‘Marry a Hoosier dork’ doesn’t quite work.

For most of my life I’ve had a hard and fast rule: No television during the day. Obviously we made accommodations for Kate’s childhood, but once she was off to school, I went back to my old habits. No talk shows, no cooking shows, no Oprah. Needless to say, no soaps, either. But I usually spend at least an hour, hour-and-a-half watching nighttime TV, and man this is the long way around to admitting that yesterday I found myself watching the first 20 minutes or so of “The Golden Bachelor,” and boy oh boy do I regret it.

“The Golden Bachelor” represents network television basically giving up. No one under 50 watches it anymore, so they might as well lean into who’s left before they all die off. The show is an elderly twist on the successful franchise, and what I watched was…horrifying. I’ve only watched snippets of the original Bachelor, but you’d have to be dead not to know the gimmick: One man (or woman) is allegedly looking for love, and a dozen or so potential candidates for loving are presented to him or her, reality TV-style, with one eliminated every week in a cornball “rose ceremony” until only two or three are left, and they scratch each other’s eyes out until s/he chooses one.

The so-called golden bachelor is a Hoosier dork named Gerry, previously an Iowan who, in the intro, tearfully tells how the love of his life, Toni, his wife of many years, died after a sudden illness five years ago, and now he’s ready to love again. He’s 72, looks very good for his age, and if the dizzying array of elderly women presented to him are any indication, he’s not going to find it on this show.

Not that they were all horrible. Some seemed more or less normal, but a fair number were the usual reality-TV narcissists. One arrived disguised as Estelle Getty hunched over a walker, then flung it and her dowdy housecoat aside to reveal her gym-toned body in a short lace dress. Others made quips about “being able to take six inches” and how much they wanted to find someone to have sexytime with. And there were more than a few that I could tell were absolutely not going to enjoy life in LaGrange County.

Yep, this Hoosier is a northeast Indiana Hoosier. After he and Toni retired to their dream house on Big Long Lake and she died, he was left to rattle around in it alone. Maybe he’ll want to sell, depending on who he chooses. But he should choose wisely, because the sunbelt bachelorettes in particular are going to throw in the towel after one wonderful summer (the Amish! so quaint!) and one enchanting fall (the colors! the sweaters!) bleeds into the gray, overcast, unending Hoosier winter. A few long weekends in Chicago (similarly gray/overcast/unending, but with theater and restaurants) aren’t going to do it.

You know, if I were inclined to watch this show, I’d like to see evidence of a few lives well-lived. If you’re going to marry in your life’s final chapter(s), you’re going to bring enough baggage with you to fill a 747 cargo bay. Best find out early if your suitcases and garment bags match. But truth be told, I’m not going to watch it to find out. That Estelle Getty act scarred my brain.

Meet the bachelorettes, and shudder.

Posted at 12:26 pm in Television |

65 responses to “‘Marry a Hoosier dork’ doesn’t quite work.”

  1. Sherri said on October 4, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    Writers and actors on strike -> time to scrap the bottom of the barrel of reality programming.

    On SBF, from the last thread, what’s really amazing is that SBF went on a podcast with business writer Matt Levine, one of the best writers about crypto, and tried to explain what he was doing, and it was a Ponzi scheme.


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  2. Deborah said on October 4, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    Oh my you couldn’t pay me to watch that crap, although from pictures I’ve seen the bachelor is pretty good looking for someone my age (or at least my age until one week from today when I turn 73). Even reading about the women he has to choose from wasn’t something I could read further than a paragraph or two.

    I see that Jim Jordan had thrown his hat in the ring to be voted in as the next speaker. Heaven forbid, or as John Kelly said, god help us.

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  3. David C said on October 4, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    If you’re tuned into a zombie, do you know you’re a zombie? I got the message from National Wireless Emergency Alert System and I’m vaccinated. Disappointing really.

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  4. Icarus said on October 4, 2023 at 3:27 pm

    from the last thread, after looking up who Patrick McHenry is, I would be comfortable betting money he is closeted.

    Even the network shows can be watched on apps designed for tablets and Smart TVs. It’s better because a rewind function has been added.

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  5. alex said on October 4, 2023 at 3:50 pm

    I’ve never sat through an entire season (or for that matter an entire episode) of Bachelor or Bachelorette, but if the show stays true to form he’s gonna bang all of them and break their hearts, not that anyone’s going to feel sorry for any of those vapid floozies.

