Going to ground.

Well, that was a nice trip, except for the ending — a five-hour flight delay out of Newark, with the five hours (closer to six-seven because I’m an early arriver) spent at the Newark airport. Now the real slog of the long winter begins. I’ll be spending it mostly in more-or-less isolation, as I feel I’ve been taking too many Covid chances and need to atone.

If I escape getting it from this trip, it’ll say something about the efficacy of vaccines, because I took chances. Masked on the flight, but not in the airport, unless it was crowded. Masked on subway trains, but not in subway stations; my rule was, if I can feel air moving across my face, it’s OK to take it off. Outdoors, not at all, indoors, depended on the venue. This, I recognize, is a little like sometimes wearing a condom, but oh well. Something’s gonna get all of us, and you gotta live your life.

But it was still a very nice trip. Ate good food, saw lots of great entertainment, actually got to a Broadway show (“Between Riverside and Crazy,” which was Just Meh). Took some pictures:

That’s the Bleecker Street subway station, built at a time when a little beauty in a public place wasn’t considered a waste of taxpayer money.

Chinatown fish market:

Beautiful ceramic of a gruesome scene, at an upper east side commercial art show.

At the same show, a depiction of my state, late-ish 18th century:


(I think the proper reading of that is, “I fucking love New York.”)

Jazz at the Blue Note:

Now I’m ready to economize and get back to dry January. Nothing like spending $18 for a mediocre glass of wine to make you ready to clip coupons and switch to Diet Coke.

Posted at 9:28 am in Same ol' same ol' |

47 responses to “Going to ground.”

  1. alex said on January 23, 2023 at 10:15 am

    I see that cartographers didn’t really learn much of anything between the 18th Century and 1976:


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  2. brian stouder said on January 23, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Excellent update! But I must say – having been a Diet Coke absolutist way back in the day – Diet Pepsi is the way to go. Really, one could do an essay on ‘Most Personally-Favored Liquid Refreshment’. I’ve no real idea why such a thing would change over time, but for me it has evolved and mutated over the decades. Used to love Pepsi (Coke would do in a pinch, but Pepsi was the preferred option….and in the glass, return-for-deposit bottles, of course), and Mountain Dew was a fave fort a few years…. and then somehow or other, Diet Pepsi became (and remains) my go-to. I’m probably a 24 to 36 fluid ounce per day guy. A person has to have his/her vices, and that’s mine!

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  3. David C said on January 23, 2023 at 12:41 pm

    Pepsi? Third rate mouthwash.

    When I was in NYC, my uncle and I didn’t do any fine dining. We mostly had hamburgers at Jackson Hole. I got the feeling that Don ate there all the time. That might have had something to do with him passing away at 68 which is notable in our long lived family.

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  4. LAMary said on January 23, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    Phew. Every morning when I’ve checked in to this site for the past week I’ve reignited the earworm of the song, “Walk Between the Raindrops.” The change is appreciated. Glad you had a mostly good time in NYC. Before you left I checked with my actor friends to see if they were in anything you might want to see but no. One is teaching at Barrow Group and the other I think is doing voice over work.

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  5. Joe Kobiela said on January 23, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    Diet Pepsi? Whoopi Goldbergs bath water is more drinkable. Diet Coke, hopefully fountain especially McDonalds, just announced Culver’s is switching to Coke, but keeping their root beer and Dr, Pepper.
    Pilot Joe

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  6. Julie Robinson said on January 23, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    The subway tiles were one of my favorite parts of NYC. Most were specific to the area or station and there was great artistry used. I have LOTS of pictures.

    I’m not going to engage in a pop fight except to say that Sierra Mist has been renamed as Starry. What? Not-Sprite wasn’t available?

    I will engage in a bit of nostalgia for the good ol’ ACPL, as Brian and I call the Allen County library. The one here in Orlando has a much larger tax base and they do much less with it. There was a branch five minutes away and theu closed it, so now the nearest one is 20 minutes and a horrible pay parking garage away. No comping for library patrons as in FW, where you show your ticket and card to the guard and they magic it away.

