tannish brown even all of the buildings, it’s nice to have a pristine coating of white.

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  3. basset said on December 29, 2021 at 10:10 am

    If you would, Nancy, tell us more about that guitar restoration Kate and Alan are doing.

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  4. David C said on December 29, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Gotta love those Republican family values.

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  5. alex said on December 29, 2021 at 10:32 am

    Poor Mark Souder. If he’d been a congressman in the post-Tea Party era he could have banged his mistress in a car and gotten high fives for it instead of kicked to the curb in disgrace. And that guy from Florida with the twitchy foot in public shithouses might still be with us too. The whole lot of ’em are breathing easier now that the GOP has dropped all pretenses of virtuousness and gone full neo-fascist.

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  6. Suzanne said on December 29, 2021 at 10:36 am

    You are right about that, Alex, although all these years later, I still can’t wrap my head around anyone wanting to sleep with Souder. I do know though, that I would have insisted on at least a clean hotel room. A backseat on a boat ramp? No. Just no.

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  7. Deborah said on December 29, 2021 at 10:54 am

    I looked it up, if you’re on a Mac the way to make an incognito window is command + shift + n, it’s easy.

    The Dr Oz piece is worth it.

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  8. nancy said on December 29, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Basset, Kate found a ’70s-era Fender jazz bass for sale, abandoned mid-restoration. Which is to say, it had been sanded down to bare wood and largely disassembled, with all the parts included, but in a bag. So she wants to finish the restoration, then decide whether to keep it or sell it. Restored, it could fetch as much as $2K-$3K. She paid $900 for it, I think.

    She built a Martin acoustic from a kit last winter, so this is her second project.

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  9. Dave said on December 29, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Your posting got me curious about the district I’ve moved into, I already know I don’t think much of the congresswoman who represents the district but I’ve no idea of its boundaries. I find that it’s not too oddly shaped, taking in Anderson and Marion but it went for Trump both times and is now represented by this person, who somehow oddly reminds me of Callista Gingrich in appearance. She’s a native of the Ukraine and a founding member of the Hamilton County, IN, Tea Party, which is now our county of residence.


    Meanwhile, we’re all moved into our new home here, we’ve left Florida permanently and, meaning no disrespect, Julie Robinson, but we’ll see what you think when it starts heating up. That was one of the things we came to despise, those many days where we didn’t care to go outside very much. Fortunately, for you, your family is nearby and that was something we didn’t have, which greatly weighed in our decision to leave.

    Deborah, you can also click on File, when the menu comes down, Private Window should be near the top of the options.

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  10. Deborah said on December 29, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    Are we doing resolutions for the New Year yet? I’ve been trying to pare mine down to one word, but I can’t get it below two: spend wisely. That goes for time mostly, trying to read more books and less internet, and doing productive projects, also money. We spent way too much $$$$ on food this last month. Prices have gone up, yes, but we’ve been bad about planning menus and buying impulsively, lots of waste too. Ordering things on Amazon is too easy, shopping on foot is better, if I can’t find the item in town, maybe I should do without.

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  11. alex said on December 29, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    Spartz. Always makes me think of splattering farts.

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  12. JodiP said on December 29, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    Dang it, I am having second thoughts about my gathering on Sunday even though we’re all getting tested beforehand. WaPo had a story today in which a person tested 3 times before seeing family and then tested positive the day after the gathering. I’m not worried about a severe case, but rather infecting my wife, a nurse who also sees her mother quite a bit. It would also be a right pain to isolate for 10 days.

    Deborah, I don’t know if this will help cut costs or just encourage more spending, but I tried ThredUp and bought a cute J. Crew turtleneck for $32 + shipping.

    I also recently got snowpants. Why I’ve waited until age 56 to do this, don’t know. But wow, walking for 30 minutes in -20 WC today was no problem. I am also going to wear KN95 masks while walking in really cold temps because they are so warm! No more frozen nose!

