Five million dollars.

I’ve read several pieces in recent years about how LinkedIn has gone all soft, with people posting about their emotions ‘n’ stuff, but honestly, I haven’t seen it. LinkedIn was the first social network I joined and the first one I quit, because as far as I could tell, it was utterly useless.

Then I got fired and started looking for work, and the first thing I learned was, if you’re looking for a job in any field other than journalism, it’s essential to have a LinkedIn profile. I’d had dozens of contacts, even some nice endorsements, on my first one. Which I’d nuked. Ah well. I started a new one, and have studiously ignored it ever since.

But I finally read something there that made it seem worth having one: This account by a cybersecurity expert on going to Mike Lindell’s “Cyber Symposium” in 2021. Lindell offered a $5 million prize to anyone who could prove his “evidence” of election fraud in 2020 incorrect, and this guy, Bob Zeidman, a Trump voter, thinks he did.

Lindell, of course, refused to pay him. He took it to private arbitration and won. Maybe you read about it.

Anyway, Zeidman writes serviceably well for a civilian, although I doubt he was going for chuckles in some passages, like this one:

I was a little surprised when Lindell called up a minister for an opening prayer that referred to Jesus multiple times. As a Jew, I was a bit uncomfortable, but more comfortable when the entire crowd rose to proudly and loudly recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem.

But there were laffs galore coming:

We asked to see the “proof of fraud” that had been promised to us, and were pointed to 5 files on the network. We had been told that these files showed data flowing from China and other places over the Internet to the voting machines on the day of the election. We each downloaded them, one of which was over 22 Gbytes, but found that they contained no recognizable data in any known data format. We were stumped.

At some point, I performed a simple transformation of the files and found something surprising. I quietly packed up my things, said goodbye to my fellow experts, went back to my hotel room, and called my wife. “I have some good news,” I whispered to her on the phone. “All I want to say is that you should start thinking about how you want to spend five million dollars.” The transformations I had performed showed that these files were actually simple Microsoft Word documents containing numbers and gibberish. There was no way for this to be network data or any data related to the election.

You can figure out the rest: The entire “symposium” was a shitshow, much to the disappointment of Zeidman, $5 million notwithstanding. But this graf kinda pierced me:

But the most disappointing result is that this symposium will sow even more doubt among the undecided and give more ammunition to those who hate Trump and despise Republicans and who have no desire to reform or safeguard the voting system in America.

He’s right about ammo for the Trump-haters, but maybe because his brain is so full of code and computer knowledge, he can’t see the forest for the trees: We don’t need to “reform or safeguard” voting in America because it already works pretty well. The fact it’s so atomized, covering the nation with thousands and thousands of precincts, each with their own way of doing things, does wonders for protecting it from widespread fraud. Yes, you’ll always have some isolated cases, onesies and twosies here and there, but large-scale fraud, enough to swing a significant election, is just too hard to pull off (Chicago in 1960 notwithstanding).

That’s not to say an election can’t be influenced by bad actors. Russia most surely did interfere in 2016, but as a wise man said, they didn’t hack the election, they hacked the electorate, with the help of scoundrels like Paul Manafort, et al.

So while it’s amusing to imagine Mike Lindell having to pay this nerd $5 million — and I devoutly hope he does — it’s important not to draw the wrong conclusions from his silly symposium.

In more comic news, this week the Michigan state senate voted on repealing a law that makes it a crime for adult couples to live together without being married. You can have a roommate, but no shack-up, as we used to call these relationships. Speaking against its repeal was a U.P. Republican who previously distinguished himself by chairing the committee that looked into the 2020 election and concluded no fraud occurred. He was called the usual names by his fellow party members, but held his ground, and maybe he felt he had to get a little of his own back:

Two GOP lawmakers who voted against the proposed repeal argued that keeping the law on the books would encourage marriage and strengthen families. Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, said the reasons for the longstanding policy “are clearly not obsolete.”

A law that virtually no one even knew existed had to be kept in place, to encourage good morals.