    Today we were looking for Consumer Reports, as we are helping our neighbor with massive car problems and she’s thinking of a replacement. Can’t find it on the website and phone isn’t being answered so I do a webchat. 15 minutes later I learned they don’t have online access and the branches don’t have back issues. Wow wow wow.

    So, there’s a *possibility* that *someone* in the family has still been using their card to access online audio books at the old place and it turns out we can get to CR through that.

    Orlando does have home delivery and while I appreciate it, I miss going to a building and browsing shelves.

    Done grumbling for now.

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  7. LAMary said on January 23, 2023 at 3:39 pm

    I’ve lost my taste for soda. Not sure why but diet soda tastes nasty and chemicalish to me and the non diet ones are too sweet. Unsweetened iced tea and water, either still or fizzy, work for me.

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  8. Mark P said on January 23, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    I used to drink Diet Coke like the other people at work drank coffee – a cup in the hand at all times. Today I can take it or leave it. My doctor has told me no caffeine, and my wife’s doctor has told her the same, so we drink caffeine-free Diet Coke. I know, you’re asking why. But the taste is the same. I did a blind taste test because I was sure it tasted different. If I’m at a place that has only Pepsi and no iced tea, I put some root beer in the Diet Pepsi to hide its taste.

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  9. Peter said on January 23, 2023 at 3:58 pm

    Pilot Joe, I didn’t even know that Culver’s didn’t serve Coke products – I’ve always gone straight to the root beer or iced tea – or had a glass of water to justify my frozen custard reward at the end of the meal….

    That Michigan map is really interesting – the high plain about 70 leagues long really caught my eye. Is that a fact? I don’t remember seeing anything like that in a map of Michigan….

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  10. Brandon said on January 23, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    and switch to Diet Coke.

    Or herbal/green tea.

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  11. Scout said on January 23, 2023 at 4:33 pm

    My favorite fizzy drink is Waterloo. Peach, strawberry and pineapple are my go-to flavors.

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  12. Bob (not Greene) said on January 23, 2023 at 4:50 pm

    An assessment of the Michigan “high plain” designation

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  13. Joe Kobiela said on January 23, 2023 at 5:25 pm

    I always used the “they only have Pepsi” as an excuse to get a root beer float with my Tenderloin meal, not sure what I’m going to do now.
    Pilot Joe

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  14. ROGirl said on January 23, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    I recognized a number of the place names on the map of Michigan, except for one. “Lourfquidort” had me stumped until I swapped out the old-timey “f” with an “s.” It’s French for Sleeping Bear.

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  15. Dave said on January 23, 2023 at 6:28 pm

    Julie, shh, I know someone, hmmm, wonder who, who is still borrowing books digitally from ACPL and thinks he’s got another two years to go before his card expires. It’s over seven years since he left Allen County. Not saying who. Shhh.

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  16. Dave said on January 23, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    Oh, we’ve lost our ability to edit again?

    I was going to add that the libraries in Pinellas County were a delight, nothing like what you describe in Orlando. They have strict card renewal policies, however, every three years and proof of residency every time. Alas, my card expired.

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  17. Jeff Gill said on January 23, 2023 at 6:49 pm

    ROGirl, thank you. I was puzzling over that one as well.

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  18. tajalli said on January 23, 2023 at 7:00 pm

    On the rare occasion that I’m up for fizzy, Dr Pepper is my go-to and it has to be regular, not diet. Sensing the chemical taste may be like throwing the frog into the boiling pot rather than gradually warming things up, if you don’t drink soda often.

    The Michigan “high plains” didn’t make sense as an isolated geologic feature and doesn’t hold up if you use terrain view on google maps. Also loved “Lake Illinois” and “Lake Hurons”. The early maps had to get you from here to there with a horse or wagon and any small rise might seem quite steep, if you consider the different experiences with driving and biking on a slight grade.

    Alex, on Nancy’s previous post, you’d commented about using a cam brand other than Ring. Could you say what you consider the downside to Ring (I get the issue with Alexa) and say what brand you picked. I’m researching security cams for my apartment.

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  19. tajalli said on January 23, 2023 at 7:05 pm

    Pilot Joe, just give them a wicked grin and tell them it’s “doctor’s orders”.

