Wrapping the week.

Another missed day, alas. No excuse, sir — we watched “Weiner” and loaded the car to take Kate back to school. In Michigan, school years start when they’re supposed to start, after Labor Day. At least, Kate’s does. But it made for a busy day and “Weiner.” Which is excellent, if you enjoy portraits of narcissists, and the slow burn of a wife figuring out exactly who she married, and how soon she can get out of said marriage.

Huma was such a great catch for this schmuck. And he threw it away for phone sex with a white-trash ho’ of the first order.

Today and tomorrow were/will be action-packed as well, and then, on Saturday? Wheels up for Cali. Is it coincidence that our local hip-hop throwback station played this Biggie Smalls track today? (Yes, it probably was, because they play it a lot.) There will be photo posts this weekend, and a big one I’m scheduling for Wednesday, because you just know Trump will shit the bed at some point and I want to give you fresh posts to fill up with comments.

He certainly did last night. I didn’t see the speech live, but I read about it, and man oh man, it’s hard to know what, exactly, is going on in that particular clown car. But while perusing Slate’s coverage, I found this piece on yet more weirdness found by spelunking in the Indiana Policy Review, currently drawing attention because Mike Pence once led the foundation that funds the thing. The first archival nugget they noted bears the unmistakable writing style of T. Craig Ladwig, who generally drops the initial in his byline. I always suspected he wanted to use it, to ape his hero, R. Emmett Tyrell, but he couldn’t quite ante up the guts. The second is right out of Crazytown, a detailed description of gay sex by one Col. Robert D. Ray, R-Closet. No clue who this guy is — the piece bears an editor’s note acknowledging it was first published in a journal called First Principles Inc. — but hoo-boy. I can’t cut and paste because the magazine was scanned directly to PDF, so just click and enjoy.

I remember reading that thing when it came out every month or so, and wondering what color the sky was in their world. I should have taken better notes.

And so we’re into the bloggage: Trump is speaking at an African-American church on Friday. His team is leaving nothing to chance. He has various scripted responses to expected questions:

To a question submitted by Bishop Jackson about whether his campaign is racist, the script suggests that Mr. Trump avoid repeating the word, and instead speak about improving education and getting people off welfare and back to work. “The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding,” Mr. Trump is advised to say. “Coming into a community is meaningless unless we offer an alternative to the horrible progressive agenda that has perpetuated a permanent underclass in America.”

In the pudding! Good to know.

And oh, I’m outta gas. See you Saturday or Sunday, then. Surf’s up.

Posted at 12:11 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 85 Comments

Midweek melange.

Last weekend I went down some internet rabbit holes that should have been marked with warning signs. I learned that not only does Hillary’s health make Dick Cheney’s look like that of an Olympic athlete, but Michelle Obama? IS A MAN. Go ahead and laugh, and then read the first three paragraphs of this story. A lie is a powerful thing:

STOCKHOLM — With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.

The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges.

They were all false, but the disinformation had begun spilling into the traditional news media, and as the defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, traveled the country to promote the pact in speeches and town hall meetings, he was repeatedly grilled about the bogus stories.

The older I get, the more I enjoy the pure, simple pleasure of yummy, yummy facts. Which you evidently need actual human beings to recognize.

So. Sorry I took a night off — had a last-minute chance to go on an evening paddle, and as the summer dwindles, you just don’t blow those things off. Was it worth it? Yeah, I’d say so:


Let’s explore the mysteries of the iPhone autoexposure, too, shall we? Maybe 30 seconds later, this was the point-and-shoot from the front-facing camera:


You’d think it was an hour earlier. Believe me, that fading sky wasn’t enough to light our faces that much. It’s MAGIC.

And after today, I think I have most of my ducks in a row for California. Still have to pack, but today my optometrist signed off on a supply of daily-wear contact lenses, not my usual contact-lens jam, to wear in the water. I’m wearing them now. Not multifocal, so I’m in my strongest readers, but they’ll do for spotting other surfers, sharks’ dorsal fins and, of course, the glory of nature all around. Until one washes out, but I’ll have backups.

A few mixed notes on this and that, as we ease into the bloggage:

I really can’t recommend “Keepin’ it 1600,” the Jon Favreau/Dan Pfeiffer podcast, highly enough. Funny, entertaining and, for those of you who live with or near Trumpazoids, living proof that you are not alone, these people are fucking crazy. I listened to the latest edition on my way to Ann Arbor today, and didn’t miss NPR one little bit. What’s more, they turned me on to “Radio Free GOP” with Mike Murphy, and that’s good, too.

