Eugenics for nerds.

Longtime readers know that my husband and daughter share a birthday, and it was yesterday. I usually make a meal and cake, but for two years now, we’ve met at a local restaurant and brought a bakery cake. And it’s been pretty great. We gave Kate a white-noise machine to help her sleep, and she gave Alan this:

That’s a bottle of artisanal mescal with a scorpion in it. A scorpion for a Scorpio. Ha ha.

She bought it around Halloween, in Mexico City, where she and the band had a gig. Someone was asking how they’re doing? Pretty good. They just finished their second album, it’s mixed and mastered, and they’re looking for a lawyer/manager/agent, all that crap. Kate continues to play in a second band, GiGi, and they’re opening for Protomartyr tomorrow night, and if you don’t know those names, well, you don’t live here and haunt the half-dozen or so venues where bands like them play.

And man, for some reason it’s been a bit of a week, probably because I went to Canada for two days at the beginning of it. When I got back, I realized I’d have a buttload of stuff to do, and it was all complicated by sudden-onset, near-crippling lower back pain. To all you armchair physicians: I doubt it’s a disc. I just woke up feeling like the Tin Man, so sore that if I’d dropped a $100 bill, I’d have let the wind take it rather than try to pick it up. Today I forced myself to swim 45 minutes, and everything seemed to loosen up a tad. Walked the dog, got another tad out of it. And now I feel 42 percent better.

Personally, I think it’s my body getting cheeky. Just a couple of weeks ago, I said to myself, “It’s funny. I never get headaches and I rarely get backaches. Two days later, a days-long headache and now this. I had to see my doctor on another matter and told him about my headache. He felt the back of my neck and said it was like kneading walnuts and suggested a massage. Perhaps I should spend retirement investigating alternative medicine treatments, getting a little more Woo about the old bod. Acupuncture, massage, infrared saunas.

But enough about me.

I’m not a subscriber to Business Insider and won’t become one, but you can get the gist of this story from the Twitter thread: Put simply, a tech-centric version of the evangelistic “quiverfull” movement is quietly trying to fill the earth with their self-determined genetically superior offspring.

I’m so old — how old are you? — I’m so old that this reminds me of the Nobel laureate sperm bank that one of these literal wankers put together in the ’70s, correctly sensing that large number of women would grow weary of singles’ bars and would seek to become single mothers by buying a shot at a clinic somewhere. As I recall, this literal wanker managed to get three of them (Barack Obama had yet to win, dammmmmn guuurrrrl), but the place had gone limp (sorry) by 1999. New York magazine tells us:

In 2001, journalist David Plotz began an investigation for Slate into the donors of Graham’s clinic, and what had happened to their prized semen. (He riffs that he earned the nickname the Semen Detective, and later published a book on it, titled The Genius Factory). All in all, not a single baby ended up inheriting Nobel DNA, yet 217 kids in total were born from the sperm bank. Each donor was identified in sperm-bank catalogues by a color — fuschia no. 1, for example, or coral no. 36. After Plotz put out his call on Slate, he began publishing articles like “A Mother Searches for ‘Donor White,’” connecting with kids looking for their dads, as well as starting to reach the men who had donated to Graham’s sperm bank.

What he discovered was that just a few of the donors had produced a whole lot of offspring; for instance, one donor had produced as many as 30 kids, and that was just the ones Plotz knew about. He also found that the donors had been kind of a mixed bag. One man had falsely gotten into the bank by claiming to have an IQ of 160; another was the unremarkable son of a Nobel Prize winner; another was an Olympic gold medalist. As it turns out, after he failed to get the Nobel-winning sperm he sought, Graham began searching for donors on college campuses and recruiting young scientists, as well as hunting for “Renaissance men … donors who were younger, taller, and better looking than the laureates.” (In keeping with the sperm bank’s eugenicist legacy, all of the men were white). By the mid-1980s, Graham was accepting pretty much anyone who volunteered. “Forget about Nobel laureates; the Nobel sperm bank was taking men you wouldn’t wish on your ex-girlfriend,” Plotz writes. Ultimately, the sperm bank became kind of a scam, with women continuing to seek its services based on an illusory reputation that it couldn’t live up to.

If you’re still wondering whether you can get your hands on any of this mystery sperm, I’m afraid you’re out of luck; the bank closed in 1999, shortly after Graham’s death, and the frozen vials of sperm were incinerated.

