The big hat.

Many years ago, I remember listening to an interview with some British royal-watcher, and he predicted that one day we’d see two old people ascend to the throne of that sceptered isle, that other Eden, and no one would remember the troubled princess who nearly suicide-bombed the whole institution out of existence. I’d say he was correct.

I didn’t watch the coronation, alas. I stayed out until 1 a.m. the night before (fundraiser, and I was on the committee and had to stay through the cleanup), didn’t get to sleep until 2. We had the TV on as we pushed brooms and gathered trash, and the overnight news was already on its pre-coronation packages. But. I watched the video highlights via the NYT site, and found it…interesting. Charles had the perfect look on his face, a tender, somewhat-confused expression that said, “I’ve been waiting for this for 74 years. Now what?” “What,” I imagine, will be a reign of 15 years, give or take. For my money, Camilla had a more peaceful, settled look, the look of triumphant mistresses everywhere. She married a man who cheats on his wife, but late in life when the sap has largely ebbed from the royal staff. Plus, he obviously loves her.

There were a lot of anti-royal voices raised this weekend, of course, here and there. Perfectly fine — we’re both free countries, after all. Honestly, though, what’s the point? Destroy the monarchy? OK. It won’t make a bit of difference beyond a few ceremonial details in the U.K.’s self-government. Make the castles into museums. They’ll cost at least as much to run. So…sell them? OK. How will you feel when Mohammed bin Salman or some Russian oligarch owns Buckingham Palace? Sell the crown jewels? Great idea. They, too, will disappear into private hands, you’ll never see them again, and the money will go…somewhere. (Probably also into private hands, a step or two down the road.)

People talk a lot about how “rich” the new king is, but think about what that means. He holds a lot of land, and several over-large, drafty houses. True, he can go fishing and riding and gadding about the countryside in a kilt, but only when his schedule permits, and the schedule consists mainly of dressing up, showing up, shaking a few hands, posing for pictures. Same thing with Camilla, only she must also accept nosegays from adorable schoolchildren. Look at that picture of the new royal couple in their crowns; do you envy them? Do their lives seem enviable to you? Do they look happy to you? I bet Camilla didn’t even have a moment to take off that necklace and fondle the jewels in her hand for a while; someone unclasped it, boxed it and sent it back to the vault.

Face it, if being royal were a job posted on a hiring board somewhere, few people would want it.

Prince Bill and Princess Cathy looked nice, I thought. I’m used to seeing the royal men wear chests full of medals that make them look like war heroes, but we rarely see the women in their “official” finery. This was a ‘fit, as the kids say:

Love the headpiece(s), which makes her look like a superhero awaiting a ceremony on Wonder Woman’s island. And little Princess Charlotte is just a treasure. I hope she can have a meaningful life.

There was snickering about…oh god, I can’t look up all those title and spellings right now, but the something-or-other of Chumley*, allegedly William’s mistress, being seated in the crowd. She could be seated on his dick, and Princess Superhero isn’t going to act like her late mother-in-law. She knew exactly the job she was being hired to do, has done it beautifully, and won’t give it up for some round-heeled former model. There are a lot of bedrooms in those drafty houses; she looks capable of enduring until it’s her turn to wear the big hat.

* OK, I looked it up again. It’s the Marchioness of Cholmondeley.

My favorite moment of my sleep-deprived viewing of the after-parade was the horse band. Seriously, it was a full band, mounted on moving horses. The joke is, of course, that it takes two hands to play an instrument and at least one to guide a horse, so…how does this work? Google explains at least the part of the drummers who lead the troupe: The riders have reins affixed to their feet. I guess the rest of them do, too.

And of course Saturday couldn’t conclude with just a coronation and American horse race in the news, so we had to have a mass shooting, too. Those of you who follow Laura Lippman on Twitter know that she walks Baltimore in the early morning and takes a photo of the Domino Sugar sign, then posts it. This was Sunday’s, and I don’t think we need to say anything more than this:

Have a good week, all. And please stay alive.

Posted at 11:26 am in Current events |

80 responses to “The big hat.”

  1. FDChief said on May 7, 2023 at 11:48 am

    I watched the parade bit.

    The British have nailed the whole “military ceremony” thing. Part is the full dress kit – it’s ridiculously lovely – but their drill is gorgeous, too. The drill sergeant inside was all “I want that!”

    But it was kind of ironic, too.

    The British crown was to be reckoned with because of what all those pretty marching soldiers and sailors and fliers represented; ginormous fleets of battle ships and skies full of airplanes and armies full of tanks and cannon and rifles.


    It’s all just pretty marching. That’s all that’s left; the armies and fleets have melted away just like the poet predicted. The new king isn’t quite as meaningless as the Prince of Monaco…but he’s pretty close. Hmm…

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  2. nancy said on May 7, 2023 at 11:59 am

    But the prince of Monaco had (and probably has) way more fun than his British counterparts, as Andrew sulkily complained to his pal Jeffery Epstein.

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  3. David C said on May 7, 2023 at 1:11 pm

    Reading the Diana partisans on Twitter was the most fun. The not serious ones were anyway. They’re never going to let it go.