The other day didn’t Jeff say he was looking for inspirational reading that fell somewhere between f-bomb-laced realness and the sappy-sweet Albom big rock-candy mountain. May I recommend this honest, fine piece by Tracy Grant, a Washington Post editor who nursed her husband through the last months of his life. Fine writing, fine insight.

You know how every so often you read about how historians can capture many details of daily life in days gone by, but not things like the smoke in a city’s air from a million fires, or the smell of the dank sewers as foul things bubbled within? You really get a sense of the latter here, in this piece about Roman sewers. Sounds gross, and it is, but it’s also not, mainly because you probably have a flush toilet where you live, and your house doesn’t smell bad. I think I’d have been a country girl, given the choice.

And the great Monica Hesse, also at the WashPost, gives us this: 11 ways to think about the Anthony Weiner-Huma Abedin split. No. 7:

Stolen from a friend on Twitter: “Anthony Weiner is proof that the Clintons don’t actually have people murdered.”

OK, off to climb through Wednesday.

Posted at 12:02 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 69 Comments

Grande dames.

Friday was payday, so I made the pilgrimage to Costco. We needed a re-up on paper towels, Cholula, olive oil, the usual. I selected my enormous cart and made my way inside behind a trim woman with flame-red hair.

As she turned to show her ID to the greeter, I caught a glimpse of her face and noticed she was a lot older than her backside would indicate — somewhere in her 70s, would be my guess. And then I noticed something else: She was wearing a thong.

She was wearing it Monica-style, in that the side pieces rose above the waistline of her pants. And it was lacy, too. And here’s the thing: Her waist and hips looked like they were carved from marble. If anyone has the figure to wear a thong, it’s this septuagenarian. Rock on, granny.

Probably a dancer, I figure. Dancers keep their bods until they’re lowered into the ground. Mary Tyler Moore was a dancer.

It’s funny, because a few weeks ago I attended an event populated with business people. I took note of a woman, also from behind, nice figure in a tight black dress, shapely bare legs ending in heels and a tumble of blonde, barrel-curled hair. My mind instantly filed her under “30s, on the make” until she, too, turned to show her face in profile and it’s like, whoa, hi mom. OK, not that bad, but older than me. Which would put her into her 60s.

There’s a lot of chatter out there about never body-shaming anyone, and that women can wear whatever they want and it’s nobody’s business how you look in a bathing suit, and I believe that. If you’re comfortable and happy, that’s good enough. I remember a TV commercial for I product I can’t remember that ran in the ’60s, in which a young man mistakes his girlfriend’s mother for his paramour, seeing her from behind. (Until the Sarah Palin juggernaut ran out of steam, I fully expected her to endorse some product, using precisely this sell: “Levi’s always pinchin’ my butt, thinkin’ I’m Bristol!”)

I guess, if you get up day after day and do your yoga or run your miles or pump your iron, you’re going to be, as they say, well-preserved into your AARP years. But there’s no way I’m doing barrel curls in my 60s. I couldn’t even figure out those fuckers in my 30s.

Other than that, a pretty quiet weekend. Finished “Stranger Things,” which I highly recommend. Bought heirloom tomatoes. Bought corn, bought bacon, bought breakfast for Alan and me Saturday at the market. A busy week ahead, though, moving Kate back to Ann Arbor on Thursday, and then on Saturday? Another trip for me, a hiatus for the blog. Remember the surfing camp I was musing about in, like, January? Well, I bloody well signed up and paid my money, and will spend Labor Day week in Orange County, California, at San Onofre State Park, being one of those inappropriately youthful women I just mentioned. Think good thoughts for me, and think a few more for my knees.

The itinerary is pretty loose for now. Saturday-night dinner with L.A. Mary, a week of surfin’, and I’m hoping to squeeze in a trip to the Nixon presidential library. Got Airbnb lodgings for the first and last nights, and otherwise I’ll be in a tent.

I figure I’m owed one last break before campaign season shifts into high gear.

In the meantime, a little bloggage:

The dangers of poll observers, from Politico.

One good thing that’s happening as a result of this insane political climate is, I’m spending less time on Facebook, in part because it’s so discouraging to see the same old shit being said the same old ways, repackaged the same old zillion-and-one ways. It’s a goddamn industry, it turns out. Lately, I choose Twitter, faster and funnier and, in the case of the Trump’s-doctor story, hysterically so.

