Business as usual.

It’s been quite a crazy few days, eh? Salman Rushdie nearly killed, a nutjob trying to get into an FBI field office, and what am I watching on TV right now? The Princess Diana thing on HBO. There are advantages to not having cable, I guess.

The most impressive part of the Di movie? A short clip of Queen Elizabeth riding sidesaddle at one of her trooping-the-color events. Never tried it, but it looks hard. I’d never do it without a bombproof horse under me, but I guess she has plenty of those in her stables.

That is, of course, the entire theme of “The Crown,” the only reason to subscribe to Netflix these days (one of these days they’ll drop another season, I guess) – that it’s the queen holding the whole works together.

This year is the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death. A tragedy, of course, but the whole thing was: This unprepared girl, recruited as a broodmare, utterly unprepared for what she was getting herself into. She could have been just another member of the British upper class, smoking cigarettes and soaking up gin-and-tonics starting at lunch. She chose not to be. Alas.

Twenty-five years later, here we are, with a former president who sinks lower and lower, and an insane public – some of them, anyway – that still loves him, defends him, would kill FBI agents for him. God, it’s repulsive, isn’t it? I rather wish I lived in an England having a hysterical breakdown.

Thank all of you for your comments about the nature of document security at the federal level in the previous post. I learn so much from you.

Meanwhile, I introduced Alan to the wonderful world of the Petfinder Names Twitter account:

Let’s not forget this one:

And my personal favorite, for a three-legged Chihuahua:

Meanwhile, this strikes me as the real outrage of the weekend:

The Norwegian authorities killed a 1,300-pound walrus named Freya on Sunday who had spent the past weeks off the coast of Oslo climbing onto boats and lounging on piers, saying that moving her was “too high risk.”

“In the end, we couldn’t see any other options,” said Olav Lekver, a spokesman for the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries. “She was in an area that wasn’t natural for her.”

The hell you say.

Happy Monday. I’m opting for Something over Something Better tonight. Sorry.

Posted at 9:20 pm in Current events |

48 responses to “Business as usual.”

  1. Peter said on August 14, 2022 at 9:46 pm

    Continuing on from the previous comment thread – I got Wordle in 5 today, but it took me a REALLY long time – I was trying every combo – Dhaka, khava, you name it, and when I was writing someone and typed khava it autocorrected to khaki and Eureka!
    So I cheated!

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  2. Jim said on August 15, 2022 at 5:28 am

    * I rather wish I lived in an England having a hysterical breakdown.*

    I live in England – is there another one ? 😉

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  3. Dorothy said on August 15, 2022 at 7:38 am

    This year Diana’s demise date falls on the 25th anniversary of my 40th birthday.

    Speaking of Netflix, I finally watched The Adam Project a couple of days ago and LOVED it. Not enough movies are funny and kind of thrilling these days. It didn’t hurt that Ryan Reynolds was in it, too.

    Those cat names – ooof. The last one reminded me of those goofy name jokes that went around years ago. “What do you call a guy with no arms and legs and lays on the floor? – – Matt!” And my favorite – “What do you call a guy with no arms and legs and lays among leaves? – – RUSSELL (Rustle)!”

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  4. Susan Gillie said on August 15, 2022 at 7:46 am

    To understand how archaic the British upperclass system is, read this memoir. Witty, informative and without remorse or self-pity.

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  5. Joe Kobiela said on August 15, 2022 at 9:00 am

    Man sees a lady with no arms or legs crying laying on the beach, he asks what’s wrong? She replies, I have never been screwed, so he gently picks her up and tosses her in the ocean and says, your screwed now.
    Don’t forget to tip your waitress.
    Pilot Joe

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  6. Mark P said on August 15, 2022 at 9:03 am

    Dorothy — happy whateverth? And thanks for the upvote on The Adam Project. That gives my wife and me something to watch on Netflix.

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  7. Heather said on August 15, 2022 at 10:48 am

    A friend of mine has a cat named Janet’s Void, named after a concept in the TV show The Good Place. Someone else named their dog The Pope. “The Pope shit in the hallway again.”

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  8. Julie Robinson said on August 15, 2022 at 10:53 am

    Susan, I read that book last year, and just couldn’t believe how passive the author was about her life. She and Diana are great arguments for educating girls and teaching them to think for themselves. BTW, I think I saw a November drop date for The Crown.