Maybe humanity is getting dumber. After all, we dreamed up this silliness. And as anyone my age could tell you, sooner or later everything falls apart. And have you seen Elon Musk in a swimsuit? Eee-yikes.

OK, I think I’m going to call it a week. Happy weekend all, and let’s slide into the holiday weekend.

Posted at 4:59 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

61 responses to “Eugenics for nerds.”

  1. Jeff Borden said on November 17, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    Well, after almost three years of avoiding it, I’m now a covid statistic. What appeared to be a hellacious cold is, indeed, the coronavirus as a home test proved yesterday. I’ve been prescribed a huge dose of anti-viral medication, but this is really causing me concern as Thanksgiving approaches. We’re to host my sister and her family. Sister was recently diagnosed with ALS and BIL has had two heart attacks and a stroke, so co-morbidity issues abound. CDC guidelines say we likely will be okay, but I’m scared to death of giving this to anyone. Johanna tested positive today, but so far, has had only mild symptoms. I was struck by a truck.

    At least I can still laugh at tRump and it is the best medicine.

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  2. Joe Kobiela said on November 17, 2022 at 5:47 pm

    I get a deep tissue massage 2 times a month, my massage therapist is a robust gal with sharp elbows and knows how to go deep which seems to help better than a light relaxer. I have also used acupuncture to help with swelling after knee surgery . A nightly soak in the hot tub also helps. Getting older sucks I hit 65 next month and it doesn’t get easier but I still run 5 days out of 7 and hit the weights 4-5 days a week, best advise keep moving never stop.
    Pilot Joe

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  3. David C said on November 17, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    Mary had a PT who taught me to do myofascial release on her to break up scar tissue in the sheath that covers her shoulder muscles. You pretty much grab a muscle and knead it around between your fingers and thumb. Sometimes she’ll let out a bit of a gasp. I’ll ask her if she wants my to stop and she’ll give me a “No” like she doesn’t want me to go on but needs me to go on. It works. She used to have terrible shoulder pain and it’s mostly gone. Big thumbs up for therapeutic massage, especially the DIY kind.

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  4. David C said on November 17, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    Do people really know their IQs? I sure don’t know mine. If anyone has even bothered to test it they never told me. It just seems a pointless thing to know.

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  5. Charlie said on November 17, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    David C as a college senior a casual friend told me he still remembered his SAT score. I slowly dissociated from him.

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  6. LAMary said on November 17, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    I know I’ve mentioned it before, but here she is again. This is the woman who had the first Genius Sperm Bank Baby. Afton Blake, mother of Doron Blake, and my neighbor. She may have moved. I don’t stay in touch with her really. When Doron was a kid he played in the park next to my house with my sons occasionally. He was a bit wild. Afton is, well what do you think she’d be like?

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  7. alex said on November 17, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    I was impressed with Afton’s Jungian/Freudian emphasis, but she totally lost me at Past Life Regression Therapy. Woowoo con artist.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on November 17, 2022 at 10:09 pm

    Eww, the smell of the musk keeps getting worse and worse.

    D had horrible back pain for several years, and found a set of exercises online. They were so gentle it didn’t seem possible they would work, but what a miraculous surprise when they did. As I recall the first one was lying on the floor with knees bent and slowly sliding your foot until your leg was fully extended. Easy moves like that. Good stuff.

    My mom is in physical therapy right now because she was having dizzy spells. They eliminated the cause of those and moved on to balance, again all easy exercises. She resisted every day and after the second session she wanted to cancel the whole thing.

    Today she told me she doesn’t feel frightened of taking a shower anymore. I absolutely adore physical therapists.

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  9. Dexter Friend said on November 18, 2022 at 3:57 am

    My IQ is 160…all I had to do was think about it, and it was 160.
    My niece and her wife have 12 year old twins, sperm bank.
    When the kids were 6 they began wanting to know who Daddy was. I never heard anymore about it.

    After over 100 years of trying to stifle gambling in and on Major League Baseball, a few years ago umpires began wearing big FTX patches on their outer garments. Now that goddam Crypto Ponzi scheme has thudded to the ground , hard. People never learn.

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  10. David C said on November 18, 2022 at 5:54 am

    My back exercises are from a book called “The Back Mechanic” by Stuart McGill. He’s a DPT from Canada. He calls them the big three. They really help me. That and walking a minimum of 30 minutes a day. We set up a little track in our basement with anti-fatigue mats so we can walk all winter. I know people who do all sorts of exercises for their back and they all seem to work. Like Joe said earlier, just keep moving.