Sometimes airbags can kill you in entirely unexpected ways.

Monday dead ahead.

Posted at 12:12 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 75 Comments

Pandora’s box, hinges broken.

Nothing like a good Matt Taibbi screed, especially this one:

If you think the white-guy grievance movement will die after Donald Trump’s likely landslide defeat this November, think again. There will be plenty of filterless, self-pitying dunces to carry the torch in Trump’s place. (Curt) Schilling is a leading candidate.

I said this myself, but it’s hardly a blinding insight. Trump opened a Pandora’s box, from which he is only the first spirit of woe to flee. Apparently the former Red Sox pitcher is the next:

A hardcore religious conservative, Schilling can’t stop posting crazy stuff online. Like Trump, he is a meme fanatic, learning much of what he knows about the world from bite-size informational crap-dumplings shared on Facebook.

Posting one of those crap dumplings cost Schilling his latest job, a $2.5 million gig with ESPN. That’s the sort of gig that inspires mere mortal men to go dreamy-eyed with longing, to sigh deeply and think, if only. Actually, posting two of them cost him job; he was only suspended after one, but simply couldn’t restrain himself. A recent one chided “pussies looking for free shit,” which caused Taibbi to do a spit-take and observe:

This tirade against the seekers of “free shit” was posted by a man who got $75 million in taxpayer money to keep his already failing video game company afloat.

Highly recommended.

I think this is going to be the last entry for the week. I’m tired, distracted and a little under-slept. In an effort to do one unexpected thing in a pretty predictable life, Alan and I went out after dinner last night, to see a band in a steamy bar, one that wasn’t our daughter’s. This one. I went in saying, “I will have two beers,” and ended up having three, plus a shot of tequila. Shots. What a stupid idea. All because I bought a beer for the nice Polish gentleman sitting next to us, who explained in his accent that he was without a car, and was visiting all the bars within walking distance of his apartment. I bought him a beer, so he returned the favor with shots. Ugh. You can’t turn it down, and you’re expected to do it all in one go, which I hate, as I am no longer 22 years old. But every once in a blue moon, I go out on a Wednesday night to have my eardrums blown out. Can YOU say the same?

There was a guy there wearing a t-shirt that read HAMTRAMCK FUCK YEAH. Love this place.

With that, I’m calling it a week. Got a busy one coming up. Enjoy your weekend, all — I’ll be watching “Stranger Things.”

Posted at 9:03 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 86 Comments

A dry well, refilling.

Long day, and what I really want to do is read a book right now. When you’re a writer, this is how you refill your well, even if you’re pretty much a stenographer, many days.

(Many days, I feel like a stenographer.)

So what I’m gonna do here is go out into the big world of news and grab the first thing that makes me wince or guffaw, and post it here. :::Sticks hand in bag, fishes around::: Here we go:

A man in Luzerne County cut down his neighbor’s tree over the weekend because he thought it was ruining his car. The tree ended up hitting his own apartment house.

Police said Raymond Mazzarella grabbed a chainsaw and cut down the tree in his neighbor’s yard Saturday afternoon. The tree sat in his neighbor’s yard, but it had branches above his parking space. Those branches would drip sap onto his car. When he cut through the 36-inch wide trunk, the tree fell onto part of his own apartment building.

So there you go. Some days you get the tree, some days the tree gets you. Carry on, guys.

Posted at 12:14 am in Same ol' same ol' | 50 Comments

On the wane.

At the beginning of June I said it was going to be a bucket-list summer, and in large part it has been – Iceland, a full-moon kayak trip, less work on the weekends, another trip coming up Labor Day weekend – but unless you have staff, or help, it can’t be sustained. So this weekend was, eh, low-key. Cleaned a closet, got ahead on some work stuff, read an actual book, did some back-to-school shopping with Kate. At, goddess help us, a mall. But it was fine, because we scored what we needed and I got a deal on some end-of-summer white Levi’s (yeah-yeah-yeah):


The yeah-yeah-yeah is an echo of my youth, when a radio ad on WCOL, for a local clothing store, featured four Beach Boys-y voices singing, “White Levi’s, yeah yeah yeah!” Back when there was work for studio singers doing local advertising. That’s an economy that probably only still exists in Nashville and Los Angeles, right?

Funny how jeans brand loyalty goes. I’ve been a Levi’s girl since I first put them on, a million years ago. I’ve worn boot cut, flares, 501s, 501CTs, skinny, straight, Bold Curve, everything. The very idea of spending $200 for a pair of blue jeans just blows my mind, and from time to time, I’ve visited higher-end stores and tried on Seven for All Mankind, Joe’s, the various premium denim brands. I’ve always buttoned them up, looked in the mirror and thought, Man, these are some ugly-ass pants, right here.

