MichaelG.

    MichaelG on Thanks be to Zorn.
    March 15th, 2007  9:27 pm

  1. You wanna hear cable guy? As a result of a domestic realignment, I now find myself exiled from Auburn to a small house in Sacramento. Given the circumstances, small was all I could afford to buy. I read the ads and decided to go with Direct TV satellite service. They were supposed to show up in a four hour window on Mar 1 in the PM. No show, no call. I called them on Fri AM. I talked to 7 or eight different people, all of whom apologized profusely but none of whom were responsible or able to reschedule me to my satisfaction. I called Dish Network. They were scheduled to come out between 8 and noon last Sunday morn, the 11th. No show no call. After the obligatory several people and their empty apologies, the best they could offer was to reschedule me for Wednesday (yesterday). I was in Susanville, CA yesterday. Beautiful country, beautiful weather, but far away. So I've had no TV for the last couple of weeks. I may try cable, but I think I'll call the local purveyors instead of the 800 numbers. Lots of NPR the last couple of weeks. God, I can't stand Garrison Keillor.
  2. MichaelG on Thanks be to Zorn.
    March 15th, 2007  9:28 pm

  3. "My comment is awaiting moderation"? What does that mean?
  4. MichaelG on Thanks be to Zorn.
    March 16th, 2007  4:13 pm

  5. Right you are, Nance. My home email address has changed. The result of getting a broadband hookup. In Auburn the only thing available was dial up. No cable, no dsl, no nuttin. Things certainly have changed. I miss lots -- even the goatie-oaties. It's an adventure starting over at 62. I'm not sure I'd recommend it.
  6. MichaelG on Phoned in.
    March 16th, 2007  9:52 pm

  7. I'm dying to look at those models. I'll have to wait 'til I get home!
  8. MichaelG on Speaking in tongues.
    March 19th, 2007  4:52 pm

  9. I also discovered Kim Morgan the other day through Wolcott. She's terrific. After several weeks without TV, I have the satellite people coming tomorrow. I hope. This will be the third try and I would like to watch the coming NCAA rounds. Nance, I heard your pal Laura on PBS yesterday AM. I liked her. A lot. I also found out she's married to the guy who does "The Wire". I forgot his name. Maybe blocked it out. Also on PBS' Latina something-or-other show they featured Viki Carr. I had forgotten all about her. She's a very good singer. And I still can't stand Garrison Keillor. He seems to be on all PBS stations at the same time for about six hours on Sunday. It's like when the local begging channel latched on to that horrid Riverdance stuff and aired it hour after hour, day after day. This being single stuff is taking some getting used to.
  10. MichaelG on If these chairs could talk...
    March 21st, 2007  10:42 pm

  11. Chip and Dale -- aren't they chipmonks?
  12. MichaelG on The rehabilitation.
    March 22nd, 2007  10:00 pm

  13. I've enjoyed Cathy Seipp's blog for several years. Quite a statement given my liberalism and her conservatism. She is everything you say she is, Nance. She'll be sorely missed.
  14. MichaelG on The rehabilitation.
    March 23rd, 2007  11:36 pm

  15. I also remember the Paris Airshow Airbus splash. SAAB had a similar software problem that caused a prototype to crash in the mid '90's. You want crosswind practice, try Half Moon Bay just south of San Francisco. As a result of various circumstances, the runway is situated 90 degrees from the prevailing winds. On a good day it would take full rudder on my old Citabria to land and that thing had a huge rudder.
  16. MichaelG on Daisy, Daisy...
    March 23rd, 2007  11:55 pm

  17. When I hear people speak of tandems the first term that comes to mind is "parasitic drag". Hollywood? My wife, from whom I recently became separated, used to live with Ian McShane. In the south of France back in the early '70's. She says he was a very nice man. Oh, and I finally have TV.
  18. MichaelG on Daisy, Daisy...
    March 25th, 2007  1:36 am

  19. I'm no competition, Mary. I never met the guy. I can't think of anybody famous whom I have ever met. Best I can drop is places. Like I'll be in Sothren Calif for three days next week on bidness. One great thing I discovered is that most hotels and motels will charge gov't rates to gov't employees. That means I get to stay in lots of nice joints I couldn't otherwise afford. Like that lovely suite in Palm Desert.
  20. MichaelG on Daisy is in the house garage.
    March 26th, 2007  5:16 pm

  21. Beautiful bike! What a find.
  22. MichaelG on Our colorful language.
    April 2nd, 2007  5:09 pm

  23. What was it George Gobel used to say?
  24. MichaelG on Our colorful language.
    April 3rd, 2007  1:56 am

  25. Shoot, Mary, that's what kids are for.
  26. MichaelG on The fiercer sex.
    April 3rd, 2007  5:13 pm

  27. I am always entertained by the hysteria vis a vis kids and strangers. 99% of the danger is right there in the home -- Dad or Step Dad or Uncle Charlie or . . . Football and basketball in the same year. Florida's bitch indeed.
  28. MichaelG on Bitter cold.
    April 6th, 2007  6:20 pm

  29. It's so easy to make your own mayo. Don't worry about separating whites and yolks. Just dump an egg in the blender whiz it once quickly and drizzle in the oil to your desired degree of mayoness. Be easy with it but it won't separate on you. You can add garlic or terragon or lemon or whatever. Really. Give it a try. You may have to sperament once or twice for your own best result. I learned this from my (now ex) mother in law who lives in Brussels. Home of the sprouts.
  30. MichaelG on Rashomon in the kitchen.
    April 6th, 2007  6:30 pm

  31. I don't know much about memory except that mine isn't what it used to be. Boy am I ever with Kate on the subject of beets. YUK! This is a big upside for my erstwhile dear one. Now she can eat beets to her heart's content without having to listen to my moaning. I do like spinach, though. And brussels sprouts.
  32. MichaelG on Rashomon in the kitchen.
    April 7th, 2007  2:01 am

  33. My daughter was always a negotiator. If we wanted her to clean her room (hah) for instance, she would counter with an offer to, for example, just remove the six or eight half full water glasses now and clean the rest tomorrow or some such nonsense. I used to have to leave the room to laugh. And now she's pregnant with my second grandkid. Good lord, beet pornography! I hope, Nance, that you have a palatable alternative to feed your poor suffering child in lieu of those awful beets. I may have to alert child protective services.
  34. MichaelG on A note on readership.
    April 9th, 2007  5:28 pm

  35. Used to enjoy B.C. and the Wiz before Hart turned into a religious wacko. I haven't read either in years. Why can't people just quietly keep whatever faith they wish to keep? Why do they have to bother everybody else with their business? Like all those athuhleets who have turn their post game interview into a prayer meeting. I used to do all the driving just like men are supposed to. Then I woke up. In recent years we took turns.
  36. MichaelG on A note on readership.
    April 9th, 2007  8:10 pm

  37. You want a non-boring drive? Try 299 between Redding and Arcata. Nobody sleeps there.
  38. MichaelG on High-def guilt.
    April 10th, 2007  9:35 pm

  39. Try to buy anything but a flat screen TV these days. I moved into a house by myself about six weeks ago. I have a 13" TV. So I started shopping for something a little nicer. Just this AM I ordered a 37" LCD. It's an off brand that has garnered excellent ratings all over the net. Price is $750 -- high for me to spend on a TV but low for what you get. I was gonna buy the 32" model for $520, but somehow talked myself up to the bigger, more feature laden model. I'm not sure how that psychology works but work it certainly did. Anyhow, the new TV will serve both living room and kitchen very nicely from its location against the front wall of the house. No buyer's remorse yet. Maybe later.
  40. MichaelG on Happy birthday to you.
    April 11th, 2007  10:44 pm

  41. I think Dimes' point was not that Sharpton was offended by Imus' remarks but that Sharpton is just as big a piece of human effluent as Imus. I would tend to agree. I don't know which of the two is worse.
  42. MichaelG on Happy birthday to you.
    April 12th, 2007  12:22 am

  43. Oh, for sure, Mary. Nobody would dispute that. As far as I am concerned Imus should be fired. I just don't like the way this kind of thing seems to lend legitimacy to Sharpton.
  44. MichaelG on The very expensive trash can.
    April 16th, 2007  6:48 pm

  45. You got it Mary! I've been shopping in restaurant supply stores for years. Afterwards it's fun to walk through Macy's and sneer. Splitting up with my wife in March led to several nice trips to Cresco.
  46. MichaelG on Iggy.
    April 16th, 2007  7:32 pm

  47. Great, Ashley, thanks for the link. I don’t know if it’s dancing or dressage, but I’ve been to some places where I thought I was observing dressage rather than dancing. By the way, did that dancing horse show up at the Iggy concert?
  48. MichaelG on The very expensive trash can.
    April 16th, 2007  11:55 pm

  49. Mason jars are great for some types of storage. They come in several sizes and are available at the supermarket for cheap.
  50. MichaelG on Rude, thoughtless, c'est moi.
    April 21st, 2007  3:18 am

  51. We’ve all observed appalling parental behavior toward children in the supermarket. I saw something nice one time. Turning the corner into the paper products aisle, I noted a woman piling up four packs of toilet paper on the shelf. As I approached, I could see that she had her very young child on the shelf and was bricking the kid up behind the packs of TP. She and the child were both absolutely laughing their asses off. She hadn’t noticed me and I kind of tip-toed my way back up the aisle away from their private and obviously very entertaining moment.
  52. MichaelG on Ahead of the curve.
    April 24th, 2007  8:51 pm

  53. They've just let go a bunch of newsroom folks (including a couple of columnists) at the Sacramento Bee. Also the Bee is noticeably thinner than it used to be.
  54. MichaelG on Drive.
    April 25th, 2007  7:31 pm

  55. I was attending the University of Illinois in Champaign back in the dim past when Roger Ebert was the editor of the Daily Illini. My favorite memory of Roger is from a party that was raided by the police. They used to look for underage drinkers in those days. Roger was over 21 at the time but didn’t want to be seen on the same premises as a raid -- half-hearted though it might have been. Last I saw of Roger that night was the sight of his not inconsiderable rear end disappearing out a window.
  56. MichaelG on Drive.
    April 25th, 2007  10:55 pm

  57. I don’t remember specifics of accusations, dates or publishers but there were numerous accounts of Arnold’s tendencies to behave boorishly and worse with a wide variety of women. They started appearing as soon as Schwarzenegger entered the race. As I recall, they were mostly ignored and generally downplayed. Describing the Times’ story as a “despicable eleventh-hour smear campaign designed to take down Swarzenegger” is way over the top. Hyperventilation doesn’t get any of us anywhere.
  58. MichaelG on Adam and Ben-Hur.
    April 27th, 2007  10:24 pm

  59. I have a picture of a Daytona that I took at Bonneville a couple of years ago. It's orange with the nose and the ass stripe and all. If someone can tell me how to attach it to this comments section I will be glad to do so.
  60. MichaelG on The silver-tongued devil.
    April 28th, 2007  5:42 am

  61. My one Ohio experience dates from 1968. We were traveling and it was late on a Sunday night. Stopped to eat. Ordered a burger and a beer. Was told that it was not possible to have a beer on Sunday, but since it was minutes before midnight, things would soon change. We sat and watched the bar clock. At the stroke, a schooner appeared in front of me. Love them blue laws. Mass was and probably still is the worst. By the way, Mr. Dimes, is that pronounced "Chucky"? As in Cheeze? Wait! Wait! I was in Ohio one other time. I got off the plane and went to the rental lot and stood sort of stupidly looking at my car which had frost all over the windows. This was in Columbus. The guy getting into the next car said "gotta credit card?" I replied "uh, yeah, I guess so". Quick study that I am, I half assed scraped the windows and went about my business. I always knew there were reasons I don't like the cold country.
  62. MichaelG on Sekhu, the Remains.
    April 30th, 2007  10:01 pm

  63. I know the unused freezer is strange, but didn't anybody miss old Dorothy? I wonder how many freezers there are out there that haven't been looked into in a long time.
  64. MichaelG on Four more years.
    May 2nd, 2007  3:44 pm

  65. Ashley, how do you pronounce "Atchafalaya"? I see it all the time in James Lee Burke's wonderful books and I'm guessing that it has some kind of trick pronounciation.
  66. MichaelG on Ow.
    May 2nd, 2007  4:46 pm

  67. Feel better soon, Nance. Ken Levine is one of the best. He’s a daily smile source. Rolls Royce is in . . . Ohio? And I’ve been believing that Briddish propaganda all these years?
  68. MichaelG on Ow.
    May 2nd, 2007  6:21 pm

  69. I know, Dorothy, thanks. The comment was supposed to be a joke. Hence the spelling. Rollers were, however, built in the US at one time. During the twenties RR had a satellite factory in Springfield, MA.
  70. MichaelG on Four more years.
    May 2nd, 2007  8:22 pm

  71. Thanks, Ashley, and for the links!
  72. MichaelG on Ow.
    May 3rd, 2007  2:14 am

  73. As I understand it, Rolls Royce engines etc. group is owned by RR. Rolls Royce cars is owned and operated by BMW. Bentley is owned and operated by VW. MG is owned by some Chinese outfit and Lotus is owned by an Indonesian bunch. Though it may be Malaysian. I can’t remember. Jaguar and Range/Land Rover are owned by Ford. Ford did own Aston Martin but they just sold it to somebody else. And so it goes. The Briddish Motor Car Industry is not what it was. Morgan lives on, though.
  74. MichaelG on Ow.
    May 3rd, 2007  2:21 am

  75. And congrats, Dorothy. Sounds like a great job and a very nice area.
  76. MichaelG on Ow.
    May 3rd, 2007  3:42 pm

  77. Shoot, Dorothy, I'm over 60 and still haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up. Assuming I ever do.
  78. MichaelG on What a boob.
    May 3rd, 2007  9:39 pm

  79. If he's a Mormon why's his fave book the Bible?
  80. MichaelG on No man is a hero to his valet.
    May 8th, 2007  9:30 pm

  81. I owe Bob Greene the same nod since it was the Greene Piece (yuk, yuk) that introduced me to Nance's blog.
  82. MichaelG on Let us give thanks.
    May 11th, 2007  5:05 pm

  83. My goodness, John. Marcia was being kind. Perhaps you may wish to reread your statement and give it a little reflection. I used to know people who said: "Good food, good friends, good God, let's eat!" I don't know how sincere they were but it seemed to cover the ground nicely and concisely.
  84. MichaelG on Let us give thanks.
    May 11th, 2007  6:11 pm

  85. Sorry, Marcia. I didn't mean to step on your toes. If your post hadn't been booted I wouldn't have stuck mine in.
  86. MichaelG on Let us give thanks.
    May 13th, 2007  1:57 am

  87. I remember Gene Scott. Had on a different hat every time you saw him. Told people not to bother with ones or fives -- send nothing smaller than a twenty. This goes back a fur piece.
  88. MichaelG on Cn u rd ths?
    May 17th, 2007  2:54 am

  89. Happy Anniversary, Nancy! Sorry to be late. I've been out of town the last couple of days.
  90. MichaelG on The state boys.
    May 17th, 2007  7:52 pm

  91. I was going to write a snarky comment for Jerry Jr., but I stifled it. Mary, I assume that when saying "state police" you are referring to the CHP. In the course of my job I have occasion to visit CHP field offices all over the state. I was at Joshua Tree yesteday. I've found that the CHP seems to attract a decidedly better quality of officer than your average police dept. With (naturally) a few exceptions, they all seem to be pretty good people.
  92. MichaelG on The state boys.
    May 18th, 2007  12:59 am

  93. Danny, when you insult people you should be prerpared for them to respond in kind. I hadn’t made any comment about Falwell. My comment was not about Falwell. My comment was about you. You admittedly don’t know anything about the man, “(barely knew of him)” yet you’re making nasty, self serving and unjustified accusations about other people who post comments here. Seems to me that the acrimony around here is mostly yours. Falwell devoted his life to spreading hate, fear, intolerance and division. This is not opinion, this is fact. Bringing up these unpleasant issues upon the occasion of his death is not being a jackass or attacking his family. It is simply a plain and honest assessment of his life and legacy. Some people have made comments to the effect that they are, to say the least, untroubled by his death or even happy that he’s gone. These comments may be honestly viewed as suffering somewhat from a lack of taste but the world certainly is not lessened by Falwell’s passing. His actions, his rhetoric, his preaching, his dishonesty, his hypocrisy all begged for just such comments. After all, they were nothing more than a reflection of his own words. If you buy into Rev. Falwell and his supporters to the extent of defending them then you are buying into the whole program.
  94. MichaelG on The state boys.
    May 18th, 2007  6:54 pm

  95. I think Basset's right. I need to go back to my original policy of keeping my comments light. Lite? The worst toenail stuff I know of is that disgusting toenail medicine commercial they insist on playing at dinner time.
  96. MichaelG on Trend story in the hole!
    May 21st, 2007  7:31 pm

  97. Ummm, I don't think pudendum means "bottom". Gas in Sacramento runs $3.39 up.
  98. MichaelG on That special day.
    May 22nd, 2007  4:15 pm

  99. We did a nice wedding for my daughter about eight years ago. We had about 80 people, had a great party (what I can remember of it) and spent about 10 grand. Later my daughter spent a semester as the only white person at an all black college in the south. She didn't find the experience pleasant and it did nothing to shore up her liberal leanings.
  100. MichaelG on That special day.
    May 23rd, 2007  4:58 am

  101. We were married at a friend’s house. The preacher was an Episcopalian priest who ended up by saying “I now pronounce you man and wife. May I have a gin and tonic?” We were both nominally Catholic but divorced. No Catholic priest would touch us. Food was by our hostess and my brother in law. Great party late into the night. The wedding night was no surprise since we had been living together for several years. The marriage lasted for about thirty. Ended in March. No fault, no hate, just an end. Sigh. Oh, and watch the DJs. I had to hold a counseling session with the one at my daughter’s wedding. He was under the misapprehension that it was all about him.
  102. MichaelG on Peanuts and Cracker Jack.
    May 24th, 2007  5:09 pm

  103. One time I was at a small club in San Francisco when Robin Williams showed up unannounced and did an hour or so. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard.
  104. MichaelG on Blowout, and blowoff.
    May 28th, 2007  4:41 am

  105. Let’s look to the future. There’s a kid here in Sacramento named Alex Kosinski. She’s the best high school middle distance runner in the country today. Maybe ever. For example she owns the United States national high school record at 1600 meters. She runs the 800 and anchors the 400 meter relay. She’ll be going to Oregon in the fall where she (naturally) has a scholarship. So far she’s clean but imagine the pressure on this kid and expectations this she faces. I hope it works out for her and I hope she stays clean. I’ll be following her career.
  106. MichaelG on Your tax dollars.
    May 30th, 2007  8:55 pm

  107. I read both Carroll and Lileks yesterday. Carroll in actual paper and ink as usual. The contrast couldn't be starker. Lileks is a obvious jerk. Wants to be a snob and doesn't know how or even why. He's not even sure why he should have been served white meat other than he somehow expected it. Carroll was his usual graceful self. I didn't quite get Jeff's comment. Lileks seems to have an odd relationship with his wife. References to her are rare and strange. Note that he always refers to her as "wife" And he always goes to bed at some very late hour. Etc., etc. She's very depersonalized. I'm not sure why. Carroll always refers to his wife as "Tracy", always refers to her in the most favorable way and clearly has a very close relationship with her. My strong feeling is that Tracy both cares and reads the columns. Mrs. L? I don't have a clue.
  108. MichaelG on "You've got gonorrhea, Baker."
    May 31st, 2007  3:28 pm

  109. I heard about these kinds of movies and about "short arm inspections" and so forth but didn't experience any of it while I was in the service. I must have slipped through the cracks somehow. I heard legends while I was in RVN about the "black clap" It was this horrible variety of gonorrhea that was impervious to all medicines and your genitals turned black and fell off and the Army maintained this island somewhere in the Philippines where all the victims were quarantined and if you caught it you were on the island forever and . . .
  110. MichaelG on Got a match?
    May 31st, 2007  5:16 pm

  111. You're right about publishing the picture. Not doing so would only engender the feelings you yourself noted. The State track meet is to take place this weekend down the street from my house. Here is a link which includes all events handicapping. http://www.dyestatcal.com/ As you can see, Stokke is picked to finish 2d behind a kid form Palo Alto. The young lady I wrote about the other day, Alex Kosinski, suffered an injury last weekend and won't compete --- at least not at full strength and not in all her events. Kosinski is just as attractive as Stokke. Let's hope that they and all the rest of the contestants are left to compete without the freako element.
  112. MichaelG on Got a match?
    May 31st, 2007  5:17 pm

  113. That's "from" Palo Alto.
  114. MichaelG on "You've got gonorrhea, Baker."
    May 31st, 2007  10:22 pm

  115. Two hoots in a day -- Nance's tattoo picture and Mary's ex.
  116. MichaelG on Crabby.
    June 5th, 2007  4:18 pm

  117. Burke is absolutely one of the greatest writers around but I don't see Dave Robicheaux as a descendant of Travis McGee. Try Randy Wayne White and his Doc Ford novels for a MacDonald look-a-like. I once thought that Lileks was a decent writer. I retract that. He's descended into total incoherence with a big side of out-to-lunchness. Terms like self absorbed, narcissistic, inner directed, self important don't even begin to do it with this guy.
  118. MichaelG on Crabby.
    June 5th, 2007  6:12 pm

  119. I stopped reading Lileks over a year ago. I started again a week or two back when it appeared his job was in jeopardy. Along with Nance I agree that the dark meat rant was worth the price of admission. Without going back and comparing earlier "Bleats" it seems to me that he is making far less sense than he used to -- that his Lileks' disease has dramatically worsened.
  120. MichaelG on Soccer-momitude.
    June 7th, 2007  11:38 pm

  121. I was on the train to Bakersfield yesterday when some guy drove his truck into the side of the car in front of me. Just inexplicably turned left from a parallel road, crossed traffic and about 30 feet of grass and bang. A crunching sound, a slight lurch and a spray of dirt past the window. We had been bucketing along at around 70. I was on the opposite side and didn’t see the wreck. The guy across the aisle described it for me. We got restarted after a two hour delay. I was late for my meeting in Bakersfield and for the first time ever used the excuse that I was late because I was in a train wreck. The HBO summation of “John” sounds kinda T. Jefferson Parkerish. I've always had a lech for Rebecca DeMornay.
  122. MichaelG on Nobody asked me.
    June 8th, 2007  6:50 pm

  123. The good part is when they start having their own kids. I figure my job is to teach my grandson to drink, cuss and smoke cigars. Want more fries, Dominic? Cool. Here, have some more Coke with that. Oh, and some popcorn too? Here you go. Not my job to say no. He gets enougn of that from his mom and dad. I have one grandson now and my daughter is pregnant with #2. I get to help spoil another one. He's really a great little boy and I'm not really that bad.
  124. MichaelG on See, a Prius couldn't do that.
    June 13th, 2007  3:17 pm

  125. The cuts in the Bullitt chase are interesting: Cut!! and the car(s) magically reappear at a location miles away. This minor cavil aside, it truly is the best chase scene ever. There have been several instances of play structures being burned in the Sacramento area. I don't know what the attraction is for arsonists. My guess would be that it's teenage "pranksters" who are burning them. What's sad is that, aside from the victims being little kids, many of these structures have been built by mom and pop volunteers with donated materials in communities that just don't have the money to furnish these things any other way. And it's tough to start one of these efforts over from scratch.
  126. MichaelG on Karma-buffing.
    June 19th, 2007  5:41 pm

  127. I kind of looked over my faves and a lot of them do look as if they could survive without your sawbuck. What about Digby? Every time I look at some kind of cat humor stuff I wonder where B. Kliban went. Ever check a Joe Eszterhas book out of the library and actually try to read it?
  128. MichaelG on The living will envy the dead.
    June 20th, 2007  3:10 pm

  129. Couldn't agree more about Sandler. He's just so creepily offensive. Ashley, it's simple. In Poland Windex is spelled "Xedniw". And Alex, I must confess to having had a prurient interest in certain aspects of anatomy from time to time. What's wrong with that?
  130. MichaelG on Little Miss Rantypants.
    June 25th, 2007  5:49 pm

  131. I feel the same way as Nance and 4d. If you didn't dislike those people before, the currant WAPO series should certainly raise an eyebrow at minimum if not your blood pressure. I have a son-in-law in the Army. In fact, I'll be going back east on Wed to visit he and my daughter and grandson for a week or so. He's been to A'stan but has been lucky enough to avoid Iraq -- so far. I'll be carrying out my grandfatherly duties. It's my job to teach the kid to drink, cuss and smoke cigars. Nance, with your mentioning Serena's potential lethality, can I assume you saw "Lust in the Dust" with Divine illustrating how such a fatal event might occur?
  132. MichaelG on Little Miss Rantypants.
    June 25th, 2007  5:53 pm

  133. Make that current WAPO series. Isn't a currant some kind of raisiny thing, all small and dark and crinkly?
  134. michaelG on In a whiner key.
    July 6th, 2007  3:51 pm

  135. Kim, what's a good malbec? I've tried several and haven't been overly impressed.
  136. michaelG on Room for one more?
    July 6th, 2007  8:53 pm

  137. Hot dogs get mustard, onions and, if desired, liberty cabbage. The corollary to "no ketchup on hot dogs" is "no mustard on hamburgers". What is this "catsup" stuff I see here and there?
  138. MichaelG on Room for one more?
    July 7th, 2007  6:20 pm

  139. I’ll assume Mr. Zorn is pulling my finger. There’s lots of other stuff to put on burgers and dogs. There used to be a place in Berkeley called Jerry’s Grossburgers. The buns were great, the burgers as moist as you could ever want. Their thing was to put lots of fried onions on the burger. The juice would run down your arms when you ate one of those things. Lord, they were great. There’s bacon and cheese and raw onions and ‘shrooms and more for burgers. I’ve even seen people put sprouts and avocado and other non-specific organic stuff on them. Paddy melts can be good. There’s cheese, chili and relish and more for dogs. Mayo, lettuce, special sauce, whatever. Imagination is the only limit. My feeling is the most important thing is the quality of the meat and the bun. The best are probably local or regional. For example here we have hot dogs made by an outfit called Zenner’s which is located somewhere in Oregon. There is also Morant’s over on Franklin Blvd. where they make their own along with many other kinds of sausages, sauerkraut, hams, bacon, etc. Burgers need some fat to be juicy and tasty. Don’t worry. It’ll cook out. Buns need to be firm and solid with or without sesame seeds, onions, poppy seeds or whatever. Not those mushy things that the supermarket sells. In the end, however, what’s really most important is the combination that floats your boat. Geez, it’s only 9:20AM and I’m ready to fire up the barbie. Oh, and Ashley, eat any good Polish sausages in Poland?
  140. MichaelG on Room for one more?
    July 8th, 2007  12:06 am

  141. I'll second or third the In-N-Out motion. They're the best fast food burger outlet around. Europeans put mayo on fries. My ex-wife (still kinda feels funny to say that) is European and lived for some years in Belgium where fries are said to have originated. I spent almost 30 years watching her put mayo on fries. Well, I mean,that’s not all I did for the last 30 years.
  142. MichaelG on Mixed salad, today.
    July 12th, 2007  8:11 pm

  143. Apropos of nothing: I was in Pelican Bay the last two days. I've got a little job up there. On Tuesday there were several of us standing around watching one guy, the excavator operator, work. There was me (the project manager), the inspector, a guy from the Department of Corrections, the county guy and one of the contractor's guys who was leaning on a shovel. Across the road there was a level one (minimum security) yard. Of course there was a multitude of blue uniformed sidewalk superintendents over there supervising the job. Out of the crowd, seeing five guys standing around watching one guy work, came a voice: "Hey, are you guys a CalTrans crew?" What a trip. I was at the airport at 5:30 in the morning on my way up there, ready to board the plane when I suddenly realized I was wearing Levis. Blue jeans are a no no at a prison. As many times as I have been to prisons I should know better but I sort of dressed in a fog that morning. As soon as I landed at Crescent City and picked up my rental car, I headed straight to Wal-Mart. I found a pair of khaki wash pants for $9.86. I paid, then started to explain to the lady that I wanted to wear them because I had to go to the prison and . . . She interrupted me before I could finish and pointed me to a changing booth, "Happens all the time, Honey. We get several guys a week in here need pants to go to the prison." A little comfort. I guess I'm not the only dummy.
  144. MichaelG on Mixed salad, today.
    July 12th, 2007  9:29 pm

  145. That's it precisely, Nance. Inmates wear blue shirts and blue pants. Orange is worn by newbys in reception centers. They want the cops to be able to instantly distinguish inmates from free folks. And, yeah, I laughingly told the pants story to my inspector and he replied that he had done the same thing just a month or so ago. He now carries the extra pants in his truck. Mary, amazingly enough (or not) I find the LA newscasts to be way inferior to KCRA 3 in Sacramento. Except for Rachael Whatshername, the AM weather person on Channel 4. And I never got the impression that Moyer was a genius.
  146. MichaelG on "Beaverton, cut to the chase"
    July 13th, 2007  6:52 pm

  147. Ahhh, yes. I can remember getting my old man’s ’55 Desoto sideways. I can remember the fan belt coming off as I struggled to reach 100 MPH on a back road. I can remember revving the engine in neutral and dropping the little dashboard stick into drive so as to induce wheel spin in the old behemoth. I still don’t understand how it is that I never crashed. I’m glad my kid was a girl. A kid who, by the way, is pregnant with a granddaughter. Due in Nov. My five year old grandson is all excited. He wants to buy her presents. He’s gonna be a terrific big brother.
  148. MichaelG on "Beaverton, cut to the chase"
    July 15th, 2007  5:12 am

  149. The “Beaverton” post points up one of the unique facets of the Iraq/A’stan war. The war is being fought and the consequences borne by a very small portion of the American public. The lack of a draft, the unit rather than individual replacement policy, the extension of enlistments and zone time along with the reduction of home time have all conspired to limit the number of individuals and families actually participating in the sacrificing. This has all been compounded by the administration’s complete failure to do anything to try and spread the sacrifice, to do anything to try and attract to the military the progeny of the prosperous. It’s also instructive to observe how few administration members and their offspring possess genuine military experience. No other war has had such limited participation. None. Middle, upper class and Republican youth are well represented by such creepy little chicken hawk twits as Continetti and NRO’s Jonah Goldberg. This is an old controversy that has been argued back and forth in blogdom for several years. The chicken hawks’ contention is that since they are the elite intelligentsia, their efforts are better expended toward selling and justifying the war rather than actually, physically participating. In fact, they have argued, they are just as much warriors in their own right and their contribution to the nation’s welfare is as great as or greater than that of the marines and soldiers who are bleeding and dying overseas. I kid you not.
  150. MichaelG on "Beaverton, cut to the chase"
    July 15th, 2007  7:11 pm

  151. Do I sense a dismissal here, Brian? The fact that you are unfamiliar with Continetti and Goldberg doesn’t mean they don’t exist or that their audiences are inconsequential. They do, of course, have every right to express their opinions and to express them in public fora. Equally, I have every right to express my criticism of their opinions. As I alluded earlier, this whole chicken hawk issue was the subject of much debate in the blogosphere a year or so ago. Several young chicken hawks including Goldberg explicitly espoused the position that I repeated in my post. I never stated that “one cannot possibly express an opinion on a war, unless one is either a combat veteran or else flatly anti-war” and I’ll thank you to not put words in my mouth. What I did say was that the extraordinarily low level of participation in the military by educated, middle class and upper class youngsters is remarkable and without precedent in U.S. history. Just read Phil Carter. And what I did allow to seep through was my disdain for people such as the aforenamed who, as a group, express lots of enthusiasm for a war that none of them will touch with a ten foot pole. We’re all stakeholders in this war, Brian. Some just have more invested than others. As you say, they absolutely are entitled to their point of view -- and I am entitled to mine. Lordy, I try not to get political but I get sucked in now and again. Sorry.
  152. MichaelG on "Beaverton, cut to the chase"
    July 15th, 2007  9:28 pm

  153. I’m not quite sure what you mean by “wouldn’t you agree that this “chicken hawk” precisely an attempt (rightly or wrongly) to pre-emptively dismiss people who express lots of enthusiasm for a war that none of them will touch with a ten foot pole.?” I take it to mean, Brian, that you think that I am trying to “dismiss” somebody, whatever that means, and that you are trying to maneuver me into agreeing with you. I don’t. Please stop trying to put words in my mouth. There is no hidden agenda, no secret meaning buried in what I wrote. I meant exactly what I said. No more, no less.
  154. MichaelG on "Beaverton, cut to the chase"
    July 15th, 2007  11:25 pm

  155. OK, Brian. I give.
  156. MichaelG on "Beaverton, cut to the chase"
    July 16th, 2007  4:27 am

  157. The other day somebody mentioned sipping a malbec. Friday I stumbled on a very nice one at Costco. Pascual Toso -- about eight bucks. Try some.
  158. MichaelG on "Beaverton, cut to the chase"
    July 16th, 2007  5:30 am

  159. Thanks, Kim. I'm sorry, we must have misconnected. Anyway, we met over Pascual and that’s what counts. I’ll keep my eyes open and pass on any others I discover. Thanks for the tip. You are absolutely right in pinning the original context, Alex. The term has been somewhat sidetracked by events. Time will work it out. Another distraction: The Tour Day France, as Bob Roll would have it, is a wonderful TV event. The visuals are spectacular. It’s easy to shine it on my screen for hours as background and suddenly immediate TV. Especially since I live alone. If there are better commentators in any sport, anywhere than Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen, Bob Roll and yes, even Al Trautwig, I would like to see them. The whole experience is just delightful. I have no favorites this year, but you certainly have to give credit to Kloden and Vino for sheer guts. C’mon, Levi, show us something before it’s over. The one thing I find curious is that there is no mention of the bikes used by the participants. In any other kind of racing the ride is always a key part of the commentary. You know, Ford vs. Chevy. Full disclosure: My ride is a Specialized Sequoia. Yes, Nance, I confess to riding a bicycle.
  160. MichaelG on They all look alike.
    July 17th, 2007  11:27 pm

  161. Geeze, Nance, Roger Moore's got to be 75 years old. 'Course, now that I think about it, that's not all that old.
  162. MichaelG on Hiatus.
    July 18th, 2007  4:30 pm

  163. I flew to Norfolk, VA and back a couple of weeks ago on Southwest with no problems. Don't forget to pack a lunch and bring a book. I've also been doing my regular two or three trips a month within CA without grief. Maybe it's not quite as bad as some people say. Or maybe I just have really low standards.
  164. MichaelG on Hiatus.
    July 18th, 2007  6:28 pm

  165. Joe, I've been going back and forth between Sacramento and Crescent City, CA. The return to SMF involves changing planes at SFO. The plane to SFO is a turn around (SFO-CEC-SFO) and is always one to three hours late. The airline, Skywest flying as United Express, always claims the delay is due to weather. SFO is not socked in at 3:00PM on a summer day nor is CEC. Last week it was CAVU to the moon in San Francisco. The deal is Skywest has way more flights than gates in the afternoon. It's just that simple. Any landing in the city involves 10 to 20 minutes waiting on the ground at the terminal before moving to a gate. That's after the gatehold in the departure city. I just plan for the extra time, tune out their bullshit excuses and go with the flow. I guess that's what I mean by having low standards. I can't see any value in my getting upset over this stuff.
  166. MichaelG on Hiatus.
    July 18th, 2007  10:34 pm

  167. Oh, I agree, Joe. A month or two ago I rode down to the desert in a CalTrans Bonanza. Point to point, free parking, no muss, no fuss. Beautiful views. Altogether a great trip. A posting tip: Rite you stuff on MS Word or whatever. Then yu can revue it, spelchek it and soo forth befor pasting and posting.
  168. MichaelG on Hiatus.
    July 19th, 2007  2:39 pm

  169. I got the wine at Costco. Guess I need to go back, but did anyone ever get out of Costco for less than a hundred bucks? Most of my travel is work related so I'm being paid. I'm also single with no dependents. Those factors go a long way toward making travel stress free.
  170. MichaelG on Hiatus.
    July 19th, 2007  3:04 pm

  171. Oh, and Kim, those gateholds in Crescent City are not with pax on the aircraft. Because the delays are self induced, Skywest has a pretty good handle on the timing. What you do is check in at the counter before you turn in your rental car. They'll tell you what time you have to be back. This is Crescent City, CA here, not ORD. The terminal is like a couple of trailers with a single coke machine and there's only one airline. The airplane is a thirty seat turboprop and typically there are no more than a dozen passengers. No Airbus A-380s there. The whole affair is out on a windswept beach. There's a beautiful coastal look out a couple of miles away at Point St. George and you can bring the take out sandwich you thoughtfully purchased back in town to the look out and eat and read your book. Crescent City is basically just a little fishing village and logging town that was dying out along with those two industries until Pelican Bay State Prison was built there 15 years or so ago. Check it out at local.live.com.
  172. MichaelG on We're back.
    July 25th, 2007  10:14 pm

  173. I dunno, Mary. I guess I'm just not much of a judge of womens' shoes although I can see they might be much more comfortable than some styles out there. $495 does seem a lot. Maybe somebody has $10 knock offs. I seem to buy most of my shoes at Big 5 when they have their $12 sales. Edit, Edit, Edit.
  174. MichaelG on We're back.
    July 26th, 2007  5:37 am

  175. It’s not surprising that VS doesn’t have any on camera coverage of the Rasmussen removal. All the coverage is produced in France and rumor has it that France is several hours ahead of us -- especially those of us on the west coast. They did run a crawl during the last presentation that informed viewers of the latest developments. The VS web site (which is quite good) also carries the news. The TdeF coverage on VS is superlative and I highly recommend it to anyone. It’s repeated several times a day. There are wonderful views of the French countryside. The commentary is the best and most intelligent anywhere. The whole thing is just a delight. Other than the TdeF VS programming can only be described as creepy.
  176. MichaelG on A good read.
    August 3rd, 2007  4:39 pm

  177. Been gone for a couple of days and just read Gary Kamiya's excellent article. It should be mandatory reading for everyone who puts paws to keyboard.
  178. MichaelG on How insensitive.
    August 3rd, 2007  7:46 pm

  179. Well, Nance, your first guy up demonstrated the need for an editor or at least a bit of proof reading: "first goat led to the alter". I wonder at the great Jon Carroll's writing every day. I read the Chron at lunch. I mean the actual paper paper spread out on my desk. I save him for last.
  180. MichaelG on How insensitive.
    August 3rd, 2007  9:41 pm

  181. You mean Carroll is a better writer than some who write about personal stuff like Lileks and his ilk?
  182. MichaelG on Movie post.
    August 8th, 2007  12:52 am

  183. I saw the Devine "Hairspray" and loved it. You must see "Lust in the Dust". Same people. Here in Sacramento we had a new record high temp for the date yesterday. It was 74 degrees. A world record for the lowest peak temp ever recorded in Sac on August 6. Howboutdat.
  184. MichaelG on Movie post.
    August 8th, 2007  3:05 pm

  185. The weather has been great, Mary. (As far as I'm concerned you're the original Mary). The average for Aug 6 is 93 and the record high high is 108. We're looking at mid 80's today. I'll take it! For once nobody's complaining about the weather. Looks like all the heat floated back east. Now they have some kind of bogus "heat index". So while yesterday's high in Houston is listed as 96, on the tube this AM they said that it officially "felt like 113". So there you are. The temp is really whatever you feel like it is.
  186. MichaelG on Movie post.
    August 8th, 2007  4:50 pm

  187. There you go, Alex! The TV weather people aren't reporting on the weather, they're consensus building. Although they are leading you when they tell you it should feel like XX degrees. Me, I'll take, oh, let's see, umm, 83 today. One thing that bugs me about so many movies and TV shows is that dim blue light stuff. Like they ran out of money when it came to the lighting budget and that was all they could afford.
  188. MichaelG on Movie post.
    August 9th, 2007  12:36 am

  189. It makes everyones' day!
  190. MichaelG on One more movie post.
    August 9th, 2007  8:18 pm

  191. I remember college relations. I had lots of fun. Then there's UC Santa Cruz. They're the Banana Slugs.
  192. MichaelG on Languagecrime.
    August 9th, 2007  8:27 pm

  193. Nance, I just wasted several minutes reading that idiot's blatherings. You can quote him if you want, but I won't be following the link next time. My head is still spinning from just reading it. Imagine what his must be like.
  194. MichaelG on Languagecrime.
    August 10th, 2007  5:41 am

  195. Geez, I was going to make some smart remark or other about whatshisname until I read down to Mary's post. Be careful, Mary. That's about more than your respective salaries. You know the drill: polite smile, nod, keep your distance, etc. Maybe it's nothing. Maybe I'm just hyper alert to this stuff. I love what I do, but I spend way too much time dodging management idiots. I'm old and crafty and experienced. I don't know how young kids survive.
  196. MichaelG on Sic 'em.
    August 13th, 2007  2:55 pm

  197. Does Rove's resigining mean something is going to happen in Sept/Oct and he doesn't want to be in town when it does? Is it related to Chaney's renewed push to attack Iran?
  198. MichaelG on Sic 'em.
    August 13th, 2007  4:42 pm

  199. Oops, just realized I spelled a word wrong. Resig...
  200. MichaelG on Sic 'em.
    August 13th, 2007  7:21 pm

  201. Whoops! But I guess I have company, Bill. My only excuse is that it was early here and the coffee was still brewing. That was two words out of 33 or 6%. I violated my own rules about proofing and spell checking and see what happened.
  202. MichaelG on Fluffy little lamb.
    August 15th, 2007  4:05 pm

  203. OK, I give up. What is deep fried Pepsi? I saw the picture of little Courtney and her whatever on a stick. I've been to the California state fair (it opens this coming Fri) many times and don't recall ever having seen deep fried Pepsi. So I'll bite . . .
  204. MichaelG on Academy of the Overrated.
    August 21st, 2007  4:44 pm

  205. Ellen Barkin is indeed a goddess.
  206. MichaelG on Bad browser.
    August 23rd, 2007  4:46 pm

  207. Go to Ken Levine's wonderful website for the fall movie capsules. He just posted them yesterday and today. http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/
  208. MichaelG on Bad browser.
    August 23rd, 2007  6:29 pm

  209. Used to be a club in San Francisco called Finocchio's. It featured all the old tranny entertainers like Charles Pierce. I hadn't thought of it in years. I only went there a couple of times.
  210. MichaelG on A must to avoid.
    August 23rd, 2007  9:23 pm

  211. OOOO! I always wanted to fire a nun. Especially in seventh grade. Also: I never thought of nuns as having resumes. I mean, it just never occured to me. Nuns are . . . nuns. What's to put on a resume? But I guess now that they're roaming the streets freely they need resumes just like the rest of us.
  212. MichaelG on A must to avoid.
    August 23rd, 2007  11:18 pm

  213. Wait a minute. The head nun sent word down to you to fire her? What does one do with a fired nun? Does she get kicked out of the convent? Is everything OK if she goes to confession? Is she publically defrocked or at least dewimpled? Can they option her to some other order? This is all new territory to me.
  214. MichaelG on A must to avoid.
    August 24th, 2007  4:19 am

  215. A mail order nun. Lord, save me. Like that guy in Fresno who made everybody ministers? Is he still in business? I work for the State of California and I don't know of anybody being tested for drugs. Sure, cops and COs and fire people but not non-sworn folks. I don't know what JCAHO means, Mary, but I would guess it includes Catholic Health Orgs. We have Mercy Hosp up the street and they're a pretty major player in the health biz around here.
  216. MichaelG on Shocked, shocked.
    August 28th, 2007  4:00 pm

  217. There have been stories about Craig floating around for some time. Including supposed events in a DC train station washroom. That's the part I cannot understand. What's with restrooms? I'm sure that disgust at these kinds of encounters is a component of anti gay sentiment. There are gay guys all around. If you want to get together with someone it's easy to do so. I repeat: What's with restrooms? And by the way, part of Roy's appeal is his great commenters. They never fail to make me laugh.
  218. MichaelG on Shocked, shocked.
    August 28th, 2007  7:44 pm

  219. Took the words right out of my mouth, Mary.
  220. MichaelG on Shocked, shocked.
    August 28th, 2007  10:07 pm

  221. Danny, think it's possible for people to disagree without snide innuendo and the nasty personal attacks?
  222. MichaelG on Shocked, shocked.
    August 29th, 2007  2:46 pm

  223. Josh Marshall has a terrific post from a reader on TPM this AM about gay restroom sex. Educational. http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/ scroll down to "Context and History".
  224. MichaelG on What's your stance?
    August 29th, 2007  4:31 pm

  225. I travel a lot. As a result, I frequently make stops in airport restrooms. I always thought I was just going in to take a quick leak. I had no idea I was entering a subculture. It's always been in do your business and out. It has seemed to me that everybody else was in the same mode: Worried about catching that flight or just getting the hell out to the parking or car rental lot. And the whole time there's been strange stuff going on all around me. Geez! I never noticed any peepers or other weirdoes or suspicious activity. Now I'll have my shoulders hunched and my head down. I'm going to have to get a "grope the other guy" sign to wear, I'll leave my location with a friend and if I don't call within so many minutes, my friend can call the cops to come get me. Maybe I'm safe because I'm old and gray but maybe not since all the perps seem to be old and gray too. Maybe it's like some say: just look straight ahead and ignore everything. Anyway, I'm safe for now. Next week I'm taking the train. Wait a minute! They frequent train stations too . . . At least I'm not staying at the YMCA. Oh, and when I read Larry's wide stance excuse yesterday, it didn't creep me out, it made me laugh out loud. I'm still laughing as I write this. He's forever going to be known as Larry "Wide Stance" Craig.
  226. MichaelG on They are not OK.
    August 30th, 2007  5:24 am

  227. I must have missed something. When was there ever any doubt that the NOLA disaster was a flood resulting from a levee breach? Sacramento is a levee bound city and folks here are very conscious of these things. We do not have disastrous winds here but there have been some horrible floods in the area over the last 20 years caused by levee problems. Levee maintenance and repair is a major issue in this area. The levees here are ancient and in dismal shape. The whole downtown area of Sacramento was raised about 10 feet around the turn of the last century. It is most interesting to tour old downtown buildings and see the bricked up windows and doors in the (now) basements. Today’s street level is at what would have been the 2d story a hundred and some years ago. Many older houses including mine are raised 8-10 feet off the ground. This whole levee business is a national disgrace. Sacramento is one good rainfall away from being the next NOLA.
  228. MichaelG on They are not OK.
    August 30th, 2007  2:47 pm

  229. San Francisco will experience flooding over the Embarcadero and down by Fort Point when Dec-Jan high tides coincide with storm surges. Sacramento is located at the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers. The American comes straight down from the Sierra bringing the snow melt. Combine the snow melt with a good rain and we have floods even without levee failure. The Sacramento comes down from the Northern end of the state and regularly floods small communities on its way to Sac. In addition there are several large creeks that regularly (every 10 years or so) cause severe flooding. There are whole neighborhoods built right up against the levee which is higher than the houses it protects. At any rate, a combination of warm temps causing an early snow melt, heavy rain and a levee failure could cause disaster. It's happened before and will certainly happen again. The only questions are where, when and how bad.
  230. MichaelG on This is the end.
    August 31st, 2007  8:07 pm

  231. That revirginization might be worth 5500 bucks to some Pakastani girl. Say "designer vagina " with a Boston accent. Have a great three dayer, all!
  232. MichaelG on First of the fall...
    September 4th, 2007  9:29 pm

  233. Wow, Mary. we had 5-6 days of triple digits but it never got past 105. Plus, it cooled down yesterday so we're looking at our normal mid nineties for the next week or so. Hope yours improves soon. Nance, what do you think about poor Michigan? They got punted clear out of the top 25 after Saturday's disgrace.
  234. MichaelG on First of the fall...
    September 5th, 2007  3:36 pm

  235. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago. Every Friday during the season the nuns would make us pray for Notre Dame. I've rooted for them to lose ever since. I went to the Univ of Illinois. Even attended the Rose Bowl in 1964 when they whipped the Huskies. The Illini football program has been the dumper for a long time. Speaking of football towns, I'm off to Berkeley right now. I've got a little radiation survey project in a building there.
  236. MichaelG on Hybrid life.
    September 5th, 2007  11:01 pm

  237. I had a meeting in Berkeley this morning. That is, I had one scheduled. Also lunch at Oscar’s, a venerable hamburger joint I hadn’t been to in 30 years. I thought I’d be greener than a Prius and take the train. The train left Sacramento on time at 7:40 AM and made almost to Davis, a distance of about 10 miles, before we stopped. The conductor came on the blower and informed us that a truck had hit a bridge and there would be a delay while the bridge was inspected. We were stopped just short of the Davis station because there was another train right ahead of us occupying the station. We waited for a little over an hour before rolling the 100 meters or so to the Davis station and starting out again. Moments later we stopped again in the middle of nowhere which turned out to be seven miles west of Davis. A pedestrian, the conductor informed us, a suicide, had jumped in front of the train ahead of us and the tracks would be closed for two and a half to three hours. Then he came back to tell us buses would meet us to take us to our respective destinations. Then we were told we would roll back to Davis and buses would meet us there. Then we were told that another train would be there to take back to Sacramento those who preferred to return home. I so preferred, understanding by this time that it was doubtful that I would even reach Berkeley in time to catch my 1:39 PM return trip let alone make meetings or lunches. I called everyone and told them to carry on without me and that I’d catch them all tomorrow on the phone. There were four passenger trains and a freight stuck at Davis. Eventually I made it back to Sacto sometime after noon. Over four hours for a 34 mile round trip to nowhere. I bagged it and started for home. The client agency’s rep called me to tell me the meeting had gone fine and that the burgers at Oscar’s were great. I can't imagine what he was laughing at. All this on top of the train trip to Bakersfield a couple of months ago when we collided with a pick up truck. I don’t know whether I’m unlucky for AMTRAK or they’re unlucky for me.
  238. MichaelG on Hybrid life.
    September 6th, 2007  2:47 pm

  239. That On Star stuff scares the crap out of me. If they can turn it on they can turn it off. If they can tell you where you are they can tell everybody else where you are or were. Told your wife you were bowling? On Star knows you were at Betty-Sue's house. How fast were you going? On Star knows. This thing has a lot of potential and as far as I am concerned, at this point, the bad outweighs the good. Plus, after the initial free period, you are actually paying big brother to monitor your every automotive activity. If you elect not to pay, They can still monitor you, they just don't give you those benefits they tout in the ads. No thanks. I'd pay money to have the thing disabled or removed.
  240. MichaelG on Hybrid life.
    September 6th, 2007  4:24 pm

  241. If I wanted it I wouldn't have any problem paying for it, John. The whole point was not that I want anything for free but that I don't want the thing at all. I believe I mentioned that I would pay to get rid of it. I was pointing out the irony of paying someone to spy on you. Also, while there is apparently no nefarious use being made of the data at the moment, the data is still being collected and the moment will pass. The potential is still there. Also so is the knowledge that if there is a thing such as this that could be abused, it always has been abused.
  242. MichaelG on Bravo.
    September 7th, 2007  12:50 am

  243. Greatly entertaining clip. La Minelli had a stupendous talent. Too bad she . . . whatever she did with it. These days National Anthem performances are either a disgrace or a joke. With each jack leg so called entertainer personalizing it with their own hip hop or country or whatever take I just want to scream when it comes on. If you can’t sing it, don’t try it. The very best rendition I ever heard period was Pavarotti singing it at a Giant’s game. I’ll never hear it done that well again. I average a couple of round trips a month on SWA and on any flight one can see more revealing outfits than that worn by Ms. Ebbert. I certainly can’t explain it. Another “What were they thinking?” moment.
  244. MichaelG on Now we are 16.
    September 7th, 2007  7:33 pm

  245. Wow, Mindy, we also once had a dog that got a Mickey Dee’s burger for her birthday. Also had a cat many years ago who scored the Col’s chicken on his birthdays. The burger dog was the beautiful Blondie, the worlds largest (120 lb and not overweight) golden retriever who lived to be 12. I have a friend whose schnoodle named Fred recently died at age 20. Happy birthday, Sprig. Keep it going.
  246. MichaelG on The Nalls.
    September 8th, 2007  1:54 am

  247. There have been at least three other Michael Goldens who worked for the State of CA. Wildest of all is that there was one with the same middle initial who worked in the same unit where I work doing the same thing that I do. We used to call him my dad. He retired several years ago. Imagine the problems with network log ons, email, messages, travel claims, etc., etc. It was endless. Worse still was that he was a bigoted, racist SOB. They used to call me the ‘good Michael G’ and he was the ‘bad' one. I still get messages and mail for the guy. Our people came from the same area in the west of Ireland so I assume we’re related somewhere way back. What a trip that was. I also ended up having to fix some jobs that he had fu I mean, messed up. I felt like a fool trying to explain how it wasn’t my fault. I’m lucky so far to not have had any credit or ID problems because of any of the others.
  248. MichaelG on Subprime blues.
    September 10th, 2007  2:59 pm