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  11. Jeff Gill said on November 18, 2022 at 7:45 am

    Or as John Irving says, “keep passing the open windows.”

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  12. Suzanne said on November 18, 2022 at 8:01 am

    Speaking of sperm donors, if it’s still on, watch Netflix’s Our Father about a fertility doctor in Indiana who used his own sperm for insemination of women who thought they were using sperm from other donors, many times their husbands. The doctor is creepy as heck. The discovery of what he did was brought about by one of the offspring getting a DNA work up that said she had a bunch of half siblings.

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  13. basset said on November 18, 2022 at 8:06 am

    I’ve been doing boxing therapy for balance and flexibility, hopping around punching a heavy bag and doing aerobics. Seems to help.

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  14. ROGirl said on November 18, 2022 at 8:59 am

    Yoga is really good if you stick with it over a period of time.

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  15. Mark P said on November 18, 2022 at 9:08 am

    You don’t really appreciate not hurting until you hurt. I’m having some lower back pain that is offset from my spine; muscular I think. My wife’s back is arthritis from stem to stern so bad oxycodone doesn’t help.

    I must have taken an IQ test in high school because one day our English teacher told us the class average was something like 135. The density of the lower half of my class was pretty high, so I assumed my IQ was above our average, but we had some real smart guys, candidates for the spunk bunker, who probably skewed the distribution. They never told us our individual scores.

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  16. JodiP said on November 18, 2022 at 11:35 am

    What does everyone think about Nancy Pelosi stepping down? The likely replacement, Hakeem Jeffries, sounds like he supports good policies. I’d never heard of him so don’t know anything but what I’ve read in the last day.

    Any YAY! Marriage equality will likely get passed into law. I was astonished some Republicans voted for it.

    This last bit: I was able to let an employee know she is eligible for a 3% pay raise with her next peformance review. She wasn’t expecting it, but didn’t understand the market rate adjustment language in the latest contract. It felt great to deliver that news!

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  17. Heather said on November 18, 2022 at 11:40 am

    Magnesium supplements might help a little. They can help muscles relax.

    But who knows why bodies act up. Last year I had a wicked case of tennis elbow that I had to see a chiropractor/physical therapist for. It started twinging again a couple weeks ago, but at least now I know exercises I can do.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on November 18, 2022 at 11:49 am

    Nancy Pelosi is a towering figure in modern politics and she was an excellent Speaker of the House, but I’m thrilled she and Steny Hoyer are stepping back and giving the next generation a shot. I’m 71, but I’m sick and tired of being governed by rich old white guys with little grasp of the modern world. Hakeem Jeffries is very bright, skilled and will become the first person of color to hold the spot. He’s no AOC, but he’s smarter and more ethical than the empty-suit Kevin McCarthy, whose life is about to become a living hell because of the morons in his party.

    The QOP can’t help itself. All they have scheduled are hearings probing everything from HUNTER HUNTER HUNTER to supply chain hiccups to the Afghan withdrawal, which came, of course, courtesy of the Orange King’s feckless agreement with the Taliban, but the QOPers will conveniently forget the fact. Prepare to watch ludicrous grandstanding from the kind of people you’d cross the street to avoid and all of then led by MTG, a truly ignorant moron with very large ambitions. Georgia really did us a turn by sending this cretin to D.C.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on November 18, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    It was time for Nancy to step down but unfortunate that it took the attack on Paul for it to happen. Not to take anything away from the knowledge/power/savvy she has and the glass ceilings she has shattered. But if we’re to save the younger generations, we need to start listening to them, because our policies haven’t worked out for them. They are looking for new ways and new leaders.

    Here’s a long quote from my son about Pelosi’s retirement: “Yes I’m very happy that insider trading personified will not be seeking re-election. Hakeem Jefferies has long been groomed as the successor and he would be a disastrous pick. He’s from the same cloth and same political circles of thinking that LOST New York Representatives and lost the House Majority by left punching. Seriously, go track the endorsements and races especially the Zeldin-Hochul race. New York lost for the same reasons Val Demings lost; they ran on a pro-cop ticket a la Eric Adams

    Jefferies is Wall Street and crypto including receiving a maxed out donation from the recently disgraced FTX founder and other crypto organizations.