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  13. Andrea said on December 29, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    Our 16-year-old tested positive 10 days ago. So far my husband and I have managed to avoid it. She is out of isolation tomorrow (isolation day 1 is the day AFTER your test, apparently) and we will very cautiously resume our lives. We have all been shut in the house other than for walks outside or trips (masked and gloved) to the grocery store. It’s been kind of a lonely slog, but on the other hand, we are not really wondering if we have it. Planning to keep a low profile for a few weeks more, in the hopes that omicron blows itself out in Chicago at least.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on December 29, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    My doctor wants me to go back to the gym after my cholesterol and glucose levels were up at my last physical. The omicron outbreak has me hesitant to rejoin.

    Let’s remember it was Oprah the Great who brought Dr. Oz into the spotlight. Along, of course, with another bone head, Dr. Phil. Two snake oil salesmen.

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  15. Scout said on December 29, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    I went to a family gathering on the 23rd. There were 15 of us, including the 5 great grandies. 4 of us are vaccinated, so I knew the odds were not good going in but went anyway. On Monday I got a text from one of my sons-in-law and yep, sick and Covid positive. I immediately went and picked up my 83 y/o Mom and took her to get us both tested. The tests came back this morning, we’re both negative. The family member I’m most concerned about is my unvaccinated pregnant grand daughter. I will never, as long as I live, understand why people I love and would lay my life down to protect will not even consider doing the most simplest thing for me, the other family members and themselves. I really should have known better, but I was counting on my 2 vaxxes and booster to protect me, and so far, apparently they did. But I’m keeping my distance again now. So sad.

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  16. basset said on December 29, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    Guitars… didn’t know Martin made kits, how’d it turn out? That Jazz Bass could be a really nice player, I believe I’d just strip it and put on a nice clear satin finish.

    Last bass I owned was a Harmony. Yes, I’m old… played it through a Kalamazoo amp, both of those would be “vintage” now and sell for ridiculous money.

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  17. Julie Robinson said on December 29, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    It’s terrible hearing about everyone getting sick and I’m crossing my fingers everyone is okay.

    Dave, no worries, I’ve already been through two Florida summers and I know the drill. Do your outside stuff in the early morning, take a swim, then stay inside until evening. I was inside most of the winter as is, getting depressed from lack of sunlight and fearing another fall on the ice would add yet another bum joint to my knee and shoulder. You pick your poison.

    We had so much fun today going to a parade and battle of the bands between my mom’s alma mater, Iowa State, and the Clemson Tigers. I guess some athletes accompanied the bands and will be playing in a bowl game tonight, but we knew the real reason for the visit was the musicians. Ha!

    Both bands were tremendous, with big lower brass sections which makes for full, rich, and LOUD sound. 21 tubas for Clemson, 29 for Iowa State. Wowza, wowza, wowza.

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  18. David C said on December 29, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    I wish I still had my Made in Japan Squier Precision Bass. It played so nice but I started playing guitar and decided I liked that more so I sold it. I got good money for it too.

    I built a Stratocaster style 12-string electric from parts I bought here and there. It turned out really nice and I love the sound. I had an octave mandolin kit on my Christmas list but I guess Mary decided I really didn’t need another instrument. I probably don’t but they say the formula for the number of guitars you have is n + 1 with n = to the number you need. I’ll try again next year.

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  19. Deborah said on December 29, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Curious, those of you who play instruments (guitars or whatever) how often do you play? Daily?

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  20. Dexter Friend said on December 29, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    Ghislaine Maxwell, called “Jizz-lane” by a friend…5 of 6, guilty. Trafficing on several levels, many instances, many incidents. https://www.counton2.com/news/national-news/jury-says-it-has-reached-verdict-in-ghislaine-maxwell-trial/

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  21. David C said on December 29, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    I play about four or five times a week for around an hour each.

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  22. Dexter Friend said on December 29, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    Maxwell addendum: She was acquitted of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

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  23. LAMary said on December 29, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    I’ve been a hermit for going on two years. There were trips to the doctor, the eye surgery center, the dentist and one trip to Trader Joes. I also drove around for a few hours last year when we had no power for a few days and all our phones were dead. We drove up the 5 for about 100 miles and back and managed to charge phones and tablets as well as enjoy the AC in the car. It was over 110 outside. This was during the fires, September of 2020.