  249. It's possible to get in trouble with a standard loan as well. I have a fixed 30 year loan at a very good rate. When I bought my house in March the lender approved me for a loan 20% higher than I ended up taking out. They were more than happy to sign me up for an amount higher than I would have been comfortable with. I looked at the numbers and at what I felt I really wanted to pay per month and kept my sights in that area. Eventually I was lucky enough to bag a house from a desperate seller for much less than it was worth. But if I hadn't gotten an attack of the cautions, I could easily be paying $5-600 more per month than I am now. This on an excellent standard loan.
  250. MichaelG on Headlines.
    September 13th, 2007  5:47 pm

  251. I've been following the Fossett story with some interest. I used to own a plane similar to the one Fossett was flying when he disappeared. I had a Citabria 7ECA and he has a Super Decathlon. It's like I had the basic Mustang and he has the Jack Roush super bomb but it was the same basic airframe. Stand 20 feet away and the uninitiated couldn't tell the difference. I've also done some flying over northern Nevada. Mountain flying is a whole other discipline from basic flatland flying and there is a host of different and special ways to kill yourself. Minden, NV, just east of Tahoe, is a big time sailplane center and many records have been flown from there. The SF Chronicle - sfgate.com - has had very good coverage of the search. See today's front page for example. Some friends died just 2 weeks ago taking off from a small airport in foothill El Dorado County. A36 Bonanza, 1300 feet elevation, 100 degrees temp, 300 lbs overweight, took off downwind into rising terrain. The airplane didn't want to fly, hit the fence and endo'ed. The accident was filmed by Fox news who happened to be on site. It has been making the rounds of the internet. Perhaps you saw it.
  252. MichaelG on Headlines.
    September 13th, 2007  6:42 pm

  253. Good, Mary. I thought I was the only one who didn't get the pigskin quote.
  254. MichaelG on Headlines.
    September 13th, 2007  11:12 pm

  255. Mark, the pilot of the A36 had something over 10,000 hours in all. He had flown jets in the military and had several thousand hours in the aircraft that he crashed. The airstrip is called Cameron Park and is in the foothills at about 1300 feet. He took of downwind toward rising ground because the winds were minimal (every bit does count, though) and the ground rises more steeply in the other direction. Who can say what is in somebody's mind when they make the decisions that we all say we would never make. Downwind. Overweight. Density altitude of I don't know what. Even then things wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't hit the fence and flipped. They would have wiped out the plane but nobody would have been killed. I didn't know the pilot well. I have only met him a couple of times and that several years ago. The guy I knew was the one who died. The pilot later said to another friend of mine that the plane "just didn't want to fly." They were on their way to Baja to go diving. They had all their gear on board. I do know this: Things happen fast.
  256. MichaelG on Animal Cops: Detroit.
    September 15th, 2007  10:20 pm

  257. Well, I'm taking the train to Bakersfield Monday. Wish either me or Amtrak good luck. By the way, I was at Trader Joe's this AM and Two Buck Chuck was still priced at $1.99.
  258. MichaelG on What the--?
    September 19th, 2007  1:16 am

  259. Just got back from Bakersfield on Amtrak with no incidents. Whew! Not a hunter so I don’t shoot at animals. I don’t even own a gun. Don’t tell the neighbors. I did spend a lot of time exchanging fire with other humans when I was in Vietnam, though. Home insurance in Sacramento is $938 with no flood and no earthquake. I can’t remember what the Auburn house costs. It’s a much nicer, bigger place with property so it has to be more. Auto is $1214 and that’s just for me, my four year old Taurus and my 37 year old F-250 that doesn’t look a day over 25. I had accidents two and four years ago. I’ve shopped and that’s the best I could find. I hope it comes down next year.
  260. MichaelG on That kind of Catholic.
    September 19th, 2007  7:43 pm

  261. Here's from another recovering Catholic. Don't get me started on the failed potential of Catholicism, the Papacy and the Catholic hierarchy. Not to mention the organization wide code of silence on their recent and continuing scandal. I think you're right about the origin of atheists. And I would be willing to bet that among the gentle, peace loving Muslims the number of atheists rises with the level of education. Real education, I mean, not madrasas.
  262. MichaelG on That kind of Catholic.
    September 20th, 2007  1:37 am

  263. What is it with this praying business? Why do people have to make such a large production out of it? Take prayer in school. There certainly is no prohibition against quietly bowing one’s head and saying a silent prayer. Why can’t people do that? Why do they have to turn their personal activity into a spectacle? Why can’t religion or spirituality be a private thing? Telling someone you are going to pray for them is so arrogant, so patronizing as to make me want to scream.
  264. MichaelG on The Selectric years.
    September 21st, 2007  3:45 am

  265. I visited Hanno’s once. Hanno’s in the Alley it was called. It was in 1969 not long after I got out of the Army. I was visiting a lot of bars in those days. One of my drinking buddies was a copy boy at the Chron. They still have copy boys? Hanno’s was a totally unmemorable place as far as bars go. Stone average. The difference was (as it usually is) in the clientele. Nobody was nasty, but I wasn’t part of the group. I didn’t bother me, I understood bar dynamics. Now, since I’ve split up with my wife, I go to an old Sacto institution on two or three Friday nights a month. I’d forgotten how pleasant a nice bar can be. It’s such a rough place I took my pregnant daughter and grandson there for lunch in July. They both loved it. And vice-versa. The bartender was shoving pictures of his 2 yr old in our faces. Physically, the place is an ancient dump just like Hanno’s was. A bar’s character is in the people.
  266. MichaelG on Be helpful.
    September 26th, 2007  9:05 pm

  267. You agree with the whole WSJ thing Nance? Even this: "Mr. Giuliani has run an impressive campaign so far, especially on the issues. He has a record of accomplishment in New York, and he projects the kind of executive competence that many Americans want in a President." I think he's a bug eyed wacko and the phone calls don't help. I like local.live for maps and aerial photos.
  268. MichaelG on Company town.
    September 27th, 2007  5:50 pm

  269. I've seen a couple of episodes of Meerkat here and there and enjoyed them. Anybody told those WV people what causes that stuff? It's amazing how helpless many people become if things in their car are the slightest bit out of the ordinary. The people who crashed are the same ones who step on the gas insead of the brake or put it in reverse instead of drive. Couldn't figure out how to control the vehicle in six miles. Whew.
  270. MichaelG on Here's a hoop. Jump.
    September 29th, 2007  6:24 pm

  271. “IRS regulations require employers to do one of two things with unused FSA monies: give it to charity or plow it back into administrative costs for the program.” Admin costs like executive salaries and bonuses?
  272. MichaelG on Sport or game?
    October 3rd, 2007  8:00 pm

  273. What about that Olympic thing where little girls twirl around with ribbons? Or that other Olympic one where they bob up and down in the pool?
  274. MichaelG on HBOver.
    October 3rd, 2007  9:48 pm

  275. I totally agree, Ashley. Alton has gotten a bit too full of himself but "Eats" is still watchable. Food Network has done everything in their power to destroy all that made it an enjoyable place to go. They've canned Mario and Flay (except for Iron Chef). Even poor Emeral is nothing but a husk of his insufferable self. La Ray has worn me out. The rest are dying out and posing in awful specials. Please, don't show me Paula Deen's poor pickled husband. And that horrid woman who cooks out of cans. They dropped Bourdain and then hired a dipshit do do the same job. There's nothing left but their stupid specials and bogus competitions. Nothing real about cooking, or eating or the love of food. I guess nothing's forever.
  276. MichaelG on Sport or game?
    October 3rd, 2007  9:55 pm

  277. I can't get too fired up about what is a sport vs what is a game. We're getting into distinction without a difference territory. Also what does it matter? I DO think that there are way too many events (crafty dodge) in the Olympics. They could drop half and nobody but parents would notice.
  278. MichaelG on Sport or game?
    October 4th, 2007  4:12 pm

  279. Terrell Owens comes to mind, Cathy.
  280. MichaelG on The afghan of death.
    October 4th, 2007  6:32 pm

  281. I don't know anything about knitting (but I know what I like?) however in "For Better or For Worse" the old man, Elly's dad, just had another stroke and looks good for maybe another week. FBFW is generally one of the best strips out there. One of the four, make that three now, that I read. Doonesbury and Dilbert are the others. I read Farley in the SF Chron for many years. It may have been the best of them all but it was strictly local and not syndicated. The subject matter and characters were all too SF centric. The creator, the wonderful, funny and talented Phil Frank died a few weeks ago and that was the end of that strip. I'm still not sure what to think about comic strips that feature sad events. I read them for entertainment and amusement. I have enough problems of my own without suffering through Elly's dad's (I forget his name) problems. I guess I go along since the strip is of such high quality.
  282. MichaelG on The afghan of death.
    October 4th, 2007  6:42 pm

  283. Here are a couple of Farley links. The first goes to the subject of death in comics and also has lots of other stuff including archives. The second is about Phil Frank. I really felt badly when Frank died. http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2007/09/30/BAFARLEY.DTL http://www.farleycomicstrip.com/ Thanks, Julie. I'll check Zits out.
  284. MichaelG on The afghan of death.
    October 4th, 2007  11:28 pm

  285. Remember those awful "Baby on Board" signs? I once saw a car with a sign reading "Baby Carries No Cash". My daughter Stephanie is due on Nov 17. It's supposed to be a girl. Steph is definitely not a pink person. Should "Stephanie" be led by and followed with commas?
  286. MichaelG on Still summer.
    October 6th, 2007  10:52 pm

  287. Over the last several years I’ve watched with scorn and disgust countless athletes and public officials apologize. Yesterday I watched Marion Jones’ shot at it. For the first time I saw an apology that appeared to me to be heartfelt and genuine. No “I’m sorry for what happened”. No “It’s time to move on”. She stated her sin, she expressed her sorrow for having committed it and her sorrow at having hurt those who trusted her. While she didn’t (at least that I saw) mention the consequences (six months in the pokey) she didn’t try to weasel out of them either. So I’ll buy it. Besides, it’s returnable isn’t it?
  288. MichaelG on The disappearing necktie.
    October 10th, 2007  8:49 pm

  289. Lileks (I know, I know) has all those horrible recipes in his gallery of regrettable food. http://www.lileks.com/institute/gallery/index.html They're kind of fun to peruse. When I saw the super tuber earlier today I had a reaction I still can't quit describe. Something between a snort and a gag, I guess. Somehow, it seems to fit my pal Larry.
  290. MichaelG on The disappearing necktie.
    October 11th, 2007  4:24 pm

  291. It just occurred to me that somebody should open a SuperTuber concession outside that MPLS airport mens' room.
  292. MichaelG on Twittery.
    October 12th, 2007  2:41 pm

  293. I'm wearing some Timberline topsider type things on my feet.
  294. MichaelG on I'd go into hiding.
    October 12th, 2007  4:37 pm

  295. No child left behind. Except the sick and crippled. That's the fun of the Gore Nobel. It'll drive the right wing nutsos crazy.
  296. MichaelG on Dear Gov. Richardson:
    October 15th, 2007  4:04 pm

  297. Don't let Gov. Richardson's unfortunate remarks about the Great Lakes distract you. We do, in fact, need a national water policy. Droughts have effects beyond the immediately affected areas. Rivers cross state lines. One of the reasons New Mexico has a water problem is that Southern California has rights to the Colorado River. Maine has a severe problem -- who'da thunk it and aren't there problems with subsiding water levels in the Great Lakes? Also it's too easy to jump on the nouveau riche and their mc-mansions. In California, for example, residential water consumption adds up to only 15% of the total. That's right, commercial, industrial and agricultural interests account for 85% of water usage. However, it's always the residential user who is exhorted to conserve. If residential users cut consumption by 10% it would only amount to a whopping 1.5% total cut. In other words, purely symbolic. If we are to get serious about solving what is a very serious and very rapidly growing problem, we need to look at a comprehensive nationwide approach.
  298. MichaelG on Dear Gov. Richardson:
    October 15th, 2007  6:52 pm

  299. Nance, you illustrate my point. The problem is wide spread and interlocking. To the extent that anybody is doing anything it is being attacked piecemeal. I'm not an expert and I have no solution other than to repeat that the problem needs immediate attention on a national basis. And good luck to that.
  300. MichaelG on Fashion is all about influences.
    October 16th, 2007  4:13 pm

  301. Yeah, I started looking at the pix and couldn't get past #8. I used to think SJP was fairly attractive. Whew! Too many diets.
  302. MichaelG on Win the costume contest.
    October 19th, 2007  8:41 pm

  303. Just got back to town after spending the last couple of days up in Susanville. The fresh snow over Donner Summit was gorgeous -- especially since I managed to sneak through without chaining up. My neighborhood? 37% white, the rest pretty evenly split between black and hispanic. Asians in single digits which is very odd for this part of the world. It’s also neither the best educated nor most prosperous zip code in California. I once went to a party dressed as the military-industrial complex. White shirt, tie and jacket over fatigue pants and combat boots. This will be my first Halloween in this house. I don’t know what to expect. Maybe I’ll arrange to be out of town.
  304. MichaelG on Win the costume contest.
    October 19th, 2007  11:51 pm

  305. Wow, Teri Hatcher. Another one I used to think was hot. Years ago as Lois Lane. The mask looks like one of those old man lesbians from a couple of days ago.
  306. MichaelG on A man of many facets.
    October 24th, 2007  5:34 pm

  307. Newly split, I don't have much to take or leave. Passport, some papers etc. The rest is back in Auburn which, thankfully, had rain during the last few weeks so we're optimistic about fire. See Ken Levine for an amusing take on what to bring: http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/
  308. MichaelG on As seen on "Mad Men"
    October 25th, 2007  4:07 pm

  309. That was back in the day when the guys who ran companies like GM were something other than parasites whose whole agenda is to screw as much money out of the company and the shareholders as possible. Contrast "Engine" Charlie Wilson and Roger Smith. Shoot, look at the contrast between George Romney and "Mitt" Romney. GM absolutely owed the design center palace to Earl after all he had done for the company for 30 years. When I lived in Auburn there were turkey gangs roving the area. Still are, I suppose. I had to cross a small single lane bridge to get to our place. There were occasions when a turkey gang would be just standing around on the bridge. Horn honking and creeping didn't work. They'd just stare stupidly at you. I would have to get out of the car and physically shoo them off the bridge. Then the big daddy would stand by the side of the road and spread all his feathers at me to show me that his was bigger than mine. He was kind of cool. They mostly stayed off our place because they didn't like the dogs, the goats or the chickens. They were funny because they would either come marching up the driveway en masse or they would fly in. You'd suddenly see these huge things dropping out of the sky onto your lawn. I always thought they were amusing and never felt threatened by them. A neighbor with a large lawn and no dogs didn't like them because their scratching would tear up the lawn.
  310. MichaelG on As seen on "Mad Men"
    October 25th, 2007  4:52 pm

  311. The total design package, buildings, furniture etc. reminds me of Wright's work. Like the Johnson's Wax place in Racine. Also see the John Deere HQ in Moline IL. Another Saarinen design. I've always liked his stuff a lot including IIT and those two apt buildings on Lake Shore Drive that I know Alex doesn't like.
  312. MichaelG on As seen on "Mad Men"
    October 25th, 2007  9:47 pm

  313. Sorry, Alex. I thought I remembered you saying you didn't like the buildings. My mistake. Also I don't know how I confused Saarinen and Van Der rohe. That is also totally my screw up. I know better. Really. I am embarrassed. Best I can say is that I was starting my first cup of coffee. I retract the post. Everybody forget you read it.
  314. MichaelG on As seen on "Mad Men"
    October 25th, 2007  11:20 pm

  315. Gawd, that's what I'm afraid of. Oh well. It's not the first time I've embarrassed myself. Won't be the last either.
  316. MichaelG on As seen on "Mad Men"
    October 26th, 2007  3:11 pm

  317. Sounds like a typical homeowners assn, Alex.
  318. MichaelG on Where were we?
    October 26th, 2007  9:00 pm

  319. Are you sure about the Pope's phone number, Sue? I always heard it was Vat 69. Maybe one's his cell.
  320. MichaelG on Dogworld.
    October 29th, 2007  3:48 pm

  321. I got 70% which is pretty lucky since I don't watch faux news and haven't a clue about who any of those women were. People don't need to bring their dogs to malls. Not stepping on gum is enough of a problem without adding new features to the minefield. What happened to good manners?
  322. MichaelG on Dogworld.
    October 29th, 2007  5:16 pm

  323. Whence comes this impulse to put one's hands on other people's dogs? Especially without asking. We once had a huge (120 lb) but cuddly looking Golden Retriever named Blondie. She was very protective of my daughter when the kid was young. She would get very edgy when people got too close. A few people were insulted at Blondie's -- shall we say -- lack of appreciation for their well meaning but ill-considered gestures. Oh, and for some reason she didn't like piss bums. I can't believe that monster used to sleep in our bed. When personal activities commenced she would just retreat to the floor. I wouldn't mind having a dog, but I live alone and it wouldn't work with my traveling two or three days a week.
  324. MichaelG on Area man.
    October 30th, 2007  5:55 pm

  325. Alice Waters has moved from food guru to do gooder. It's tough when you become a parody of yourself. And that little girl sing song voice. Those costumes are too much. There's something pathological about the idea of a sexy 11 year old. The Jon Benet thing. But Fairy-Licious? Sounds like something Perez Hilton would come up with. I'm gonna get me a Big Daddy self-adhesive hairy chest kit. A man merkin. I just ran spell check. Word doesn't recognize "gooder" and suggests "goober" as a replacement. Hmm.
  326. MichaelG on The haul-out.
    November 3rd, 2007  4:33 am

  327. Jeff’s question about whom God may be rooting for reminds me of my days in grade school. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and went to a Catholic grade school. Every Friday during the season the Sisters of Mercy would have us get down on our knees and pray for Notre Dame. Ever since, of course, I’ve rooted strongly against Notre Dame. But as for God, whom does he root for when Notre Dame plays Boston College? Which Jebbies are in favor that week? If I only had a tap on God’s bookie's phone.
  328. MichaelG on Sawdust.
    November 6th, 2007  1:22 am

  329. Hit the nail on the head there, Danny. The Maloof Bros (wealthy Vegas casino owners) are even now threatening to move the NBA Kings out of Sacramento if no new sports palace is provided them. They and the usual jock sniffing municipal lackeys are scrambling to find a way to finance it without going before the voters because they know full well that any ballot proposition is DOA. They want to move if we don't pay for their new arena? Vaya con Dios.
  330. MichaelG on You are Miss Citizen Fair.
    November 8th, 2007  4:45 pm

  331. For a great take on the WGA strike read Ken Levine. One of the best blogs around. Right up there with . . . well . . .you know. http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/
  332. MichaelG on Tighten that belt.
    November 8th, 2007  7:26 pm

  333. I'm a grandpa again! My daughter introduced young Miss Sophia to the world early this AM. Seven lbs some ounces. Daddy says she's beautiful.
  334. MichaelG on Tighten that belt.
    November 8th, 2007  10:39 pm

  335. I just found out the official spelling is "Sofia". It's the Portuguese way.
  336. MichaelG on Ouch.
    November 9th, 2007  10:42 pm

  337. I wanna see waxed jump roping dogs.
  338. MichaelG on Ouch.
    November 10th, 2007  12:58 am

  339. I'm sure you could sell a lot of tickets to either event.
  340. MichaelG on Sea to shining sea.
    November 20th, 2007  7:08 pm

  341. I was living in SF the first time I applied for a passport. I got some pix and went down to the passport office. Filled out app, paid $$ left pix and went home. I got the passport in the mail in 3 days. The last time I renewed it (in 2000) I went to the office in SF and with a little whining was able to get it while I waited. Guess those days are over. Green beans: French cut whatever amount of greenies suits you. Steam to desired degree of doneness. Saute briefly in butter with lots of sliced almonds. Season to taste. Yum.
  342. MichaelG on What I'm thankful for.
    November 21st, 2007  10:54 pm

  343. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
  344. MichaelG on Type A, positive.
    November 26th, 2007  6:42 pm

  345. Happy Birthday!!
  346. MichaelG on Type A, positive.
    November 26th, 2007  10:29 pm

  347. I wish I was 50 again and knew what I know now. If I don't forget it.
  348. MichaelG on The whole world's a graveyard.
    November 28th, 2007  11:53 pm

  349. Here in the Sacto area we have a complete selection of memorials. We have roadside crosses, piles of stuff and the SUV window things cited by Mary. I've also seen murals and graffiti. I don't know about tattoos but then I haven't looked. Or asked. Nor do I intend to. Amtrak seems cheaper here. My 282 mile trips from Sac to Bakersfield run six hours and cost $45 each way for the old folks rate. Sure beats busting my ass down 99 in the fog. There's already been one 100 car plus pile up this month. The rental car people pick me up at the Amtrak station. The fare for the 94 mile ride between Philly and NYC sounds like a rip off. Could NYC possibly be a more desirable destination than Bakersfield? Amtrak wouldn't charge a premium on a high demand route, would they? Mileage courtesy local.live.
  350. MichaelG on The Bucks and the Blue.
    November 30th, 2007  2:57 am

  351. Tell me about the Sacto news person who quit. I haven’t seen that. KCRA in Sacramento has an excellent news operation. There are three or four other operations in Sacto that are not so good. In my travels I regularly see them all (in California). LA area, Bay Area, San Diego, Fresno and the really funny ones in small places like Eureka. I’d put KCRA up with any major city news outlet in the country. They are that good. You want to see football crazy people, go to Bumminham Ala on a Friday during the season. The Bay Area has a great rivalry playing this weekend. Cal vs. Stanfurd. Both schools are right there and both have very large alum bases in the SF area. It would be interesting to see what schools have the highest percentages of grads who don’t leave the school’s neighborhood. Cal and Stanfurd would rank right up there. As with the Motown area, there are other attractions with two minor league “pro” football teams (49ers and Raiders) two baseball teams, a hockey team, an NBA team etc. etc. And yes, I know how to spell. What you see reflects my bias.
  352. MichaelG on The natural diuretic.
    November 30th, 2007  9:56 pm

  353. Strangest I’ve seen are the Aussies. In Vietnam during the war, I was sitting at a bar with a friend. There were two Aussies on the stools immediately to my right. Everybody was quietly drinking beer when one of the guys from Oz suddenly punched the other in the face. The punchee fell off his stool to the floor. He picked himself up, got back on the stool and they resumed their conversation as if nothing had happened. A beer or two later the original punchee suddenly clouted the other guy. Again the punchee fell on the floor, got up and resumed his stool and the conversation as if nothing had happened. It hadta been an Aussie thing. I still don’t understand it.
  354. MichaelG on Call it, friend-o.
    December 3rd, 2007  5:08 pm

  355. I like a girl with garlicky ears. Those La Shish people sound like quite a family. You don't have to apologize for restaurant choices. Even fast food ones. I eat at the Carls Jr in Ontario Airport all the time. It's the best place there -- which probably says more about the airport than CJr.
  356. MichaelG on Call it, friend-o.
    December 3rd, 2007  9:09 pm

  357. Thanks, Mary. I'll check it out next time I have time in Ont. The CJr is just a bite while waiting for a plane. I went to one of those author signs books things at Borders one time. The author (the ever excellent Lee Child) noted that several of his books had been optioned for movies but that none of the movies had ever been made. It was fine with him. He figured that he had been paid good money for nothing. He also said that he would not want to be involved in writing the screenplay for one of his books. He saw writing books and writing movies as two totally different disciplines.
  358. MichaelG on Call it, friend-o.
    December 4th, 2007  7:22 pm

  359. Stick around, michaelj. The mixed bag is part of what makes this place great. I went to Illinois. I don't mind in the least seeing them in the Rose Bowl. I didn't see it coming, though. One thing I want to see outlawed is that stealth time out business. It's just pure ugliness. If that's what it takes to win, you don't deserve to win.
  360. MichaelG on What's it worth to you?
    December 5th, 2007  6:23 pm

  361. I got no birthday pi. It can't find me. I go to an old fashioned barber so there's no hoping for leaning. What's tough is that I can't read without glasses and they have to come off for the haircut. Oh well. It doesn't take long. A guy here at work who is about the same age as I am showed up Monday with his hair all dyed brown. He looks ridiculous. How can people be so stupid? The Monday AM meeting was filled with hilarity at his expense. On the other hand, Nance, you look great.
  362. MichaelG on Advent for sinners.
    December 5th, 2007  8:57 pm

  363. I'm not even gonna try. I'll look when I get home. Good site, Mary. With one exception we've always gotten dogs from the pound. My (ex) wife picked up an ugly little schnoodle with an attitude one time. She said he was the ugliest one there and picked him figuring that all the cute ones would be easy sells. That was 13-14 years ago and the little guy's still around and still has an attitude. I had a neighbor tell me one day "You know, Mike, Jack has issues."
  364. MichaelG on Advent for sinners.
    December 5th, 2007  10:47 pm

  365. I'd love to have a dog but living by myself and being gone several days per week . . .
  366. MichaelG on What I saw at the execution.
    December 10th, 2007  7:55 pm

  367. Great little flick. Thanks. I remember your relating Mr. Bragg's seat campaign. I also recall your deep respect and admiration for Mr. Bragg.
  368. MichaelG on What I saw at the execution.
    December 11th, 2007  3:14 am

  369. You gotta check out the pole dancers. First read the story in the NY Daily News. Then watch the video. It’s marginally not work safe but certainly not salacious. If you don’t come away with a great big grin, something’s wrong. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2007/12/10/2007-12-10_subway_pole_dancers_enrage_mta.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARZxKkBr02Y
  370. MichaelG on The classics endure.
    December 11th, 2007  9:56 pm

  371. A jib is a sail. You can google for details. The term "cut" refers to its shape which is optimized for the individual boat. So, technically, one is complementing a boat owner on his nicely done sail. It's also an old expression used to indicate one's approval of someone. Just as Nance used it. "I like the cut of his jib."
  372. MichaelG on The classics endure.
    December 11th, 2007  10:42 pm

  373. It has a kind of wearing a smoking jacket and ascot while holding a pipe in one hand ring to it. Gray hair, glass of single malt.
  374. MichaelG on The classics endure.
    December 12th, 2007  1:14 am

  375. I dunno, Brian. Somehow I'm not turned on by pistol packin mamas. They make me nervous.
  376. MichaelG on Someone needs some juice.
    December 15th, 2007  11:01 pm

  377. You want some honest sport? I got some honest sport for you. Also some great, most enjoyable family entertainment: The NCAA Women’s Volleyball final. It’s tonight (Saturday) on ESPN2 at 6:00PM Pacific time. A friend of mine works as a volunteer for the Sacramento Sports Commission, is working the tournament and recommended it to me. He tended the (non-alcoholic) bar at the banquet on Wed evening. He says the young women were all unfailingly smiling and unfailingly polite. He says they even called him “Sir”. “And I had to look up at all of them”, my 5’ 11” friend relates. I watched the semis on Thursday and enjoyed every minute of it. I wasn’t even put off by the shrill voice of the commentator. This is collegiate sport as it is intended to be. No steroids, no cheating, nothing but smiles, grins, high fives and hugs from the young women on both sides of the net. They are all plainly enjoying playing. Sure this is big time sport and yeah, a lot of them are competing for berths on the Olympic team, but it’s good, healthy competition. If you have any young women of teen or preteen years in your homes, I highly recommend tonight’s game between Stanford and Penn State. And the young ladies! Whew! Even if they are all over 6’ tall. Wish I were young again. I’ll be watching it. I even bought popcorn. The hell with the 49ers and Bengals who are on at the same time.
  378. MichaelG on Someone needs some juice.
    December 16th, 2007  1:12 am

  379. Oh sure, I like women's soccer. It's fun to watch and they aren't all a bunch of crybaby fakers like the European and South American men.
  380. MichaelG on In the lane, snow is glist'nin'...
    December 17th, 2007  6:53 am

  381. A snow blower. I've never even looked at one up close. Hope I never have to. I did grow up in the "Chicagoland Area" and once had more than a passing acquaintance with a snow shovel, but that was in my youth. Let's keep it that way. I once perused a web site that was selling Chev V-8 powered snow blowers. It's out there somewhere. Wild. I'm glad I went to Susanville last week. This week it will be very difficult. You all cold country people are stronger than I am.
  382. MichaelG on In the lane, snow is glist'nin'...
    December 17th, 2007  4:56 pm

  383. I hope nobody thought I was criticizing the use of snow blowers. When I was a kid with a shovel there was no such thing as a home snow blower. I would have loved to have had one. Now I live in a snow free zone and am most pleased that I don't need one. If I had a use for one I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
  384. MichaelG on In the lane, snow is glist'nin'...
    December 17th, 2007  6:03 pm

  385. Now leaf blowers . . . Ever watched some dope out there trying to blow wet leaves?
  386. MichaelG on Soup for one.
    December 17th, 2007  10:49 pm

  387. Farmers markets in Sacto are wonderful. Great quality, great variety -- in season which now ain't. When living in Berkeley many years ago I dated a young woman who was some kind of bio chem grad student at Cal. She used to bring home from the lab a 50/50 mix of distilled water and pure alcohol. She'd pour it into a Smirnoff bottle. I sure couldn't tell.
  388. MichaelG on Soup for one.
    December 18th, 2007  12:07 am

  389. I buy Peet's French Roast. About 11 bucks per pound but then it's just me and just weekends. On work days I suck off the pot at the office which is the Kirkland/Starbuck coffee. Not bad but not Peet's. Anybody outside of the Bay Area familiar with Peet's?
  390. MichaelG on It's a Fort Wayne Christmas...
    December 24th, 2007  7:39 pm

  391. Merry Christmas to everybody!!
  392. MichaelG on It's a Fort Wayne Christmas...
    December 27th, 2007  11:37 pm

  393. Mary and Ricardo -- my ex likes her purple PT Cruiser. She can accomodate the dogs, put her bike right in, carry sacks of feed for the goats etc., etc. I was surprised at what a nice car it is. Small outside, large inside, very inexpensive to purchase new, decent mileage, decent performance and stylish (you may or may not like the looks, but at least they tried).
  394. MichaelG on On the first day of Kwanzaa...
    December 27th, 2007  11:38 pm

  395. Ron Karenga kommands: Have a Kool Kawanzaa!
  396. MichaelG on Cancel my subscription.
    December 27th, 2007  11:47 pm

  397. It's not spell check (which I agree you have to use carefully) that bothers me so much as all the automatic shit they build into each successive iteration of MS Word. It takes me a long time to find all that crap and stamp it out. And each version has much more bloat than the one it succeeds. I doubt I use 10% of Word's capability including tables which I used to use lots. Same applies to Excel.
  398. MichaelG on Cancel my subscription.
    December 28th, 2007  10:20 pm

  399. How about all the apostrophe's people use in plural's these day's?
  400. MichaelG on The last word in 2007.
    December 28th, 2007  10:24 pm

  401. All my sympathies. It will be good to take a couple of well deserved days and start afresh in the new year.
  402. MichaelG on Our communities, ourselves.
    January 2nd, 2008  5:24 pm

  403. Agyness Deyn? = Agnus Dei? Lamb of God? WTF is she trying to say? Has anybody told the Pope? Vinho Verde -- Here I'm way ahead of kool. Been drinking it for years. It's $4 to $9 a bottle at BevMo. Clean, clear, crisp with a hint of a sparkle. It's a great, refreshing summer treat. The "Verde" refers not to the color of the wine but to the state of the grapes when harvested. They're somewhat green rather than fully ripe. Try some. You'll love it.
  404. MichaelG on Our communities, ourselves.
    January 2nd, 2008  10:20 pm

  405. My front porch is a large, airy, usable, porch with an old time glider. People do use front porches here and back yards as well. It's a nice place to have a cigar, sip something (maybe some vinho verde) and read. Of course my neighborhood is a tad different from most of yours. For example I haven't had any Mormons or Witnesses at my door but I have had the Black Muslims politely inviting me to services. I'm sure they were relieved I didn't go. And the 6 - 8 drug salesmen who hang on the porch across the street all wave and say "Hi, Mike" when I park my car. Living alone here is fine, but I wouldn't want to live here with kids. New Years Eve midnight sounded like some arab city with everybody firing their weapons into the sky. Seems like so many people confuse their idea of what reality should be with what reality actually is. Kim - talking about wine in Portugal: The first time I went there I bought a nice bottle of vintage port -- then dropped it in the parking lot at JFK. I almost wept.
  406. MichaelG on What's for lunch?
    January 3rd, 2008  4:55 pm

  407. I buy it off the shelf at Safeway here in Sactown. I don't like to buy too big a bottle because I think it goes off after a time. I like the illusion of freshness.
  408. MichaelG on Our communities, ourselves.
    January 3rd, 2008  5:29 pm

  409. Dec 31, 1968, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I was the duty NCO when some numbnuts tossed a grenade from the barracks 3d story window . "Oh, shit", I thought, with mountains of paperwork dancing in my head. I was due to get out of the Army in two weeks and didn't want the bother. It took a moment for it to occur to me that somebody might have gotten hurt. Nobody did. With a spark of genius I called the Sgt of the Guard and reported a loud noise. He hot footed over and it became his problem. I kind of stayed lost as much as possible and played dumb (never difficult for me) and managed to avoid the worst of the paperwork. I never did know who threw it and never cared. The supermarket singles night reminds me of the Marina Safeway in San Francisco. Stories abound about the place. It has a fabulous view (a supermarket with a view?) and it was probably the best looked after Safeway in the chain since the corporate president and his wife shopped there. Best meat and produce, new carts every few months etc., etc. Everything except parking. It was also located dead center in yuppie singlesville. Wednesday night was pick up night. It was one of those things that just happened. It was never advertised or promoted, it just was. It got written about, but that was after the fact. You can't artificially create these kinds of things. They have to just occur naturally. The guy in Boston probably read about the store in SF. You can check out the view on local.live.com at the corner of Marina Blvd and Laguna.
  410. MichaelG on And sometimes, just drunks.
    January 4th, 2008  5:02 pm

  411. I work as a construction project manager for the State of CA. Where it's windy as hell and raining like -- well, a lot. We're looking for 10 feet of snow today in the Sierra. I work daily with architects and engineers. Don't forget who does the structural, electrical and mechanical design in a project. And don't forget the civils. As somebody pointed out, architects are like anybody else. There are good ones, mediocre ones and poor ones. Much of what people complain about is poor project management, not necessarily lousy design. A project is all of a whole. The three big factors are scope, schedule and $$. Those factors have to be understood by all involved parties in front and agreed to by all parties. Those factors have to be controlled and everybody's expectations have to remain in line. False or mistaken expectations are big, big problems. Here, where I work, every project is subject to an estimate during the preliminary stages and re-estimated when working drawings are completed. Each project is also submitted to a constructability review wherein the plans are checked by the inspectors who will have to be on site during construction. Lots of things are discovered and fixed during these reviews. It's not taken as a criticism of the Architect. Everybody knows that design and construction are two different things. These kinds of reviews and oversight go a long way to ensuring that a real, buildable, budgeted design hits the street. The process also builds great working relationships between all parties. We've put some really nice designs out there over the last several years -- designs of which we can all be proud. Starting with the architects. By the way, we have increasing numbers of women working here as architects, engineers and project managers. Any of you with daughters or sons might point these types of jobs out to them. It's a good and interesting career path. You also get out of the office a lot. Maybe even to Bakersfield.
  412. MichaelG on Little extravagances.
    January 7th, 2008  5:13 pm

  413. The power at the office went out about 9:45 Friday AM. We were cut loose about 11:00. I went home to find -- no power. It didn't get it back until about 5:55 PM on Sunday evening. Power was out in random spots all over Sacto. Great weekend. I had battery radio, Coleman lanterns etc. but all at my (ex) wife's place uo in Auburn. And her power was out as well. She told me she was cuddled up on the loveseat with a fire, the dogs and a book. I went to REI to see if they had a lantern. Too late. Target was on the way home so I dropped in (no Lileks sighting) and bought the last one they had. No battery radios there so I went to Radio Shack and got one. Sometimes lucky is as good as being prepared. I stayed out and about during the day on Fri and Sat and ate in restaurants. I went to a joint on Fri night and another one on Sat night. I took a book and held down the end of the bar. Both places were very welcoming to refugees and had friendly and attractive female bartenders. I stretched a couple of drinks for a couple of hours and left good tips. At home I had the Coleman lantern and the four burners of my gas stove going. Created a nice little corner where I could sit on a stool and read. Also, I had gas hot water which afforded me nice showers. I recharged my cell phone in the car. It could have a lot worse. I didn't lose anything in my freezer. It was full and the ice maker was full so there wasn't a lot of air space but there was a lot of frozen stuff. By 5:55 Sunday evening nothing had even begun to soften at the edges. A lost weekend but not really. Just a different one.
  414. MichaelG on Little extravagances.
    January 7th, 2008  6:20 pm

  415. You pays your money and you takes your choice, Brian. We don't have really cold weather or ice and snow here. Mid thirties overnight is about it. We also don't have tornados. Just think of poor Fernley NV where it flooded badly and then froze.
  416. MichaelG on Little extravagances.
    January 7th, 2008  8:44 pm

  417. Nothing heavy. A Doc Ford book by Randy Wayne White and East 47th by Gerald Browne. What's this about fabulous Michigan wines?
  418. MichaelG on Little extravagances.
    January 7th, 2008  10:37 pm

  419. Eau de Vie is a generic term for a distilled fruit brandy. They make the stuff in every country from every sort of fruit imaginable. It's usually clear. Another generic term for it is WHOOEEE! Actually, some of it isn't bad. I know the fruit in the bottle stuff you are thinking of but I can't recall the name. I'll look around and see if anybody sells Michigan wine here.
  420. MichaelG on Michael's world.
    January 8th, 2008  12:15 am

  421. C'mon, you guys. The place was vented. You should see all the warnings on the Coleman lantern package and instructions. I think I turned the gas off when I came to work this AM.
  422. MichaelG on Michael's world.
    January 8th, 2008  1:29 am

  423. It's just that. A lid rack that cost all of about $3 or so at IKEA. One of the greatest inventions ever. The strainer you can see at the top is actually hanging from an oval pot hanger that is over the sink. On the other side of the sink is an under cabinet wine rack that holds four bottles. Also about $3 at IKEA. Altogether, this stuff basically cleans out your cabinets.
  424. MichaelG on Michael's world.
    January 8th, 2008  3:48 am

  425. I don't use plastic containers. I use Mason jars. If there are multiple servings worth of leftovers (soup for example) I'll double freezer bag the stuff in single serving amts and freeze it. It is true that you don't need all those gadgets and bunches of knives. I also like to keep it simple. NN.c does hints from freaking Heloise.
  426. MichaelG on Michael's world.
    January 8th, 2008  4:47 pm

  427. Kim, I'm sorry for your friend's loss. Respectfully, however, I fail to see the lesson in your cautionary tale. The fact that the situation involved a bare stovetop is immaterial. Your friend's dad could equally have fallen face first into a hot wok, a sizzling frying pan or a pot of boiling water. The seizure could have caused him to fall in front of a bus or could have occurred while he was driving or up a ladder. Things happen. As for the stove, I use my stove every day. I wager that you even use yours fairly often. Fear of a seizure doesn't deter millions of people from using stoves. I have no children at home and no pets to get curious. I don't leave the stove on when I'm out of the room pans on or pans off. Again, I'm sorry for your friend's misfortune, but I don't understand what it has to do with my efforts to stay warm during a midwinter power failure.
  428. MichaelG on Michael's world.
    January 9th, 2008  3:06 am

  429. No apologies necessary, Kim. In fact, it appears I may have misconstrued your comment. I am aware there are people killed every year through careless use of fire and by asphyxiation from using combustion powered items indoors. My use of the lantern and the cooktop was not cavalier. I considered the dangers and the paths of avoidance and acted accordingly. I know there are quite a few news types reading this blog and that all youse folks would be more sensitive than most to this sort of thing.
  430. MichaelG on The un-election.
    January 12th, 2008  2:40 am

  431. Merrill -- you weren’t a lurker, you were an observer. I remember Roger Ebert from way back in college days. He was the editor of the “Daily Illini” and was two years or so ahead of me at Univ of Ill. I remember one night at somebody’s party the cops came. They were forever showing up at parties because of the noise and also because they were looking for underage drinkers. I happened to look around and saw Ebert’s not inconsiderable even then ass going out a window. Guess he didn’t want his name in the wrong part of the paper. He did a damn fine job at the DI and I’ve been a big fan of his ever since. I find it interesting that people in Michigan and New Hampshire can evidently vote for whomever they please in a primary. In California we don’t have open primaries. You declare D or R or Ind and you get a D or R or Ind ballot so you can only vote for candidates in your declared party. Every now and again somebody brings up the idea of having open primaries, but both Dem and Rep party bigwigs get a case of the lama damas and start howling at the very idea. I can’t recall CA ever having any say in choosing a presidential candidate. They don’t campaign here other than to maybe run TV ad or two. They only show up in person on whirlwind visits to collect money at carefully planned and very restricted umpty dollar a head fund raisers. So Peter and Brian, don’t feel like the lone strangers. You guys aren’t any worse off than we are here in Calif.
  432. MichaelG on The un-election.
    January 14th, 2008  5:15 pm

  433. I didn't know that, Mary. I never registered Indy and one reason was that I just assumed that I would not get any say in a primary. I never checked. Mitthew. Not bad, Ashley.
  434. MichaelG on Rolling with the bulls.
    January 14th, 2008  7:07 pm

  435. The man said "Mount Up!" and the critters took him seriously.
  436. MichaelG on Rolling with the bulls.
    January 14th, 2008  7:48 pm

  437. Here's yer video. Warning: Includes graphic scene of cow pie and gratuitous bovine bopping. http://jalopnik.com/344260/detroit-auto-show-slow+moving-steer-steal-the-show-from-the-2009-dodge-ram-1500
  438. MichaelG on Rolling with the bulls.
    January 14th, 2008  8:51 pm

  439. All I know about cows is what I see in the supermarket. I never owned any. The next door neighbor had a couple of (maybe) steers and they were OK on the other side of the fence. They ended up in the freezer. Chickens and a couple of goat sisters were my speed and even the goatie girls were pushing it. All that mating stuff is a little organic for me. And that "uncut male" talk sounds a bit creepy. Jalopnik is a fun site. I used to spend a lot of time in Alameda were "Murilee" shoots old cars. Nice place.
  440. MichaelG on The Mitten takes off the gloves.
    January 14th, 2008  11:22 pm

  441. Speaking of TPM, they have issues with the favorite from the other day, MoDo. http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/horsesmouth/2008/01/times_edit_page.php
  442. MichaelG on The Mitten takes off the gloves.
    January 15th, 2008  1:01 am

  443. Was she at Sen. Clinton's victory party or was she thousands of miles away when the victory party occurred? Fake deadline? No attribution for source of quotes? Thin gruel, Brian, only if your concern for the truth is thin.
  444. MichaelG on Mitt's mitten.
    January 16th, 2008  8:51 pm

  445. When I was living the life of a country squire in Auburn with my now estranged wife we usually had about a dozen chickens and a rooster or two. Normally two roosters are a problem, but in this situation they had neatly sorted themselves out as Principal Rooster and Associate Rooster. The youngster had grown from the egg and didn't mind being daddy's assistant. It worked for all of us including the girls. I never found their (or the many other neighborhood roosters') crowing to be a problem. Or cows mooing or horses making their noises or the wild turkeys and crows and all the rest of it. It was just part of being on the earth. Some folks are simply more bothered than others by audible signs of life like trains, airplanes, people and traffic. It's an individual thing. We had the birds confined to a large area of about an acre and a half which gave them lots of room to roam and scratch. The were not permitted around the house or garden or lawn or patio, etc. The large amount of poop in the chicken house could get fragrant on a warm day and it do get warm in Northern California. This was minimized, however, by keeping the chicken house clean. Other than inside their house, we never had anything even remotely approaching a generalized chicken smell. It took some effort, yes but the girls rewarded us with the most wonderful eggs ever. Believe me, there is a real difference between real, fresh eggs and store bought. Each bird had a name and a personality. Ours were all delightful, friendly creatures who provided us with endless entertainment. We took all visitors from little kids up for tours and never had any problems with meanness, attacks or beaks. We did once have a mean rooster but he was down range so fast that his head must still be spinning. I don't know what the secret is but plenty of room, a large clean house to roost and sleep in, a good natured rooster or two and we were a happy bunch. The also got along well with the goaty-oaty girls and even the dogs.
  446. MichaelG on Mitt's mitten.
    January 17th, 2008  4:43 pm

  447. Wow, Basset. Thanks for the lead. Great stuff.
  448. MichaelG on Is anybody there?
    January 18th, 2008  5:19 pm

  449. I need to talk to my Ex about taxes. It's a strange thing working up the courage to call a woman with whom I lived for almost 30 years.
  450. MichaelG on The cold is coming.
    January 18th, 2008  10:40 pm

  451. We're also having a cold snap here. On the way to work at about 5:00AM there was a bank thermometer reading 33 degrees. That's plenty cold for me. The normal low here for this time of the year is low to middle forties. Ken Levine informs us that in Dallas people are referring to Jessica Simpson as "Yoko Romo".
  452. MichaelG on The cold is coming.
    January 19th, 2008  8:23 am

  453. OK, True cold weather stuff: Champaign, Illinois. December, I think, 1965, I think. Walking down the middle of the street with my then girlfriend. It seemed quite warm with no wind and the snow was falling very, very heavily in huge flakes in slow motion and it was loading up on everything at an incredible rate that I had never seen before and haven’t seen since. It was a romantic evening to remember. The snow fall muted all sound and it seemed as if the two of us were the only people in the world. It was a wonderful, sweet night. We were young and in love, and it was all new and wonderful. Later, finals were cancelled and I went out hooning around in an old (but I guess it wasn’t so old then) VW with a couple of friends, bouncing off snow banks and having a high old time.
  454. MichaelG on The cold is coming.
    January 20th, 2008  1:53 am

  455. OK, a true Cold story this time. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago. One super cold morning I was leaving the house to walk to High School. We had had an ice storm and ice covered everything. Beautiful and awful at the same time. I turned in time to see the woman who lived next door approaching her car with a large steaming pot. I opened my mouth to shout “NOOO!!” but before I could get a sound out she had poured the boiling water on the windshield of her car. The resulting “CRAAKK” must have been heard for blocks. Her windshield simply disappeared. It was all over the dash, front seat and floor. VA, huh Kim? My daughter lives in Yorktown.
  456. MichaelG on Live capability all over the place.
    January 21st, 2008  8:57 pm

  457. A Pontiac Astre! My goodness, Dorothy. They made like three of them. I'm amazed this thing lasted 10 years. The Astre was the Poncho version of the Chevy Vega, a car with a distressing Fiat like tendency to melt when exposed to moisture.
  458. MichaelG on Digital lipstick on his collar.
    January 24th, 2008  11:36 pm

  459. Cessna 310? Named "Songbird"? Where was Penny? What an antique.
  460. MichaelG on Digital lipstick on his collar.
    January 25th, 2008  8:57 pm

  461. The 310 always was one of the prettiest aircraft ever. Del, I feel a lot of wind but hear a guy basically telling me that it's OK that Kilpatrick is a lying sack of shit.
  462. MichaelG on Shoot him 'fore he run, now.
    January 26th, 2008  11:46 pm

  463. The CHP has a long unused firing range at their Oakland field office. No, they weren’t shooting skeet. There’s every other kind of shooting in Oakland, but not skeet. We’re going to do some demolition and construction on the site to upgrade some facets of the CHP operation but there is severe lead contamination. Things have already been delayed for over a year because of the contamination. It’s going to cost a bloody fortune to abate it. Oh well. The Hazmat people need to eat too.
  464. MichaelG on A tough town in January.
    January 31st, 2008  5:32 pm

  465. I lived in Chicago and in the Chicago area when I was a kid. That was when Richard J. Daly, Hizzoner himself, was mayor. I don't know anything about the younger Daly and his job and I certainly don't know anything about Detroit except that that mayor and city g'ment look like a couple of real pieces of work. When Hizzoner was mayor the corruption was a mile wide and an inch deep. The machine and the city worked exactly as John C describes it. No need to give further examples. I think John C gives you the flavor. Daly himself never took a dime. He was born, grew up and died in the same "back of the yards" house. He didn't drive big cars or take rich trips or any of that. His corruption was about power plain and simple. Oh, and this all covered Cook County, not just Chicago.
  466. MichaelG on Our paperless society.
    February 1st, 2008  1:00 am

  467. I'm gonna do a slow read on that article. A word today, a word tomorrow . . .
  468. MichaelG on We dabble in the arts.
    February 5th, 2008  5:18 pm

  469. I mailed my vote in a week ago. I keep the ballot stub and post it outside my cube as my "License to Complain". Whadda you mean you can't read Hema's cute web site? The ghetto blaster is right there, just next to the confetti which is next to the feestvlaggetjes which is just above the feestballonnen.
  470. MichaelG on We dabble in the arts.
    February 5th, 2008  8:09 pm

  471. I've voted at people's homes many times in California and as Danny says, it's always been in the garage with the door(s) open. And the residents have no access to anything so, Danny, you can feel safe voting at your old antagonist's place. You probably knew that. There's no way that DFC stairway meets basic code or ADA requirements from any perspective: treads and risers, railings, lack of landings, nuttin. I can't imagine an insurance company covering that death trap.
  472. MichaelG on We dabble in the arts.
    February 5th, 2008  9:46 pm

  473. Oh, don't get me wrong here, Nance. I'm not being censorious. I've certainly hung out in worse places. Still do. I was just observing. There are some exceptions in historic buildings for some ADA requirements. There are variables such as the bldg itself, its usage, the type of shortcoming and the degree of renovation that is being undertaken. I also have no idea what Michigan or Detroit or local county codes require. In my country, that stairway would need work.
  474. MichaelG on Fat Tuesday.
    February 6th, 2008  5:13 pm

  475. That was a really fun vid, Nance. We want more. I was especially primed for this one because the lady who runs the bakery was interviewed yesterday (Tues) AM on NPR. She claimed tradition has it that the watchacallits were made to use up all the fat that had accumulated over the winter so it wouldn't spoil in the coming summer heat. I know. It sounds that way to me too. I didn't have much riding on any of the props in CA except that I did want the indian gambling ones to go down. They were about nothing but more money and power for a very few already rich and powerful indians. And it is gambling, not gaming. Your career path is a well trodden one here in Sacto, Basset. For years I've been seeing TV news people disappear from their TV jobs and turn up two weeks later as spokesindividuals for an endless number of utilities, state agencies, big businesses, etc. Some of them return to the news desk after a few years. It hints that the TV news bidness is not an easy ride.
  476. MichaelG on Fat Tuesday.
    February 6th, 2008  10:57 pm

  477. Here in Sacto the main anchor team on the highest rated station are a husband and wife named Dave Walker and Lois Hart who have been around since before ever. They worked here in Sacto long, long ago and then went to CNN. Their claim to everlasting trivia fame is that they were the very first faces to appear on screen when CNN began broadcasting back in whenever. I agree that it must be much more difficult for women. Just ask Christine Craft. Lois Hart on KCRA is obviously of a certain age. According to Wikipedia she turned 58 yesterday. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lois_Hart . An old pro, she competes as you observed: "by being fast, low-key and competent".
  478. MichaelG on Drug-seeking behavior.
    February 7th, 2008  6:40 pm

  479. A couple of years ago I slipped in the mud and fell backwards onto an exposed tree root. That broke two ribs and a shoulder blade. They gave me a morphine shot in the E-room to ease the 3 hr wait. Then they prescribed Percodan. A year later I had an airbag go off and break my breastbone in two (yeah, I hit something: an impatient left turning lady). That time they gave me Vicodan. I had an excellent experience with each of the three drugs. They worked exactly as designed. I got pain relief but had no feeling whatsoever of being loaded or high or stoned or anything at all but the most welcome pain relief. When the pain lessened, I stopped taking the pills. It wasn't difficult since there was no reason not to. Having heard all the stories about painkillers, I had been a little apprehensive, but one sneeze sold me on their desirability. Believe me, you do not want a cold to go along with your broken ribs and scapula. Anyhow, maybe I was lucky, but I'll bet my experience is reflective of the majority of cases of pain killer usage.
  480. MichaelG on Drug-seeking behavior.
    February 7th, 2008  7:15 pm

  481. Whoops, looks like I spelled "Vicodin" wrong. Actually I spelled it "Vicodan" which was incorrect.
  482. MichaelG on Drug-seeking behavior.
    February 8th, 2008  2:31 am