    I’m seeing scare stories about Republicans wanting to draft the Orange Turd for Speaker. Perhaps this was Gaetz’ ulterior motive all along.

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  6. Suzanne said on October 4, 2023 at 4:16 pm

    Alex, I just assumed that getting Trump in as House speaker was the plan all along. I am surprised he wasn’t nominated as soon as McCarthy left. The DC pundits keep approaching this as though the GOP is inept at governing but that’s not it. They don’t want to govern; they want to burn it all down. The past 4 or 5 years have proved that they can do whatever they want because there isn’t anyone who will stop them. In theory, in our system of government, the norms and protocols will keep the incompetent or nefarious in check until they can be voted out. But the GOP don’t give a damn about norms and protocols which are proving to not be strong enough to stop anything and the founders apparently didn’t plan for what happens when the nefarious or incompetent are willingly voted IN by the good citizens of the USA. So, here we are.

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  7. alex said on October 4, 2023 at 4:16 pm

    Serendipity alert!

    From this date in 2010:

    Tom M said on October 4, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Susan, Michael Lewis’ The Big Short is an interesting read about the financial meltdown and one of the guys who called it early was an ex-MD turned hedge fund manager with Asperger’s. The condition allowed (forced?) him to focus entirely on his insight. He made millions by being right but he was criticized by his investors (!) for not being right soon enough.
    The criticism finally made him look at what drove him and he finally figured himself out.

    Michael Lewis evidently has a knack for embedding with financial geniuses with Asperger’s, which is what I’m betting SBF has after seeing him interviewed the other night.

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  8. Sherri said on October 4, 2023 at 4:20 pm

    Three counties that border each other, in three different states, make it very clear that Republican government kills people. Just look at the death rates in Ashtabula County, Ohio; Erie County, Pennsylvania; and Chautauqua County, New York.


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  9. FDChief said on October 4, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    The weirdest thing about these “reality” shows – and from what little I’ve seen of gems like “Survivor” and “Naked and Afraid” that’s a high bar, because they all seem deeply weird – is how obviously they’re not actually “reality”. From the appearance they’re massively edited, and the amateur actors (let’s not kid ourselves; if you’re doing something in front of a camera that you know is recording you? You’re acting…) appear to be encouraged to gin up as much drama as possible. I watched about ten minutes of some goof where several random D-listers were put thru a faux military “training” and I’ve never seen anything like it. Maybe that’s how they do Infantry Basic in Kyrgyzstan or something.

    So with this Senior Swain? Who knows. Maybe he and Lace Dress Estelle ride off to Tempe together and open a geriatric hot yoga studio. Why not? Couldn’t be worse the February in Gary, Indiana…

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  10. tajalli said on October 4, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Watching Biden’s inauguration on PBS was the most recent time I’ve watched TV, but I’d watch the Golden Bachelor if they had Annie Potts in the running providing her mouth is as salty in person as were her lines as Sheldon’s Meemaw.

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  11. Sherri said on October 4, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    I read something that guessed that McCarthy was trying to play eleventy-dimensional chess, expecting the Dems to either vote down the continuing resolution so he could blame the Dems for shutting down the government or to save him from the vacate resolution, and the Dems just looked at him and laughed. You don’t save an idiot who you can’t do a deal with because he lies to everyone.

    Will someone worse get the role? They’re all the worst at this point. The Dems should not lift a finger to help a single one of them without significant concessions around stopping this stupid game of holding the government hostage.

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  12. Jenny said on October 4, 2023 at 6:25 pm

    Her favorite color in neon???

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  13. tajalli said on October 4, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    No, no, Jenny. She really meant that was her favorite flavor.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on October 4, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    I was highly eroticized by the woman who can’t get enough “Judge Judy.” Yeah, baby.

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  15. alex said on October 4, 2023 at 7:39 pm

    And on this date in NN.C history in 2013, we were talking about a government shutdown that was a fait accompli! And led by none other than my congressman at the time, a genuine hayseed who makes Matt Gaetz look like an evil genius.

    Then, as now, the House GOP couldn’t articulate what exactly it hoped to achieve with this stunt, and when the question was put to my ex-congressman, Marlin Stutzman, he made himself a national laughingstock when he replied “Heck if I know, but we’ve got to get at least something.”

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  16. Brandon said on October 4, 2023 at 8:51 pm

    I’ve never watched The Bachelor but I have seen Flavor of Love.

