Almost like real work.

It’s been a week. Long, sweaty and with a fair amount of work, at least as “work” is defined at this stage of my life. Read/edited a chapter in a friend’s book, did a bunch of social media for one of the two clients I handle, and attended two live events in the course of that. Thought I’d unwind with a bike ride today and got a flat tire at my turnaround point.

Plus today, Gov. Whitmer signed into law a package of what any normal person would call sensible gun laws (safe storage, background checks). I just looked at The Detroit News story, and it has close to 900 reader comments. Not wading into that swamp, no fucking way. I’m going to close out the week with a cheeseburger, not the hot bubbling bilge of angry Cletuses.

So. Thanks for this little taste of summer, which was sorely needed, although I’d have preferred to lounge around the house under the ceiling fans, not go to two large buildings which haven’t gotten the a/c memo yet. That always happens when the weather changes abruptly; it’s like turning a battleship. But all the trees are suddenly budding or flowering, and my eyes are watering.

The state legislature is also considering a so-called red flag law, and that will likely be signed next. The wingnuts already hate Whitmer with a burning passion, but they keep handing her the material to build her brand. Last week’s abortion-pill decision gave her the opportunity to stand up and declare, once again, that reproductive freedom is constitutionally protected in Michigan. She’s considering building a stockpile of mifepristone, so there’s a second-day story. Please, don’t throw her into the briar patch, etc.

I suppose the biggest news of the week, however, is this preposterous leak case. I listened to the NYT podcast on my foreshortened bike ride, and I still don’t understand how the hell this happened. How does a 21-year-old airman get access to such highly classified material, and how does he get it out of the building to post online without anyone finding out for weeks and weeks? We had to find out from our intelligence sources who were finding it out from the Russians, for crying out loud.

So weigh in.

The weather will continue through half the weekend; by Sunday, rain and falling temperatures. Perfect for tax-filing season. See you next week.

Posted at 9:09 pm in Current events |

50 responses to “Almost like real work.”

  1. alex said on April 13, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Well I’m feeling particularly accomplished. I ordered a bed frame on Amazon and assembled it with a hex key and now I’m ready for a good night’s sleep.

    Farewell to my shaky, creaky old four-poster.

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  2. Sherri said on April 13, 2023 at 10:52 pm

    The downside to compartmentalization of secret information is that it’s harder to connect the dots, as in 9/11. But when you don’t compartmentalization the information, and only have broad levels of security clearances, is that anyone can connect the dots.

    I don’t know what level of security clearance they had, but my brother and sister-in-law both had security clearances at 22, when they went to work for defense contractors right out of college.

    I think that the general approach is to hope that the security clearance process will weed out potential leakers, and the serious jail time associated with the Espionage Act will take care of the rest.

    And then of course, you have the elected officials who have access to secret documents, and the Trump kids who got issued security clearances. We know that Trump took classified documents; what do you think the odds are that no one in his administration ever took a cell phone into a SCIF.

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  3. Jason T. said on April 13, 2023 at 11:53 pm

    I don’t know much about Gov. Whitmer, but like a few other political leaders who have become famous over the years, she seems to be blessed with extraordinarily stupid enemies.

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  4. Mark P said on April 14, 2023 at 12:25 am

    The one word that occurs to me for the whole classified spill is stupid. The guy who did it was clearly stupid, and the people responsible for the closed room where the documents were stored were stupid. From what I have seen, the classified documents were paper copies. That means someone improperly copied them and then took them out of a secure room. It’s certainly not impossible, or even all that hard to do if things haven’t changed since my work days, depending on the level of classification. I have a feeling there are going to be some new procedures in secure facilities. We’ll lock up that barn door, now that all the livestock have escaped.

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  5. Dexter Friend said on April 14, 2023 at 2:40 am

    Now that e-bikes are replacing bicycles all over creation, if you buy or already have one, watch out. The batteries explode regularly in huge balls of flame. I watched a video of e-bikers in China just rolling along in traffic and the battery just blows up with great fire .
    The YouTuber ” German in Venice” posted video of the raging fire that destroyed several businesses in that building that has that giant mural of Arnold Schwarzenegger right on Venice Beach. The cause was a battery in an e-bike , just parked in the store. They just blow up. How can they even be legal?
    I think I heard the 21 year old Airman was playing video games with friends and he bragged how he did his dirty deed, and was squealed on.