    We visited the Chautauqua Institution many years ago when dropping off a kid to work at a nearby camp and attended worship in the open air amphitheater, the same place where Rushdie was attacked. My memory is of a place of serenity and peace, devoted to learning and relaxation. There are clusters of cottages around a lake, many owned by the same family for decades. Flowers everywhere. This will be a reckoning for them, even as Rushdie himself will be forever changed.

    On a lighter note, we were comped tickets to a professional performance of Sound of Music, the show everyone loves to hate because of the saccharine movie version. The singers were first rate, and they had a full orchestra of strings, very unusual for a Broadway show these days.

    I heard all kinds of subtle complexities in the score that you just don’t get with your average pit band. Glorious! Oh, and the young woman playing Maria was a graduate of Indiana University, a rarity down here.

    This production showed videos from the Nazi takeover of Austria between scenes along with a few from Ukraine, and at the end played the Ukrainian national anthem. And indeed, the parallels between the crowds cheering on the madman then, and crowds cheering on TFG madman give one pause to think.

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  9. Little Bird said on August 15, 2022 at 11:38 am

    We have a pear tree in our side yard that leans towards the building. Since I’ve named all the house plants, and several of our outdoor plants (trees and shrubs), I named the pear tree Eileen.

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  10. Susan Gillie said on August 15, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    Julie, I agree. Girls should be educated.
    But look what happened to Anne Boleyn, and that girl knew how to read a book.
    Don’t think British aristocracy cares what others think.

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  11. FDChief said on August 15, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    These MAGAt loons baying for Trump always make me shudder. I could see how you could sell yourself on some grand and terrible demagogue or frightful dictator – a Hitler, a Stalin, a Genghis Khan.

    But…Trump? The butt of a million Spy magazine jokes? The portly creeper with the combover and the trail of failed businesses? Seriously?

    It always makes me think of the scene in the wonderful film of the Robert Bolt A Man For All Seasons where More, having been condemned by the perjury of his former client, asks to see the chain of office that Rich is wearing. The red dragon, More says, and his political enemy Thomas Cromwell pronounces that Rich is attorney general for Wales.

    “Richard…” says More, in his wonderful Paul Scofield voice “…it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the entire world.”

    He pauses, and just looks at Rich, and adds;

    “But…for Wales“.

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  12. Suzanne said on August 15, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    The thing is, FDChief, when Hitler entered politics, he was seen as pretty much a failure and a guy on the fringe much like Trump, not the monster he turned out to be. But enough people liked him, liked his fiery oratory because he told them what they wanted to hear. He told them they’d been screwed over in WWI, that their own contrymen had stabbed them in the back by conceding defeat in the war, that none of it was their fault but the fault of the commies and the Jews and the gays and anybody else he could think of and they ate it up. He had a following that the conseratives in the parliament thought they could use to their favor to gain power, which they did for a while, until the monster that they invited in ate them too.
    It’s so Trumpian that it’s scary. Republicans, I think, still are willing to bet on him to gain the power they crave and still think he’s their useful idiot. The few that stand up to him are cut down and tossed out. My hope is that he will go down in Mussolini fashion when his cult has had enough, but that would take something like a nasty war which will kill off their families and destroy their livlihoods before they figure it out. And that might be too late for all of us.

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  13. Peter said on August 15, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    I always said that it isn’t right to compare Trump to Hitler – Hitler was a decorated war veteran who strongly advocated for universal healthcare for all Germans.

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  14. Deborah said on August 15, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    I got fucked over by Xfinity again and now I can’t watch the series finale of Better Call Saul, which I have been waiting for since last Monday. Damn.

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  15. Joe Kobiela said on August 15, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    Buy Saul on Amazon prime tomorrow, cost you $2.99 and no commercials.
    Pilot Joe

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  16. Mark P said on August 15, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    One major difference between Trump and Hitler is that Hitler was 43 when he took power in 1933. Trump is 76, and his cognitive functions are going downhill. He also would have trouble finding a ghost writer for his prison book, “My Covfefe.”

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  17. tajalli said on August 15, 2022 at 10:24 pm

    That’s a good idea, Joe. I’m patient and frugal so get entire TV series by the season from the library – there’s so much interesting stuff to watch. Currently, Doctor Who Eleventh and Twelfth Series, with Jodie Whittaker, are in my lineup.

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  18. Deborah said on August 15, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    OK, so I got to watch the last 45 minutes of the last episode by finally going to Amazon Prime and signing up for an 8 day trial of AMC+ and then canceling it as soon as I finished watching it. I didn’t see the beginning but I got to see enough of it that I got the gist of it. But Xfinity can go to hell. I paid twice for the whole season 6. So I’m going to have to give them hell tomorrow.