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  17. Carter Cleland said on October 4, 2023 at 10:09 pm

    Returning for a moment to yesterdays photo of the DNA dessert, I heard Mike Murphy of Hacks on Tap refer to the Matt Gaetz posse as “single-helix Republicans”.

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  18. Mark P said on October 4, 2023 at 10:09 pm

    Have you ever wondered why there are so many reality shows? The same reason local news broadcasts are starting earlier and earlier — they are cheap, at least in relative terms. I have never watched a reality show, although I might be tempted if the Naked and Afraid people were actually visibly naked. I don’t care if they are actually afraid.

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  19. Dexter Friend said on October 5, 2023 at 4:55 am

    A baseball game pal from work (we went to several games in Cleveland and Chicago) had some real dough, and he built a McMansion on Big Long Lake…there’s some monied people there. Usually contestants are from Rancho Cucamonga or Torrance or Miami, it seems. My ex’s friend’s dad was a pilot for a firm south of Ft. Wayne, and his job was flying execs to LA in the company jet. The daughter could ride along once in a while and she appeared on The Newlywed Game. It was fun watching someone I knew well on a game show. One loaded question was yes or no…did she have high or low “kissing mileage” on her before she met her husband. She said with emphasis “oh…high mileage!” I don’t think she understood the underflow of what “kissing mileage” meant; she was a virgin at marriage. I just happen to be sure of that.
    I abandoned all network programming save the evening news so long ago I never watched a Tool Time or Parks and Recreation or Seinfeld. I have had cable for 49 years, and now that is fading fast, and this site is witness; gawd, do any of you have cable anymore?
    I have all the streaming services and cable, and lately am down the rabbit hole of regular YouTube videos of guys buying cars out of barns and salvage yards and exuding every ounce of their knowledge and skills and patience getting these junkers home over hundreds of miles of constant troubles. Also, videos of this guy, “The GIV” (German in Venice) as he records events around LA and back home in Germany. Hobos riding the rails in 2023, also. That is a hard, hard life. But for me, it’s been 25 years since I entered a movie house, so I watch what I want. I try to find good movies but in this day of “Barbie” it’s difficult. The new Mel Gibson film is just a bloodbath, yuck.
    Baseball playoffs are again driving me nuts as 2 games are being shown at once. Recording one and watching one doesn’t work with the other game constantly updated on the one I am watching at the time. Tampa Bay and Milwaukee are out already. Miami is done also.

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  20. basset said on October 5, 2023 at 8:12 am

    61 years ago today, release of the first Beatles
    record… “Love Me Do,” recorded three times with three different drummers and every version was released sooner or later.

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  21. Jim G said on October 5, 2023 at 8:46 am

    If I went to a dating site and saw the “bachelorettes'” descriptions and “interests” (a term I use loosely) as the profiles for my current options…well, let’s just say they highlight the virtues of staying single. I’d rather stay in, do a jigsaw puzzle, and watch “Frasier.”

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  22. Jeff Gill said on October 5, 2023 at 9:07 am

    My father-in-law has taken to switching to “Frasier” after the post-news “MASH” duo (I am thankful that he does not realize there are actually four shown in a row on MeTV, the first two during the local and network news).

    What’s increasingly irritating to me is how Martin moves in with his chair, which is a first cousin to the one my f-i-l lives & sleeps in, but over the course of the show gets increasingly spry & sociable. Time for Martin, in its flight, indeed turns backwards, and not just for a night. Meanwhile, my 94 year old charge is declining inch by inch, steadily but ever so slowly. My wife has worked with a colleague back home in Ohio at her workplace, a college campus, and they offered a biweekly group for people caring for aging parents — filled the room week one.

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  23. robert said on October 5, 2023 at 9:12 am

    “I found myself watching the first 20 minutes or so of “The Golden Bachelor,” and boy oh boy do I regret it.“

    I feel your pain. Even the (unavoidable) teasers are gag-inducing.

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  24. Jim G said on October 5, 2023 at 10:42 am

    I don’t know how old Martin Crane was supposed to be in the show, but I assume it’s more than John Mahoney’s 53 (!) at the time the first episode aired. Frasier was supposed to be in his early 40s, IIRC, so that would put his father somewhere in his 60s, probably, and into his ’70s by the end of the show.