  483. My vasectomy qualified me as well for the ice and the afternoon off. I still have a medicine cabinet full of percs and vikes from my misfortunes of a year or two ago. Keeping them for a rainy day. Sounds mighty rainy for you in NOLA, Ashley. I hope you're better soon. Stephenson is great. I'm waiting for whatever is going to follow the Baroque Cycle. I still can't believe he writes in pencil on a yellow pad.
  484. MichaelG on The local landscape.
    February 8th, 2008  7:46 pm

  485. Lots of manufacturers are coming out with variations on BMW's beloved iDrive. An NPR guy tested an iDrive equipped Bimmer a couple of years ago. It was hilarious. From the looks of the steering wheel hub, your car appears to be a Honda. My second guess would be Hyundai. There have been lots of pix of pending BMW models lately and none of them look like that one. The number one snapper of mystery car spy pix worldwide is a German woman named Brenda Priddy. Check her web site. http://www.brendapriddyandcompany.com/
  486. MichaelG on The local landscape.
    February 10th, 2008  10:07 pm

  487. My embarrassing mistake, Brenda. I'm very sorry. I picked up the German attribution at some auto web site. I can't remember which, but it was a long time ago. I take it that I was correct about the rest? The stuff about you being Number One? Again, I apologize. I've enjoyed your pix for years. By the way, does that look like a Honda steering wheel?
  488. MichaelG on Our changing language.
    February 12th, 2008  7:40 pm

  489. The Winehouse song that grabs me is "Love is a Losing Game". Wow.
  490. MichaelG on Hello, dolly.
    February 12th, 2008  7:50 pm

  491. And I'll be your dolly grip. I know how to do that. I was channel surfing one time and happened upon a field hockey game. I was just in time to see a young woman wind up and with a beautiful home run swing cut the legs out from under another young woman who was running full out. The resulting front flip and half twist were spectacular. The victim was still lying there in a heap when I moved on. These were well bred youngsters from Ivy League colleges.
  492. MichaelG on Hello, dolly.
    February 12th, 2008  8:28 pm

  493. Speaking of girls (or not) the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue features Danica Patrick. She has a gorgeous body but I can't get over those killer eyes. No, I don't mean killer as in beautiful, I mean killer as in assassin http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/features/2008_swimsuit/danica-patrick/ Thanks to Bossy for the link. And please don't let Kate get one of those stupid small-of-the-back tattoos.
  494. MichaelG on Hello, dolly.
    February 13th, 2008  4:56 pm

  495. I've attended a lot of different kinds of races. F-1 at Long Beach years ago, CART at Long Beach and Laguna, NASCAR at Sears and Ontario (OMS was a few years ago as well), drags, Can-Am (another oldie), SCCA, dirt, you name it. The very best big time stuff was CART before an obscenity named Tony George ruined open wheel racing in the US. It's only now beginning to come back. Another obscenity named Bernie Ecclestone ruined F-1. The mostest funnest racing for me is SCCA club racing and low key vintage racing. Lower speeds and no names but good, honest racing by real people and total accessibility for a happy fan. This place http://www.thunderhill.com/html/get_your_fill_at_the.HTM is about an hour from my house. Check out the schedule. This is grass roots racing.
  496. MichaelG on Are editors necessary?
    February 19th, 2008  12:19 am

  497. OK, I'll bite. Is the following typo deliberate? An attempt to see how long it would take before somebody would notice it? Or did I miss something? "I could go on all day, but like the growling, foaming, spitting, dog, you might fear I was rapid." I like to think that I'm a reasonably OK writer but before I send out an important email or letter at work I always have somebody else look it over. Seems like simple common sense to me.
  498. MichaelG on Are editors necessary?
    February 19th, 2008  1:02 am

  499. OK
  500. MichaelG on You shoulda been there, Brian.
    February 25th, 2008  5:06 pm

  501. Dexter, your comment reminds me of a joke back at the time of the merger. How do you pronounce "Daimler-Chrysler"? It's pronounced "Daimler". The "Chrysler" is silent.
  502. MichaelG on All-trivia edition.
    February 27th, 2008  1:31 am

  503. Best of luck, Mary. Hope you snag a good one!
  504. MichaelG on To catch a self-abuser.
    February 28th, 2008  6:15 pm

  505. Tell your friend the librarian in Indy that there's a name for what the pervs are doing. It's called "pocket pool". For Better of For Worse used to be one of the sharpest and best strips around. Now it's turned into a dense, impenetrable morass of stupidity. And all that horrible flash back stuff with the el shitto artwork . . . yuggh. Content aside, there's nothing that ruins a strip like lousy art. I went to their (her?) web site a couple of weeks ago and sent them a nasty gram. Like they care.
  506. MichaelG on To catch a self-abuser.
    February 29th, 2008  1:44 am

  507. Beth, sorry for not addressing you directly. Am I to infer from your comment that in some high schools there's such a thing as pocket pool with an assist? And Danny: "Doesn’t librarian have its root in libido?" No. The root is libri which means, amazingly enough, book. My parents made me take Latin in high school. What a waste.
  508. MichaelG on Copycat.
    March 1st, 2008  9:06 pm

  509. Well, we've heard a lot of the administration schtick now. The liberals do it all the time. I'm sorry for what happened. It's time to move on. Release the news late on Fri. Although I must admit they acted promptly on this one instead of dragging it out day after agonizing day as happened in Fredo's case. Blame the consequences on the prosecutor, not the offender. It's a witch hunt. Forgetting, as a commenter noted, the Plame affair, forgetting the unrelenting hounding of the Clinton family, forgetting countless other victims of the slime machine. One of the signature characteristics of the Bushies and the Neos is hypocrisy. If there is any gloating, it's over the reversal of fortunes suffered by a loud mouthed, sanctimonious hypocrite pure and simple. Mr. Goeglein positioned himself as cheerleader-in-chief of religion and morals in the administration. It's tough to square his public posturing with his personal actions. Just as it was with Larry "Wide Stance" Craig, the renowned anti-gay activist. Another signature characteristic of the Bushies and the Neos is that they can dish it out but they can't take it. What a bunch of pusey little whiners. Nance, I've always enjoyed the high quality of the commenters here. All praise to them and to you. Keep it up. I'm gonna want an autographed copy of the book. Sorry to add to your server woes, JC.
  510. MichaelG on Copycat.
    March 1st, 2008  9:38 pm

  511. Another signature characteristic of the Bushies and the Neos, as exemplified by Mr. Walters, is that what they are accusing others of perpetrating is precisely what themselves are practicing. By all means, Mr. Walters, you are welcome to take your ball and go home if that is what you wish. Heaven forbid that anyone should see things differently from you.
  512. MichaelG on Notes from the crater.
    March 2nd, 2008  9:55 pm

  513. Don't look at it as a penance, Ashley, look at it as a good deed.
  514. MichaelG on Notes from the crater.
    March 3rd, 2008  12:49 am

  515. Jeez, Mary. That's so tacky. Looking for work is the worst thing in the world. I feel for you.
  516. MichaelG on A house divided.
    March 5th, 2008  11:44 pm

  517. Was in Susanville the last two days. Back in the office today catching up on stuff and, whoops, guess what I saw on Monday's Slate! Pretty neat, Nance. I'd love to see some more. Interesting thread. I had no idea that field trips were down and especially no idea that it was so harmful to museums, etc.
  518. MichaelG on A house divided.
    March 6th, 2008  7:31 am

  519. michaelj -- I agree totally with your assessments of Kinsley, Kaus and Hitchens. As for La Lithwick, well, sigh, she's tops. I've long had this fantasy about her and Nina Totenberg, who is NPR's brilliant radio equivalent, sitting in the gallery of the Supremes knitting and exchanging salty comments about Souter, Scalia et al, toddling down to some joint afterwards for a tot and filing their stories. Yeah, I know, but remember it was a fantasy. Ever notice that Dahlia seems oddly attracted somehow to Scalia?
  520. MichaelG on A house divided.
    March 6th, 2008  4:37 pm

  521. I did two tours in the RVN. Trust me, michaelj, it was "doan mean nuthin'".
  522. MichaelG on Phoned-in Phriday.
    March 8th, 2008  11:26 pm

  523. We lost several silkies (a type of bantam chicken) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silkie to red tail hawks. You could always tell when there had been an air strike. The girls, banty and otherwise, would all be clustered near tree trunks looking fearfully at the sky. The only attack I ever witnessed was when a hawk hit our white silkie rooster. The rooster fought back and ended up being more than the hawk wanted to handle. What a spectacular sight it all was. Lots of screaming too. It took me an hour to coax the little guy out of the bushes. He was scared shitless but other than losing some feathers, unharmed. A year or two later he fed a fox. Oh, well. Were Sen. Clinton to be nominated and offer the VP job to Sen. Obama, it would pose a true dilemma for him, I think. Look at where presidents have generally come from and you don't see a lot of senators making the jump. I don't really know why other than maybe senior senators have some sort of Washington insider aroma to them that the electorate doesn't like. On the other hand the VP spot seems to be a shoo in. A governorship is a good stepping stone as well. Other than the above, I sure as hell wouldn't want to be veep under Hillary with that other guy around. And I also don't like the dynastic aspect of having 28 years of nuthin' but Bushes and Clintons in the Pale Palace. The stuff mentioned by michaelj is known as "offal" because that's what it has been called for hundreds of years. It's not a value judgment. I have seen what you guys call "Beef Manhattan" all over the place called a hot beef sandwich. It can also be had in turkey flavor as well. Slices on white bread topped with mashed potatoes and gravy. Pho is wonderful stuff. There are several varieties of it. There are any number of excellent Vietnamese restaurants around here selling it with those great piles of aromatic greens to accompany. Yum. Best I ever had was from a street vendor in Ho Chi Minh City a couple of years ago. I'm not familiar with the Italian version of bread soup, but the Portuguese version called "Sopa Acorda" (the "c" should have one of those little things on it that tells one to pronounce it as an "s"). It's a classic in Portuguese cooking. Scariest thing I ever ate was one of those eggs with the fully formed baby duck inside. I choked it down with copious glugs of Heinekens. This was also in the RVN a few years ago. Once was more than enough. Hills Bros coffee used to be roasted in a plant right at the SF end of the Bay Bridge so that people crossing the bridge would be welcomed into the City (in SF the word "City" is capitalized) by the aroma of freshly roasted coffee. It was wonderful. I have no idea where it is processed now. Nor do I know where MJB is processed. I'm too lazy to google all that stuff to find out. MJB is Max J. Brandenstein. I once worked for a guy who was married to a Brandenstein. Max's granddaughter I think. Same guy dated Diane Feinstein back in the day.
  524. MichaelG on A little interlude.
    March 13th, 2008  1:19 am

  525. I've been out of town the last couple of days and it sure looks like I missed a couple of good NN.Cs. Went to the women’s prison at Chowchilla. They've got their own sex scandal going on right now. Not pretty. The warden told me "If your contractor has any Brad Pitt look-a-likes on his crew, keep him off the property." She was more than half serious. While down the valley, I stayed at a brand new Courtyard by Marriott. They let me sleep indoors -- I didn’t have to crash in the courtyard. Anyway, the bog had some kind of blow jet toilet affair that scared the crap out of me the first time I flushed it. I pushed the little lever down as per normal and it aggressively popped right back up at me as if to cast off my hand. Startled, I drew back with a jerk and at the same time the toilet flushed with an instant and almighty 800 decibel KERWOOSH. A little kid experiencing this for the first time would be terrified into a horribly scarred lifetime of anal retention. Fortunately, I’m made of stouter stuff, but wow. I still may need counseling. I'm waiting for the next wife of one of these guys to balk at going up to the mic with him. "I'm not going up there. Don't look at me, go talk to stupid."
  526. MichaelG on A little interlude.
    March 13th, 2008  2:52 pm

  527. Nancy, I don't believe Eliot's Irish. Besides, all the bishops have been trying to cancel, postpone or otherwise stave off Paddy's day this year. Sorry about the bikini, Ashley. But you gotta admit she's cuter than you.
  528. MichaelG on The whore's look.
    March 13th, 2008  5:44 pm

  529. There's a web site run by a woman billed as a "College Girl Hooker". I can't link to it here at the office but I will later when I get home if somebody else hasn't already done so. I forget how I got there. I think it won some kind of blog award. Very interesting. No heart of gold here. She works in New York City and works solo, not as part of some agency. I haven't looked at the blog since the Spitzer affair. Maybe she'll have something to say.
  530. MichaelG on The whore's look.
    March 14th, 2008  3:06 pm

  531. Ahh, I once had a letch for Joey Heatherton . Kafkaz, I know a reader may have the impulse to arrive at a quick evaluation and judgment when looking at something like the College Girls whatever. While it is certainly the reader's prerogative to do so, it isn't necessary to either take her completely at face value or to dismiss her as a fake. The judgment may be left in suspense. I have no idea if the writer if that blog is what she purports to be and don't particularly care. I'm aware that it's not an annotated sociological study published by a university press. I'm happy to take her observations for what they're worth along with all the other stuff I've heard here and there over the years. I find interesting her observations on women and their self image and on hookers and their attitudes toward their customers. That wouldn't change if she were proved a fraud or proved genuine.
  532. MichaelG on Ripped from the headlines.
    March 19th, 2008  3:49 pm

  533. So how did codpieces work?
  534. MichaelG on Friday talkies.
    March 21st, 2008  9:45 pm

  535. There's a lake in Northern California that has been infested with northern pike. It's Lake Davis out east of Quincy. For years the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has been trying to eradicate them. They've drained the lake. They've poisoned the lake. They even tried a scheme to electrify the lake and kill the pike that way. I think they have another poisoning try on deck for this year. The pike have survived it all so far. The thinking is that some numbnuts imported the fish for his own purposes as I gather they are supposed to be fun for fishermen to catch. The problem is that the northern pike is voracious and a prolific breeder and will quickly wipe out native populations. The fear is that they will escape from Lake Davis one way or another (maybe even another numbnuts) and spread to other areas with disastrous results. michaelj: I've followed Riverbend for years. She is everything you say and more. What a delightful, provocative and ultimately saddening read she is. I have been checking her blog every week since her last post on 10-22-07. This post came just after she and her family escaped from Iraq and relocated to Damascus. I hope she's OK and that she resumes posting. I don't mean to go all California on you, but I was at the farmers' market last Sunday. Greens were weak but there was lots of other stuff. A friend gave me a large bag filled with 10-12 pounds of gorgeous fresh, fresh asparagus. Delicious. I'm still eating it. I bought all the veggies and herbs and stuff and my garden goes in this weekend. I was raised in the "Chicagoland Area" as the TV weather people used to call it and vividly remember the "Hawk". This was in the days before wind chill, and lake effect snow and when ice was just "ice" not "black ice". Even without all those add ons it was cold and snowy and slippery and windy. I sympathize with all you cold people.
  536. MichaelG on Have at it, you vultures.
    March 22nd, 2008  7:25 pm

  537. Terrific little sketch! Amusing and well written. You owe yourself a victory lap. Nice and tight without unnecessary embellishment. Shots well composed -- I liked the prisoner exchange set up. Good real sound. I hate that Foley shit. It's ruined countless movies. I concur with John. 'Tube it. More please.
  538. MichaelG on Have at it, you vultures.
    March 22nd, 2008  7:37 pm

  539. Great quote from Ken Levine's wonderful blog: "I hate myself for laughing but KLAC sportstalk host Big Joe McDonnell said this about the Paul McCartney-Heather Mills divorce settlement: she made a lot of money for spreading her leg." Made me laugh out loud!
  540. MichaelG on I missed the memo.
    March 25th, 2008  3:32 pm

  541. C'mon, Brian. I saw the clip of Senator Clinton (D, NY). relating her experiences. She told how they had to run from the plane amidst sniper fire, ducking as they headed for cover. Then I saw the clip of the actual event. This was no "oops". This was a deliberate misstatement. Nobody tells accidental untruths about having been under hostile fire. I find this kind of effort to steal somebody else's glory despicable. But then I never did like her. I don't like her sense of entitlement; her belief that it's her turn and I don't like the dynastic aspect. If she were elected and served two terms it would mean 28 uninterrupted years of Bushes and Clintons. I don't like her speaking style, I don't like that she never seems to stand for anything but talks around every issue. I see no leadership whatsoever here. She's had five years to speak out on the war and only speaks critically of the war now when it is safe to do so and only in the most general of terms. That's hardly leadership. There have been, for over seven years, almost daily opportunities for a leader to speak out on the misdeeds of the Bush administration and I haven't heard anything from Sen. Clinton (D, NY).. As far as I am concerned, she's a hold over from the old impotent liberals of the '80s and '90s. She has nothing new to offer. She is a polarizing figure who brings a whole train of baggage, controversy and dislike to the dance. I think the international stage would have the same perception: Nothing new or different here, no break with the past, just another in a series of the same old same olds that the world has seen in the US for decades. Whew! There's exaggeration, Brian. We all do that. But you don't falsely claim combat experience. You just don't do it. Besides, can anybody seriously imagine Air Force One (or whatever they call FLOTUS' airplane) being allowed to land on a hot runway? It was a ferchirstssake photo-op, not an assault. All that said, if she were nominated, I would have to vote for her over Sen. McCain (R, AZ), but it would be a vote against Sen. McCain (R, AZ), not for Sen. Clinton (D, NY).
  542. MichaelG on I missed the memo.
    March 25th, 2008  5:16 pm

  543. Misremembering who dropped the mashed potatoes is not the same thing as fabricating out of whole cloth a story about getting shot at. A statement of the sort that Mrs. Clinton made is not inadvertent. It is deliberate. Nobody would criticize her for not being a Marine Corps veteran. Nobody would expect her to be a vet. Nobody doubts that she has done service to her country. It's the false claim to having been involved in hostile action that I find offensive and impossible to accept as a simple misrecollection. Noticing an egregious misstatement is not a "gotcha" and calling it that cheapens the idea of any critical discourse as does throwing up a whole smokescreen of other stuff that I supposedly might have said or thought or inferred. Besides, Brian, you brought it up. I merely responded. I realize that Mrs. Clinton has been a lifetime subject of the Republican slime machine and I've been outraged by that for years. I have no sympathy for her on this one. She owns it 100%. And yes, I voted for the Irish guy O'bama. You heard about his brother, Al, didn't you?
  544. MichaelG on Breaking Bad.
    March 26th, 2008  6:33 pm

  545. Any relation to Lamont Cranston?
  546. MichaelG on Breaking Bad.
    March 26th, 2008  10:06 pm

  547. Chron TV Critic has an issue with Simon: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/26/DDGRVPNRO.DTL
  548. MichaelG on Open for business.
    April 3rd, 2008  12:00 am

  549. I had a girlfriend once (many, many years ago) who suffered severe migraines. She was helped by acupuncture. It took several treatments over a couple of years but she did get permanent relief. And, yeah, I'm kind of attached to my hands.
  550. MichaelG on Yes, he's a DEMOCRAT.
    April 3rd, 2008  12:12 am

  551. That was fifteen minutes portal to portal. No stand by time, no nuthin. He paid the fifteen minute rate and left a $50 dollar tip. Wonder if there is any possibility of them bonding. What do you say to your wife? "Umm, honey..."
  552. MichaelG on Very bad news.
    April 3rd, 2008  3:47 pm

  553. What a kick in the nuts. I've read and commented on his blog for a long time. I'd really come to like the cranky so and so. We need more people like him. People who are filled with genuine outrage. I, for one, will really miss him. I wish I had had the opportunity to have a cigar and a few pops with him.
  554. MichaelG on Excitable boy.
    April 3rd, 2008  5:46 pm

  555. Wonderful obit, Nancy. I feel like crap.
  556. MichaelG on We'll drive.
    April 4th, 2008  7:40 pm

  557. I don't work for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. I do work for another state agency. I'm in no position to provide a big essay and don't have exact statistics at my fingertips. So. CDCR has something like 33 prisons in the state along with a number of youth facilities. What does CDCR bring to the local economies? They buy a lot of stuff on statewide contracts -- you can't imagine how many millions they spend on pharmaceuticals every year. But there is still a lot to be bought locally. Think of all the miscellaneous stuff you buy on Saturday at the home store, odds and ends at the supermarket etc. Multiply that by 33 and then by the 3-5000 inmates at each joint. Prisons buy lots and lots of stuff at the hardware store as you might guess. Maintenance is forever and inmates are hard users. Prisons have an enormous effect on local utilities. Garbage, waste water treatment, power, water and all. In some locations these are major issues and CDCR pays tons of bucks in mitigation fees and for mitigation projects all up and down the state. The biggest and most obvious monetary contribution is, of course, the payroll. Most California prisons, especially the ones built in the last 50 years are in relatively rural areas. The salaries paid by CDCR are pretty good, especially when compared with those paid for the few other jobs available in a rural economy. The decent salaries paid to the 50,000 or so people who work in the prison system dump a lot of money into local economies for housing, restaurants, groceries etc. and provide an otherwise unattainable standard of living for many, many people living in these rural areas. Some institutions are located in very desirable Sierra foothill areas. The Dept. provides a means for people to move to these areas and in other locations provides living wages to otherwise impoverished folks. For those of you familiar with California, think Jamestown and Blythe. Mule Creek and Centenela. It's not a PhD thesis, but I hope this gives some small idea of what effect prisons have on local economies. When reading Nancy's post, as soon as I got to the Mississippi bus service part, I thought of the CA bus service she subsequently cited. This service provides transportation from the Bay Area to two women's prisons located in the Central Valley near Chowchilla, north of Fresno. One is Central California Women's Facility and the other is Valley State Prison. As it happens, I have a small job going on at CCWF and plan to be there next week. Here's the web site: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/
  558. MichaelG on We'll drive.
    April 4th, 2008  7:52 pm

  559. Del's bus trip reminded me. I have occasion to fly into and out of Ontario fairly regularly. There are three prisons located not far from there: Chino, Norco and Corona or Frontera as it was once called. Every now and then, I have flown out of ONT on release day. The waiting area and flight will be loaded with families and just released inmates. I've seen them (ex-inmates) guzzle three and four beers on the short flight from ONT to SMF. It's an interesting flight.
  560. MichaelG on We'll drive.
    April 4th, 2008  11:29 pm

  561. Both Folsom and San Quentin are in major metro areas. Folsom is a suburb of Sacramento and San Quentin is located in Marin County, in suburban San Francisco. There has been talk for years of selling Quentin off and relocating death row elsewhere -- usually to Corcoran. San Quentin occupies many acres of what must be some of the most valuable water front real estate in the country. Both places date back to the nineteenth century. Here's a link to a great picture of Folsom Prison: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3a/FolsomStatePrison.jpg Below (maybe) is a picture I took at San Quentin last summer. Death row is in the building to the left with the green vertical stripes. That stack visible at the far corner of the building, next to the siren, is the vent pipe for the gas chamber. I remember the Chowchilla kidnapping, but was never motivated to figure out exactly where it took place. I can't imagine there's anything to see.
  562. MichaelG on We'll drive.
    April 4th, 2008  11:29 pm

  563. No picture. I'll email it to Nance.
  564. MichaelG on We'll drive.
    April 5th, 2008  7:17 pm

  565. "Inmate" is also a legal term. That is what inhabitants of California State prisons are officially called. They are so termed in all publications and in legal procedings. Those who inhabit youth facilities are called "wards".
  566. MichaelG on We'll drive.
    April 5th, 2008  8:19 pm

  567. proceedings
  568. MichaelG on Forget it, Jake.
    April 13th, 2008  8:34 pm

  569. Used to be a NASCAR race driver named Dick Trickle. Swear to God. I had a friend many years ago who was the service manager at a BMW store. Some genius at the regional level decided that service managers should wear suits. So Leroy used to buy a suit a week from the Salvation Army. He'd wear it for five days and toss it. It was cheaper than a bill from the dry cleaner. You can imagine the look and fit of some of them -- especially by Friday. This only lasted a month or two. It's in the eighties here today.
  570. MichaelG on Forget it, Jake.
    April 14th, 2008  1:26 am

  571. Nothing wrong with John Lee Hooker the great blues singer. That was true about Dick Trickle (funny how how you have to say his whole name) smoking in the race car. He would light up during yellow flag laps and they would pick it up on the in car camera. I don't recall anybody ever making a stink about it.
  572. MichaelG on Forget it, Jake.
    April 14th, 2008  5:38 am

  573. That horrible crash in "Le Mans" was not staged. It was the real thing. The driver, David Piper, lost a leg in the accident. Aside from that awful moment, it was a teriffic film.
  574. MichaelG on Forget it, Jake.
    April 14th, 2008  4:07 pm

  575. I'm sure you're correct, Mark. I'm operating off an ancient memory without a reference. Too lazy to google. Boy, I can see that on a tombstone now. TOO LAZY TO GOOGLE. Ms. Knipl is too good. I knew a kid named Joe Blow in third or fourth grade.
  576. MichaelG on Stupid things, facts.
    April 14th, 2008  8:33 pm

  577. There's fiction vs. fact and there's details right and wrong. Two very different things. Fiction can be whatever you want it to be. If an author goes to the trouble of including a detail, it needs to be right. One can't help wondering what else is wrong when one spots a boo boo. That stuff really can ruin a book. An M-16 round does not tumble (I've seen that in a book). That is an erroneous detail. Doesn't matter if the book is fact or fiction. And where are editors and other prepublication readers? For the Twin Cities John Sandford is the best. He may be the best of them all. My one time wife and I once operated a business. We had an accountant do our taxes. I used to cringe at the things he deducted and at the big refunds we received. Finally we got audited. I was very nervous. I asked the guy what I needed to do and he said nothing, that he would take care of things and that it was all part of the service. In the end I got a very nice letter from the IRS saying they were sorry for bothering us. The accountant has more than earned his fees over the years. He doesn't do personal taxes as a rule but he likes my erstwhile wife (we're legally separated but not divorced for a variety of reasons mostly spelled $$) and does her/our taxes. I'm way money ahead having had him do our taxes all these years. It might be worth it to get a pro, especially with home office issues. Dinah Shore sang "I'll Walk Alone". I like the links to the record store.
  578. MichaelG on Stupid things, facts.
    April 15th, 2008  12:21 am

  579. Trust me, Mark. I've fired many, many rounds through an M-16. Including tracer. It does not tumble. Think about rifling, aerodynamics, etc. It couldn't tumble. The lethality you speak of results from an air space at the forward end of the brass jacket. When the round strikes, the melted lead surges forward into the air space causing the spinning (not tumbling) jacket to burst with unfortunate results for the hittee.
  580. MichaelG on Stupid things, facts.
    April 15th, 2008  5:32 pm

  581. I'm a Connelly fan as well and I've had occasion to follow his footsteps in the valley. I think changing an apartment house for an office building is an acceptable detail switch because curious readers might bother residents. Also that sort of detail has no effect on the story or on credibility the way misplacing the sunrise would.
  582. MichaelG on Our Hillary problem.
    April 15th, 2008  5:45 pm

  583. I donated a comment with my thoughts on Hillary a week or two ago. I don't particularly care for her and I voted for Obama in the CA primary. In fact, the more I see of her, the less I like her. To hear her talk, she practically joined the NRA over the weekend, clutching Charlton Heston's used gun. But, if she is the nominee, I will vote for her over McCain. That said, I am appalled at the steady beat of misogynistic crap that is everywhere including all the so-called joke emails I get every day. I don't care who she is or what she stands for it's just wrong.
  584. MichaelG on Our Hillary problem.
    April 16th, 2008  2:12 am

  585. Jeff, I can't imagine why you're startled by the idea of maintaining an escrow account to cover property taxes. I make one payment per month to my lender and don't have to worry about property taxes at all. The mortgage company provides me with a monthly accounting of the whole shebang including the escrow account, pays interest on the account and pays my taxes every six months. In the mean time, the county still sends me the same tax bill everybody else gets so I'm never in the dark about my property taxes and how they're paid. I have friends who prefer to pay themselves. I see it as a Ford vs. Chevy sort of thing. But a startling concept? Can't understand that.
  586. MichaelG on Bonehead.
    April 16th, 2008  7:23 pm

  587. Rev. Jenkins' ribs in Berkeley used to be great. Part of the fun was watching the counterman whack 'em apart with a huge cleaver. Wonder if they're still there. Also Leon's in San Francisco. The place caught fire once when I was there. Nobody left or even missed a bite and the grill guy managed to somehow put it out with a garden hose. Can't imagine that happening today. I've been to Arthur Bryant's in KC and couldn't see that it was any better than Jenkins' or Leon's. Wonder if any of them are still there.
  588. MichaelG on Bonehead.
    April 16th, 2008  8:23 pm

  589. My erstwhile wife used to do pork butt in cherry coke. On top of the stove for hours and hours. I laughed my ass off when I first saw her boiling pork in cherry coke. Until I tasted it. She got the recipe from a guy who runs a Mexican restaurant. It's sublime in tacos.
  590. MichaelG on Oh, totally.
    April 17th, 2008  9:31 pm

  591. No alcohol in Indiana on Sunday? Really? In 2008? How barbaric. Trader Joe has a Shiraz called Purple Moon that sells for $3.99. It's better than Charles Shaw. Then, at twice the price it should be. The label says it's made in Manteca so it may come from the same factory as TBC which, by the way, still costs $1.99 at my local Trader Joe's.
  592. MichaelG on To the plastic mattresses.
    April 21st, 2008  6:26 pm

  593. When I'm with my grandson I make a conscious effort to say "yes" as much as I can which is 99% of the time. I feel badly about all the "noes" I said to his mom. I've never looked in the mirror in the morning and seen Kim Basinger but then I never cared for her. I have, however, been priveleged to see numerous other lovely morning faces over the years.
  594. MichaelG on Busy busy busy.
    April 22nd, 2008  7:54 pm

  595. Clinton by seven.
  596. MichaelG on A nation turns its eyes...
    April 24th, 2008  6:16 pm

  597. I saw Padma Lakshmi (truly a goddess) on television. I never could stand Garrison Keiller or his horrid show.
  598. MichaelG on A nation turns its eyes...
    April 24th, 2008  10:37 pm

  599. Inside the little box, alas.
  600. MichaelG on Off the Florida keys.
    April 24th, 2008  10:41 pm

  601. Well, who else you gonna complain about, Jolene? Nobody complains about themselves. It's like feeling sorry. If I don't feel sorry for myself, who will?
  602. MichaelG on The naughty bits.
    May 1st, 2008  1:49 am

  603. So are we now going to see Miley Cyrus dressed up like one of those Texas cult ladies?
  604. MichaelG on The naughty bits.
    May 1st, 2008  3:54 pm

  605. Was it JoeK who said "If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going"? I guess an A320 is alright as long as the nose wheel is pointed in the right direction when it lands. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERFf91rkc6w There have been something like 15 of these incidents. Oh, and this is why those airline captains are paid decent bucks. This LAX incident was great for the media. I watched it live on the 5:00 news. It was perfect. Drama, scariness, suspense and a happy ending. Everytime somebody says "A320" I think of it. Easy please, Caliban. I used to have a mild letch for Jane Birkin.
  606. MichaelG on Glorious freedom.
    May 1st, 2008  6:22 pm

  607. Years ago when we lived in San Francisco and my daughter was the age of Ms. Skenazy's son she had an adventure. Stephanie was going someplace with her YMCA group on the Muni bus and fell asleep. The group got off wherever they got off and forgot the sleeping Steph. She woke up at the end of the line somewhere. She didn't know where she was and to this day I have no idea where she went. Someplace in San Francisco. I didn't know what bus route they had taken since they had left from some intermediate destination. So there she was, nine years old and stranded Lord knows where in a major city without a dime. But she's always had an excellent sense of direction and a fast mouth (you wouldn't believe) and great confidence in herself. So she BS'd her way home on the Muni. No tears, no calling the cops, no calling one of us, no problem. She got home earlier than she would ordinarily have - laughing. To Stephanie the whole thing was a lark. We had to call the Y to tell them she was safe. I think kids are a whole lot smarter than we give them credit for.
  608. MichaelG on Glorious freedom.
    May 1st, 2008  6:26 pm

  609. And the follow up? Now Stephanie has two kids and is your classic soccer mom. Soccer, swimming lessons, kung fu, etc., etc. I just try to be as bad an influence on the kids as possible.
  610. MichaelG on How it went.
    May 9th, 2008  4:30 am

  611. I've been in the L. A. area for a couple of days. It seems I missed some excellent sessions at NN.c. The rental car people gave me a Passat. I was most favorably impressed, Nance, it's a really, really nice car. One of the neat things I did while in cool, cloudy Southern California was to survey restrooms for access compliance. During one fun packed morning, in the course of which we trooped through about 8000 restrooms, a great philosophic question posed itself to the members of our all male crew: While in the bog, do women read the newspaper society pages the way men read the sports pages? This also raises the question of how the electronic media will respond to the male need for sports pages in the loo. Great video. I was just wondering where the fire boat escort complete with all the spectacular water plumes might have been. Somehow I missed it. Seriously, I enjoyed the movie. This blog is taking on whole new dimensions and I love it. Somehow, with all the blogs I cruise, this is the best -- my "home blog".
  612. MichaelG on How it went.
    May 9th, 2008  3:44 pm

  613. Nothing to be insulted about, Nance. I was making a mild joke. It's well known that some men read the sports section on the pot. This applies more to workplaces than restaurants. Nobody really thought that women brought the paper to the potty much less the society pages. After surveying about your 968th restroom anything that seems amusing is welcome. Besides, they don't even have society pages anymore, do they? Except in those slick city and regional magazines.
  614. MichaelG on Marital aids.
    May 13th, 2008  4:45 am

  615. I truly despise Bush but I must admit the bride looks very nice. I have nothing against her and would agree that she deserves a happy wedding. The mom looks, as she always has, like she dresses out of a 1977 Monkey Wards catalogue. She also looks like she saved a few bucks when she selected her plastic surgeon. The sister? I don't know. All the speculations in the comments sound plausible to me. As far as looking under the weather goes, well . . . I certainly can't say anything, though Mom does look rather loopy. I got quite toasted at my daughter's wedding. That was a great party.
  616. MichaelG on The service economy.
    May 13th, 2008  7:37 pm

  617. OK, Marche's "dress" was in poor taste. So let her put a on sweatshirt or something. I had to watch the video without sound so I probably missed the important parts. But I still don't get the handcuffs. And I have come to hate the word "inappropriate". It means everything and nothing to idiots who don't like something but can't articulate why they don't like whatever it is they don't like. Didn't the Bugman hail from Sugarland? SJP's hat is nothing. What about all those country and western singers who sit at award shows wearing those huge cowboy hats? Didn't anybody ever tell them that a gentleman doesn't wear a hat indoors? Kind of a self answering question.
  618. MichaelG on The service economy.
    May 13th, 2008  10:59 pm

  619. Say but the word. Here's your Smart Car wreck of the day. http://jalopnik.com/389911/smart-fortwo-punted-by-delivery-truck-returned-by-van
  620. MichaelG on Today, I'm Pat Parsley.*
    May 15th, 2008  6:36 am

  621. I saw that WAPO weeny's shrimp recipe. Huh. Here's a shrimp dish. You eat it with friends and wine and beer and mojitos and a nice green salad. Get some of those frozen shrimp of the large persuasion. They've already been slit up the back and the, er, alimentary canal excised. Get your stuff ready. Some chopped garlic, olive oil, some soy, some sherry, red pepper flakes, some fish sauce and if there is anything special in your arsenal add or delete. This is to your taste. Add some salt and pepper. Get a large frying pan or wok. Get it hot. No. I mean hot! Now splash in the olive oil, add the shrimp and toss. Wait a sec, then start adding the other ingredients starting with the garlic. Toss. Add the rest of the ingredients. Toss. Toss some more. When ready (don't over cook) turn out into a large bowl and put on the table with an extra bowl for the shells. Yeah, you gotta peel them yourself. Your fingers get all messy. On a warm Sunday afternoon with friends . . . Other than chopping the garlic it takes seconds to prepare.
  622. MichaelG on Today, I'm Pat Parsley.*
    May 15th, 2008  6:48 am

  623. Oh yeah, and Brian. I noted that "my little chiclets" remark but wasn't sure what to make of it. Is there something I don't know about?
  624. MichaelG on Two for the road.
    May 19th, 2008  3:47 pm

  625. How do you say "Nice hat" when trying to stifle a guffaw?
  626. MichaelG on Beyond the fence.
    May 20th, 2008  7:37 pm

  627. Besides, the ANWAR is limited - that is there is only so much oil there. It could potentially help shortages but would not go any near solving shortages. Also if they started out today with full approvals, permits, etc it would be ten years before any of it arrived at the pump. We had a beautiful golden retriever named Blondie. She was a sweetheart but very emotional. Our yellow naped amazon used to call her from the other room. "Blonnnntie". Then poor Blondie would come into the bird's room and the bird (her name is Murphy and she's 26 now) would cuss her out and make her cry. What a collection of animals we used to have.
  628. MichaelG on They talk funny.
    May 21st, 2008  3:51 pm

  629. Out here in California we have the Quinceañera, a sort of elaborate Mexican sweet 15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincea%C3%B1era I've had friends spend fortunes on them.
  630. MichaelG on You guys can drive.
    May 21st, 2008  11:40 pm

  631. I once had a minor letch for Rebecca DeMolay.
  632. MichaelG on It's just fun to say: Mulch.
    May 22nd, 2008  7:16 pm

  633. The filters on my office computer won't let me look.
  634. MichaelG on It's just fun to say: Mulch.
    May 23rd, 2008  3:47 pm

  635. I once heard a five year old call it a "shiner".
  636. MichaelG on It's just fun to say: Mulch.
    May 23rd, 2008  5:07 pm

  637. Brian, my daughter was so bad she'd fall asleep when I was backing out of the driveway.
  638. MichaelG on Internal derangement.
    May 23rd, 2008  10:38 pm

  639. The Oregon State mascot is the beaver. The female athletes are known as the "Lady Beavers" which I and my Pac 10 watching friends always thought was repetitively redundant. Mindy, get a new knee. I've talked to lots of people who have had knee replacements and they have all had only one regret: that they hadn't done it sooner.
  640. MichaelG on Don't count them out.
    May 27th, 2008  8:58 pm

  641. LAMary, Danny, we had the same swing here from 100's to 60's. I don't mind so much but my tomatos could use a little sun. Also I'm very, very tired of the wind. I had a good time in high school. I wouldn't call them the best years of my life but I did enjoy that time.
  642. MichaelG on Less pump pain.
    May 28th, 2008  8:53 pm

  643. I saw a place this AM that was down to $4.09. That's right. Down. It's been $4.13 -$4.16 at the cheapest around here. They ran cars and trucks on charcoal in Europe during WWII. I never bothered to find out how it works. Never thought it would matter. Here in Northern Cal the authorities have instructed people not to heat their houses with wood or to burn fires for fun. This was last winter. Wood burning fires are very polluting. Big story here is they're gonna be closing I-5 off and on for days at a time right in downtown Sacto for the next two months starting Friday. I-5 is kind of a major street in Calif. Things will be very interesting.
  644. MichaelG on Less pump pain.
    May 28th, 2008  10:32 pm

  645. Oh, I know all about clean burning stoves, C'dad. When I was still married and living in Auburn we had an insert that came with all kinds of EPA, etc. stickers attesting to its clean burning ways. We used to save lots of money burning windfalls instead of turning on the central heat. I was just reporting what the air people here mandated last winter.
  646. MichaelG on Less pump pain.
    May 29th, 2008  4:09 pm

  647. When I was at UI in Champaign in the early, ulp, 60's the steam tunnels used to be available for pedestrian traffic. That really did ease winter walks to class. MommyTime, my daughter, who lives in Yorktown, VA, voiced exactly the same complaint to me last Sunday. She would love to walk to the store but with two little ones and no sidewalks she isn't about to risk those 50mph streets. They don't even have shoulders on half of the streets. Just ditches. The developers saved a couple of bucks.
  648. MichaelG on The long drive.
    June 1st, 2008  9:11 pm

  649. I had a '61 or '62 four door Falcon wagon once. The basic model, no shelf paper on the sides. Had a little six with about 12 HP and three on the tree. I'd love to have it back. Best car I had in the old days was a '69 BMW 2002. First wife got it in the divorce. I got the '67 Dodge convert. I drive a couple of dozen rental cars a year. One thing that strikes me is how competent they all are, from little Hyundai shitboxes to huge Lincoln Towncars, when compared to cars of 40 years ago That airport at Tegucigalpa looks terrifying. Personally, I always preferred slipping into an Xwind rather than crabbing.
  650. MichaelG on Sunday fried fish.
    June 2nd, 2008  6:10 pm

  651. Bossy's got the Michigan/Florida vote fiasco fairly well covered. http://iambossy.typepad.com/
  652. MichaelG on Sunday fried fish.
    June 2nd, 2008  7:00 pm

  653. You've got it John C. Claiming her people have been disenfranchised when, in fact, it's Obama's people who got disenf'ed and then claiming that she got the most popular votes. She only gets the high vote total when counting FL where Obama's people didn't vote in any real numbers and MI where they didn't vote at all. Can you imagine the screaming from the Clinton camp were it Obama wanting to change the rules after the fact and count states favorable to him?
  654. MichaelG on The end, finally.
    June 5th, 2008  7:00 pm

  655. In summer of 1965 they held a race in the parking lot of Candlestick Park. I was right there when a driver named Bart Martin, driving a Brabham sports racer, hit a power pole head on at speed. The live wire came down and torched the car. I don't know if he died from the impact, electrocution or the ensuing fire. I do know that the charred remains were not pretty. It was the worst thing I had seen to that point in my young life. Because of these and other accidents all forms of racing are orders of magnitude safer than they used to be.
  656. MichaelG on I love you guys.
    June 6th, 2008  9:02 pm

  657. I'm glad that you haven't banned Caliban, Nance. The comments can be a little, er, opaque at times and sometimes his fingers don't all seem to be connected to the same brain but occasionally there's a zinger. I have no complaint. Beautiful weather here: 80ish, 26% humidity, sunshine, light wind. One of those days that reminds you of why you wanted to live in California. Ten day calls for more of the same with mid 90s next week which isn't bad here.
  658. MichaelG on I love you guys.
    June 8th, 2008  5:19 am

  659. So, Caliban, come out, come out wherever you are. You've received an overwhelming vote of confidence. Of a sort. I, for one, would welcome you.
  660. MichaelG on I love you guys.
    June 9th, 2008  6:14 am

  661. Judith, help me. I'd love to read what you wrote but your link puts me on a main page and I have no idea of where to go. I see local headlines, recent headlines, one dead - one missing etc. Tell me where to go. Thanks. Hmmm. You can go to the head of the long line to tell me where to go.
  662. MichaelG on I love you guys.
    June 9th, 2008  3:36 pm

  663. Thanks, Kim. Nice letter, Judith. We should all take heed.
  664. MichaelG on The props.
    June 9th, 2008  5:35 pm

  665. I've been stuck with rented Cavaliers several times. They buzz and they vibrate and they throw the most horrid reflections from the plastic dash right into your tortured eyes. My worst experience was driving one from Sacramento to Arcata via 5 and 299. 299 is one of those legendary trips -- 4 hours of two lane mountain driving from 5 to the coast. The Cav absolutely beat the shit out of me. I was exhausted when I got to Arcata. I've made that drive in a lot of different types of cars and there isn't anything like a Cav. Driving one of those things is an absolute act of self abuse. Here's one for you: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2004-CHEVY-CAVALIER-TURBO-LAMBO-DOORS_W0QQitemZ290236852688QQihZ019QQcategoryZ6163QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
  666. MichaelG on Just keep driving.
    June 10th, 2008  5:25 pm

  667. Dr. Doolittle? The Wind in the Willows, Charlotte's Web, the Holling Clancy Holling books - I loved his Book of Cowboys and his Book of Indians. Minn of the Mississippi is a classic.
  668. MichaelG on Just keep driving.
    June 10th, 2008  8:13 pm

  669. If she's looking for something light and amusing I'll be happy to forward a copy of the State of California's "General Conditions for Construction Contracts". The section on change orders is particularly edifying.
  670. MichaelG on Just keep driving.
    June 11th, 2008  12:23 am

  671. I'd loan you my biography but it's still in development.
  672. MichaelG on No more pencils.
    June 11th, 2008  5:06 pm

  673. I can picture the kid with the extra appendage grown up and dancing with one of those Muslim girls.
  674. MichaelG on No more pencils.
    June 11th, 2008  6:24 pm

  675. C'dad, I often find myself imagining conference room scenes when ad agencies are pitching particularly crappy commercials to clients. I can see the idiots sitting there: "Yeah, . . . yeah, that sounds good." while their product is embarrassed on screen and I wonder if the ad agency people are laughing their asses off or are just incompetent.
  676. MichaelG on No more pencils.
    June 11th, 2008  11:54 pm

  677. When I lived in Auburn before splitting with my wife, one of the dogs got skunked. I had heard about tomato juice so I poured TJ all over poor Aimee's head and shoulders. Worked like a charm. She had instant relief. Saw possums waddling around but never thought of them as pests. Same, same coonies. The hawks (chicken killers), bobcats (ditto), foxes (ditto) and coyotes (couldn't get past the fencing but killed three cats) were more of a concern. Our eggs were never that dirty. We just rinsed them in warm water and let it go. Boy, were they good.
  678. MichaelG on No more pencils.
    June 12th, 2008  4:08 pm

  679. Thanks for the tip LAMary. I certainly defer to your greater experience but now I live alone in town and as a frequent traveler I don't have any pets. C'dad - great story. Just a reminder that no good deed goes unpunished. We never had more than 12-15 chickens at a time. They were locked in their house at night and ran loose during the day. I was never aware of possums as predators but I'll again defer to the greater experience. The worst were the bobcats who showed up during the last six months or so that we were together. There was no stopping them and we eventually had to give the surviving chickens away. The mother is the only one I've seen and at a good 2.5 feet long and looking like 25 lbs she seemed huge to me. My untrained eye has probably caused her to grow but even so . . . So far they haven't bothered the goats. Talked to my ex the other day and she reports that current population is mom and two wee ones. Obviously, dad's not far away.
  680. MichaelG on Baby mama drama.
    June 12th, 2008  10:27 pm

  681. Well, if Barack isn' her baby's daddy, who would be?
  682. MichaelG on Brief hiatus.
    June 16th, 2008  10:32 pm

  683. It's not just in the south, C'dad. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/16/MNJT119MI5.DTL&tsp=1
  684. MichaelG on Brief hiatus.
    June 17th, 2008  3:59 pm

  685. Great looking recipe, C'dad. I'll have to try it. An excellent quick stock can be made from shrimp shells. When you peel some shrimp for whatever recipe, merely toss the shells in a small pan of water. Bring to boil and simmer for a half hour or 45 min. Strain and season to taste. Use it for cooking your rice or for your sauce or save it or whatever. It has a sweet flavor and doesn't taste fishy at all. Here's your demons, Jeff. The follow up stories about the man who beat his son to death tell us that he was heard by onlookers to indicate that he was beating his son to chase out the child's demons. Deputy Singh with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's office in Modesto is on TV all the time. He's different. A skinny little guy with mod, moussed and spiky hair, he favors purple shirts with white ties. Not your average rural sheriff's rep.
  686. MichaelG on Get you six mo'.
    June 17th, 2008  9:59 pm

  687. I can't play the sound here either, Mary, but I can hear the stirring music and the deep, manly voice anyway. I visited the Alamo once (it's right in the middle of town) and discovered that it's not a historic building, monument, museum, preserve or such. Nope. It is a Texas State Shrine. Says so right on the plaque.
  688. MichaelG on If it keeps on rainin'...
    June 20th, 2008  7:09 pm

  689. I heard every one of those stories on the news last night, Nance. Wording identical to yours. There used to be a lot of flooding in the Sacto/NorCal area. But that was back in the days when it used to rain. Filling sandbags is not fun.
  690. MichaelG on If it keeps on rainin'...
    June 20th, 2008  9:28 pm

  691. Do you riprap people know what gabions are? We used a lot of both 10 years or so ago in an effort to keep San Quentin from disappearing into San Francisco Bay. Along with a lot of other tricks.
  692. MichaelG on If it keeps on rainin'...
    June 21st, 2008  7:01 pm

  693. A-B truly makes lousy beer. 'Though, I must admit that when I was young and thirsty and in the RVN I sure was happy to see a can of the stuff - even warm. Ever notice that it's made with rice, not barley? I'd much rather have a Stella. Maybe they could teach A-B something about making beer. I have no ancestors who fought in the civil war. My grandfather, however, was active in the IRA. Story goes that he, who was from the South (Swinford, County Mayo), killed a British policeman in the North and suddenly developed an interest in emigrating to the US. This would have been about a hundred years ago.
  694. MichaelG on If it keeps on rainin'...
    June 21st, 2008  10:38 pm

  695. It's only 12:30 here and already it's over 100. Lots of fires. It's going to be a scary summer. There should be a way to split the difference with the rain between us and the midwest.
  696. MichaelG on If it keeps on rainin'...
    June 22nd, 2008  2:24 am

  697. I made beer a couple of times many years ago when I (we) lived in San Francisco. It was quite good. I really surprised myself. Maybe I should try it again. Jeez, that would have been back in the early '80s.
  698. MichaelG on If it keeps on rainin'...
    June 22nd, 2008  4:54 am

  699. The high today was 102. What caught my attention was the merc hitting 100 very early. Usually it takes longer to reach peak temps. High clouds floated in to ease the temperature. Unfortunately, those clouds mean dry lightning in the foothills and in the Sierra. 102 is just summer weather here in Sacramento. We can have stretches of 20 days and more of triple digit temps. The thing that makes the place so livable is the evening cool off. At night the temps fall to the 60's or even the 50's before climbing back to their highs. As a result, evening activities like BBQs or sleeping or whatever are most pleasant. I'll confess. The thing that has me edgy is the fire danger. The temps, low humidity and high winds are fire magic. My (once) wife lives in the woods. In a gorgeous house to be sure, but still in the woods. The very dry, tinder dry woods. Sure we split last year, but without rancor and after 30 years together there are still feelings and the fire danger and the dry lightning have me very scared. So. I might have been to a party or two. Lord, how does one pick? There was one when I was in school at the Univ of Ill when I observed Roger Ebert going out a back window as the police raiding the place came in the front door.
  700. MichaelG on If it keeps on rainin'...
    June 23rd, 2008  9:05 pm

  701. I didn't mean early in the year, I meant early in the day. 95 at 10:30 in the AM means a really hot day but Sat it clouded up so we only topped out at 102. It hasn't gotten really hot here yet. The fire stuff scares the crap out of me for my ex-wife (as above). There is so much smoke that visibility is down and we can smell it inside the sealed building here. Outside it irritates one's eyes and throat.
  702. MichaelG on Revenue streams.
    June 26th, 2008  1:35 am

  703. What a coincidence, Jolene. I just checked "Fiasco" out of the library this afternoon on the way home from work. One of the reasons my erstwhile wife and I are legally separated rather than divorced is health insurance. She has none where she works and I can continue to carry her on mine as long as we don't get divorced. Also taxes are more favorable for us filed jointly rather than singly. We are totally split. We talk no more than once every three or four months and then only for business reasons like taxes or something. I don't even know if she has boyfriend or not and don't care but I don't hate her and sure wouldn't abandon her to a life without health coverage.
  704. MichaelG on Revenue streams.
    June 26th, 2008  3:07 am

  705. I'm sorry things are still that way, Alex. Best I can offer is that progress is slowly being made. I think marriage for all is making its way over the horizon. Let's just hope that it arrives sooner rather than later.
  706. MichaelG on Revenue streams.
    June 26th, 2008  4:27 pm

  707. I'm waiting for one of the religious wingnuts to equate the Calif Supreme Court decision vis-a-vis gay marriage with the fires now burning hereabouts.
  708. MichaelG on A way of looking at things.
    June 26th, 2008  9:11 pm

  709. Nicely said, Mary. Very nicely said.
  710. MichaelG on We can do it.
    July 1st, 2008  5:15 am

  711. Obviously, single payer is the way to go. There's nothing wrong with a well run bureaucracy. Think Toyota isn't a bureaucracy? The big thing is to keep the insurance companies out of the mix. Also, all anybody seems to talk about is how to meet the costs. Is anybody looking at what the costs truly are? At why the costs are skyrocketing? There must be something other than profiteering on the part of the industry. They wouldn't pad costs would they? So what has caused costs to increase so dramatically? What can be done to hold them within reason? Has anybody even taken a casual look at the health care mega corps and their cost structure? The politicians couldn't be . . . No, even such a cynic as moi couldn't believe that. I mean, look at the wonderful, classically simple drug bill that the Bush administration has given us. It cuts out the insurance companies while creating a mechanism to allow negotiating the most favorable prices from the drug companies. Doesn't it?
  712. MichaelG on A little levity.
    July 1st, 2008  5:47 am