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  4. Icarus said on May 7, 2023 at 1:28 pm

    54 trips around the sun as of today. Therefore, in no particular order, things I pay no attention to:

    The Olympics
    The Oscars (or any awards show really)
    The Royals
    The Kentucky Derby

    there are other things I’m sure I’m forgetting.

    Oh on the previous thread, we got our kids to eat Salmon Burgers for a short time by calling them Fish Biscuits.

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  5. Deborah said on May 7, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    Didn’t watch any of it but saw a few clips and photos here and there. I’m always astonished when I see how much Bill and Cathy’s kids have grown. Time flies.

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  6. Suzanne said on May 7, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    Watched very little of the coronation and half-watched the KY Derby. So saddened that there was yet another shooting at a shopping mall. I don’t want to go anywhere anymore. I have been fighting cancer for over a year but now fear being shot in public as much as disease. And like clockwork, the right steps up and claims guns aren’t the problem.

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  7. Sherri said on May 7, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    Final update on my car adventure: my car that was rear-ended was finally repaired, total bill ended up being almost $10K. I picked it up, then sold it to the dealer I bought it from back in 2023 for $16,655.

    The Acura dealer said the lack of a hybrid SUV is definitely costing them sales; I would have happily bought a hybrid version of the RDX I had.

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  8. susan said on May 7, 2023 at 3:54 pm

    Have a good week, all. And please stay alive.

    We stay alive with thoughts and prayers, now.

    No wait. We are buried with thoughts and prayers.

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  9. LAMary said on May 7, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    The congressman who represents the district where the mall shooting happened was interviewed on MSNBC. Asked the question, “what do you think should be done to stop all these shootings?” he answered “right now we need to pray for the people of Allen for God to lift them up.” Next question,”should there be new restrictions for who can purchase an assault style weapon?” Answer? See above. Same damn answer over and over. What an asshole.

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  10. David C said on May 7, 2023 at 4:47 pm

    Our car crash misadventure is just about over. The car’s totaled, the valuation is done, the title is sent, and all we need is a check. Then, we’ll be joining the cult of Subaru. A new Outback is waiting for us.

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  11. Deborah said on May 7, 2023 at 5:22 pm

    I have noticed that the reporting of interviews with witnesses to mass shootings are getting more graphic, which in my opinion might help people wake up to the horrors of AR15 type weapons. One witness was reported to have said that on her way out of the mall, she saw things that she will never be able to unsee etc. I won’t repeat some of the descriptions here that witnesses relayed to reporters because they are quite gruesome. People need to be made aware of the horrors that result to the bodies of the victims, some have even advocated photos of them to be made public. I don’t know that I agree with photos, but something needs to be done somehow to stop this madness.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on May 7, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    Happy Birthday, Icarus! Like you, I’m over a lot of the things I used to give my attention to. Especially horse racing, which seems to me to be unfixably corrupt and uncaring about its animals.

    We attended a show that ran late Friday night and I decided if I woke up I would watch the coronation, but I slept through. Had a bunch of sitting down work so put the Hulu replay on and kinda sorta listened. The pomp and ceremony is beautiful, but I keep thinking of all the Britons who’ve been told they’re simply going to have to make do with less.

    I guess I’m feeling a little sour. This morning at church a new friend told me she’s moving out of the state because of DeSantis et al. Her daughter is 15 and she doesn’t want her growing up here, among other issues. Her last straw was refusing to turn in a classroom library book list for next year, and being gently told by her principal that she couldn’t protect her job if she chose not to comply. And LAMary, the paradise she’s moving to? New Jersey!

    This is a decdicated and caring teacher with 15 or 20 years left in her career. She has a real heart for the disadvantaged kids she specialized in. And she’s outa here.

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  13. Pam (the elder sister) said on May 7, 2023 at 6:16 pm

    Anyone know what the big white shoulder ribbons represent on the King and Kate? Even Mr. Google had nothing. I didn’t watch it and now, seeing the photo of the new king and queen, I’m glad I didn’t.

    The first I heard of the mall shooting was on the radio. One of the R talking heads stated that a policeman with a gun “luckily” shot and killed the shooter. No mention at all of the 8 people that were killed before the policeman showed up. And that’s the problem. If you’re the unlucky cannon fodder, you’re screwed.

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  14. Andrea said on May 7, 2023 at 6:26 pm

    @Julie, a nonprofit I work with here in Illinois told me a week or so ago that they are getting calls from families in other states inquiring about various school districts and whether they are supportive of queer children. The nonprofit specializes in serving the LGBTQ community. People are looking to move here to protect their children. I don’t blame them. My sister and her husband left his dream job at the University of Texas in Austin because they hated the political environment there and didn’t want to raise their daughters in it. My BIL said they were having trouble recruiting top faculty to UT. This is supposedly one of the best public institutions in the country. My BIL now heads up a research institute in the
    California system. People who have the privilege and ability to leave are doing so. It will make us more segregated as people with relative power and options leave, but I would never want someone to stay where they aren’t safe or ask them to sacrifice their kids either. I feel really torn about it. What are the solutions? Vote. What else?