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  6. Deborah said on April 14, 2023 at 7:06 am

    The people getting the security clearances need to be more highly scrutinized. There seem to be personality types that could be weeded out, like people who are drawn to whacky stuff, Trump cultists etc. It could be pretty far spread by now, If it’s that easy to get one.

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  7. FDChief said on April 14, 2023 at 8:52 am

    The problem is that so much material is classified in the armed services as well as various civilian agencies like State and the NSA that it takes a vast number of people with clearances to shuffle it. Example: me.

    In the 1980s military radios weren’t automatically encrypted. So you had a “codebook” (called a “communications electronics operating instructions” or CEOI) you were issued every time you drew your radio.

    But it was a code! So, secret, right? So to have it you had to have clearance…so I did. Not exceptionally high but still “top secret”. Which was issued to me after a paper review of stuff like arrest records – nobody who knew me was asked, say, if I was a lifelong communist who hated hotdogs and Chevrolet.

    So this joker could be both a nitwit and a piece of MAGAt scum and unless he ran screaming his toxic nonsense into his commo shop he’d never get flagged. And possibly even then – “MAGAt scum” is nastily common in the armed services…

    I’d argue that the bigger problem is the insane proliferation of classification that requires the employment of people like this nimrod…but that’s a whole nother nutroll.

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  8. Jeff Gill said on April 14, 2023 at 9:00 am

    When the redecoration of a BGen residence on base gets the plans classified, we have a problem.

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  9. 4dbirds said on April 14, 2023 at 9:47 am


    Access to classified information is something I know about. I was in military intelligence for 20 years. I worked in signals intelligence and had a clearance my entire career. I joined at 19. When you join up and finish basic, you are processed for your clearance if you are going to work in a classified position. Others are processed for their clearance when they are assigned to a classified site, think clerk typists, communications people, even cooks as they might accidentally overhear something. The military relies on young people and they are drilled on how to handle classified information. In my case, my entire job was classified, and I can’t speak to what I exactly did to this day. That said, classified information is always vulnerable to someone with a grudge, a show-off and people who are hiding things and are being exploited by hostile agents. I never thought of spilling what I knew. Never crossed my mind but I did work with a spy. He sold secrets to The East Germans. He was eventually caught and went to Leavenworth for ’40 years’. He actually only spent 16 or 17 and was let out for good behavior. Last I heard he was working for his family business. He garnered 100,000 dollars. Even in 1980ish standards I found that a paltry sum to sell out one’s country. He did a lot of damage, but we eventually found everything we needed to know when the wall came down. My understanding was that he had a false bottom to his briefcase and would take documents out during shift change. The MPs would check everyone going in and out but with the hundreds (we were a large operation) of people, they couldn’t get everything. They would select one or two people every shift change for a thorough search. I guess they never selected him.

    Once you get a clearance you have to maintain it. They reevaluate you every five years and suspicious behavior is always a way to get the security officer to take a look at you. Driving a car or buying a house that is way out of your price range is one way to get a closer look. I know from working where I do now that social media is looked a closely. Our people can dig deep into social media to find things. Please remember that where I work, and worked, all of the people signed contracts or waivers to allow for special searches.

    How this kid got away with it for so long was probably because it was a small gaming group of friends, and nothing raised red flags until it did.

    My husband’s weapons came in. They sent them to a local gun shop and not our home. He brought them home to show me, but I think we’re going to rent a storage locker at the gun shop/range. I looked at the AR and its look a lot like our old M16s just stripped down. It has a metal frame that basically houses the magazine slot, the firing mechanism and the barrel. That’s it and it IS just to kill things. I can’t imagine using it for hunting, if I hunted nor for target practice. The pistol is so much lighter than my 9mm Baretta I had in the army. The high impact plastics they use now weigh less. I think this is why so many people are using these weapons. They are easier to use and not very expensive. Anyway, after looking and handling them, we are going to take them back to the gun shop to be tucked away until target practice and the apocalypse.

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  10. David C said on April 14, 2023 at 11:40 am

    About a third of my department is off today going to Indianapolis for the NRA Convention. From the way they talk you would think they were four years old and going to see Santa. JFC. There’s nothing inanimate and not much animate that I love as much as they love their guns.