Maybe I’m not wearing them right. Or maybe I just have a Levi’s body. My sister-in-law is a Lee’s gal, and has been for years. When I visited Montana many moons ago, all the cowboys wore Wrangler. From time to time, I’ve bought Gap and Lee’s and maybe one or two others, but I always come back to Levi’s.

Besides my white capris, I got a pair of 501s and a slim-leg pair in inkiest black. All in a smaller size than I wore a year ago. Life is good.

The other thing that made the trip to the mall not-so-bad was the Dream Cruise, an annual event that entrances half of Detroit and drives the other half crazy. This is the grassroots cruise of classic cars up and down Woodward Avenue for (officially) a weekend and (unofficially) a week. People who live or do business along the route either love it or hate it. The younger, hipper contingent is represented by the Magic Bag, a music venue that closes for a few days and puts a snarky message on their marquee, chosen in a contest of loyal customers. This year’s winner:


That’s pretty good, but my favorite was a couple years back: “Giving Downriver parents an excuse to visit their gay children since,” etc. A little local humor.

But for people who stuck to the freeways, well, there was magic to be seen every few miles, as some amazing classic would pull onto an entrance ramp and merge in with all the other contemporary lozenge-shaped rides. Nothing like seeing a Chevy as old as you are to put a smile on your face. And I am decidedly not a car gal.

Also – and this may just be me – it seemed like a fairly non-Trump weekend. How about for you?

So not much bloggage today, just a dog-days weekend of paying some, but not intense, attention to the news. Just this: A look at cat stories over the years in the New York Times, including a perfectly fabulous photo that even non-cat people should enjoy.

Oh, and Flint’s Claressa Shields, the toughest girl in a pretty damn tough town, wins her second Olympic gold, in women’s boxing. Congrats to T-Rex.

Bring on this week, OK?

Posted at 12:01 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 48 Comments

Friends when you need them.

Had to go to Grand Rapids Wednesday, and I left early, clicking on every cylinder. Got my laptop, got my phone, got my earbuds, had my podcasts cued up. Sunglasses? Got ’em. The only thing I didn’t have was a full tank of gas, but I had enough to get well out of town, and when the light came on and the trip computer said I had 40 miles left, I pulled into a BP station in Fowlerville.

Opened my bag and found…no wallet. I mean, it just wasn’t there. Because obviously not every cylinder was clicking earlier in the morning. And I didn’t pack it.

So there I was, not enough gas to get home, not enough to get to Grand Rapids, no ID, no credit card of any sort, just my smiling face and a phone. And my old boss Derek, bless his heart, who was nice enough to meet me 10 miles down the road with $40 cash. Which was enough to gas me up and buy lunch at Steak & Shake. I hate to ask for help, but as the life coaches say, it’s selfish not to. Because people want to help you. I still felt pretty stupid.

But there’s nothing like a five-hour drive, round trip, to get you caught up on your podcasts and other audio stuff. I think we discussed this a few days or weeks ago, but I ended up subscribing to “Keeping it 1600,” with Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer, both Obama people, and “Radio Free GOP” with Mike Murphy, a #NeverTrump Republican who ran the Jeb! campaign. So it was that, plus the latest “This American Life,” which was all about summer. I only really enjoyed the first act of TAL, which was about a 66-year-old lifeguard suing New York City for age discrimination after they insisted he wear a Speedo for his speed test. It was hilarious, if only for the lengthy list of slang terms for men’s Speedos.

And on the way home, I caught J.D. Vance, author darling of the moment, discussing “Hillbilly Elegy,” his highly praised memoir about growing up po’ white in Middletown, Ohio, on “Fresh Air.” He’s an impressive guy, but I’m a little baffled by the praise this book is getting, but maybe that’s because I grew up in Ohio, and Vance’s people are hardly unknown to anyone from Columbus on south. He is quite a bit younger than I am, so I missed southern Ohio’s descent into opioid-addiction hell. He’s obviously entitled to his interpretation of his own world, but I found his explanation of hardscrabble-white fondness for Trump unconvincing. He gives his relatives too much credit for seeing an authenticity in Donald Trump that — in his opinion, anyway — Hillary Clinton lacks. Terry Gross tried to prod him a little, pointing out that Trump was born rich and got richer, but Clinton, as well as her husband, came from modest circumstances.