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  19. Jeff Gill said on August 15, 2022 at 11:30 pm

    Saul Goodman mounted a .50 cal machine gun in the back of an El Camino and took out the entire Cottonwood Mall before driving to Alaska and becoming Sarah Palin’s campaign manager as Jimmy McGill.


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  20. Jeff Gill said on August 15, 2022 at 11:31 pm

    [Actual best line: Walter White’s “So . . . so you were always like this?”]

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  21. Dexter Friend said on August 16, 2022 at 2:32 am

    I was surprised to learn the Better Call Saul shows recently were the series finals. I watched last week and recorded tonight’s grand finale. I still cannot figure Spectrum out; true to their word, and this is hard to believe…my bill for internet+cable dropped from $253 to $115, and I didn’t have to beg or threaten to become a cord-cutter, they just put me on temporary low-cost option plans. This will help fund my Land Rover Defender plan, ha ha. I found one, several years old with 70K miles, just $79K. And it appears the nearest dealership is way out of my comfortable range. The true search for a decent pickup truck has all but been abandoned. People want over $20K these days for rusted-out fender wells hulks. The Chevy dealer on my street has had a row of Nissan Frontiers , all high mileage, from $24k to $28K each. These are the little trucks.

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  22. David C said on August 16, 2022 at 6:10 am

    Here’s one for you, Dexter. A used car lot here has a 2011 Ford Ranger with 80,000 miles for $17,800. It was $18,500 when I drove by yesterday. KBB price is $13,800 which is insane too. I pity anyone who wrecks their car and has to buy another one.

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  23. basset said on August 16, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Finally got a close look at a Rivian pickup last weekend, looked really interesting but they start in the high $60s.

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  24. basset said on August 16, 2022 at 9:36 am

    Well put:

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  25. Julie Robinson said on August 16, 2022 at 9:53 am

    David C, that happened to a friend last Friday. She was on her way to school and was hit by an uninsured driver. They are pretty sure the car will be totaled and have no idea what they’re going to do.

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  26. Suzanne said on August 16, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    Basset, that Atlantic piece is good, especially this bit:

    “When people are driven by fantasies, by resentment, by an internalized sense of inferiority, there is no redemption in anything. Winning elections, burning effigies, even shooting at other citizens does not soothe their anger but instead deepens the spiritual and moral void that haunts them.

    Donald Trump is central to this fraying of public sanity, because he has done one thing for such people that no one else could do: He has made their lives interesting. He has made them feel important. He has taken their itching frustrations about the unfairness of life and created a morality play around them, and cast himself as the central character. Trump, to his supporters, is the avenging angel who is going to lay waste to the “elites,” the smarty-pantses and do-gooders, the godless and the smug, the satisfied and the comfortable.”

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  27. alex said on August 16, 2022 at 12:20 pm

    Basset, I saw a Rivian up close just recently as well. The weird vertical swim-goggle headlights will take some getting used to.

    So glad I’m holding onto my ’05 Toyota truck when I see the prices on anything new or used. Still looking for an uncorroded used bed for it so I can get the whole thing repainted.

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  28. LAMary said on August 16, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    Julie, you must have a lower percentage of uninsured drivers there. Here there are so many that everyone who has insurance gets the uninsured drivers coverage. In my area a few years ago 50% of the drivers were uninsured according to the state of CA. I got hit by an uninsured driver a few years ago, rear ended on a Pasadena Freeway entrance ramp. The state went after the driver, my insurance covered my damage and the CHP officer who took the accident report said that uninsured person who also took off after the accident was in for a world of hurt.
    BTW, if you ever drive on the Pasadena Freeway beware of those entrance ramps. There’s a stop sign at the end of the ramp so you have to accelerate like hell to pull onto the freeway as well as being a sitting duck for someone zooming onto the ramp not expecting a car at a complete stop at the end of the ramp.

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  29. Icarus said on August 16, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    given my luck lately, it’s probably just a matter of time before my 2008 Element calls it a day. I use it mostly as a runabout but will be taking a few day trips to Memphsis here and there.

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  30. Julie Robinson said on August 16, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    Mary, I think uninsured driver is mandatory on car insurance, which of course drives up the cost and means that even more people will go uninsured because it’s so expensive. I don’t know all the details of their insurance but they didn’t have a rental car allowance as part of it, which is doubly unfortunate right now.

    You had to prove you had car insurance to get and renew plates in Indiana. The day we did that here is a complete haze in my brain so I don’t remember details.