Another weird thing that virtually no one knows: Ed McBroom and his brother ran a dairy farm together, until the brother was killed in a traffic accident in 2018. The McBroom brothers were married to a pair of sisters, and all four of them were/are the parents of 13 children. After his brother’s death, they took the widow and her flock under their wing. And they all live — I doubt under one roof — on the farm together. What would the law make of that? Hmm. Lotsa farm hands, anyway.

OK, then. The weekend is threatening to kick off one of these days, and I might need to pour a gin and tonic to welcome it. Have a good one.

Posted at 4:36 pm in Current events |

63 responses to “Five million dollars.”

  1. David C said on April 20, 2023 at 6:11 pm

    I see there was a mild girl fight at a GQP event yesterday between a crazy faction supporter and a really crazy faction supporter. I was hoping for more when I watched the video. The cops were called anyway. Stay klassy Republicans.

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  2. Suzanne said on April 20, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    I saw the video of that Michigan GOP fracas online somewhere a day or two ago. Several of the people involved did not appear to be terribly sober.

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  3. Ann said on April 20, 2023 at 6:48 pm

    I’d missed the latest ramblings from my state senator. But he’d also previously distinguished himself by a 30 minute rant against adding LGBT protections to the state civil rights act. “Among the remarks included a 30-minute speech from McBroom where the Republican invoked scripture, the U.S. Constitution and the Holocaust, debated the sources of evil, spoke out against non-cisgender gender expression and “immoral” behaviors, reflected on self-actualization and claimed that children are being “mutilated and maimed” in what seemed to be a reference to transgender people.”

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  4. Mark P said on April 20, 2023 at 9:13 pm

    Hmm. Children being mutilated? I wonder if he’s circumcised. We also need to outlaw ear piercing for anyone under 18. Or would that be 21?

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  5. Julie Robinson said on April 20, 2023 at 9:29 pm

    Has anyone watched a circumcision? When our daughter was born they were performing them right in the nursery. I walked down to get her and watched in horror as this poor little guy screamed and screamed. No anesthesia, I was told. Our son is intact.

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  6. LAMary said on April 20, 2023 at 11:04 pm

    When I was expecting my first son my OB/Gyn asked if we wanted him circumcised. My OB was Connie Chein, admired and feared by other employees in the Cedars Sinai Labor and Delivery department. She’s known for being very protective of her patients. Connie has the remnants of a Chinese accent and she explained that if we wanted the baby circumcised she would do it as part of the whole labor and delivery situation with no extra charge but if I didn’t let Cedars know that in advance a urologist would do it and charge 2000 dollars. “Two thousand dollar for weenie slice is booshit,”she said. I love Connie Chein.

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  7. Mark P said on April 20, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    My father was circumcised when he was in the Army, probably around 1943, when he was around 25 or 26. I don’t know whether they offered any kind of local anesthetic. Apparently the Army pushed circumcision as prophylaxis for some infections, including sexually transmitted infections. I’ve seen some claims of substantial numbers of uncircumcised soldiers removed from combat in North Africa in WW II because of penile infections. There also appears to be some studies in Africa purporting some protection from HIV in heterosexual relations.

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  8. Dexter Friend said on April 21, 2023 at 1:21 am

    An uncircumcised friend told me the Jardiance he takes for Type II compels him to wash off every time he urinates as the Jardiance sort of turns urine into infection causing poison that makes it painful at the skin at the tip. Sheesh.
    I saw a clip where the Michigan Neanderthal said he was concerned about shackers not paying proper taxes and taking dependents unlawfully…all bullshit.

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  9. David C said on April 21, 2023 at 5:48 am

    Kinda disappointed that Elmo’s rocket exploded. I can’t think of anything better than him rocketing off to Mars to found his planet of misfit boys.

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  10. alex said on April 21, 2023 at 8:08 am

    Diabetes meds can play havoc down there, Dex, it’s true. They make you excrete excess sugar, which in turn causes yeast infections if you aren’t careful. I recall being freaked out that my dew drops looked iridescent on these drugs, and I wasn’t tripping.

    All that expelled sugar also can cause growth of pink slime algae in the toilet bowl, making for some extra cleaning there too.

    I’m happy to report that the pharmaceutical industry has finally caught up with the increased demands placed on it by non-diabetics pursuing weight loss and I’m back on my regular regimen and my blood sugars are once again excellently controlled. My average daily glucose is 113 says my continuous monitor.

