Long weekend.

Years ago, a famous journalist told me a story about the day he came to Detroit for a job interview. He’d just dropped his bag on the floor of his RenCen hotel room when the phone rang. He answered, and a man’s voice asked, “Is Cinnamon and Sherelle there?” “Um, no,” the writer replied, adding that he’d just checked in. “Well, do you want ’em to be there?” the man replied.

That bit of lawlessness, the idea that the first phone call you get in Detroit could be from a pimp, has always been one of the things I like about this place. After 20 years in Indiana, living in a municipality known as the City of Churches, I’d had enough “wonderful place to raise a family” to last a lifetime.

I thought of the writer’s story at the Thanksgiving parade last week, which I had to attend for work. Float after float of nice corporate entities putting on their best public face rolled under multiple plane-towed banners advertising cannabis businesses, the other side of Detroit’s business economy.

If you want to see fewer FREE WEED banners overhead, know this: As long as cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, it will continue. Cannabis businesses can’t advertise with Google or the social-media platforms, as they fear asset forfeiture should another Jeff Sessions assume control of the Justice Department. So – in Michigan, anyway – they’re pretty much confined to billboards, merch and other locally run advertising outlets.

Can’t have a Detroit Thanksgiving parade without the Big Heads, the walking troupe of notable Detroiters. This was their staging area. I see Aretha Franklin, Gilda Radner, Tom Selleck, Rosie the Riveter, Bob Seger, Rosa Parks and…not sure about the white-haired guy at the end of the row, but he’s probably Mort Crim, former anchor for the station that always carries the parade.

Here’s Stevie Wonder and Barry Sanders:

It was a good holiday weekend. Besides the parade, we had a Thanksgiving-for-two that was just fine, followed by a relaxing Black Friday, festive Birthday Saturday, chill post-birthday Sunday. The Lions lost, but the Wolverines won, and that was fine.

There’s leftover birthday cake. I want it gone by tomorrow morning, and then I MUST go on a sugar/alcohol fast for a few days, because I feel like one of those balloons floating over the parade.

Because of my sloth and indulgence, I didn’t get too much bloggage, but there is this, an infuriating look at how the Trump team cheapened and coarsened the pardon process, from the NYT:

Jonathan Braun of New York had served just two and a half years of a decade-long sentence for running a massive marijuana ring, when Mr. Trump, at 12:51 a.m. on his last day in office, announced he would be freed.

Mr. Braun was, to say the least, an unusual candidate for clemency.

A Staten Islander with a history of violent threats, Mr. Braun had told a rabbi who owed him money: “I am going to make you bleed.” Mr. Braun’s family had told confidants they were willing to spend millions of dollars to get him out of prison.

At the time, Mr. Trump’s own Justice Department and federal regulators, as well as New York state authorities, were still after him for his role in an entirely separate matter: his work as a predatory lender, making what judges later found were fraudulent and usurious loans to cash-strapped small businesses.

Nearly three years later, the consequences of Mr. Braun’s commutation are becoming clearer, raising new questions about how Mr. Trump intervened in criminal justice decisions and what he could do in a second term, when he would have the power to make good on his suggestions that he would free supporters convicted of storming the Capitol and possibly even to pardon himself if convicted of the federal charges he faces.

A loan shark, but a well-connected one. Of course Jared Kushner is involved, as is Alan Dershowitz.

On that depressing note, I leave you to your end of weekend/start of week selves.

Posted at 5:15 pm in Current events, Detroit life |

50 responses to “Long weekend.”

  1. Jeff said on November 26, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    All I can say as this past week concludes, I am thankful for modern food technology. Bob Evans mashed potato tubs, turkey breast slices in a tray, Jiffy corn bread (an egg, a bit of milk, and I add thyme for my pride), a can of cranberry sauce neatly decanted and sliced: my ward was content, ate a decent amount. I can just pull off a pumpkin pie here within the space & options available, using Pillsbury crust.

    I did enjoy some Wild Turkey 101 after he dozed off for the night about 5:00, as he generally does. Looking forward to leftovers . . .

    555 chars

  2. brian stouder said on November 26, 2023 at 6:34 pm

    The Donald seems to be equal-parts ridiculousness personified, and waking nightmare (or should we say ‘Woke nightmare’?) I’d really, really like to think the R’s will flush the toilet on him in the primaries, but…..it’s like when you’re watching a horror movie and one of the soon-to-be victims is approaching a door, and the audience is saying ‘No! Don’t open that door!’, yet continue watching, knowing that (of course!) that’s precisely what’s about to happen.