    He’s got baggage in the worst ways but he will be jammed through.

    My feeling that a ‘Squad member’ be chosen are in the minority so it’s unlikely any of them would be picked. Sharice Davids would be a great choice as she’s not considered part of that group and is still fantastic. But it’s just going to be a ghoul getting shoved through that doesn’t have a pulse on what is exciting to bring voters to the polls.” Matt doesn’t pull any punches!

    My kids are not in favor of Kamala Harris as the next nominee if Biden doesn’t run again. Their ideal ticket is Pete Buttigeig and Gretchen Whitmer.

    So that’s how it rolls at House of Robinson, and partly explains why I just downloaded pages with thoughtful, non-political questions for discussion on Thanksgiving. From here, if anyone else has similar concerns.

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  20. Deborah said on November 18, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    I’ve been watching Hakeem Jeffries for a while. I don’t remember exactly what brought him to my attention the first time but I’ve thought he has a lot of potential, the same way I thought about Obama when I noticed him while he was in the IL legislature. Jeffries is smart and articulate, he doesn’t mince words and seems politically savvy which is obviously extremely important.

    As much as people have been critical of Nancy Pelosi, she has been effective and I think she’ll go down in history not just for being the first woman speaker.

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  21. Mark P said on November 18, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    Good politics has to be pragmatic. Demanding too much often ends in getting nothing. Or worse. When Lester Maddox, founding member of the racist hall of infamy, got the democratic nomination for Georgia governor, his Republican opponent was Bo Callaway. A former governor ran as an independent. I was too young to vote, but I knew the rational choice was to hold your nose and vote Republican. But enough principled Democrats just couldn’t do it, and voted for the independent. That threw the election to the legislature, which was overwhelmingly Democratic, so Georgia ended up with a governor best known for riding a bicycle while sitting backwards on the handlebars, and threatening blacks with a pick handle to keep them out of his restaurant.

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  22. David C said on November 18, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    I’m not too fond of the idea of Mayor Pete for President. He strikes me as gay Bill Clinton without the free range dick. If you loved triangulation, the Telecommunications Modernization Act, ending welfare as we know it, NAFTA… in the 90s, you’ll love Pete in the 20s.

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  23. Jeff Borden said on November 18, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    The Council of Morons (Gaetz, Greene, Gosar, Jordan) already is ringing the death knell for American aid to Ukraine. Biden and his team will have to get very creative to help Ukraine stay in the fight effectively against the Russian thugs. Just a handful of fucking seats in Congress held by far right fanatics is going to reorder everything. Yippee.

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  24. Icarus said on November 18, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    Sunday before last I woke up with a sharp, stabbing pain in my right shoulder blade. I didn’t do anything strenuous the days before so I’m assuming I slept on it funny. The pain didn’t go away and antiinflammatories did very little the first few days though they are helping now. Each day it did diminish slightly and shift; one day in my arm, the next day shoulder, next day shoulder blade, etc.

    We are on Day 12 and it only now has gone down to dull pain. I lost so many days that I couldn’t get much done. #OldAgeSucks.

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  25. jcburns said on November 18, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    I called up this page and saw “It was time for Nancy to step down” and briefly freaked out. Oh, THAT Nancy.

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  26. Dorothy said on November 18, 2022 at 3:40 pm

    I’m forever grateful that my doctor sent me for PT when I mentioned I could not reach my bra strap behind me with my right arm. Left arm was fine. I had the beginnings of ‘frozen shoulder’ which was a new term to me. I’m a big believer in physical therapy. I still do the exercises from time to time even though it was three years ago that I started to work on that shoulder. Six to eight weeks was all my insurance would pay for but it was exactly enough.

    Jeff I’m so sorry to hear about your Covid diagnosis. I hope you bounce back quickly.

    I forgot to say happy birthday to Alan when I wished Kate HB2Y a day or so ago. Sorry! Hope it was a happy one, Alan.

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  27. Ki Wa said on November 18, 2022 at 5:23 pm

    Last time the world experienced a long term eugenics experiment half the “Royal” families in Europe suffered from hemophilia and the Czar wa so concerned that Rasputin (just noticed that the name has Putin in it) was given power in Russian government.
    Not a positive result for centuries of eugenic breeding.