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  15. basset said on May 7, 2023 at 8:00 pm

    Back from ten days’ travel, various events and adventures including:

    Staying two blocks from Buckingham Palace middle of last week, watching the parade preps, and walking up on several redcoated military bands marching back from parade rehearsal

    Swimming in an Icelandic hot spring

    Seeing and touching an actual Spitfire at the UK Imperial War Museum, then watching two of em and a Corsair fly over

    Getting up close to Chuck & Camilla’s parade coaches at the royal stables

    Hauling our bags through the London Underground and a variety of airports, carrying three and dragging one or sometimes two

    Reclining in the back of an ambulance outside the James Herriot (“All Creatures Great & Small”) museum, wired up to an EKG or something and puking into a cardboard pot

    Crossing Abbey Road again and waving to our friends on webcam

    Getting pulled out of line and checked over by Icelandic customs while trying to make a late connection at Keflavik, no arrest and made the plane without a whole lot to spare.

    And I think we’ve seen all we need to of Boston, which I asked about here awhile back. Fanieul Hall area, Navy Yard area, stacks of crap for sale on the street and it just wasn’t that interesting, might have been more so if we’d had a guide to help us sort the history out from all the noise… and if we’d just felt better, one or the other or both of us was at least about half sick the whole trip and I didn’t allow for how quickly I tire with this Parkinson’s stuff going on, for example we just barely made it through the Constitution and I wanted to see the WW2 destroyer next to it but just couldn’t do it.

    Right now we’re looking at a do-over on Herriot sometime this fall, we had a tour laid on with a private guide for a whole day of sights but with me giving out early that didn’t happen.

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  16. LAMary said on May 7, 2023 at 8:20 pm

    Julie, there are some nice places in NJ and according to my sister in law my old burg is no longer lily white and racist. Your friend should check out Hawthorne,NJ. The park that runs the length of the town has been restored to an even more lovely place than it was and a brilliant former town councilman (my brother) worked hard to get more athletic fields built, more youth teams (he coached boys and girls in soccer and basketball) and better public transportation. Houses there are going for 400k and up but they mostly have big yards and are nice older houses. 400k for a house sounds incredibly cheap to me here in LA. The downside of NJ is high property taxes.

    And in other news Ted Cruz and his wife have the families of the shooting victims in their prayers. They’ve added the people who were intentional;y run over in Brownsville to their prayer list too. Both these mass murders were made possible by the GOP either making guns easy to get or demonizing immigrants (she said stating the obvious} and it’s only getting worse. But Ted and congressman from Allen are lifting with prayer the people with the bad luck to have lost their parents or children or spouses and that should be enough.

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  17. David C said on May 7, 2023 at 8:28 pm

    Hell’s bells, Scalise was shot and damn near died and DGAF.

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  18. Heather said on May 7, 2023 at 8:47 pm

    Funny how the GOP is able to go beyond “thoughts and prayers” to make abortion out of reach for millions of women.

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  19. Brandon said on May 7, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    Wonder Woman’s island

    N.b. Wonder Woman is Princess Diana (of Themyscira, not Wales).

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  20. Jeff Borden said on May 7, 2023 at 9:47 pm

    Why don’t we just admit U.S.A. stand for the United States of Abattoir? Nothing will change in my lifetime. I sometimes wonder if I’ll die of natural causes of simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time when an ammosexual cuts loose? I figure it’s 50/50.

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  21. alex said on May 7, 2023 at 11:29 pm

    No royal-watching for moi. I’ve been seduced by Marie Antoinette and Tom Jones on Sunday nights on PBS. Bodice-ripping good fun and I never imagined I’d be into that kind of stuff. The liberated modern royals are boring. It was more titillating when they were repressed.

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  22. Ann said on May 7, 2023 at 11:32 pm

    Basset–that’s one too many adventures. Hope you do get the re-do on the Herriot.

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  23. Dexter Friend said on May 8, 2023 at 3:10 am

    LA Mary, from last thread, was your Long Island home near Steinbeck’s place? “Sag Harbor
    John Steinbeck’s longtime home in Sag Harbor, N.Y., a cozy cottage on a quiet cove where he spent his summers writing and fishing, is on the market for the first time in more than six decades.Feb 19, 2021”.

    50 years ago I drove to Massachusetts in a beat 1966 VW Microbus just to goof around for a week. One place the ex and I enjoyed was Nantasket Beach. We found free parking but most slots were pay slots. So I decided to celebrate the 50th year commemoration of that trip by visiting Nantasket one last time, this June. Parking is the same as Dodger Stadium, $40 per day. For a trip to an ocean beach, no frills. Yeah, I could pay it, but it just rankles me. I suppose if they have a little concession stand or rogue vendors peddling sodas, it will cost $16 for a Coca-Cola.

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  24. Jim said on May 8, 2023 at 5:17 am

    *Mother* Camilla got what she wanted – the Crown on her head . Just hoping that William/Catherine get the Crowns very soon .