    498 chars

  3. Deborah said on November 26, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    Our thanksgiving cassoulet was superb, better than any other time my husband made it. We
    Had leftovers last night and there’s still more. Tonight I’m making quiche to get rid of eggs since I’m leaving for NM on Saturday. Getting rid of as much in your fridge as possible since you’ll be gone for a while is always a challenge. We don’t keep a lot in our fridge as it is, using the grocery stores as our pantry, still it adds up. My husband will still be in Chicago another week but I leave it up to him to clean out the refrigerator.

    We’ve been watching movies, the one we saw on Netflix, The Mauritanian was quite good. An older Jodie Foster was very good but looking old, which was wonderful to see for me as an old lady.

    741 chars

  4. NancyF said on November 26, 2023 at 9:42 pm

    I don’t know about other platforms or other states, but in California, where cannabis is legal, Cheech and Chong’s gummies ads are all over Xitter. The WSJ even saw fit to cover the phenomenon. https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-cheech-chong-ads-are-flooding-twitter-a1a43451

    273 chars

  5. alex said on November 27, 2023 at 12:21 am

    Deborah, I miss the old days when all of the neighborhood stores were my pantry and my home pantry was the liquor cabinet from hell. I miss Chicago and the liberal affirmation that was everywhere. I took retirement thinking it would be a load off my mind, and it is, but that orange ass pustule is filling the void much too much.

    Today made a great Turkey Tetrachloride and it was even better than the Thanksgiving Day turkey itself. Tomorrow using the leftover mashed potatoes in a salmon loaf.

    Today I met with an older gent in the neighborhood who is handing over the reins of the HOA Treasurer post and he gifted me with enough crap to fill a filing cabinet and then some, including pictures from the ’80s and ’90s when people used to participate and socialize and had some semblance of consciousness about the community. Right now we’re trying to get people to vote on updated bylaws and the responses read like the cranks you see posting vitriol on social media, just gratuitously bitter and nasty responses. One of the changes proposed is that a majority of votes will change from two-thirds to 51 percent because we can barely get enough people to even bother to vote on anything and dues haven’t been raised in 40 years and we’re going broke trying to pay for basic expenses.

    That was one of the big downers of the holiday weekend. On the bright side?

    I love my husband. On Saturday night we went out to an old Fort Wayne dive that’s famous for its pizza because we were jonesing for a taste. Usually it’s hard to find a seat there on a Saturday night but this week the place was practically dead. While we waited on our food, we overheard the staff talking smack about the guy working in the kitchen, a relative of one of the owners who happens to be autistic, and how he was supposedly fucking everything up.

    Our pizza was great and when we finished the entire thing, my hubby asked our server if we could talk to the chef. Out comes a young guy, pretty ordinary looking with shaggy dark hair and grommets in his ears. Hubby thanked him for an excellent job and pressed some money into his hand. Hope it humbled those assholes.

    2154 chars

  6. Dorothy said on November 27, 2023 at 6:23 am

    Alex that is a wonderful thing your hubby did! Very inspiring. I’m wondering if that chef might’ve been able to hear his co-workers talking smack about him. Can you imagine how that made him feel, to know people he works with vocalize their thoughts about him?!

    We had a really nice week last week but truth be told, I’m looking forward to having the house to myself today. I’ve still got a small mountain of infant clothing to make openings in, and after a couple of hours I cannot sit at the machine anymore. I’m a morning person so after I walk Nestle, I’ll be headed downstairs to my sewing studio. I asked the mom of the baby yesterday how long he might need to have a feeding tube in and she said they have no idea. Could be 9 months to a year, or even longer, possibly all his life. This gene mutation he has is very rare. I can’t begin to guess what kind of road that little baby has ahead of him.

    923 chars

  7. Julie Robinson said on November 27, 2023 at 8:36 am

    We used to have grocery stores within easy walking distance to pick up this or that, but in Fort Wayne and many other places, the small stores closed in favor of superstores outside the city. Here in Orlando it feels like there’s a Publix on every other corner, and if we just need a few things, D will walk or ride a bike over. It would be hard to buy everything we need that way.

    Alex, the HOA leadership is just what you need to get your mind off the orange carbuncle. Keep yourself busy enough that you can’t fixate on the news.