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  28. Deborah said on November 18, 2022 at 5:25 pm

    Icarus, there are 4 muscles that are involved in the rotator cuff which allows you to move your arms at the shoulder and keeps your shoulder in it’s socket. I learned all this last year when I blew out my bicep and also had shoulder issues, and went to physical therapy. The muscles do the following (from the internet): Supraspinatus controls internal rotation and lifting of the arm. Infraspinatus allows you to externally rotate your arm in the shoulder socket. Teres minor is a small muscle that helps rotate your arm. Subscapularis controls arm abduction (holding your arm out straight, away from your body.

    The Suscapularis is behind your shoulder blade and curls up over the shoulder. That turned out partly to be the cause of my problems. The physical therapy I did were exercises with rubbery bands and lots of deep massage in the area which was painful while it was happening but helpful overall. I had to hold my elbow up in an awkward position when I was prone face down, so that my shoulder blade stuck up straight and they massaged deep behind it. It helped.

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  29. Deni Menken said on November 18, 2022 at 5:31 pm

    Icarus, my husband had polymyalgia rheumatica which began in the shoulders and was oh so painful. His rheumatologist treated him with prednisone over two years weaning him from 40 mg to 0 very gradually. It is problematic for folks with Northern European genetics and he is German to the bone. SED rate was high, which helped diagnosis. No fun.

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  30. Scout said on November 18, 2022 at 5:41 pm

    Deni, my wife also has polymyalgia rheumatica. She was briefly on a low dose of Prednisone, but treats it now with exercise, vegan diet and limiting gluten. I make sourdough bread (non gf) from scratch and that does not trigger it. She was diagnosed in 2008 and only occasionally has a flare up now.

    I just saw that Elizabeth Holmes, disgraced Theranos entrepreneur, was sentenced to 11 years. I hope a similar fate awaits Elmo Skum.

    Also in the news, big announcement that Jack Smith, Hague prosecutor, has been tapped as special counsel for the Merde-a-Loco doc thefts and 2020 election probes. Hopefully things are getting serious.

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  31. jim said on November 18, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    So an anti-abortion group has sued the FDA to challenge the legality of the abortion pill. In a shock to no one that have chosen a court in Texas.

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  32. Julie Robinson said on November 18, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    Oh man am I getting stressed out by this Thanksgiving dinner. Last year was huge and horrible despite all our best planning. We have a stupid tiny wall oven and an underpowered electrical circuit and we popped the breaker three times. We can’t even get an electrician to give us an estimate for that and the other upgrades we need.

    So it was a relief when some of last year’s guests were going out of town and and I could downsize/simplify the menu. But then one decided not to travel and Daughter started inviting orphans. She’s so compassionate, and it’s not a day when people should be alone.

    But then comes the conflict between the traditional, sacred recipes and vegans. Vegan butter is a no go. We cannot make every dish twice.

    All through college I was vegetarian and when someone invited me over I never mentioned it. I ate what was in front of me. I didn’t see that as comprising my principles, just being a good guest.

    Is it too soon to start drinking?

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  33. Icarus said on November 18, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    Thanks Deborah and Deni, that’s very helpful and informative. I’m at least 50% Polish and there is likely some German mixed in as well.

    We are headed to Chicago for thanksgiving, staying in the West Loop because staying at my moms crapshack isn’t an option. It should be fun, but expensive.

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  34. Mark P said on November 18, 2022 at 9:55 pm

    My wife and I are pretty much without family. We were planning to go to Dairy Queen for Thanksgiving dinner, but unfortunately they will be closed. Dammit. Now it will be peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

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  35. Sherri said on November 19, 2022 at 12:22 am

    If Elon runs Tesla the way he’s running Twitter, Tesla vehicles are a clear and present danger on our roads, because the man is demonstrating that he knows nothing about software engineering. I question whether he’s ever written a line of code in his life.

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  36. Dexter Friend said on November 19, 2022 at 2:43 am

    Julie Robinson, that is my idea of a great ticket also, Mayor Pete and Gretchen. There would be another First Gentleman beside President Pete.

    I just watch any movie that captures my eye, like an adventurous diner in a strange land.
    Last night it was a super-creepy movie with Liam Neeson and Christina Ricci, “After Life” about a funeral director who transitions souls into death. Then I just finished “Don’t Worry Darling” with Harry Styles, an Olivia Wilde project about a 1950’s neighborhood in weirdo-settings. It’s a mind-fuck of a film with very cool old cars and a killer, kick-ass soundtrack of do-wop and soul and old rocker songs.