  713. What Moe says. The Dems need to get out there on the offensive and start attacking or Obama will go the way of Kerry. By the way, Kerry may have been a fine river boat leader but he was a shitty, mealy mouthed candidate who ran a lousy campaign. He wouldn't take a position on whether the sun rose in the east or the west. He didn't run to win, he ran not to lose. The Dems had better not make that mistake again. Do not underestimate McCain. I didn't vote for Kerry, I voted against Bush. The Republican slime machine will say what it's going to say regardless of what Obama says or does, so he may as well speak his mind. As Olbermann says, he's paid the price so he may as well get the game. Or something like that. Jack Shafer has been chasing the media on drug hysteria for several years now. He's doing an excellent job. "Oliver Winery black cherry honey-wine". Gag. I can only assume that's a joke, although I will admit to certain desperate purchases (not to be specified) in my youth. OK, here's a couple. Ever hear of Gallo Spanada? Richard's Wild Irish Rose? It's amazing that I'm as old as I am. And that's old. And Maker's Mark is so awfully expensive. Trader Joe has a pretty decent bourbon in Evan Williams. I quit Jack Daniels when they diluted the product from 86 to 80 proof. That's simply watering down the booze. Do the math over X number of cases.
  714. MichaelG on A little levity.
    July 1st, 2008  3:48 pm

  715. MMJeff, Evan Williams is about on a par with Jack Daniels. It isn't as good as Maker's Mark. It's a bit sweeter. I like it over ice. I don't know how it would fare warm. Alright, I'd guess, but again, it's not Maker's Mark. And for the price differential, MM had better be by far the superior sip.
  716. MichaelG on We can do it.
    July 1st, 2008  3:50 pm

  717. Now you want to put some kind of needs/qualification test on medical care? Gonna put the old people out on the ice? Stake 'em out on the hillside for the wolves? So how old are you Mo?
  718. MichaelG on Where I'm calling from.
    July 1st, 2008  5:27 pm

  719. Do tourist stuff. Ride a cable car. Have an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista. Eat a great lunch at Tadich Grill or Sam's. Have Dim Sum at that great place on Stockton and Pacific. Visit the Exploratorium. Walk and walk and follow your nose. Union Street, Chinatown, the Marina. There's something neat on each block. Surprise yourself. Ride the 40 Stockton, also known as the Orient Express. What I do in a strange city is look at some kind of guide book and then just walk. I also like to take a bus or streetcar or whatever to the end of the line and back. Just to see what's there. Did I mention that SF is a great walking town? Also a bizillion great places to eat. Bring something warm to wear.
  720. MichaelG on Mixed grill on Wednesday.
    July 3rd, 2008  9:45 pm

  721. I am. Now just tell me where I can collect.
  722. MichaelG on At last.
    July 9th, 2008  6:41 pm

  723. I also used to like Dexter. I still remember his last column in the Bee back in the mid 90's wherein he basically signed off with a 'screw you'. I wish he'd start writing again. I still miss Herb Caen from the Chron. The Chron has always had excellent columnists and still does today from the great Jon Carroll to the best sports columnist in the biz, Bruce Jenkins. You've got a new regular, C'dad.
  724. MichaelG on At last.
    July 9th, 2008  10:03 pm

  725. When my daughter was in high school she did a ride around with a local vet. This was a school approved deal. Our then vet (still my ex's) does both large and small animals and they have a half dozen service trucks that travel to farms and ranches. She thought it was cool until the vet was armpit deep in a cow. It squicked her out and she dropped being a vet from her list of career possibles. As an aside, their large animal facility is said to rival that at UC Davis. They have all these cranes, slings, turntables and a host of other medieval looking stuff. The place was spotless.
  726. MichaelG on You can't fire me...
    July 10th, 2008  4:31 am

  727. Shit. I just saw a story on the news about a 64 year old farm worker who died of heat stroke while harvesting squash in hundred degree plus temps. In California. I'll be 64 in Oct. I don't know why, but for some reason I broke into tears. I must be getting weak in my old age.
  728. MichaelG on You can't fire me...
    July 10th, 2008  4:05 pm

  729. I don't know if Mr. Eason is independently wealthy or not, but you don't get rich working for the state. With all due respect, Dexter, I emphatically disagree with you that his protest is "is just plain weak". He paid with his job. I hope he does have a place to go. Fifty one is too young to retire. He won't get squat from his state retirement system going out at that age. I agree with your admiration of the two young men who protested the Vietnam war, but I have to note that it's lots easier to start one's life over in one's twenties than in one's fifties.
  730. MichaelG on No, I am Bossy.
    July 11th, 2008  2:24 am

  731. I particularly liked that Pate woman in the wiffleball whirlwind who was so put out by the sounds of children playing. Oly has been gone for 20 years and more. Somebody may own the name and sell some stuff as a discount label but, come to think of it, you don't see those cheap beer labels any more.
  732. MichaelG on On hiatus.
    July 12th, 2008  11:24 pm

  733. May the three of you have a great vacation! And may the airline gods be with you!
  734. MichaelG on Postcard.
    July 16th, 2008  3:55 pm

  735. I was in the Bay Area yesterday as well. I was in Berkeley. I could see the GG Bridge but it was too far away to see who was riding bikes on it. There is a big old public health lab in Berkeley. It has been replaced by a new facility in Richmond (which claims to be the largest public health lab in the country and is, indeed, huge) and will be razed. I have to survey it to see that there is no residual radioactive shit and to abate whatever is found and get the radioactive materials license surrendered. I had a job site meeting last week attended by no less than five PhD physicists. Talk about trees obscuring forests. Interesting project. Incidentally, there were never any isotopes of any harmful nature employed in this building. All very low level stuff, lower than one would see in an average hospital. The labs up the hill or out at Livermore are a different story.
  736. MichaelG on Postcard.
    July 16th, 2008  9:28 pm

  737. Telegraph has always been a little edgy. Our building is on the other side of the campus at Shattuck and Hearst, an old eight story bldg.
  738. MichaelG on Postcard II.
    July 16th, 2008  9:33 pm

  739. You're right, LAMary that there's a lot of stuff in the Bay Area to make your eyes roll. I guess you just kind of grow some thick skin against all the self absorbed nitwits after a while. Nancy mentioned Acme bread for a reason. It's heavenly stuff and I'm lucky to be able to get it here.
  740. MichaelG on Postcard II.
    July 17th, 2008  6:29 am

  741. In Monterey go out to Point Pinos and pluck mussels off the rocks. Yum. Used to do that years ago when my brother in law lived there. LAMary, I saw those pix of Helen M. earlier. She looks even better than I do at 63.
  742. MichaelG on Postcard II.
    July 17th, 2008  3:42 pm

  743. Hattie, I used to live on Bonita between Rose and Vine. Lenny's Meats, the Co-op, the Cheese Board, the very first Peets complete with Alfred, Cocolat, Chez, Pig by the Tail, Lucky's, Safeway, Saul's Deli, the places I've forgotten-- all that stuff that made the neighborhood such a great place for food.
  744. MichaelG on Postcard II.
    July 17th, 2008  5:18 pm

  745. Yesterday my daughter, son in law and the two kids went to DC to meet the Pres. It was the occasion of that annual tee ball thing although Dominic didn't play. They got pix taken with the Pres and got fed and generally had a good time. I didn't get to talk with her much as it was late there and they were on the road from DC back to Yorktown. I should have pix in a day or so. My son in law (who is a career soldier) announced that he would be happy to go again next year unless there was a Democratic president in the pale palace in which case he would decline. He's a great guy but in some ways he's a real numb nuts. Brian, I worked for IHC in their SF/Oakland branch when AA was in charge. From my perspective the whole operation was poorly managed. I visited Ft Wayne once for a factory tour back in ought whenever. Probably around '77.
  746. MichaelG on Postcard II.
    July 18th, 2008  12:14 am

  747. Jeez, C'dad, that sounds like a real gamble. Is the store really that far away? Don't forget you need onion too.
  748. MichaelG on Postcard II.
    July 18th, 2008  2:42 am

  749. Chop the chard, saute briefly (very) in garlic and oil. I've got lots of tomatoes and chilis of several varieties but some critter beat me to the eggplant before it calved.
  750. MichaelG on Postcard II.
    July 20th, 2008  12:31 am

  751. So Nance, are you attending that Blogher conference?
  752. MichaelG on DTW.
    July 21st, 2008  3:57 pm

  753. Boy did you hit one of my pet peeves. Luggage bin hogs. You wouldn't believe the stuff people bring on the plane. I've had several jobs over the years that entailed lots of flying. One time I was flying home from the east coast to SF and checked everything, even my brief case. All I had was a paperback book. Some dipshit, loaded down with everything but the kitchen sink, asked me if he could put one of his bags under the seat in front of me. I was struck dumb -- couldn't think of a thing to say. Just a couple of months ago another dipshit dropped his bag on me. Fortunately I was alert and caught it. They just fry my tootsies. I think the airlines encourage it because every bag handled by the pax is one less they have to handle. The new charges for checked bags aren't going to help. SF and Monterey are always cool. Always have a jacket in your car if not on your back. I heard that NPR bit. I really like that 90% smug and 10% whining combo. Great description. Imagine what that guy takes on to the plane.
  754. MichaelG on DTW.
    July 21st, 2008  5:28 pm

  755. A composting toilet. The ultimate gift for the anal retentive. One day last year I was flying home from Orange County. For reasons that don't matter I was carrying more stuff than usual and checked a bag. I was an hour early but had a good book. Once at the gate I noticed there was a flight to Sacto that was boarding as I watched. I went to the desk and asked and was able to get a seat since the aircraft was only about half full. Relaxing on the flight north with my paperback, I smugly congratulated myself on the swift move that would get me home an hour early. We were on short final for SMF when the penny dropped. Oh well, an hour here, an hour there . . .
  756. MichaelG on Refill on that?
    July 22nd, 2008  5:31 pm

  757. I was interested to see that the Starbuck's at Shattuck and Cedar in Berkeley is closing. It's a block and change from Peet's -- the very first Peet's opened by Alfred Peet his own self back in the late '60s. The mother church. I used to buy my coffee there back when I lived in the neighborhood. I'm not at all surprised that the Starbucks there is closing. I still drink Peet's -- there's one not far from where I live and I pass at least two Starbuck's to get there. Herb Caen once observed somebody ordering a non-fat latte with decaf coffee and named the drink a "why bother". I'd let LeFevre go with a slap on the wrist. Maybe a $50 fine. I'll think about putting her in jail the day after "Scooter" Libby goes to jail.
  758. MichaelG on Refill on that?
    July 23rd, 2008  8:47 pm

  759. My once wife used to maintain that the time to plant the garden was at midnight when the moon was full. To my knowledge that never happened. But then who knows? I'm a pretty heavy sleeper.
  760. MichaelG on Parasites.
    July 24th, 2008  7:23 pm

  761. The metal thieves/scavengers are a big problem here too. A little responsibility on the part of the scrap yards would do wonders as Nance noted. You can bet the yards are cheating hell out of the scavengers. Wonderfulness breeds wonderfulness. The Governator is threatening to cut my salary to $6.55 an hour next week. That'll almost cover my wine and cigar bills. I may have to learn some of C'dad's survival skills. Or maybe go into the metal scavenging bidness.
  762. MichaelG on What election?
    July 31st, 2008  6:10 pm

  763. Check the suit that guy Minnis wearing. It looks like a '47 Buick seat cover. He does look kinda pleased with hisself. What kind of money does a guy putting out small town shoppers make?
  764. MichaelG on Almost famous.
    August 8th, 2008  12:47 am

  765. Reminds me of the time in Chicago when some lady asked my father for directions to the cicerobookstore. It took him a sec before he directed her to -- Sears. An that's what he called Sears for the rest of his life.
  766. MichaelG on What gets left.
    August 13th, 2008  10:56 pm

  767. In college I had what we used to call a "phone hook". It was a piece of heavy gauge wire bent a certain way which when shoved up the coin return tripped something so that coins inserted in the slot fell right into the return. You could call anywhere forever with a nickel, a dime and a quarter. Remember exchange names? Our phone number was Skyline 8-something or other.
  768. MichaelG on What gets left.
    August 14th, 2008  12:36 am

  769. Right! The first two letters on the exchange were in caps. In those days where I lived the phone co. owned all the phones. There were no personally owned phones. And yes, they were stout. And you could actually jam the handset between shoulder and head and talk hands free. Then there were those rubber thingeys to attatch to the handset to further aid handsfreeness. It's all coming back now . . .
  770. MichaelG on Saturday sailbloggimg.
    August 18th, 2008  6:59 am

  771. Caliban, I happen to agree with much of what you say. What I can discern anyway. There are raised dots on the “F” and “J” keys to guide your fingers. I must, however, take exception to your criticism of McCain’s war record. Yeah, he dropped bombs. Yeah, the bombs may have killed whomever they may have killed. He may not have been the greatest flier the world has ever seen but then anybody who flies off a carrier is a better than average pilot. Being downed by a missile doesn’t mean he was a lousy pilot. Many excellent fliers have suffered the same fate. He carried the weapons loads he was assigned and he flew the missions he was assigned as did thousands of other pilots. By the nature of things there is a certain detachment between the pilot of an attack aircraft and the results of his efforts. This has been true since the introduction of indirect fire weapons in the Roman era and was true with the primitive bombers of WWI and is true today with the current generation of attack aircraft. There are plenty of points on which to attack McCain and his idiocies. This is not one of them. Please drop it. I was in the same war at the same time. I served in a five man recon team and later in a line company. I had many occasions to call in air strikes from both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. Sometimes I was able to specify the ordinance we desired for the situation we faced, sometimes we took what was available. Unlike Sen. McCain and probably most of the NN.C regulars I know intimately the smell and the heat and the gruesome results of a napalm strike. The Smell. God. Certainly I was as guilty as Sen. McCain in putting napalm on the ground. I’ll admit to being sensitive on this subject. Hate me if you wish. Jeff, your holier than thou, smug, self satisfied “I’m the intellectual, fatherly voice of reason and sobriety on NN.C and my life is dedicated to doing good unlike the rest of you” act is wearing thin. Something has changed your posts in the last several months. I liked the Jeff of last year a whole lot better than the current paternal right wing apologist you seem to have become. “Clarity on abortion, McCain”. I heard both statements and Obama was just as clear as McCain on the subject and more thoughtful to boot. I know you don’t agree with Obama but you can’t with honesty say that he was unclear about what he thought. But then your statement exemplifies right wing rhetorical techniques, doesn’t it? Obama attempted, successfully I think, to articulate the difficulty of the decision a woman is confronted with when facing an unplanned and perhaps unwanted pregnancy. Pro choice is emphatically not pro abortion. Obama in no way advocated abortion as a substitute to thoughtful planning and careful acting. The problems and the difficulties of making a decision to carry or abort are unique to each woman and couple and situation. They’re not something to make light of or to brush aside. Women who have abortions are not thoughtless, godless heathens. It’s an awful, horrible decision but it’s her decision. Smart money “erring on the side of life”? If you think the “myth of conservatives who don’t care after the baby is born is … false” you haven’t been looking at the reality of the harsh life of the young single mom. Time and again the Republicans in legislature after legislature have defeated efforts to provide money, food and medical care for low/no income single moms. Yours is a strange position for someone who purports to be a caring provider of goodness, help and counsel to the unfortunate. Shit. I got sucked into the controversial again. I’ve been trying to stay out of it, but . . . oh well. One more thing: Michael Phelps may have eight gold medals but I can tell you that he owes at least two cases of the very best to Jason Lezak.
  772. MichaelG on Saturday sailbloggimg.
    August 18th, 2008  4:06 pm

  773. Caliban, I'll defer to your greater knowledge of swimming. Jeff, sorry I got carried away. I live in the state with the worst budget problems in the country. Because of an almost unique requirement for a two thirds majority passing a budget every year is a drama. The budget was due on July 1. We still don't have one. The genius' under the dome are still wrangling. The movie should be entitled "When Idiots Collide". The Governor (yes, him) has signed an executive order reducing State employees' wages to the federal minimum. That means that at the end of the month I'll get paid $1152.80. Gross. The Republicans are always talking about cutting spending. Two problems here. One is that everybody wants the same level of service but that level can't be sustained without something goes up. DMV for example. How can the DMV be expected to provide a level of service to our current population similar to what they provided in 1998 with the same number of employees they had in 1998? Something has to give. The second thing is that somewhere around 90% of State funds are committed to one program or another before the budget is signed. That leaves only 10% or so discretionary. Any cuts have to come out of that small pot. Guess whose ox gets gored -- severely. Right. Those without legions of lobbyists. So every year the victims are the young, the elderly, the disabled and the destitute. Happens every time. It's going to be a tough couple of weeks for a lot of people who work for the State. What's the plural of "genius"?
  774. MichaelG on Saturday sailbloggimg.
    August 18th, 2008  5:49 pm

  775. Thanks, I'll be fine. I have a corner reserved in old town where I'll be selling pencils to tourists on weekends.
  776. MichaelG on Procrastination.
    August 18th, 2008  7:50 pm

  777. Anybody notice that the L.A. Times hired a former DirecTV boss to be publisher? He has zero newspaper experience. I'm sending in my resume. I can strike out as well as anyone.
  778. MichaelG on Write like Mitch.
    August 19th, 2008  2:16 am

  779. I've also spent time in Brussels. My ex Mother in Law lives there. Chimay is a little to alcoholic for my taste. I don’t think beer should be that strong. I’ve tried any number of good beers there but I can’t remember any brands other than Stella and Chimay right now. They used to have the pub system there where the brewer owned the pub and all they served was their brand(s). I haven’t been there lately so I don’t know if they still do. Stella is the Bud of Brussels but I think it’s not bad at all. It’s light (not “lite”) and refreshing when ice cold on a hot day. Gasman's right. I like it. But don’t forget the Brits and the Irish. My feeling is that there are different beers for different moods and times. Guinness is great when you are in the mood. If I want something a little heavier than Stella, in the winter for instance, I like Steam, Sierra or Red Tail -- all Northern California brands. Now that Stella and Bud are married maybe she’ll shape him up. I never could stand Bud and I agree with Nance about those fou fou beers. Ugh. Know why the Brits drink warm beer? Because they have Lucas refrigerators. Nyuk, Nyuk.
  780. MichaelG on Items in search of a blog.
    August 21st, 2008  4:02 pm

  781. I watched the '92 Olympics in Europe where the coverage was excellent and the 2000 Olympics in Saigon where the coveage was so - so. I think NBC's US coverage has improved dramatically over the years especially with the added channels and reductions in the sob stories. I used to like Costas but now there's something strangely infantile and creepy about him.
  782. MichaelG on The kids are alright.
    August 21st, 2008  8:49 pm

  783. I've done my serious for the month. I will, therefore, attest to the fact that hominid exhaust emissions can be set afire. The flame is blue. The duration is, . . . well, . . . a function of the duration. Talk about mileage varying. This was an old college dorm and army barracks pastime. I never saw anybody harmed by it other than having beer forcibly ejected from their nose whilst observing the process, although I never saw it attempted in proximity to an open petrol can. By the way, if certain unpleasant vapors are encountered in an enclosed space, lighting a match or lighter can improve the atmosphere. Burns up the remnants. Really.
  784. MichaelG on The kids are alright.
    August 21st, 2008  9:15 pm

  785. I don't believe there were cans of Off in those days. Can't recall having seen one, anyway. We used to flamethrow with spray cans of Right Guard. It was judged to be the best after some modest trial and error.
  786. MichaelG on The kids are alright.
    August 22nd, 2008  12:35 am

  787. Between college and military we are looking at about '62/'69. Sounds like we were using inferior products. I'm not Hungarian, I'm Irish. You can probably tell. And you can count me in as a member of the R. M. fan club.
  788. MichaelG on The transitional period.
    August 22nd, 2008  7:02 pm

  789. That Detroit teacher looks like a cross between Mr. Rogers and Pee Wee Herman. I suspect part of his problem is that he looks the part. The people across the street just painted their house PINK. Gghhaaa. I still remember the smell of fresh paper and pencils from back in primary days.
  790. MichaelG on The transitional period.
    August 23rd, 2008  4:38 am

  791. AP story first sentence: “Columns of hulking, smoke-belching Russian tanks rolled out of key positions deep inside Georgia…” Who writes this shit?
  792. MichaelG on Biden?
    August 24th, 2008  1:41 am

  793. Von Spakovski. The Bushies are relentless, aren't they? What does it say when L. I. Libby walks free while Marion Jones rots in jail, her plea for presidential mercy unacknowledged?
  794. MichaelG on Biden?
    August 25th, 2008  6:55 pm

  795. Gasman, I was married for 30 years to a foreign national. After 9-11 she went and got her American citizenship. She feared all the same stuff your wife fears. And thanks for your posts. Saves me the trouble and you say it better than I could.
  796. MichaelG on The Foob wedding.
    August 25th, 2008  11:48 pm

  797. I quit reading the strip a long time ago. It just turned to mush. I don't to repeat Nance and Lance. They've said it so well. Was it just me or did that birds nest stadium look like a toilet seat from some angles?
  798. MichaelG on The Foob wedding.
    August 25th, 2008  11:58 pm

  799. Great minds think alike. There's an interview of the guy who designed it on a web site called "Sexy Beijing". I don't know why it's called that, but it's a fun site. I don't want to access it here at the office for the usual reasons. I'll do a link when I get home. Anyway, he's a pretty cool guy.
  800. MichaelG on The Foob wedding.
    August 26th, 2008  1:43 am

  801. Here's the interview with Ai Weiwei http://www.sexybeijing.tv/new/video.asp?id=99 I don't know, Mary. Something about the idea of a wicker toilet seat . . .
  802. MichaelG on Mr. Segretti, call your office.
    August 27th, 2008  8:23 pm

  803. Lord help me, beet porn. I can't stand the things. Never been a Hillary lover (I've covered that here before) but as Scout opines, I think she hit a home run last night. As an aside, isn't there something better for political type women to wear than those horrid pants suits? They all look like they came off the clearance rack at Ross. This is not just Sen. Clinton. Look at that pale greenish number Laura Bush has been wearing for the last umpity ump years. Somebody needs to do something. It's a national disgrace and my eyes are starting to burn.
  804. MichaelG on Mr. Segretti, call your office.
    August 27th, 2008  11:08 pm

  805. I didn't mean to be disparaging about anybody wearing pantsuits. Just about the garment itself. But you guys do make good points about practicality and I really can't think of another alternative. Pants suits probably travel very well too. So I guess I'm a lot better informed now.
  806. MichaelG on Mr. Segretti, call your office.
    August 28th, 2008  2:33 am

  807. WHOA, Gasman!! You’ve got the wrong guy here. I’m on the good side. I think you have me confused with Mark H. Look, for example, at my Aug 25, 2:55PM comment. Look at my comment the other day when I took off after Jeff calling him a right wing name! I agree with everything you and C-dad are saying. As I said the other day, you two make my life easy. You two say it so I don’t have to and say it better than I could. I await your apology.
  808. MichaelG on Mr. Segretti, call your office.
    August 28th, 2008  2:53 am

  809. By the way, Gasman, I never went back and hadn’t realized until today that you had replied to my comment about my foreign born wife and her obtaining US citizenship. As you noted there is the very real risk of an irrational deportation without cause. It was precisely because of this fear and fears of losing other things like all the money she has paid into Social Security over the last 30 years and because of the Bush administration that she went for her citizenship. I don’t think the US government grants or recognizes dual citizenship or that there is a mechanism for applying for it. You sort of assume it. Jump through the hoops, get your US papers and just keep your foreign ones. That’s what everyone else does. So here she’s recognized as a US citizen and the Portuguese g’ment still recognizes her as a Portuguese citizen. I am truly sorry that the atmosphere is so awful in your area of New Mexico. Sacramento is a pretty level headed town, I guess, and she (we) never had any Gestapo fears here when she applied. There are so many foreign born folks here that one more here or there isn’t noticeable. I was going to make a tasteless joke about using Wen Ho Lee for a reference, but I’ll resist. Would it be possible for her to apply in Albuquerque? Would she be less noticed there?
  810. MichaelG on Mr. Segretti, call your office.
    August 28th, 2008  2:54 am

  811. I knew you just got the names mixed, Gasman. Thanks.
  812. MichaelG on Mr. Segretti, call your office.
    August 28th, 2008  3:45 pm

  813. Probably the last time he got it up.
  814. MichaelG on Street smarts.
    August 29th, 2008  2:16 am

  815. I told the story about my daughter falling asleep on an SF Muni bus in a comment when the Ms. Skenazy story first emerged. I go with Mary and Nance. Today my daughter is confident and capable and strongly self-sufficient. She also has well developed self preservation instincts and lots of common sense. I be proud. She's doing a pretty good job of raising the next generation too.
  816. MichaelG on Whew. I need a cigarette.
    August 29th, 2008  8:15 pm

  817. Last time it was Kerry. A guy who tried to be on all sides of every question; tried to be everything for everybody and ended up alienating everybody starting with me. And yet, he still came damn close. The guy was so bad you couldn't get an answer from him about where the sun rose. After a few weeks of his campaign, I was surprised that he was even agreeing that he was, in fact, John Kerry not just allowing that he might be John Kerry. If he were asked how many homes he owned he wouldn't even admit he lived in one. He didn't run to win the election, he ran to not lose. He couldn't even be bothered to stand up for his own personal self-respect. He may have been a hero in Vietnam but he was sure no hero in 2004. Before him was Gore, another charisma challenged stiff (ideas are no good if you can't do something with them) who also didn't run to win but ran to not lose. They were just like that doomed prevent defense employed by two point leading teams in the fourth quarter of a football game. And Gore ended within an eyelash of making it. Then came Obama. From that terrific speech last night, it appears that, finally, at long last, there's a Democratic candidate who is willing to play to win, willing to fight for his candidacy and for his own personal dignity. Obama stood on his hind legs like a man and said something last night, an act which neither Gore nor Kerry were capable of doing. I hope he keeps it up. Palin sounds like a desperate bid to grab the disaffected Hillary hold outs. Jeff, that was a wacked out comment. Sounds like you and Brooks http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/29/opinion/29brooks.html have been drinking the same Kool Aid.
  818. MichaelG on Whew. I need a cigarette.
    August 29th, 2008  8:39 pm

  819. Gasman and JC, nice comments, certainly more thoughtful responses than my kinda smartass one.
  820. MichaelG on Whew. I need a cigarette.
    August 29th, 2008  11:07 pm

  821. Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig. Really? These are ordinary sounding names in the so called "Heartland"? I guess I've been sequestered in California for too long. Is she Mormon?
  822. MichaelG on What a weasel wants.
    August 30th, 2008  1:42 am

  823. Of course she's not qualified. But I wouldn’t sneer too much. Wait until they finish packaging her. “I’m pro-choice. I chose to have my Down Syndrome baby” After thinking a little about it, I still agree Palin is a cynical choice but I’d never sell Rove and the Republican slime machine short. However, I don’t think they're going after the Hillary hold outs. Their track record shows that they chase electoral votes and they have a demographic in particular states they are chasing. Maybe I’m over thinking it but I’m going to worry until the morning of November 5 and I see Obama’s name on top.
  824. MichaelG on A small rant.
    August 31st, 2008  8:59 pm

  825. Derwood, see my 6:42 PM comment on Nance's Friday post "What a Weasel Wants". Link below. Your story is exactly what I had in mind. Mary, the "Capitol Corridor" train runs from Auburn through Sacramento to San Jose. It overnights in Auburn. I got stuck one morning because they couldn't get the damn thing started.
  826. MichaelG on A small rant.
    August 31st, 2008  9:07 pm

  827. I wasn’t aware that Alaska had an actual border with Russia. It had always been my impression that something called the “Bering Strait” interposed its presence between the two countries. Oh well, live and learn. Given this new reading of geography, could Delaware be said to have a border with Portugal? I know there used to be a little water between them, but it’s only a matter of degree, isn’t it? Now I’m beginning to wonder if California has an actual border with Mexico or whether Michigan truly abuts Canada.
  828. MichaelG on Labor Day parade.
    September 1st, 2008  8:11 pm

  829. Nance, http://detroitblog.org/ features a guy who used to walk through the Pointe with a possum on his shoulder. Ever see him?
  830. MichaelG on Labor Day parade.
    September 2nd, 2008  3:41 pm

  831. Whew!
  832. MichaelG on Creative differences.
    September 4th, 2008  1:40 am

  833. Nice work, Jeff.
  834. MichaelG on Creative differences.
    September 4th, 2008  9:17 pm

  835. Wait a minute, Danny. You started out on how Obama's community organizing was nothing and suddenly, somehow, it became Wright's preaching. They are two different subjects. Which one are we on?
  836. MichaelG on The end of everything.
    September 5th, 2008  1:47 am

  837. I think I know enough about Gov. Palin to entertain some serious doubts about her. She seems to have a tendency to be arrogant and autocratic and to personalize things as when she basically required senior managers in Wasilla to take a loyalty oath to her. This arose again in a big way when she used her gubernatorial powers for personal reasons to can the state’s chief law enforcement officer because he wouldn’t fire her former brother in law. She has a tendency to use her office to advance her religious agenda. This can be seen in her book banning efforts. She has made numerous statements in which she used her religious beliefs to support political and geo-political undertakings. She scooped up large sums of money from earmarks on the one hand while condemning the practice on the other. She has been less than candid in her statements about her positions with respect to the bridge to nowhere and about where the money went. She has used her pregnant daughter and prospective son in law to advance her political fortunes while condemning anybody who would comment about the practice. She claims to be on board with Sen. McCain and his “Country First” slogans while maintaining a very close and long term association with an extreme secessionist group. Can you imagine the screams if Obama had a similar association? With these and all the other things everybody else is pointing out it seems to me that this is someone whom I don’t want anywhere near the White House. I’ll be the first to admit that she scares the crap out of me. What have I omitted? What else is there that we don’t know yet? Whatever else, I don’t believe that this woman is stupid. I think one would underestimate her at one’s peril.
  838. MichaelG on The end of everything.
    September 5th, 2008  7:11 am

  839. More to the point what does " the only way that the pregnancy of Bristol Palin could’ve been kept secret is if it had been John Edwards’ baby. Then the press would have sat on it for months" mean?
  840. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    September 6th, 2008  11:01 pm

  841. Geez, Basset, one of the great things about Trader Joe’s is the wine selection. They have all sorts of interesting foreign and domestic stuff. That blue law is positively medieval. Ever hear of a TJ wine tasting? Buy an interesting looking bottle. Go out to your car, open and taste it. If it’s good, go back inside and buy a case. And indeed, bacon is the world's most perfect food. Sorry, Mary. I’m doing my cleaning and laundry and vacuuming and stuff. I know. A man’s work is never done. Was cleaning the stove and have the football game on. Penn State vs. Oregon State. Why is Bob Griese still on TV? He’s horrible. OSU players are called the Beavers. The women’s’ program is the Lady Beavers. Isn’t that . . . Never mind.
  842. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    September 6th, 2008  11:31 pm

  843. I look at a lot of food porn and all the food bloggers agree about bacon being the perfect food. I'm not quite sure what the joke is. There's a recipe for Kim Chee that I'm trying to work up the courage to make. One of these days.
  844. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    September 7th, 2008  8:28 am

  845. For some reason I just can't see "Fanny Hill" on the shelf at the Wasilla library. And if it ever had been there, some kid would have stolen it. It was the first dirty book I ever read back when I was 12 or 13. I swiped it from my dad's stash. Hard to believe he spent six years in the Catholic seminary. Thank somebody he quit before he was ordained.
  846. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    September 7th, 2008  8:37 am

  847. Forgot the cabbage recipe. Shred one. Chop three Granny Smith apples. Chop an onion fairly fine. Melt a stick of butter in a pan (a big pan, I use my wok) and throw the above in over medium to low heat. Toss. Cover. Sweat the stuff, stirring until limp. Combine cider vinegar, a very small touch of nutmeg, sugar, cayenne or red pepper flakes to taste and dump in the cabbage. Stir. S & P to taste. Eat. Excellent on the second and succeeding days. Good sweet and sour stuff.
  848. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    September 7th, 2008  9:55 pm

  849. Fresh Dungeness crab right off the boat in Arcata. Tomales Bay oysters right out of the water at Tomales. Mussels plucked from the rocks at Point Pinos. Fresh abalone from the waters north of Fort Bragg. Lots of other fresh fish and seafood available around here. Yum. I guess fruits de mer are an acquired taste and the acquisition maybe has to do with where one has spent most of one's life.
  850. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    September 8th, 2008  5:49 am

  851. "Indiana-style tenderloins". For sure I don't know what that is. I'd be happy to try some though.
  852. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    September 8th, 2008  3:47 pm

  853. You bread beef tenderloin at $15 a pound, deep fry it, put mustard, catsup, mayo, pickles and tomato on it? And eat it?
  854. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    September 8th, 2008  3:48 pm

  855. Or pork.
  856. MichaelG on Home of the losers.
    September 9th, 2008  6:55 pm

  857. The Lions will have lots of competition from the 49ers this year. Below is the beginning of Ray Ratto’s column in yesterday’s Chron. I like the headline. Nothing to See Here, Move Along (09-07) 18:57 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- It's early. Lots of football left to play. A work in progress. Some good signs out there. See? Even you, the most committed 49ers fan that ever was, can't spit out those with any conviction. You saw what you saw, and the phrases stick like pet hair in your throat. "Early?" Looks like too late from here."Lots of football left to play?" Oh, dear God. "Progress?" Where? "Good signs?" Yeah, right.
  858. MichaelG on Home of the losers.
    September 9th, 2008  11:15 pm

  859. It's great, Mary! Thanks for the hook up. We have a lot of that senile agitation around here. Douching with Lysol? My God.
  860. MichaelG on Home of the losers.
    September 10th, 2008  3:50 pm

  861. Now you tell me.
  862. MichaelG on Like this.
    September 10th, 2008  4:04 pm

  863. I make my own pickles. Pickling cukes and dill from the farmers market. They go into quart jars. Sometimes only one to a jar if big enough. No cooking, no preservatives and no vinegar. They are good in two to three days and last three to four weeks. Yum. I'll probably get one more batch this year before it's back to Claussen's. Next year I'll try growing cukes Mary, where's the best corned beef sandwich in the Burbank -Hollywood area? There's a place on I think it's 3rd and Palm in Burbank that's OK but there has to be something better.
  864. MichaelG on Like this.
    September 10th, 2008  6:29 pm

  865. Thanks, Mary. I've got several things coming up in the area. Maybe I'll be able to hit them all.
  866. MichaelG on No comment.
    September 10th, 2008  6:46 pm

  867. Old saying, Catherine: "If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done."
  868. MichaelG on The silent minority.
    September 11th, 2008  3:55 pm

  869. Jeff, are you being deliberately obtuse or do you really not understand the point? Please go back and reread Calliope's comment. It is very clear. It's OK if you move your lips while you do so. We won't tell anyone.
  870. MichaelG on Not about cathedrals.
    September 11th, 2008  6:05 pm

  871. I love traveling. I can sleep on airplanes. Airports are fine with me. I've been to a bunch of countries in Europe and Asia as well as Canada and Mexico. I enjoyed two government sponsored trips to Vietnam in the late '60s. My big surprise came in 2000 when I spent three weeks in Saigon. Ho Chi Minh City. The people there were friendly, open and cheerful. They loved Americans despite the years we spent assiduously fucking up their country. Everybody has a relative in Sacramento or Orange County. The way I travel is to find a spot and stay there for two or three weeks. Then I walk, walk, walk, take public transportation. Take the bus to the end of the line just to see what's there. Hang out, wander, hang out some more. You can get a real feel for a place that way. No, I don't get bored. The hotel in Saigon where I stayed in 2000 cost me $18 per night. Not the Ritz. I was the only gringo there. There's great food to be had from street vendors. But the big surprise was how they liked Americans. I spent a couple of days in a pedal powered rickshaw operated by an old man. Despite the language barrier, we exchanged war stories like any pair of old vets. He took me to museums, shrines - all kinds of war sites I would never have seen otherwise. It may sound morbid or something to most, but that war was a big part of my youth. The Binh Than Market is worth a trip itself. Great food, great sights, great people, great trip. I could live there.
  872. MichaelG on Not about cathedrals.
    September 11th, 2008  7:36 pm

  873. I felt kind of ugly Americanish having an old man schlep my fat ass around town on a rickshaw but it's his livelihood, he didn't seem to feel badly about it and we both had a good time. He kept wanting me to come back another day. I understand the Commie g'ment of RVN, in the brilliant fashion of g'ments everywhere, has banned rickshaws. I saw Hue, Da Nang and Phan Thiet during the war. I'd like to see Hue today. It was a mess then just after the Tet offensive. Nha Trang is a beautiful beach town not overly ruined by tourists.
  874. MichaelG on Not about cathedrals.
    September 12th, 2008  4:03 pm

  875. And I've also been to Bakersfield and Fresno.
  876. MichaelG on Hi, neighbor.
    September 12th, 2008  8:31 pm

  877. My daughter has a Chihuahua which she refers to affectionately as 'the bug eyed freak'. Here in Sacratomato I live in the hood. The dog of choice is a Pit Bull. Each one chained in the yard. A few have some half assed shelter but most just live in the yard all year 'round. No wonder they're so mean. I just can't figure out why they don't eat their owners first.
  878. MichaelG on The squared circle.
    September 12th, 2008  8:37 pm

  879. She looked better than I have on several of the many occasions on which I've been caught out not knowing squat. Yeah, Colleen, I find that overuse of peoples' names annoying too. It's like it's some kind of technique they teach somewhere. She also has a mother in law voice.
  880. MichaelG on The squared circle.
    September 13th, 2008  7:38 am

  881. What is this “smell test” y’all keep talking about? It only conjures up images of dogs sniffing assholes. Corn based ethanol is one of the worst scams ever sold to the American people. It’s expensive in energy and water to grow. It’s expensive in energy to transport, expensive in energy to convert and has far fewer BTUs than gas. You have to burn 20 gallons of the stuff to get what 15 gallons of gas will give you. It’s a loser all the way. Some of the various grasses may be viable ethanol sources if ADM and Cargill and their legions of lobbyists would allow their use which they won’t. In Brazil they use sugar cane waste products for ethanol. Stuff they were throwing away anyhow. Burning your food just isn’t smart. Jeff, I can’t for the life of me figure out just what it is you’re so smug about.
  882. MichaelG on The house with the tarp.
    September 17th, 2008  9:58 pm

  883. Muzzle Mammoth Palin. Another group of vics here is the shareholders. But then they've been getting abused all along by the corp officer corp.
  884. MichaelG on The house with the tarp.
    September 18th, 2008  2:28 am

  885. My car and truck used to be insured by 20th/21st Cent. They were bought out recently by AIG. The deal with AIG being insolvent is that if I get in an accident, AIG has no money to pay me. "Sorry, Mike. It's a stiff finger for you." My policy is up at the end of the month. I'm moving to somebody else Friday.
  886. MichaelG on The house with the tarp.
    September 18th, 2008  2:40 am

  887. Tina Fey did an amusing Sarah Palin, but Gina Gershon is to die for. http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/61410aa4ff
  888. MichaelG on The house with the tarp.
    September 18th, 2008  3:53 pm

  889. Ford only sells one Ford car in the US as far as I can tell. That's the Focus. Everything else is a warmed over Mazda or Volvo. They sell countless different SUVs. Maybe that's their problem. Maybe Ford should make a car.
  890. MichaelG on The house with the tarp.
    September 19th, 2008  1:22 am

  891. 100
  892. MichaelG on Sigh.
    September 19th, 2008  1:25 am

  893. I can’t crochet but I’m crotchety.
  894. MichaelG on Arrival.
    September 20th, 2008  8:02 pm

  895. I had business in StL once back in the late '70's. I remember the bar in the Holiday Inn. Somewhat.
  896. MichaelG on The threatening cloud.
    September 21st, 2008  2:22 am

  897. I thought you so called conservatives were all for less g'ment interference in peoples' lives. So whose business is it who marries whom? And who gives a shit? This is a religious issue and we still live in a secular democracy. We don't live undersome sick so called "Chrisitan" version of sharia. Yet. Thank God. If you don't believe in gay marriage, don't marry within your gender. Quit being such a bunch of busybodies about other people's lives. And somebody please explain how gays getting married is going to have one whit of an effect on anybody elses' marriage?
  898. MichaelG on The threatening cloud.
    September 21st, 2008  3:09 am

  899. So what, Jeff? Although I can see that a dilution of the power of the clergy might distress you. Moe, has Johnny Mac disclosed his full tax records? Including his wife? I recall that was missing and don't recall the omission being rectified.
  900. MichaelG on Slouching toward Wall St.
    September 22nd, 2008  7:33 pm

  901. And what's the likelihood that the spineless Congressional Dems will actually hold out for real reforms before they hand Paulsen his blank check? Guess who the lobbyist for the foreign banks was. Right. Phil Gramm. The guy who dreamed up the current situation and Johnny Mac's financial advisor and putative SecTreas if the election goes that way. Nobody could dream this shit up.
  902. MichaelG on Two this and a that.
    September 24th, 2008  2:24 am

  903. I dislike McCain as much as anybody here. I agree with most of what Caliban has to say with the exception of the constant carping about McCain’s being a criminal for conducting air strikes. I’m not trying to pretend there was anything heroic about it but it wasn’t criminal. I called in lots of air strikes while in Vietnam in the late ‘60’s. If he’s guilty, so am I. Also who gives a shit about his having a fling with a Brazilian bombshell when he was 21 or so. I’m more concerned with his cynical vote chasing (he’s making Joe Lieberman look honest) his constant lying and his complete lack of any grasp of things concerning domestic, foreign or economic policy. Alex, maybe she said “tasty” instead of “testy”.
  904. MichaelG on Testosterone poisoning.
    September 26th, 2008  3:46 pm

  905. I watched the Katie Couric / Sarah Palin interview yesterday and I was appalled. Not just at Palin's utter lack of knowledge and understanding but at her lack of preparation as well. The questions were not that difficult. Every one of them was an expected question. There were no surprises, no "gotcha" questions. Where has the McCain campaign been for the last couple of weeks if not preparing this woman for these obvious questions? She should have had a pat, memorized answer for each one of them. Instead she looked and sounded like I did in grade school when the nuns called on me the day after I hadn't done my homework. By the way, the Governor of California does have actual meetings with the head of state of our next door neighbor. Governors have traditionally met with the President of Mexico for years. And maybe the President of Mexico flies over California airspace on his trips to Alaska.
  906. MichaelG on TEOTWAWKI.
    September 27th, 2008  6:58 pm

  907. Catherine, I really liked your rant. You expressed exactly what I’ve been thinking. Capitalism is a full contact martial art and needs rules and referees to work. My feeling is that the Dems are fully as culpable as all the rest. They did nothing to oppose or counter the excesses of the last 20 years. The almost unbelievable spinelessness of the Democratic Party members of congress over the same span is one of the big stories of our time.
  908. MichaelG on TEOTWAWKI.
    September 28th, 2008  2:20 am

  909. Moe, you’re right about the filibusters and right that the MSM didn’t call the Reps on it. However, the Dems never called them on it either. There were several occasions on which they should have made the Reps talk their filibuster out instead of caving. They never said a thing about it in news conferences, etc. The Reps are always talking, always yakking, always criticizing, always keeping their ball in play. The Dems just lie huddled in their fetal position. I remain astounded and disgusted at the widespread lack of guts and leadership in the Democratic party over the last 20 years.
  910. MichaelG on Send caffeine.
    September 29th, 2008  6:08 pm

  911. I have a newspaper question. Is it common for the local writer to get a byline on a simple rewrite of a wire service story?
  912. MichaelG on Send caffeine.
    September 29th, 2008  7:42 pm

  913. For openers here in Sacramento there are something like eight car dealerships that have closed in the last couple of months. There are two big holes in the ground where high rise projects died. Houses are selling (those that are selling) for pennies on the dollar. The Bee has redesigned itself and looks like crap. Which is what we will be getting since they've canned half of their staff. Etc., etc. Life is good.
  914. MichaelG on Send caffeine.
    September 30th, 2008  1:47 am

  915. I clicked on that ChiTrib thing long enough to see a guy billed as the “Associate Editor for Presentation” followed closely by another dweeb billed as “Innovation Director”. That was enough. I also saw that they narrowed the page and made the thing look like USA Today which I think is totally unreadable. When a paper starts canning reporters and replacing them with guys like this they’ve lost their way. Col. McCormack must be rolling in his grave. Don’t laugh Mary and Catherine. These people own the LAT. What’s the deal with making the paper narrower? Better slicing out of the roll? Spacing on the presses? What? I know the Bee told us it was to make the paper better for us. Uh huh. It looks and feels unnatural.
  916. MichaelG on Urban renewal
    October 3rd, 2008  2:57 am

  917. Been in L. A. the last three days. Just got home. Best minor league baseball name is the Las Vegas 51s. The Sacto River Cats are the Triple A champs for the second year in a row. http://www.rivercats.com/
  918. MichaelG on Paging Tim Gunn.
    October 3rd, 2008  8:04 pm

  919. I think the mispronunciation of “nuclear” was deliberate. Palin’s handlers know how to say the word. If they had been so inclined, they would have had her say it correctly. It’s part of the folksy presentation package. She didn't care what Biden or Ifill thought. She didn't care about the questions. She wasn't talking to them. She wasn't there to answer questions. She was making her campaign speech to targeted people in targeted states. I find that “Joe six-pack” appellation extremely patronizing in a way that “soccer mom” is not.
  920. MichaelG on Paging Tim Gunn.
    October 4th, 2008  12:17 am

  921. Moe -- “Gidget goes to Washington.” I love it. My daughter was a math major. I idly picked up one of her text books one time. It meant nothing to me. Nothing at all. The whole thing was written in some kind of alien script. Trader Joe’s has a good selection of Indian foods. There is a selection of pre-done ones in pouches that you heat in the microwave or in hot water. They’re not bad at all. Also pretty inexpensive. Just don’t think of the processing facility in India where the stuff was prepared and packaged while you eat.
  922. MichaelG on Paging Tim Gunn.
    October 4th, 2008  9:01 am

  923. Wow! Big weather here too! Temps plunged into the sixties. Normal at this time of the year is mid eighties. We are expecting our first real rain since Feb 24. So sez the TV weather peepul.
  924. MichaelG on Paging Tim Gunn.
    October 5th, 2008  1:15 am

  925. You’re absolutely right, Mark. We don’t want “class envy” . So to avoid any danger of “class envy” we should give the richest 5% another large tax cut on top of all the other cuts they’ve gotten in the last eight years. We certainly wouldn’t want to gang up on the poor saps.
  926. MichaelG on Just doing our part.
    October 6th, 2008  6:56 pm

  927. I've got an Eames chair with ottoperson. Had it for years. It is beautiful but my recliner is much more comfortable.
  928. MichaelG on Just doing our part.
    October 6th, 2008  11:56 pm

  929. There are a lot of very nice chair/ottoman combos for sale at your local scandahoovian store. I've seen them priced from $300-400 up to $Several Thou. They tend to be very comfortable and to be very attractive if you like the look. Ikea has the Poang chair: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S39840162 for a hun and a half. The ottoman is about $85 extra. I've tried it. It's comfy.
  930. MichaelG on Advantage: That one.
    October 9th, 2008  12:58 am

  931. Here you go, Caliban. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2250244,00.asp
  932. MichaelG on What are the odds?
    October 9th, 2008  3:58 pm

  933. I really miss the eggs from when I was married and living in Auburn. Sooo much better than store bought. We used to give the girls oyster shells too. I don't recall seeing any of the girls actually eat the stuff, but the shells were always strong and healthy. Don't forget the little targets in the yolks of the fertilized eggs.
  934. MichaelG on A few words about moose.
    October 9th, 2008  7:27 pm

  935. I think it was wolves she was hunting from a chopper. Derwood, isn't "ungulate" what a stripper does? Right? So meese are a species of stripper.
  936. MichaelG on A few words about moose.
    October 10th, 2008  3:51 pm

  937. The war in Iraq is going nowhere. The war in A-stan is going down the tube at an alarming rate. The world economy is in a meltdown. Millions of Americans are facing the loss of jobs, savings, houses or all three and all this shitbird can talk about is who Obama may have had lunch with 20 years ago. Talk about taking yourself out of the debate.
  938. MichaelG on Swallowed up.
    October 13th, 2008  9:16 pm

  939. Hi, Jeff. Good to see you. I agree with everybody. I am sick to death of all the TV ads. I’m looking forward to a few months without them after Nov. 4. I stumbled across this in one of James Lee Burke’s excellent novels: “…a prototypical personality any southerner recognizes – one characterized by a combination of self-satisfaction, stupidity, and a suggestion of imminent violence, all of it glossed over with a veneer of moral and patriotic respectability.” You don’t have to be southern to observe this. And I was at Trader Joe’s today. Two buck Chuck is still $1.99.
  940. MichaelG on Bye.
    October 15th, 2008  2:14 am

  941. Many, many years ago when I was in the army, a couple of us were driving through Ohio. We stopped at some roadside joint for a burger and ordered beer to drink. It was 11:45 PM on a Sunday and the guy told us he couldn't serve beer because it was Sunday. We just had water. A little while later the guy came back, announced that it was now Monday and asked if we still wanted beer. Blue laws are wonderful.
  942. MichaelG on Don't light a match.
    October 15th, 2008  7:54 pm

  943. The worst mudslide in recent memory was in 2005 in La Conchita, Ventura County just up the coast from L. A. There have been many others. http://www.beachcalifornia.com/seacliff.html One of the guys in our group is doing the slope stabilization contract there even as we speak. Some years ago there was a large slide on Angel Island in S. F. Bay. I had the fixit job then. It was basically "See that road and hillside sitting in the Bay? Pick it all up and put back on the hillside." Sunday and Monday Angel Island partially burned down. Check out the link and click on "view more images": http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/15/BASC13H3IJ.DTL Now you know why I remain so nervous about my former spouse who still lives in the woods in Auburn.
  944. MichaelG on Don't light a match.
    October 15th, 2008  9:49 pm

  945. There'll be a big fight over water between NoCal and SoCal. It's been simmering for years. It's called the peripheral canal. You know you're a CA resident when you have pix of water bombers taken from your front porch. When you have to clean the ashes off your car.
  946. MichaelG on Caught up.
    October 16th, 2008  8:55 pm

  947. I asked that question of John Kerry last time around, Nance, and voted for him anyway. Holding my nose. In CA Joe could work as a plumber for somebody else but couldn't open his own shop without a contractor's license. Most "plumbers" are roto-rooter type guys anyway, not real plumbers. By the way, in NoCal the plumbers and electricians unions have excellent, rigorous apprenticeship programs. A person with a union journeyman card knows his or her stuff.
  948. MichaelG on The continuing crisis.
    October 16th, 2008  11:14 pm

  949. The Trib used to have its own way of spelling and phrasing. Is that what they mean by a "style book"? I would like to have a good look at USA Today's growing circulation figures. I don't know anybody who actually gets it delivered to their home. I see it in vending machines and each one of the many hotels I frequent strews the thing up and down the halls every morning. I wonder if they count me as a reader. I don't look at it, I just kick it out of my path on my way out of the room. I wonder how the hotels pay for USA Today. By the pound? Of course circulation is growing. Every time a new hotel opens that's X number of new pounds of oops, I mean issues of the paper.
  950. MichaelG on But, but...it's organic!
    October 21st, 2008  9:38 pm

  951. I dunno, Cooz, I think what you have maybe isn’t vegetarian flower any more. Just so happens Ruhlman has good takes on Pollan and on dumbing down recipes. Read about Pollan and then scroll down. http://blog.ruhlman.com/ It seems that the big thing here is building high end food stores with big take out departments offering lots of gourmet entrees. Some fully cooked, some take home and cook.
  952. MichaelG on But, but...it's organic!
    October 22nd, 2008  1:30 am

  953. When I lived in Auburn we used to have an occasional mouse in the house. It was usually a field mouse that a cat had brought in. “What the cat drug in” had meaning in those days. Anyway, I was prevailed upon to use those catch and release traps. When the mouse was in the trap, I’d take it all the way to the end of the property and let it go. There were a couple of cold, rainy days when I really had to force the little devil out of the trap. I’ll bet he beat me back to the house.
  954. MichaelG on But, but...it's organic!
    October 22nd, 2008  1:36 am

  955. When the Food Network started it was all about how to with lots of great shows telling folks how to cook. They’ve completely lost their way. Now it’s all one stupid “challenge” after another, one stupid gimmick after another. They seem incapable of putting on a straight, informative cooking show anymore. I still like the Iron Chef, though, and Good Eats although Alton Brown can get a wee bit full of himself.
  956. MichaelG on Look sharp.
    October 22nd, 2008  8:50 pm