    In hyperlocal news, our latest monarch is making its way out of its chrysalis. Dorothy, I just posted 90 seconds of video for Olivia.

    Hope it’s more successful than the one that hatched yesterday morning before we woke up. We found it on the ground, struggling to unfurl its wings. We put it kind of inside a shrub, so a bird wouldn’t pick it off, but when we got home it hadn’t progressed. Sarah, my kind heart, made some sugar water and brought it in, to see if it needed warmth and fuel. Sadly, the wings were dried out and stuck, and it didn’t even try to drink.

    None of us really knows if our cold and dark weather were responsible, or something went wrong in development. I’ll be checking on today’s progeny and wishing for the best.

    In happier news, we learned there is a Handel society here and attended a first-rate concert of Messiah in our fancy-schmancy new music hall. It was fairly authentic, with a small baroque orchestra, harpischord, and incredibly, no amplification. Didn’t use candles, though!

    1562 chars

  8. Jenine said on November 27, 2023 at 10:31 am

    I love the bighead pix. Every parade needs some oversize puppets.
    Alex, I hope you can gin up some art or craft distractions – politics plus HOA does not sound like a full and happy life

    187 chars

  9. Deborah said on November 27, 2023 at 10:48 am

    You may remember last week I was concerned that my husband’s sister was coming over after she had Covid, on her 6th day from showing symptoms, supposedly not contagious. My husband’s brother and his wife both came down with “colds” about 4 days after being here, then the wife tested positive for Covid but not my husband’s brother, even though he had all the symptoms he never tested positive, after multiple tests. Luckily my husband and I haven’t gotten it, fingers crossed we are safe from the exposure to his sister. The brother and his wife went to a Thanksgiving dinner with about 30 people, that night she tested positive so a bunch more people got exposed. Be careful out there, although I have read that this Covid strain isn’t as lethal.

    748 chars

  10. Julie Robinson said on November 27, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    Deborah, fingers crossed for you two staying healthy. My last bout put my ankle recovery back almost to the beginning. It’s a disease of inflammation and it finds your body’s vulnerabilities.

    191 chars

  11. Jeff Borden said on November 27, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    If you’re having a bad Monday, seek out video clips of the Orange King being booed when he appears at the Clemson-South Carolina football game Saturday night. You might especially enjoy the Clemson marching band jeering and flipping the cancerous pustule the bird.

    264 chars

  12. dull_old_man said on November 27, 2023 at 1:19 pm

    Nancy’s photos imitate art. The cover of the Jefferson Airplane’s record “After Bathing at Baxter’s” has a fanciful drawing of a triplane with a rope pulling a sign with the title of the record on it. A dozen helium balloons help hold the sign up. I happened to pull that record out today.

    297 chars

  13. Sherri said on November 27, 2023 at 3:15 pm

    The cannabis stores around here are boutique shops, looking more like a coffee shop except that you can’t enter them without showing ID to a guard at the door to verify you’re over 21. And all the security cameras and the ATM, because it’s a cash only business.

    I started to write something about the OpenAI nonsense, but it’s so bonkers it’s hard to capture it all. I’m already so tired of the AI discussion. As someone said, it’s like talking about transmogrification when what we have is Calvin and Hobbes’ cardboard box.

    I don’t really care about artificial general intelligence, I’d rather Silicon Valley solve some real problems I have right now. Like why can’t my TV detect and manage the audio signal coming in from all the various streaming services and adjust it so that I’m not constantly having to adjust the volume? That seems like a soluble and useful problem to me. Or, a somewhat harder problem, that actually might require some AI, do something about muddy audio mixes and boost dialogue so I don’t have to turn on closed captioning for everything. Call it old person mode.

    1122 chars

  14. Deborah said on November 27, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    I was mystified by all the coverage the press gave the Sam Altman situation. The NYT gave it wall to wall coverage, I tried reading one of the articles that gave an overview and after reading it I still couldn’t tell you what it was all about or why it was so important to give it so much attention.

    I tried ChatGPT once, I asked a question and got what seemed like a thorough answer, but I didn’t find it amazing or extremely helpful, it was just meh. I’m sure there’s a lot more to it, but I’m not curious enough to care to look into it more.

    I too would find that helpful Sherri, if someone would fix muddy audio I could watch more of the visuals in movies and not have to concentrate on reading the captions.