    My daughter in Van Buren/Findlay is hosting Thanksgiving. Her MIL and the S.O. of the MIL have arrived in from Las Vegas already. It’s so easy for me to cruise down to there compared with the long trek to Commercial Point or Grove City like the last few years.
    My Odyssey has been repaired and returned with 4 new tires so I don’t have to worry so much about an old-car breakdown. Like Bruce sings, “Mister the day the lottery I win
    I ain’t never gonna ride no used car again.”
    Bruce has a great, fantastic new album out featuring Motown covers. He does an unbelievable job on this project.

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  37. Ann said on November 19, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    I am grateful that I have nothing to contribute to the back pain discussion, but the eugenics of smart people reminded me that this year’s Nobel laureate in medicine is the secret son of a prior one, born the same year as his legitimate kid.

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  38. Deborah said on November 19, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    And here’s a link about the Nobel Prize winning secret son Wild.

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  39. LAMary said on November 19, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    As usual, the ex is fucking up a holiday. Since younger son’s Chinese fiancee has arrived and moved into younger son’s apartment, and older son’s girlfriend’s mother lost her significant other this year, we had planned a Thanksgiving dinner at a local British pub (acutally more like a restaurant)which had a pretty cheap price fixe deal. Then the ex, who had prostate surgery about a month ago, says he wants the sons and their partners to come to his house. Ok. He had cancer surgery and we all feel bad about that so the pub reservation gets cancelled. I suggest as a plan B, for Friday, we do a potluck. I’ll make the lasagna that all parties involved like, someone else does the wine, salad, bread, dessert. I also bring extra chairs to the apartment of younger son. All agree that sounds good. No one has offered to do salad, bread, dessert, wine. I’ve got a lot of Italian sausage, mozzarella and ricotta here. I need some reassurance that this is going to come together. I am also taking bets on the ex cancelling for Thanksgiving day.

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  40. Mark P said on November 19, 2022 at 4:10 pm

    Damn, LAMary, I love lasagna. If I lived closer I’d bring a big cocoanut cake *and* a bottle of wine, and trade it for a huge portion of lasagna.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on November 19, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    For a homemade lasagna like that I’d bring ALL the rest of the meal. And if you put spinach in it I’d never stop thanking you. They don’t know how good they have it.

    For the record, everyone is pitching in and helping. Son and fiancee are bringing fancy green bean casserole and her delectable yeast rolls. Costco will be providing pumpkin pie and maybe a cheesecake. Hubs and daughter are doing most of the rest of the cooking.

    But I put my foot down and said my way or cancel. Mashed potatoes and stuffing will have butter in them and we are not making them twice. We will cook the turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing on Wednesday and they’ll go into crock pots to be heated on Thursday. I suggested that last year and everyone thought it would work out just fine. It did not work out just fine.

    A picture of the whole turkey just out of the oven can be presented around the table before the crockpot comes out. That will be fine.

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  42. Bruce Fields said on November 19, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    The twitter thing is such a fascinating train wreck.

    “please email me a bullet point summary of what your code commits have achieved in the past ~6 months, along with up to 10 screenshots of the most salient lines of code” does sounds like someone who’s been in the same room with people that write code but has never written any himself.

    But that could equally well be someone who wrote a little code thirty years ago, thought he was pretty hot stuff then, and is too dim to realize that his experience might not have much relevance to maintaining a system of twitter’s scale and complexity today.

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  43. Dorothy said on November 19, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m pretty damn impressed reading about this Jack Smith who will be the Special Counsel re TFG. His picture alone at the NYTimes article I read is intimidating as hell. I have very positive feelings in general about the whole thing and I’m betting my prayers have been answered in the form of Mr. Jack Smith.

    Mark P – I’m hoping you were kidding about the Dairy Queen comment re Thanksgiving dinner. If I were hosting this year (I’m going to my son’s house) I’d invite you to join us. Please tell me you’re not really going to have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that day.

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  44. David C said on November 19, 2022 at 5:55 pm

    We bought a turkey for the first time in many years. We don’t go home for Thanksgiving anymore so it’s just the two of us. It seemed like whenever we planned on going home the weather was rotten and we had to cancel. We usually roast a chicken but the price was right for the turkey so we thought why not.