Yeah, he said, but Clinton surrounds herself with slick elites. Whereas Steve Bannon is jes’ folks, I guess.

Speaking of which. The hiring of Bannon suggests this campaign is going to auger all the way in, Trump-as-Trump, guns blazing. I’d start a pool on what he’ll say next, but honestly, not sure I have the imagination. Which leads us to the bloggage:

Another smart Trump take by Josh Marshall, mapping the Trump hate bubble.

Remember when Adrianne predicted the future of the Columbus Dispatch, after it was sold? Lo, it appears it is coming to pass.

You’ve probably read various cases made that Walmart actually makes for a net loss to taxpayers, because it pays so little its employees regularly qualify for food stamps, etc. Well, as this excellent Bloomberg report notes, it doesn’t end there. I’d paste a paragraph or three, but I can’t seem to copy from the site. Worth your time.

Posted at 12:04 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 61 Comments

That day is done.

Well, today was better. Slept almost seven hours — four hours and 20 minutes of it “deep,” according to my sleep tracker, which may just be shining me on, but the placebo effect is real — and ate mostly protein and vegetables today, and feel 79 percent more like myself today.

And I was a regular Phelps in the pool today, if by “Phelps” you mean Edwin Phelps, DDS, age 67, who was once a lifeguard at Ocean Beach and was quite the backstroke talent for his city pool’s summer team in 1964. But I did the whole Monday workout, the dreaded 400-400, 300-300, 200-200, 100-100.* I got out feeling tired and so f’ungry I felt like stopping for an Egg McMuffin AND a puck of hash browns. But I restrained myself, ate healthy(ish) and learned later today there’s a very good reason a swimming workout leaves you hungrier than most. Short answer: Your body burns energy doing the work, and keeping warm. No wonder the athletes keep those Olympic Village kitchens working more or less around the clock.

And I made a little progress on a project today, so: Yay me. Tomorrow is another day.

I do not, however, look anything at all like this woman, whose rather provocative blog is probably blowing AMB (angry man-boy) skulls to pieces all over the planet. In a nutshell: She is a young, beautiful, slender athlete who exercises outdoors in scant clothing, and you wouldn’t believe the abuse. Like how? Like this:

Earlier this summer I headed to a local park in the South End of Boston to push myself in an outdoor bootcamp workout I was testing for the upcoming week of classes I teach. It was a hot Saturday afternoon and halfway through my workout I had a guy come over to me from across the park and start talking to me from a few feet away. I took my headphones out thinking he was asking me something, instead my ears were filled with profane things he “wanted to do to me”.

Last week I was going for a run before work to clock four miles for my half marathon training. I ran past a parking garage that has an attendant in the front to direct traffic between cars exiting and people crossing. A thankless job, I smiled gave him a wave to thank him and kept running. I took two steps before he yelled after me a “MM HMMMM”. Like he was salivating over a steak.

Yesterday I was walking to the laundromat to drop off clothes before heading out to teach a class. Walking out of the laundromat I decided to sneak in the 7Eleven next door to see if they carried my new favorite ice cream brand so that I could come grab some after class. A man so kindly held the door open for me, I thanked him and walked inside. They didn’t have the brand so just 60 seconds later I walked back out and he was sitting on the other side of the street watching me come out. I turned down the side walk and he crossed the street to follow me. He even yelled at me to stop and wait for him.

I will freely admit that even if I had a body like hers, I probably wouldn’t go running in a sports bra and compression shorts. But I also demand that she should be able to without having guys howling at her. But of course, the real fun of this piece is in the sewer of the comments, which you should not read unless you’ve removed all guns, knives, hanging ropes, etc., as well as disconnected your gas lines, because some of these people make you want to stick your damn head in the oven.

The only men who catcall me anymore are homeless guys in Detroit, and honestly, as long as they’re not total fucking creeps about it, I don’t let it bother me. Nothing like an old dude parked next to a 40 and a bag of his worldly goods telling you you look like Beyoncé to start your day off right.

I SO wish Coozledad was still with us, so we could hear his colorful opinion about this feeb, charged with the homicide of his neighbor, upon whom he (the shooter) had regularly bestowed racial slurs and! Hit the neighbor’s mother with his car. Oh, and yeah, he was drunk. But you’re gonna love his mugshot, because that is the face of the master race.

With that, let’s hit second gear on this week.