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  20. alex said on January 23, 2023 at 8:41 pm

    Tajalli, the cams I bought are Moultrie Edge trail cams. These are in the sporting goods dept. rather than electronics. They’re mostly used for hunting. Only $100 and a monthly fee of $17 for cloud storage (no cards to mess with). Great pictures so far and they’re not triggered by insignificant events.

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  21. Deborah said on January 23, 2023 at 9:17 pm

    Diet root beer is about the only soda I drink, no caffeine, no calories. It’s hard to find at gas station convenience stores when we’re on road trips though, which is about the only time I have a hankering for a soda.

    Tea, unless it’s 100% herbal has caffeine, green tea has a lot of caffeine so be careful.

    It was horribly windy today in Santa Fe, even though the temps weren’t bad the wind made it feel way colder, actually frigid. It’s over now but wow it was uncomfortable if you had to be out in it.

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  22. Jeff Gill said on January 23, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    So that must be the Delisle 1718 map? I always assumed early cartographers put a high plain in the middle of Michigan because it was known to have water all around it, so they just assumed there must be some ridge or plateau, or in one early map I’m thinking there’s a line of “mountains” doodled in the center of the lower peninsula.

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  23. Mark P said on January 23, 2023 at 10:04 pm

    Decaffeinated tea has some caffeine, but not much. It seems the caffeine is usually reduced from around 40-60 mg per eight-ounce glass to around two mg. I drink a fair amount of tea every day, and I have gotten so used to decaf that if I get strong iced tea out it sometimes interferes with my sleep. For me, herbal tea is not tea.

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  24. Sherri said on January 23, 2023 at 11:20 pm

    Pepsi is an affront to the senses. I rarely drink soda anymore, but if I do, it’s usually Coke Zero or the real thing, Coke. I don’t like Diet Coke.

    Mostly I drink plain fizzy water, generated with my SodaStream.

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  25. Dexter Friend said on January 24, 2023 at 1:56 am

    I asked the nephrologist about my can-a-day diet soda habit and was told I should cut it to 3 cans a week. But how can a habitual daily soda drinker eliminate every other day? Discipline? Non-existent.
    I asked about my cup-a-day coffee habit (about 10 oz in the morning. “That’s actually a good thing”, said this supervisor of the kidney clinic.
    Was the Big Lake labelled “Gitchigoomie” or “Gichee Goomee”?

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  26. Dexter Friend said on January 24, 2023 at 1:59 am

    FROM WIRE SERVICES: “7 dead after shootings at two Golden State farms, suspect in custody just days after Monterey Park massacre
    Seven people were killed in shootings at a farm and another business in California’s Half Moon Bay Monday — and a suspect described as a “disgruntled worker” later turned himself in to authorities, according to reports.”

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  27. Jeff Borden said on January 24, 2023 at 9:12 am

    Soft drinks (aka soda, pop, whatever) lost their allure for me in my 20s. Club soda is my go to fizz, but generally, I’m a tap water guy.

    Our grocery store caters to many ethnic groups and has a wide array of foods from Mexico, India, Poland, Middle East. Separate coolers hold Coca-Cola products from Mexico,where they still use cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. A 16-oz. bottle goes for $1.79.

    Anyone see the news about M&Ms? Tucker McNear Swanson Carlson raged against the reimagining of the candies including the elimination of go-go boots on a female candy, which he argued lessened the sex appeal of the candy. So Mars is shelving the whole thing and will use Maya Rudolph as it’s spokesperson.

    This apparently was a huge deal on Fox. Thus fucking country…

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  28. Alan Stamm said on January 24, 2023 at 10:37 am

    Très amusant to see Lake Illinois, Baye de Toronto before it became Lake Ontario and Baye des Puants instead of Green Bay.

    “Jean Nicolet, the first European to set foot in Wisconsin in 1634, landed on the shores of Green Bay and was greeted by Winnebago Indians, whom the French called ‘Puans.’ Lake Michigan was labeled as ‘Lake of Puans’ on an early and incomplete 1670 map of the region that showed only the northern shores of the lake. However, only Green Bay is labeled as ‘Baye de Puans’ (Bay of the Winnebago Indians) on maps from 1688 and 1708. On the 1688 map, Lake Michigan is called Lac des Illinois.