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  11. Jeff Gill said on April 21, 2023 at 8:41 am

    On today’s Politico Playbook:

    “Yesterday, we got a surprising email from a reader who had his own DeSantis story to share. We at Playbook get all types of scoops, tips and announcements but for obvious reasons, this one caught our eye.

    “I sat right next to DeSantis for two years on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and he never said a single word to me,” it read. “I was new to Congress, and he didn’t introduce himself or even say hello.”

    It was from former Rep. DAVID TROTT (R-Mich.). We called him up to talk about it.

    “I go to my first [House Foreign Affairs Committee] hearing early, and DeSantis showed up right at the gavel time and didn’t say hello or introduce himself,” Trott said. “And then the next hearing, the same thing happened. I think the third time it happened, I thought, ‘Oh, this guy’s not ever going to say hello to me.’”

    Eventually, Trott took the initiative and introduced himself to DeSantis. And he could see that the Florida congressman had a certain something.

    “He’s got an ability to size up the electorate and figure out what issues and hot buttons he needs to press to advance his political ambitions,” Trott said. “There’s no question there’s a talent there. No taking that away from him.”

    But equally apparent to Trott was what DeSantis was missing.

    “If you’re going to go into politics, kind of a fundamental skill that you should have is likability. I don’t think [he] has that,” Trott said. “He never developed any relationships with other members that I know of. You’d never see him talking on the floor with other people or palling around. He’s just a very arrogant guy, very focused on Ron DeSantis.”

    Given that, Trott isn’t surprised that so many members of the Florida delegation are opting to endorse Trump over their own governor.

    “He wasn’t really liked when he was in Congress. And now it’s coming home to, you know, prove out as some of the Florida delegation endorsed Trump and and some of the donors, you know, think he’s kind of awkward in terms of how he interacts with them,” Trott said. “If his pre-presidential campaign was playing out differently, then I’d say, ‘Well, maybe he just didn’t like me.’ But I think there’s something more at work here.”

    In short, said Trott, “I think he’s an asshole. I don’t think he cares about people.””

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  12. Mark P said on April 21, 2023 at 9:24 am

    I’m pretty sure I have mentioned before that DeSantis taught for a year at my old private school before he went to law school. Students from that time remember him as arrogant and racist (essentially a slavery apologist).

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  13. JodiP said on April 21, 2023 at 9:33 am

    Thanks to all who suggested shows to watch on Britbox. Escape to the Country was on Amazon and was a favorite pandemic find. I’m pretty sure I’ve told this crew about the precursor to The Best British Baking show called Britain’s Best Bakeries. It was also a comforting show during the lock-down phase of the pandemic. It’s only 2 seasons, and we’ve decided to watch it again.

    The shacking up phrase made me smile. In my early 20s, I was living with my male partner, and when I talked to my grandmother about him, she said, “Yes, I heard you were shacking up Hollywood style with some man!” Uh, yeah, that’s what’s happening.

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  14. FDChief said on April 21, 2023 at 10:06 am

    Isn’t there something Old Testament-y where if your bro kicks the bucket you’re kind of obligated to marry his wife? Either to make sure she doesn’t have to beg in the street or to keep her dowry in the family. I forget; all those weird Leviticus rules run together in my head.

    The ridiculous persistence of the GQP “vote fraud” meme is a tribute to the news media’s inability to call bullshit bullshit. The only real “fraud” for a Republican is the notion that anyone can not vote Republican and still be a Real American. Not that telling the truth about that would matter to the Repubneeshees; they’re too busy worshipping the Trumpwan as his golden limo rolls past. But it might wake up some of the narcoleptics in the “center” who can’t tell the difference between a pat on the back and a poke in the eye.

    Nah. Who’m I kidding? It’s “both sides!” all the way to the Reichstag…

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  15. nancy said on April 21, 2023 at 11:09 am

    Alex, I remember reading somewhere that medieval doctors diagnosed diabetes by tasting the patient’s urine. I believe the etymology of “diabetes mellitus” goes back to “peeing sweetness.”

    On the other matter, Dave Trott is setting himself apart as a Republican dismayed by what’s become of the old gang, so I’m not surprised he’s shit-talking the new guard.