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  11. Mark P said on April 14, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    FD Chief, you are right, there are too many classified documents, and too much information is classified that should not be classified. Renovation plans? Ridiculous, unless they plan to put in classified storage or something.

    Most provisions for safekeeping classified material is to prevent accidental disclosure. It’s much harder to prevent intentional disclosure. But I expect some heads to roll on this one, and not only the stupid kid.

    4WD birds, I think that all semiautomatic firearms should be required to be stored in a secured area in a gun shop or firing range, along with ammunition. And records should be kept of ammunition withdrawal.

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  12. Sherri said on April 14, 2023 at 1:03 pm

    I still can’t get over the WaPo describing the leaker as a charismatic gun enthusiast in the first paragraph. Really, someone who posts video of himself shouting racist and antisemitism slurs before shooting his AR-15, and “gun enthusiast” is what you’re going with? In a country that suffers mass shootings daily?

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  13. Sherri said on April 14, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    It’s bad enough that the most the Senate Judiciary committee can come up with with regards to Clarence Thomas is to ask John Roberts to investigate, but that they can’t even move Biden nominees to the courts out of committee is ridiculous. All because Dianne Feinstein is too old and feeble to serve, but won’t retire because why? A Democratic governor who name her replacement, and if she can’t agree with Gavin Newsom on who that is, then maybe she shouldn’t have waited until she couldn’t do the job to get out of the way.

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  14. tajalli said on April 14, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    Deborah, regarding your question about COVID vaccine updates on the previous blog: where ever you’ve been getting your vaccinations done has your record.

    My pharmacist said that, since COVID is considered a chronic situation now similar to flu, there would be an annual recommended booster available for the new variants. I’ll start considering my next dosage when Nov 2023 rolls around and forget about it during the interim to reduce stress and anxiety.

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  15. Mark P said on April 14, 2023 at 4:48 pm

    I was surprised that the young racist, antisemitic gun nut could face only up to 15 years in prison. They certainly aren’t overcharging him.

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  16. Sherri said on April 14, 2023 at 5:45 pm

    A max of 15 years of prison certainly seems light compared to other instances of leaks. Reality Winner got 5 years for leaking one document. Edward Snowden faced decades in prison. Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life for selling secrets to Israel, and was paroled after 30 years.

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  17. FDChief said on April 14, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    The ridiculous ease with which this little Nazi wing-wiper was able to just stroll off with classified documents does suggest that his organization has security issues. I hope that some zoomie officers are sweating their next OER, at the very least.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on April 14, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    Just watched some bozo lady at the NRA proclaim proudly that her two year old granddaughter has her own rifle. WTF.

    Deborah, if you had five Covid shots there isn’t another one available yet. They are still developing the next iteration to be formulated. It’ll probably be available in early fall, with the idea you can get that and your flu shot at the same time, or maybe even in one shot.

    We’ve been researching a life line fall detection device for mom and finally landed on an Apple watch. It does way more than the necklace thingies and actually costs less. The only drawback was that none of us have iPhones, so we are getting one of those too. I’m offering this up in case anyone else is in the hunt. Will let you know long term how it works for her.

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  19. FDChief said on April 14, 2023 at 7:07 pm

    What IS depressing is the Wingnut reaction to little Junior Birdman’s treason: Empty G is all in for him, calling him “white, male, Christian, and antiwar…an enemy of the Biden Regime”. Tucker is his BFF, too. Now, admittedly, these are people whose brain cell is lonely. But millions of other wingnuts are their political siblings.

    Now, yes, I do remember the “I’d rather be a Russian than a Democrat” t-shirts. But it’d be slightly comforting to think that these nimrods would balk at actual treason.

    Apparently not.

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  20. Mark P said on April 14, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    FD Chief, you beat me to it. Empty Greene has almost certainly violated her security clearance agreement by confirming that some of the secrets the junior fascist posted are true. Anyone who knows anything about clearances knows better than that, and I assume that as a member of Congress, Greene has a clearance and has therefore been briefed on what is allowed and what is not.

    But then, since her idol does it, she probably thinks she can do it, too.

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  21. Sherri said on April 14, 2023 at 10:10 pm

    Congress members don’t have to have security clearances. They are presumed trustworthy by being elected, just like Trump was. That worked well, right?