    719 chars

  15. Dorothy said on November 27, 2023 at 4:55 pm

    You mentioned a celebrity when you listed the Big Heads in one of your pictures. It got me to wondering if I’ve ever shared this story about how this celebrity is related to an old work friend of my dad’s, whose name was Wilfred Jagger.

    Wilfred was a skinny old guy with a big nose who shared a love of photography with my dad. He spoke in a very nasally voice. My mom invited him to dinner many times, and he appears in several group pictures we took around the dinner table on holidays. He was a bachelor for many years, and at some advanced age he married this widow named Edna. Edna never let a gathering go by without praising her late husband. After dinner one time my dad put on some old roller skating music on his turntable, Edna got up to dance to show off how flexible and energetic she was at her advanced age, and promptly fell and broke her hip on my parents’ living room floor. (No roller skates were involved). I think that’s the only time I ever saw ambulance personnel come into our house.

    ANYWHO – before Edna came onto the scene Wilfred was a guest for dinner one Thursday evening and after he had some dessert, he announced he would like to leave a little early because his great nephew was on t.v. that night and he didn’t want to miss the show. “OH!” my mom said “What show is he going to be on?” (We all assumed that maybe he had a guest starring role in some series.) “Wellllll….” said Wilfred, “It’s Magnum PI.” Well we all looked at each other and smiled because that was one of my mom’s favorite shows. She found Tom Selleck VERY handsome. So someone asked Wilfred if we might know this great nephew of his, and when he said that great nephew was Tom Selleck, stunned silence just hung in the air! Tom’s mother’s maiden name was Jagger. Her dad was brother to Wilfred. I’m confident the show had been on for a few years by then, and the fact that Wilfred had not mentioned this tidbit before just seemed amazing. Suffice to say Tom bore absolutely ZERO resemblance to his great Uncle Wilfred.

    2067 chars

  16. FDChief said on November 27, 2023 at 5:07 pm

    What I find annoying about the “A.I.” thing is the relatively large volume of discussion around “But what if it becomes Skynet?!” – which, given that we don’t understand how organic brains develop self-awareness, means that the most massively programmed computer system has zero chance to develop it – and how little concern there seems to be about using AIs to run low-level algorithms like facial recognition software or health care coverage decisions, when fundamental bias or skewed objectives will produce results that will materially harm people.

    I’m not worried about the Terminator. I’m worried about the AI that’s going to read my X-ray or CRT scan, or audit my taxes, or…

    702 chars

  17. Sherri said on November 27, 2023 at 5:38 pm

    Exactly, FDChief. The problem of AI is the black box algorithm that determines whether to pay your insurance claim, or whether you’re that wanted criminal determined via facial recognition (which is notably inaccurate with non-white faces), or the AI systems that simply amplify the bias already existing.

    My claim is the more AI researchers should spend time around babies and toddlers and preschoolers, so that they could see how humans actually learn, and then they would be less inclined to make grandiose claims about impending AGI.

    But I’ve been hearing those grandiose claims about the impending arrival of AGI since I was in grad school, and that was close to 40 years ago now.

    695 chars

  18. FDChief said on November 27, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    I’m not sure that the exposure to massive amounts of toddlers or puppies will help. My understanding is that after a century of neurology we still don’t really get how organic brains translate neuroelectrical signals into ethics, emotions, and logic. It’s difficult to write a program if you can’t figure out how the thing you’re attempting to emulate actually works.

    Computer programming has become so nimble it’s easy to forget that the machine itself is still at bottom a big adding machine, Napier’s Bones with a microprocessor. It’s great at things that require a machine that does that, like run simulations or statistical analyses of ginormous data sets, so to infer a short leap to AGI is tempting…until you plug a wrong number into the code string controlling the simulation and out comes utter gibberish the machine has no problem providing as “solution”.

    The degree to which the techlords want us to overlook that suggests to me that their obsession with AGI is as much scam as vision.

    1025 chars

  19. tajalli said on November 27, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    Dorothy, what a strange story. Whenever I hear Tom Seleck’s name, I remember standing behind him at the Kahala (HI) McDonald’s as he berated the poor girl taking his order because the milk came in little cartons with a straw rather than a drinking glass. Maybe he thought if he were nasty enough, she bring out one of the glasses McDonald’s secretly got from the Kahala Hilton. It was truly cringe-worthy to witness.

    418 chars

  20. Brandon said on November 27, 2023 at 7:38 pm

    @tajalli: Was this during the Magnum, P.I. days? (Incidentally, the final season of Blue Bloods starts next year.)