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  16. Deborah said on April 21, 2023 at 11:41 am

    Two things I remember from my childhood related to this thread:

    A member of the church we attended married his sister-in-law (who had never married before) after his wife died. My parents were appalled as were other church members.

    My mother said that the houses of people who had diabetes smelled like old apples, that there was an apparent underlying sweetness.

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  17. ROGirl said on April 21, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    Catherine of Aragon was the widow of Henry VIII’s brother when he married her.

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  18. FDChief said on April 21, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    IIRC the Henry/Katherine thing suggests I had it backwards; Hank had to get a papal nod to marry his brother’s widow, and he turned around and made a big issue about it as why he should be able to annul the marriage to get busy with La Boleyn.

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  19. Scout said on April 21, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    Thread win for LAMary @6!

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  20. Deborah said on April 21, 2023 at 4:45 pm

    I got a new laptop, will this go in moderation now?

    I’m typing this on a new MacBook Pro, it’s so much lighter than my old one which is 11 years old, it can’t even be serviced at the Apple store anymore. The old one still works but I lost the Adobe stuff I use to design with when I upgraded to a new operating system. I didn’t want to get the Creative Suite for my old laptop and then have the machine die on me. It’s expensive but I need it for a few things I’m working on.

    I agree Scout, LAMary’s comment was hilarious.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on April 21, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    And we just got an Apple watch for Mom, for the fall detection. Plus we can call her on it when we’re away from the house. Now *all* we have to do is teach her how to use it.

    FDChief is correct about widows marrying brothers. The Sadducees use the story in an attempt to trip us Jesus. His answer: there’s no marriage in heaven. I suspect that answer would still not be popular today.

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  22. Jeff Gill said on April 21, 2023 at 7:07 pm

    Alito gets fairly worked up this evening…

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  23. FDChief said on April 21, 2023 at 8:34 pm

    If Strip-search Sammy hates abortion so much, well, then he shouldn’t have one. Problem solved.

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  24. Dexter Friend said on April 21, 2023 at 10:10 pm

    MSNBC had a guest on who seemed to know all about the nerd that proved Mike Lindell’s horseshit wrong.
    This guy said there are “several others out there” who also proved the figures Lindell used were just Chinese algorithms and gibberish. They all are due $5M. Also, Lindell is on the hook for several lawsuits for defamatory statements so egregious that it’s likely lawsuits are forthcoming.

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  25. David C said on April 22, 2023 at 6:18 am

    Lindell paid the guy off in pillows.

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  26. Deggjr said on April 22, 2023 at 8:33 am

    I had three forced job searches in a five year period and had the same reaction about LinkedIn; everyone on LinkedIn was looking for a job at one point in time. Over time this addition has become more clear ‘or looking for new business’.

    My QSIL told me to watch Mike Lindell’s three day show proving the Chinese hacked the election. The show required I provide my email address. I did, fully realizing it would be added to Lindell’s mailing list. He sends 4/5 emails a day, selling pillows and grifting for the ‘Lindell Legal Offense Fund’. The emails would be funny if there weren’t so many people who believe Lindell. I am saving his email explaining the $5M judgment.

    David C @#25, this appears at the bottom of the linked article: * is a political satire blog.

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  27. basset said on April 22, 2023 at 9:07 am

    LAMary, why was your OB feared?

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  28. ROGirl said on April 22, 2023 at 9:26 am

    I got the job I’m in now from LinkedIn, which was kind of remarkable to me, because my experience with it up to that point was that it was pretty useless, and the recruiters were like used car salesmen.

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  29. Icarus said on April 22, 2023 at 10:20 am

    I’ve said this before: LinkedIn was fine in the early days when it was just a place to post your resume. Now it is full of people trying to be influencers, along with scam artists trying to get you to buy their Job Finding, or Career Coaching, or Resume Writing services.

    And f-ing LinkedIn itself is trying to get everyone to buy the premium package which doesn’t really offer you anything substantial.

    Every week I get contacted by a recruiter who just started recruiting.