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  25. basset said on May 8, 2023 at 5:24 am

    Never been to Nantasket and didn’t drive on this last trip so I can’t speak to the parking in the places we visited but $40 is pretty close in much of downtown Nashville these days, particularly in the entertainment district.

    Ann, we went whale watching too… meh. Reykjavik was interesting and the people we encountered were pleasant and friendly but it’s not an attractive city at all, hardly any green and most of the buildings are concrete boxes, the rest mostly look like doll houses. And the international airport is 45 minutes away, about a $30 bus ride if I remember correctly.

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  26. Deborah said on May 8, 2023 at 7:36 am

    Holy cow Basset, just reading about your trip wore me out. Get some rest now, you deserve it.

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  27. basset said on May 8, 2023 at 7:53 am

    Yeah, we definitely overbooked… like we were still young and healthy.

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  28. Lou Gravity said on May 8, 2023 at 7:53 am

    New Jersey has cities with city problems, rural areas full of MAGA dopes, and many great suburban areas. High property taxes yes, but they pay for a public education system that is ranked among the best in the nation. NJ also has an assault weapons ban which reduces the chances of being gunned down while going about ones daily routine.

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  29. Joe Kobiela said on May 8, 2023 at 9:03 am

    The Spit,
    The most beautiful plane ever built, that elliptical wing sets it off.
    Pilot Joe

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  30. JodiP said on May 8, 2023 at 9:30 am

    bassett, wow, you did pack a lot in! I’m sorry you got ill. I hope things go better on the next trip. Pretty cool you got to see all the pre-coronation hoopla.

    We do have pretty different opinions on Reykjavik and Boston! I’d return to both in a heart beat. I found Reykjavik charming, and they have a fantastic whale museum.

    Boston has so much of our history–we’ve visited the African American history museum and the Isabel Gardener museum. We also found online women’s history self-guided tours, one of which focused on the suffrage and labor movements. There is a plaque marking the location of the slave market where Phyllis Wheatley was sold into bondage. A few years ago, we went to a Red Sox game as part of my wife’s birthday celebration–they were playing the Twins. I cheered for both teams, much to the chagrin of my wife.

    If anyone wants to get even more discouraged about things changing in this country, listen to the latest episode of Amicus. When HRC said there was a “vast right-wing conspiracy” she was correct. Of course, if you’re in favor of concentrating political power in the hands of the ultra wealthy, who will stop at nothing to pervert our democracy, destroy the environment, and crush human rights, the podcast will be quite uplifting.

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  31. Jeff Borden said on May 8, 2023 at 9:33 am

    There was a powerful story out of Idaho recently about the effects of the nation’s most stringent abortion ban. Know what the OB-GYNs there are doing? They’ve moving the hell out of the state. Several smaller hospitals simply eliminated their maternity wards, forcing pregnant women to travel hundreds of miles for their medical care. Some of them undoubtedly will suffer or die because they no longer have ready access to health professionals.

    The maddening thing in the story is the response of a Republican state rep –male, of course– who admits he never really thought about the impact criminalizing abortion would have but now that he’s talked to some of the physicians his views have shifted.

    “You get exposed to something, all of a sudden you go, ‘Wow, there’s a different way to look at this,'” he said. “‘What are we going to do about all this?'”

    Maybe you should’ve talked to the smart people BEFORE you passed the law, asshole.

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  32. diane said on May 8, 2023 at 10:14 am

    Hilary was right about the vast right wing conspiracy and almost right about the basket of deplorables. Her mistake there was she that should have said bushel not basket.

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  33. basset said on May 8, 2023 at 10:16 am

    Joe, I knew the Spit was a lot smaller than a modern fighter plane but didn’t really get the sense of it till I stood next to one… leading edge of the wing root is about shoulder high on me.

    And I did get to see “socialized” medicine at work. Felt a little shaky at breakfast, worse when we got to the Herriot museum, and just barely made it to the plumbing in time… museum staff wheelchaired me out to the street, ambulance showed up, they diagnosed a “stomach bug” and sent me back to the room to rest up and take over the counter meds. Have to wonder if I didn’t pick something up at the hot springs, people from all over paddling around in warm unchlorinated water does sound like a recipe for infection. Told the ambulance crew that if I’d been at home a sizable bill would show up eventually, they just laughed.

    Didn’t know till we got to the Royal Mews that the royal Bentleys, Jaguars, etc. run on biofuel.

    And, JodiP, I’d surely go back to Iceland, hopefully to go fishing. I was surprised that everyone looks so healthy there, most places we went I was the fattest one in the room unless there was another obvious tourist around. And they don’t seem to use cash, the only actual money I saw was in a collection bowl at the airport.

    Boston I’d go back to but no rush, I’d want a local guide to pick the history out of all the noise and clutter for me.