    128 chars

  21. David C said on November 27, 2023 at 8:24 pm

    I bet if he and his mustache grinned and said “May I have a cup. I prefer to drink my milk from a cup.” they’d have given him the fucking cup. No need to go Karen on the poor kid.

    179 chars

  22. tajalli said on November 27, 2023 at 8:54 pm

    Original Magnum PI series. He was trying to make a big deal of himself pretending he could get her fired. No class.

    Anyway, in Hawaii, people ask what high school you went to (not which college or university), and if you’re local (Pacific rim heritage), kama’aina (born and raised) or a mainland haoli. She really was in no danger of being fired, he didn’t count there, he knew it, and it probably bugged him. The manager would probably have said, “Eh, dumb haoli, no never min[d].”

    And “Eh, no shame you drink from da kine carton.”

    539 chars

  23. Jeff Gill said on November 27, 2023 at 9:13 pm

    Lots of Scalzi fans here; John makes a brilliant point: https://www.threads.net/@jscalzi/post/C0K8UKDseuU/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

    130 chars

  24. Sherri said on November 27, 2023 at 9:18 pm

    On OpenAI specifically, nobody really knows what happened.

    Was it a governance dispute? OpenAI was founded as a nonprofit (Altman was one of the founders), but Altman later decided that AI was too expensive to do as a nonprofit, so they created a capped profit subsidiary, but everything was controlled by the nonprofit board, which did not have a charter of maximizing revenue but of saving humanity.

    Was it a mission dispute? Everyone at OpenAI seems to believe that AGI is imminent, but there seems to be some disagreement between the accelerationists, who want to go full steam ahead, and the doomers, who think AGI is a threat to humanity.

    Was it a religious dispute? This is related to the above. There are too many Silicon Valley thought leaders who are part of what Timnit Gehru calls TESCREALs, that is, Transhumanist, Extropian, Singularitarian, Cosmism, Rationalism, Effective Altruism, and Longtermism. Basically, think of this as a bunch of undereducated Silicon Valley atheists making their own religion and god. Like religious fanatics, they’ve become fixated on long range low probability events, so they can ignore the problems right in front of them.

    (One weird aside about this: the Rationalists are led, sort of, by a guy named Eliezer Yudkowsky, who wrote a fan fiction called Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, to introduce people to Rationalism. One of the people involved in the OpenAI kerfuffle is name checked in this fanfic.)

    We don’t know what Altman did to provoke the board deciding to fire him. The board should have been better prepared for the fallout; Altman is very well-connected in the Valley, and his best skill is promoting himself. So Altman is back as CEO, though he’s lost his board seat, but he’s presumably got a friendlier board now.

    1811 chars

  25. Deborah said on November 28, 2023 at 7:10 am

    I had to google TESCREAL and boy howdy that is a rabbit hole.

    61 chars

  26. Jenine said on November 28, 2023 at 9:53 am

    My hospital, Lovelace, had its data system hacked and held for ransom over the holiday. Almost no media coverage – I was only able to find one mention at a tech media site that said Outlook email was disrupted for a while by the same group. I hope they’re keeping it quiet and getting help from the feds. I wouldn’t know this except that I took my mom to their urgent care ctr on Saturday – everything was done on paper. So far 2 of my appts have been canceled.

    461 chars

  27. FDChief said on November 28, 2023 at 10:26 am

    That Tubby used the Presidency to line his pockets is about as surprising as a dog licking his balls.

    What is not so much surprising as depressing is the sheer number of “Americans” who look at that and want to be ruled by it. Again.

    The MAGAt Pandemic has settled into the “endemic” phase; we the non-parasite-hosts will be fighting trench warfare against it the rest of our lives…IF we keep winning.

    If we lose – once – it’s Game Over.

    That’s the simple and unpleasant reality.

    505 chars

  28. alex said on November 28, 2023 at 10:43 am

    Jeff at #23…

    Burl Ives may have snitched out his fellow leftists to Joe McCarthy to save his own career, but I recall reading that he was chosen for “Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer” precisely because he carried a reputation as a nonconformist or “misfit.”

    I learned this when I went looking for writings to substantiate my theory that there was a lot of gay subtext in the show snuck in by Hollywood creatives. I never found any. But c’mon. A swishy misfit elf named Hermie? Being ejected from the “reindeer games” (read locker room) for springing a tumescent nose? The whole enterprise seemed to me (as an adult, anyway) subversive as hell. I’m surprised Moms for Liberty hasn’t gone after it, not that I would want to give them any ideas.