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  30. LAMary said on April 22, 2023 at 11:16 am

    Connie Chein is feared because she has no patience with nurses or other caregivers who are not on top of their game with her patients. She also is tough on the hospital charging for stupid things. When I was checking out of the hospital she started loading things onto the wheelchair. Stuff like the water pitcher, a little plastic tub, the tissue box. She said Cedars would bill me for those whether I took them or not. The labor and delivery nurse who did not correctly attach the pitocin IV so the pitocin was running onto the floor instead of into me was a recipient of Connie’s wrath. I had been in labor for 20 hours and the pitocin was supposed to speed up the labor. Connie came in to check on me and stepped in a big puddle. Connie spoke to the nurse in the hallway. No shouting or anything. Just telling her that she was not going to touch me any of her patients anymore. Connie wasn’t a tyrant. She just wanted good care for her patients. When I had my second child she came to in to check on me and noticed my water pitcher was empty. She asked me if I had requested more water and I said yes I had, several times. Connie went out of the room and I got my water in about thirty seconds. On the other hand, when I was pregnant with kid 2 I slipped on a wet floor in a supermarket. I called her immediately. She asked if I was bleeding. Nope, I wasn’t. She told me to come to her office ASAP. Then she said, “you’ve got a fat ass. You’re probably ok.” Coming from her that just made me laugh. I was ok, btw but she did an ultrasound and an exam. I was referred to Connie by a neighbor who was a gastroenterologist at Cedars. He said that a lot of her patients were other doctors. That sold me.

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  31. LAMary said on April 22, 2023 at 11:29 am

    I should add that after working in a hospital for 11 years I had a good idea of which doctors were nasty jerks and which were just tough. There are plenty who treat nurses like crap. There are also plenty who understand how hard nurses work and how important their role is. I heard many stories of nasty docs who terrorized nurses for things like calling the doctor with a question about a dosage that didn’t look correct.”They’re no better than secretaries” is a quote from a thoracic surgeon whom everyone considered an asshole. He said that sitting across the table from me during a panel interview with a chief nursing officer candidate. I thought she was going to slap him. Same guy got into a fist fight with another, equally arrogant doc in front of the unit secretary’s desk. The unit secretary called a code gray “aggressive behavior” and security showed up to break up the fight. The last thing I heard one of them say as they were being walked off the unit was, “You know I’m the go to guy, not you.”

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  32. susan said on April 22, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Surgeons are not known for being empathic, humble, or mousy.

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  33. Heather said on April 22, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    LinkedIn can certainly be annoying sometimes but I’ve gotten some good clients on there. And it’s invaluable for me to look up contacts at potential clients.

    I try to keep it pretty professional on there, but when Roe was repealed a lot of women were posting about that–because in many ways it is a business issue. Healthcare is a business; many people get health insurance through their employers, which affects reproductive care for them and their families; many companies in states that outlaw abortion will see their recruitment efforts affected, etc. etc. I also posted that I would personally not want to work for anyone that didn’t view me as deserving of the full slate of rights over my body. I then got a message from a contact that he was tired of all the “hate” on his feed and how abortion was not healthcare, blah blah, and that he was disconnecting from me. Don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out, etc.

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  34. Suzanne said on April 22, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    My retired RN sister always told me to ask nurses for Dr recommendations because they knew which ones were drunks, abusive, tough but competent, or all around good. My oncologist seems like a decent person on top of being a good doctor. I like him and trust him, so far anyway!

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  35. LAMary said on April 22, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    I’ve only known three oncologists well and all three are good, compassionate guys. Like incredibly good and compassionate. Surgeons? Don’t get me started.

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  36. Julie Robinson said on April 22, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    Not just nurses but the other personnel too. They hear the scuttlebutt. Sometimes you only get guidance on who to avoid, but I’ve been to a couple docs I’d never see again, so I’d want to know that.

    Completely off-topic: the Robinson household has fallen in love with Bon Mamman preserves through the very large jars offered at Costco, and the cute little samplers too. The label says it’s from France, and I thought LAMary might know–do they ship it in the jars, which are very heavy? Or does it come over in barrels and get repackaged here. It’s a burning question, let me tell you.

