Better.

Thanks for all your good wishes. I’m feeling fine and haven’t had any reoccurrence of last week’s troubles, fingers crossed. Worked out a little in the basement, and fingers crossed again, will return to the pool tomorrow morning. I’ll take it easy, too.

Taking it easy isn’t difficult for me. In fact, it’s insanely seductive. One reason I try not to stop daily exercise for too long is, I fear I’ll never start back up. Especially in winter, the bed is so warm and cozy. It’s hard to tell yourself just do it, despite what the commercials say. So I do it. And then eat too much afterward.

Enough about that. It’s the start of St. Patrick’s Day festivities here, which seem to be blurring with something observed locally — 313 Day, a celebration of Detroit because that’s the area code. The St. Pat’s parade was this morning, and it snowed, but not long after the wind switched around to the southwest, the sun came out, and all the snow melted. We’re promised steadily rising temperatures all week, and by March 17, it could be in the 60s. Some friends and I are going to do a limited old-people pub crawl on The Day Itself, which is to stay we’ll start early, end early and probably go alcohol-free for at least one or two stops.

So if today is 313 Day, that means tomorrow is Pi Day, another one of those “holidays” that just appeared one day. If I weren’t thinking about making an MRI appointment for my brain, I’d whip one up. Think I’ll let it pass. One year one of Alan’s staffers thought he’d bring in a couple to the office, so he stopped at the local trendy bakery and asked for two pie. Total: $70. I should have been a baker.

So with the weekend, whiling away, let’s look at the breaking news. Two things:

First thing, Barry got the bug. He’s going to be fine (it is devoutly hoped). It can happen to anyone.

Second thing, William Hurt is dead. This one hurts; he was a good one. Although, at 71, you can’t say he didn’t get his threescore and ten. But he was so great, when he was great, playing a sexy lunk in “Body Heat,” the drug dealer in a ratty Porsche in “The Big Chill,” and so many others. But not long ago I saw a young man in a newer production and thought, man, he’s a dead ringer for William Hurt, and whaddaya know, it was his son. So I guess it’s time. Still. A moment of silence.

So happy Pi Day, and see you when I get back. Have a slice for me.

Posted at 8:59 pm in Current events, Detroit life |
 

58 responses to “Better.”

  1. Alan Stamm said on March 13, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    Your post serves as a primary source for two newsbreaks after I was offline this aft’noon and eve while enjoying “Cyrano” (highly recommend) and other diversions.

    Thanks for the one-stop chance to catch up and for not soliciting subscriptions or putting up a paywall.

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  2. Jeff Borden said on March 13, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    Of all the Neo-noir films, I think “Body Heat” is the greatest example. He dyed his hair dark brown to make Ned a less attractive character. I still recall a scene with Ted Danson as the tap dancing D.A. meeting Ned as he finished a jog on the beach. Ned reaches into his shorts, pulls out a cigarette and lighter and fires it up. So fucking cool. He and Kathleen Turner burned down the screen.

    Anyone else besides me a fan of “Altered States?” Another great performance by Hurt in a mind-blowing movie.

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  3. Dexter Friend said on March 14, 2022 at 3:36 am

    The death of William Hurt shocked me, then I saw he was younger than I by a few months, and realized what hitting 70 and more means. He was so great in movies mentioned here, but my favorite role of his was in “The Kiss of the Spider Woman”. I was so impressed I remember telling my gay neighbor man to be sure to see it; I don’t know…just seemed like a good idea at the time. That neighbor used to confuse my young daughters, as he believed in PDA, making out with his partner whenever they thought they had an audience in the shared driveway or his yard. After a few viewings, the kids ignored the show, which is what it was.

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  4. Jeff Gill said on March 14, 2022 at 7:50 am

    Shoo-fly pie here. Mr. Finch from “Person of Interest” explains Pi, for #PiDay:
    https://youtu.be/yGmYCfWyVAM

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  5. Jessica W said on March 14, 2022 at 8:12 am

    No pie here as we don’t like it and I bake enough filled breads and rolls and cookies every weekend anyway.

    Various people keep urging me to turn my baking hobby into a side gig. Running the numbers showed me that I would have to charge a lot to make minimum wage. $35 for a pie unless it’s made with fancy European butter and filled with expensive stuff bought in small quantities is pretty rich, however.