    “An Indian name for Lake Michigan was ‘Michi gami.’ … In 1679, the lake became known as Lac des Illinois because it gave access to the country of the Indians so named.”
    [Source: https://bit.ly/3HtqaHq ]

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  29. tajalli said on January 24, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks, Alex, for the brand name and costs. Was there some reason you decided against Ring, or was it that your selection could be used for hunting/outdoors (trail bike, hiking)?

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  30. Sherri said on January 24, 2023 at 1:07 pm

    I need an abortion because carrying a pregnancy to term would be harmful to me -> you’re a baby murderer.

    I need guns for self defense -> how many would you like?

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  31. ROGirl said on January 24, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    More classified documents

    BBC News – Classified documents found at Mike Pence’s home

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  32. Julie Robinson said on January 24, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    Thank you Jesus.

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  33. alex said on January 24, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    Tajalli, I like that it’s portable and versatile. I can see other applications for it in the future. If I want to figure out what animals are destroying my garden, for instance, or whether I have Purple Martins in my Martin house or some other species that needs chased out. Or if I have nesting ducks (they abandon their eggs if you inadvertently disturb them so it helps to know where they are).

    There’s an asshat neighbor with an Irish Setter who never carries baggies and always stops at our house to have the dog shit on our yard. My hubby has been wanting to catch pictures and post them to the HOA Facebook page so he can figuratively rub the guy’s face in it.

    Ring doorbells and accessories are supposed to be a deterrent, although I’m amazed at the number of videos circulating with UPS drivers smashing up people’s stuff, porch pirates doing their thing, etc. Even that election-denier Republican in New Mexico was going up to people’s houses and performing in front of the Ring doorbell before hiring a hit squad to shoot up their houses.

    Nothing against Ring, but it can’t be moved around and used for other purposes.

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  34. alex said on January 24, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    Wisconsin can have its Bay of Puants. Indiana has the Bay of Pissants.

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  35. Sherri said on January 24, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    Speaking of crazy things people do on doorbell cameras, a different powerlifting federation than the one I lift in (there are dozens) is currently imploding. In addition to the usual sexual harassment and sexual offenders running meets, one of the higher ups was a woman who, in a dispute with her neighbor, was caught on camera reaching into her pants and loading up with vaginal secretions and smearing on the door handle of her neighbor!

    This federation doesn’t run background checks on officials (but allows kids to compete) and runs both untested and tested meets (testing for steroids). Most of their meets are untested. The reason there are so many federations is mostly disagreement over how to handle testing.

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  36. jim said on January 24, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    I’m an outlier. I drink gallons of Diet Pepsi, and Culver’s is now dead to me.

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  37. JodiP said on January 24, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    Growing up, having pop was a treat. We always had Coke with certain meals: pizza (made from the box) spaghetti and for some reason steak. I don’t drink a lot of it, but it’s still a treat in my mind.

    I recently decided to cut back my wine intake, and have always enjoyed LaCroix sparkling flavors. I’m getting other sparkling water at Trader Joe’s as well as Reed’s Ginger beer. It’s N/A and soooo good. I enjoy strong flavors and I’m happy it’s going well so far. I bought some fake gin to make gintonics and Bee’s Knees. I tasted it….and it’s not that flavorful and oddly spicy on the tongue. I’ll experiment but doubt I’ll be getting it again.

    I might try making juniper berry syrup. It’s that piney flavor I love about gin.

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  38. David C said on January 24, 2023 at 4:22 pm

    I tried Bubly sparkling water because I wanted some flavor with my fizz. I don’t remember what flavor it was but it was nasty. It frightened me off of trying others. Maybe I’ll give LaCroix a try.

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  39. Sherri said on January 24, 2023 at 4:40 pm

    What is the probability that former high ranking government officials have classified documents somewhere in their possession? Probably pretty high. Still not the same as what TFG did.

    And now the head of counterintelligence at the NY FBI field office has been arrested for allegedly working with the Russians?