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  37. Deborah said on April 22, 2023 at 5:03 pm

    I don’t have any idea how it’s shipped but I like Bonne Mammon a lot. I use their lemon curd, I mix it with Icelandic type plain yogurt and squeeze some lemon juice in it to tart it up, I have that for breakfast many mornings. I also like their jars with the red checkered lids, I use them for lots of stuff.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on April 22, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    Lemon curd–yummo! I haven’t seen that yet. I was thinking the big jars would be great for iced tea. I like lots and lots of ice.

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  39. LAMary said on April 22, 2023 at 5:55 pm

    They ship it in jars. I sold a lot of those minis to hotels back in my fancy food rep days. Amazon and a company called Vitacost sell it online if you’re looking for a source that’s more consistent than Costco. I like the four fruit variety myself but the peach rhubarb is also excellent. I got a big jar of pineapple passion fruit for my son a couple of months ago and he liked it a lot. Hero, Tiptree and Bonne Maman are all shipped in jars and those three brands earned enough commissions for me to buy a car. Sheraton, Hilton, Helmsley, The Plaza(pre Trump days), the Pierre all bought many cases of those preserves. And as we all know, Tiptree does not carry Little Scarlet strawberry preserves in the 1.5 ounce jars. At least they didn’t in 1980. (It’s a long story)

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  40. Dorothy said on April 22, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    Dammit you guys, we need to work on the timing of Costco suggestions! We were just there this morning a half hour after they opened! Well, I’ll add those suggestions to my iPhone reminders. I have a page specifically for Costco.

    We are feeling so much better since the Monday Covid diagnosis, but of course we wore masks at Costco. Mike needed sugar for his bees and you can’t beat the price on a 25 lb bag of sugar there. His symptoms started Saturday, mine on Sunday so we’re past the 5 day incubation/isolation. He’s going to get tested at work on Monday morning and will be wearing a mask at work all week – providing he tests negative of course.

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  41. Deborah said on April 22, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    Oh my peach rhubarb sounds divine. I’ll have to try that.

    I went to the Lincoln Park Green Market today, it has started early this year, seems like it usually doesn’t start until mid-May. I got asparagus, pasture raised chicken eggs, Swiss and cracked pepper bread, and mushrooms. Had sautéed asparagus and mushrooms on toast with poached eggs on top for dinner. Nothing like fresh food. I wish they had rhubarb, didn’t see any. It snowed or rather sleeted on me as I walked home from the park, it was sunny when I left our building for the market, Chicago weather.

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  42. Dexter Friend said on April 23, 2023 at 2:23 am

    Food that I can’t get anymore: gooseberry pie. Mom used to make it every summer. I haven’t had it in 60 years+.

    Doctors, nurses… the specialist who administered my EMG “Frankenstein shock” test was all professional at first, then he noticed the V.A. had ordered this test, and he asked me what I did in the army. When I told him I was a medic stateside and also in Vietnam, his demeanor changed, the mood in the room changed. He figured I had worked alongside doctors and I was not intimidated by his white coat. It made things go more easily. Even though, as Huck Finn might say, “I warn’t no good a-tall at being a medic.”

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  43. Dorothy said on April 23, 2023 at 7:58 am

    Dexter if you had ever shared with us before that you’d been a medic, I must have missed it. Sorry about that! My dad was a WWII medic. When I was growing up, in our neighborhood if any of us kids, my six cousins next door, or various kids in our block of South Trenton Avenue had a particularly nasty skinned knee, or some other not-too-serious ailment, we’d all have my dad take a look at us. He was pretty good at cleaning those nasty knees and putting a good, snug bandage on. His profession was with the USPS as a mail sorter, and he was a more than decent carpenter. My mom used to say if we’d had the money to get him set up in business, his carpenter work would have been what he’d love to do full time. His being a medic, and treating a certain guy named Glen Jones on the battlefield, is what got him in Tom Brokaw’s second book about WWII, “The Greatest Generation Speaks”.

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  44. Julie Robinson said on April 23, 2023 at 9:14 am

    My dad was also the one who patched us up. His got his skills through hanging around sports teams in high school, starting as water boy and helping and learning. He would do anything to be around sports, since he couldn’t play, having only one arm. More correctly, he wasn’t allowed to play. He did run track, and back in the days of cinder tracks, you know there were several injuries per practice.