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  6. alex said on March 14, 2022 at 8:16 am

    I got to see plenty of William Hurt movies in the ’80s when I was still a regular consumer of Hollywood product. “Body Heat” was about as close to porn as anything I’d seen on the big screen. Time was kinder to him than to Kathleen Turner whose life has been plagued with health issues that have made her almost unrecognizable. We were talking about steroid moonface the other day. That’s what she has, and it’s the side effect of medical treatment that’s keeping her alive.

    My close circle in Chicago had proposed a “Big Chill” weekend as a memorial to a friend who died last year but this never transpired. Maybe now that we’re post-COVID it’ll happen. I was cracking jokes via e-mail asking which one of us was going to play the role of Glenn Close having an emotional breakdown in the shower, etc.

    I can’t believe how thoroughly I’ve fallen out of the habit of escapist entertainment altogether. In Chicago I became more interested in art and foreign films because they were so different than the standard hackneyed Hollywood aesthetic and showed that there are different ways of storytelling. But since then I’ve stopped watching movies and TV and it’s just not part of my experience anymore. I feel as if I don’t have enough time for any of it. Life keeps interrupting. Like right now I really need to be getting my ass in gear and going to work.

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  7. Icarus said on March 14, 2022 at 8:59 am

    Pie day is just a made up holiday by Big ARITHMETIC to sell me math #PiDay

    — someone on Twitter, probably

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  8. Mark P said on March 14, 2022 at 9:19 am

    Direct TV has an info screen that shows when the cast of shows were born and died. I have noticed that quite a few of the old stars (eg Humphrey Bogart died at 57) died at what I consider an early age. When I see one that died at, say, 70, I think, “At least they had a decent number of years, they didn’t die young.” Wait a minute, I’ll be 72 in May. If I die today, that’s what people will say about me.

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  9. Bitter Scribe said on March 14, 2022 at 9:28 am

    Boy, do I hear you about the seductiveness of inactivity. I’m planning to go to the gym tonight for the first time in the month and a half since I fell and broke a bone in my foot. It was so nice not having that hole blown in my day by workouts, but I have to get back to exercising sometime.

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  10. Deborah said on March 14, 2022 at 11:40 am

    I didn’t think about Pi day ahead of time, usually I think about it too much days before planning what kind of pie to make. I think I’ll make a quiche today (does that count as a pie?) although I don’t have any eggs, an excuse to walk to the store. I may get a small bouquet to place in front of the Ukrainian Consulate on my way back home.

    Yesterday I did my first 10,000 step walk in a long time, Chicago is such a great walking city. I slept well too, the anxiety meds helped.

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  11. mcconk said on March 14, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    314 is the area code for St. Louis, so we get the silliness of both the Pi thing and the 314 day all at once.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on March 14, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    71 seems way too young to me now too, though it seems Hurt died of an old man’s disease, prostate cancer. And I’d forgotten what a messy personal life he had, but doesn’t that almost go with the territory when you’re sex on a stick?

    Movies to skip: Death on the Nile, with Kenneth Branagh attempting to recreate Hercule Poirot into a manly man, the exact opposite of Dame Christie’s books. I didn’t like his interpretation of Murder on the Orient Express either; this one is worse. But sometimes you need to get your 89 yo mom out of the house because 30 high schoolers are coming over to swim and use the showers (oh, the life of a Pastor’s family), and that’s what she wants to see.

    Branagh is becoming more and more the character he played in the Harry Potter movies, Gilderoy Lockhart. Vain but hollow, and useless. I haven’t seen Belfast yet so maybe he redeems himself with that one.

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  13. tajalli said on March 14, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    I have an irrational love for Pi Day.

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  14. Andrea said on March 14, 2022 at 3:02 pm

    William Hurt… whew! I was all set to get nostalgic about him and his career and then I read the Daily Beast reminder of his violence toward Marlee Matlin and another woman — his ex-wife I think? Anyway, he never refuted Matlin’s accusations about rape and physical and emotional abuse.
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/when-marlee-matlin-accused-william-hurt-of-rape
    The Washington Post obit mentioned this history briefly and obliquely.

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  15. jcburns said on March 14, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    tajalli: “I have an irrational love for Pi Day.”

    heh, heh, heh.

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  16. Andrea said on March 14, 2022 at 3:53 pm

    i forgot to add — glad you are feeling better.