    …and of course, now that I look it up, Wikipedia answers all. Apparently show canon is that Martin Crane was born in 1931,* so in the 1993 premiere that would make him 62. Young enough that, wound from the line of duty aside, he wouldn’t hit the worst of the old age decline for quite a while.

    Or maybe Daphne was just a really good physical therapist.

    * My own father was born four years later than that, and his steep decline started only a few years ago. Retired at 82 as a respected and productive lawyer in a complicated technical area of the law. At
    88, he’s in a memory care facility and doesn’t recognize some of his own family. The 80s are a bear, y’all. (Segue into discussions of Biden’s age…)

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  25. Deborah said on October 5, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    I saw John Mahoney in a play at Steppenwolf theater here in Chicago maybe 15 years or maybe longer ago, for the life of me I can’t remember the name of the play or what it was about but Mahoney was good in it. I looked it up on Google to see a list of Steppenwolf productions that Mahoney was in, a long list, but I still can’t remember which one it was.

    Care givers that need support, I can see Jeff G, that that resource would be gold.

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  26. Jeff Gill said on October 5, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    62. Oy. (Yeah, me.)

    I didn’t think to look up the in-world dates for the characters; if Martin was 62 at the outset, okay, 73 by the end and yes, that’s quite different than 94, which is the chair occupant’s age here. It’s just that dang chair . . . I Febreeze it when he’s out of it every few days.

    It’s like the guy I worked with between college and seminary as night manager of a bookstore & copy shop. He came in for a few months, looking for something to do, actually, because as he told it he was pretty well off, having not long before sold a bar just a few blocks off the Purdue campus. We got to talking about our respective peculiar journeys to this point in our lives, and he explained his MBA and ABD and bar ownership displacing any further academic pursuits.

    “But let me tell you, Jeff, that show ‘Cheers’? It’s bullshit. I realized I was an alcoholic, and I needed to stop before the booze killed me. I did. Then I tried to go back to work behind the bar, and it just can’t be done. You cannot, CANNOT, be a non-drinker and own and run a bar. It can’t be done, and it ticks me off the way they try to show Sam having ‘issues’ and ‘challenges’ but coming around in the end. If I’d stayed longer and not sold the place? I’d be dead.”

    My mild response was maybe there’s some who could, and he was adamant. If you have a drinking problem, for real, you can’t run a bar. He cashed out after Christmas, gave some very nice presents to his brief co-workers, and I have no idea where he went, but left town looking for a fresh start which I often pray he found.

    Anyhow, I feel about Frazier’s dad’s chair the way he felt about “Cheers.” Looking at one just like it every day as I do. But hey, it’s fiction, right?

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  27. Brandon said on October 5, 2023 at 8:45 pm

    Michael Wolff’s book about Fox has sold only a few thousand copies.

    @Jeff: The Frasier revival premieres next week Thursday on Paramount+. Frasier has moved back to Boston and tries to reconnect with his own son, Freddy.

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  28. Sherri said on October 5, 2023 at 8:47 pm

    I’m trying to imagine a podium not made of precious metals that could possibly cost $19K.


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  29. David C said on October 5, 2023 at 8:56 pm

    It’s made from the purest bullshit. It’s both the cheapest and most expensive element in the politicians’ periodic table.

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  30. FDChief said on October 5, 2023 at 9:58 pm

    The McCarthy debacle has revived one of the more fun Randy Rainbow gigs, his reworking of the “Master of the house” number from Les Miz. Google “Randy Rainbow Speaker of the House” to get perhaps the only good laugh to be had out of this mess…

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  31. Dexter Friend said on October 6, 2023 at 3:37 am

    Here in Bryan, I’d frequent a bar for a couple Goebel’s lagers. Near closing time, the owner would relieve the bartender to close up. He’d bring in a sack of donuts and a bottle of milk and as he did his closing time routine ate the donuts and milk as we sat and ordered last call. He ran that bar for years without ever being seen with an alcoholic beverage. I never asked but once a denizen brought it up: the owner had been seriously hurt in a motorcycle wreck years before and had never joined or sought a recovery program, he just quit alcohol right then and there.
    Then I also recall these 2 older gents would come in after their AA meetings and order a 6-pack of 7-up cans.
    I guess they missed their old bartender.
    I knew a man who owned a huge beer distributorship and he also love to drink beer. He continued to run the job for a few years sober, only to die young from cancer.
    Ya jes’ never know.