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  24. David C said on December 29, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    I read a Twitter thread today about how introverts are oppressing extroverts by preventing them from having fun because we’re jealous of them and neurotic. It was odd to say the least.

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  25. Suzanne said on December 29, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    Yep, I go around oppressing extroverts. Well, mostly, I just want them to shut up.

    Found out today that someone I went to college with, don’t know her well but know she is an extreme Trumpster, is in the hospital on a ventilator with COVID. I am feeling no sadness over this. You play with a venomous snake, you get bit. It’s how life works.

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  26. Dexter Friend said on December 30, 2021 at 1:28 am

    “Don’t Look Up” is discussed: https://www.sfgate.com/streaming/article/the-problem-with-dont-look-up-16734214.php?IPID=SFGate-HP-Editors-Picks

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  27. beb said on December 30, 2021 at 2:14 am

    Huffpost has an article on the Nuzzi / Oz conversation which isn’t paywalled and contains the nut comments made by Dr. and Mrs. Oz. The Oz’s entitles attitude is gross enough that they be cancel cultured. Or not. I think everyone should make a point of calling Dr. Oz a carpetbagger since he never lived in Pennsylvania, and is just renting an in-laws house as an address of convenience.

    I think it’s cool that Kate is refurbishing a vintage bass guitar.

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  28. Jeff Gill said on December 30, 2021 at 8:26 am

    Yesterday I conducted my last funeral of 2021, in Upper Arlington OH for a couple, the husband of whom had died ten years ago & the wife earlier in December in North Carolina. I jumped in at the last minute for a friend who is now a hospital chaplain and after evading COVID for the last year she rang the bell on her Monday test at work — she’s boosted, asymptomatic, but had to do the 5 day quarantine. The new normal: we had a video from the son of the deceased from NC, and he played his father’s 1941 Gibson SJ-100, which Dad apparently played as a teen in the Columbus Bottoms with a Nazarene street band during the war. Son was one of three video segments (a grand-daugher was having a baby by C-section that day, and a much beloved song of Mom’s with Irish scenery was played for the conclusion), it was live-streamed, and the singer of two solos in honor of their love of music had a phone with his accompaniment, since the pianist called in as positive with COVID on Tuesday, so we had a tense lead up to our go-time getting everything plugged into the sound system properly. Item #57 on “things they don’t teach you in seminary,” and the funeral director we were working with said he’s still not up to speed with all the tech twists a modern funeral brings to the party.

    May your 2022s have a minimal number of funerals in them!

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  29. Julie Robinson said on December 30, 2021 at 9:14 am

    Jeff, just a typical service these days. On Sunday the streaming service wasn’t working and while on hold for customer service Sarah plugged in her computer and discovered the Power Point for the service had gone into the ether. Bulletins are a thing of the past but she mocked one up, only to discover the printer was also on the fritz. Somehow it all got solved but afterwards she collapsed. I told her that’s why pastors go on vacation December 26.

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  30. jcburns said on December 30, 2021 at 10:56 am

    Wow, this piece from the nn.c history column in 2014 reminds me that the crazy vaccine distrusting people were out there just waiting on Covid-19 as a chance to again be publicly distrusting and foolish. Also, as a bonus, links to a James Fallows piece on the changes in the way we look at our military, which generated most of the comments.

    EDIT: It’s no longer available on the Bridge site, but I found the ‘guest commentary’ Nancy was talking about back then at this Internet Archive link.

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  31. Brandon said on December 30, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    since he never lived in Pennsylvania

    Dr. Oz attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and
    Wharton School
    , graduating in 1986 with an MD and an MBA.

    According to this marriage notice from 1985, the newly married couple made their home in Center City Philadelphia.

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  32. LAMary said on December 30, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks for that heads up, JC. Interesting.

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  33. LAMary said on December 30, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    The CDC has made an official recommendation to avoid cruise ships.