  957. I dunno. I can’t get too worked up about La Palin’s make over just as I couldn’t get excited about John Edwards’ haircut. What would people be saying if she showed up on the national stage in the same rags she schleps around Wasilla in? This is a no win situation for her. The deal with Clinton’s haircut was that he held up traffic while he was getting barbered. That’s different. What I can get bothered by is Palin fiddling her expense account. That’s just a no-no. I understand her wanting to have her kids around but she needs to pay for that herself. Nobody made her run for public office or get pregnant once there. The worst is the hypocrisy. Mary, that Bobby Flay show is an example of precisely what I was talking about. Why does cooking always have to be competitive or against a clock or have some other hook? TFN has been losing viewers in droves (including me) and still can’t figure it out. I like Bobby Flay well enough in his straight cooking shows. He and Mario and especially Emeril put TFN on the map.
  958. MichaelG on Look sharp.
    October 22nd, 2008  10:51 pm

  959. I agree with everything you say, Gasman, but I can’t imagine getting upset because the RNC bought some clothes for Palin. The amount spent may be arguable but then it’s RNC money and I didn’t contribute to them. They’ve spent money on worse. As I said, I can’t get worked up about it. There’s plenty to detest about the woman and about the RNC. This is small potatoes. I don’t know if Sen. and Ms. Obama had any assistance from campaign funds in spiffing up their wardrobes. I hope so. I believe it’s a legitimate campaign expense. I never heard the roving hands stuff about Bobby Flay but if true it's despicable and he should be brought to task for it.
  960. MichaelG on Old man smell.
    October 23rd, 2008  9:01 pm

  961. Gawwwd. I bought some Italian sausage a couple of weeks ago intending to freeze them. I discovered them in the back of the refrigerator last night. What a waste.
  962. MichaelG on Old man smell.
    October 23rd, 2008  9:51 pm

  963. Off the subject, but here's something scary for you L.A. folks. I needed to know the depth below ground surface for groundwater at a site in Van Nuys. According to my consultant, the ground water in 1983 was 52.7 feet bgs. In Sep 2007 it was 173.7 bgs. The calculated depth to water at the site was 184 feet in Sep 2008.
  964. MichaelG on Old man smell.
    October 24th, 2008  2:25 am

  965. Mark, you claim to be a lawyer. That suggests you also claim a certain level of intelligence and education. I simply cannot imagine any educated person, especially one trained to follow the fine print believing that Obama is espousing communist ideology. He may use the phrase “spread the wealth around”. So what? The rich have had benefit of mind boggling tax breaks over the last 10 years -- at the expense of the middle class. The gap between rich and poor has widened dramatically over that same period. This is a serious and continuing redistribution of wealth that needs to be halted and reversed. The rich need to pay their fair share. The opposite of “spread the wealth around” is “restrict the accumulation of wealth”. It’s plain that you and the rest of your Republican elitist friends are and have been in favor of restricting the accumulation of $$ for some time and have been extremely successful in your efforts. You’ve turned it all on it’s head. What we have now is socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor. As for Joe’s plumbing business, the figure was $250,000 to $280,000 as a purchase price for the business. A business with two employees that has a net worth of two hundred some grand is in no danger of paying either of them a $250,000 annual salary.
  966. MichaelG on Tawana told a lie.
    October 26th, 2008  6:52 am

  967. Seen the latest? The bullshit bidding process on Palin's Pet Pipeline?
  968. MichaelG on The pink heels.
    October 27th, 2008  9:58 pm

  969. Those'd be some shoes to fill.
  970. MichaelG on A silver lining.
    October 30th, 2008  2:23 am

  971. That's one of the great mysteries, Mary. How have the Republicans bamboozled the working class into voting against their own interests for so many years?
  972. MichaelJ on A silver lining.
    October 30th, 2008  3:51 pm

  973. With Halloween in mind, here's a great place to shop for your loved ones. The L.A. Coroner's gift shop: http://lacstores.co.la.ca.us/signpost.htm Thanks to Ken Levine for the link.
  974. MichaelJ on A silver lining.
    October 30th, 2008  4:03 pm

  975. Dexter is right. Maher sucks. He's many things but funny isn't one of them. Miller is beyond description. What's this "your comment is awaiting moderation" stuff?
  976. MichaelJ on A silver lining.
    October 30th, 2008  5:04 pm

  977. You're right! It's early and I was just on the first sip of coffee. "J" is my minniminisha. Really, it's probably the dementia.
  978. MichaelJ on Shopping list: Sugar.
    October 30th, 2008  11:36 pm

  979. You can imagine how my daughter, who used to live nearby, refers to a certain North Carolina ville named Fuquay-Varina. The female sports teams at Oregon State Univ are reduntantly referred to as the "Lady Beavers." Boy, I guess I really have gotten tired of the election.
  980. MichaelG on They haven't changed.
    October 31st, 2008  1:12 am

  981. That's alot of the population, Dexter. Back from my brief sojourn as MichaelJ. Just checking out an alternate identity.
  982. MichaelG on Spooky business.
    November 1st, 2008  5:46 am

  983. Sad about Studs Terkel but he was 96. That’s all you get. He was one of the truly greats. “Male Pattern Optimism” is a terrific phrase. I love Lisa de Moraes. I like peanuts and I like peanut butter. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are too sweet for me. My teeth curl up in the fetal position when I eat one. Mark, it’s amazing how you and your Republican brethren willfully miss the point. Morality to you folks means “If you don’t go to jail, it’s OK”. Nothing about legality, nothing about what’s good or bad, right or wrong, nothing about what’s honorable or not. Simply jail or no. Just ask that brave and honorable American I. Lewis Libby. No modern Republican would ever do anything merely because it was the decent thing to do. The right wing ideology has to be served first. To explain: Nancy’s point was not that it was legal or illegal to toss suspected Obama supporters; it was that the Republicans were shooting themselves in the foot in any effort to attract college age voters in a college town. But that’s OK. You don’t ordinarily go to jail for shooting yourself in the foot.
  984. MichaelG on Spooky business.
    November 1st, 2008  7:32 am

  985. Yeah, you're right about the timing, Linda. Interesting how as I've gotten older, the things I find attractive in women have grown and changed.
  986. MichaelG on Spooky business.
    November 1st, 2008  6:43 pm

  987. I'll stick by what I said concerning Nancy's original post, Mark. Things became muddied when you started wringing your hands about poor Sen. McCain's First Amendment right to speak only to people who love him. I somehow missed the change of topic to Darfur, prison racism, drugs, etc. As far as Republicans and decency go, you’ve created your own reductio ad absurdum. Once again here as above, in a typical burst of Republican rhetoric, you throw out clouds of BS to both avoid and fog the issue. Again: you say you are a lawyer. The way you constantly require somebody to draw a picture for you makes me glad you’re not mine. I was talking about Republican politicians, Mark, not cops, not G.I.s , not firemen. But you really knew that, didn’t you.
  988. MichaelG on Yes we carve!
    November 1st, 2008  10:35 pm

  989. Here in the Sacramento 'hood it has been cool (mid 60's) and rainy for the last two days. It did stop last evening for a dry T or T time. I had exactly one child stop here. He was a little black kid about 6 or so sans costume. Pop was out on the sidewalk. He politely thanked me for the candy and then told me that I had a nice house. My guess is that all the local kids went to up scale neighborhoods. You know, like all the kids who migrated to Nancy's place? The area they vacated? That's where I live. I'll just bring all the left over candy to work.
  990. MichaelG on The witch on the block.
    November 3rd, 2008  6:59 pm

  991. I watched it and I'm still not sure if Glock let them (Hamilton and Vettel) by or whether they passed him straight up. It was a good race for once though so much of the drama resulted from external factors. I'm still not the F-1 fan I was thirty years ago. Don't know if I will ever be.
  992. MichaelG on Sleeping in.
    November 4th, 2008  7:11 pm

  993. I'm one of those lazy types who voted absentee. I dropped it off at the post office last Wed. I do kinda miss voting in person. Filling out a form and dropping it at the post office doesn't really feel like voting. I think maybe for next time I'll switch back to doing it in person. I am looking forward to watching TV without every few minutes some dweeb talking about how he's going to fight for me or somebody who sounds about ready to cry trying to scare the crap out of me about gays getting married and on and on and everlasting on. Brian, with respect to your quote: “They’re* gonna have thier own paramilitary”. The administration already has its own paramilitary with Blackwater et al. It's a real issue and it's real scary.
  994. MichaelG on Polls-closed/closing thread.
    November 5th, 2008  6:20 am

  995. At 8:00 sharp the networks will declare California for Obama and a 55 electoral vote hammer will fall.
  996. MichaelG on Polls-closed/closing thread.
    November 5th, 2008  6:24 am

  997. Boy am I with you on that one, Jeff.
  998. MichaelG on Polls-closed/closing thread.
    November 5th, 2008  7:36 am

  999. Coozledad, please accept my sincere and heartfelt thanks. I’m a lazy bastard who’s been rooting from the sidelines but it’s you and people like you who really made this happen. At this time I don’t know where North Carolina will fall, but your work (and I mean here the work of all those who got out there in the streets for Obama) has made the difference. Whichever way NC goes in the presidential race, you at least dumped the detestable Liddy Dole. That’s a big reward all by itself. Thank you again.
  1000. MichaelG on Polls-closed/closing thread.
    November 5th, 2008  8:21 am

  1001. THAT WAS A SPEECH.
  1002. MichaelG on Polls-closed/closing thread.
    November 5th, 2008  9:04 am

  1003. And thank you too, Linda. I think you’re going to be pleased over the next couple of years, Danny and Jeff. And yeah, you too, Mark. This guy is clearly taking charge from day one. I feel good about our prezelect in a way I have wanted to for many, many years. I can’t remember the last time I voted FOR one presidential candidate rather than against the other guy and my first presidential election vote was in 1968. I have real hope tonight. Shit, I smoked two cigars (on a week night!) and drank a shit load of wine. From the early returns it looks like the bigots are going to win on Prop 8. Can’t have everything I guess.
  1004. MichaelG on Now let's see the puppy.
    November 5th, 2008  7:04 pm

  1005. Mary, I think that this might have been the last election in which the bigots (spelled M-O-R-M-O-N-S) could have passed Prop 8. Unfortunately their timing was excellent. I just hope it's revisited or overturned soon. My old district, always the most right wing in the state, looks to have replaced John Doolittle with creepy Tom McClintock. Other than these two results, I'm a happy boy.
  1006. MichaelG on Now let's see the puppy.
    November 5th, 2008  7:46 pm

  1007. How about this for fun? I've heard speculation about Hillary Clinton for the Supreme Court. Can you imagine the screams?
  1008. MichaelG on Now let's see the puppy.
    November 5th, 2008  10:37 pm

  1009. Danny and Nance -- point taken to a point. The Mormons were the financial backers and the impetus to both get the prop on the ballot and finance it once there. And a bigot is a bigot is a bigot.
  1010. MichaelG on Slash and burn.
    November 6th, 2008  9:07 pm

  1011. Years ago I was redoing the floors in a place where I used to live. Pulling up the ancient linoleum revealed a sort of underlay of old newspapers from the 1920's. No special days or events, just old papers. Reading through them was a lot of fun and killed progress on the job for an hour or so.
  1012. MichaelG on A question for the room.
    November 8th, 2008  12:29 am

  1013. Looks to me like they're thinking outside the box.
  1014. MichaelG on Let's ask the group.
    November 8th, 2008  2:28 am

  1015. When I lived in Auburn my next door neighbor shot them now and then. I was always amazed by how big and fat and sleek they were. No starvelings there. Our property was fenced and cross fenced so we never had problems with coyotes eating chickens, etc. We did lose a couple of cats to them, at least one of which should have known better. I used to enjoy listening to them sing at night. They won’t bother you, Brian.
  1016. MichaelG on Let's ask the group.
    November 8th, 2008  7:46 am

  1017. It's interesting to hear the differences between urban and rural coyotes. Rural ones are nocturnal and secretive and the urban ones seem to be very different.
  1018. MichaelG on Let's ask the group.
    November 9th, 2008  10:02 pm

  1019. Several months ago I made a remark about one of Senator Clinton’s pant suits. Nancy called me on it and added some explanation of the difficulties of dressing for women in the public eye. It doesn’t pain me to admit she was correct. I also noted that I didn’t have any particular objection to the Rs buying some threads for Gov. Palin. I still don’t. The objection is to the abuse of the benefit and excesses that followed. I also figured that campaign funds probably furnished some clothes for the Obamas. So what? It’s a legitimate expense. I saw Ms. Obama’s dress the other night and didn’t particularly care for it but I figured that that was a reflection of my taste and besides, it was just a dress. Next time she’ll wear something else. The slide show link that Jolene posted shows, I believe, that Ms. Obama generally dresses very well. I think we all have greater concerns for the future than what Ms. Obama decides to wear on a given occasion. She’ll manage just fine.
  1020. MichaelG on Street-legal.
    November 13th, 2008  6:12 pm

  1021. Was in Hollywood yesterday. There's room for another star on the sidewalk. I'll watch the movie when I get home this evening. Who are all these people at the airport talking to on their cell phones at 5:30 in the morning? There's a guy who parks one of those Bombardier Can-Am trikes next to me at work. I guess it would make a pretty decent commuter although I prefer four wheels and a roof. To handle properly a trike needs to have the two wheels in the front and the single in the back. A trike with the single wheel in front is a death trap.
  1022. MichaelG on Carb-loading.
    November 14th, 2008  4:00 am

  1023. Late comment. Finally saw the movie. Teriffic! Hugely entertaining. More, More! Loh is great. I've heard her on NPR many times. Didn't she get sideways with KPCC or something? Or that other station in Santa Monica? I bought some Spam a few weeks ago just for the helluvit. I hadn't had any in years and years. It's a big wad of fat with no taste.
  1024. MichaelG on Look, a shiny object!
    November 14th, 2008  9:05 pm

  1025. Seven here. I saw Barbra Streisand close up at the San Francisco airport back in 1969 shortly after I got out of the Army. She was a lot smaller than I would have expected and she was also a very beautiful woman. Far lovelier in person than she ever appeared to be on TV or in the movies. Thanks, Mary. I didn’t get to try one of the delis you recommended but I’ll be going down to that area a lot over the next year or so. A friend took me to a very good Lebanese place for lunch. I really enjoyed it. Next week is Riverside/Berdoo. In that neighborhood I guess I’ll look for an In-N-Out. My daughter went to a Montessori school in SF for pre-school. We were very happy with it. It was a private school. I had never heard of a public Montessori school before the comment above. She then went to an excellent SFUSD magnet school for a couple of years before we moved to Marin County. My wife had to spend the night in line to get her in. It was worth it. I seem to be running a day behind.
  1026. MichaelG on Look, a shiny object!
    November 15th, 2008  9:13 am

  1027. Mary, Tony Bourdain quit smoking six months or so ago. Monica Bellucci.
  1028. MichaelG on What the market wants.
    November 20th, 2008  3:31 am

  1029. I still don’t understand what difference the issue of who gets married or doesn’t get married makes to anybody. Marriage as recognized by the state is a civil matter. Some may elect to celebrate their marriages with a religious ceremony, some may elect to go to city hall or to Vegas. I don’t know if the two nice gay ladies up the street are married or not. It’s none of my business. I still don’t understand how two gays getting married imperils anybody’s straight marriage. Why can’t religions content themselves with minding their own business? Why do they have to bother everybody else? This is the part of religion that drives me nuts. You can certainly hear the shrill screams when any religion feels it’s being impinged upon. Hypocrisy and self delusion are rampant here. People, freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. The right to not be bothered by religion is just as valid as the right to practice religion. The points Moe cites are very valid. I’ve heard too many horror stories about gay couples getting screwed because they’re not married. Jeff Borden is also right that this will all be moot in a few years. I still don’t get it. Why is it so necessary to meddle in other peoples’ lives? And yes, I’d be for revoking tax free status for Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims -- any of them who abuse the privilege. Why should my taxes subsidize hate and intolerance?
  1030. MichaelG on What the market wants.
    November 20th, 2008  4:21 am

  1031. As several folks have noted, marriage is a civil matter in this country. Nobody is suggesting that religions or clerics be required to marry anybody. To assert so is just more of the right wing BS cloud. I could give a rat’s ass if clerics elect to deny their services and the services of their religions to selected groups. That’s their right. What people are after is the right to get married at city hall with the whole list of 1100 things that Moe alluded to included so are all equal under the law. The world is not all about posters at nn.c and whom they piously feel may or may not be worthy of their attention. God will sort all that shit out later.
  1032. MichaelG on What the market wants.
    November 20th, 2008  5:02 pm

  1033. That was good stuff, Alex. Never thought I'd like a Parker column. JGW, you sound like an up for a Tata Nano.
  1034. MichaelG on Link hors d'oeuvres.
    November 20th, 2008  8:40 pm

  1035. The Roseville yards outside Sacramento are the largest rail yards west of the Mississippi and one of the largest in the world. The vast majority of automobiles, domestic and imported are transported from point of origin via rail. As of this writing there are over 100 locomotives idled at the Roseville yards along with their operators. I think there's a lot to what Mary says. You should have seen the fabulous meals my ex-mother in law, who lives in Brussells, would conjur up from a teeny kitchen the size of my closet.
  1036. MichaelG on Link hors d'oeuvres.
    November 21st, 2008  5:52 am

  1037. I agree with Joe that business aircraft can pencil out. I used to own an airplane and I did everything I could to justify it. I've studied that stuff. It was a teeny little plane called a Citabria and I had a partner, but that’s another story. There are many occasions and many applications where privately owned aircraft work far better than air carrier aircraft. That doesn’t mean that every use of a corporate aircraft benefits the bottom line. Perqs, for example, don’t pencil. Thumbing noses at the senate and the public doesn’t pencil. The Big Three bosses should have been more sensitive to appearances for all the obvious and already stated reasons. One question that I have is how can their time be so valuable when all they’ve done with it is run their businesses into the ground? As far as I’m concerned they can all walk. Whaddaya mean they don’t have a plan for the bail out money? It seems they‘d just drop it into the old bank account and continue business as usual until it was exhausted. I’m not against a bail out in principle, but there has to be some thought and planning and an end in mind and some serious strings attached. I’ve never been to Teterboro but I have heard about it. For those on the left coast, I would direct your attention to Van Nuys or John Wayne airports for superlative selections of corporate barges.
  1038. MichaelG on Friday, finally.
    November 21st, 2008  4:53 pm

  1039. Dexter, you discovered correctly. Van Nuys is strictly a general aviation facility. However, Burbank (now officially called Bob Hope Airport) is just down the street. It is one of my favorite airports. Built back when the earth had barely cooled, BUR is a throwback. It looks and operates like a '50s airport. No jetways, narrow cramped hallways, tiny departure lounges and the shortest taxi from landing to gate of anyplace anywhere - fifty meters maybe. I was there last week. Check it out. EDIT: I had posted the URL but it was way too long and didn't fit. Look at Microsoft's local.live site, enter BUR and use the bird's eye function. It's like you are there.
  1040. MichaelG on Friday, finally.
    November 22nd, 2008  2:19 am

  1041. I'm going to be having jobs in Hollywood, Glendale and Newhall over the next year and a half or so. I'll have to try Porto's and those recommended delis.
  1042. MichaelG on Another one gone.
    November 25th, 2008  4:41 pm

  1043. Have a happy birthday, Nancy. I'll tip a glass (not Two Buck Chuck) to you later.
  1044. MichaelG on Another one gone.
    November 25th, 2008  9:07 pm

  1045. Two food things: Mary, I do a green pork thing very much like you do. The jalapenos must be charred for that great flavor. I brown the pork, add the very thinly sliced onions, jalapenos, and a couple of finely chopped tomatos. Some stock and I put in some barley. It all comes together into a great savory dish. Oh and can't forget the garlic. I'll try with tomatillos next time. The barley pulls it together, like beans in chili. Freezes great for quick dinners later, though I would guess with two teenage boys and a Brit there's not much left. Nancy, we got a great and simple recipe for carnitas from a guy who owns a Mexican restaurant. Put your bone in pork shoulder in a big pot in one piece. Add salt, pepper, garlic, a couple of bay leaves and cover with cherry coke. Yes, cherry coke. Simmer on top of the stove all day. You'll know when it's done. Don't let it run dry. The cherry coke tenderizes the meat and imparts a rich, deep flavor. Ummmmmm, yum. I laughed at first but it's not a joke. Give it a try.
  1046. MichaelG on Some side dishes.
    November 26th, 2008  7:53 pm

  1047. Happy Thanksgiving to Nancy and family and to all the nn.c habitués! Eat happy, eat hearty and drive safely.
  1048. Michael on Some side dishes.
    November 27th, 2008  1:29 am

  1049. You’re gonna go to a potluck at noon and then come home and cook “ beets, turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes”? I wanna know how this comes out and when. I’d be glad to help, but I don’t think I could get there in time. Seriously, best of luck.
  1050. MichaelG on It's not you, it's me.
    December 1st, 2008  6:52 pm

  1051. Sometime back I commented about a long time TV anchor woman named Lois Hart. Her published age varies but she's pushing sixty with a very short stick. She's co-anchored the evening news at KCRA Channel 3 here in Sacto with Dave Walker, her husband of 29 years, since 1990. Before that they anchored the very first newscast on CNN and were there for some years. You may remember them. They retired last week and were given a great send off by the station. The linked article makes me wonder if maybe management suggested it was time for them to go. Hart and Walker were both excellent, professional TV journos of the old school. In fact, KCRA puts on one of the very best TV newscasts anywhere. I would stack it up against any news show anywhere, New York, LA, Chicago, anywhere. I've had occasion to watch Rick Rodriguez and the KSEE news in Fresno. One word covers both: abysmal. He is (or was) an arrogant sourpuss. I recently read somewhere that TV stations were in for a long hard time now that the elections are over. They made tons of money from political commercials - until Nov 4. One of their biggest money makers has always been car commercials and that revenue has diminished considerably along with the rest of their retail advertising $$. Things are gonna be interesting after the first of the year.
  1052. MichaelG on It's not you, it's me.
    December 1st, 2008  9:17 pm

  1053. I've had blended (lineless) trifocals for years. I still use cheap supermarket type readers for the computer and for reading in bed. As Julie R. noted, it's tough to do with trifocals. As it happens I'm going to the eye guy this aft. If I can find the place in the fog.
  1054. MichaelG on It's not you, it's me.
    December 2nd, 2008  2:50 am

  1055. No political hacks at Justice? How about starting right at the top with Gonzales. Rachel Palouse? Hans Von Spakovsky? Monica Goodling? Comparing Liberty to Notre Dame? Notre Dame (last Sat. night notwithstanding) is a legit, well respected educational institution. Liberty is a thinly disguised match book cover. At the eye dr today I asked about Sarah Palin glasses. They said interest died after the election. Gasman, did you check to see if Domenici maybe made a quick trip to Lourdes?
  1056. MichaelG on It's not you, it's me.
    December 2nd, 2008  4:42 pm

  1057. Gasman, that was moi, MichaelG, who raised the Lourdes query. This is the second time you've confused me with Mark and I can't imagine how you do it. We are not all that similar in our commenting.
  1058. MichaelG on Pushing the buttons.
    December 2nd, 2008  5:09 pm

  1059. I get those non-sales people as well, at my door and on the phone. "Oh, I'm not selling anything, I'm just here to help you." But everything's come up roses! Yesterday evening I checked my messages and learned that I've won a free five day vacation to Costa Rica. Now if I could just find that number . . . I find this Alex K. more interesting than than Ms. Self Parody of 2008: http://www.goducks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=4335&SPID=238&DB_OEM_ID=500&ATCLID=925195&Q_SEASON=2007
  1060. MichaelG on Pushing the buttons.
    December 3rd, 2008  6:03 pm

  1061. No sweat, Gasman. Basset, read Stephenson's "The Baroque Cycle". It's a big three but you'll be amazed at how fast it goes. I need to read it again.
  1062. MichaelG on A fellow of infinite jest.
    December 3rd, 2008  9:49 pm

  1063. Plaxico who?
  1064. MichaelG on Street justice.
    December 6th, 2008  7:52 pm

  1065. Quickies: Lance has an excellent take on the auto industry bail out. Nancy has the link on her blog roll. It's the current post. Caliban is absolutely right about the starwars boondoggle. Feral peacocks are a horror I wouldn't wish on anybody. How much money are we giving to agribusiness every year? To the oil companies in the form of tax breaks and incentives?
  1066. MichaelG on Religi-tainment.
    December 9th, 2008  5:19 pm

  1067. From a recovering Catholic and fellow abstainer: Great shot, Basset.
  1068. MichaelG on My doppelganger.
    December 9th, 2008  10:27 pm

  1069. Fran Drescher hot? Sorry, can't see it. For openers, as Connie said, I can't get past the voice. I also don't like the idea of Caroline Kennedy being named senator. Haven't you seen that grainy picture of Hillary standing on the MV beach with a smoking stinger launcher?
  1070. MichaelG on My doppelganger.
    December 10th, 2008  3:08 am

  1071. I have Dwight Eisenhower, Lillian Gish, e. e. cummings, Roger Moore and Ralph Lauren. You’re right, Brian. Joan of Arc was pretty hot there toward the end. Hillary has Bill to panhandle for her.
  1072. MichaelG on My doppelganger.
    December 10th, 2008  4:49 pm

  1073. I like it, Moe! I think the point is not whether Ms. Kennedy would be a teriffic senator. The point is that she shouldn't be able to just whistle up an appointment to the club whenever she gets the urge.
  1074. MichaelG on Captain, we have a problem.
    December 10th, 2008  6:23 pm

  1075. Imagine holding hands with Rod Blago. Watch him fumble for the check. I'll bet he's a real artist at that.
  1076. MichaelG on Captain, we have a problem.
    December 11th, 2008  4:41 pm

  1077. Jeez, I've been boycotting Coors and Cracker Barrel all my life and never even realized it. Anybody remember those "finger effer" cans Coors tried out for a while many years ago? The ones with the two little holes in the top and you had to stick your finger into one to open the can thus immersing your greasy fingertip in the beer? Especially nice when working on your car which people used to do in those days.
  1078. MichaelG on On generosity.
    December 13th, 2008  12:00 am

  1079. Jeez, Alex. I need all the brains I've got. I'm barely getting by as it is.
  1080. MichaelG on On generosity.
    December 13th, 2008  7:43 am

  1081. Politicians have been known to withstand sex scandals, $$ scandals, nepotism, influence peddling, doofisism, you name it. The one thing a politician cannot survive is becoming a laughingstock. Blago is a laughingstock. He’s toast.
  1082. MichaelG on On generosity.
    December 13th, 2008  9:29 am

  1083. Some thoughts about cars: I’ve been a car enthusiast for fifty years. At present, my job has had me driving a minimum of three or four rental cars a month for the last five or six years. That means I’ve tried lots of cars. Advances in safety and fuel efficiency in autos have come about because congress mandated them. Detroit fought each advance tooth and nail. The Japanese and the Europeans (where European is spelled G E R M A N Y) just buckled down and made the cars. Detroit made shrunken versions of their full sized cars rather than genuine small cars and then discovered that they could sell pick ups and SUVs. Review ads over the last twenty years and look at the ratio of ads for large vehicles to cars. Uh-huh. Detroit was committed to the big stuff and only made the small stuff as required. Does anybody even know how many SUVs Ford makes? Other than the Focus, Ford doesn’t even have a Ford car in its inventory anymore. All the other cars in the FOMOCO line-up are tarted up Volvos or Mazdas. Honda and Toyota have been making Accords, Camrys, Civics and Corollas for what? Twenty, twenty five years? In that time Ford and GM have introduced and discarded dozens of models. When you bought a GM or Ford auto in the last couple of decades it was guaranteed to be an orphan by the time you wanted to sell it. So much for resale value. So much for brand loyalty and continuity. Oh, and yeah, check the prices for used Hondas and Toyotas. Too bad about the resale value of your Detroit iron. Both Ford and GM manufacture excellent cars in Europe and Australia. Why aren’t they taking advantage of those autos and saving zillions of dollars by developing a car for all markets and making regional modifications as necessary? Every other manufacturer in the world does. I saw an article a few years ago that featured a comparison of dollars spent on engineering versus marketing. It was astounding. The small three were spending far more money on peddling the cars (this includes rebates) than on designing them and making them right. Over the last couple of years it seems that GM has been beginning to get it but we’re talking about turning the Titanic a quarter mile before the berg. This has to be the influence of Bob Lutz. A car guy. Waggoner’s a finance guy. Nardelli at Chrysler is a guy who was fired for running Home Depot into the ground. Mullaly at Ford is a production guy who is noted for taking the Boeing 777 from the drawing board to the air. None of these champs has a background as a business manager or as somebody who has any knowledge about or interest in cars. My point? Detroit has done everything possible to shoot itself in the foot. Over and over and over. In recent years GM has started to get it and has begun to field a range of cars that is respectable on the world stage. They still need to dump two or three dozen SUV models. Ford needs to develop a car. A FORD that is competitive on the world stage. They need something analogous to the wonderful “shoebox” they debuted in 1949. Chrysler was a prosperous and forward moving auto company when it was sold to MBZ. A tale all by itself. MBZ raped the company and dumped it. The current owner of Chrysler is a corporate disposal outfit, not a car company. Chrysler’s demise is a foregone conclusion. There has been a certain interest in Chevy’s Malibu expressed here in NN.c. Particularly in the hybrid model. In my unceasing efforts to serve the NN.c community, I undertook this week to test a 2009 Malibu. It was the cheapo model with a four banger gas engine. The car has the current arched body style that looks so gorgeous in the one MBZ model but does not work well on a cliche basis. The A-pillar is thick, the top is low and the sill high so that one has the feeling of being in a tank. Other than the basic criticism, it is a particularly attractive example of the genre. The proportions are right and it has a good stance. Inside, the drab, monochromatic GM gray has given way to a three toned gray. The once glaring dash-top is now non-glare (a big deal, believe me). There has been a conscious effort to style the interior and it shows. It has gone from stupidly cheap to merely chintzy. Drive one and check out the green highlights on the gauges, the plastic chrome on the heater controls. Whatever, it’s a major improvement. The driver’s seat was excellent. Let me repeat that. The driver’s seat was excellent. It was comfortable with good lumbar support and just the right degree of firmness. The driver’s position was also excellent. The wheel was large for a contemporary car but that’s fine with me. I like a big steering wheel. The radio had real knobs. The car tracked well and felt comfortable, smooth and quiet on the freeway. The steering was weighted to provide feel but what felt great in town felt heavy on I-5. I wish I had had the opportunity to try the car on the twistys but from what I did feel, I would expect the Malibu to be very competent on a winding road. I didn’t check the back seat or trunk. Bottom line? The car was a dramatic improvement on previous iterations of the Malibu. Beyond dramatic. This car is worlds beyond previous Malibus in looks and performance. I’ve driven them all. And yet, GM still can’t help themselves in cheapening the product. No passenger grab handle. The door, when open, requires the driver to lean way our or to put a foot on the ground to retrieve it and . . . All I can say is drive a small three product and then drive a Honda or Toyota. You’ll see what it’s all about. There is much more to a car than simple reliability which all cars have these days. There is the list of amenities, of comfort features, of things on which the small three has decided to save three dollars per car. I recently drove the current generation VW Passat which looks exactly like a Malibu. Between the Malibu and the Passat, I’d take the Passat in a heartbeat. Sorry to take up so much space. I try to keep my comments light but every now and then I can’t help putting my two pence in.
  1084. MichaelG on On generosity.
    December 13th, 2008  8:23 pm

  1085. C-girl has the A-pillar, Danny. Rear vision in virtually all cars is obstructed by the rear seat head rests. I would remove them. The C-pillar (the rear most roof support at the back widow) tends to be wide on these cars as well and the roof slopes down and with all the headrests tends to impede views over one's shoulders, right or left. Like peering around trees. One thing the manufacturers could look back to the '50s and early '60s for is the design of the greenhouse and interiors. In those days they strove to make all the roof supports (the pillars A through C) as small and unobtrusive as possible. Interior colors on upholstery, door panels and dash were bright and varied. The result was bright airy and cheerful interiors. Go here http://www.brockersbeautys.com/ or any of dozens of other sites and look at the ‘50s cars. Then the late 60’s. You can see the change. I’m not suggesting any slavish retro stuff, but the idea of lightness, color and airiness (are those words?) is certainly worth considering for future designs. And yes, I favor the auto bail out and yes I think Caliban reflects my feelings about the Wall St bail out. My only problem with the auto bail out is my fear that the boys will just put the money in the checking account and continue on until that money is gone and what then?
  1086. MichaelG on On generosity.
    December 14th, 2008  3:32 am

  1087. I’ve seen the Ford Ka when traveling in Europe. Very nice looking little car with real styling. I think Ford is considering selling its successor here (which may be called the Eos – remember the orphan cars I mentioned?). They dropped the Taurus label in favor of a warmed over Volvo called the 500. A total dud. Ford must have sold tens of them. They resurrected the Taurus name after two years or so and pasted it on the now defunct 500. The whole episode was yet another bullet hole in the foot. At this time I drive a 2003 Taurus. When I went to buy a car in 2005, I only had so much money to spend and didn’t want car payments. I found this car on eBay. It was located here in Sacto. I bought it directly from the dealer. It has bucket seats, leather, the four cam engine, mag wheels, sunroof, cd player etc. All the loads. It had 24,000 miles and I got it for $9000. I couldn’t have touched a comparable Accord for twice that. I’ve been very pleased with it. It has ample power, handles decently has lots of room and I haven’t done anything but maintain it – religiously. A year later my now erstwhile wife wanted a car, communed for a few days with the net and decided she wanted a PT Cruiser. We went to the Chrysler store, they showed us what they had, Tereza said “I’ll take that one and I’ll give you $13,000 for it”. They said OK and away we went. This was a brand new car. The PT Cruiser turned out to be a nicer car than I would have expected if a tad underpowered. It’s a good fit for her, she can put the dogs in the back, pick up sacks of feed, etc. Her bike fits perfectly. The bonus? It came with three years or 36,000 miles of free service included. Again, to sit in a comparable Toyota or Honda would have cost twice the money. She’s been very happy with it. Had an MGA once. Love to have it back. Would love to have a Mini Cooper S. Tata motors can set up shop here selling Jags and LRs. They can call them Bodacious TaTas.
  1088. MichaelG on On generosity.
    December 14th, 2008  3:33 am

  1089. And, oh Lord yes. What Brian said. I surely hope everything turns out OK this week, Nancy.
  1090. MichaelG on Little luxuries.
    December 16th, 2008  4:55 pm

  1091. I've got my fingers crossed, Nancy. What a horrible thing to go through.
  1092. MichaelG on Little luxuries.
    December 17th, 2008  1:22 am

  1093. President Truman (you grossly underestimate him, Brian) had a very clear understanding of the difference between the Office of the President of the US and the man who occupied it. He didn't much care about what people wrote or thought about Harry Truman but he was fiercely protective of the office. This leads to the way I feel about the shoe throwing incident. George Bush is beyond contempt and deserves all the rotten eggs people can throw. However, that was the President of the United States, good or poor, having demeaned the office or not, at that presser in Bag City and I don't like people throwing stuff at him.
  1094. MichaelG on Little luxuries.
    December 17th, 2008  4:59 pm

  1095. The McCoys - wow. One afternoon in college I was playing house with the landlord's daughter when himself came calling to inquire after the whereabouts of his rent money. Poor girl was a bit spooked. "Hang on Sloopy" was playing at the time. From that day her nick-name was "Sloopy". Dexter, I can't believe you never heard of Betty Page.
  1096. MichaelG on Paper cuts.
    December 17th, 2008  9:21 pm

  1097. How does Josh Marshall do it? He seems to be making money.
  1098. MichaelG on A few of my favorite things.
    December 18th, 2008  7:03 pm

  1099. I don't know, Dorothy. That rug's no prize either. What a horribly cold room. The idea of eating on that little table in the middle of that huge room is creepy and I can believe that the Nixons actually ate that way. But then the Nixons were creepy in a way that no presidential family I've seen has ever been. Nance, you turned me on to the Detroit Blog several years ago and I've been checking it weekly ever since. It's a wonderful spot. Relieving stress? Many, many years ago I worked in the Oakland unemployment office. One morning a woman who worked for me came in about a half hour late. I kind of raised an eyebrow at her and she explained: "Well, when I woke up, my husband rolled over and said 'Wanna have a good time?' so here I am. Late." She was my best producer. What could I say?
  1100. MichaelG on A few of my favorite things.
    December 18th, 2008  9:19 pm

  1101. I saw Reagan when he was gov here and he wore pancake. Tony George is evil. That whole CART, IRL thing was about nothing more than his little rich boy ass. Also Bernie E.
  1102. MichaelG on A few of my favorite things.
    December 18th, 2008  9:36 pm

  1103. No wine glasses. What's that by David's right hand? Could it be a bell to summon the help? I like it, Kirk.
  1104. MichaelG on A few of my favorite things.
    December 18th, 2008  11:51 pm

  1105. What kind of salad is that?
  1106. MichaelG on A few of my favorite things.
    December 19th, 2008  3:02 am

  1107. If you like Frank Frazetta you'll probably also like Boris Vallejo. Just Google. There are a million sites. His women, though, tend to be a tad more devoid of covering than Frazetta's.
  1108. MichaelG on A few of my favorite things.
    December 19th, 2008  9:14 pm

  1109. We've been suffering through a cold spell here as well. The bank thermo I pass on the way to work in the morning read 28 degrees yesterday at 5:00 AM. That stuff should be illegal.
  1110. MichaelG on Every picture tells a story.
    December 22nd, 2008  5:24 pm

  1111. At least those cute girls aren't wearing socks with their sandals. And Deb (deb?) in the second picture looks more freezing to death than interested in the mysto guest. Who would want to jump Dawn Eden's bones? Sex is as much mental as anything else and even when she condescends to allow some "lucky" gent to worship at her holy temple it's not gonna be any fun because her head's all twisted. By the way, I couldn't get that video to start. The Governator sent us a letter this AM outlining a plan for layoffs and furloughs for state employees. Merry Xmas from him. Michigan may be number one, but CA is right up there at eight and a half points and rising. I grew up in Chicago and I don't miss that weather or the "hawk" one bit. I'm proud to be a wuss. The WaMu thermometer I pass on the way to work showed forty degrees at 5:00 AM today. That's cold enough for me.
  1112. MichaelG on Every picture tells a story.
    December 22nd, 2008  5:25 pm

  1113. Link doesn't work, Dorothy. I'd love to see it.
  1114. MichaelG on Every picture tells a story.
    December 22nd, 2008  6:05 pm

  1115. Very nice, Dorothy. Thanks. What's a lifestyle mall? It might be fun shopping for a new lifestyle. Moneyback guarantee? I went to Home Depot on Sat. It was stone empty. I thought maybe I had missed the anthrax alert or something. Employees were standing in clumps here and there talking among each other. I had them stopping me on every aisle asking if they could help. They sincerely thanked me for buying what I did - some light bulbs, a window squeegee, a couple of filters for the heater and a mop. It was scary.
  1116. MichaelG on Every picture tells a story.
    December 22nd, 2008  10:05 pm

  1117. Home Depot has plenty of lights, Mary. On sale too. "Smith & Hawken liquidating" Really? That's too bad. They started in Mill Valley which is too hip to have real businesses in it and then moved up to Novato. When people talk about peacock feathers in Marin County, they mean Mill Valley. S&H was the new age darling of cool business people some years back. Books were written.
  1118. MichaelG on Every picture tells a story.
    December 22nd, 2008  10:22 pm

  1119. Well, it's nice to hear not all Home Depot stores are abandoned although I can certainly understand why those wire deer were left behind.
  1120. MichaelG on Every picture tells a story.
    December 23rd, 2008  3:33 am

  1121. Before Cooz beat me to it I was going to note that you can tell they're Germans because they wear socks even when barefoot.
  1122. MichaelG on Happy holidays, heathens.
    December 25th, 2008  12:29 am

  1123. Merry Christmas to all and, please, everybody, make it home safely from whever you go.
  1124. MichaelG on Boxing Day.
    December 26th, 2008  9:02 pm

  1125. I delivered papers for years when I was a kid. The Chi Trib and Sun Times in the AM and the Herald-American and Daily News in the PM. No tip this year for my delivery person, whomever he or she may be. A 96% Sunday delivery percentage is not good enough. Especially when two of those misses have been in the last five weeks. I had to walk down to the corner in the rain to buy a paper. Not so bad in itself, but I had thought that that was what I was paying someone else for. Worst Christmas song? The Little Drummer Boy. Gives me chills. The wrong kind. I did hear a country version of Oh Holy Night but that wasn’t the song’s fault. Nice looking table.
  1126. MichaelG on Boxing Day.
    December 26th, 2008  9:15 pm

  1127. Bernie Madoff would like to apologize to every American who suffered as a result of his machinations. He realizes that a blanket apology may sound hollow so Mr. Madoff would like to offer to each and every one of you a personalized, engraved apology. To receive yours, simply send $59.95 to … Stolen from NPR.
  1128. MichaelG on Boxing Day.
    December 28th, 2008  9:53 pm

  1129. In addition to a sunrise serenade, “Aubade” is also a line of lovely lingerie. I used to be married so I know these things.
  1130. MichaelG on Doing the job.
    December 30th, 2008  6:28 pm

  1131. There's one guy out there who seems to be doing the digging and the original reporting that papers have always done and that's Josh Marshall. As successful as his growing TPM empire seems to be he's only one guy. It would take thousands of him to replace all the local papers and I can guess that's not going to happen. Best way I can figure for news people to make money on the net is to have a couple of porn sites on the side.
  1132. MichaelG on Doing the job.
    December 31st, 2008  1:25 am

  1133. A couple of weeks ago the SF Chron went from $0.47 to $0.75 for a daily paper. Legal notices are a big income source for many papers. We (the State of CA) publish ads in a local paper and in a trade paper for each contract that we put out to bid in addition to putting it on our web site. Brian, that's what inspectors are supposed to be for. Each one of my jobs has an inspector and I work very closely with him or her to make sure we don't get into any situations like your hotel wound up in. Sounds like the inspectors in Ft. Wayne were a tad slow but that they finally got there.
  1134. MichaelG on Please, less.
    December 31st, 2008  10:23 pm

  1135. A Brit shifting from a lower to a higher gear in his car is said to be changing up although that's probably not where the phrase at hand originated. I like "basis points" as a new term used to replace tenths of a percentage point. A lot of this crapola verbiage seems to me to be intended to add mystery to what somebody does, thus making that person smarter than I. I'll leave Coozledad to his own naming. His will certainly be better than mine. For athletic teams I like the Lady Beavers of Oregon State and the Banana Slugs of UC Santa Cruz. Did somebody really say Condi Rice and Emma Peel in the same sentence a little while ago? Lord. Happy New Year all!
  1136. MichaelG on Please, less.
    December 31st, 2008  10:30 pm

  1137. Maybe we can take up a collection and send Gonzo a dollar so he can buy himself a clue: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123068159621944041.html
  1138. MichaelG on Happy new year.
    January 2nd, 2009  5:44 am

  1139. I don't get the references, Basset, 'though I did spend a few months at Campbell in '67 before being reassigned to Ft. Bragg and visited again four or five years ago when my son-in-law was stationed there. It's not lack of years, it's lack of place.
  1140. MichaelG on Happy new year.
    January 3rd, 2009  12:23 am

  1141. Basset, I knew about the German women at Campbell when I was stationed there in '67 with the 101st. I just thought your reference was something more complicated. Does that Prine song specify which Clarksville? Clarksville, TN is adjacent to Ft. Campbell. My daughter lived there and went to Austin Peay while her hubby was at Campbell with the 160th SOAR.
  1142. MichaelG on The distant thunder.
    January 8th, 2009  11:54 pm

  1143. I'm not worried about the NYT at the moment. I'm worried about the State of California. If the dolts under the dome don't get their act together in the next very few days the State is going off the cliff. Employees will not be paid, vendors, contractors - nobody gets paid. Mega bucks construction projects have already been halted in mid work. This is serious as a heart attack. We are in a fix far beyond anything ever contemplated and the elected dipshits are still posturing. We may still avoid catastrophe but it would require the folks in the State Senate and State Assembly to actually negotiate and to actually compromise. I'm hopeful but not overly optimistic. We shall see.
  1144. MichaelG on The distant thunder.
    January 9th, 2009  2:50 am

  1145. That's the gate to Old Folsom. There are two joints on the same property. Folsom State Prison from the 1880's and California State Prison, Sacramento from the 1980's. Oh yeah, and they're going to send out IOUs instead of tax refunds. That'll definitely get folks attention.
  1146. MichaelG on Start your engines.
    January 10th, 2009  12:33 am

  1147. I know it’s not nice to laugh at other people’s misfortunes but I almost lost my coffee when I heard the kidney story on the TV yesterday AM. Somehow it’s even more amusing that the guy’s a surgeon and the woman has a trailer trash name. I’m eagerly looking forward to the dispatches. The ones last time were excellent. How do you like your Flip? I’m thinking of getting one.
  1148. MichaelG on Start your engines.
    January 10th, 2009  5:45 am

  1149. Jesus, that shit is beyond tasteless. Anybody check to see if it was lead free? 320 place settings? And Hillary’s probably just as ugly stuff and Nancy Reagan’s probably just as ugly stuff and so on and so on. Where do they keep all this drek? First Ladies obviously have time on their hands. And there are people out there who think we should pay them to inflict these horrors on us?
  1150. MichaelG on Start your engines.
    January 10th, 2009  9:22 pm

  1151. I get your point, Catherine. Hillary Clinton had, I believe, an exceptionally tough time as first lady. I’m not going to go into all that slime machine stuff here. She also had to stifle her ambition and her natural instincts to jump in and stir things up. The position was just too subordinate for her. I can only guess at the feeling of freedom she felt getting out from under it. Maybe bequeathing horrible china to the American people, not to say the incoming first lady, is a sort of departing freeway salute to the whole thing. Still, I think there are other people in tougher situations who are more deserving of my sympathy. I was out of town the other day when you mentioned lunch with Leon Panetta. When I lived in SF and she was the Mayor I had lunch a couple of times with Diane Feinstein, the incoming head of the Senate Intel Committee and Leon’s sort of gonna be supervisor. Not one on one but fairly intimate. Each time there were six to eight other people around. Interesting woman. My then boss was my entre. He had dated her back in the ‘50s.
  1152. MichaelG on Start your engines.
    January 10th, 2009  11:12 pm

  1153. I think you've pretty much got it there, Brian. I’d hate to face Grant’s plates with a hang over. Polk’s also came from a Chinese restaurant. FDR’s seem about right. I like simple. DiFi, as she used to be known back in the day, is a very intelligent woman. She came from $$ and I think she went to Stanford. She was well informed and thoughtful on SF issues and very obviously well read and conversant with world affairs. She was thoughtful and spoke in full, well considered sentences. That said, she was also very cagey and doled out opinions very sparingly. Kind of the flip side of a certain other female former mayor. She was a very charming and amusing lunch companion. But then a politician of her stature would be.
  1154. MichaelG on Rocky rises again.
    January 11th, 2009  9:11 pm

  1155. I like the look of the "Converj". It's built on the Volt platform. Why do car makers insist on using Ebonics when they name their cars? Ebonics is so '90s. A friend and myself have had a long running joke about car makers getting their model names from a consultant called "The Department of Stupid Names Department". I've long thought that a high MPG small gas powered car is a great alternative. The Europeans and Asians have been building them for years. I once rented a two cylinder, 600cc Subaru in Europe. It was perfectly acceptable in town. Not so much on the road. Go to ebay and look at the prices for Fiat 500s. As always, Autoweek has good coverage of the cars: http://www.autoweek.com/section/detroitautoshow02
  1156. MichaelG on An album.
    January 12th, 2009  5:04 pm

  1157. The models (female, human) are a part of auto shows. Auto shows wouldn't be auto shows without them. Jalopnik typically has a feature on them after each show. The price of electros and hybrids is one reason I keep thinking of cheap little gas cars. While I was married I used a Geo Metro to commute. When driving eighty miles a day, the big gas mileage was a great relief from my Taurus. I tried not to think about the death trap part. See earlier post. For the difference in price between a Toyota Yaris and a Toyota Prius, both available today down at the corner Toyota store, you can buy a helluva lot of gas. Then there are the maintenance costs with a hybrid. Do you know what they are? How long does the battery pack last? How much to replace? It ain't gonna be 50 bucks at Pep Boys. Do you want to get in a wreck with a thousand pounds of batteries in the back seat? I still have serious questions about hybrids and their costs for a teensy mileage increase. People seem mesmerized by the word "hybrid" without examining the actual benefits for a specific vehicle and comparing them directly to a target vehicle. At this time fully electric cars are little more than glorified golf carts. There are reasons why the auto companies didn't like making them and why they offered them on a lease basis only. I hope the battery technology will be here soon, but it's not here now. Wonderful stuff, Nance. I greatly enjoy your excellent reporting.
  1158. MichaelG on An album.
    January 12th, 2009  6:22 pm

  1159. You mean Caesar Casaba?
  1160. MichaelG on An album.
    January 12th, 2009  6:22 pm

  1161. I think he pronounces it something like Chubba Cheda.
  1162. MichaelG on Best-laid plans.
    January 13th, 2009  7:19 pm

  1163. JC, your Hindenburg reference isn't a joke at all. It's the plain truth about hydrogen. Hydrogen is one of the most volatile substances there is. One of the big questions about powering automobiles with it is where do you make it? Do you have some kind of hydrogen generator on board to make it as you use it? This increases weight, complexity and cost of the vehicle. Do you make it at some sort of distribution point and sell it? Can you imagine filling a car with this stuff? Carrying a load of it around? Your car would be nothing more than a bomb. What percentage of cars on the road today is powered by an alternate (including hybrid) energy source? Two percent? Three? They're niche vehicles today. All the emphasis, all the hype about electric, etc. cars at the Detroit show scares me. They are not Detroit's bread and butter. They are not the cars that people buy and more to the point they are not the cars that earn $$ for Detroit. I don't want to be a nay sayer and I certainly applaud Detroit for aggressively researching alternate automotive power sources. The fact is, what Ford, GM and Chrysler need this minute are cars to compete with the Civic and the Accord. The Camry and the Corolla. These are cars actual people actually buy. I don't have the time or the space here to go into this in detail but what we have at the Detroit auto show is a classic example of the automakers selling the sizzle, not the steak. At the end of the quarter, the electro hypo research and development vehicles are an expense. What's on the showroom floor that's going to bring in the profits? Where's the bread and butter vehicle that's going to support the Big ____ (fill in the number)?
  1164. MichaelG on Best-laid plans.
    January 13th, 2009  8:48 pm

  1165. OK, one last word, Nance. I don't want to drag this out too far. Of course the Auto Show circuit is about sizzle. But this year the sizzle is different from other years. This show has an entirely different character. As you say, the customers are different from other years - the people who populate the dome in DC. To date they haven't shown themselves to be very informed consumers. Look at the $350 Bil they shelled out a few weeks ago for nothing. The auto companies don't have anything to compete against Honda and Toyota and VW. That's the whole point. These outfits have been eating Detroit's lunch for years. Having some product available for sale in a market segment is not the same as competing in that segment. Let me repeat: "The fact is, what Ford, GM and Chrysler need this minute are cars to compete with the Civic and the Accord. The Camry and the Corolla." Go rent a Honda Civic and then rent a Chevy Cobalt. You'll see a major difference. The American consumer certainly does.
  1166. MichaelG on Dumb and dumbererer.
    January 14th, 2009  5:20 pm

  1167. They use Impalas for cop cars back there? It's still all Crown Vics here in California with the occasional Dodge thrown in. You can bet that Obama is sorely pissed at Geithner. I mean the first question they ask one of their prospective nominees is "Do you have any turds in your pocket?" This guy has both IRS (he wants to be Sec Treas?) and alien nanny problems. What a dolt.
  1168. MichaelG on The Roman way.
    January 15th, 2009  6:01 pm

  1169. I did two tours in Vietnam during the war and spent three very enjoyable weeks there in 2000. It's a beautiful country populated by friendly, hard working people. I love the place. While in the army I passed through numerous airports and never got spit on, never had any conflicts with anybody. I'm inclined to believe that such incidents probably happened, but were rare and over reported.
  1170. MichaelG on The Roman way.
    January 16th, 2009  5:13 pm

  1171. A while back there was talk among the Rs about killing the citizenship requirement so Arnold could run for POTUS. Haven't heard any of that stuff lately. He's hiding from lynch mobs now. At least in this town.
  1172. MichaelG on Popping out.
    January 16th, 2009  5:28 pm

  1173. What's so great is the series of good decisions Capt. Sullenberger made. Long Island Sound or the River? The river. Just where the water is calm and relatively sheltered and there's a large concentration of ferries, tour boats and what not to pick up survivors. Some really smart thinking on top of some really great flying. Also he was the last person off the airplane. Sullenberger isn't qualified to be a NY senator. He's a resident of Danville, CA.
  1174. MichaelG on It could be worse.
    January 16th, 2009  6:29 pm