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  17. alex said on March 14, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    Can’t celebrate pi day after last night’s leek and potato soup made with heavy cream. Most velvety rich creation ever to come out of my Insty Pot. For dinner tonight I think I should just flog myself.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on March 14, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    I hate Texass!

    https://www.texastribune.org/2022/03/14/jeff-younger-transgender-care-house/

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  19. Jeff Borden said on March 14, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    I also hate Missouri!

    https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/597911-missouri-bill-seeks-to-ban-terminating-fatal-ectopic-pregnancies

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  20. Sherri said on March 14, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    Missouri hates women, and wants them to die if they have sex.

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  21. alex said on March 14, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    The douchebags wanting to legislate ectopic pregnancies probably don’t even know what one is.

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  22. Deborah said on March 14, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    So I’m lazy, sue me, we’re having frozen chicken pot pies for pi day tonight instead of quiche. I didn’t have it in me after a13,000+ step walk to do anything more than turning on the oven and shoving something in mindlessly. I did manage to put foil on the cookie sheet first before I plopped the pies on. Our dishwasher is on the fritz, it’s old so we’re probably having to get a new one. It was probably installed in the mid eighties when the place was renovated by the former owner so we’re lucky it lasted this long.

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  23. Sherri said on March 14, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    No pie here, I don’t need to add any more weight and I’m training for my next meet, so my Pi day will have to be satisfied by lots of big round plates on the barbell, as I squatted a PR 275 lbs today!

    Meet day is April 30.

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  24. Scout said on March 14, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    We’re celebrating Pi day with take out curry.

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  25. Julie Robinson said on March 14, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    We had lots going on so we celebrated with ice cream sundaes and discussed making key lime pie. I believe it will happen soon.

    Well done, Sherri!

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  26. Joe Kobiela said on March 14, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    Our pie today was home made sugar cream, a Indiana classic.
    Pilot Joe

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  27. LAMary said on March 14, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    I just heard on the news that one of the pregnant women shown in the coverage of the bombing of the maternity hospital in Mariupol has died. So has her baby. Putin is a fucking monster.

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  28. susan said on March 14, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    LAMary— But Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was an act of love, dontcha know.

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  29. Dexter Friend said on March 15, 2022 at 12:07 am

    LA Mary…did you see the woman who grabbed Richard Engel and tenderly kissed his cheek and found out his mother and she shared the same name? Then I fucking lost it when she said she prayed for the soul of Putin’s dead mother for birthing such “a nasty bastard.” That elderly lady won my heart. She had been asleep in bed , full-on night-time, when Putin’s goons shelled her apartment, totally destroying it; she escaped unharmed physically as she had been covered in a blanket and somehow nothing sharp or heavy hit her. Damn, she broke my heart, only then, to see the pregnant woman on a slab being carried, and to find she was told her baby had died inside her, and she said ‘just let me die’. And so it was.

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  30. Jeff Borden said on March 15, 2022 at 9:34 am

    Don’t say mean things about Putin around Tucker Carlson. His ongoing defense of Putin and Russia is making him a prime-time star on Russian state TV, where his attacks on Biden and American policy are making him a hero to the thugs who run Russia.

    The most dangerous immigrant ever to enter the U.S. didn’t come across the Rio Grande. He came from Down Under. A pox on Rupert Murdoch and the empire of lies he created.

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  31. basset said on March 15, 2022 at 10:24 am

    Mrs. B and I were in Marjorie Taylor Greene’s district over the weekend, just passing through and purely by accident. Saw one of her campaign signs with “Flood the Polls!” added to it.

    Georgia is outside our usual orbit, but in the course of genealogical research I ran across an abandoned town down there, (MyLastName)ville, and we had to go see what we might see.

    Some of the early settlers around there were (MyLastName)s who came from the same part of South Carolina that my ancestors did. A few descendants are still there; I connected with one and he showed us around, after some discussion of location and lineage he now calls me “Cuz.”

    (MyLastName)ville is gone and the road to it just dead-ends out in the woods, but we did visit a cemetery. Next steps will probably be to clean up some of the stones to make them more legible, and to see what we can find in the county property records.

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  32. FIX said on March 15, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    Just passin through… looking for blogs from last century… glad to see that some left over brain thoughts still out there some where…
    have a good day… OUT TO LUNCH…

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  33. Deborah said on March 15, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    Here’s an interesting interpretation of the events in Russia and Ukraine told in the manner of a tale of a King and Queen https://gregolear.substack.com/p/the-king-must-die?s=w creatively simple and straightforward.