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  45. alex said on April 23, 2023 at 9:54 am

    We have a Costco membership again thanks to my hubby’s employer. We had let ours lapse years ago because we just don’t buy much of anything in bulk, and our reason for getting one in the first place was great pharmacy prices — until my insurance plan informed me that Costco was out of network and that I needed to sign up for mail order meds through a company that charges much more (and, it turns out, is owned by the insurance company!).

    We paid Costco a visit yesterday because it sells laminate and vinyl plank flooring for a little more than half of what it costs at the big box home improvement stores. They have a rather small selection in stock but you can order from a much larger range online. We’re going to re-do our boudoirs.

    We also need to reinsulate the house and I had a couple of contractors out this week. I was surprised to learn that filling our walls with spray foam would actually be about $5K cheaper than doing loose-fill cellulose. Anyone have any experience with this stuff and would you recommend it?

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  46. David C said on April 23, 2023 at 10:27 am

    My spray foam experience is 20+ years old, so they may use different stuff. In our previous house we wanted to get our entryway, that the builder didn’t insulate properly, foamed in. The company would only do the areas that weren’t enclosed because sometimes the mixture gets off and it ends up smelling like rotten fish. If it went off, they wanted to be able to tear it out and do it over. So we got a mix of blown in fiberglass and foam. There was no fishy smell just a chemical smell that lasted a couple of days. We were very happy with the results. The entryway went from drafty to very cozy.

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  47. LAMary said on April 23, 2023 at 10:30 am

    Costco recommendations: Trident fish sticks, Trident salmon burgers, Grillo’s pickles, Kirkland Mediterranean olive oil, Grey Poupon mustard, Kirkland hot dogs, parmesan, pecorino romano, boneless pork chops, pork tenderloin, frozen chicken breasts, the six packs of dried pasta, the small cans of diced tomatoes, Cheerios, Irish butter, citrus body wash, the huge jars of strawberry or raspberry spread, Mediterranean salad kit, eggs…

    This is stuff I buy there in addition to paper towels and toilet paper. The pork chops and tenderloin are both incredibly well priced and excellent quality. Others on this list great deals and/or very good. You need room for all this stuff though. I split it with the offspring. One likes the Mediterranean salad, another likes the pork. I buy some produce there. Blueberries, apples etc, but I can’t deal with five heads of romaine or twenty pounds of russet potatoes.

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  48. beb said on April 23, 2023 at 11:40 am

    Costco’s Trident Fish Sticks. That was one of my sillier escapades. I was there for something else, wanted to pick up supper and saw the 4# bag of fish sticks. So I got them. Then looked for french fries, which came in an 8# bag. That seemed a little excessive but fish sticks without fries? We eventually consumed all the french fries. The fish sticks, though are delicious and pleasantly substantial.

    Never heard of Bonne Mammon before, but Lemon curd and yogurt sounds good. Peach Rhubarb preserve? I have had (and love) strawberry rhubarb preserves and pies. Rhubarb needs something sweet to counter its tartness. Peach might work.

    I think the point of Hebrew law about marrying your brother’s widow was to father a son to carry on the brother’s lineage. But I could be wrong.

    I was in the hospital recently for an infected toe, which doesn’t sound serious except that if the infection can’t be cleared up the toe will have to be amputated. The nurses were great. The doctors were mostly distracted (so many patients so little time) but it did lead to a joke. Question: What does an X-ray, and MRI and an Ultrasound have in common?

    Answer: Me. I shudder to see what the hospital has billed Medicare for my stay there.

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  49. Julie Robinson said on April 23, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    The six packs of red, yellow and orange peppers go into a lot of our meals. If you have an air fryer, their sweet potato fries are better than Trader Joe’s. High quality lunch meats, and cheeses. And of course the humongous pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. We have four people and two refrigerators, so we make the mega sizes work.

    beb, it’ll be astronomical. Hope your toe is healed.

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  50. basset said on April 23, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    Gas is usually significantly cheaper at our Costco.

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  51. susan said on April 23, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    As well as being the least expensive gas around the area, Costco’s is “Top Tier” detergent gasoline. That’s where I get my car filled up.