* Swimming nerds eyes only: 400 pull, 4×100 freestyle, 50+50×3 back/breast, 3×100 IM, 200 kick, 4×50 on your medium interval, 8×25 sprints. It takes me a solid hour and change, but I’m slow.

Posted at 12:02 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 76 Comments

Too much hot.

What a long weekend, and I am bushed. It’s the weather, which makes every step you take outside feel like 100. We ended up at a downtown park for a beer-and-wine festival, where every beer went warm in your hand and, well, bleh. It was still fun, but I’ve had enough of this miserable heat wave. It seems to be breaking, but that’s happened before. Our August cooldown is overdue.

When you start out talking about the weather, you know you don’t have anything to talk about. That said, the weather sort of is the story today, as southern Louisiana floods from truly apocalyptic rainfall, but don’t worry: Climate change isn’t happening. This is just the 500th year of the 500-year rainfall event. Don’t you feel lucky to be here and see it?

I once asked a lobbyist how his industry was handling the policy aspects of climate change, when a fair number of the people they had to deal with wouldn’t even acknowledge climate change is a thing. He said, “We’re just moving forward, because we have to.”

Man, I’ll say.

Saturday was the usual grind of errands, topped off by dinner for a friend’s birthday, which included this wine:


It was so soft and warm in your mouth it made your tastebuds do a happy dance. Remember when “wine” = Gallo? Life is better in so many ways.

As you can tell, I’m flailing a bit here. So here’s the bloggage:

Why Jamaica produces so many great runners.

This week’s Trump-campaign-as-train-wreck overview, from the New Yorker.

Starting the week at Zzzzzz. I hope I have another gear or two left.

Posted at 12:04 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 51 Comments

Let’s dicker.

I was looking at a pair of shorts on an online store the other day, trying to decide if they would suit, when I took a closer look at the price, teased with the red pixels that indicate markdowns and savings: $49 retail, marked down to $48.93. Seven cents. (Please let’s not make this discussion whether it’s right to pay $50 for a pair of shorts. I concede it isn’t, but these were a specialty item, and I was only window-shopping.)

I’ve been having good luck with online chat on retail sites, so I summoned up some poor sap in the Philippines and we had some back-and-forth over this. My side amounted to really? and his was all about profuse apologies and we’ll-get-to-the-bottom-of-this. Check back! he advised.

Today I did. The shorts had been put on real sale this time:


I’ve also been looking at an item on my holiday gift list. You can buy it directly from the manufacturer for $99. Ever since I made the mistake of comparing it to the Amazon price, I’ve been served an ad for it regularly. It started at $119, which is baffling enough, but today it changed to this:


I assume this is another example of Amazon’s forward-thinking dynamic pricing, also known as the one where the shoes you want are, ooh, sorry, not available at the lower end of the price range we just teased you with to get you to click from the Google search. Rather, you’ll be paying the other price, the top one, maybe more. It turns out the cheap price is only for people who want them in chartreuse and size 2. Know any tiny people with itty-bitty feet and no color sense? Tell them the world is their oyster.

I’ve seen this enough times that it has pushed me away from shopping on Amazon. Based on the absurdity of the price-chop on those shorts, I can only assume it’s spreading, or seeping, or something.

Can one of you tech-savvy people explain what’s going on? I sorta understand about the shoes, but I’m baffled by the meat thermometer. If you can find the same thing, in 10 different colors, on the manufacturer’s website at price X, why would you pay 50 percent more somewhere else?

The mysteries of our brave new world often leave me cold.

A few short links here, at least one of which basically has nothing to do with Him, although maybe with the mysteries of our brave new world: How Twitter became plagued with trolls and abuse, and has stayed that way for nearly a decade.

My friend Amy Welborn homeschooled her two boys for four years, and is writing a pretty great blog series on why and how she did it (and might do it again). She’s not hostile to public education, and is a strict-but-not-insane Catholic, so I found it interesting. It seems she did it for the right reason, which boils down to: School sucks, not all the time, but a lot of the time, and if you have the right temperament, the right kids, the right skills and the means to do so? Why not. This is part four, which I link because she has the links to the other parts right at the top, and you can go from there.

Himself’s North Carolina director is alleged to have pointed a loaded gun at a colleague’s knee. Are you surprised? Didn’t think so.

Finally, Jon Favreau, the former Obama speechwriter and current pundit/podcaster, has a column up about how to react when the inevitable Trump comeback narrative is unleashed later in the campaign. You might want to clip and save.

And here it is, the weekend again. Enjoy it.

Posted at 12:01 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 69 Comments