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  34. Jeff Gill said on March 15, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    Basset, have you seen “The Trip to Bountiful”? Your line “(MyLastName)ville is gone and the road to it just dead-ends out in the woods” made me think of the last scenes of that play & for once equally excellent film.

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  35. Deborah said on March 15, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    Having a Caesar salad for dinner tonight, with chicken and boiled egg slices. I sure wish someone would stab Putin in the back.

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  36. susan said on March 15, 2022 at 4:36 pm

    Deborah, celebrate the Ides of March with a Caesar Salad and Russian dressing…

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  37. Deborah said on March 15, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    Perfect Susan, I should have thought of that. But I don’t have Russian dressing.

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  38. Jeff Borden said on March 15, 2022 at 5:14 pm

    Those kvetching about DST can sigh with relief. The Senate voted today to make it permanent.

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  39. alex said on March 15, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    Guess we’ll need some other reminder to inspect our smoke detectors. Like fires.

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  40. ROGirl said on March 15, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Permanent DST? WTF?

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  41. Jeff Borden said on March 15, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    The bill would still need approval from the House, which can barely agree on the laws of gravity, so don’t bank on this.

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  42. Deborah said on March 15, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    As much as I like DST, I can’t imagine it all year long. Because of dark mornings. I like getting up early with my coffee and watching the sunrise over the lake in Chicago and the mountains in NM. I guess I could get used to that happening later but that would take an adjustment in my bedtimes and wake ups.

    My Caesar salad turned out so well this evening I’m astounded, maybe it’s because of my anxiety meds kicking in.

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  43. David C said on March 15, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    I have a feeling once DST is gone it won’t be long before people begin complaining about it being too dark or too light at their preferred hours. Where you are in the time zone makes a big difference. Here in Wisconsin in the eastern Central time zone all year DST won’t be so bad. In Michigan, it’ll be terrible with the sun not rising until 8:30. They’ll be begging to join Central time as someone here suggest they belonged in anyway.

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  44. Jeff Borden said on March 15, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    Before marriage, I thought of myself as a night person. My lovely bride is a morning person. When she awakes, it’s like a frigging Disney movie. If bluebirds put ribbons in her hair, I wouldn’t be surprised. I prefer the black of night and seeing the moon rise and set, but it hardly matters. I’ll abide. Like Cosmo. Or, the dude.

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  45. Dexter Friend said on March 15, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    Some things make me gag at the thought. Having eggs and chicken together in a salad seems awful. I will eat an egg for breakfast and fried chicken for dinner but combining them all at once is a turn-down offer, as if anyone offered it. It’s like having a tumbler of milk with antipasta or pizza…just does not go together.
    And years after retirement, I remain the night owl, watching movies and reading until sunup like a goddam vampire. A lot of this behavior is because of Pogo, who will pee inside unless I get her outside every three, four hours.

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  46. tajalli said on March 15, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    It would be very dark in the mornings during winter, with sunrise at 8:30 or 9:00am with year round DST.

    DST seems weird because when the sun is at its highest, ie high noon, the clock says 1pm, except at the edges of the time zones. I’ve never minded the sunrise being early.

    I’d rather we revert to Standard time with regional areas voting to shift their boundaries east or west as the local population wishes – gerrymandering with the light, so to speak.

    Or we could do like India does: have one time for the whole country and let people grumble.

    And while we’re at it, make it a felony to use western cutlery, requiring everyone to use chopsticks and those stumpy soup spoons.

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  47. alex said on March 15, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    Having eggs and chicken together in a salad seems awful.

    Why you’re kosher, Dex! Eating mothers and their children together is an abhorrent sin. Eating them apart from one another is fine.

    And they make no exceptions based on the likelihood that the mothers and children you get from processing plants couldn’t possibly be related because there’s always the remote possibility that they are.

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  48. Icarus said on March 15, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    I’m not the greatest at reading maps like these but it seems like the best case scenario is to leave it on?

    https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/71521/heres-how-daylight-saving-time-affects-your-part-country

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  49. tajalli said on March 15, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    Yeah, great maps, Icarus, thanks.

    Yellow means lots of good days, dark dark orange means few to no good days. Maps on left are for sunrise, on the right for sunset conditions.