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  52. LAMary said on April 23, 2023 at 8:59 pm

    While I can’t swear to it, I think Bonne Maman always has the basic flavors but they seem to rotate through the flavors like pineapple passionfruit and peach rhubarb. By basic flavors I mean orange, strawberry, raspberry etc.
    Single serve 1.5 ounce jars of preserves are what a sleazy casino and hotel owner in NY never paid me for. I understand he has a reputation for not paying suppliers and contractors.

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  53. Connie said on April 24, 2023 at 4:42 am

    Big costco news here, there is going to be one built near us. Not in the city, but just a few miles away on my back road to the freeway entrance. I will shop there, but I am not waiting in line to buy gas.

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  54. Dexter Friend said on April 24, 2023 at 4:53 am

    I have been driving since 1967, and in my early years, we always listened when someone reported ‘bad gas’ at a station. All our cars were carbureted and we all could tell when our cars started running roughly after a fill-up. We suspected ‘water in the gas’ but we never knew for sure, except it was true: all stations were suspect to occasional bad gas deliveries. (All gasoline is the same until the companies add their own additives).
    Since fuel injection replaced carburetors long ago, I never heard anymore talk of ‘bad gas’.
    Until a month ago.
    I filled up at the local Shell and after a few miles the engine light came on, triggering a warning , as the van began chugging and I thought the old van was a goner. At a half tank, I filled up with my regular Sunoco and by the second tank all was well and no engine light, no chugging. So I guess ‘bad gas’ can still happen.

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  55. David C said on April 24, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Tuckems is sacked!!!

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  56. Dave said on April 24, 2023 at 11:57 am

    What about the rest of their lying roster of fake news? I’m sure there’s someone as despicable waiting in the wings.

    Bad gas, Dexter? I haven’t had a tank of what I thought was bad gas in many years, one year my brother and I drove out to Arizona to our uncle’s home, this in the seventies, and we got a tank of gas that ran ok but we got about half the mileage that we were getting overall on the trip. Pitiful, all I remember is that we bought it in an off-brand station because it was the middle of the night and it was in Nowhere, New Mexico or Texas, I can’t remember which.

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  57. Deborah said on April 24, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Yay! I wonder where Tucker will end up next?

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  58. ROGirl said on April 24, 2023 at 12:15 pm

    I wonder what was in his termination agreement: how much he’s getting, what he is allowed to do, and of course what he can disclose (if anything).

    Flying too close to the sun can be dangerous.

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  59. susan said on April 24, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    And Don Lemon, too.

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  60. Julie Robinson said on April 24, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    And the head of NBC/Universal, for “an inappropriate relationship with an employee”.

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  61. FDChief said on April 24, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    Fishsticks follows Glenn Beck down the FAUX gash chute. I’m sure it’ll be difficult to find a liar and moron with his c.v. while he snuggles into a cushy wingnut welfare gig.

    Sorry. I’m glad the bowtied buffoon got his conge’. Just hard not to be cynical about these schmucks.

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  62. alex said on April 24, 2023 at 4:31 pm

    I was just reading that life after Fox for Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly has been essentially a fat demotion. They all have podcasts with loyal followings but not the influence and reach they once enjoyed. Same will probably be true for Fishsticks. And they left before the Fox taint carried the same stench that it does today. Megyn even managed to get hired at NBC for a short spell until she committed hari-kari with a race rant she couldn’t keep stifled.

    All in all, it’s a good day for democracy.

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  63. Jeff Borden said on April 24, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    I’ve been doing a happy dance all day over the removal of the festering pustules called Tucker McNear Swanson Carlson. I shudder to think about all the damage he and his moronic minions have done to this nation and the world at large. Putin probably needed a couple of vodka doubles when he learned his little propaganda poodle got the sack.

    I’d urge great caution over thinking this means much to Rupert and his clan. Did the departures of Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Megan Kelly or Gretchen Carlson change anything? Nope.

    Fox stock dipped almost 5% on the news, but it will recover. Tens of millions of ‘Murican dumbasses love having their prejudices praised on the teevee.

    The next host might be even worse…hard as that may be to imagine. We have no shortage of telegenic assholes.

    Watch for Carlson to enter politics. He’s a natural heir to the orange tumor.

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