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  31. Jeff Borden said on August 16, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    Dana Milbank in The Washington Post retraced the beginnings of our current Republican Party to the Clinton administration. The rancid Newt Gingrich as speaker of the House weaponized political warfare into the most personal of terms, branding opponents as evil, wicked, sick. Hate radio epitomized by Oxycontin Rush filled the airwaves with garbage. And the launch of Fox News was the Hiroshima moment. . .leveling any pretense of fairness and accuracy in favor of lies, innuendoes and introducing the most grotesque kind of political commentary. He argues tRump was simply the natural progression of a soulless political movement devoted only to the accrual of raw political power and that his exit from the stage –assuming it ever happens– will not appreciably alter what one of our political parties has become. I find it hard to dispute his logic. It’s why I will never vote for a QOP candidate again. Ever. Not for a township trustee, a sewer board member or dog catcher. The party is brain dead and morally rotten to its core. Fuck them all.

    We thought the finale of “Better Call Saul” was just about perfect. No spoilers here until others have had a chance to take it in and think about it. One thing we really loved was seeing the cast members –Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks, Giancarlo Esposito, Michael Mando along with the creators and produers– speaking directly to fans of the show about how much their interest in the series was important to them.

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  32. Mark P said on August 16, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    I’m in the market for a Ford Maverick. It’s a small pickup on a unit body. Gets good mileage, great as a hybrid, but a very small bed. I realized I don’t need a long bed and can use a trailer if the need ever arises. The problem is that Ford can’t make them fast enough, mainly because of chip shortages. They are extremely rare at dealerships and you can’t even order a 2023 until mid-September. If one shows up on a dealer lot, most are asking thousands over list. One listed for $37K and the dealer web site showed $47K. Used 2022 models are more than list for a new one. I’m still looking but will probably order one. And I will be lucky to get it within six months of ordering. Most dealers of any make have almost no new vehicles in stock.

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  33. LAMary said on August 16, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    Not sure if it was mandatory a decade ago when I switched insurance companies. Could be. I knew I needed it, that’s for sure. I had been insured by Allstate for home and auto but then Allstate stopped insuring homes in this area. Never know when we might burst into flames here. I switched to a company who still did home and auto for my zip code. All those insurance companies that advertise a lot on TV want nothing to do with the parts of CA that could burn.

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  34. FDChief said on August 16, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    With Hitler you can almost cut the good Germans a tiny bit of slack; WW1, Versailles, hyperinflation…at least Hitler was “shouting at the right buildings” (okay, well except for the whole “…and it’s all the fault of International Jewry!” thing…WTF, dude?!)

    My favorite MAGAt reply to every ridiculous, monkey-brain-idiotic Trump thing was “well, WE had to live thru eight years of Obama!”

    That was pure Hell for you, having to think that someone else was gay-married or getting health insurance, eh, Cletus? JUST like the Holocaust!

    MAGAts. Jesus wept.

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  35. Dave said on August 16, 2022 at 5:11 pm

    Julie Robinson, you need proof of insurance to title and license a car in Florida. When we moved there, we thought any old insurance would do but found out differently when we went to the DMV and learned that the Indiana insurance policy we had was no good in Florida because that company (Grange) didn’t operate in Florida. We felt less silly when the couple behind us found out their insurance was no good in Florida, either. When it came time for license renewal, I recall having to put our insurance policy on the paperwork to renew the plates.

    I think Florida has a very high percentage of uninsured motorists, I remember stories of people buying a policy long enough to license their cars and then dropping it.

    Dana Milbank was on NPR this afternoon discussing the book he’d written and the QOP. They’re worse than despicable, nothing more to say.

    I haven’t watched this last season of Better Call Saul, although I was a big fan before. I think the long gap between the fifth and sixth seasons made me lethargic, as in who cares what happened. Last night, I recorded the final episode, do you think that watching the final episode without watching the rest of the sixth season will make any sense?

    Eleven years ago, I see we were discussing retirement and also Rick Perry, not knowing that an even bigger goof (or maybe not bigger) was going to come in and wreck things. It almost made me nostalgic.

    17 years ago, folks weighed in on how they came to start checking in to read what the hostess has posted. So many seem to have disappeared since that time, as in the normal progression of things.

    Elvis has been gone 45 years today.

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  36. Deborah said on August 16, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    I saw my first Rivian on the streets last week. It was getting a lot of stares. The headlights were on in the daytime, I do that too, I drive with my headlights on always. The Rivian’s look like little beady eyes.