    I grew up listening to Burl Ives records. He was very popular when my mom was in high school and college in the late ’40s/early ’50s and they were always in rotation in our household.

    935 chars

  29. Jeff said on November 28, 2023 at 10:58 am

    Don’t forget his role as Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

    62 chars

  30. Sherri said on November 28, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    FDChief, don’t forget the crazification factor. About a quarter of the population is simply batshit crazy. Probably another quarter or more simply goes along with whoever is loudest. Since Trump, the crazies feel empowered to take over, so there you have it.

    260 chars

  31. Dorothy said on November 28, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Man what a shit Tom was in that McDonald’s! I have no inkling of which celebrities are nice people and which are assholes even in public. I don’t keep up with that kind of stuff so it’s always a surprise to me to hear stories like that.

    Burl Ives? My mom had strong opinions about singers and I’m pretty sure she thought he had no talent. Among the singers she liked were Perry Como and Joe Feeney, who was a regular on The Lawrence Welk Show. My siblings would groan when Joe came on to sing and my mother would get so mad at us. Poor woman could never really enjoy his performances because the rest of the room would make fun of him. But if she got REALLY angry we knew we had to stop the teasing and hush.

    719 chars

  32. Julie Robinson said on November 28, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    In the early 60’s Burl Ives, Mitch Miller, the Lettermen, etc. were what passed for popular music in the family. My sister inherited grandma’s record player, the big console model that included storage space for LP’s. When she moved down to Florida in 1982, the console came along. I was unpacking while she was at work and wanted some music, so I opened up the console and found grandma’s old records. What a trip down memory lane that was!

    Somehow Jeri had packed those and none of her own records, so vintage Beatles stayed at mom’s and were preserved while Jeri lost most of her other possessions.

    605 chars

  33. Jeff said on November 28, 2023 at 9:19 pm

    Joe Feeney. Speaking of people I hadn’t thought about for decades.


    118 chars

  34. Suzanne said on November 29, 2023 at 8:48 am

    We watched Lawrence Welk every Sunday when I was a kid. Joe Feeney, Myron Floren on the accordion, Arthur Duncan doing his dancing, Jo Ann Castle playing the heck out of a painted piano, Norma Zimmer with huge hair and my mother informing us that it wasn’t her hair at all but a wig, can you believe it? And Jack Imel from Indiana, as we were told nearly every time he appeared on screen, and, of course, The Lennon Sisters.
    I truly didn’t much like the show but now, it does bring back some warm memories to me in my dotage.

    532 chars

  35. Mark P said on November 29, 2023 at 9:41 am

    We never watched Welk. I think he was too schmaltzy for me parents. We did watch Perry Como, and even then I thought he was a likable guy. I was surprised many years ago to see him in a movie playing a Frank Sinatra type role. I think he must have preferred to stick with singing.

    On a different subject, my wife’s cognitive condition seems to have taken a significant downward step. She was confused all night about who I was and where she was. She kept us both awake until about 4. I thought she would be ok this morning, but one of the first things she said was, “Where is Mark?” This is the worst it has been.

    622 chars

  36. diane said on November 29, 2023 at 9:48 am

    Mark that is heartbreaking. I am so sorry.

    42 chars

  37. Julie Robinson said on November 29, 2023 at 10:21 am

    Mark, I’m so sorry. The sudden precipitous decline–could she have a UTI? Confusion is an oft-overlooked symptom. Our daughter has seen it so many times among the ladies at her church she can practically diagnose it from that alone. And a month back it was grandma’s turn, and sure enough she was right.

    303 chars

  38. Deborah said on November 29, 2023 at 10:25 am

    Mark, that’s sad, hopefully she’s had a bad day and good days are still to come. Uncle J, had times like that and then he would be better later. Of course everyone is different. Hoping for the best for you. This is such a trying existence for caregivers, so sorry.

    264 chars

  39. Scout said on November 29, 2023 at 11:08 am

    Mark, I’m so sorry. I know how hard this is. I second the opinion that maybe she should be checked for a UTI. That happened a lot with my Dad and his cognitive situation always worsened when he had one.