    Permanent DST has very, very few good days for sunrise (lots of dark orange brown), and only good days for sunset. Unbalanced.

    No daylight savings has lots of yellow/yellow-orange for both sunrise and sunset. This is the most balanced situation. Balanced conditions are good for health.

    Abolish daylight savings time! Daylight savings time is revolting! Bring on the standard time all year around.

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  50. basset said on March 15, 2022 at 10:38 pm

    Jeff, I have not seen that one but will look for it, thanks. Seems like a road dead-ending in the woods could be the start of a country song, but you’d need to add beer, a bonfire, and tight jeans to have any chance of getting it recorded.

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  51. Sherri said on March 16, 2022 at 12:54 am

    I would much prefer to just stay on standard time, but it seems hard to convince people that that’s so much better. Permanent DST means 9 AM sunrises here in the winters, and that’s just not going to be helped by sunsets at 5:15 instead of 4:15. It’s just going to suck.

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  52. Dexter Friend said on March 16, 2022 at 2:01 am

    Here’s your link to the permanent time zones plan: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-passes-bill-making-daylight-saving-time-permanent-rcna20158

    The thought of those breakfast chicken items on fast food menus makes me want to run away. I need pig meat for breakfast, goddammitt! Gimmee a sausage-egg-AND-bacon biscuit and a black coffee and I’ll kick ass until, oh, say, donut break. A jelly donut, please. Thank you.

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  53. beb said on March 16, 2022 at 5:16 am

    I’m all for permanent time zones. I just disagree that DST is the better choice. As one critic once noted, how are you going to get kids to go to sleep as 9pm when the sun doesn’t set till 10pm? The only people who want DST are golf courses so people can play an hour later – meaning more money for them. Noon, after all is supposed to be when the sun is overhead. Standard time is the correct time.

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  54. David C said on March 16, 2022 at 6:16 am

    Eliminating daylight time/standard time will be a great Chesterton’s fence example in a couple of years. When it’s dark in Michigan at 9:00 in the morning in winter in permanent daylight time or when it’s civil twilight at 3:30 in the morning in Wisconsin with standard time people will moan that it didn’t used to be like this. Then they’ll figure why it was done. It sucks to live in the north on an Earth that’s tipped on its axis but it’s the only one we have.

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  55. Dorothy said on March 16, 2022 at 7:25 am

    For the record, everyone, it’s daylight saving time – not savings. It’s a minor point but accurate. We aren’t talking about banking in any way, shape or form!

    Dex I feel sad for you that you can’t enjoy hard boiled eggs in salads! They add protein and bulk to leafy veggies and I love them in there. Chicken, of course, is another protein so together they boost the nutrition to all that rabbit food. I eschew mushrooms, peppers & olives in a salad so maybe that’s why I like adding eggs. Just lettuce greens and tomatoes makes for a boring salad. Pittsburgh diners like steak salads (I’m not one of them) – it’s a staple of menus at many restaurants. At the Kenyon Inn once upon a time I had a green salad with warm salmon added to it and I was transported – it was fantastic and I make them at home sometimes. And you can’t have a Pittsburgh salad without adding french fries to it. Mmmmm, mmmm good!

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  56. alex said on March 16, 2022 at 7:48 am

    Restaurants seem to be dumping French fries into everything these days — sandwiches, burritos, salads. It may be a great way to give you bulk for your buck but I don’t find it particularly appealing, especially when they’re undercooked as is often the case, or coated with corn meal to provide the illusion of crispiness despite being undercooked.

    Our city has lots of new offerings, but even one “meh” meal is enough to keep me from trying again when there are so many better and consistently good choices.

    Don’t mind a steak salad when the meat’s good, but I often find that restaurants offer steak salads as a way to profit from their otherwise unchewable waste materials; the greens and veggies are there to give your teeth some traction on tough or rubbery pieces of meat that are barely fit for consumption. I generally steer clear except at higher-end establishments.

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  57. Dorothy said on March 16, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    The Trip to Bountiful is on Turner Classic Movies this coming Sunday at 4 PM basset, in case you want to see it.

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  58. LAMary said on March 20, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    I like a salad made with romaine, onions, good ripe tomatoes, sardines,
    a little olive oil and good red wine vinegar and some crusty bread with it. Zero french fries in a salad. That’s a trend I haven’t seen. Don’t they just get soggy? A cold, soggy french fry doesn’t sound appealing.

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