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  34. Dexter Friend said on December 30, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    I am way off topic, sorry…an electrician is re-wiring the bathroom light fixtures, bye-bye “Christmas Bonus”, my 5.9 % Social Security increase. 🙂 🙁
    But I come not to complain, but to praise an amazing movie on Apple+. “CODA”, starring an upcoming Welsh actor , Emilia Jones. She’s just 19 but is already great. A truly amazing treat of a movie. Lots of “sign language”. I suppose if you can understand that you’ll like it even more. It’s a sort-of “Mister Holland’s Opus” send up, but the teacher is in a supportive role. The kid is the star. A real star.

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  35. tajalli said on December 30, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    Looks like you get a more accurate COVID test by swabbing your throat as well as the nose. Might be the reason for all the false negative tests prior to attending events.


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  36. alex said on December 30, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    NYMag does it again (without the word “retard” this time). Must suck to be Alan Douche-a-witz and Dr. Krystal (on the take from Big Pharma). The scoop on Bandy Lee’s firing from Yale for publicly psychoanalyzing Trump (and criticizing Dershowitz for shilling for Trump):


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  37. Deborah said on December 30, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    Yowza, this is scary 80 to115mph winds near Boulder, CO and fires https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/30/weather/colorado-wildfires/index.html. Our cabin was designed to withstand 90mph winds, which has never, ever happened anywhere near Abiquiu, NM. Now I’m worried. These winds are frightening as hell. I always in the back of my mind thought wild fires might be an issue in the high desert but outrageous winds like this, no, this is very creepy.

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  38. MarkH said on December 31, 2021 at 1:28 am

    Deborah, you are also not in close enough proximity to the Rockies to have them enhance extreme weather patterns rolling in. The extreme winds knocked down power lines there, then fueled the resulting sparks, taking massive flames eastward in no time. Literally. My sister lives in Boulder and has been on edge all day. As of 11:30PM Mountain Time, the winds have died down and control over the flames is improving. So the worst may be over for big sis as it all stayed just south of her. Not so for 600+ other families in Superior and Louisville who have lost their homes, including an ex-post office colleague of mine who moved to Louisville four months ago. And to top it off, the following storm will bring 5-10 inches of snow all along the front range by Saturday night. Happy New Year.

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  39. Dexter Friend said on December 31, 2021 at 1:51 am

    The Colorado rampage fire encroached a backed-up road and the smoke obliterated any sight of the cars. I hope no one died like that. I watch the news and many times have seen tape of Santa Ana winds driving flames, but I have never seen such fires as these current Colorado fires, pushed by 120 mph winds. 120? That’s horrendous.
    Oh…the electrician determined my light fixture problem relates to ancient wiring and an obsolete panel. He roughly quoted the fix-it work at 5Gs. But whattchagon’ do? Ya gonna pay it.

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  40. Jeff Gill said on December 31, 2021 at 8:47 am

    Brandon, all useful points and in fairness should be noted . . . but it strikes me that the Wharton School has much to answer for these days.

    Happy New Year, everyone!

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  41. Deborah said on December 31, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Mark H, we’ve been having high winds in Abiquiu lately, not anywhere near 120mph, but gusts probably in the 55-60mph range. That’s unusual to us, at least for the last 21 years. My husband did research about wind conditions in the area while he was designing the cabin. Our land is mostly on a finger Mesa coming off of a smallish mountain, Sierra Negra, which is a stand alone mountain not part of a range. The Jemez range is west of us and the Sangre de Cristos are to the southeast which are the southernmost subrange of the Rockies. I’ve been reading about high winds of all kinds being a result of climate change and I find that extremely concerning.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on December 31, 2021 at 10:44 am

    Dexter, we are probably facing a similar bill for rewiring sometime soon. Currently we can’t run the air fryer and microwave at the same time. All these infrastructure improvements–roof, heat pump and the like are necessary but they aren’t dun like a new kitchen or replacing the nasty tile in the bathroom.

    Yesterday we went to an outdoor botanical garden just down the street (Leu Gardens, if anyone’s been to Orlando). We wandered around for an hour and breathed in the beauty of nature, all outdoors except for a couple of minutes showing our pass at the ticket booth. It refreshed our spirits in a way that no nature show on TV could, and we felt safe, though we still wore our masks. While we were soaking in serenity others were fighting for their homes; what a contrast.