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  32. alex said on October 6, 2023 at 7:38 am

    The big story isn’t the podium so much as it is Ms. Huckabilly’s imperious personality and how she pisses off even her own partisans in her own state. She always looks like her eyeballs are about to explode out of her head. Makes for a riveting presence no matter what podium she stands behind.

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  33. Jeff Borden said on October 6, 2023 at 11:09 am

    The top secret data on American nuclear submarines shared by the orange cancer with an Australian billionaire is truly terrifying. Those are some of the most closely held national secrets, but that stupid asshole blabbed and blabbed.

    And he’s the avatar of his party. A fucking traitor to the core.

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  34. Sherri said on October 6, 2023 at 12:14 pm

    The presumptive presidential nominee of the GOP is giving away nuclear secrets, and it’s way, way down on the NYTimes web site, and not to be found at all on the WaPo. I get that they didn’t break the story, but both want to be national newspapers, so you’d think that would mean covering the story. Maybe put a quarter of the effort put into covering Hilary’s emails. (No, I will never get over that.)

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  35. Mark P said on October 6, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    If Trump really did leak classified information, he could be sentenced to 10 years per count. One 10-year sentence ought to do the trick. Let’s hope it can be proved.

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  36. Sherri said on October 6, 2023 at 1:03 pm

    My question is, what else does Trump have in the way of national secrets that he can use to barter his way out of the situation that’s closing in on him here? Does he have anything left to give to Putin to get himself a cushy dacha far from the jail cell awaiting him here? Will some other country without an extradition treaty take him?

    His current hope seems to be getting Jim Jordan installed as Speaker and shutting down the government to stop the Justice Department from continuing their case against him, but I don’t think that will work.

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  37. Mark P said on October 6, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    Almost every member of the MSM is scared shitless of the magats. They might cover a story, but they are afraid they will look biased if they report in too much depth or with too much substance.

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  38. Sherri said on October 6, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    You know, I would prefer our robot overlords to the ones Silicon Valley is serving up, like Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Marc Andreesen, and Sam Altman.


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  39. Sherri said on October 6, 2023 at 6:43 pm

    You don’t have to scratch very deep under the surface to get to white supremacists in the QOP these days: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/michael-benz-rising-voice-conservative-criticism-online-censorship-rcna119213

    Meanwhile, when Shellenberger refers to the “Censorship Industrial Complex”, here’s one of the people getting harassed: https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/uw-misinformation-researchers-will-not-buckle-under-political-attacks/

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  40. Mark P said on October 6, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    I’m checking my surprise meter about racists in the Trump “administration.” No movement … still registering zero. So, nope, no surprise there.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on October 6, 2023 at 9:12 pm

    In happier news, Matt and Heather are married and the evening has officially reached the time when I am regretting my shoes and my bra. Only for them would I wear underwire.

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  42. brian stouder said on October 6, 2023 at 10:27 pm

    I nominate Julie for Thread Win!!

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  43. Dexter Friend said on October 7, 2023 at 3:21 am

    I have been thinking for weeks now what nance brought up about golden years marriages and live-in hook-ups.
    My second marriage involved a lot of taking in responsibilities that I had the energy to deal with happily or sometimes with stoicism. Carla Lee cared for her ailing mother in our house for 8 years, full time. She had 2 kids as well. We had a good marriage, nothing really unusual there. I just know that if I ventured out into any golden years dating web pages looking for wife #3 I would be the one attempting to bring a shitload of baggage into the fray. I have no desire to meet anyone’s adult children and their grandkids and cousins, don’t want to attend anymore birthday parties, ain’t gonna join another church, am really tired of visiting nursing homes and hospitals, and I don’t want to attend any more funerals.
    I’m just an old burned out coot who likes to look at fall foliage and walk my ancient Labbie dog. And watch my sports and streamers, alone. I’ll spare any poor woman from dealing with my attic full of baggage. And all my collections of worthless junk and meaningless memories. Life goes on , of course…my grandson A.T. and his partner Tori had a baby girl a few hours ago in the Tiffin hospital. Chloe Paige.

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  44. Dexter Friend said on October 7, 2023 at 3:35 am


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  45. Jeff Gill said on October 7, 2023 at 9:47 am

    Blessings on Chloe Paige! L’chaim.

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  46. tajalli said on October 7, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    Brian, I second the motion.

    And congratulations great (!) grandpa Dexter. Sounds like you’ve also acquired some good baggage along the way.