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  45. Deborah said on November 19, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    We are going to my husband’s sister’s house for thanksgiving this year. She moved to a Chicago suburb last year. My husband’s brother and his wife are coming from Seattle to be there too. We are usually in NM for thanksgiving but this year we’ll be in the Midwest until Dec 10. LB was going to have a Friendsgiving in Santa Fe with a good friend and her boyfriend, but the friend’s boyfriend had a heart attack a couple of days ago, had 2 stents put in so that’s obviously up in the air. The boyfriend has type 1 diabetes so this wasn’t exactly expected but not unheard of.

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  46. LAMary said on November 19, 2022 at 7:48 pm

    My lasagna has been praised on several social media sites. Not by me. I have fans, or rather my lasagna does. I’m doing the tomato sauce/italian sweet sausage/ricotta/parmesan/mozzarella one for Thanksgiving, but I also have done an artichoke version from the NYT cooking section and a spinach, chicken italian sausage, tomato and all the cheeses version. The one I usually make is authentic if you consider New Jersey Italian a legitimate cuisine. I was tutored by my brother’s mother in law, surname Recchione. The sauce is from scratch always. The canned tomatoes are DOP San Marzanos. No sugar in the sauce. Ever. Just a little carrot for sweetness.

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  47. Dorothy said on November 19, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Mary – two weeks from now my son and his wife, and my hubby and I, are hosting a bunch of family for an early Cousins Christmas gathering. Some people are staying in local hotels, and a bunch are sleeping on guest room beds, air mattresses, sofas, sleeping bags in our homes. Our dinner on Friday night (probably for about 35 people) is going to be lasagna, all made with gluten free noodles. My son has celiac disease so he has no gluten in the house and asked everyone to NOT bring any food so there would be no contamination. The Saturday dinner is going to be about 7-8 different soups that he and I are making. Plus lots of charcuterie and veggies and stuff like that. We’re all really looking forward to it. But I’m also a little nervous about having enough food on hand for 48 or so hours.

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  48. Mark P said on November 20, 2022 at 12:30 am

    Dorothy — The Dairy Queen thing is kind of a joke but not entirely. Last year my wife and I had Thanksgiving with my widowed aunt. This year she is going with a bunch of her tennis-playing friends to Cracker Barrel. They’re all in their 80’s or even 90’s, so this may be the last gathering for some of them. We agreed to have our Thanksgiving early with my aunt, and we’ll probably go to a restaurant, too. My wife and I have talked about getting something prepared at a grocery store deli for our actual Thanksgiving dinner. It will probably be okay, but the main thing that bothers me about everyone’s dressing is that it’s not my mother’s.

    And Mary, you’ve got to stop talking about your lasagna! It’s cruel, is what it is.

    Musk’s approach to management sounds an awful lot like the approach of someone who doesn’t know what his employees do. I doubt that he can get anything from code snippets. That just sounds stupid. I’d love to send him 10 lines of code from my satellite data reader and see what he makes of it.

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  49. susan said on November 20, 2022 at 1:15 am

    Musk just reinstated OrangeAnus to Twit. That’ll get the hordes to flee!

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  50. Dexter Friend said on November 20, 2022 at 6:01 am

    I use butter. I remember when people were freaked out and thought oleomargarine was healthier and only had butter once a year, Thanksgiving.
    When my grandson crashed here for a year he shopped once in a while and bought that margarine. I can’t stand it at all now, it melts into a watery mess. When he left I threw that shit in the can.
    It’s worse than before because the formula has changed. It’s made cheaper. My concessions to health include zero alcohol or tobacco and only about 1 or 2 sugary sodas per year.
    I also no longer only eat the whites of eggs. I eat the whole egg.

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  51. David C said on November 20, 2022 at 6:27 am

    I don’t much care that Elmo let TFG back on Twitter. He’s blocked and muted. Right now I’m there like the neighborhood is there to watch a house on the block burn down. I know it’s not a good thing that someone’s house is burning down but it’s fascinating none the less. A rip-roaring fire is also quite cathartic.

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  52. alex said on November 20, 2022 at 8:32 am

    Belated Happy Happies to the Derringer family.

    Icarus, I once woke up with severe shoulder pain and found out that it was cervical radiculopathy. It was coming from a pinched nerve in my neck and had nothing to do with the shoulder at all. I had some steroid injections into the spine and physical therapy and things pretty much came back to normal. That was about 12 or more years ago.