  1175. Tell me again, where do stereotypes come from?
  1176. MichaelG on It could be worse.
    January 16th, 2009  11:52 pm

  1177. Well, I understand there is a peak in Yellowstone that is scheduled to go all Mt. St. Helens, but 3.8? C'mon, Mark, get a grip.
  1178. MichaelG on It could be worse.
    January 17th, 2009  2:47 am

  1179. It's only January, Brian, and it looks like somebody has earned a stocking full of coal already. But I had to laugh. jeff b, you referred to the "Chicago region". It reminds me that when I was a kid there we had a TV weather individual who insisted on referring to the "Chicagoland area".
  1180. MichaelG on It could be worse.
    January 17th, 2009  6:11 am

  1181. I'll defer, beb. I was passing along what somebody told me the other day. But I think the basic point seems to be there. Jellystone is on the schedule for a big blow up. As far as hard drive disposal goes, I think that was Dexter's question not mine. God help me, I seem to have gotten sucked into watching the endless parade of Chevys at the Barrett-Jackson Auction.
  1182. MichaelG on To the New York island.
    January 20th, 2009  6:02 am

  1183. Put me on the Dennis Miller is a jerk bandwagon. Terrorism is not dead. I've heard on good authority that the birds that brought down US Air 1549 were renegade Al Queda trained avian agents. They're all around us. Whoops, time for Tony Bourdain.
  1184. MichaelG on 1.20.09
    January 20th, 2009  6:17 pm

  1185. Letters of the day: W, AMF.
  1186. MichaelG on 1.20.09
    January 21st, 2009  2:30 am

  1187. JC, you just identified a big problem in this country. Millions of people in rural areas do not have access to highspeed internet. They are condemned to a life of 56K minus dial up modem speed. It wasn't until I split with my wife and moved from Auburn to Sacto that I was able to get a dsl line. Something needs to be done.
  1188. MichaelG on 1.20.09
    January 21st, 2009  2:51 am

  1189. Anybody else think the poem was poor? Somebody called it “bureaucratic verse”. I liked the occasional shots of the Ex-Pres (that sounds so nice) sitting amid all those Democrats, listening to the President criticizing his administration. He looked like he was in the middle of a root canal.
  1190. MichaelG on 1.20.09
    January 21st, 2009  4:53 pm

  1191. I'm very sorry to hear about people here at nn.c losing jobs or as in Mary's case being threatened. We're on edge where I work as well. Lay offs are threatened and we are all getting a 10% pay cut as of Feb first. The state is in the midst of the worst financial crisis in its history, on the brink of catastrophe and the deep thinkers from under the dome have all been in DC partying instead of here in Sacto working on a budget that should have been wrapped up last July 1. There are reasons to live in California, however. This past weekend I mowed my lawn wearing tee shirt and shorts.
  1192. MichaelG on Byproducts.
    January 21st, 2009  6:13 pm

  1193. How 'bout a frittata? Chop and saute whatever you got, or whatever you feel like, throw in as many beaten eggs as you need, when set sprinkle some green onions and Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and stick in the broiler. Quick, feeds as many or as few as you want and yummy. A nice salad, some sour dough or other good bread and a nice glass of wine. Terif dinner. Maybe I'll do that tonight.
  1194. MichaelG on Byproducts.
    January 21st, 2009  8:03 pm

  1195. I've been grinding my own burgers with my Kitchenaid for years. A mixture of chuck and back ribs gives just the right blend. I look for what's in the used meat section and buy on sale. The fresh burgers go in the freezer. I do my own fries from real potatos as well. I started making butter a few weeks ago. I'm not saving any money doing it but it sure is good. It's amazing how simple and quick all this stuff is. I can work in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, smoke a cigar, sip some wine and watch the football game. Multitasking to the max. A single guy seems to have more time on his hands.
  1196. MichaelG on Byproducts.
    January 21st, 2009  9:51 pm

  1197. Of course by "used meat section" I mean the mark downs. We've just always called it that. Bread too. Fresh & Easy was scheduled to open a half dozen stores in Sacto in 2009 including one about three blocks from my house but they've deferred everything because of the depression. Darn. I like b. sprouts. There are a lot of good ways to cook them. I've never had the frozen variety. The first time I flew into Brussels, as we left the airport I was looking all around for the sign. "Welcome to Brussels - Home of the Sprouts". Still haven't found it.
  1198. MichaelG on Byproducts.
    January 22nd, 2009  5:01 pm

  1199. The Dum Dum sucker. We got a lotta them around Sacto. The Hills Bros coffee plant used to be located on the Embarcadero in San Francisco right under the Bay Bridge. Motorists approaching the City were welcomed by the wonderful smell of roasting coffee. It's a crime to put ketchup on hot dogs. Brown mustard, onions, maybe some kraut, Ummm. Halve or quarter your petite choux (see, they taste better already). Throw them in the pan with some chopped pancetta and a bit of olive oil. When it looks right, add some chicken stock, not too much, and cook it down. There you go. Hedge balls. I love it. I don't use a food processor to make burgers, Bassett. I use a KitchenAid with a meat grinder attachment. A grinder forces meat through a screen and a food processor chops it up. They're two different things. I've never had (to my knowledge) a burger made in a food processor, but it ought to work. When we split my wife got the Cuisinart, I got the mixer. All I can say is try it. Put on a game or some music, pour yourself a glass of wine and experiment in the kitchen. You'll mostly come up with something pretty decent, now and again there will be a disaster and occasionally you'll surprise yourself with a masterpiece. Lemme know how the burger turns out.
  1200. MichaelG on The hat.
    January 22nd, 2009  6:35 pm

  1201. Send this post to QEII. She needs all the help she can get.
  1202. MichaelG on The hat.
    January 22nd, 2009  8:06 pm

  1203. Yeah but with bowties there're reasons.
  1204. MichaelG on The hat.
    January 22nd, 2009  10:12 pm

  1205. Sorry about the bowtie cheap shot, Jeff. Just pandering to the base. That KL column is so bad in so many ways I wouldn't even know where to start. I don't get the Aretha Franklin hat thing. I wouldn't even have noticed it. Just another old lady with a hat.
  1206. MichaelG on The hat.
    January 22nd, 2009  10:42 pm

  1207. Can you spell that for me, Brian? In my case, Jeff, that would be a lot of shirt.
  1208. MichaelG on Refreshing.
    January 24th, 2009  11:18 pm

  1209. Jeff (tmmo), you repeatedly refer to Obama as “very adept politician”. Is that a compliment? Moe, when I was at the University of Illinois, there were any number of upper division classes and seminars that were attended for credit by both graduate and undergraduate students. There are many, many words that have or had different meanings in the South vs. the rest of the world. I encountered a lot of them when I was in the army. My guess would be their number is diminishing with the continuing years of mass communication and homogenization. Breakfast, dinner and supper vs. breakfast, lunch and dinner. I remember “commode” well and it was as stated elsewhere. I used to have a very funny book entitled “How to Speak Southren”. I wish I could find the damn thing. One example from the army: The word “cock” which most of us would agree refers to the male genitalia. In some parts of the South, it referred to the female genitalia. I have no idea how or why that was but the two different meanings for the word certainly engendered some confusion and hilarity in the barracks.
  1210. MichaelG on Refreshing.
    January 25th, 2009  1:49 am

  1211. Whoops! Got myself sucked in! U of I is out in the middle of a cornfield. Nobody there but me and Roger Ebert. I don't know, Moe. Various institutions of higher learning have relationships with various other ones that do allow some, if you will, cross pollination. My daughter, for instance, attended College A for three and a half years. After she had to move when her service member husband was transferred she was allowed to take a combination of internet courses from College A and live courses from College B to qualify her for a degree from College A. I don’t want to get in the middle of any disputes here. I voted for Obama but I neither know nor care much about his relationship or lack thereof with Mr. Ayres. I merely wanted to point out that it is not implausible for a person who is registered at one school to take a course at a second place. People transfer from one U to another all the time dragging their credits behind them. No reason some sort of concurrent deal couldn’t be worked out. I feel especially stupid here because I seem to be taking mark and Jeff’s part against you when my natural place is by your side.
  1212. MichaelG on You haven't seen it all.
    January 30th, 2009  4:31 am

  1213. Just got home after spending the last four days at a conference in Orange County. Eventful times in L.A. A guy killed himself and his wife and five kids. There was a wreck on the freeway that killed two. Some kids (14 year old driver) got hold of a car and crashed. Three more dead. Some crazy woman stole a U-Haul van and led the CHP on a merry 100 mile plus chase. I watched the last hour live in my hotel room. A single mother of six who lives with her mother gave birth to octuplets. That’s eight, count em, eight more kids bringing her total spawn to, if my rudimentary math serves me, 14 kids. Whew. And yeah, Catherine, I win a 10% pay cut which in the context of other folks’ misery here on nn.c is not as bad is it could be. I’ve got an L.A. question. A year or so ago Rachel What’shername, the AM weather person on Channel 4 departed and was replaced by a young woman with an improbable chest. What happened to Rachel? She was kind of goofy and I liked her. Another good thing about L.A. (I speak heresy for a Northern CA type in saying that I really like the L.A. area) is listening to Sandra Tsing Loh on KPCC.
  1214. MichaelG on You haven't seen it all.
    January 30th, 2009  5:16 pm

  1215. I found a dead guy once about 10 years ago. I was on my way to work at 0500ish and stopped to buy a paper on the corner by the main PO here in Sacto. There was someone lying on the steps. I walked up to see if he needed help. There was another guy walking toward me. One good look at the body on the steps served to tell me that it was indeed a body. The other guy whipped out his cell and started calling the authorities. Figuring there was nothing I could do to help and not wanting to be caught up in hours of questions and cops, I discreetly departed the scene.
  1216. MichaelG on A Raymond Carver story.
    January 30th, 2009  6:46 pm

  1217. There are all these people sporting super cool Chinese writing tatoos and when I see them I wonder if the tattoo says "Shrimp Chou Mein" or "I'm a dumbass gwai lo" or something like that.
  1218. MichaelG on A Raymond Carver story.
    January 31st, 2009  9:59 pm

  1219. The pay cuts and lay offs hitting nn.c'ers lend a nice perspective to the sight of the Wall Streeters paying themselves huge bonuses from the billion dollar bailouts that the gov’t is giving the people who stole the original money in the first place. It’s the American way: Welfare for the rich and free enterprise for the poor. Jeez, I don’t mean to sound whiney or bitter it just sort of comes out that way.
  1220. MichaelG on A Raymond Carver story.
    January 31st, 2009  11:22 pm

  1221. I don’t think blame for the octuplets debacle should go to the mom. Given my strong background in the head sciences, my considered professional opinion is that she’s crazy as a shit house rat. Besides, she has enough problems as it is. Blame goes to whomever provided her with the impregnation services. Kaiser has made it clear it wasn’t them. No reputable operation would implant eight embryos in any woman. No reputable operation would implant any embryos at all in a single jobless woman with proven fertility and six existing children without at the very least some serious psychological evaluation. What we have here is something that is certainly stupid and irresponsible on the part of the provider, very arguably unethical and very close to malpractice given the unfortunate health consequences suffered by many children of extreme multiple births. I wonder who paid for the clinic. This stuff isn’t cheap. Kaiser and the State and the County and whomever is paying for the end results should go after the clinic Ms. Suleman was visiting. I also don’t think you can criticize Kaiser for having so many staff members dedicated to ensuring a healthy outcome for all concerned. An over response to a situation like this is preferable to a too casual response. Past experience has showcased an outpouring of help in the shape of goods and money for parents of extreme multiple births. Ain’t gonna happen here. Given the amazing circumstances and the mother’s Islamic sounding name she’ll be lucky some asshole doesn’t burn her existing house down.
  1222. MichaelG on A Raymond Carver story.
    February 2nd, 2009  6:10 am

  1223. BUMMERRRR!
  1224. MichaelG on Say goodnight, womyn.
    February 2nd, 2009  6:32 pm

  1225. I live in California and morn the passing of the Acme. One more old time neighborhood joint joining the growing numbers of closures all over the country. It's a shame and it represents more than just the loss of a nice place to have a drink or a burger. There are fewer and fewer of these places every year. Here in Sacramento we're fortunate that there are still quite a few of them. For me it's Jamie's a nice, dark, friendly, neighborhood bar, a great place for a drink on Friday night, a wonderful lunch joint. Clean and safe? I took my daughter and grandson there for lunch. One of the best burgers in town. Calimari to die for. These kinds of places will always be more attractive to me than chain restaurants. You can keep your TGI Friday's or Hungry Hunters or whatever. I can't see getting fired up about the womyn and their communes. I'm sure they're all nice persons, they seem happy and they aren't bothering anybody. What's the harm? Guys like Dreher need to get a life. And, as Nance points out, communes are part of an old American tradition.
  1226. MichaelG on One more time...
    February 3rd, 2009  9:42 pm

  1227. Another journalistic word: whisked. People are forever being whisked away. I'm kinda promacassar myself. I don't know why all you people are against those harmless little scraps of fabric. Daschle is a total dweeb. A complete weenie. A weak, mealy mouthed little twit. He makes Harry "the Lion" Reid look like a hero. Know what Daschle's wife does? She's a big time DC lobbyist. Makes zillions.
  1228. MichaelG on One more time...
    February 3rd, 2009  10:08 pm

  1229. Mistakes were made. I'm sorry for what happened. I accept complete responsibility. We need to put this behind us and move on.
  1230. MichaelG on Miss? Another cocktail.
    February 5th, 2009  2:55 am

  1231. I'm already tired of the Obama admin kissing Republican ass. Read Josh Marshall or don't if you don't want to get depressed. More. And the situation her in Calif is rapidly approaching the cliff and the geniusesses (what is that plural anyway?) under the dome are just whistling. They lack the talent to fiddle. I think I'll turn to drugs. Maybe I can bum a hit from Phelps.
  1232. MichaelG on Miss? Another cocktail.
    February 5th, 2009  3:46 am

  1233. I hope you're right, Jeff. It just looks like a familiar old pattern to me.
  1234. MichaelG on Miss? Another cocktail.
    February 5th, 2009  4:53 am

  1235. Teens who `sext' racy photos charged with porn Feb 4, 3:38 PM (ET) By MARTHA IRVINE CHICAGO (AP) - Though youth is fleeting, images sent on a cell phone or posted online may not be, especially if they're naughty. Teenagers' habit of distributing nude self-portraits electronically - often called "sexting" if it's done by cell phone - has parents and school administrators worried. Some prosecutors have begun charging teens who send and receive such images with child pornography and other serious felonies. But is that the best way to handle it? "Hopefully we'll get the message out to these kids," says Michael McAlexander, a prosecutor in Allen County, Ind., which includes Fort Wayne. A teenage boy there is facing felony obscenity charges for allegedly sending a photo of his private parts to several female classmates. Another boy was recently charged with child pornography in a similar case. In some cases, the photos are sent to harass other teens or to get attention. Other times, they're viewed as a high-tech way to flirt. Either way, law enforcement officials want it to stop, even if it means threatening to add "sex offender" to a juvenile's confidential record. "We don't want to throw these kids in jail," McAlexander says. "But we want them to think http://apnews.myway.com//article/20090204/D964VRQG0.html This is incredible. Does that numb nuts prosecutor have any idea what charging kids with child porn can do to them? Forever. What is he thinking? Whence this perennial impulse to criminalize kids? Allen County, IN must be the most peaceful, crime free place on earth if this is all the DA’s office has time to do. It must be wonderful. No murder, no rape, no robbery. No white collar crime. Gosh. What a utopia. Nothing but those awful hormone ridden kids.
  1236. MichaelG on Miss? Another cocktail.
    February 5th, 2009  7:15 am

  1237. I'm not quite sure what you, Beb and Brian, mean here. Are you in favor of prosecuting these youngsters for what are extremely serious crimes, in the interests of somehow maybe possibly hopefully preventing the further dissemination of pictures that are already out there? Please clarify. I see some irony with Beb but none with Brian.
  1238. MichaelG on Miss? Another cocktail.
    February 5th, 2009  7:22 am

  1239. Lord, JGW, I know. I've also replaced water heaters a day after they should have been replaced. I was lucky that the last one was in the garage so clean up was minor. We brought the new water heater back from Home Depot in a Geo Metro. Yep, one of those little shit boxes. I dropped the rear seat, ran the front passenger seat all the way forward and reclined the back all the way. Then I cut a piece of plywood to fit. The new water heater lay on the plywood and the hatch even closed in the back. We had to take two cars. Pretty lucky. They had plum trees on sale that day and I stuffed one down the sunroof on the Ford.
  1240. MichaelG on What fresh hell?
    February 7th, 2009  7:23 am

  1241. Pilot Joe, I once wanted to leave San Carlos airport (just south of SFO) in my Citabria. The tower cleared me for take off and threw in a warning about wake turbulence. I looked at the big blue sky, saw nothing and before I could key the mike with my query, the tower was back “ That buzzard. He’s huge.” San Carlos is not real busy. I slept in this AM. My first fur-low day. Slept under my IKEA down comforter and cover. Nice. Yesterday I went down to the San Luis Reservoir (find it on any map site at the intersection of I-5 and 152) to inspect a spill clean up site. Bad enough but none got into the water. The reservoir is LOW. The water is about 40 feet above the intake which is zilch. San Luis feeds into the Calif Aqueduct. The water goes south to Ellay. We’re looking at serious long term water problems. God, I feel like Dr. Doom.
  1242. MichaelG on What fresh hell?
    February 7th, 2009  11:16 pm

  1243. I'm not particularly critical of scenery. Just about everything looks good to me but the Salton Sea area is one of the most desolate, ugly spots I've ever seen. The San Luis Reservoir is a very hot spot for wind surfers. The water is smooth as glass, there are miles to run and the wind is high. They really haul ass. Our friend Nadia (she's not plug ugly but I don't see hot - maybe the plastic surgery is at fault) has what have been described as "trout lips". So she plans to start school in the fall and plans to drop 14 kids, eight of them infants with special needs, on the school day care center. Um hmm. She also wants a master’s in counseling. Oh yeah. She’s qualified. Her orientation is the Me, Me, Me school of thought.
  1244. MichaelG on What fresh hell?
    February 8th, 2009  6:43 am

  1245. As you wrote, Caliban, some people see beauty in a comma. I’m guessing you mean that nature is beautiful wherever. Truly said, but some places are more or less beautiful than others, at least in the eye of this beholder. I’ve seen that failed development you link to and the reality is much worse than the photos. I’m with Deborah. Nothing to do there other than get drunk, tell fart jokes and wait until you can leave. Bring plenty of booze because it’s a long way to the store.
  1246. MichaelG on What do we think?
    February 8th, 2009  9:30 pm

  1247. Altogether I like the new design. The numbered comments are handy. I do prefer the old font. Yes Dexter, as I've said several times recently, we need water and we need a water policy. The legislature can't even agree on last year's budget let alone a comprehensive, long term water policy. The way we're going, it won't take 90 years for Calif agriculture to disappear. The current fiscal year is up at the end of June. Then the budget horse shit will start over again or be squared.
  1248. MichaelG on Whinypants.
    February 9th, 2009  7:42 pm

  1249. Looked for a Travis McGee novel at the library last week. None to be seen. Guess I'll have to haunt the used book stores. I read them all long ago. I'm ready to try one again. Depressing sign of the times: The woman ahead of me at Safeway paying for groceries with a credit card.
  1250. MichaelG on Whinypants.
    February 9th, 2009  10:56 pm

  1251. Several people here at work said they pay for everything with credit cards to gain airline miles and then pay the cards off monthly. Hoorah for all who do. The last solicitation I got for a card that saved airline miles had a $59 annual fee and I canned it. Maybe I should take another look at the numbers. I'm sure I'll get another one in a day or so. Virtually all debit cards that I have seen carry a Visa or MC logo. I can tell the difference between the lady in front of me punching in her PIN or signing her credit card authorization. The lady I saw was definitely using a credit card. I hope she was going for the airline miles.
  1252. MichaelG on The ick factor.
    February 10th, 2009  5:58 pm

  1253. Seen that PBS show about traveling in Spain starring Mario Batali in full ham mode, Bittman, Gwyneth Paltrow and (sigh) Claudia Bossols? It's pretty good. Mario has been one of my faves for years. I've long seen Bittman in the NYT but never before on TV. He's excellent. A natural and there's good chemistry between he and La Bossols. Claudia B. has tons of personality and along with being a goddess looks like a truly delightful woman to hang out with.
  1254. MichaelG on The ick factor.
    February 10th, 2009  8:17 pm

  1255. I'll go with what Mary said. As usual. I find myself eating a surprising number of meatless meals mostly in the form of soups or omelets. I have no intention of cutting out meat altogether and I refuse to use meat substitutes. There's plenty of excellent non-meat food around without I have to fake myself into vegitude. As far as I am able to scare up, Brian's girl friend, Octomom, had a job with the State Department of Mental Health as a psychiatric technician. She earned $56,880 per year in base pay. She also had what is called in California "Safety Retirement" which is a method of computing retirement for those who work in specified hazardous positions such as cops, firemen, some prison personnel and some personnel in loony bins that house the criminally insane among others. People with "safety" don't pay SS and they get a higher rate of base pay computation for their retirement. Reviews are mixed but generally pro-safety. Given the locations of DMH facilities in Southern California, she probably worked at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk. She could possibly have worked at Patton State Hosp east of San Bernardino, but Norwalk is more likely. At any rate, I don't have her employment dates or the amt of overtime she worked although people in those psych tech positions typically can earn lots of OT. I think she lives in her own little world in a parallel or maybe divergent universe somewhere. She now says her fertility doc is a California guy. Kaiser and LA County and whomever else should sue the guy for the money to pay for his follies.
  1256. MichaelG on The ick factor.
    February 10th, 2009  9:18 pm

  1257. I lurve the Binh Thanh Market. I'd shop there every day if I could. Our SundayUnderTheFreeway market in Sacto is about as close as you are going to get around here. Very Asian. The older people don't speak English. The youngsters (almost all female) look ethnic as hell but all sound like valley girls. Great place to shop and will be in good form in another month or so.
  1258. MichaelG on The ick factor.
    February 10th, 2009  10:59 pm

  1259. Bob del Grosso writes an excellent food blog. He covers a lot of "ethical eating" ground. http://ahungerartist.bobdelgrosso.com/
  1260. MichaelG on The ick factor.
    February 11th, 2009  3:10 am

  1261. Vietnam Town here in Sacramento is along Stockton Blvd. Malls, supermarkets, office parks, you name it. People from out of town have never seen anything like it. It's not quite Bolsa in Westminster, but very close.
  1262. MichaelG on Three old movies.
    February 11th, 2009  7:10 pm

  1263. I thought Sam Adams was a faux artisanal beer. I loved "Body Heat" when it first came out. It was a very sexy movie. I thought Kathleen Turner was the hottest thing around. For some reason my former wife never liked Ms. Turner. She delighted in recent years in calling me to the TV whenever Ms. Turner showed up to point out the bloated caricature that Ms. Turner had become. She, in truth, has not aged well. My once wife, a stone head turner and a year older than Ms. Turner is absolutely in a position to throw rocks. I should rent the movie and relook. As a devoted race fan I'm sure Brian will appreciate the recent photos of Danica Patrick and a Cobra of the four wheeled sort. I'm not picking on you, Brian. I'm in full appreciative mode myself. I'm looking at a five day weekend. Hoo hoo! The Tour of California begins here on Saturday. It'll be televised on VS. See your local listings. The Saturday weather is progged to be the worst weekend of the year so far. Thanks a lot. I'm a volunteer with the tour. This year I'll be working in "security". Haven't the faintest idea what my job will be. They'll tell me Saturday. I hope, whatever it is, I'll be in a position to get some good pix. For you bike folks, this is the biggest non-European race of the year. Lance, Landis, Leipheimer and the rest of the Amis along with the full cast of Euro riders will be on hand. It starts here in Sacto. on Sat and ends on Feb. 22 in Escondido. Check it out.
  1264. MichaelG on Three old movies.
    February 11th, 2009  8:41 pm

  1265. Sniper-in-Chief here. I was unaware that Kathleen Turner's appearance was attributable to illness and medication. Consider this an official retraction. I certainly wouldn't have made negative comments had I known.
  1266. MichaelG on Three old movies.
    February 11th, 2009  10:30 pm

  1267. Clearly peoples' looks change as they age. Some peoples' change to a greater or lesser degree than others, whether from factors beyond their control or otherwise. My comment made reference to two women of similar age. I noted my years ago attraction to one of them and further noted that the other woman did not share my attraction to the first one. At the present time, one of the two women retains her physically attractive appearance to a greater degree than the other and was not unpleased at that fact. I agreed with her observation and praised her looks. I further commented that the first woman had not aged well. People make such observations every day. It's a human thing to do. In rereading my remarks I fail to see anything creepy or "disturbing". Further, I retracted my comments when presented with additional information. You, of course, are free to disagree with what I wrote, Jolene. But can you truly say that you have never noted that somebody - anybody - has failed to benefit from the effects of aging? I detect the sanctimonious scent of the holier than thou.
  1268. MichaelG on Surly bubble.
    February 12th, 2009  10:29 pm

  1269. Dick Fosbury? He flopped.
  1270. MichaelG on Is this war?
    February 15th, 2009  9:02 am

  1271. The Amgen Tour of California kicked off today in Sacramento. Those who count such things tell us more than 100,000 people showed up to watch the race between the bicycle people and the impending storm. The bicycle people and the rest of us won. The race was a prologue. 136 riders started at one minute intervals to race the clock over a 2.4 mile course around the State Capitol. There were some fast cyclists in the first 118 riders and 118 minutes (notably the Marks Renshaw and Cavendish) but the last 18 minutes and riders were the cream. Zirbel, Hushovd, Kirchen, Boonen, Hincape, Tyler, Zabriskie, Armstrong, Vandevelde, Cancellara, Basso, Rogers, Landis, Leipheimer. This was where the racing and the times got serious. The suspense all day, the waiting for the arrival of the storm and the elite riders had the crowd greeting the late riders and the persistent good weather with cheers of approbation and relief. The cheers grew louder and louder as rider after rider lowered best time only to be shunted aside by a succeeding rider. It was a great day to stand on a curb in Sacramento. I was a volunteer worker and my station was right at the finish line. The time clock on the arch over the line provided a rough idea of when to expect a cyclist and the cheering of the people a block up the street lent another visual signal to a rider’s arrival. They crossed the line and flashed past me at whatever speed a world class cyclist attains with an eight block run on a flat street. Taking pictures proved futile since they were going so fast and also since they tended to hug the fence upon which I was leaning. I could have picked one off with a seven iron. The same with watching, as the best view I could see was the advertising plastered on their asses as they slowed after the finish. The collegial happiness of the crowd, the electricity generated by a world class event, the spectacle and the general all around fun made for a terrific day. The whole thing was capped by the news that the dipshits in the big white building across the street had finally reached a deal. In the end I was standing right before the stage. I was in front of all the print people and photogs and behind the VS camera guy. I had a fantastic view of all the jersey presentations and my boss the Governator and got a ton of great pix. I have one of Cancellara (the winner) being interviewed. It’s a mega close up since in the crush he was actually leaning on me. After the interview he was mobbed by young women. I’m not jealous. Leipheimer had his bike with him and showed it to me. No pix here but I’ve never seen anything like it. It was the most beautiful bike ever. I’m not jealous. Other than Armstrong who is a professional celebrity, the riders seem to be pleasant, down to earth guys who are embarrassed by the media attention and are amazingly accessible. Cancellara in particular seemed overwhelmed and almost frightened by the press of the press. At one point I thought he was going to throw up. You should have seen his face, his throat working and his hand over his mouth. I’d also like to see his paycheck. A most enjoyable day. Afterwards, I fell into a pub down the street with a friend for a pint of Anchor Steam. It was delicious. Details and pix available on dozens of web sites. KCRA, SACBEE and VS (all dot com) are three good places to start. The rerun on VS starts in about 10 minutes. I can’t wait. Live coverage and reruns will be on VS for the next 10 days or so. Davis to Santa Rosa tomorrow. It’s as good as the Tour de France. Same cast on the road and on the TV including Liggett, Sherwen and Roll. Don’t miss it.
  1272. MichaelG on He was there.
    February 17th, 2009  7:32 pm

  1273. The Governor's hair is indeed a shade not known to nature, though he didn't appear to have been spending his days in the tanning booth. Cancellara appeared sickish to me on Sat. not because he was nervous about the press, but because he was sick. He was forced to withdraw the next day because of the flu. Turns out the optimism about a budget deal was premature.
  1274. MichaelG on He was there.
    February 17th, 2009  10:24 pm

  1275. Absolutely, Catherine. That's one of the charms of the event. Saturday was a big family day. The start and finish lines can get crowded so you will end up standing for quite a while but other then those areas find a spot and bring a picnic. If it's not raining. Jeff B. - Gov.Schwarzenegger has his own home grown Republican collegues to worry about. With our 2/3 majority budget requirement, we are down to just a single Republican Senate dead ender holding up the whole shoot'n match. One can only wonder at what these folks have going on in their heads.
  1276. MichaelG on He was there.
    February 18th, 2009  12:17 am

  1277. Raise the bridge or lower the river. Cut spending/services or raise revenues. In California the budget is roughly 90% cast in concrete with that much mandated by the legislature or by voter passed propositions. That leaves 10% of the budget subject to legislative discretion. I'll leave it to you to guess which children, sick people, poor people and old people this 10% affects. There is simply not enough meat in that discretionary spending to cover the budgetary problems faced by the state. We have to raise revenue. Period. The budget requires a 66 2/3 majority to be passed. There has been a 66% majority for some time now. We need the other 2/3 of a percentage point. The trick is getting (at this time) one Republican Senator to vote yes. Jeff B, you mentioned three. Two are on board (for the moment). We have here the 33% minority ruining the state. First we need to instill a measure of sanity by instituting a simple majority budget and taxation set up and second we need to make it more difficult for rich guys to get their pet projects on the ballot. Then we can start to work on details. Jeff B is making a lot of sense.
  1278. MichaelG on He was there.
    February 18th, 2009  2:43 am

  1279. You wanna go to downtown LA from LAX, just drive down Manchester to Broadway and up Broadway. Probably take you no longer than any other way. This is the scenic route and it will quickly disabuse the traveler of any notion that LA is an enclave of the rich. I get your point Beb, the 2/3 thing is insane. Don't forget, however, that Calif kicks into the US Treasury a helluva lot more money than all the car companies together and gets a damn sight small percentage of it back.
  1280. MichaelG on Sticky fingers.
    February 18th, 2009  9:08 pm

  1281. Thank you, Nancy for being so kind yesterday. We all know who the best writer around here is and we all know why we continue to come here. Right you are, Mark. Crossing streets in Saigon can be very scary -- starting with that circle in front of the Binh Thanh market. Never been to Oz or GB, Moe, but I get the drift. I almost killed myself looking the wrong way before crossing in Singapore.
  1282. MichaelG on Sticky fingers.
    February 19th, 2009  7:40 am

  1283. I’ve been to Vietnam three times. The first two times were during the war and we don’t need to go over that other than to say that on several occasions while there I was able to be alone in Saigon or elsewhere for a day or three enjoyed myself. The third time was in 2000 when I stayed almost three weeks. So that’s twice on business and once on vacation. The people then and now are warm and friendly. They work hard, smile and, unbelievably, like Americans. The people and the country are very clean. Saigon is an amazingly clean city. The smells. It is a sub-tropical place. You will smell the jungle and you will smell decay. Go to New Orleans. In Saigon you will smell the tropics, the decay, exhaust, the river, unfamiliar spices and cooking smells, people -- life. It is different from where you live. Some folks don’t like it. I love it. The heat and the humidity. I spent 15 months there in my youth, and I live in Sacramento now. I am not unfamiliar with heat. Vietnam is hot and humid. You will sweat. Most people end up in loose clothes and no underwear which tends to bunch up and chafe. I love the hot and humid climate. It’s great for your skin. When you walk you feel as if your joints have been oiled. I love that feeling. What do you do there? That’s up to you. There are guide books that will tell you what sights to see. There are tours. I’m a city junky. I always figure it’s the local people’s city. I’m just a visitor so it’s up to me to adapt. I don't expect American things or customs. I don't compare things I see to American things. They are not going to be better or worse, they're going to be different. I take them for what they're worth. I get up early and walk for hours. When I’m hungry I eat. There are food stalls everywhere in Saigon and they have some of the most delicious food in town. I’ve never had trouble with eating things that are not on the menu at Mc Donald’s but by no stretch of the imagination am I Andrew Zimmern. Vietnamese food is a delight. It’s very light, gently handled and tasty. The national dinner is a sort of beef and noodle affair called Pho. Roughly pronounced “fuh”. It is accompanied by huge plates full of fresh greens that you pile into your bowl. There are web sites devoted to Pho. You can check it out. The Vietnamese make the most wonderful beef salad, prawn rolls etc. etc. The food is wonderful. There are plenty of excellent restaurants for evening eating. Try one where you live. So where does that leave us? I don’t know. Clearly Vietnam is a third world country at this time. Saigon does not have an NFL, NBA, NHL or even big time soccer team. Few theaters, not so many movies; not a lot of the stuff we are accustomed to in US cities. There is golf and tennis and there are beaches. The streets teem with life. It’s a big (seven mil or so) throbbing, river and port town with food and it’s own sophistication and charm. It is or was 10 years ago a window into the past, a peek at old French colonialization, an unspoiled place with a mixture of the old and the new. Think cell phone in a farmer’s hand while tilling his rice paddy with a water buffalo. I guess it’s not a place for everyone. I love it. I could live there. Mark loves it, Bourdain loves it. Many of you might not. It is my good fortune that Sacramento's Little Saigon is just around the corner and a mile or so down Stockton Blvd.
  1284. MichaelG on Sticky fingers.
    February 19th, 2009  7:51 am

  1285. Fish sauce is nowhere as nasty as some people would have others believe. It's used in cooking and dips. You don't drink it. Cilantro is hard to avoid in California since it is a staple in Mexican cooking. I think fresh cilantro is delicious. I'm not crazy about it cooked. I must admit I'm not crazy about durian either although I think its awfulness is exaggerated. My experiences with Pilipino cooking are about the same as Mary’s. There are not a lot of Pilipino restaurants. Probably for the same reason there aren’t a lot of Irish restaurants.
  1286. MichaelG on Stiff peaks.
    February 25th, 2009  6:48 am

  1287. I agree that Julia Child’s recipe is the best. I’ve used it for thirty years. A little attention and care and Nancy’s success will be yours. You can put anything (within reason) in a soufflé. I like to use pepper jack for the cheese – lends a touch of warm. Sometimes I throw chopped shallots into the roux while it’s cooking. I’ve made it with salmon, asparagus, ham, whatever. It’s a great user of leftovers. Just stick with the proportions. Sometimes it will come out flat without the beautiful hat that crowns Nancy’s soufflé. So what? It’ll still taste great and next time it’ll look great as well. Go for it. A simple salad with a vinaigrette, some crusty French bread and a nice white wine. Yum. Leftovers are good for lunch the next day. The Speech: Tears of hope feel so much better than tears of rage. I couldn’t hang around for Jindal’s rebuttal. Any bets on whether he and Sanford, Crist and the other numb nuts Republican governors take the money? The Republican Governor of California has made it clear that he’ll be happy to take their share if they don’t want it.
  1288. MichaelG on My civic duty.
    February 25th, 2009  11:57 pm

  1289. I'll second LA Mary. There is no evidence that Bush was anywhere but in the wind during the last year of his "service". Everybody knew in those days that the Guard was for those who had juice. For my money he demonstrated his cowardice on 09-11-2001 when he spent the day cowering in a bunker in Nebraska instead of heading immediately back to DC from Florida. For Mark's record I did two tours in Vietnam. About half of that time was in the field. There were plenty of bodies strewn around for one's viewing.
  1290. MichaelG on Duty done.
    February 26th, 2009  8:38 pm

  1291. Add my concurrence to those who are tired of presidents introducing members of the audience. It wore out after the first time back whenever. Drop it. Please. It's sooo Ed Sullivan.
  1292. MichaelG on Duty done.
    February 27th, 2009  12:09 am

  1293. It looks like the Seattle P-I and the (sob) SF Chron will possibly bite the dust in the next few weeks. If they do, I wouldn't be surprised to see an avalanche.
  1294. MichaelG on Alone with oneself.
    March 1st, 2009  11:36 pm

  1295. Paul Harvey was as full of shit as a Christmas goose but he was one of the greatest radio guys of all time. He was the master of timing. Great eval here: http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/
  1296. MichaelG on Carry on, all.
    March 2nd, 2009  6:22 pm

  1297. Hah! And I thought I was the only one to get the tea-bagging ref. For sure the lady with the sign doesn't. I commented a day early on Paul Harvey. See #66 yesterday and check out Ken Levine's thoughts.
  1298. MichaelG on Going John Galt broke.
    March 4th, 2009  6:51 pm

  1299. My (former) wife is Portuguese from Lisbon and we have one or two people of Hispanic origin here in California. Can't tell you the last time I heard "Eva" pronounced EVEa. It's always EH-va in these parts.
  1300. MichaelG on Going John Galt broke.
    March 4th, 2009  9:52 pm

  1301. Are you at home today, Mary? I thought you couldn't watch movies at work. Reason I mention it is I saw what you linked to but I can't watch it until I get home this Eve-ning.
  1302. MichaelG on The funnies.
    March 5th, 2009  11:48 pm

  1303. Today is Casual Thursday since tomorrow is Furlough Friday. I'm sitting here in my Sacramento aerie wearing Levi's 501s and a Norm Abram shirt and my $15 running shoes from Big Five. I liked those fashion pix to which Nance linked. Especially the cave girl on the right.
  1304. MichaelG on The funnies.
    March 6th, 2009  1:20 am

  1305. Yeah, Colleen, what's with all those people who look like they haven't washed their hair in a month. That's nasty. The period thing never bothered me. Women I've lived with have always been pretty matter of fact about it. When going to the store my ex wife would holler at me as I left "and pick up some pampers for me". She called the whatever brand it was "Pampers". What else would the person at the store think I was buying the things for if not my wife?
  1306. MichaelG on Here come the tycoons.
    March 9th, 2009  9:55 pm

  1307. "Uffda"? Guess I haven't spent enough time in the UP. I was there once when I was a kid.
  1308. MichaelG on Here come the tycoons.
    March 9th, 2009  11:48 pm

  1309. Here in California we just say "shit". Or my ex would say "merde". She also dreamed one up. Something had gone wrong one day and she was staring at it all pissed off and frustrated and said "It's - it's - gondolian!" "Gondolian" just came out of her mouth and everybody hit the floor laughing. Ever since, "gondolian" has been a substitute for "screwed up".
  1310. MichaelG on Money problems.
    March 10th, 2009  4:08 pm

  1311. On a whim, after reading Randy's comment, I looked up Winnipeg on the Weather Channel. My God! And I was whining about the cold this AM because the morning temps are ten degrees below average here in Sacto. http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/local/CAXX0547?lswe=Winnipeg,%20CANADA&lwsa=WeatherLocalUndeclared&from=searchbox_typeahead
  1312. MichaelG on More money problems.
    March 12th, 2009  8:48 pm

  1313. I've been to lunch with people like Sue describes. That person will want to split the check evenly five ways when he/she had two glasses of wine and the steak platter while the rest of us had iced tea and a burger. Mark, Jeff, I agree with what Jeff says. JSOC, however, has been around for a while. My son-in-law spent years in the 160th SOAR (google it) which is the rotary winged aviation arm of JSOC - the proverbial black helicopters. He was on the first chopper into A-stan after 9-11. He was based at an old Soviet base in Uz-stan. They flew CIA people. He has a picture of him drinking beer with that CIA guy who was killed early in the proceedings. He showed me a disk with a lot of pix but wouldn't let me copy them. Later he was at JSOC HQ at Ft. Bragg. His money quote: All the Stans are shit holes. He was in Iraq last Sept and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for actions there and he just left to go back to Iraq day before yesterday.
  1314. MichaelG on I ♥ J.S.
    March 14th, 2009  1:41 am

  1315. What JB said at # 34. Gasman, the “actors at Fox get their talking points directly from the Republicans” is close. More to the point is that they function as an in house propaganda arm of the Rs. Roger Ailes, boss of Faux news, is a Republican dirty tricks operative of the nastiest sort and has been for decades. Folks can argue about what’s being done to fix the economic crisis but from my personal perspective I see this simple juxtaposition: I have taken a 10% pay cut, the value of my house has dropped significantly and AIG, BofA and all the other financial biggies who stole the money in the first place are receiving billions of dollars from the G’ment. No plan, no accountability, no nuthin, just $$$ and more $$$. But, hey, I’m not upset. Bill at # 8. The University of Illinois Assembly Hall in Champaign was completed while I was a student there. I lived for two of those happy college years in a dorm not far from it. I attended many basketball games, concerts, shows, etc. there. It was a wonderful facility. The interior has no columns so there are unobstructed views from every seat. The place can be closed off into smaller halls or theaters or whatever to provide more intimate venues for concerts, lectures and so forth. Haven’t been there in about 40 years.
  1316. MichaelG on Well, I'll be damned.
    March 16th, 2009  6:11 am

  1317. Damn, Mary. I had planned to go to the farmers market today for the first time this year but it was raining so I rolled over and pulled the covers over my head. Next week. My grandson the Cub Scout and his mom the den leader notwithstanding the blue and gold is Cal.
  1318. MichaelG on Business geniuses.
    March 16th, 2009  6:36 pm

  1319. Brian, Agent Orange was sprayed wholesale all over South Vietnam. The operation was known as "Ranch Hand". You must have seen those pictures of C-123s wingtip to wingtip spraying that stuff at about 500 feet of altitude. We used to spray it on fence lines and perimeters and barbed wire to keep everything clear. Here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ranch_Hand Given our history, I have no reason to doubt that the same crime is being repeated in Columbia. Don't forget that drug profits finance terrorism. One thing in that Jack Welch post really got my notice. That is the apparent fact that a few mutual funds seem to own a huge chunk of Fortune 5oo stock and don't exercise any oversight or vigilence over the companies they own leaving management to their own devices - and machinations. I've wondered for a long time where the board of directors and shareholders were in these outfits and now I know. Absent.
  1320. MichaelG on Business geniuses.
    March 16th, 2009  8:01 pm

  1321. Sue's ref to a hippie chick and her flat tired VW reminded me of an old Berkeley story. Telegraph Ave at Durant, about 1970: A hippie looking chick was opening the gas cap on her Mercury Comet with one hand and holding a quart of oil in the other, clearly intending to pour item two into item one. I said, "Um, Ma'am?" And she combusted, screaming stuff about men, blah, blah, and women were capable, etc., etc. and being patronized, yahda, yah and I tip toed away and watched her pour the oil in her gas tank from a distance. Maybe she did know something I didn't.
  1322. MichaelG on Business geniuses.
    March 17th, 2009  2:38 am

  1323. I could almost match you, Mary but everybody here is a member or fee paying non-member of a state employee union. Otherwise . . . Easy on us white guys who ain't sylph like, Jeff.
  1324. MichaelG on Green.
    March 18th, 2009  5:44 am

  1325. Best bunch of comments on NN.C in a long time. Some fun and some humor and maybe a little break here and there from the ernest. Thanks, y’all. Me? I was up in the high country today at one job and tomorrow (Wed). I’m on the 6:00 AM flight to Barstow for another. Well, Ontario, actually. You do ground transportation to Barstow. Lovely town. You can stand on a street corner and amuse yourself watching the sand blow by on the sidewalk. Last trip to Barstow the rental car company “upgraded” me to a Lincoln Town Car. You don’t drive a car like that, you herd it. Cajon Pass is not for the faint of heart. Sweet smelling mountain evergreens to desert in one day. I’ve had worse jobs. As far as this douthbag guy goes, I’d love to hear the young lady’s account of the evening.
  1326. MichaelG on White House, green thumb.
    March 20th, 2009  5:18 pm

  1327. Tomatoes - some heirloom variety whose name escapes me and Romas. Zukes and Jalapenos. None of which I see on the Obama list. I keep it simple. Bought the stuff the other day and had planned to do the garden this weekend but it looks like rain now. We'll see. For Herbs I have rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme and chives back from last year and new basil that I just bought. I still haven't made it to the farmers market yet this year.
  1328. MichaelG on White House, green thumb.
    March 20th, 2009  10:47 pm

  1329. Catherine, how long ago did you plant your lime? What size is it? Where did you get it? I want one!!
  1330. MichaelG on White House, green thumb.
    March 21st, 2009  11:57 pm

  1331. Bourdain’s remark about Alice Waters and the Khmer Rouge dates to January. It has nothing, I repeat, Nothing to do with the White House garden. It has nothing at all to do with eating or growing garden fresh food. His comment refers to the way certain food type people would push their way of eating on folks in general, it refers to the way they can’t seem to understand that not all people have organic, garden fresh food available to them and that not all people desire to eat organic, garden fresh food even if they could afford it. His comment has everything to do with Alice Waters’ elitist attitude. For, despite the excellence of her cooking, her restaurant, her writing and her contributions to American cooking, Alice is an elitist. People who are familiar with Bourdain also know that he is often given to hyperbole and exaggeration to make a point. See the following link. The Khmer Rouge remark is at the end. http://dcist.com/2009/01/chewing_the_fat_anthony_bourdain.php I have a billion dollars in bail out money I’ll give to anybody who comes up with something new or amusing about Limbaugh. I keep getting the feeling I’m reading the same comment over and over. I have another billion dollars in bail out money I’ll give to anybody who can explain why the weather is sunny and 70’s all week long and when the weekend comes it’s 50’s wind and rain. This seems to happen all too regularly.
  1332. MichaelG on I smell Oscar.
    March 23rd, 2009  5:21 pm

  1333. Well, the Opera House is just across Van Ness from City Hall. I don't know where in the building Milk's office was, though. The thing about Milk was that he was very conscious of the fact that he had been elected to represent everyone, not just gays. He was an excellent supervisor (SF is a combined city and county and the elected leaders are called "supervisors" as in board of) and was well liked by all. The mayor, George Moscone was from one of the old time Italian families. Also a fine man and well liked by all. I have no intention of watching the movie mostly for reasons already cited. I lived in SF at the time. I've never enjoyed movies made about times and or places where and when I was present. They just never work out. In Sacto they've replaced all the downtown meters with central, middle of the block things the size of vending machines that take quarters and credit cards. You pay for a dollar's worth of time with your Visa because you don't have enough quarters and the stupid machine doesn't take dollar bills even though every coke machine in the world does. It spits out a little ticket that you put on your dash. Walking a half block to the meter thing and back to your car with your stupid little ticket and then back up the street to your destination is especially enjoyable in the winter rain. The whole deal pisses me off. I can just envision the salesman peddling the cursed things to a bright eyed city official citing all the advantages to the city. There are certainly none for the citizens. Time to lighten up. Great post about crime in New Jersey by the incomparable Ken Levine: http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/
  1334. MichaelG on Freebies.
    March 24th, 2009  7:53 pm

  1335. I work for the State of CA. We don't get anything. Nobody has ever tried to bribe me. Makes me feel worthless, insignificant and unloved. How do I know what my price is if nobody even tries me? Seriously, the State of CA is death on freebies. They don't even want you to pick up a pen at a trade show. Lunch? Unthinkable.
  1336. MichaelG on Freebies.
    March 24th, 2009  11:32 pm

  1337. I know some state agencies give away merdinhas at trade shows etc, Mary. They just don't want us to pick up anything. We all have to attend mandatory "ethics" training every year where they go over case studies about people who have been fired for eating a cookie and give us all kinds of terrifying examples of things that could get us canned and the auditorium stage is covered with bosses and managers and attorneys with very serious faces and you're scared to fall asleep and wondering if anybody saw you nip that piece of candy out of the bowl on the receptionist's desk at the consultant's office and if so will you get fired for eating it and in general it's a happy and wholesome half day of dreadfulness. We're not talking common sense or constancy here. And yes, morale has been higher.
  1338. MichaelG on Freebies.
    March 24th, 2009  11:38 pm

  1339. "Costa Rica, Hong Kong and Thailand all have great potential." They used to tell me that I had lots of potential. Boy, that was a long time ago. I tend to agree with Rana as well. Here's a match, Rana. Flame away.
  1340. MichaelG on The bankruptcy of Art.
    March 26th, 2009  2:47 am

  1341. I don’t know about New York, but in CA that nutball architect would run into some serious code issues with his hamster habitat. I’m a recovering Catholic. My first wife was a divorced Methodist. We went to the Archdiocese of San Francisco to see about an annulment of her first marriage so we could get married in the Church. This was 1970. They quoted us a year’s worth of paperwork, counseling, yada, yada. We got married by a Unitarian minister. My second time, we were both divorced Catholics. The SF ArchD sneered at us again. This was ’78. This time I got married by an Episcopalian priest. That one lasted thirty years until recently. No more marriage. No more papists. Eat your hearts out, nn.c ers. I got my annual case of asparagus this aft. 18 pounds of gorgeous, prime Sacramento River Delta best grade asparagus. The best asparagus in the world. Picked this morning. I don’t like Bill Clinton either. I agree the Lewinsky affair was shameful. I don’t see it as an impeachable offense and I certainly can’t understand how it was worse than the multitudes of crimes and deaths attributable to the Bush administration. And I still say that two of the defining characteristics of the Republicans are hypocrisy and self delusion.
  1342. MichaelG on The bankruptcy of Art.
    March 26th, 2009  3:08 am

  1343. That's the thing, Mary. They not only have these beliefs, they feel compelled to tell everybody. That shit is really objectionable. Talk about your hostile work environment.
  1344. MichaelG on The bankruptcy of Art.
    March 26th, 2009  4:19 am

  1345. It's not the green, Basset, asparagus makes your pee smell strange.
  1346. MichaelG on The bankruptcy of Art.
    March 26th, 2009  6:00 am

  1347. By the time you see the stuff in the stores it can be ancient. This is especially so as the distance between you and the source increases. What I have here will last a good four to five weeks. The secret is that you do not refrigerate. I can't eat all of it so I'll be sharing with other folks. In past years I have consumed an amazing amount of the stuff, though. I'm going to try pickling some this year. I've eaten Peruvian and Mexican asparagus and truly, none of it can compare with Delta asparagus. The best, like I have here (admittedly through dumb luck), is sweet, tender and flavorful, the thickness of a finger without that unfortunate grassy taste or any of those strings or toughness that you see in some asparagus. It's too bad the cheap Central and South American imports are killing the local farmers and developers are buying up the land. There are lots of ways to cook it. However you prepare it, just don't overcook it. You want it still deep green and with a tooth. Mary and Danny and Catherine should see it in the store this weekend. It's worth the $3.99/lb it will likely cost at first. The Delta is located between San Francisco and Sacramento and the land has become immensely valuable. If I wasn't such a lucky mooch, I would pay the $3.99 myself. I've learned that the growers lose money at lower prices and are selling their valuable land rather than lose money at $1.99. I can’t blame a guy for wondering why he should knock himself out for pennies when he can sell his acreage for millions and retire to the South of France. This is one more disappearing American treasure.
  1348. MichaelG on V. 2.0.
    March 26th, 2009  5:14 pm

  1349. Sell the sizzle, not the steak. "I will invite your opinions, especially from you journalists". Why is that? Is the site intended for journos only? If it's intended for GP folks in general, maybe the opinions of average users might be of some value. So much of our software is crap because the developers and code writers and so on write it for themselves instead of users. My (free and probably flawed) advice? Check out your peers' opinions of course but don't ignore the thoughts of the users.
  1350. MichaelG on V. 2.0.
    March 26th, 2009  8:29 pm

  1351. I saw a sign in a john once that said "Please don't eat the urinal cakes." I like Nancy 19 (sounds like some kind of biblical quote). It does nicely demonstrate content and package.
  1352. MichaelG on Apples in search of a barrel.
    March 28th, 2009  12:19 am

  1353. Thanks for the link to the "Flour Girl" blog, Nance. I like it. I also read a story about cities shortening the yellow light interval in order to trap people into running the red. It led to a dramatic rise in rear enders. Don't like the cameras, and meters and such? Wait until they start tapping into your "On Star" and other similar devices. Pretty good, Mary. Gonna have an asparagus flavored one?
  1354. MichaelG on Apples in search of a barrel.
    March 29th, 2009  6:14 am

  1355. Wait a minute, beb, do I understand you to say that Kwame Kilpatrick claims to be paying $240 per month for student loans? I sat here for a long time and tried to come up with something clever to say about that and couldn't.
  1356. MichaelG on Calling customer service.
    March 31st, 2009  2:43 am

  1357. My front porch thermo says 71 in the shade. I guess I can tolerate Danny and Mary.
  1358. MichaelG on A little help from my friends.
    April 1st, 2009  11:30 pm