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  22. Sherri said on April 14, 2023 at 11:23 pm

    Josh Marshall shares my frustrations about the coverage of the leaker:

    I think the comparison to Timothy McVeigh is reasonable. No, the leaker didn’t blow up a building and murder hundreds of people, but he shares a lot more similarities with McVeigh than calling him a “gun enthusiast” captures.

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  23. Mark P said on April 14, 2023 at 11:55 pm

    Sherri, I guess it makes sense that members of Congress wouldn’t have to have security clearances, since that would be giving the executive branch control over the legislative branch. So MTG’s public confirmation classified information is merely irresponsible.

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  24. Dave said on April 15, 2023 at 2:04 am

    The crazy lady is the governor of South Dakota, she said her two year old granddaughter has a shotgun, a pistol, and a pony, so she’s ready. I’m paraphrasing, that’s pretty close. Such a thing to be proud of, one might think she’s going to try and edge out that moron from Georgia for a VP nomination. She was also one who was whacky on COVID info and restrictions.

    These people are awful.

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  25. FDChief said on April 15, 2023 at 10:34 am

    The weirdest thing about ammosexuals is the utter fetishization of firearms.

    I mean…is there anything similar about radial arm saws? Cool piece of machinery, useful tool…no love for the 3D printer?

    I don’t get it. A firearm is a tool. Mastery of that tool can be immensely satisfying…but to make it some sort of key to your self-image? To cleave to one type of tool (and in particular the finicky, hard-to-clean AR-series? Really?) and valorize it?

    I think a lot of these people need to be thoroughly medicated.

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  26. Deborah said on April 15, 2023 at 11:12 am

    I guess I’ll walk down to Federal Plaza later to check out the protest. Still weren’t many signed up last time I looked. Everything I’ve read about the Judge’s decision says it was not based on sound law so hopefully it will be reversed. Now it has a temporary stay but SCOTUS. I know it’s not appropriate to comment on looks but from photos of that judge, he couldn’t look more like a nazi.

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  27. Mark P said on April 15, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    It’s all about role playing for the gun nuts. It’s everything from Death Wish to Walking Dead to Red Dawn. These AR-carrying Fatty Cantbuckles who haven’t seen their penis in 20 years imagine themselves as freedom fighters, survivors, avengers. Most of us gave up those fantasies around sixth grade, but incels never grow out of it. Of course there are also the old guys who piss their pants at the prospect of meeting a dark-skinned man in Walmart. Gotta have that pistol on their hip, just in case they have a disagreement about who got to the checkout line first.

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  28. David C said on April 15, 2023 at 12:39 pm

    Nobody ever got their names in the paper for stopping a burglar with a radial arm saw, FDChief. Although if they did that they’d certainly get their names in the paper. They’re all the heroes of the action movie in their heads. Their fantasies are every bit as real to them as the fantasy of hitting the big time with the Lotto or Amway. In an intelligent country, they’d try to tamp down that bullshit but we’re not in one of those. As long as some asshole who already has too much money wants to make more from letting people do stupid shit we’re going to make it easy for them.

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  29. Sherri said on April 15, 2023 at 1:04 pm

    I mentioned here that my new car didn’t come with Homelink to let me open my garage door. I discovered that all the wiring to support it was there, Honda had just decided to not put the appropriate rear-view mirror on the model I bought, even though it was the top-end model. So I just ordered the Homelink mirror on the Internet, and swapped it out myself!

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  30. FDChief said on April 15, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    That seems as good a guess as any. Maybe that’s the source of my incomprehension; for me the damn thing was kind of a nuisance – something that was a chore (keep clean, don’t lose track of!) – rather than a thrill. Plus as a redleg I knew what did the real killing. Piddly little rifles? Peh.

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  31. David C said on April 15, 2023 at 1:19 pm

    That’s the way to do it Sherri. From mirrors with homelink, to floor mats, cargo nets, to any OEM auto accessory, you can always find it much cheaper online than at the dealer. It’s especially true like you found with your mirror. Wiring harnesses are expensive as hell so every car has a main harness that will accommodate just about any electrical accessory just by plugging it in and adding the right switch, if necessary.