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  43. Deborah said on December 31, 2021 at 11:21 am

    In our place in Chicago when we renovated we didn’t do anything in the kitchen because if you do you have to relocate the fuse box. The building was built in 1947, they put all of the fuse boxes directly above the kitchen sink, which of course is not up to code anymore, but grandfathered in. So if you do any kitchen reno you have to move it. That process in and of itself would cost about $25,000 we’ve been told by others who’ve done it. We can replace appliances without doing the relocation, which we will do eventually, I hate, hate, hate the stove/microwave configuration and the refridge, dishwasher can use an upgrade. I’m not obsessive about cooking, I’ve gotten better over the years but since we’re only there half the year what we have doesn’t seem that annoying, I think about a new kitchen from time to time but for now it’s only a dream.

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  44. Julie Robinson said on December 31, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    Our kitchen cabinets are actually crumbling, the stovetop only has three burners that work and it’s permanently stained; countertop is gross, tile is gross, on and on. We have a plan that includes taking down a wall and a reconfiguration, but it’s probably too pricey. I’d be happy with a new floor, cabinets/counters, and a new range. Not too much to ask for, eh?

    Bathrooms are just as bad, with weird tile colors, cracked tile, gross grout, and in one a floor that dips in one place. This is why people tear down these homes and put up McMansions.

    Oh, and did I mention most of our windows need to be replaced?

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  45. alex said on December 31, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Spending NYE day in the emergency veterinary hospital waiting to hear what’s wrong with my Pussies. She disappeared the last few days and I found her curled up in a ball and apparently injured by another animal. This was the first time ever that I was able to place this feral cat in a carrier and take her anywhere. She’s been around about ten years or so and has never let us take her to a vet. She was resistant today as well but too weak to run away.

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  46. David C said on December 31, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    RIP Betty White.

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  47. diane said on December 31, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    From a personal perspective I cannot complain about redistricting. I was moved from Lauren Boebert’s district to Joe Nugeuse’s.

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  48. Suzanne said on December 31, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    I feel like the passing of Betty White is 2021’s one last “F You” to the world.

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  49. Deborah said on December 31, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    I just watched an episode on You Tube of a Mary Tyler Moore show where after they had attended the funeral of Chuckles the Clown, they were sitting in Mary’s apartment discussing the kind of funeral they each wanted. Betty White’s character said she wanted to be cremated and have her ashes thrown on Robert Redford. Couldn’t be more appropriate to have her say. RIP.

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  50. Jim said on December 31, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    Just moved out to Longmont Co last week. Went from a Jim Banks to Ken Buck district, but next year will be a Democrat. First time in my life!

    Fires were just South of us, and SE of son and DIL. Wind was steady away from us both. We now have a bug out bag.

    Deborah @49: I can quote Chuckles’s catch phrase from memory.

    “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down my pants”.

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  51. alex said on December 31, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    Update from the animal hospital:

    Pussies is suffering from kidney failure and we planned to euthanize tomorrow, but they called to say she’s decompensating fast and we should get there tonight if possible. Hubby’s on his way home from working out of town, supposed to be home soon. We had to cancel dinner reservations tonight because he was going to arrive too late. So I’m making Anthony Bourdain’s boeuf bourguignon that appeared in the Washington Post food section today. Note to self: Never brown chuck roast when my range hood exhaust fan is out of service. I’m sitting in a cloud of atomized grease as I type. First time I’ve ever used demi-glace in a recipe, though, and it smells divine. What a day.

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  52. diane said on January 1, 2022 at 12:08 am

    So very sorry about your cat Alex.

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  53. Deborah said on January 1, 2022 at 12:15 am

    Happy New Year! To those of you in EST it’s already happened. We’re 2 hours earlier in Mountain time, I doubt we’ll make it to midnight, haven’t for years. We opened a bottle of Prosecco a couple of hours ago and have been discussing what a shitty year 2021 was. The only good things I could think of 1. Getting rid of my cataracts and seeing glorious blue skies again and 2. Getting vaxxed and boosted.

    We’re supposed to be getting a winter storm here shortly, so far just rain, but hey at least it’s precipitation, much needed around here.