  1359. I have a 2003 Ford Taurus. I bought it in 2006 as a lease return. It had 22,000 miles, the optional four cam engine, mag wheels, sunroof, leather -- you name it. I paid $9,000 even for it. A comparable Camry or Accord (either of which I would rather have had - I've driven both) would have been more than double the 9 Gs I paid for the Ford. It's called bang for the buck but it speaks volumes about American cars. In fairness, the Ford has, to my surprise, turned out to be an excellent car. I've been very pleased. No service problems to date. Wanna know what the shouting's about? Test drive a Honda Civic and then go test drive a Chevy Cobalt. It's still all about product and the General still has a hill to climb even though Lutz (not Wagoner) has done or did yeoman service in leading GM out of the product wilderness. The car biz should also have been as diligent as the finance people at hiring lobbyists and infiltrating their people into g'ment agencies.
  1360. MichaelG on A story for Friday.
    April 3rd, 2009  5:22 pm

  1361. The other day your comments section swelled up to twice its normal size. Now the whole blog is swollen and all the side bar stuff is gone. Got blog mumps?
  1362. MichaelG on A story for Friday.
    April 4th, 2009  8:03 pm

  1363. Go for it, Alex. My marriage is already down the tube. You can't hurt me. Isn't there some sort of age requirement at Branson? Don't you have to be at least 60 to get in?
  1364. MichaelG on What it was like.
    April 6th, 2009  3:57 pm

  1365. Greene is pretty awful but after all, it was he who brought me to nn.c several years ago. He's one of Nancy's faves along with Rick whatshisname who got canned from the NYT a few years back.
  1366. MichaelG on Basketball weather.
    April 6th, 2009  6:21 pm

  1367. 'I knew the cold-dead-fingers contingent had passed a milestone when, after one of these slaughters, the talking points became “well, if only one of the potential victims had been packing, s/he could have expertly returned fire and taken the maniac out.” ' The gun nuts are always saying that and it simply doesn't match up with the realities of life. And death. Possession of guns, even with training and experience to back up said possession provides no guarantee that the good guys will prevail. Life is not an episode of the "Lone Ranger". Consider the seven cops from Oakland and Pgh. and however many other have been and will be killed while on duty. They were all packing. Don't have a dog in the MSU/UConn fight. It'll be a fun game to watch. I was sad to see Stanfurd so badly beaten by the other UConn last night.
  1368. MichaelG on Basketball weather.
    April 6th, 2009  10:41 pm

  1369. Nancy #7 -- Of course I knew that MSU was playing UNC tonight. I watched them beat UConn the other day and have had to listen to the guy two cubes down talk about North Carolina all morning. I just had UConn on the brain after the Stanfurd collapse.
  1370. MichaelG on Basketball weather.
    April 7th, 2009  2:10 am

  1371. Many years ago, like 40 or so, a woman of my acquaintance was single and living in an apartment in the Hashbury. She had a pistol in the drawer of her bedside table. An intruder came in through her window and beat her to the bedside table. She was extremely lucky that he panicked and ran when she screamed. Only thing he got was the gun. Having a gun for protection is one of those things that always sounds like such a good idea, but the reality is a whole lot more iffy and a whole lot more complex than the gun lobby would have us believe.
  1372. MichaelG on The reckoning.
    April 7th, 2009  9:42 pm

  1373. I saw that GM Segway thing on Jalopnik. I think it has potential. The idea of people riding current generation Segways at 12 mph on the sidewalks gives me the lamadamas. They're worse than bicycles.
  1374. MichaelG on Miscellany.
    April 9th, 2009  12:36 am

  1375. What Jean S said. Get an accoutant. My ex and I (we're legally separated, not divorced for exactly this reason and also so that I can keep her on my health insurance)use one and over the years he's saved us far more money than he's cost. One of the best investments we've ever made. Mary, many years ago when I was living in Berkeley and Angela Davis was a cause celebre there was a bumper sticker floating around: "Free Angela Davis -- with every 10 gallons".
  1376. MichaelG on Miscellany.
    April 9th, 2009  1:47 am

  1377. Dexter -- I don't know but I'm gonna guess: Nixon, Christian Herter over Ike's left shoulder and the guy next to Nixon looks like Al Haig but that's kind of iffy.
  1378. MichaelG on Officer Considerate.
    April 10th, 2009  12:19 am

  1379. Dexter, time to identify the people in the picture. Who were they?
  1380. MichaelG on Officer Considerate.
    April 10th, 2009  7:25 am

  1381. Thanks, Dexter. I got Herter but it was Mary who got Lodge. My son in law was in line to be assigned as a recruiter a couple of years ago and was scared to death at the prospect. He told me some horror stories about the duty. He dodged that one but now he's on one of his six week training and eval trips to Iraq. He should be home by the end of the month. Sue’s questions relate to the lack of outrage on the part of the general public concerning the Army’s treatment of some of its wounded soldiers. There have been stories here and there about it, particularly in the WAPO and, even worse, stories about how reserve soldiers have been treated like red headed step children compared to RA soldiers. I think part of the answer is the draft. During the Vietnam war a large number of people were drafted from all over the social and geographic map of the US. There was widespread participation in a much bigger war. Something like 50,000 Americans died in Vietnam. The death toll in Iraq is something over 4,000 Americans. Further, the Americans participating in Iraq are relatively very small in number. Instead of large numbers of people doing one tour in Vietnam, we have a small number of people pulling multiple tours in Iraq. The personal and social cost of the Iraq war is concentrated in a very small group of professional soldiers and their families and their communities and their tendency is to keep their grief and their feelings within the group rather than air it in public. The Vietnam war was much larger and the participation was much wider and everybody had a friend, neighbor or relative who was involved and the impulse to go public was much greater. Last, medical advances, even over the Vietnam war that so occupied my youth, and the types of wounds incurred by the fighters in the Iraq war have left us with a group of survivors who are battling the horrible effects of shattered limbs, amputations and brain injuries that we just did not see in the Vietnam war. PTSD? You mean like the time I took a swing at my mother when she woke me up one morning while I was home on leave from Vietnam? You mean how it was almost twenty years before I could go camping? How I couldn’t bring myself to go sleep in the woods? What can you say about PTSD? I’m sure it’s been a part of the aftermath of every war in the history of mankind. Some people don’t get over it, most do. It’s always been there. Anyway, some thoughts. I don’t know if this helps you, Sue. In the end war is a very serious, very messy and very non-romantic activity. I’ll be goddamned if I can see any little bit of any good at all that this Iraq affair has done us or anybody else.
  1382. MichaelG on First a hologram, now this.
    April 13th, 2009  5:25 pm

  1383. That animation was pretty funny. It reminds me of some of the kiddy kartoon shows. No awards for NBC for that coverage. Everybody keeps saying that the Maersk Alabama incident is the first experience with piracy for the U.S. in two hundred years. That ignores the Mayaguez debacle of 1975 which, while it may or may not technically have been piracy, must certainly have been on the minds of those who were running the show off Somalia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayag%C3%BCez_incident
  1384. MichaelG on First a hologram, now this.
    April 13th, 2009  6:50 pm

  1385. That'd work, Mark. She could wear them out with her liberal guilt.
  1386. MichaelG on Boats against the current.
    April 14th, 2009  5:00 pm

  1387. Rachel Maddow and Ana Marie Cox had a giggle fest last night about the teabaggers. Arcata is a great town along with its neighbor, Eureka. It's on the coast about 80 miles south of the Oregon border. It combines fishing, tourism, logging, cattle ranching and illegal stuff growing with a nice little U (Humboldt State) and a ton of old unreconstructed hippies. I've done a couple of jobs in the area. One was at the CHP field office in Arcata. Very nice people. I was again struck by the observation that CHP officers are a cut above other cops in every way. Anyhow, Arcata has an airport with several flights per day to SF and Sacto, beautiful mountains, the ocean, excellent restaurants, nice bars and a mild, if damp, climate. The drive to get there is spectacular, whether up 101 through the redwoods or over 299 through the mountains. The Arcata Eye fits. Worth a trip.
  1388. MichaelG on Boats against the current.
    April 14th, 2009  6:42 pm

  1389. UC Davis is an excellent school. The People's Republic of Davis is a very nice town. It's a college and agro town. Again, good food, good bars, good theater and concert town, not as colorful as Arcata and it's a hot, dry place. Lotsa libruls. It's also known as one of the most bicycle friendly towns in the U.S. Easy freeway access to the Bay Area and Sacramento and to I-5 and thence L. A. It's only a few miles from Sacto airport with a dozen or so daily flights to Burbank. Probably fewer now with the slow down, but still. Your son could do a whole lot worse than Davis, Mary, and if he's interested in oenology or viticulture, Davis is the best there is.
  1390. MichaelG on A break more ordinary.
    April 15th, 2009  10:31 pm

  1391. I love Sandra Tsing Loh. She's making a joke. She doesn't really hate bolo wearing 80 year old geezers. The example is a device to illustrate her point. I'm going to throw out all my bolos when I get home tonight. I kind of agree with Mark about the poor girl in Ohio. The part about the dead beat boyfriend. Why should she be supporting that parasite? All he's doing is dragging her down and since he's not going to succeed at anything, he's going to do everything he can (craftily, of course) to ensure that she doesn't succeed. Next thing she's going to turn up pregnant and it'll truly be over for her. At this point it looks like she still has some control over her future -- if she dumps Mr. My daughter's best girl friend is married to a jobless loser. He calls himself a stay at home dad in an effort to cloak himself in some shred of respectability. Fortunately my daughter's friend makes enough money to afford to carry this bum (she's a dentist) but she still has to come home every night and cook dinner, take care of the kids, clean house, do the laundry, etc. etc. while Mr. watches sports on TV. And my daughter's all "but Dad, he's not really a bad guy". And my tongue is now sore and bleeding from my biting it. I agree, Brian, KERS is a curse. Bernie E'stone makes Don King look like Mother Teresa.
  1392. MichaelG on O.D.
    April 16th, 2009  8:54 pm

  1393. JC, I'm not sure trading youth for insight is such a deal. All those idiots out there are giving teabagging a bad name.
  1394. MichaelG on O.D.
    April 17th, 2009  12:46 am

  1395. I've had a letch for Cat for years. She and her honey used to live near here until they moved down near Santa Barbara last year. They're both pregnant -- with each other's kids. Oprah? I didn't know she played for the other team. Has anybody told Stedman?
  1396. MichaelG on O.D.
    April 17th, 2009  12:47 am

  1397. Padma's a goddess. EVOO is Rachel Ray, right? She's kinda cute herself.
  1398. MichaelG on O.D.
    April 17th, 2009  1:57 am

  1399. You mean Oprah's a beard? Jamie Lee too? Man, I live a sheltered life. I know what EVOO is. Point was Rachel Ray's always talking about EVOO.
  1400. MichaelG on My Edie problem.
    April 18th, 2009  2:05 am

  1401. Mary, I was in my car earlier today when I heard there had been a shooting in an L.A. area hospital. I thought of you right away until they elaborated and revealed that the incident had taken place in Long Beach. I think there's a deep vein of craziness in this country and it will profit nobody to tap into it. I fear we're going to see more of these kinds of shootings over job and property loss.
  1402. MichaelG on To 'come a cropper.
    April 20th, 2009  5:37 pm

  1403. I lived in Berkeley for years. The City Council has been in the self parody mode since Moby Dick was a minnow. It's this kind of crap that gives Berkeley residents a reputation as Volvo driving, pipe smoking, tweed jacket with patches on the elbows wearing, elitist, limousine (those who don't drive Volvos) liberals. Unfortunately, the reputation has a very large, very irritating grain of truth to it.
  1404. MichaelG on To 'come a cropper.
    April 20th, 2009  6:27 pm

  1405. I can't sing at all. I even lip-synch in the shower. Can't play any instruments either. In fact, I can barely play the radio.
  1406. MichaelG on To 'come a cropper.
    April 20th, 2009  7:55 pm

  1407. Jeez, Mary, I never thought of what they looked like. I just checked with my fingertip and it seems like I do have two of them. Which is good because I remember burning them off one time years ago when I was still stupid enough to use starter fluid on the BBQ. I'll try to remember to look next time I go to the can. They're probably gray. Everything else is.
  1408. MichaelG on Notes and clarifications.
    April 21st, 2009  8:24 pm

  1409. Congrats on the teaching offer. I hope it grows into a bigger thing. You're gonna do a great job. Love the Lions thing. When you're in the dumper, hire a consultant to change your logo, upgrade your corporate image.
  1410. MichaelG on Gimpy.
    April 22nd, 2009  7:36 pm

  1411. That's fantastic about the grant, Nance. I know it was nn.c and the fellowship that impressed the judges. Dog fighting bait. Lord. Strip searching high school kids. What a bunch of sadistic pervs. When Boalt Hall shitcans John Yoo he can get a job at a high school somewhere. Brian, go back and finish the Dowd column. It's hilarious. Her one leg must be twice as long as the other from the guy pulling it. She still doesn't understand what an idiot she is.
  1412. MichaelG on Eyes wide open.
    April 23rd, 2009  7:09 pm

  1413. I'm off tomorrow. Furlough. I think I'll go home tonight and self medicate with a nice G & T. Maybe two.
  1414. MichaelG on Eyes wide open.
    April 23rd, 2009  9:42 pm

  1415. Don't knock it Gasman. It works. Every day I put a little mark on the sidewalk in front of the house to keep the elephants away. So far, in all these years, I've never seen an elephant in front of my house. Catherine, sounds interesting. Next time I'm at the store I'll try to remember to get some kumquats. I'm pretty conservative about changing my drinks but I'll try it.
  1416. MichaelG on Drunks, again.
    April 25th, 2009  12:15 am

  1417. I agree about Ms. Waters. Does she live in Marin? Her joint is in Berkeley which is in Alameda county. I’ve lived in both and, some annoying people aside, there are lots worse places to live than Marin County. Kingsolver is just as big a twit. The hundred mile thing is simply not possible for other than a few dedicated souls. How many people live in NYC? How many people could the produce of a hundred mile radius support? What about Key West? Fargo in Feb? Of course people ate locally in years past. Trucks, railroads and refrigeration changed all that. That said, there certainly is merit in trying to eat local stuff. It’s fresher, often better and supports the local, usually small business economy. But let’s not make a fetish of it. Maybe that’s what Kingsolver really means. Here in Northern California I could, for most of the year, live on stuff produced within a hundred to a hundred twenty five miles. That includes wine, brandy and vodka. In fact I do get a significant percentage of my food from local sources. Not because I’m such a great guy but simply because I live in a place where locally produced foodstuffs are fresh, cheap, plentiful, high quality and readily available. Easy on us 64 year old and up folks. I’m neither an alky nor demented yet. At least I don’t think so. I could ask my daughter but maybe she’d be too polite to be honest.
  1418. MichaelG on Drunks, again.
    April 25th, 2009  2:00 am

  1419. Yeah, I know, Mary, but what I was wondering was whether those farms had the capacity to feed the umpty zillion people who live in New York.
  1420. MichaelG on Drunks, again.
    April 25th, 2009  6:26 am

  1421. When I used the term “fetish” I was thinking of Linda’s reporting that Barbara Kingsolver refused to let her kid(s) eat fruit in the winter months on the grounds that the produce came from more than 100 miles away. For my money that’s pushing it. I wasn't referring to local purchasing in general. Locavorism. A charming word that makes a worthwhile practice sound like a disease. I’m all for it in principle and I even practice it to a very great extent. I’m not going to give up Indonesian coffee, Scotch whiskey or English gin, though as I sit here I’m enjoying a very nice glass of Zinfandel that was vinted, according to Google Maps, a grand total of 17.9 miles from where I live. I probably consume more local stuff than most nn.c denizens. The point was that it is easy and delicious for me. It’s not thus for everyone and nobody should look down on folks who buy food from farther afield. That’s reality, that’s commerce. Linda touched on something else. I don’t know where she lives, but here in California there is a whole byzantine system of water rights and allocations and fees for agriculture that outrageously favors corporate farmers over anybody else. We have a huge, simmering basic water problem here in the Desert State that has been shoved aside, avoided, shirked and run from by the State Legislature for decades. The whole thing is going to come home to roost in the not too distant future and it isn’t going to be pretty.
  1422. MichaelG on Drunks, again.
    April 25th, 2009  7:40 pm

  1423. Anybody drink beer and tomato juice? "TomatoBeer". It's not bad. Only place I've ever really seen it is L.A.
  1424. MichaelG on Drunks, again.
    April 27th, 2009  5:01 pm

  1425. Jeff (TMMO), I don't know where or when you attended boot camp or basic training. What you describe bears no resemblance to the Army basic training I attended in 1966. The training was all about building one up, physically and mentally. There was none of the brutality or "breaking down" of people that you describe. Yeah, the training was tough and yeah, the hours were long but whatever the source of your fantasy might be it wasn't Army basic training. The Army knows training and they do it very well.
  1426. MichaelG on Garbage in, garbage out.
    April 28th, 2009  9:30 pm

  1427. The cover is great too. Look at what the poor little bear cub is eating.
  1428. MichaelG on Exit, leaving no footprints.
    May 2nd, 2009  1:14 am

  1429. Between the fabulous Nina T. on the radio and the ever wonderful Dahlia Lithwick on Slate we have excellent SCOTUS coverage. I’m a member of a State employees’ union. Professional Engineers in California Government - PECG. I’m not an engineer but I play one on TV. A lot of people in the union are not engineers. There are jobs that don’t require engineering degrees or licenses. Standing around job sites with one’s hands in one’s pockets is one of them.
  1430. MichaelG on Exit, leaving no footprints.
    May 2nd, 2009  2:09 am

  1431. Yeah, but what degree of ass?
  1432. MichaelG on On wheels.
    May 4th, 2009  6:45 pm

  1433. Davis, CA, about 10 miles down the road, is rated as the #1 bike friendly town in the country, for whatever those rankings are worth. Sacramento works well for biking too. It's flat and there are plenty of side streets where one can ride parallel to main streets without being exposed to heavy traffic. Also even the main streets have bike lanes. It can get warm here in the summer. All right. Not "can get warm". It will get warm. Probably even hot.
  1434. MichaelG on On wheels.
    May 5th, 2009  1:23 am

  1435. Terrific job on Dwight, Sue. You made me laugh. Dexter, you’re welcome to try Inverness, CA for biking, although what they advertise is mountain biking. Inverness is in West Marin. Marin is a real hotbed of mountain biking. If you want hot, Sacto and Davis in the summer will fill the bill. Danny is right that San Diego is a wonderful town. All the “yeah, buts” and “whoevers” aside, the whys and wherefores aside, global warming is real and it’s coming to your house. We’re not talking about radical rises in temps. A couple of three or four degrees will wreak havoc on ice caps and climates. Animals and plants will migrate toward the poles. I’d advise speculators to buy some of that great new wine country coming up in Washington and B.C. Some coastlines will get wet. Changing ocean temps likely will seriously affect the gulf stream. London’s weather will resemble Moscow’s. Sell your Northern European resort properties to finance your Washington vineyards.
  1436. MichaelG on Snow Flu day.
    May 5th, 2009  6:27 pm

  1437. Mine rings like an old time phone. Joe, is your 310 called the Songbird? Got Penny with you?
  1438. MichaelG on Inoculated.
    May 8th, 2009  12:30 am

  1439. I was at Kaiser Monday for my annual and they surprised me with a booster vac for tetanus, pertussis and something else that escapes me at the moment. While the young lady with the heavy Russian accent was poking my arm, the Dr. was wondering out loud about tetanus. He said he hadn't heard or read of a case of it in years. Nice that the Suthren Baptists are against torture. Have they changed their stance vis-a vis women?
  1440. MichaelG on The vasectomy sale.
    May 9th, 2009  5:43 am

  1441. Gosh, Linda, I can't for the life of me imagine why your dad never wore those blue alligator shoes.
  1442. MichaelG on The vasectomy sale.
    May 9th, 2009  7:40 am

  1443. I once was selling a ’67 Dodge convert for $50. It had some collision damage. This was in the late ‘70s. The dipshit asked me what kind of gas mileage I had been getting. I told him that for fifty bucks he wasn’t authorized to ask about gas mileage. He forgot to ask about the hole in the radiator. I wish I had that car back. Along with several others. I’ll bet we all have cars in memory that we’d like to have back.
  1444. MichaelG on Hallelujah.
    May 12th, 2009  3:58 pm

  1445. Can't help but notice the contrast between the two beauty queens who have been much in the news lately: The former Miss North Dakota and the current Miss California. And with reference to the latter, nobody can make her look bad. Only she can make herself look bad. And doing a good job of it. Who can outawkward that sentance?
  1446. MichaelG on Onward, Don Quixote.
    May 13th, 2009  2:40 am

  1447. I don’t really give a rat’s ass about Miss CA. She’s within her rights to say what she said and I’m within mine to think she’s a jerk for having said it. And yes, she certainly seems to have become a dupe of the professional bigots. I’m no big fan of breast enhancement but many people are. That’s fine. I do, however, reserve the right to be amused by the fact that the Miss Whatever people paid for Miss CA’s pectoral enlargements just a short time before the contest. I wonder what other contestants think about that. On the other hand, I’m very happy to see Roxana Saberi, the former Miss N. Dak. released from an Iranian prison. She seems to me like a very nice kid who was trying to pursue a dream and to do a good job as a foreign correspondant. She’s very lucky to have a father with the brains, the money and the P.R. savvy to get her case on the front page and the love and persistence to keep it there.
  1448. MichaelG on Closeout sale.
    May 15th, 2009  11:54 pm

  1449. A bit off the topic. I spent the last couple of days in Hollywood and Glendale. LA Mary - Based on your recommendation, I had an excellent corned beef sandwich for lunch at Billy’s in Glendale. Terrific old timey place. Dark wood walls, high backed booths and even an elderly waitress who called me “Baby” and “honey”. The pickles were fabulous. Which Cantor’s should I try first? North Fairfax or south? Then there’s the other side of women buying cars. My wonderful daughter who was eighteen, just out of high school and in her first real job decided to buy a new car for herself without telling us. She simply drove her brand new Geo Metro (yep, she’s cheap) home one evening convulsed with laughter at the way she had worked the poor schlub of a Chevy salesman. Her story was a little sketchy but it involved a few undone buttons on her blouse, some vague promises, etc. I don’t know how the deal got past the sales manager or the F & I guy or whomever but I saw the paperwork and she did steal the car. That was 12 or 13 years ago. Her husband still drives the thing while she tools around in the new soccer mom van. One of the many things I love about her is that she’s a great story teller. She got all the good stuff from her mom. The potty mouth came from me.
  1450. MichaelG on Closeout sale.
    May 16th, 2009  9:38 pm

  1451. I'll take a stick as well although my Taurus is auto. Many things went into selecting that car, not the least was bang for buck. My '70 F-250 is a stick. My Ex has a stick PT Cruiser and a stick Geo Metro. Yeah, her too. Daughter's Geo is a stick as well. I taught her how to drive in an old VW. I think everyone should learn to drive a stick. It makes you a better driver and greatly enhances your all around driving skills and understanding of how a car works. Also you're prepared if you have to drive somebody else's car in an emergency.
  1452. MichaelG on Closeout sale.
    May 16th, 2009  9:47 pm

  1453. Check out today's weather forecast for Sacto. Scroll down. http://www.weather.com/weather/local/95814?lswe=95814&lwsa=WeatherLocalUndeclared&from=searchbox_localwx It's going to get warm.
  1454. MichaelG on The plastic confessions.
    May 20th, 2009  5:30 am

  1455. I’ve used and abused credit cards for forty years. There have been several periods during which I hoisted balances to over $20,000 and then managed beat them back down to zero. I’ve had a whole pocket full of Masters and Visas and a couple of Discovery’s and AMEXs. I cancelled AMEX many years ago because I didn’t like paying fees and couldn’t see any advantage to AMEX over the others. I had two AMEX cards for a while there. A regular one and one that was colored black and allowed me to accrue a balance a la Visa or MC. I even had a Diners’ Club card once and several others whose names escape me. Oh, and some oil company cards. In the past two years, after splitting from my wife, I let things balloon back up to around $17,500. I had, oh, I can’t remember how many cards and they all had frightening limits that ranged from $25,000 to over $50,000. Talk about the potential for problems. I never got into the airline mileage thing, although I probably should have. Or maybe not. I did get an Amazon card and they toss me an occasional $25 credit slip good for purchases from their site. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to keep up with payments and even wipe out balances. I’ve also never gotten crosswise with any of the credit card companies. As a result, I’ve had a steady deluge of offers from card companies offering zero percent interest with balance transfers. Even up to today. Right after splitting up, I bought a rather pricey new computer from Dell. I reluctantly agreed to finance it through them to gain a favorable discount. Around this time I had a “Holy Shit” moment and realized that my spending was out of control. It was a wonderful computer (still is) and I love the new stove. But I came to the conclusion that I had to rein things in. The Dell account was interest free for a year and I paid that off well before the time was up. One point for me. Then I took advantage of those interest-free-for-six-month-with-balance-transfer offers from the credit card companies. I’ve been transferring balances and cancelling cards back and forth for the last 18 months until I now have the whole nine yards down to around $6,000. I plan to kill that off by the end of the year. I can’t envisage a life without cards, but I can sure imagine a life without a balance. I’ll freely admit that it is easier for a single person with a decent job to economize and to pay cards off. At the same time, being single with a decent job is a situation that can easily create the illusion that one can charge anything one wants. I pay cash, as in greenbacks, for a lot more stuff now and use my debit card. I do not, however, use my debit card for internet purchases. Lesson? I dunno. I’ve been lucky in my stupidity, I guess. Very lucky. I was an eyelash away from getting into some really horrific debt. Credit cards are a useful tool, like a sharp knife, and should be kept and used with great care. I can’t believe I just spilled all this personal stuff out onto the web.
  1456. MichaelG on That Irish twinkle.
    May 21st, 2009  8:57 pm

  1457. Yeah, Alex, but they're playing for the other team.
  1458. MichaelG on Ah, memories.
    May 22nd, 2009  9:00 pm

  1459. It is a great picture. Attractive people in a wonderfully lucky composition. Jeff's left hand on his coat provides a framing counterpoint to Jeanine's hand with the cigarette. The flat, almost used up champagne bottle is perfect. A new one would seem contrived. I like it a lot. I don't think I even knew gay existed when I was in high school. This was a suburban Chicago, all white, almost everybody goes to college school. I graduated in '62.
  1460. MichaelG on Poor pup.
    May 26th, 2009  9:05 pm

  1461. TPM's take on the Rosen article: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/05/anatomy-of-the-unsuccessful-sotomayor-whisper-campaign.php?ref=fpblg It's great to hear the little guy's OK. This is the part of having pets that I hate. The Ex has custody of our dogs but I love them still. One of them, little old Jack, is also 17 and is getting infirm. It is good to know that both Jack and Spriggy have such great homes.
  1462. MichaelG on Closed systems.
    May 28th, 2009  4:21 pm

  1463. Maybe if the esteemed nominee had a preppy nickname like "Muffy" or something. . . Yeah, that's it. Muffy Sotomayor. A lot of Asian immigrants' names were homogenized at Angel Island. Lysol? Just the thing. A woman who smells like a gas station restroom.
  1464. MichaelG on Closed systems.
    May 28th, 2009  5:18 pm

  1465. OK, "Sissy" it is. Brian, wait a couple of generations. Instead of walking law firms, they'll be walking rosters. Joking aside, there's a guy here at the office who is going through a prolonged, hellacious and brutal divorce. One of the big bones of contention is the kids' names. The guy will sign them up for swimming with one name, the wife will sign them up for soccer under another. I've heard him on the phone arguing with her about it. As is so often the case, both parents are prime assholes and the poor kids suffer.
  1466. MichaelG on The Challenge, the sequel.
    June 4th, 2009  6:23 pm

  1467. A guy at work picks his nose. And looks at his newly mined treasure. While talking to you.
  1468. MichaelG on Good country cookin'.
    June 8th, 2009  5:45 pm

  1469. I've written before about the wonderful farmers market here in Sacramento. The food is all locally produced, is fresher and of a higher quality than anything you can get in the supermarkets (and they have excellent produce in the supermarkets around here) and the prices are competitive. OK, a cabbage recipe for the proprietress. Had this last Saturday with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and pan gravy. I make it in a large wok. Quarter a small cabbage or a big one. Lose the thick, white butt ends and thinly slice each quarter lengthwise. Then chop across the slices. This will give you a coarse chop. Peel, core and coarsely chop three Granny Smiths. Chop a small to medium onion. Any kind. I used a red one Saturday. Melt a stick of butter in the pan and add all the chopped stuff. Mix and cover. Add salt. Stir occasionally and cook until softened. While the above is cooking, pour a quarter to a half cup of cider vinegar into a container (I use one of those little Pyrex one or two cup pitchers), add sugar to taste, add a little cayenne or red pepper flakes or don't, but a little adds some piquancy. Also add a little nutmeg. Beat all that up with a fork or something. Taste it and modify as you desire. Dump into the cabbage mixture and stir it all up. Set it aside for an hour or several for the flavors to meld. You should end up with a sort of tart, sweet and sour tasting dish. Measures for the vinegar mixture are vague because it's to taste. This is one of those things that's better the next day and can be kept in the reefer for several days. It also goes great with pork. I'll be working on the leftovers this evening. Nance, your old cookbook with all the canned stuff in it sounds like Sandra Lee cooking. Far from disappearing, that sort of cooking is alive and well on the Food Network. Lee is amusing to watch in very small doses and she drives Anthony Bourdain crazy. I don't know about the Julie/Julia movie but I used to follow the blog and it was well written, hilarious and profane. I loved it.
  1470. MichaelG on Good country cookin'.
    June 8th, 2009  9:31 pm

  1471. Mary, is Eagle Rock just below Glendale? Tell me where Oinkster is and I'll try it. I think I'll try one of the ketchup recipes. I have a dill pickle recipe. I put them in jars in the refrigerator and don't make any more than I can use in a month or so. I don't even want to know about dandelion wine. Sounds like some desperate person's version of pruno. Yuck.
  1472. MichaelG on Good country cookin'.
    June 9th, 2009  2:35 am

  1473. Thanks, Mary. For me a "spring tonic" is Schweppes with Tanqueray and a sliver of lime in it. Right you are, Cooze. Justice Ginsburg's move could torpedo both Chrysler and GM. Why would the South want Chrysler and GM to fail? Where would NASCAR be then? Here's the latest from our Gov: http://www.gov.ca.gov/index.php?/executive-order/12460/ It looks to me like a desperate attempt to pick up some pennies to make the July bills and payroll. Just when the economy looks like it might be trying to struggle to its knees, this is another blow to the back of the head by the State. To date there still hasn't been a single word from the genius's under the dome that addresses the systemic budget problems.
  1474. MichaelG on Leftovers and mixed grill.
    June 9th, 2009  6:07 pm

  1475. Harry Bosch wouldn't have missed that bite clue.
  1476. MichaelG on Leftovers and mixed grill.
    June 9th, 2009  10:07 pm

  1477. Here in Sacto it's 68 moving toward a progged 76 against an average for this date of 87. Catherine is right. Some places like Northern Europe are going to get colder, a lot colder. The West Coast is expected to get warmer. The Napa Valley wine climate is scheduled to move to WN. Buy some vineyard property now, Moe. Beat the rush.
  1478. MichaelG on Trouble is gone to.
    June 10th, 2009  9:59 pm

  1479. We used to have a dove couple that hung with the chickens. They would spend all day wandering around scratching and pecking. That was a pretty amusing post. I never heard the grilled cheese metaphor before. I do know what tacos and fudge packing are. Mood, love, gentleness and reciprocity are all.
  1480. MichaelG on He was a soldier.
    June 13th, 2009  9:34 pm

  1481. Jolene, you have the pictures backwards. I can’t speculate on the occasion of the first picture. To my knowledge there was never any picture taking to mark one’s discharge but this is not a basic training picture. Several things. He is a corporal, he has several ribbons and he is sporting a unit patch. Looks like the First Armored Division maybe, but I’m not a tread head. He is also wearing his uniform like he belongs in it. The one on the right would be from basic. No rank (he’s a slick sleeve), no unit identification, no decorations. Also the uniform just doesn’t look right on him yet. He and the uniform too newly acquainted. Nice pictures. He looks like a great guy.
  1482. MichaelG on He was a soldier.
    June 13th, 2009  9:40 pm

  1483. A little trouble with the edit function there. Probably a loose nut behind the wheel.
  1484. MichaelG on He was a soldier.
    June 15th, 2009  5:32 am

  1485. Been scanning back issues of Readers Digest, eh, Jeff?
  1486. MichaelG on 'The '90s sucked, man.'
    June 15th, 2009  9:16 pm

  1487. They're running those Michigan commercials here in Sac too. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to make it to MI this year.
  1488. MichaelG on 'The '90s sucked, man.'
    June 16th, 2009  2:10 am

  1489. I heard you gotta watch your driving. You can overrun Delaware. Nyuk, nyuk.
  1490. MichaelG on 'The '90s sucked, man.'
    June 16th, 2009  2:27 am

  1491. Hey, Mary, Catherine (or anybody else in CA). You got a tamale lady where you work? A tamale lady is a usually older Mexican lady who sells fresh, homemade tamales. Used to be ten bucks a dozen but it’s up to fifteen now. We’ve had a tamale lady for every larger building where I’ve worked. Is it a tradition everywhere or just here in Sacto? It was on my mind because I was just wrapping and freezing today’s delivery. Guess what’s for dinner. They’re delish. A glass of wine, a big salad and that’s it!
  1492. MichaelG on Conversations with myself.
    June 18th, 2009  6:26 pm

  1493. For many years I've listened to Sandra Tsing Loh on NPR and read her essays in various publications and I've always loved her. Still do. The point is not whether she is or is not a beautiful physical specimen of femininity (those were not glamour pictures and she's not an ingénue, though she doesn't look all that bad to me in a sort of in the middle of moving her shit out of the house way). The point is what she says. The piece had a melancholic feel to me. She seemed sad at developments and while not regretting her actions. She was sorry that things had come to her having resorted to taking a lover. I think she did a good job of using the other women's predicaments to present her own reasons for arriving at where she has come to be at forty seven years of age. I think all the people who populate her piece are in tough situations and while it's easy to be critical of one or another party I don't really see any bad people here. Just people who are not who they were twenty years ago. I'm sure not throwing any stones. I think Loh's assessment of how things go in a large number of marriages is spot on. Not nice, not fun, not pleasant to think of, but accurate. The specifics in her piece may seem a bit California or a bit yuppie to some, but the basics are valid. There are some things in there that hit a bit close to home for me. When I first broke up with my wife or vice-versa, as she was the moving party, I encountered an amazingly large number of men who expressed a kind of jealousy at my new single status. Many of them spoke of their wives in the most disparaging of terms. All of them noted that it was the financial horror associated with breaking up and that alone which was keeping them together with their wives. I can personally attest to the fact that the financial realities attached to breaking up a thirty year marriage are not enjoyable for either party. I wonder about the conversations these men's' wives would have if they were talking together. Follow Catherine's links. You won't be disappointed. Notes from my 'hood. I saw the electric meter reader the other day. He was motating down the street on one of those little kick scooters with skate board wheels. Made good time too. There are now hookers on Broadway in Oak Park. They've popped up in the last few months. Not many and they're spread over several blocks but they're there. Sometimes even at five in the AM when I'm on my way to work. What a tough job.
  1494. MichaelG on Conversations with myself.
    June 18th, 2009  9:04 pm

  1495. Kincaid's a local guy (Placerville) so he gets a lot of play around here. Talk about somebody with a ton of bucks.
  1496. MichaelG on On the other hand...
    June 19th, 2009  5:45 am

  1497. I've been so seriously scared so many times in real life that I can't conceive of a book wigging me out. I guess you never know, though. Alex, it sounds like you have something rare and beautiful going. Best of luck and - - wait a sec - - I just raised a glass.
  1498. MichaelG on Scree scree scree.
    June 24th, 2009  2:10 am

  1499. I had a neighbor out there one day for over an hour trying to blow wet leaves. We had goats in Auburn. My former still has them. She always felt they should be fed nice stuff. This was all well and good, but they refused to eat any crap like grass and weeds. I called them the welfare goats. Burning stuff in CA is just not on. You can do some burning in rural areas, but the drill is to call the county hot line first to learn if the day is a burn day. Be quick. There aren’t many. Usually cool drizzly days. Also what you burn and how you burn are regulated. They do watch and they do enforce. This is one area where rural neighbors will inform on you. The stakes are just too high.
  1500. MichaelG on The sex symbol.
    June 25th, 2009  10:33 pm

  1501. Nicely done, Nance.
  1502. MichaelG on 'Shocked and saddened.'
    June 27th, 2009  12:26 am

  1503. My former wife once lived with Ian McShane in the South of France. We never talked about it much but she did say that he was a "wonderful man". I'm still trying to think of something to say about MJ other than to note that I do not own any of his records. I always liked Farrah Fawcett. She was a lovely woman who deserved better than Ryan O'Neal.
  1504. MichaelG on 'Shocked and saddened.'
    June 28th, 2009  7:11 am

  1505. The media’s orgy of adulation and revisionism over the barely cool corpse of Michael Jackson continues apace. The autopsy results are not even in yet and Jesse Jackson is already demanding a recount. He may not know anything about forensic medicine but he knows a photo op when he sees one and he’s certain, as are we all, that the County of Los Angeles is determined to bury the truth about poor St. Michael’s victimhood.
  1506. MichaelG on Hung up.
    June 30th, 2009  7:14 pm

  1507. You can go to MS's Bing thing (I use local.live.com) and see that toxic dump pretty close up. It isn't very attractive. But right near by is a huge tennis facility. As part of the continuing commentary on things newspaper, I noted that the writer got a byline and at the end of the piece five other people were credited with having helped. Is the NYT sensitive about this stuff after the scandals of a few years ago? http://www.bing.com/maps/#JnE9eXAuMTcyK2RvdWdsYXMrYXZlJTJjK2phbWFpY2ElMmMrcXVlZW5zJTJjK255JTdlc3N0LjAlN2VwZy4xJmJiPTQwLjcxNDM0NjE3MDQ4NDklN2UtNzMuNzczODgwMDA0ODgyOCU3ZTQwLjY5MjEyNTQzODI0NSU3ZS03My44MDk4ODU5Nzg2OTg3
  1508. MichaelG on Diving for beaters.
    July 2nd, 2009  7:06 pm

  1509. Great cartoon, James. I've been thinking that same thing about Sanford, Nance. He's gonna end up losing his job anyway. He may as well just do all of us (including himself and his tango honey) a favor and split for B. A. Not only is Jackson not buried yet, they still have no idea what to do with him other than that it was made very clear that his mortal remains were most emphatically not welcome in Santa Barbara County. Shudder. Now there are vague plans for some kind of memorial event at Staples Arena on Tues which I'm sure is just wonderful news for LAX and anybody who wants to get in or out of there. I'm scheduled to fly down that way on Tues AM but I'm going to Burbank so things should be OK. What bizarre people they are and what a bizarre story. The coroner or the funeral home or whomever is going to start charging demurrage.
  1510. MichaelG on Diving for beaters.
    July 2nd, 2009  10:38 pm

  1511. Yeah, the swells like to fly into Santa Monica and Van Nuys too. I'm not going to sweat it. I see there's also a Porto's in Glendale. Is one better than the other? I had malaria twice when I was in the service. That used to raise some big red flags with the blood people.
  1512. MichaelG on Diving for beaters.
    July 2nd, 2009  10:46 pm

  1513. Here's a story about the cars in the river complete with video. http://jalopnik.com/5306306/fifteen-mysterious-cars-pulled-from-detroit-river Nance, were you wearing a blue tank top and white shorts? Check the woman at about 1:14 -- 1:12.
  1514. MichaelG on Diving for beaters.
    July 2nd, 2009  11:00 pm

  1515. Oh shit. I just read the funeral is going to be at Forest Lawn at 10:00 AM with the Staples Center memorial to follow. I gotta be in Hollywood at 10:00.
  1516. MichaelG on Diving for beaters.
    July 3rd, 2009  1:52 am

  1517. In the army they used to get guys to give blood in the AM and then give everybody the rest of the day off. They would all run down to the club and get drunk for cheap. Very drunk and very cheap. I say "they" since they wouldn't let me donate because of the Malaria history.
  1518. MichaelG on No, some, or lots of pulp?
    July 3rd, 2009  9:06 pm

  1519. Sort of like hiring that phone company guy to run GM and the failed Home Depot guy to run Chrysler, eh, Danny? Both companies' best times were when they were run by car guys.
  1520. MichaelG on No, some, or lots of pulp?
    July 4th, 2009  12:35 am

  1521. I heard she's pregnant with Mark Sanford's love child. I watched her whole statement on CNN and I honestly don't have the faintest idea what it was she said.
  1522. MichaelG on Popculch Gulch.
    July 9th, 2009  2:45 am

  1523. I landed at Burbank at about 7:30 on Tues. To get to Hollywood I made an end around through Glendale down San Fernando Rd. and over Los Feliz Blvd. I was due at the Hollywood DMV at 10:00. There were no traffic problems at all and I got there about 8:45. The Spectacle was on the TV in the break room. Thankfully we were able to turn it off for the meeting. Later had an excellent lunch just a few blocks away at Canter’s. Only sour note there was that Canter’s had the Spectacle on the tube. Thanks, Mary. Canters was as advertised. No traffic problems leaving Hollywood either. I agree fully with Nance’s observation on the little girl’s TV appearance. The whole revisionist St. Michael thing is disgusting. He didn’t discover the cure for cancer, he didn’t relieve world hunger, he didn’t bring about world peace. He was nothing more nor less than an entertainer. The sight of those two money grubbing, self serving frauds, MLK’s son and Al Sharpton turns my stomach. Strong words but I am beyond sick and tired of this whole thing. When and where are they going to bury the poor bastard?
  1524. MichaelG on The Committee at work.
    July 10th, 2009  7:58 pm

  1525. Years ago we had a schnoodle named “Jack”, a golden retriever named “Blondie”, a couple of cats and a large bunny named “Rafael”. They all got along fabulously together. One day I went rabbit hunting with my brother in law and another fellow in the quarries down near Tracy. We took with us the mighty golden retriever hunting dog. Blondie had never been hunting before and while she enjoyed the outing tremendously, she was totally useless as a hare hunter. Since she lived with a bunny she wasn’t familiar with the concept of chasing and killing them. She walked around a large bush and surprised one that froze with terror. The mighty hunter amiably flopped down next to the hare that, scarcely believing its luck, recovered quickly and bounded away. We didn’t kill any hares that day but we did shoot a lot of beer cans. I was just as happy. Jack, now seventeen and blind still lives with my Ex. Harry Reid is a weenie.
  1526. MichaelG on This year's model.
    July 13th, 2009  9:47 pm

  1527. My condolences, Dexter. I know what a loss that is. Congrats, C-Girl. Don't worry about justifying it. Getting a job today is a major achievement and a major need. Have bit of the bubbly tonight.
  1528. MichaelG on This year's model.
    July 14th, 2009  12:37 am

  1529. If it's in my district it's public works. If it's in your district it's pork. I'd like to think there's a difference between someone like C-Girl who is signing on as an employee to do an honest day's work for a day's pay and Halliburton, an organization which seems to exist for the purpose of scamming as much money out of its corrupt Govt contracts as possible for as shoddy and as little work as possible.
  1530. MichaelG on Lie, memory II.
    July 14th, 2009  6:12 pm

  1531. God, what a bunch of old farts. I was seven months out of the army and Driving a bus for Greyhound. That night I was at the Top of the Kip, an old Berkeley watering hole that, by the way, still exists.
  1532. MichaelG on Lie, memory II.
    July 15th, 2009  4:04 pm

  1533. Well, a shout out at Roy's this AM.
  1534. MichaelG on Turn your radio on.
    July 15th, 2009  5:19 pm

  1535. One day a year and a half or two ago I was reading Lileks when my brain suddenly called a halt. "Why are you reading this precious twit and his stories about buying toilet paper at Target and his rants about how it's so good that the US is bombing the shit out of Iraq because he's so manly?" Well, that didn't exactly track, but I got the point and I couldn't think up a quick response so my brain took control of my right hand and clicked the screen somewhere else. I can't remember where, but I haven't read Lileks since. Thanks for directions to the "Tonsil" blog.
  1536. MichaelG on Turn your radio on.
    July 15th, 2009  7:16 pm

  1537. WLS in Chicago with Dick Biondi, the Wild I-tralian (not a typo). Also Dan Sorkin on I don't remember what station. He was for the hip and cool. I was out of there by the early '60s. Sorkin has also been in SF since about then.
  1538. MichaelG on Turn your radio on.
    July 16th, 2009  6:49 am

  1539. I looked on their site and there's two BdBs here in Sacto(one is in Roseville). Never even heard of the place before this string. No hurry to go there after what I've heard. Sacto has a huge and vibrant restaurant scene. No need to hit the chains.
  1540. MichaelG on Fire.
    July 16th, 2009  5:21 pm

  1541. Call CC Myers. He'll fix your freeway. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._C._Myers I kinda wonder about Ms. Sandrow and her rooster and the "rooster’s elaborate needs". Sounds a tad kinky. Madonna looks worse than awful.
  1542. MichaelG on Fire.
    July 16th, 2009  6:03 pm

  1543. There was a tanker truck blow up a couple of years ago on the 580 Bay Bridge approach which took down an overpass. CC Myers got it fixed way ahead of schedule. He made big money on bonuses for both jobs. Also he redid a big section of 5 here in Sacto last year with similar ahead of schedule scoop up the bonus results. "Stew bird." Nail on the head as usual, Cooz.
  1544. MichaelG on Fire.
    July 16th, 2009  8:48 pm

  1545. My Ex is 56 and doesn't have any flappy areas on the undersides of her upper arms. She's pretty active, though. There are plenty of others. On the other hand, you will see the phenomenon on many men as well.
  1546. MichaelG on Glad that's cleared up.
    July 17th, 2009  8:00 pm

  1547. There’s nothing wrong with “first annual”. It’s a perfect example of the hopeful tense. My daughter has had long curly hair all her life. Most of it anyway. There was a short exception. One warm summer when she was around five it took us weeks to persuade her to let Mommy cut it short. Finally, reluctantly she acquiesced. Later that day we went to Safeway. An old lady looked over the newly shorn Steph and, in that old lady way, said “What a handsome little boy you have.” Life was miserable around the house for a while after that. Hair’s been long ever since.
  1548. MichaelG on Glad that's cleared up.
    July 18th, 2009  9:28 pm

  1549. Ken Levine has a short and wonderful obit on Walter Cronkite. http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/
  1550. MichaelG on Glad that's cleared up.
    July 19th, 2009  8:19 pm

  1551. Where's Michael Jackson? Did they ever bury him?
  1552. MichaelG on Glad that's cleared up.
    July 20th, 2009  2:29 am

  1553. Thanks, Mary. For a minute there I was worried.
  1554. MichaelG on Refreshing Friday.
    July 20th, 2009  9:15 pm

  1555. I don't get it. The whole thing past me by.
  1556. MichaelG on Refreshing Friday.
    July 21st, 2009  5:15 am

  1557. Did you get clean sheets?
  1558. MichaelG on A personal friend.
    July 22nd, 2009  6:26 am

  1559. Thanks, Dexter. VS comes on with coverage of the Tour here at zero dark thirty in the AM, at some time during the day and then again at 5:00 PM. I’ve been watching the five o’clock version with Roll and Hummer during the week. Roll is great. Hummer has a way to go. On weekends I have been getting up early to watch Liggett and Sherwin who are the best of them all. Great performance today by Armstrong sandbagging the shit out of the field. Contador has to be thinking. Lance is the master of the psych. Caliban’s comments were right on the mark. As a timely item, I touched the health care world today at Kaiser. Saturday I bumped a chef’s knife off the counter and it fell on my foot. This AM I finally called Kaiser at about 6:00. They gave me an appointment for 10:00. Not with my regular doc but with a Dr. Patel. I didn’t care. I just wanted to see a doc. I sort of had vague expectations about a Dr. Patel. I was a little off. I was called at about 10:05. Dr. Patel turned out to be an extremely attractive young lady, a confident kid of about thirty. Clearly born, raised and educated in this country. She was very professional but with an easy, relaxed, personable and confidence inspiring manner way beyond what one would expect from one of her age. Her lecture about my not coming in on Saturday for stitches was light and well done without patronizing or hectoring me. “Sunday, Monday, Tuesday” she said popping fingers at me one by one with a smile on her face “That’s three days. You know you should have come in.” She knew I knew and didn’t rub it in. She did the foot and then the whole thing became a session about my blood pressure which has jumped all of a sudden. She even had a sense of humor and was very gentle in her blood pressure spiel. I was extremely favorable impressed. Did I mention she was a babe? Then I went over to the pharmacy across the courtyard where my new blood pressure pills were already waiting for me. No waiting. I had a consultation with the pharmacist. She was a very young Vietnamese woman whose name I forget, also clearly born, raised and educated in this country. She was happy to take a good ten minutes with me to discuss the medication, side effects, alternatives, results, etc. She answered all my questions and provided information in a professional but personable fashion, again with no hint of condescension. Altogether it was an excellent encounter with the health care establishment. I have nothing but the highest praise for the way I was treated today. The whole thing left me twenty co-pay bucks out of pocket. Things can work for those of us lucky enough to have good coverage. There’s no mystery here. Just a good system.
  1560. MichaelG on A personal friend.
    July 22nd, 2009  4:21 pm

  1561. Lance is nothing if not entertaining. He does great interviews too. Saturday's climb is, they say, supposed to be a big deal as well. I'm certainly enjoying the show.
  1562. MichaelG on Lost causes.
    July 22nd, 2009  6:58 pm

  1563. 4d, kids like yours are automatically American but as far as I know they are supposed to be registered at birth. I once had a friend who was born in Great Britain. The usual, his dad was in the Air Force. However, his parents failed to register him when he was born. As an adult he wanted to go to Europe and applied for a passport. He was shocked to learn that, as far as the Feds were concerned, he was a British subject. He got it worked out but it took him a couple of months.
  1564. MichaelG on Lost causes.
    July 22nd, 2009  9:16 pm

  1565. 4d, my friend flew with his parents from an Air Force Base in Blighty to an AF base in this country aboard an AF aircraft. He was an infant at the time. In those days little kids could travel with their parents on their parents' passports. Also at this time, 40 or 50 years ago, the feds weren't searching AF transports carrying AF personnel from one base to another for terrorists and wetbacks. Things were a lot looser then, especially in such a closed environment. While in the Army I went from this country to Vietnam and later from Vietnam to Singapore for R & R all without a passport. Arrangements can be made.
  1566. MichaelG on Lost causes.
    July 23rd, 2009  12:29 am

  1567. Jeez, 4dbirds, I wasn't thinking of my friend in terms of the birthers until you pointed it out. I'm kinda slow, I guess. The incident with my friend occurred about twenty years ago and seemed like a big joke at the time. He went around affecting a Briddish accent. While it did take a couple of months to clear up the glitch, the time was paperwork, inbox, etc. time. The gov't never gave him any difficulty about the situation and the whole process was painless and costless except for the red tape time.
  1568. MichaelG on Lost causes.
    July 23rd, 2009  5:00 pm

  1569. I was going to make a comment about getting personal, but things seem to be smoothing out. Maybe it has to do with people being adults or something. The fact that a target is easy or obvious makes it no less valid. Glad Arnold doesn't qualify, although the presidential talk we used to hear has pretty much stopped.
  1570. MichaelG on Justifying ourselves.
    July 24th, 2009  2:07 am

  1571. The arrest of Gates took place after it was established that he was not a burglar. I get a picture of two hot heads looking for something to light a fuse. Cops should be peacemakers not enforcers of their own dominance The picture includes two people who are accustomed to having others tug their forelocks in their presence. Regardless of whether Gates was a loud mouth ”do you know who I am” jerk or not, it’s the cop’s job to be the peacemaker and defuse things. He was on the payroll, there to do a job. Gates was in his own living room doing nothing untoward except failing to kiss Crowley’s ass. There was nothing going on here that Crowley couldn’t have walked away from. The report indicates that Crowley arrested Gates basically because he didn’t like his attitude. What would have happened if Crowley had walked away? Nothing, starting with the media frenzy which reflects credit on nobody, including Gates and Crowley. They had to cut Gates loose anyway because he wasn’t guilty of anything. Sometimes it’s not unmanly to back down. I think the cop was wrong. “Unprofessional” is a grossly overused term but it seems apt here. I live in Sacramento where the average July and Aug daily high is in the mid nineties. Not Phoenix, but not arctic. We had five or six days in a row in triple digits last week. I am not a masochist. I run my A/C. What makes Sacto habitable are the night time temps. Average low in July and Aug is 61 degrees. http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/95814 In the Bay Area it was a different story. In all my years in Berkeley and San Francisco, I never lived in a house with A/C. Somebody in the article that Nance referenced claimed to have saved $2100 last summer by turning off the A/C. My total gas and electricity cost for May through September, 2008 was $374.14. That’s everything, lights, hot water, cooking, A/C, washer, dryer, etc. I’d sure like to see some back up on that $2100 claim.
  1572. MichaelG on Justifying ourselves.
    July 24th, 2009  5:11 am