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  32. Deborah said on April 15, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    I walked down to Federal Plaza and it was completely empty, I looked at my phone and the rally organizers had changed the time from 11am-1pm to 1pm-3pm CDT. I was there an hour and a half early and didn’t want to stick around. Hopefully some people will show up. Oh well, at least I got some steps in.

    This is the first weekend they open the bridges on the Chicago River for the sailboats to get through with their masts out to the lake. It’s quite a spectacle. The State St bridge seemed to be stuck in a partial open position though, that must be a bummer for the boaters.

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  33. Jason T. said on April 15, 2023 at 6:30 pm

    FD Chief at 25:

    The weirdest thing about ammosexuals is the utter fetishization of firearms.

    I mean…is there anything similar about radial arm saws? Cool piece of machinery, useful tool…no love for the 3D printer?

    Ham radio buff here. I know plenty of people who will fight to the death over the superiority of Icom over Yaesu (or vice-versa), or Astatic D-104 over Turner 500, or Hy-Gain antennas versus Diamond.

    Hi-fi stereo buffs and model train guys are similar.

    The level of fanaticism is something that’s not unusual among hardcore (mostly male) hobbyists.

    The difference being, almost no one has ever been killed by a Dual turntable or a Heathkit HW-101 (except for the people who stuck their hands inside when they were turned on).

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  34. Sherri said on April 15, 2023 at 8:18 pm

    I know lots of people who are intense about their hobbies. Ham radio people are definitely among them, almost by definition, because of the amount of time and dedication it takes. “Enthusiast” is an apt term to apply to them, as it would be to model train people.

    I can even imagine the possibility of gun enthusiasts, but a racist, antisemitic, anti-government AR15 wielding 21 year old is not that. He’s a budding domestic terrorist.

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  35. LAMary said on April 16, 2023 at 12:35 am

    I had an uncle who was a model train enthusiast. I thought it was pretty cool. His entire basement was a track layout. He even organized a club for train enthusiasts in northern NJ. He could be a little boring talking about train stuff at times but overall it wasn’t bad. Another uncle, his brother, had a hobby of repairing furniture that had rush seats or good quality wicker furniture. His basement was full of chairs. He made some bucks in his retirement years doing that. He was a perfectionist and loved talking about what he did. No gun jerks on that side of my family.

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  36. Dexter Friend said on April 16, 2023 at 3:48 am

    An hour ago Pogo Labbie saw a cat and lunged after it. I had my safety wrist strap attached but the lock must have not caught, and Pogo stretched out the leash pulling me down into soft wet grass, no injury there, and the strap caught Pogo, so she didn’t get loose.
    But I was stuck. After realizing I was on the ground and unable to right myself, I called the cops asking for a cop to come just to give me a lift up. Nope, the dispatcher went all-gonzo and sent an ambulance with full crew. I had already been helped up by 2 neighbor men. The woman in the crew insisted on “evaluating” me…I knew this was to get a bill going…I had to say I was OK and shut my door. I did not call for an ambulance! If they bill me for an ambulance run, I am getting a lawyer. She-ittt!…as Isaiah Whitlock says, I played a little football and survived a minor plane crash in Vietnam…a little dive into cool wet grass wasn’t necessitating an ambulance run.

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  37. Dorothy said on April 16, 2023 at 9:09 am

    Mary my husband is a train enthusiast and come late summer when he retires, he’ll be full time building his layout. We designed our basement to include a room just for that. I already get the feeling it’s much too small to accommodate the dozens and dozens of cars he’s bought over the last 30 years. And a neighbor across the street just told us that his brother-in-law died a few months ago in Florida. Neighbor’s sister is coming back to Ohio next month and she’s going to sell off his train stuff, and neighbor asked if my husband was interested. Is the Pope Catholic?! Guess maybe we’ll be expanding that train room if we can!

    Dexter I’m sorry you took a tumble. But I’m really glad you didn’t get seriouslly hurt. Our dog got spooked by someone opening their garage door at 7:00 AM in mid-January. She wrapped the leash around Mike and he fell backwards, slamming his head onto the sidewalk. He came home extremely crabby and hurting like crazy. We went to the ER. (I might have shared this story already – forgive me if I did). Anyway, he met his deductible in one fell swoop because of all the tests they had to do to make sure he didn’t have a serious head injury. He probably broke ribs, too, but it didn’t show up on the X-ray. Our family doc said that happens sometimes (broken ribs don’t always show on an X-ray she said). He hurt for a few weeks. He could not sleep laying down for at least two weeks.