    My husband’s younger sister who still lives in Charlotte, NC went to the ER yesterday because of abdominal pains that seem like appendicitis to us. She had to sit in a chair waiting for 15 hours because there are so many Covid patients. She finally has a bed now, but she was in agony. So maddening that people aren’t getting vaccinated and are causing so much chaos and suffering.

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  54. LAMary said on January 1, 2022 at 1:04 am

    Pussies was lucky to have friends who fed and looked after her, allowing her to have her own way as well. The cats here at Casa LAMary send feline condolences and gratitude for caring for one of their tribe.
    I gave my sweet cat Clementine to live with my son and his girlfriend a few weeks ago. She and one of the male cats I have were fighting a lot and she was hiding when he was around. My son’s girlfriend’s cat had just died and I offered Clementine, thinking it was a good situtation for all involved and it definitely was. She’s happy, spoiled, and enjoying being the only cat. I miss her, but her life is better there. She used to sit on the arm of my chair and put one paw on my arm. It was a sweet gesture.

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  55. Dexter Friend said on January 1, 2022 at 2:02 am

    Alex, so sorry about Pussies. My cat Friendo was a feral kitten I let in on a cold rainy night 15 years ago. He has escaped many times but always comes back in a few hours. He began sleeping with me when my wife left home to begin her 6 months of nursing home and hospital stays. She never returned, but when she passed away nearly a year ago, Friendo never once again came upstairs to jump up on the bed. It was just…what?
    Andy Cohen was blasted drunk, wasn’t he? Again, he ranted on how DiBlasio was the worst NYC mayor ever, just moments before Eric Adams was sworn in as something like the 120th NYC mayor. He’ll catch holy hell too…they all do. Ever since Fiorello La Guardia , they all have. Even John Lindsey.

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  56. alex said on January 1, 2022 at 3:16 am

    Pussies was quite an unusual cat. Stunning calico that showed up one day maybe ten years ago but was very feral in her behavior, skittish, unsociable. Couldn’t be coaxed indoors or even forced to go in. (Although we managed once when the weather was subzero and ended up having to throw our carpet away. We call it the Bhopal disaster of 2014.) Couldn’t be captured to take to the vet. If we were so much as thinking about applying flea and tick medicine she had a sixth sense that we were up to something and would take off like a rocket and disappear for days.

    It came as quite a surprise, when she finally let us pet her, that she had no claws. And by that time, improbably, she’d never gotten knocked up. We theorize that at some point someone tried to domesticate her and it just didn’t take. Despite having no claws, she rid our property of ground squirrels and chipmunks and she also had a tremendous knack for killing birds. Once we caught her munching on a pileated woodpecker that was almost as big as she was. We stopped putting out bird food because we didn’t want to invite more birds into her lair. There wasn’t much we could do, though, about birds nesting in the yard and the fledglings all jumping to certain death as she laid in wait for them.

    She would follow us around just like a dog, but otherwise never ventured far. She had a most endearing pose and I regret never capturing a picture of it — she would lean against our windows on one or both of her pristine white paws and it looked like she was waving hello or high-fiving us and Harry would always sing “How much is that kitty in the window?”

    Nancy took a picture of Pussies and posted it on NN.C when she was relatively new to us. And wrote that her name was “Cissy.” I corrected Nancy in the comments. Pussies was very slender and graceful in that picture before she got all paunchy on the kibble we started feeding her soon after that.

    Despite having never been to a vet, she tested negative for feline leukemia, feline HIV and all the diseases common to outdoor cats. Pretty remarkable considering some of the nasty brushes that she’s had with strays over the years.

    We lived with her on her terms and all in all I’d say it was a good bargain. Even though that was some fucking expensive carpet.

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  57. ROGirl said on January 1, 2022 at 6:41 am

    My kitty was very demanding and difficult to take care of at the end: the floor had become a frequent alternative to the litterbox, and she also became more clingy and vocal. I know it was time to let her go, but I do miss her.