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  47. 4dbirds said on October 7, 2023 at 1:02 pm

    Welcome to the world Chloe Paige.

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  48. tajalli said on October 7, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    Brian, I’ll second the motion.

    Dexter, congratulations on becoming a great (!) grandfather – wonderful positive baggage.

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  49. Suzanne said on October 7, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Watching Bankman-Fried in that piece on 60 Minutes he seemed “off” for want of a better word. I think the crypto bros out there wanted to believe that crypto currency was going to be the newest billionaire making scheme that they ignored anything remotely problematic with SBF and his system.

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  50. Heather said on October 7, 2023 at 3:00 pm

    Dexter, congrats! Great-grandfatherhood is quite an achievement.

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  51. Dorothy said on October 8, 2023 at 8:08 am

    Babies bring so many happy things – congratulations Dexter and to your family!

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  52. LAMary said on October 8, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    Congratulations Dexter. A new EPL fan is born.
    On another note, I seldom check into the Nextdoor site. It’s frequently got enough Karen stuff, racist stuff and generally stupid stuff to annoy me. Today I looked because I saw someone had posted a warning about coyotes. This woman went outside at 1 am with her two chihuahuas. While checking the texts on her phone a coyote grabbed one of the chihuahuas. It survived but she’s asking for donations for the vet bill. She says she knows coyotes grab small pets but is astonished it happened to her dog. She got lots of equally astonished sympathetic replies. I lost two cats in one week a few years ago to coyotes. One in broad daylight. I haven’t let my cats out since then. The coyote population has grown and spread a lot since then and it’s hardly a secret that they grab small pets. Even on a leash (which hers were not).

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  53. Mark P said on October 8, 2023 at 4:52 pm

    We have lost three cats, one definitely to coyotes and two almost certainly to coyotes.

    Typing this has been a trial. I just had a victrectomy, where they remove all the vitreous fluid in the eye and repair retina damage caused by the vitreous shrinking and not letting go of the retina. It was causing the macula to distort and tearing holes in the retina. They then inject a gas bubble to push against the retina. The good news in that it seems to have been successful. They bad news is that my right eye is so blurry that I can actually see better if I close it. I have essentially no depth perception, so I hit the wrong key about a third of the time. Sometimes I hit the suggested word that appears just above the keyboard on my iphone. It’s rarely the word I want. If I’m going fast I might not notice. I am supposed to have improvement for a few months, hopefully ending up with close to what I had before the troubles.

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  54. Deborah said on October 8, 2023 at 7:25 pm

    Coyotes get pets in Santa Fe often, in Abiquiu too.

    Before I left NM a few weeks ago a moose got captured not that far from our place in Santa Fe, less than a mile. They say the darn thing is trying to get back even though they relocated him up near the Colorado border. We get bears every once in a while too, our place is down the lane from the river and a bear was down there a block or so over, they tranquilized her and took her back up in the mountains, this was maybe 8 or 9 years ago.

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  55. Deborah said on October 8, 2023 at 7:29 pm

    Another time a big old owl swooped down and grabbed a neighbor’s cat in Abiquiu.

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  56. Sherri said on October 9, 2023 at 1:55 am

    I’m pretty good at researching a topic in reasonable depth enough to come up with at least an understanding of the parameters of the problem, but I’ve been consistently stumped by the Israel-Palestine problem. That knot is so tangled, and it’s so hard to find writing that doesn’t presuppose the obvious rightness of one side or the other. The friends I have who know much more about this than me tend are (1) Jewish and while not automatically equating criticism of Israel with Anti-semitism, they do have friends and family in Israel and have strong feelings about Israel and the Holocaust and Jewish persecution over the centuries, or (2) Muslim, and feel that their fellow worshippers have been kicked out of their homes, treated as second-class citizens, limited in their abilities to do basically anything in what has long been their homeland, plus have a keen sense of the ways Muslims have been attacked here and in India/Pakistan and Bosnia and China. None of them are wrong, but none of them have a way forward, either.