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  38. David C said on April 16, 2023 at 9:43 am

    I work with a model train enthusiast. I’d much rather listen to him talking about his trains than listen to the gun nuts. I also learned a thing or two. I was talking about my loathing for ragweed. He told me that on model train layouts the trees are often ragweed flowers painted green. So there’s some use for that vile weed. I can’t imagine anyone wants to hear about my guitars, amps, effects pedals or anything. As far as anyone knows I have no hobbies and that’s OK by me.

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  39. alex said on April 16, 2023 at 11:53 am

    More than you ever wanted to know about Rod Dreher.

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  40. Julie Robinson said on April 16, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    My name is Julie. I’m a musical-holic. Introduced to a baby named Oliver this morning, I sang his namesake song from his namesake musical. It just burbled out.

    Dexter, I hope you’re not feeling too battered this morning. This falling stuff is dangerous. Probably all of us here should be doing balancing exercises as well as strengthening our feet, ankles, and knees. I learned them all doing knee PT but eventually slacked off; now I’m back to it and hoping to avoid more issues.

    I don’t want to know anything more about Rod Dreher. I’m at my limit.

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  41. Sherri said on April 16, 2023 at 1:56 pm

    Tressie McMillam Cotton With a beautiful, if not very optimistic, essay on our political future:

    (Sorry for the long url, but it’s a gift link)

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  42. Deborah said on April 16, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    This Clarence Thomas stuff doesn’t stop, now we learn he’s been. falsifying his income statements to include income from a real estate company that doesn’t exist, according to the WaPo.

    We had a kitchen incident this past week, the door to a cabinet fell off and landed on the counter where I had just made a pot of pour-over coffee, it splattered coffee and grounds everywhere and I was lucky it didn’t land on my head, it’s a heavy door and it could have killed me or at the least given me a concussion. It was the last straw for me regarding our awful kitchen, a had a fit. We are taking that whole run of cabinets down now and are making plans to redo the kitchen sooner rather than later. All the cabinets have pivot hinges which just don’t work in this moving building especially in the kitchen where there’s more humidity and things warp. I’ve been pricing appliances because our stove and fridge need replacing desperately, boy howdy they’re expensive now. The Miele range I wanted costs $9,000, nope. The reno work probably won’t start until the fall when we’re back from NM, that is if we can find someone to do it then.

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  43. FDChief said on April 16, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    I get the whole “people with a hobby can be over the top about it” thing.

    But I’ve never seen someone driving around with a “you’ll take away my Turner 500 when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers” sticker, while at least every other day I run across the huge AR silhouette (because of course an AR…) over “Oregunian”. It’s not so much the passion as the apparent need to shove that in everyone around you’s face.

    But the passion itself is weird. I get how one type of radio might sound better/different than another. Or how a particular model train layout might be awesome in certain ways.

    But a black rifle? Bullet comes out one end, recoil the other, carbon remains in-between so dig out the Break-free and the pipe cleaners, whee!

    It’s not really good for hunting. It works for what it’s designed to do: kill and maim other people. So I suspect the attraction really IS people who dream of that.

    Soldiering is a demanding, difficult, sometimes dangerous job. There’s pride in doing it well. But to get all veiny about one of the tools needed to do it? Sorry…to this GI, that’s weird.

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  44. Sherri said on April 16, 2023 at 4:49 pm

    What’s weird is not that people are fans so something, it’s that they’re fans of something which has no use or purpose other than killing other people, and yet they’re proud of that and eager to display that affiliation. I mean, football is problematic, but people don’t put Seahawks stickers on their cars here to celebrate what football does to players’ brains.

    The only reason to own a AR15 is because you think you might need to kill someone, and celebrating that just feels weird and creepy. Sort of like collecting Nazi memorabilia, though apparently some people felt compelled to defend that practice in the case of their good friend and benefactor.

    At least in the case of the Confederate flag, most people tell themselves they’re celebrating heritage, not slavery, when they proudly fly it. They aren’t acknowledging that the heritage they’re celebrating is treason in defense of slavery, but at least there’s a little cognitive dissonance happening.