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  34. LAMary said on May 8, 2023 at 10:21 am

    Sag Harbor is on the south fork of Long Island. My family had a house in Southold which is on the north fork. If you look at a map of Long Island find Shelter Island between the two forks. Move little west and you’ll see a squarish peninsula dangling from the north fork. On the southeast corner of that peninsula is a finger of land. That finger was where I lived in the summer. Paradise Point. Five houses on the whole point when I lived there. Lots of wooded areas full of lady slippers and amazing mosses and ferns, foxes, occasionally deer, box turtles and toads, sassafrass saplings with roots that tasted like root beer, and lots of wild blackberries and beach plums. My jerk brother inherited that house, sold off lots of the land and now it’s full of mansions with swimming pools.

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  35. LAMary said on May 8, 2023 at 10:28 am

    Lou, when I lived in NJ the education system was ranked near the bottom for the US, but I’m 70 years old so it’s been a while. Hawthorne was a working class town with some industrial areas. I remember a spectacular explosion and fire at a placed called Morningstar Paisley in 1966 or so. I was in school about three miles away and the windows rattled there. Hawthorne had the same republican mayor for over 30 years and I believe they still have a republican mayor but he’s not the racist redliner that other guy was.

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  36. ROGirl said on May 8, 2023 at 10:58 am

    I had relatives who lived in Milburn, New Jersey, a very green and leafy suburban setting (they had a swimming pool, too). We visited them a few times when we went to New York.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on May 8, 2023 at 11:01 am

    Getting sick on a trip is the worst. That’s a time when you want to be in your own bed with all the comforts of home, so I’m really sorry for you, basset. It sounds like you still got to do and see a lot.

    With my foot and knee issues, travel looks very different now than when I was younger. We’re going to NYC in a couple of weeks and are tailoring the trip to my not-fully-healed ankle. So that means paying more for a hotel in the theatre district, going fewer places, relying on Lyft or Uber instead of subway and buses, and getting a wheelchair at museums. I feel blessed that I have willing helpers and get to make this trip at all.

    It takes a village. Basket of deplorables. Hillary was right all along.

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  38. basset said on May 8, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    Probably going to try again this fall and go through Manchester instead of London, make it a shorter trip with fewer stops.

    Meanwhile, some alternate history for VE Day:

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  39. Joe Kobiela said on May 8, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    If you want a good comparison on size, park a Spit or even a Mustang next to a P47 Thunderbolt, talk about a massive fighter. They built them in Evansville during the war, the factory is still there and there is a small museum with a flyable P47. The P47 had more kills than the Mustang.
    I would probably vote for “Hiding Biden” if they would let me fly it.
    Pilot Joe

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  40. basset said on May 8, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    Joe, I mailed you a pic of that static display Spit, did you get it? Address I have for you might be out of date.

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  41. FDChief said on May 8, 2023 at 1:56 pm

    Re: Nance’s comment on the “fun” potential of the various European royal houses, I think the marching soldiers are part of that problem, too.

    Nobody expects anything significant out of Monaco; it’s a pretty playground for rich Eurotrash, just like Andorra is for duty-free booze and Luxembourg…well, I’m not sure what Luxembourg is for, but surely the “Grand Duke” can have a bit of a laugh at his own ridiculousness.

    But the “King of England”? Oh my, that’s SERIOUS business.

    Except it’s not, really. As part of the EU or NATO? Yes. As itself, a little island nation with nothing but a cabinet chock-full of momentoes of empire? No. It’d be nice to think that a British monarch could be as self-awarely insignificant and sort of comic as the Prince of Monaco.

    But I think the minute that happened the British public would recognize how silly the whole royal cosplay is and want to, at least, cut WAY back on it. So the whole grim parade has to go on and on…

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  42. Jeff Borden said on May 8, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    One of our friends obtained a Luxembourg passport because one of his grandparents had some blood ties to the country. He did it after the Orange King was elected and has a fallback if that codswallop or some imitation of him returns. I envy people whose families immigrated recently enough they’re still eligible for dual citizenship. We don’t have that option.

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  43. Deborah said on May 8, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    I got sick on a trip to Italy many years ago, it was thankfully towards the end and it was a terrible sore throat kind of sick not the barfing kind of sick.

    I got food poisoning when I was in London, also many years ago, I made many trips back and forth over a year when I was working there. I managed to fly back to the states without any immediate issues but once I got home I couldn’t shake it, I lost a lot of weight and was so weak I had to sit on the ground for a bit while I was out shopping, people just walked around me, nobody stopped. And come to think of it I got sick in Manilla too when I was there on a business trip, it was in July and it was soooooo hot it made me ill.

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  44. Jeff Gill said on May 8, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    Pam — the white shoulder ribbons were part of the robe that goes with being Knight or Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. For the balcony & group pics she took hers off so the dress and necklace was more visible; Prince William left his on. But the ribbons are part of the robes.

    Basset, sorry about your bad day in Thirsk; I’ve been told my family traces back to that neighborhood, would love to see it someday myself.