    202 chars

  40. alex said on November 29, 2023 at 11:39 am

    Mark, definitely get her checked out for a UTI. We had the same thing happen with my mother, and I’ve known other people who’ve been through it too. We thought my mom had a stroke or something because of a sudden, dramatic change in mental status. We couldn’t get her to cooperate with going to the ER so we called an ambulance and they took her to the ER. As soon as they infused her with antibiotics she was herself again.

    I know it may be hard to get your head around the idea that something so seemingly unrelated to mental function could have any effect on it but there is definitely a connection as we learned.

    617 chars

  41. Jeff said on November 29, 2023 at 8:27 pm

    My father-in-law took a major turn down Confusion Lane in the last few days, but he knows who I am. Lots of “did you see/hear that?” which isn’t & didn’t, and repetitions and such. I worry in his case about dehydration which can create such effects alongside of or in advance of UTIs. But the slide of his cognition over the last two years has me thinking it’s simply “the next stage.” Mark, your path is much harder & rockier. Grace for the journey.

    458 chars

  42. Jeff said on November 29, 2023 at 9:07 pm

    Well, it finally happened.

    BREAKING: Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state whose complicated legacy shaped decades of U.S. policy, dies at 100

    150 chars

  43. Mark P said on November 29, 2023 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for all of your support. I know many of you have been down this path already. I was reading about suicide among caretakers for people with dementia. Did you know that around a third of such people have suicidal ideation, as they call it? It’s very depressing to deal with, plus you have the prospect of even more difficulties in the future. I believe it when they say a support network is important, and that’s what I’m missing where we live. Your kind thoughts help.

    She had lab testing at a urologist’s office two weeks ago, and nothing was mentioned about a UTI then. I have sent a message to the urologist to see whether she needs another test.

    I had hoped that she would be much improved today, but she is not. She is still confused about where we live and who I am. This has happened before, but not to this extent, and not for as long.

    864 chars

  44. Sherri said on November 29, 2023 at 10:31 pm

    Mark, suicidal ideation can creep up on you, so get help before you think you really need it.

    Dehydration can also cause confusion.

    134 chars

  45. Sherri said on November 29, 2023 at 10:59 pm

    A few months ago, I had a conversation with an older gentleman, who was telling a story about how he had enrolled for a class taught by Henry Kissinger in his first semester at Harvard, but then Kissinger left for the Nixon White House. I remarked that it was a shame, that the world would have been better off had Kissinger remained to teach the class. He looked at me like I was crazy and said something like “I don’t know about that.” He already thinks I’m a dangerous radical, so oh well.

    The appropriate obit for Kissinger, war criminal extraordinaire: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/henry-kissinger-war-criminal-dead-1234804748/

    667 chars

  46. Peter said on November 30, 2023 at 12:17 am

    Mark, I am so sorry about you and your wife. I know about a dozen people have already said it, but I’ll add my vote: My parents and father in law had dementia, and they were all tied to UTI.

    191 chars

  47. Jeff Gill said on November 30, 2023 at 7:44 am

    I know, Twitter, but for this: worth a click.


    104 chars

  48. FDChief said on November 30, 2023 at 10:12 am

    It’s worth taking a moment in the pissing on Kissinger’s grave celebration to also recall how worthless and incompetent the dirtbag was at his chosen role as America’s Metternich.

    His cunning plans in SE Asia resulted in nothing more than countless death. South Vietnam lost, Cambodia destroyed, Laos devastated, the whole region hostile for a generation.

    His little foray into South Asia – in aid of the Pakistani atrocities in what is now Bangladesh – was an utter failure; the Karachi government was well whipped in the resulting independence war.

    His coups in Chile and Paraguay did nothing but hoist dictators who ruined their countries, stoked merciless social hatred, did nothing to stop “global Communism”, and ended with at least one Kissinger protege (Pinochet) in the dock.

    The man wasn’t just amoral scum; he was incompetent amoral scum. But you won’t get that from the tongue-bath he’s gonna get from all the usual D.C. players. He’s gonna be a “great statesman” even though his body count would make Ribbentrop green with envy and his string of losses make the pre-2000 Chicago Cubs look like the NY Yankees…

    1158 chars

  49. alex said on November 30, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Best line in the Rolling Stone piece linked by Sherri @ #45:

    “The Cubans say there is no evil that lasts a hundred years, and Kissinger is making a run to prove them wrong.”

    178 chars

  50. Jeff Borden said on November 30, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    Kissinger is a war criminal. Period. A hideous creature with more blood on his hands than water in the seven seas. Good riddance.

    129 chars