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  57. Dexter Friend said on October 9, 2023 at 3:41 am

    So what did our 9-11 lead us to do? Starting up a war against Saddam Hussein which puzzled us who wondered what the hell Bush was talking about, yellow cake transported in civilian trucks (a lie), General Powell showing grainy video shot from miles away showing tubes in trucks carrying this uranium (a lie also)…so now it’s 2023 and the right wing (the most extreme Israeli government EVER) with Netanyahu now promising to basically wipe out Gaza’s population and infrastructure. Probably, he has the Golan Heights and The West Bank in his sights as well, offering up lame excuses for genocide with quite imaginative details. If you follow just the headlines, you know that Netanyahu is sort of the Israel Trump, politically. Israelis, the regular merchants and workers, hate Netanyahu. He is so powerful he just blows off all corruption charges and plows on.
    So…this very secure nation allowed terrorists to commandeer “bulldozers” and smash down secure fences with no security guarding the fences? How the hell did this security-conscious nation’s border defenses crumble and allow this awful slaughter to happen?
    Yeah, there damn-surely are a lot of questions that puzzle all of us. The first thing said? “It’s OUR 9-11”.
    Think for a minute. They clearly mean it’s their time to turn up the heat and lash out with murderous intention to wipe out Palestinians and Muslims all over The Region. Do civilians deserve the wrath of military revenge?

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  58. Dexter Friend said on October 9, 2023 at 3:47 am

    You puke, you clean it up…no wait, we’ll just charge you $50.

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  59. Dexter Friend said on October 9, 2023 at 7:44 am

    Water has been cut off to Gaza City. Revenge step 101.

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  60. FDChief said on October 9, 2023 at 9:14 am

    The Gaza disaster is just tragedy – in the “horrific but unavoidable crash that devastates lives and leaves nothing but wreckage” sense – that’s been written since 1917 or at least 1947. SSDD, so nothing really new or valuable to say, other than:
    1) Massive failure from Shin Bet in particular and the Israeli intel community in general, all the way up to Bibi for ratcheting up the whole “apartheid” thing without assuming the Pals would do something about that. Any other parliamentary government would have already fallen over this.
    2) My guess is that this is a “die on our feet rather than live on our knees” suicide charge. And that Hamas is hoping to goad the Israelis into making Gaza the Arab Warsaw Ghetto to hang that stain of genocide on the current Israeli government. Many of the long-term Arab states were tiring of spending time, blood, and treasure on the hopeless Palestinian cause, and this is a way to fire up the jihadis again.

    So…just a train wreck. Ruin and merciless hatred…

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  61. Heather said on October 9, 2023 at 10:30 am

    Even the Haaretz newspaper in Israel is laying the blame for how events unfolded squarely at Bibi’s feet.


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  62. Deborah said on October 9, 2023 at 10:50 am

    What a mess in Israel/Palestine, it’s so complicated. It sure has unleashed blame calling in the US, so stupid.

    Off topic, have any of you folks played the Connections game in the NYT? I just started yesterday and am terrible at it so far, I hope it’s just because I have to get used to the different ways to think about it and not that I’m a total idiot.

    Also, I finished listening to the audiobook Tom Lake read by Meryl Streep. She’s the main reason I listened to it, I thought about buying the book and then I heard an excerpt of Meryl reading it on the NYT a month or so ago and decided I wanted to listen to it instead. I finally bought the audiobook and listened to it in a couple of days while I was doing some crappy temporary fix up projects in our place in Chicago, fixing the kitchen and bathroom issues until we can get professionals to do it properly, because I had lived with them being broken way too long.

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  63. FDChief said on October 9, 2023 at 11:56 am

    Haaretz is the lefty publication, tho. They’d bash Bibi one way or the other. My guess is that they’re a small minority and that this will rally many Israelis around the Likud government. It validates the whole “exterminate the brutes” message Bibi & Co. have been pushing.

    I get the why behind this. But it’s still suicide for Hamas – and thousands of other people who wanted nothing more than a peaceful life.

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  64. tajalli said on October 9, 2023 at 11:59 am

    Deborah, just out of curiosity, I looked up availability for Tom Lake (author Ann Patchett): 6 large print, 20 regular print, 36 each for eBook and eAudioBook (236 holds on each), plus 3 CD versions just in the Berkeley Public library system. So, really popular!

    I’ve just begun using my iPhone as an iPod since dropping my service plan so have started exploring the audiobook versions of books (available on Libby) I’ve already read – Ruth Ozeki’s books and currently Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events collection to get in the Halloween mood – he has added spooky songs at the beginning and end. Guess I’m indulging my inner 11-year old to the hilt. 🙂

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  65. Brandon said on October 12, 2023 at 1:55 am

    The relationship reality show I’ve started watching late this summer is 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way.

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