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  45. Mark P said on May 8, 2023 at 3:06 pm

    Since we’re sharing sick stories, I’ll tell mine. Around 30 years ago some friends and I were camping at Chaco Canyon, which is right next door to the middle of nowhere. I forget what we had to eat, but to drink we had some awful grape drink. I began to feel nauseated in the middle of the night, so I got up and went to the washroom to wait for what came next. It was not fun. Whatever made me sick wanted to get out in the worst way possible, from whichever end was closest. I went back and sat up in the back seat of the car, but that didn’t help. I went through several rounds of it. I was over it by morning, but I was exhausted. I could barely walk.

    I can still taste that terrible grape drink, and can’t stand the thought of it to this day.

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  46. Sherri said on May 8, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    Matt Tait of pwnallthethings makes the point that the monarchy is good for one thing: it separates the ceremonial head of state from the political head of state, so that the political head of state, no matter how long they might serve, has to face the fact every week that they will never be the ceremonial head of state and wear the fancy robes and crown. They will only serve the state, never be the state.

    US presidents often prefer to deal with international affairs by the end of their time in office, because there they get to be the state, whereas at home, there’s that annoying Congress which makes it difficult to do anything. Of course, Republicans have tried to push the unitary executive theory pretty hard, and the next Republican president will take it even further. The Heritage Foundation is already planning for the next transition, when they expect the Republican president to use Schedule F to fire all the civil servants and replace them with loyal political appointees. They have a pre-vetted list of 25000 ready to go people for 2024. Welcome to the de-Baathification of Washington!

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  47. jcburns said on May 8, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    But not if Biden is re-elected in 2024, right? Let’s push for that.

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  48. Scout said on May 8, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    jcburns: HEAR HEAR and AMEN

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  49. LAMary said on May 8, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    I caught a cold the first time I was in Italy. I went to a few pharmacies looking for something like Contac with no luck. I spoke no Italian. Finally got to a little family owned place. I sneezed and one of the teenaged family members said, “raffreddore!” I got the cold pills and learned a new word in Italian. So raffreddore doesn’t mean gezundheit. It means cold.

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  50. LindaG said on May 8, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    Little Louis (or Louie?) impressed me. He was well behaved, was gone for a while, then was back and sang the national anthem with the congregation. How old is he? 4?

    I was awake at 2:30, flipped on TV to see whatever, and the crowds were heading to the Abbey, plus there was wonderful music being played in the Abbey. It was a long session of TV watching. (Wonder if or how the streets were cleaned with all those horses??) PBS had the best coverage. The commercial stations seem to have someone talking during any music being played.

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  51. alex said on May 8, 2023 at 10:12 pm

    I could probably have dual citizenship in Hungary if I wanted it and I don’t. Tucker thinks their brand of fascism masquerading as democracy is The Shit. I just think it’s shit.

    I got sick in Hungary. Probably a viral illness acquired in some country inn. Retreated to the Hilton in Budapest to recover and had a doctor visit that cost next to nothing.

    My most memorable recent sick was after having a half slab of ribs at the former Rib Room in the Fort, now n/k/a the Village Tap. Not sure when I’ll be able to have barbecue again because I was puking so bad the morning after. My diabetes doctor and her hubby were there and I was quite embarrassed to be busted eating the dinner I was eating when she stopped by to say hello. I suppose it didn’t affect my labs much as short of a time as it stayed inside me.

    Weird how GI illnesses work. The ribs percolated all night in my upper digestive system and went back out the front door and left orange crusty spatters all over everything, and the whole episode laid me low for a couple days. But when I have Thai for lunch at a place downtown, it blows out the other end after just an hour or two, and comes out my ass like a mean piss, and afterwards I feel fantastic.

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  52. A. Riley said on May 9, 2023 at 2:33 am

    I stayed up & watched the coronation extravaganza on PBS too — and I have to say, the Beeb does an astonishing job broadcasting ceremonial events. They must have a bookshelf of precisely detailed directors’ scripts for getting this shot and that shot at this very instant and that very instant — and it showed *especially* during the terrific music. Close-ups of the happy concentration on the faces of the musicians as they got into their work, slightly longer shots of the violinists leaning into a flourish, and then — at *exactly* the right instant — switching focus to the percussionist’s one crash of her cymbals. All I could do was say *wow.*

    That kind of seamless precision, for a live worldwide broadcast of a once-in-a-lifetime historic event (no pressure, now!) — *that’s* the sign of real professionals at work. Well done, Beeb.

    I loved seeing all the Commonwealth flags and troops and dignitaries, and hearing about the heroes and humanitarians in the place. Chuck seems to have a genuine, sincere interest in serving the vast and diverse population of the U.K., and I’ll be interested in what history will have to say about his reign.

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  53. Dexter Friend said on May 9, 2023 at 3:02 am

    Young George looks like a king right now.
    My sick story: In 1986 my brother and I scheduled a Spring Training trip to The Grapefruit League venues; we had a heluva itinerary, Sarasota was to be base camp in a Travel Lodge. Clearwater, Lakeland, Port Charlotte, Dunedin, a few others were on our agenda. We took my little 1980 Chevrolet Citation, and by Corbin, Kentucky, my right knee ached a little. We checked into a motel and by morning my knee had swelled up to almost basketball dimensions. I was shocked, and figured it would be OK later, but it got worse. By Lake City, it was over. We had to turn back north. I wanted my brother to drive, but my leg was 100% locked up stiff. I could not sit in the passenger side, so I had to drape my leg across the console and drive left-footed. I remember driving around Atlanta on I-285 at about 90 mph to keep up with traffic, just insane.
    Finally, a doctor figured it out: gout. In my fucking knee. I have been on Allopurinol for 37 years.