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  37. Jeff Borden said on August 16, 2022 at 5:43 pm


    No, no…a thousand times no!

    The final season was one of the best of the series. Shocking twists and turns. Lots more insight into character of Jimmy/Saul/Gene. Wonderful guest star work by the great Carol Burnett. Heartbreaking performances by so many cast members.

    It is worth savoring and enjoying. Seeing only the final episode will not work. There’s just too much to digest.

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  38. Jim said on August 16, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    Completely agree Jeff B!!

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  39. Julie Robinson said on August 16, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    Thanks, Dave, there was so much going on then and details are just a blur. We did know that the insurance company we had in Indiana doesn’t write policies in Florida, from when our son moved here. He was still on our insurance when he moved, and he had to go get his own. That was a sweet, sweet day, comparable to when we kicked him off our cell phone plan. He would go over on data constantly and he didn’t think it was a big deal to just give us 10 or 15 bucks. But I had the stress of all the messages from the phone company as we approached and exceeded our limit, then I had to remind him he owed us. So much better to make it his problem.

    I’m probably one of the last people who’s never watched an episode of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, or Game of Thrones. Violence stays with me for too long and haunts my dreams.

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  40. LAMary said on August 16, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    Julie, I am looking forward to getting roadie son off the cell phone and car insurance. Really really glad to get him off the cell phone for the same reason you were. But my kid doesn’t do 10 or 15 dollars. He does 90. Occasionaly he has to use his phone as a hotspot to process credit card sales. Att hurls threats at me. The kid always pays me but it’s very annoying.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on August 16, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    I mean, at least that’s for his job. Mine was playing video games on work breaks. And then I’d have to nag and pester, and it wasn’t good for our relationship. His older sibling is still on our plan. She doesn’t go over and we cut her some breaks because her church pays her diddly squat.

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  42. LAMary said on August 16, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    My MAGA brother talks about the horrible things Obama did. He claims Obama destroyed the American healthcare system. When I ask in what ways is it “destroyed” he mentions hospitals overrun with people on Obamacare, ERs swamped with people they have to treat, and hospitals closing left and right. For the entire Obama administration I worked in a hospital. I missed all that destruction somehow.

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  43. Colleen said on August 16, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    When we moved to Florida we were able to keep the same insurance, USAA, but the price about doubled. Yikes. Seeing how people drive around here, I see why. I now say it’s not if, but when we get into an accident….

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  44. Deborah said on August 16, 2022 at 10:00 pm

    I was able to watch the whole final episode os Better Call Saul this evening after only managing to get the last half of it last night after being royally pissed at Xfinity. It was very well done. The whole series was fantastic and the way it ended couldn’t have been better.

    Today was the first day of getting the windows in our condo building in Santa Fe replaced. They did a unit on the upper floor first and are going to do the rest of units up there before they do the 2 downstairs. The windows make the building look soooooo much better. It took an entire year to finally get this to happen. We signed the contract last July and paid half to the company, the owners also paid the rest of the amount to the condo association. so we’ve been without new windows all this time after having paid for all of it. Our unit gets done on Thursday.

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  45. susan said on August 16, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    Deborah, count yourself fortunate you paid for those windows last year. They’d probably cost 50% more if you paid for them now.

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  46. MarkH said on August 16, 2022 at 11:05 pm

    Well, it’s over, and no surprise. Since I’m likely the only one here that could vote for Cheney, and I did, I apologize that it didn’t help. Also apologies for underestimating the depth of hard core craziness in my adopted home state. And for foisting the blight known as Harriet Hageman off the high plains and into the national political scene. As I told my Trumper friends tonight at dinner, she is an opportunistic poseur, hope you’re happy with what you wished for.

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  47. Dexter Friend said on August 17, 2022 at 12:04 am

    LA Mary, I had driven in LA in 1970 but not on the Pasadena Freeway; then 4 years later I was driving on it and was confused and had to get it together quickly when that stop sign was there. My ex sister-in-law said when the freeway system was created all entrance ramps had those stop signs at the end of the ramps but the sharp curves on the Pasadena ramps made it necessary to keep the stop signs there…but I thought they re-did the ramps years ago and eliminated those potential disasters. I was somewhere last month here in Ohio when in a construction zone, I’ll be damned if there wasn’t a Pasadena Freeway stop sign on an entrance ramp. I thought of the Pasadena Freeway, which I seem to recall w/o Google is our oldest ramped freeway.

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  48. David C said on August 17, 2022 at 6:14 am

    Great Neil Steinberg column. TFG and John Wayne Gacy.

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