    Next Friday I’m undergoing a nerve conduction study (as I did last time) to see if this problem has returned versus carpal tunnel syndrome or maybe a combo of both. My arms and hands become fatigued and painful with sustained typing and it’s affecting my work productivity. I finally got the ergonomic corrections from my employer that I had been demanding for years but it may be too little too late. This could shape up to be a work comp claim.

    Thanksgiving this year is just going to be me, hubby and dad, although we’re waiting to hear from some neighbors we invited. Hubby gets a turkey from his employer. I’m going to spatchcock it like I did last year because it cuts the cooking time in half and makes it cook more evenly. (I may put it on the gas grill because I’ve never figured out how to keep a turkey from filling the house with greasy smoke, and there are few smells I find more disagreeable.)

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  53. alex said on November 20, 2022 at 8:36 am

    Oh, and I didn’t weigh in on the Twitter meltdown. Letting Trump back on is obviously a desperation move, but it’s not going to save a business running on autopilot and fast spiraling toward the ground. Chief Twit indeed. Bestowing that name on himself was the only decision Musk made that wasn’t entirely stupid.

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  54. Mark P said on November 20, 2022 at 9:42 am

    It will be interesting to see whether TFG admits defeat and abandons his Truth Social Disease platform to go back to Twitter. If he does, I imagine it will attract the Dregs of Society back as well, and the only companies that will advertise on Twitter are pillow and gun manufacturers.

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  55. Deborah said on November 20, 2022 at 11:00 am

    So glad I quit Twitter, my life has returned. I miss it once and a while, I’ll admit. A while ago I got a Twitter account and then forgot my user name, I rarely looked at it, so when I couldn’t figure out how to access it I simply got another one. That second one is the one I deleted. So there’s an unused account floating out there still, I have no idea how to delete it.

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  56. LAMary said on November 20, 2022 at 11:21 am

    I only used Twitter for work related stuff for a short time. From what I saw on there I had no desire to get a personal account. Trump says he’s not going back to Twitter because Truth Social is so beautiful and successful.
    I agree that Skum acts like he has no clue what Twitter employees do. I know he treats his California employees like shit unless they are pretty high up in the ranks.

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  57. Deborah said on November 20, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    Musk acts like the worst possible boss you could have, demanding, serendipitous, belittling, full of himself, expecting his employees to be slavishly devoted to him and their job for him. Why would anyone want to work for someone like that when he doesn’t measure up himself? Does he pay well? Seems like he’d have to.

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  58. Sherri said on November 20, 2022 at 5:29 pm

    I would guess that most of the engineers left at Twitter by this point are on H-1B visas. It’s not impossible to change jobs on an H-1B, but it’s not easy, so they’re basically hostages.

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  59. Deborah said on November 20, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    That’s sad Sherri because he knows he has them over the barrel.

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  60. JodiP said on November 21, 2022 at 9:12 am

    I was on and off Twitter. You really have to curate it to make it worthwhile. I followed disabled people, Black people and Native people which was really educational. Also a lot of journos. I just spent too much time on it looking for nuggets, and it is quite reptitive with “breaking news.” I’m annoyed with myself because I spent 2 hours online from 5 a.m. to 7 yesterday. Some was news, but a lot of was FB and IG. But getting back to sleep at that time is hard for me. But I could have read a book!

    Highlight of the weekend was seeing Wakanda Forever. Stunning. I was crying at the end becaue there are flashbacks to Chadwick Boseman’s character and the film is dedicated to him. I went with a bunch of friends at a 1950s style theater that’s been updated. Best theater in Minneapolis!

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  61. 4dbirds said on November 23, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    I have been AWOL for quite some time. I wish all those suffering, relief and peace from their ailments. I feel like I belong with you. In 2019 my daughter was diagnosed with a meningioma brain tumor that the neurosurgeon suggested we just watch on MRI. In July 2020 it grew enough that the neuro became concerned, and she has surgery to remove most of it. In November she started on a 6-week course of targeted radiation. It was not the best outcome. She was diagnosed with radiation induced cognitive decline and is now basically an eight-year-old. She will not get better. We already had a disability case working its way through social security and are still waiting. One of us has to stay home with her at all times since she’s forgetting quite a bit, has trouble with her balance and will leave the house if she takes a shine to it.

    Thankfully, I work from home four days a week and my husband retired in June. I loved reading this blog each day and truly missed being part of the community.


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