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  40. Dorothy said on January 24, 2023 at 5:05 pm

    I am the outlier, Jim – I drink either Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi. I honestly don’t care. We also keep diet root beer or diet Dr. Pepper or diet Squirt on hand, whatever is on sale. I limit how much pop I drink, though. The more I think about the impact all that acid has on my guts the less I want it. It’s good to have with pizza. Am I the only one who makes iced tea with bags and sweetener? We probably go through 3 gallons a week.

    I could not be more delighted that classified documents were found at Pence’s house. It will cool the flames of anger about Joe Biden’s documents. I wish to hell Fani Willis would get around to getting charges filed against the big orange Clucker. This is all moving much too slowly for me.

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  41. LAMary said on January 24, 2023 at 9:20 pm

    I make my own iced tea. No sweetner though. Sometimes I throw in a lime or lemon or orange. Sometimes I make Earl Grey iced tea or Constant Comment.

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  42. Deborah said on January 24, 2023 at 10:46 pm

    We used to be big iced tea drinkers. Loved constant comment made into iced tea but then caffeine issues hit and unfortunately I can’t deal with it any more. I miss it. I don’t like sweet drinks, I prefer other tastes, often hard to describe. Jodi’s description of “piney taste” is a good one. I totally get that.

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  43. basset said on January 24, 2023 at 11:49 pm

    Dexter way back up the thread, I don’t think it’s Gitchee-anything. Used to work with a Bay Mills Chippewa from the UP, he said they just called it Superior.

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  44. Dexter Friend said on January 25, 2023 at 2:11 am

    I swam in it. The legend lives.

    ‘By the shores of Gitchee Gumee’
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    By the shores of Gitchee Gumee,
    By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
    Stood the wigwam of Nokomis
    Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
    Dark behind it rose the forest,
    Rose the black and gloomy pine trees,
    Rose the firs with cones upon them;
    Bright before it beat the water,
    Beat the clear and sunny water,
    Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.

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  45. FDChief said on January 25, 2023 at 2:29 am

    IIRC the actual title of the Longfellow ditty is “The Song of Hiawatha” and I can’t read it without hearing Mel Blanc saying in his Bugs Bunny voice: “To hunt Tee-tapa, the forest rabbit…THE RABBIT!?!”

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  46. Dorothy said on January 25, 2023 at 7:09 am

    Mary when we eat out my husband always orders unsweetened tea and he does not always add Splenda or any other brand of powdered sweetener. I can’t drink it without it being at least a little sweet. I also have a nice variety of flavored teas to rotate when I brew a gallon of tea. A favorite is a Thai tea that I find at Cost Plus World Market. Just about any fruit tea (apricot, blackberry, raspberry, orange) makes a delicious beverage. I use 2-3 of the flavored ones with large Luzianne or Lipton tea bags.

    Also Mary – I just heard about the LA/Malibu earthquakes so I’m guessing you may have felt them. We have snow here and most schools are cancelled for the day, although my daughter-in-law works about 25 miles south of where we live and she’s only on 2 hour delay. That could change. Lots of car accidents are being reported and even a semi that crashed into a bridge where I-71 south meets I-70 west. My husband is not driving to Cincinnati for work today. It’s not worth taking a chance – the employer is not going to pay the deductible if you have an accident, or the tow truck if you slide off the road.

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  47. alex said on January 25, 2023 at 9:11 am

    Trail cams delivered pay dirt on their second night. Looks like we got us a peeper although all we got was the back of his head. Could be a ginger or light brunette and has facial hair. We’ll just have to wait for more events.

    There is kind of a creepy spooky guy staying with the woman across the street. She threw him out once but eventually took him back. I think she’s lonely and could use the financial help. He works as a flag man at road construction sites. She socializes with us and other neighbors in summertime but never brings him along because he behaves abominably. I think he may have some psychosis issues. He has gotten confrontational with some of the neighbors and is persona non grata generally but people feel sorry for his girlfriend and don’t pry much into her personal business.

    I’ve only spoken to him a few times and he seems to be quite a few cards short of a full deck. He has offered to share rented equipment (log splitters, etc.) when we weren’t interested. One time he offered to sell us some sides of beef from God knows where.

    One day after a nasty encounter with some mixed-race children whom he called the n-word to their faces and my partner intervened, he tried to hug my partner and apologized profusely. That was last summer.

    Guess we’ll just keep the cams on and see what transpires.

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