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  58. Dorothy said on January 1, 2022 at 8:41 am

    I’m so sorry about Pussies, Alex. Surely she had a great life because of the care you gave her. We’ve only had one cat and for awhile she was fun to have. But when she started to use the floor instead of the litter box for at least half of her discharges, my love for her dimmed considerably. Dogs are more work but at least for most of their lives, in our house anyway, they did their business outdoors. When Lucy passed we gave away her carrier, her litter box, her unopened food, etc. to a local cat shelter. I didn’t want to ever be tempted to get another cat.

    Nancy I hope Kate is doing well with her Covid diagnosis. A niece in Athens GA has Covid but she is vaxxed, and I keep hearing about vaxxed friends who have it via Facebook or Twitter. We drove to Pittsburgh on Wednesday this week to give my niece our snow blower and she told us a close friend of her husband’s died of Covid the week before. He was 42. I didn’t ask if he’d been vaccinated but at this point, I think most everyone who dies of it has not been vaxxed.

    Did anyone else watch The Lost Daughter? We did last night. We rented Belfast two nights ago. I had heard so much positivity about both. Belfast was a disappointment. Stylistically it was first rate – filmed in black and white,but when they went to the movies, the movies were in color. Which was neat. But I kept wanting more from it and didn’t get it. Daughter, on the other hand, was very good but it also left me feeling like it didn’t really knock me over. There was so much intense anticipation throughout but it was also a little too long. Olivia Colman is just about the best actress around these days and she did not disappoint.

    I sure hope 2022 lives up to my expectations. I only have to work for four weeks in January and then I’m retired. We’ll move into our new house the first week of February and will be welcoming a grandson, God willing, in March. So much to look forward to and I am grateful for all of it.

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  59. Suzanne said on January 1, 2022 at 9:04 am

    We had two cats for years. Each kid had one. The male died of kidney issues at age 12 but the female live until almost 20. She finally died peacefully with the last few weeks being pretty bad with incontinence and barely eating. We didn’t have her euthanized though because she didn’t seem to be in pain and it was our daughter’s cat. Daughter had moved away by then but she loved that cat.and I didn’t think she would forgive me if I put her down (she would have eventually).
    We swore we would never get another pet and then this summer, this crying kitten with a bloodied nose showed up at our house and well, now we are again pet owners.
    Never say never.

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  60. Deborah said on January 1, 2022 at 10:20 am

    I’m sorry about your cat, Alex but that was a great comment, one of the best I’ve read on nn.c. No more cats for us, my husband and LB both have bad allergies now that got worse and worse when our two cats got old.

    It snowed about 5″ last night in Santa Fe, beautiful, now we only have 9″ more this winter to make the average for the city. The mountains have 21″ now, not all from last night, but they can get about 300″ in a year. It’s crazy quiet here this morning, and only heard a few fire works last night.

    We watched Adam Sorkin’s “Being the Ricados” last night, it was ok, Javier Bardem acted rings around Nicole Kidman.

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  61. alex said on January 1, 2022 at 11:14 am

    I just read that the Japanese maneki-neko (beckoning cat) figurine/talisman was inspired by calico cats. They consider the calico to be a symbol of good luck. You’ve probably seen a tea service in Japanese restaurants where the teapot or creamer was a cat with a raised paw that served as the spout. That’s what Pussies looked like when she’d peer into the window to ask “Where’s my food, dammit?”

    I used to frequent a sushi place in Chicago that dressed its tables with maneki-neko to dispense soy sauce, but the spout was the cat’s mouth and it always looked like the cat was puking. They also had dusty and sun-faded plastic mockups of fish and sushi in their window which didn’t give the most appetizing first impression. But the food was always superb.

    The restaurant was on Clark south of Wrigley Field, back when the neighborhood was still seedy and hadn’t been overrun with high-end sports bars and overpriced tourist trap eateries.

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  62. LAMary said on January 1, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    I saw your photos of Pussies on facebook and she could have been Clementine’s sister. Beautiful calico markings on both. Clementine looks like she is modeling samples of all available cat colors. I got Clemmie from a shelter when she was already an adult cat and I think she may have been feral. She was my cat when she lived here. No interest in the rest of the household other than at feeding time.

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