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  54. David C said on May 9, 2023 at 5:56 am

    Food poisoning sent me to intensive care. I was so dehydrated I couldn’t move a muscle without it cramping. We went to the hospital thinking they’d give me and anti-emetic, an IV, and send me back home. But my blood pressure was 60/35 or something dangerous sounding like that. They also did an x-ray and found an aneurysm. That kept me in the hospital another two days and made me go through 3 CAT scans over the next few months. Only after that did they do an ultrasound that showed the aneurysm had no circulation in it. It had sealed itself off. Thanks for all the co-pays for nothing Mercy Health.

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  55. Suzanne said on May 9, 2023 at 8:04 am

    I had a bad food or stomach bug incident just a few weeks ago. I had a chicken wrap for a late lunch, started feeling icky on the drive home, and by 7:00 pm, I had stomach cramps worse than labor pains. At that point, I so badly wanted something to come out of either end to ease the pain and was actually happy to barf a few times. It didn’t even last 12 hours, thankfully. That’s the second time in the last 6 months that I have had gut issues after eating out.

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  56. Deborah said on May 9, 2023 at 8:41 am

    Both times I’ve had bad food poisoning was from eating out. The one I mentioned up thread when I was in London I had eaten out at a Thai restaurant. The second bad one was after eating out in Dallas, many, many years ago with a group of friends, we all had it, it turned out because we all had different sandwiches probably cut with the same knife or something like that. We didn’t know that each other was sick because we didn’t compare notes for a week or so. That one lasted about 24 hours. I’ve probably had food poisoning more often than I think, but it was mild so I didn’t pay it much mind. The London one I reported because it was required after I went to the Dr because I couldn’t shake it for weeks after. Both times were miserable experiences.

    Today the jury of the Trump rape trial starts deliberating in Manhattan. I hope it only takes them about a half hour to decided to find him liable and that they recommend a huge payout to E. Jean Corroll. But what do I know.

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  57. Icarus said on May 9, 2023 at 11:14 am

    I’ve wanted to make Dill Soup for some time, but could not find any fresh dill. You can substitute rice or even pasta for the potatoes. and you can add celery or even mushrooms in addition or instead of carrots and scallions. But Dill is in the name of the soup and dried just won’t do.

    wish I could post photos but mine looked pretty much like in this recipe.

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  58. Julie Robinson said on May 9, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    Icarus, you should be able to grow dill very easily. Here it runs rampant, but is held at bay by neighbors stopping by to clip it or one of our other herbs. The first time it happened I was a little surprised and went outside to find out what was going on. Now I just wave.

    Am ready for a moratorium on the getting sick stories. What’s everyone reading? Demon Copperhead just won the Pulitzer. I have it downloaded but haven’t started it yet. I’ve just finished The White Lady, by a favorite author, Jacqueline Winspear, and The Best Strangers in the World, by Ari Shapiro of All Things Considered. He’s an interesting fellow who wants you to know he’s gay, gay, gay.

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  59. Sherri said on May 9, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    I just finished listening to The Secret Life of Groceries, which, if you an infrastructure geek like me, was a fascinating dive into how groceries and grocery supply chains work. We have cheap abundant food available year round that was unimaginable in our parents and grandparents time; how did that happen, and what are the hidden costs?

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  60. LAMary said on May 9, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    Here’s a non sick story. My paternal grandparents came from Frisland in the northern part of the Netherlands. They spoke Frisian as well as Dutch and English with an accent. I know Frisian is closely related to Old English. This video is pretty interesting, I think. Connie might like it too.

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  61. Scout said on May 9, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    I just heard a verdict has been reached on the E Jean Carroll case that will be read any minute now.

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  62. Scout said on May 9, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    5 million dollars for E Jean

    No on rape and yes on sexual assault

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  63. JodiP said on May 9, 2023 at 3:14 pm

    Julie, I also loved Jacqueline Winspear’s books and listened to the White Lady when it came out. Sherri, that book sounds great, too. I read a wide range of genres.

    I am reading Kaikeyi. The Kirkus review begins: “As mythological women like Circe and Ariadne find their ways onto the bookshelves, here comes a reimagining of Kaikeyi, an interesting antihero.

    She was one of the most despised queens of Indian mythology, pitting herself against the gods in the epic poem the Ramayana. A pivotal character, Kaikeyi demands that Rama be sent into exile to delay his ascent to the throne. Patel recasts the Ramayana as a power struggle between women who want to participate in politics and public service and men who would rather they stay home, obedient and subservient.”

    I am loving it so far. The writing style is personal and told from Kaikeyi’s POV. I found the author through Lilly Singh’s project, Lilly’s Library, which promotes work by south Asian authors. I follow it on IG.