    Speaking of flags, there’s a house near here that is flying a US flag and a Christian flag prominently in the front yard. Guess which one is higher?

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  45. Jeff Gill said on April 16, 2023 at 4:50 pm

    Dexter, glad that was a fairly gentle fall. My father-in-law did a collapse this morning which was not an impact other than his elbows as he came to rest scraping on the carpet, which at 94 & poor health means blood all over. He’s bandaged and back in his preferred seat, and is amazed at what I can do with a Resolve bottle and a damp rag . . . but it’s still a jolt to go from upright to prone involuntarily.

    We went from Hollywood war movies to Westerns to police dramas, all with bullet impacts like a hard punch, and blood usually a quick gout before a silent death. In more fantastical media, I’ve watched grimly as we’ve come up with cloned troopers and droids and now zombies to give us peace of mind as viewers seek the thrill of slaughter. If the death ray mows down Chitauri, there’s no need to waste a moment on empathy, because they’re cyborged Others, and as utterly Other we can skip any qualms.

    Which, I assume, is why so many of these performative mass shooters at the first moment of pain or shock or disruption of their plan scrabble for the “Reset” button of a bullet to the brain. I always wonder if they do so akin to the tragic Death Row misfit who is reputed at the end of the last meal ceremonially brought him to have set the pie aside “so I can have it later.” We’ve worked hard to make death and killing by firearms distant and unreal, and some of the shooter activity tells me we’ve done a fine job of it.

    They market this AR stuff as tactical; let me know when any of the mass shooters has purchased and affixed a bayonet mount to their long gun. They never do: their fantasies are always at one remove, a distance, not anything close in and face to face.

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  46. Suzanne said on April 16, 2023 at 5:34 pm

    Ah, yes, the old westerns which my gun lover brother claims were better than modern shows because they didn’t glorify violence. Right. How many people were shot to death in every episode of Gunsmoke? But there wasn’t ever any blood so it didn’t glorify violence.

    And then there is gun lover’s enduring myth that if only victims of the Holocaust had been able to get guns, the whole thing wouldn’t have happened. I hear it often.

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  47. LindaG said on April 16, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    I’ve had a little experience with calling an ambulance when someone falls. Had to do it for my elderly sister a few years ago; then last year for my husband who kept falling (three times in one week). Once they hauled him to the hospital. I’d been told that if they come to get you up after a fall, you would not be charged, but you would be charged if they transported you. I never received a bill, even for the time he was hauled to the hospital. After he died on new year’s day, I made a donation to our local fire department who provided the EMS service.

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  48. Deborah said on April 16, 2023 at 7:24 pm

    I tripped and fell on my face on Michigan Avenue a couple of years ago, was able to walk to the hospital a block away. There was blood and bruises, some stitches resulted but no concussion. People on the street were very helpful.

    Off topic but have you guys ever tasted labneh (sometimes spelled without the h)? I had it for the first time this evening, part of a moroccan dish I made, wow was it good. How could I have missed out on it for so long? For those who don’t know what it is, like me previously, it’s a yogurt spread. It’s apparently easy to make but I bought it pre-made at Whole Foods.

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  49. Dorothy said on April 16, 2023 at 8:16 pm

    Deborah just yesterday on one of the Saturday PBS cooking shows labneh was used in one of the recipes! But no, I’ve never eaten it.

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  50. David C said on April 16, 2023 at 8:22 pm

    My only spill requiring a trip to the doctor came at a HuHot Mongolian Grill. It’s a restaurant where you get a bowl and go around cafeteria style and you put all of your fixin’s in the bowl. Then you go to the oil bar and put one of their many varieties of oil on your food, take it up and they fry it up for you. You’ll never guess but people spill the oil all over the shiny tile floor. They run a mop over it so it’s a wonderfully slippery combination of tile, water, and oil. I went down like a rock. So I go to the doctor and they send me for a CAT scan. The CAT scan was the best part because the nurse called and said my brain scan didn’t show anything. I sent the bill to the restaurant like the manager told me to. Their insurance company said it was my fault but they’d pay anyway. So I was fine with that. I was chatting with one of the lawyers at work and I asked her if they hadn’t paid if I would have had a case. She said yes and that the restaurant was a menace especially in heels. So if you’re ever invited to a HuHot Mongolian Grill, go out and get a hamburger.

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