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  64. alex said on May 9, 2023 at 3:16 pm


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  65. Deborah said on May 9, 2023 at 3:17 pm

    Yay! 5 million dollars for E. Jean Carroll, for sexual abuse but not found that he raped her, which is too bad, because I’ve no doubt he did. But still, the guy has been indicted for the Stormy Daniels deal and now liable for this. Plus all of the other things coming down the pike. The guy is a snake.

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  66. Scout said on May 9, 2023 at 3:37 pm

    Apparently E Jean Carroll wasn’t sure how he penetrated her because she couldn’t see it or it was too small. So that’s why it was sexual assault and not rape he’s been found guilty of.

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  67. Peter said on May 9, 2023 at 3:47 pm

    Only 5 million? Well, it’s the thought that counts.

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  68. Peter said on May 9, 2023 at 4:02 pm

    This just hit me – the jury took a little less than three hours to return a verdict and damages. From what I understand, the plaintiff’s attorneys did not provide a requested amount of damages, so the jury had to come up with their own number.

    Assuming they acted like a normal jury and picked one to be the foreman, then reviewed the case, and if you deduct the time it took to come up with a dollar amount for damages, get the verdict to the judge, wait for everyone to come back to the courtroom, then enter the courtroom and be seated, it must have taken them, what, about 15 minutes to find Trump liable?

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  69. Dorothy said on May 9, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    I like your cyphering, Peter.

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  70. Jason T. said on May 9, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    Two summers ago, we vacationed in Western Michigan. The night before we were scheduled to head back, I had a delicious dinner of freshly fried Lake Michigan perch with lots of tartar sauce.

    About an hour after we got back to the hotel, I had a little bit of heartburn. About two hours later, I had violent stomach cramps.

    I then spent the entire night sitting on the bathroom floor, “calling Ralph on the big white phone.” I think I lost count at 13 times. Even lukewarm tap water wouldn’t stay down.

    I’m not sure, but I think I saw Jimmy Hoffa’s Teamsters ring come out, along with a Mexican pizza I ate in grade school.

    At least I had picked up a book about “historic shipwrecks of the Great Lakes” to read in between “calls.”

    We were supposed to visit our blog proprietress in the D the next day, but I needed another day resting quietly at the hotel. I was, however, recovered enough to take a cruise that night (while sipping peppermint tea and eating crackers, just in case).

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  71. David C said on May 9, 2023 at 6:30 pm

    It’s not a good day for lying liars.

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  72. Deborah said on May 9, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    If I was Melania, I would be furious. I know the rape happened before she was associating with Trump but the fact that this is all so public. The whole Stormy Daniels hush money incident, the playboy bunny payoff, forcing himself on a journalist at Mar-a-lago while she was pregnant and just upstairs changing, now this liability as a sexual abuser, all of it must be humiliating. I hope she has enough moxie to walk out the door and never look back. But from what I’ve read about her she probably doesn’t care.

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  73. LAMary said on May 9, 2023 at 9:59 pm

    I’m pretty sure she doesn’t care. She knew he was a pig when she married him. He got her family into the country. She didn’t have to “model” anymore. She’s probably got enough cash stashed to be comfortable for a long time while his orange ass is in prison.

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  74. Joe Kobiela said on May 9, 2023 at 10:08 pm

    I always eat a banana before I do anything that might make me sick, aerobatics spins and such because they taste the same coming up as going down, read Dave Berries report on flying with the thunderbirds hilarious.
    Pilot Joe

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  75. alex said on May 9, 2023 at 11:26 pm

    I’m sure that Melania’s lifetime of indentured servitude is worth it to her even if it looks intolerable to anyone otherwise born free in the U.S.A. She probably couldn’t give a shit who her husband fucks as long as it doesn’t have to be her.

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  76. FDChief said on May 9, 2023 at 11:56 pm

    So the most Tubby-enraging bit from today’s decision seem to me the snippet about how Carroll was unsure what exactly he was poking at her. Since she couldn’t be sure it was actually Toad the jury had to award the lesser charge.


    Two things:

    First, every 2024 campaign ad needs to include the phrase “convicted sex criminal Donald Trump”.

    Second, Biden needs to conclude every campaign spot by looking at the camera, holding up his pinky, wiggling it while saying “Hey, Donnie? Jean Carroll mentioned you…”

    With any luck the bastard will stroke out after the first viewing.

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  77. Deborah said on May 10, 2023 at 5:37 am

    CNN should cancel the Trump town hall tonight. Why give him a forum to spout off about what a victim he is? A young woman will be the moderator, what will that be like? The loser is liable, don’t give the predator any oxygen.

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  78. ROGirl said on May 10, 2023 at 9:46 am

    Wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds — the charges against Santos.

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  79. Jeff Gill said on May 10, 2023 at 9:57 am

    Breaking news!

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  80. jcburns said on May 10, 2023 at 10:11 am

    Ohio, Ohio, they’re making it great…
    No, wait, that’s Columbus.

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