  1573. I still think Gates probably behaved like a jerk and I still think it doesn't matter. What people are saying about cop training is that it is all about dominance and statistics. I don't see anything about people skills and common sense. Everything is about defeating a threat rather than defusing it. The whole thing about cops is that as an institution, as a group they have become increasingly alienated, insular and defensive. Also scared. They should be part of the community rather than a body elevated above or to the side of the community. Their interests should be the community's interests rather than their own which may or may not coincide with the community from time to time. Cops should be peoples’ friends, not their adversaries.
  1574. MichaelG on Stops at all donut shops.
    July 24th, 2009  8:53 pm

  1575. I once had a job at a Humboldt County CHP field office in a hamlet up in the Golden Triangle. There was an absolutely mind boggling number of Cadillac Escalades in that little town. It seems to be the Official Ride of the Growers. I had a conversation with one of the officers about the town and its economic engine. The cops didn’t much bother with a force that was much greater than they and also accepted the reality that cannabis is nowhere near the horrible drug some would have us believe. Common sense prevailed. The CHP officer, who was a single mother, had other issues with the growers. “They’re bad citizens” she said. (I need help with punctuation here) They made lots of money but didn’t participate in PTA or other school or community functions. They had a contempt for law abiding citizens and their kids all seemed to be little snots with attitudes. The officer wasn’t bitter or pissed off, just matter of fact in her description of things. By the way, I have been to CHP field offices from Crescent City to El Centro and I find CHP officers to be intelligent, sensible and professional. In the world of police officers they’re the cream of the crop for my money. There is a bill working its way through the legislature that would legalize marijuana. The Gov has expressed tepid support. We’ll see. I loved the marriage video. The clown one not so much. I’m not a big fan of pratfall humor, especially when it appears someone might have hurt them self. Had a Mercury Grand Marquis once that I drove from San Diego to El Centro and back. One didn’t so much drive it through the mountain curves as herd it. Also a Lincoln Town from Ontario to Barstow and return. Same thing. It was not a joy to drive up and down Cajon Pass. Two questions: Where’s Gasman and has Michael Jackson been buried yet?
  1576. MichaelG on Stops at all donut shops.
    July 25th, 2009  5:29 am

  1577. My daughter got married in a lovely old Portuguese Catholic church in Sacramento. We had the reception at a private club in Auburn. Sit down dinner for many and open bar and all the trimmings. They did the bouquet and the garter thing which both seemed a little staged to me but it’s customary and it was Steph’s wedding and I wasn’t about to object. Nobody even suggested that stupid cake in the face thing. The DJ got a little out of hand thinking it was all about him and I had to do a bit of serious counseling but he came around when I reminded him who was paying. In my experience these DJ guys are all assholes. In the end we had a great and memorable party which should be the whole point of a wedding. I don’t want to think of the cost. My original idea had been to provide $50 and two bus tickets to Reno but that didn’t go over so well. My lovely wife did, however, caution Stephanie that this was the only one. Next time she wasn’t even getting the bus tickets. They’re still together after eleven years or so. Tomorrow (Sat) I’m going to the zoo with my once wife and the two grand kids. I’m looking forward to that. More than I want to admit to myself.
  1578. MichaelG on Stops at all donut shops.
    July 26th, 2009  7:50 am

  1579. Had a terrific day with my once wife and the grandkids at the zoo. Best of all the two young ones had a great time as well. Sofia,the almost two year old, was absolutely captivated by the flamingos. You should have seen her stuff her face with the zoo's crappy fast food mac and cheese. Dominic (and yeah, I bought him the dumb stuff he wanted at the zoo store, so what?) was a perfect big brother. T had a good time as well and we have a repeat get together in Auburn with the kids in two weeks. May seem like small stuff but it's large for me.
  1580. MichaelG on Stops at all donut shops.
    July 27th, 2009  5:41 am

  1581. You can see my posts on this subject from the other day. Forget all the technical bullshit about who was where. I still see Gates as one of those assholes roaming around out there with his antennae fully deployed, quivering for any hint of racial slur, real or imagined, ready to react, secure in his elite Harvard professorhood. Crowley as one of those cops estranged from the people he is supposed to support, living in an us vs. them world who was sensitive to any hint of disrespect to his cophood or manhood. I see a pair of jerks on a collision course whose impact does no credit to blacks who have a real beef or to cops who, in the tough job they do, also have their beef. I think the incident needs to be seen in this light. Hysterical screeds on either’s behalf do nobody any good. They’re nothing but a couple of chumps who deserve one another. Obama’s beer fest should be BYOB.
  1582. MichaelG on Falling headliner standard.
    July 28th, 2009  2:07 am

  1583. The way I heard it was "You drive like old people fuck. Slow and jerky." It's a shoulder shrugger.
  1584. MichaelG on Falling headliner standard.
    July 28th, 2009  5:06 am

  1585. When the serious penalties are handed out in the next place Eccel­stone and Tony George will be at the head of the line.
  1586. MichaelG on The helping profession.
    July 28th, 2009  6:41 pm

  1587. I see the Feds in their tireless efforts to protect America have rooted out yet another nest of terrorists. This evil North Carolina cell apparently had no less than world domination on their mind. Thank God for our Homeland Security protectors. Or will it come out that these are another bunch of drooling inbred wannabes like the rest of the mopes the Feds have scooped up? These people neighbors of yours Coozledad? I have to confess that I am not familiar with Trixie. Whoshe?
  1588. MichaelG on The helping profession.
    July 28th, 2009  9:59 pm

  1589. Sorry, Trixie doesn't do it for me. She seems a little - limited.
  1590. MichaelG on The helping profession.
    July 28th, 2009  11:45 pm

  1591. What, Joe? Not Penny to go with your C-310?
  1592. MichaelG on The helping profession.
    July 29th, 2009  5:49 am

  1593. Vending machines that sell used panties? I feel like a hayseed. Although, now that I think of it, I can see the work at home opportunities for a busy stay at home mom with several kids. There's all kinds of branding . . . Maybe I'll just quit.
  1594. MichaelG on Hey ever'body, watch this.
    July 31st, 2009  10:38 pm

  1595. When I was at the Univ. of Ill. there was a joint called Prehn’s on Oregon. The trick there was to peel the label off the beer bottle (Alex has the method), lay it on your wallet and underhand your wallet at the ceiling. The label was supposed to stick on the ceiling. I got to be pretty fair at it. Practice. I’m doing the eyeball and tongue thing now. Can you see? On the ride down to Burbank the other day, the flight attendant sounded exactly like Paula Deen. My gag reflex almost started before I could suppress it. She was also as old as Paula Deen. I like older flight attendants. So many of them have that salty diner persona. On the flight back that aft the captain was a short, chubby, white haired, little old lady with those gold wire earpiece - frameless glasses, if you get what I mean, and a big, smile, and a big, witty, wisecracking voice when she stood in the cockpit door saying goodbye to the pax. She clearly loved her job and I loved her. Airplanes really have, changed since the seventies. The first female airline pilot I had was many, many years ago on the old Texas International Airlines. She was a tall, lanky blonde. Time for my weekly question. Where is Michael Jackson? Did they bury him yet? Maybe they should cremate him. Sell him off a few grains at a time like a medieval Catholic relic. They could put the grains in expensive designer reliquaries and make tons of money and create a nice black market in fakes.
  1596. MichaelG on Saturday morning market
    August 2nd, 2009  5:34 am

  1597. The Indy race in Kentucky this evening was excellent entertainment. Ed Carpenter and Ryan Briscoe did it wheel to wheel for the last several laps to the finish. Briscoe won because his car was a tad better out of turn four than Carpenter’s. Great racing and great driving by the two of them. Then in the post race interview, that puke, that total piece of shit Tony George had this to say about his driver: “I hope Ed didn’t leave anything on the table.” The only reason Bernie E. deserves a deeper place is that Bernie plays on a bigger stage.
  1598. MichaelG on Hands off the Hellman's.
    August 4th, 2009  3:15 am

  1599. Well said, Linda up in No. 10. Also I was married for thirty years to a Portuguese woman. Real, came to this country from Lisbon in her twenties. I've soaked enough bacalao for a lifetime. Eaten it over there too. Some of it's pretty good but I have to admit bacalao is not my favorite. I made a great ratatouille Saturday using my ancient, beat up copy of Julia. Boy was it good. Still eating it. Simple tomato thing: Thinly slice tomatoes. Put on plate. Slice mozzarella on top. Top with basil whole or chiffanade. Salt, pepper, drizzle with good olive oil. It's wonderful with back yard tomatoes. Not so much with store bought.
  1600. MichaelG on My old friend.
    August 6th, 2009  3:27 am

  1601. I just got home this evening after spending the last couple of days in the L. A. area. Flew back from Burbank. I looked around the airport, but didn’t see Bill Clinton in the bar. I’m sorry about Spriggy, Nancy. You all did have a lot of great years together. This is the bad part about having pets. By the way, with all the manly part jokes going on, I assume everybody’s heard the legends about Dillenger?
  1602. MichaelG on My old friend.
    August 6th, 2009  6:33 am

  1603. OK so I spelled it wrong. Snopes was on the waffle. Thing about stuff like Dillinger's dill is that the legend itself is enough. Who cares if it's true or false? It's a good story. I maintain a huge don't care file. I'm happy to smile and nod and enjoy a story. You don't have to believe or disbelieve.
  1604. MichaelG on Kitchen veterans.
    August 7th, 2009  1:41 am

  1605. I have an ancient three qt sauce pan. It hasn’t been used for anything but popcorn for over 20 years. It and the lid are pretty popcorn specific. I couldn’t use it for anything else. I use the microwave as well sometimes. Ever look at the prices demanded for those old Wedgewood, Chambers, O’keefe & Merritt, etc. stoves? You could buy a Viking or Wolf for that kind of money. They certainly are beautiful, though.
  1606. MichaelG on The red carpet.
    August 10th, 2009  5:11 pm

  1607. Congratulations on the film win! There's nothing as romantic as April in Vegas. You're gonna love it. Kate is really growing up. Saw my grand kids this weekend and the same thing is happening to them. So when do we get to see the film?
  1608. MichaelG on The red carpet.
    August 11th, 2009  4:42 am

  1609. I was also really tickled by that "untrained eye" comment, Mary. Brian, I never could stand Michael Schumacher, although I give him full marks for his talents and skills. He always seemed like an asshole to me. I’m willing to be convinced otherwise but I’ll take a lot of convincing. When they get around to blowing up the Packard plant, maybe they could hire that Turkish demo outfit. I’m sure that after the other day they’ll be willing to work cheap.
  1610. MichaelG on Sails at sunset.
    August 11th, 2009  6:21 pm

  1611. Everybody’s had those pestilential Amway people plucking at their sleeve. The whole point of their pyramid is to sell the memberships. The products are just the come on.
  1612. MichaelG on Just desserts.
    August 13th, 2009  8:52 pm

  1613. Is this the type of high speed chase disaster you were afraid of reading about, Nancy? http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_13047148?source=rss CHP gets high speed training but I don't know about anybody else.
  1614. MichaelG on Just desserts.
    August 14th, 2009  1:40 am

  1615. What kind of car does Patino drive?
  1616. MichaelG on A quick bite before I leave.
    August 17th, 2009  12:09 am

  1617. The Alvarez article about women in combat appeared in today's Bee under the headline "Breaking Barriers". It's like a joke, Jeff. If it has to be explained . . .
  1618. MichaelG on A fresh thread.
    August 21st, 2009  10:05 pm

  1619. I have the Sacramento Bee delivered on weekends. Last week I got a letter attached to my Sat paper exhorting me to view the Bee's on line presence and to join their "V.I.P. Club". The letter was signed by somebody who bills himself as the Bee's "Senior Vice President, Audience Development & Membership services".
  1620. MichaelG on A fresh thread.
    August 22nd, 2009  8:48 pm

  1621. Brian’s pal once said something about fooling some of the people all of the time . . . He forgot the most important part, though. It’s possible to fool enough of the people enough of the time. The Republicans have exhibited genius beyond measure at this technique. I’ve been baffled for years at their ability to convince so many Americans to act and vote against their own interests.
  1622. MichaelG on Tents, shacks and salvation.
    August 29th, 2009  1:55 am

  1623. I’ve been in Hollywood and Burbank for the last couple of days and is it ever miserable down there. It’s a rare day when I come home to Sactown from Burbank to cool off. The smoky air is awful. While I worked for Dept of Corrections for ten years, I don’t have any special feeling for paroles. I was in the Planning and Construction Division which is a long way in every sense from the custody folks. The street folks are not called parole "officers”. They are parole "agents". I always did hear, though, that they had very heavy work loads. James above has some numbers. Jaycee was kidnapped from her home in a town on Hwy 50 called Meyers. Meyers is right on the outskirts of South Lake Tahoe. South Shore and Meyers are in El Dorado County where the assholes will be prosecuted. Placerville is the county seat of El Dorado Cty. The house where they all lived is in Antioch in Contra Costa County. The home is in the farther reaches of San Francisco’s East Bay. Garrido didn’t exactly give an interview to KCRA (which I have extolled before as having an excellent newsroom that I would match against any TV news operation in the country, major markets included). What happened was that Garrido called Walt Gray, the senior anchor at the station, Thursday afternoon while Gray was having a cup of coffee at his desk. This surprised the hell out of Gray and KCRA. KCRA taped the call and bits have been aired all over during the last twenty four hours. I assume KCRA is working on a plan to maximize their return on their good fortune. It’s interesting that in these cases the victim is so often reluctant to run or scream or otherwise work to end his or her captivity. Let’s just hope that Jaycee and her daughters get a gentle and easy introduction into a tough world. They deserve a break.
  1624. MichaelG on Tents, shacks and salvation.
    August 29th, 2009  8:10 am

  1625. My present neighborhood used to have a fine congressman named Robert Matsui. He served long and honorably and, unfortunately, died four years ago. His wife, Doris, ran and won the special election against token opposition. Doris is a very nice lady but she’s yet another argument against electing surviving spouses to vacant seats. She won’t do a lot of harm in D.C. but that’s about all that can be said for her. Anyway, when I got back from Southern California there was a message on my machine to call a given number to participate in a telephone town hall meeting with dear Doris. The drill was that I was to call the number Doris left on my machine (for it was Doris’ voice on the message) and they would then give me the time and the phone number for the town hall thingy. Doris’ corporal being, I’m sure, will be on a cell phone in an Embassy Suites in Albuquerque or Amarillo. She’s going to do a telephone town hall with selected and screened Democrats. Whoopdee fucking doo. Time to go, Doris. And the Dems wonder why everybody makes fun of them. At least your congressman showed up, Brian. I’m about ready to give up on the whole fucking thing and start reading comic books.
  1626. MichaelG on Saturday morning market
    August 31st, 2009  12:15 am

  1627. Leon’s Ribs? There used to be an excellent rib joint in San Francisco called Leon’s. It was in the ‘mo – the Fillmore District. My wife and I were there one night when the big fire they maintained got loose and started to spread. No panic. The customers kept eating, business kept businessing and one of the cooks chased it down with a garden hose. The place, always smoky to begin with, got really smoky that night. That was twenty five or more years ago. Leon’s was not a yuppie joint but the ‘mo is yuppified today. Come to think of it they also had a branch on Sloat out by the zoo but it wasn’t as good as the original. Speaking of smoke, things sound very scary in the San Gabriels, Mary and Catherine. Hope your son is OK, Mary. That sounded like a really bad fall. While I was down there last week the rental car people at the Burbank Airport gave me a Nissan Cube. It was the first time I had seen one in person. The thing is tiny and roomy, kind of kinky looking and a great urban car. I liked it a lot. The CVT, or whatever they call those belt drive transmissions, is a bit disorientating. It always feels like it’s slipping. I’d rather have the stick. It’s great in city traffic, gets good but not great mileage and you can park it in the smallest space with ease. The price is not bad. I’d encourage anybody who’s in the market for a small car to look at it. I’d consider it if I was looking for a car. Dexter, just after WWII my father was a grad student at the Univ of Chicago and we lived in a student housing shack right on the corner of 59th and Cottage Grove.
  1628. MichaelG on Saturday morning market
    August 31st, 2009  3:17 am

  1629. Fuck. There’s a big fire In Auburn. It’s burned a bunch of houses and businesses and they are evacuating the area. From the aerial shots on the tube it looks like they are having to run like hell. It’s on the other side of town from my Ex and headed away from her and most of my old friends. We all had lunch last week just where the fire started. She’s safe for now. But still . . . Shit.
  1630. MichaelG on Saturday morning market
    August 31st, 2009  4:03 am

  1631. KCRA has excellent non-stop coverage on the ground and from their chopper. It appears that the fire started in open ground and raced over it to a subdivision. It’s in the subdivision and many if not most of the houses are gone. The shitty good part is that the fire spreads slower in a built up area and the fire people look like they are getting a handle on it. I watched live drops on the 84 Lumber where I used to shop. It looks like the structure which is a series of metal buildings may be OK but the stuff piled outside is burning. I have a feeling they are going to contain this thing before dark – I hope. The numbers so far: 500 to 600 acres, eight aerial tankers, six choppers and several hundred fire fighters on the ground. One thing here in California is that we have the very best people in the world to fight these fires. Of course, they get plenty of practice.
  1632. MichaelG on Saturday morning market
    August 31st, 2009  4:34 am

  1633. They're talking a minimum of 50 to 60 houses gone at this point. You’re in luck, Deborah. Sacramento has a large and vibrant restaurant scene. What do you like? Type of cuisine? Expensive? Neighborhood? Sizzler? Red Lobster? The last two were jokes. How many dinners, lunches, breakfasts? Some killer but not cheap pizza?
  1634. MichaelG on Saturday morning market
    August 31st, 2009  6:43 am

  1635. The fire news is good. The whole thing has been downgraded from 500 – 600 acres to 275 acres and they are now saying that “only” 30 or so homes have been lost and they are down to 300 fire fighters on the ground from over 500 and the fire is over 50% contained. My Ex tells me she received a call to evacuate but she was never in any danger. This time. This is a tribute to California fire fighters. Anywhere else in the world this would have developed into a catastrophe. One of the things CalFire does is to hit the first flicker with everything they have. There is no waiting to see what develops. It’s all out from the first call. All of this goes to illustrate what a horror is taking place in L. A. County. Despite the best efforts of the best the fires there have become monsters. For what it’s worth, the temperature here yesterday (Saturday) was 105 and today it’s 90. That had to have helped.
  1636. MichaelG on Green.
    August 31st, 2009  5:04 pm

  1637. The fire in Auburn is pretty much over. The area burned estimate remains the same but they have revised the estimate of houses lost back up to 60 or so. It happened fast and people barely had time to get out. Fortunately, there appear to be no injuries or fatalities. I don't know about the toll on pets which can be rough in these kinds of things. Sorry to be so boring on this but Auburn is a part of me.
  1638. MichaelG on People of the state fair.
    September 1st, 2009  9:08 pm

  1639. TJ's was in the Bay Area at least back in the early eighties. I shopped in the East Bay and in San Rafael before I moved to Sacramento in the late Eighties. I don't see the point without the wine. And Two Buck Chuck is still $1.98 here. I think a lot of the shoppers at my local TJ's give off a sort of new agey, crunchy, greenish vibe. Of course the store nearest me is located in a rich area. Amazing how quickly you can get from the million dollar houses to the hood. I wonder if they even know my neighborhood exists.
  1640. MichaelG on People of the state fair.
    September 2nd, 2009  12:30 am

  1641. Reminds me of Shelly Berman's line: "My parents sent me out for a loaf of bread and when I got back they'd moved."
  1642. MichaelG on People of the state fair.
    September 2nd, 2009  4:23 pm

  1643. I'm on board with the organ donor thing as well. Not that any of mine will be worth a damn by the time I'm done with them. They'll be like the rusty used up crap you find at the farthest corner of the pick-n-pull lot. It's easy and doesn't cost me anything. As long as I don't wake up in the hotel bathtub minus a kidney. We're lucky here to have a very competitive grocery market. Competitive both in price and quality. In addition to the majors like Safeway, Raley's/Bel Air and Winco we have a bunch of fine locally owned stores of varying sizes. Excellent local meat, produce, wine and fish don't harm the equation either. It's a great place to eat and drink.
  1644. MichaelG on Farewell, Bill.
    September 4th, 2009  6:13 am

  1645. Deborah, Little Bird, A lovely indoor or outdoor Spanish style tapas joint is Tapa the World at 2115 J St. Classic, superb Italian at Biba’s where she does work the floor, 2801 Capitol. The Waterboy, California restaurant at 2000 Capitol. Excellent Chinese, expensive linen napkin place, eat with the politicians Frank Fat’s 805 L St. Killer pizza in a minimalist setting, concrete floor, bare walls, expensive, Masulo’s 2711 Riverside Blvd. There are dozens more. I would recommend getting to 16th and J St and walking east to about 28th. You will pass many fine eating joints and bars in the course of a nice stroll. Have a drink here and there, pick a place and eat. Mid town is a terrific walking and eating area. Great scene. The weather is progged to be in the mid eighties this week end. Best of luck and have a great time. You’re gonna love it. Reviews next week.
  1646. MichaelG on Farewell, Bill.
    September 4th, 2009  7:11 am

  1647. I finally waded my way down to your post 79, Deborah. Wow. Breakfast. That’s the most personal meal of them all and the easiest. I tend to eat breakfast in joints. There’s an excellent one at 24th and J called the Cornerstone. Old, kind of, well, kind of shabby chic. They have outdoor tables and a fine breakfast. The Pancake Circus at 21St and Broadway is another ancient place that I like. Jeez, there’s a place at about 21st and L that I ate at last week and I’m blanking on the name. I’m a basic bacon and eggs kind of breakfast guy and can be happy just about anywhere. All I want is good bacon, well prepared eggs, nicely browned hash browns, actually toasted toast, coffee and that’s it. Pass on the kippers, pass on creativity. Catch me for lunch or dinner and I’m game for anything. But for breakfast, I’m in a comfortable fifty year rut. If you can make it, I really recommend the evening J Street stroll. Shit, walk down J in the AM. Somebody will give you a good brekkers.
  1648. MichaelG on Farewell, Bill.
    September 4th, 2009  7:20 am

  1649. Jeez, I’m in a morally bankrupt incarnation, myself. After reading a hundred comments I am so full of stuff I’d like to say about that fucking piece of shit MS Word and the wackabilly Repubs and that narcissistic JTMMO and his bullshit "I'm so brilliant, hard working, helping the little people" holier than thou act complete with ostentatious, self indulgent lower case “I” that I’m speechless.
  1650. MichaelG on Budget cuts.
    September 5th, 2009  5:30 am

  1651. TKS, Mary.
  1652. MichaelG on Crazy people.
    September 9th, 2009  1:33 am

  1653. Excellent, Deborah! Glad you had a good time in Sactown. I love tapas. I could nibble all night. Cooze - I saw people of all sorts carrying ears. They dry up real fast. It wasn't my thing. I got your Australian stories and your Korean stories including eating Korean mess hall kim chee. Maybe one of these times I'll post something.
  1654. MichaelG on Crazy people, part deux.
    September 10th, 2009  12:54 am

  1655. Plenty of scumbags, sell outs and incompetents on both sides of the aisle here in Sacto. At this point I wouldn't give you a dime for the whole lot of them. When jumping a C-130 you have to make a strong exit (jump real good) to avoid bumping the side of the aircraft as it passes you by. There are no consequences other than your fatigues picking up whatever dirt and oil are on the side of the aircraft for all on the ground to behold. And hearing about it. When jumping a C-141 it's possible for jumpers from the opposite doors to get sucked together in the wake of the aircraft. It happened to me at Ft. Bragg, NC. I was third man right door and he was second man left door. Right and left are reversed when looking to the rear of the plane. We came together, my foot and his face. The impact was the first I knew of it. I never saw him until he popped up in front of me and ended up in my rigging above my head. He climbed down and we hugged to avoid being bounced into each other on the way down. Then I fell on top of him. He was second man. He should have been gone by the time I got there. On the other hand we tended to unass an airplane rapidly since the trucks were parked at the entry to the drop zone and the aircraft flew over the entry through the DZ and every second aboard the A/C carried one that much farther from the trucks. The chutes were hopelessly tangled and I got him to carry them back to the trucks since he was a rigger and supposed to know better. These were static line jumps.
  1656. MichaelG on Crazy people, part deux.
    September 10th, 2009  1:42 am

  1657. Jeff B., Karen Bass, Speaker of the Assembly, says she is going to start an investigation into Duvall's activities because of the ethics issue.
  1658. MichaelG on Crazy people, part deux.
    September 10th, 2009  1:43 am

  1659. The movie was a lot of fun. The star was excellent (though I had reservations about her hairstyle). You guys do a really professional job.
  1660. MichaelG on The toy department.
    September 10th, 2009  5:19 pm

  1661. Geez, Nance, take it easy on that "old man" stuff. KCRA played the whole tape without editing or black outs. They also identified the guy to whom Duvall was talking and the date and purpose of the meeting. I was not surprised to hear Duvall's seatmate say that he wasn't listening and that he doesn't remember what Duvall was saying. "Who, me?" This has to be a world record for the shortest sex scandal ever.
  1662. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    September 13th, 2009  11:09 pm

  1663. I was most pleased to see USC beat OSU. Among other reasons I went to Univ. of Ill. and believe me, the Buckeyes are not popular in Champaign. I was also happy to see UCLA beat Tenn. Lane Kiffin showed me jack shit when he was with the Raiders. I grew up in the Chicago area and on Fridays before football games the grade school nuns used make us pray for Notre Dame. I’ve disliked ND ever since. Congrats, Michigan. Good stuff, Deborah, I’m glad you got your purse back.
  1664. MichaelG on Fun with numbers.
    September 14th, 2009  4:32 pm

  1665. I thought it was just us old folks who were set on ice floes and left to drift off into the mist.
  1666. MichaelG on Fun with numbers.
    September 14th, 2009  5:57 pm

  1667. I kinda liked the cute haircut. No, I didn't watch the whatever award show. I saw it on the news. Brian, if you bake a pie does that make you a Stouder-baker? Nyuk Nyuk. OK. Shoot me. Or set me out on an ice floe.
  1668. MichaelG on Fun with numbers.
    September 15th, 2009  2:21 am

  1669. It's come to this? All I've got left is maybe being on the hawt side of 70?
  1670. MichaelG on New for fall.
    September 17th, 2009  2:42 am

  1671. Put some sliced garlic in olive oil. Heat it. Don’t burn it. Quarter or make smaller some tomatoes. Toss into pan. Everything, including skin, seeds and that crappy looking core. There’s lots of flavor and goodness here. Hit tomatoes with the potato masher. Cook on pretty high heat for 10 minutes. You’ll need your lid. Add fresh basil, salt and pepper. Puree with immersion blender. If no immersion blender, let cool and put in regular blender. Amounts/proportions of ingredients are up to the cook. Now you have your basic sauce. Very fast, very easy, very good and low waste. I wear dress shirts or collared shirts and Levis or wash pants. Loafers, boat shoes, desert boots, tennies.
  1672. MichaelG on Help me find a way.
    September 18th, 2009  5:45 am

  1673. First record I ever bought was “Rock’n ‘round the Clock” by Bill Haley and his Comets. “Rock’n Through the Rye" was the flip. You tell me the date. When you say the words “folk music” in this country you must also say the words “Pete Seeger.” I love Joan Baez. There was a nice thing and an interview a couple of weeks ago on NPR. In the summer between HS and college I went to a Joan Baez concert at Ravinia Park in Chicago. She had begun singing “Freight Train” when a train went by. She stopped and put a hand to her ear. The crowd went wild. The train’s blowing its horn was perfect. Then she resumed the song. What a moment. I have that Seekers album that Coozledad sampled for us. It was great. I can’t remember the woman’s name but she sure could sing. PP& M sang several songs that were written by Pete Seeger, Never forget that name. Their first album came out when I was in college. We listened to it a lot. The associations with the album and individual songs and time and place and friends alive and dead and school and my times in Vietnam are almost overwhelming. I found a cherry copy of the album about seven or eight years ago. I put it on and listened to the whole thing with tears streaming down my face. Somebody mentioned Mary Travers tossing her hair. What a signature movement. They did other albums and some appearances on Public TV but that one album was all it took for me. Who didn’t have the hots for Mary?
  1674. MichaelG on Help me find a way.
    September 18th, 2009  7:47 am

  1675. Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwB2A9HHaCU
  1676. MichaelG on Data-mining the past.
    September 25th, 2009  10:32 pm

  1677. F-1 is rotten from the top down. Start with Bernie E. and Max M. What a pair. I'm not surprised by Flavio's follies or by the McLaren foo foo a while ago. I'm just surprised that there isn't more scandal. Schumacher is undeniably a great driver but an asshat. I was once a great fan but I haven't given a rat's ass about F-1 for years. The drivers are mostly rich kids whose daddies bought them their rides. I look at it now and again but can't decide whether to laugh or gag at driver interviews. Yes, I know. "It was a very technical corner." What a bunch.
  1678. MichaelG on Free crack.
    September 28th, 2009  10:02 pm

  1679. My favorite mon­de­green (I even sent it in to Jon Carroll one time) is Neil Diamond's "Cracklin' Rosie Peed on the Floor". The Sacto Bee is calling the Redskins "The Raiders of the East Coast" and goes on for a column with reasons and comparisons.
  1680. MichaelG on Guilty, guilty, guilty.
    September 29th, 2009  7:08 pm

  1681. Brian, you're driving 600 miles each way on a bidness trip? Holy smoke! I'm going to Barstow tomorrow and Riverside Thursday and I ain't driving and they ain't 600 miles. Also I note your interest in cows grazing. Here in the western part of the country where we have mountains and stuff, cows have legs on one side of their bodies longer than on the other to make it easier for them to graze on slopes.
  1682. MichaelG on Guilty, guilty, guilty.
    September 29th, 2009  8:39 pm

  1683. Haggis hunters, Mary? I thought the haggis, like the nauga, was an endangered species.
  1684. MichaelG on Guilty, guilty, guilty.
    September 29th, 2009  10:46 pm

  1685. That's right, Mary, and Susan Atkins just died the other day.
  1686. MichaelG on Guilty, guilty, guilty.
    September 29th, 2009  11:38 pm

  1687. Peter, what you are referring to is called "MB Tex". They are an obscure species of miniature vole that lives in the mountainous tundra of western Guinea-Bissau.
  1688. MichaelG on Wild kingdom.
    October 2nd, 2009  3:21 am

  1689. I was in Barstow yesterday. The beach is pretty big there. So big I couldn’t see the water. What mark said. I was in Vietnam a few years ago (Saigon). The people are wonderful, the city is big, clean and alive. Don’t worry about not speaking the language. I don’t and had a wonderful time. I could live there. The food is fabulous and despite our best efforts to destroy the country (my efforts included), they love us. That astonished me. It seems like everybody with whom I spoke had a relative in Orange County or Sacramento. It’s a great place but it’s changing fast. Go soon before Ho Chi Minh City turns into L. A. West. I can’t get fired up about what Scott Simon makes. I always think it’s not that somebody is making too much but that the rest are making too little.
  1690. MichaelG on Oh, Dave.
    October 4th, 2009  7:25 pm

  1691. Holly, you've just defined a "New York minute" - the interval between the light turning green and the guy behind you hitting his horn.
  1692. MichaelG on Mystery meat.
    October 5th, 2009  5:30 pm

  1693. I've been grinding burgers for years. They are fresh, juicy and taste excellent. Also I know what I'm eating. It's easier than one might think. I like chuck or beef short ribs. I buy what's on sale at the used meat counter for 30 to 50% off. You have to use or freeze this stuff right away. Cut the meat in 3/4 inch pieces and put it in the freezer for an hour or so. Also stick your grinder in the freezer for an hour or so. The cold and stiffness makes for a much easier grind. I use the larger die of the two supplied. You can also season the meat after cutting but before grinding. I use a scale to measure out 1/3 lb balls and freeze what I don't eat. Don't make too much of forming a patty or you will ruin the burger - it'll be dense and cardboard tasting. I make a loose ball and smash it on the surface of the pan. Let it cook for a bit and turn it. Burgers done this way cook faster than store bought grinds and boy, are they good. You'll see after a little experimenting.
  1694. MichaelG on Mystery meat.
    October 6th, 2009  5:45 am

  1695. Most of the fresh hamburger we see around here is ground on site. What is not, is easily identifiable by its packaging. Assuming the people behind the counter clean the grinder and the dies between batches we should all be OK with local stuff. Gulp. After all, millions of people eat millions of pounds of meat. I'm not trying to make light of this but it does seem to me that most if not all of the E.coli problems stem from the factory patties and chubs. Preformed burgers, frozen or not and the big chubs of burger sold around here are produced - wherever. If we buy in-store ground beef and especially if we buy whole meat and grind it ourselves we should be alright. If we are going to buy food at all we have to trust someone. Fortunately, horrible things like the tragedy that befell Ms. Smith are rare. Fast food burgers? I just don’t know. I do eat them but rarely, like three or four times a year. Not because I’m a holy guy but because they’re just not my kind of lunch. However, if a problem develops in the corned beef chain, I’m fucked. And , Mary, I found a very nice deli in Burbank at Third and Palm. Barstow is a skip lunch kind of town. I had a nice dinner at the Mission Inn in Riverside. Besides, grind them yourself burgers really do taste infinitely better. All we can do is take the elementary precautions. I plan to continue to religiously clean my plastic NSF rated cutting boards (I have three) and run them through the dishwasher and, yes, I do bleach them. What’s the alternative?
  1696. MichaelG on Blowed up real good.
    October 7th, 2009  6:48 pm

  1697. Worse still, they're killing Gourmet and saving Food and Wine. I guess Gourmet didn't have enough reality shows going. I had a whole closet full of Gourmets, some of them dating back to the '50s. Kind of feel a little bad about getting rid of them when I moved two years ago.
  1698. MichaelG on Steaming the windows.
    October 12th, 2009  9:16 pm

  1699. Junior high? I went to a Catholic school. We just had eighth grade. I used to envy the public school kids.
  1700. MichaelG on A day off since 1492.
    October 13th, 2009  4:47 pm

  1701. Here in Calif, where it is raining for the first time in months, we who have dedicated our lives to the well being of the State have been rewarded with three furlough days per month (a 15% pay cut) and they cut Lincoln's Birthday and Columbus Day from our holidays. And they are chiseling the shit out of our travel claims. Some gas stations charge 0.45 for using a debit card. The scrooges in accounting disallowed the 0.45 on a gas bill because it wasn't gas. It cost the State more than the 0.45 for the asshole to write me the email and to make the adjustment. That's really cheap and that's just the start of their work on our travel pay. It costs me an extra $20-$40 a day to travel. Where did the legend about getting rich off travel pay start?
  1702. MichaelG on A day off since 1492.
    October 13th, 2009  4:50 pm

  1703. When I want to know if such and such a place is open I phone and ask what time they close today. That way I maybe don't sound as stupid as I would asking if they are open. Maybe.
  1704. MichaelG on A day off since 1492.
    October 13th, 2009  7:02 pm

  1705. Somebody was complaining about standing in line at the DMV. I just finished a job at the Hollywood DMV. If you live in the area you might have noticed they were closed for a month. The manager there was telling me that they have roughly the same number of employees as they did 15 years ago but the population of the state has increased enormously. Automation helps but the federally mandated citizenship check takes a lot of time and they struggle to keep up. The three furlough days every month are killing them. I was at the West Covina DMV a month or so ago and the lines there were way out into the parking lot. Make an appointment before you go. The old trade off is true. I make a lot less than my private sector analogs but make some of it up in stablity and benefits. Take that away and what's the point?
  1706. MichaelG on A day off since 1492.
    October 13th, 2009  8:41 pm

  1707. The trick with the California DMV is to make an appointment. You can go two cycles with on line or through the mail renewals. The third cycle you have to appear in person. I had to appear this time so about a month ago I made an appointment on line for a date at the Carmichael office. I was in and out in about 15 minutes $25 lighter with a new photo and a new eye test. I already have my new license. If you walk in it will be more like two hours minimum.
  1708. MichaelG on A day off since 1492.
    October 14th, 2009  12:27 am

  1709. You've got it, Rana. It's not that person A is making too much money, it's that person B is not making enough.
  1710. MichaelG on Another mixed grill.
    October 14th, 2009  4:35 pm

  1711. Celebrity photos? Nice timing. There's one of Maria Shriver talking on her cell while wheeling her Escalade through the streets of Ellay and one of the new and improved Jaycee Dugard.
  1712. MichaelG on A day in Collegeland.
    October 23rd, 2009  5:55 pm

  1713. The H1N1 flu vaccine is a flu vaccine just like every other flu vaccine. It is made using the same methods, equipment etc. as every other flu vaccine. The only thing different is the specific strain of flu the manufacturers are aiming for. Every year, sometimes more than once, the vaccine mix is changed to target new strains of flu. H1N1 is just another one, albeit a bad one. The delay in manufacturing the product comes principally from the fact that the H1N1 strain is a slow grower and requires more lab time to make than what we have had before and because the H1N1 flu has come into season now instead of after the first of the year like classic strains. Two things then: There is nothing new or different or weird to make the H1N1 vaccine harmful to folks and there is no secret CDC plot to delay its delivery. I've always thought that it would be easy to run a university without those damn pesky students around to get in the way.
  1714. MichaelG on Deadbeat.
    October 27th, 2009  4:40 pm

  1715. I graduated in '62. Haven't been to any reunions. They never contacted me. They'll be having a 50th soon. Maybe I'll go. For you Detroit people I have two words: Marion Berry.
  1716. MichaelG on Customer service.
    October 27th, 2009  6:08 pm

  1717. I don't know if there's anybody around here older than me (I'm 65) but I find that I'm mellowing as I get older, although idiot drivers do pull my string. For some reason I have less patience with old people than I did in years past. I used to require that I drive any time I was in a motorcar but in recent years I've gone the other way. I now try to chump the other person into driving. You'd be amazed at the stuff I see along a route that I've driven for years and never saw before while driving. I have a simple cell phone like Jeff B's. It's good enough for me. I am able to survive without twitter so far but there are some interesting applications coming up so I might get interested. I have internet access at home and at work. That seems to be enough so far. I have a Canon camera that works very well for me. It's my fourth digital camera and I've pretty much figured out what I need and like. It's small and is no problem to carry along with a phone. I guess I'm sort of a medium tech guy.
  1718. MichaelG on The writerly stuff.
    October 29th, 2009  12:12 am

  1719. Sue, the message was in a veto letter the Gov sent to a gay legislator from San Francisco with whom he has been sort of feuding. http://gov.ca.gov/pdf/press/2009bills/AB1176_Ammiano_Veto_Message.pdf Read the first letter of each line going down. Congratulations Crinoid Girl!! It sure do. If the money's real, you're real.
  1720. MichaelG on Bad men.
    October 29th, 2009  5:28 pm

  1721. Get well, Moe. We're all pulling for you. I saw young Levi on the TV while getting ready for work this AM and for the first time found myself in agreement with Sarah Palin just like our hostess. I can see this kid rooming with Kevin Federline. He looks to be the same kind of narcissistic parasite.
  1722. MichaelG on Bad men.
    October 29th, 2009  9:43 pm

  1723. I like the way you grade papers, Rana. It's good for both parties.
  1724. MichaelG on Halloween tourism.
    November 3rd, 2009  4:31 am

  1725. I saw Oswald killed live. I was going to the U of Ill. in Champaign. My then girlfriend and I ended up spending the whole weekend with friends numbly watching TV. Jeez, the girl's name was Claudia but I can't remember the guy's name. He had a gorgeous Ducati though. Funny the stuff you remember. I can't get fired up about the John John salute. Besides it was like 46 years ago. Things and people were different then although I can imagine the hoots from the Republican noise machine were it to occur today. I was out to dinner at a friend's house Saturday night. Halloween. I got home just after midnight to find that I had been robbed. They took the TVs from the living room and my bedroom, my little shelftop stereo, some bottles of liquor and - get this: four or five flash drives and my back up hard drive and a knife that I had in my desk drawer. They didn't bother my computer (complete with 22" monitor) or my expensive bike. I don't get the theft of the memory. The thumb drives are a few bucks apiece at Target and the back up is less than a hun new. Oh, well.
  1726. MichaelG on Going down swinging.
    November 3rd, 2009  9:48 pm

  1727. Mr. Roig-Franzia sounds like a prime jerk. I'm always leery of people who fiddle with names. Mr. Allen sounds like a man who has reached the end of his rope. Mr. Wemple has given us a very poorly written story. He needs Mr. Allen's help. I'm with Sue and Scout. WTF?
  1728. MichaelG on It's all local.
    November 4th, 2009  10:03 pm

  1729. Yeah, there's really no way around it. Joe Lieberman is a total scum bag. Has been all along. I loved his moral superiority when Bill Clinton was in trouble. I've also seen "health care reform" all along as nothing but welfare for the insurance companies. Especially without the "public option".
  1730. MichaelG on Let's wait and see.
    November 6th, 2009  11:42 pm

  1731. From yesterday: I also arrived here at Bob Greene time, directed by what blog I can't remember. I also quit reading Lileks several years ago. He got a bit too loopy for me and a bit too twee. And he, like Jonah Goldberg and the rest of those sissy neocon war lovers was a bit overly brave with other people's asses while carefully staying out of the line of fire themselves. I'd forgotten about that 1995 Ft Bragg shooting. When I was stationed at Bragg I was right across the street from the stadium. Corner of Bastogne and Ardennes. Lived on one side of Bastogne and worked on the other.
  1732. MichaelG on Red in tooth and claw.
    November 9th, 2009  11:26 pm

  1733. When I lived in Auburn we would occasionally lose a chicken to death from above. You could always tell when it had happened while coming up the drive. The girls would all be huddled under trees staring fearfully at the sky. How did we win the cold war? We spent their asses under the table.
  1734. MichaelG on Attractive nuisance.
    November 10th, 2009  10:57 pm

  1735. Given the information that's surfaced over the years, anyone who sails or sailed on a Soviet nuculear sub will glow in the dark.
  1736. MichaelG on Art by committee.
    November 13th, 2009  12:43 am

  1737. Good luck, Crinoid Girl. We're with you. My father used to be an instructor at Loyola back in the 50's. He taught most of his classes at Lewis Towers. That would be the 1950s.
  1738. MichaelG on Early meeting bugout.
    November 13th, 2009  9:26 pm

  1739. So who counted all those birds? Not Sean Hannity I hope.
  1740. MichaelG on The birthday kids.
    November 16th, 2009  10:24 pm

  1741. Happy Birthdays Alan and Kate!! I generally do a face plant by the time food is served. That takes care of the potato cavity.
  1742. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    November 22nd, 2009  9:20 am

  1743. Gee, geese as aerial rats? I think some of you have them confused with pigeons. Can be aggressive? Yes. Poopalot? Yes. Eat them? Hell, yes. They're great eating. Also great guard dogs. My guess would be that C-Dad wouldn't have a gang of them on the property if he didn't like them. That last sentence may be presumptive. If so, I apologize, sir.
  1744. MichaelG on Swamped.
    November 24th, 2009  10:42 pm

  1745. Here in Sacto we're looking at sunny days, lows in the high 30's and highs in the mid to upper 60's through the weekend. Last week I was in Barstow and Burbank for a few days. It was quite warm and beautiful there. Clear skies even. It seemed freezing when I got back here to Sacto. I think Alex is right. I've seen a lot of little old beige haired ladies. It makes blue look good.
  1746. MichaelG on Don't assume.
    November 25th, 2009  7:59 pm

  1747. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
  1748. MichaelG on Don't assume.
    November 29th, 2009  11:11 pm

  1749. Those stars must be a Midwestern thing. I've never seen one around here (Northern CA).
  1750. MichaelG on Back to the mangle.
    November 30th, 2009  8:37 pm

  1751. I remember a mangle the way Mary describes it - as a sort of macro ironing device for table cloths and sheets, etc. The other thing is a ringer - a pair of unheated, rubber coated rollers to squeeze water out of the freshly washed clothes. My mother had an old Speed Queen washer with a ringer on it. There was a panic quick release thingy to free any trapped body parts. In time, one hopes. My take is that the vituous Elin teed off (nyuk, nyuk) on him and he was running for his ride and jumped in and she was chasing him down the drive beating on his Escalade with the iron. Hence the busted face and busted window. A Kobe Special from Zale's. She needs to smack him again.
  1752. MichaelG on Back to the mangle.
    November 30th, 2009  8:37 pm

  1753. Wow! Mary beat me to it!
  1754. MichaelG on Back to the mangle.
    December 1st, 2009  12:47 am

  1755. I was just trying to reconcile "Tiger’s level of wealth and accom­plish­ment" and your "small pool of cul­ti­vated, beau­ti­ful and intel­li­gent bridal prospects" with Zale's. Maybe Zale's is what happens when you skip your last two years at Stanfurd.
  1756. MichaelG on Back to the mangle.
    December 1st, 2009  8:41 am

  1757. Watching the football game this evening I kept thinking about Ashley and about how he loved his Saints. He must be a happy guy. 11 and 0. Wonderful pix, Moe. You must be a very happy and proud mom to have such wonderful kids. You're a very wealthy woman.
  1758. MichaelG on Cake 'n' cookies.
    December 16th, 2009  6:57 pm

  1759. Been out of touch for a while and it looks like I missed lots of interesting stuff. It's all what keeps me coming back to nn.c. I can't even think or talk about the Health Care Bill without my blood pressure spiking over that smarmy puke from Conn and the gutless, gormless Dems. Re that Lane cake. People would substitute grape juice for bourbon? Shudder.
  1760. MichaelG on Cake 'n' cookies.
    December 16th, 2009  6:59 pm

  1761. Moe, how about trying those bourbon balls again with grape juice? Woo Woo Welches!
  1762. MichaelG on Cake 'n' cookies.
    December 16th, 2009  8:16 pm

  1763. "Ord­nance absorp­tion tech­ni­cians" I love it. One of the things about working for the State of CA has always been that the employee trades a lower salary than paid in the private sector for stability and good health and retirement benefits. There are a lot of talented and dedicated folks working for the State of CA despite what the right wing noise machine would have one believe. They've cut our already marginal pay by 15% and now there are moves afoot to cut retirement and health bennies. And it looks like our pay may be cut again next year. As Cooze notes, we're well on our way to the third world.
  1764. MichaelG on Cake 'n' cookies.
    December 16th, 2009  8:50 pm

  1765. By the way, one of the reasons my wife and I did a legal separation rather than a divorce was so I could keep her on my health insurance. It costs me every month, but what the hell, we're still friends.
  1766. MichaelG on Cake 'n' cookies.
    December 16th, 2009  10:23 pm

  1767. Well, ROgirl, I'm not running any kind of scam on young women. Not at my age (65). There is one other thing about being separated rather than divorced and that is that our tax situation is better. Single people pay more than married. Also I have no desire to remarry. Anything short, OK. We have lunch every couple of months. She lives in a lovely redwood post and beam house in Auburn, I live in a high water bungalow in the ghetto in Sacramento. The bad part is that at this point I can't retire. Maybe one day.
  1768. MichaelG on Binning it.
    December 17th, 2009  6:24 pm

  1769. I'm the Deltoid. I have no idea what to make of that.
  1770. MichaelG on Unplugging.
    December 20th, 2009  2:21 am

  1771. Here's a heart warming story from my pal, Ken Levine. http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/ Look and laugh.
  1772. MichaelG on Unplugging.
    December 20th, 2009  8:25 am

  1773. I haven't got one, Holly, but I'll bet Google does. It's easy to pot shot airlines. Especially when the weather is bad. I fly Southwest a lot. Enough to score a couple or three free flights per year for the last ten years. You know you've flown them many times when you recognize flight attendants and pilots from previous flights. I like SWA. A lot. Their seats have a larger (longer?) pitch than United, American or Delta. They don't have a lot of amenities (OK, none) but then they've always pitched themselves as a no frills operation. Bring a book and bring a lunch on a long flight. I do. Check in on line in a timely fashion and you will have a good seat. Obviously most of my flights are from Sacto to one of the SoCal airports but I have flown SWA to the East Coast a number of times. In my personal experience they have a superb on time record. I got hung up after boarding at Midway one day. They offered updates every few minutes and let people off the plane with the caution that leaving might be sudden and those who left the aircraft were on their own. The plane left about an hour late because of the weather delay with all pax. The point is they made a very obvious effort not to imprison folks. The flights out of Sacto are always spot on because I take the first flight out and the plane has overnighted in Sacto. The afternoon flights out of SoCal are almost always on time which is kind of surprising because they all come from the east coast. No, SWA is not perfect and yes, as with everything in the travel world these days you have to make accommodations. Mentalize yourself in advance to be in tune with what the travel world wants and things will be easier for you. You are going to have to make the accommodations one way or the other, like it or not. That said, Craig What'shisname has an amusing riff but I never heard of people being hauled off a plane because it was overloaded. I never heard of people giving up seats in an overbooking situation without compensation. Airlines do commit egregious wrongs and should be brought to task for them but my guess is that the rate of these problems is not all that high as a percentage of flight operations. Especially if you avoid United, American and Northwest.
  1774. MichaelG on Unplugging.
    December 21st, 2009  6:09 am

  1775. Dexter mentioned Flying Tigers. I knew some Flying Tigers people. One guy was a navigator on an old Canadair CL-44 (what Flying Tigers used before DC-8s). He once turned the aircraft 90 degrees left for a few minutes in the middle of the Pacific, then right, then right again and finally left onto their original course. The captain wanted to know what was up. The navigator (I forget his name) pointed to a tomato seed that had fallen from his sandwich onto the chart. "You wouldn't want to hit that, would you?" There used to be several airlines based at North Field in Oakland back in the day. World (remember Ed Daley?) Saturn, Trans American, Air Cal and some others I forget. The 60's and 70's and into the 80's were fun and exciting days at OAK. Trivia question still current: What airport has two concurrently operating control towers on the same property? OAK.
  1776. MichaelG on Poor Brittany(s).
    December 21st, 2009  7:34 pm

  1777. For once I'm in full agreement with MMJeff. A drinking age of 21 years is just stupid. Abstinence and prohibition don't work. Never have, never will. I remember guys coming back from a year of combat in Vietnam who couldn't legally buy a drink. Colleen is also right. A combination of stupid laws and misbegotten righteous religiosity have given rise to the situation she describes.
  1778. MichaelG on Poor Brittany(s).
    December 21st, 2009  8:49 pm

  1779. "They'll drink at 18" is not an argument, it's a fact. I don't know how we made the leap from drinking legally at 18 to 18 year olds passing alcohol on to 14 year olds. I'm not buying it. Also at some point parents are going to have raise their own kids and be responsible for how they behave instead of passing it off to the g'ment. It might save a life. All kinds of things might save a life. Doesn't make them good ideas.
  1780. MichaelG on Poor Brittany(s).
    December 21st, 2009  10:02 pm

  1781. My glass is rose, Jeff, but not rosé. Maybe a nice zin.
  1782. MichaelG on Take your vitamins.
    December 22nd, 2009  8:30 pm

  1783. My erstwhile wife once went to lunch with her boss at a Chinese restaurant in the SF Financial District. He spotted a rat on a water pipe near the ceiling and pointed it out to the lady who owned the place. Her response: "Oh, that not ours. He belong next door."
  1784. MichaelG on Take your vitamins.
    December 23rd, 2009  1:35 am

  1785. "Drinker" and "Drinking" are two very big, very colored, scare inducing words that cover vast amounts of territory. Just what or who is a "Drinker"? What is "Drinking"?
  1786. MichaelG on The hero's fate.
    December 23rd, 2009  7:58 pm

  1787. "Decimate" merely refers to one in ten. As with everything else, procedures varied from place to place. Read/watch the media today and you would think "decimate" means wipe out.
  1788. MichaelG on The hero's fate.
    December 24th, 2009  1:24 am

  1789. Go ahead and legalize drugs. All of them. Would we really have more people abusing them than we do now? Use the money saved for education and treatment. Problem is the drug enforcement machine would never let their livelihood go away. Think of all the people who would be out of work if we legalized drugs.
  1790. MichaelG on Merry Christmas.
    December 25th, 2009  10:19 pm

  1791. Merry Christmas to Nancy & family and all the wonderful people at nn.c.
  1792. MichaelG on Come fly with us.
    December 28th, 2009  6:46 pm

  1793. Here is the new TSA Reg. It's on lots of web sites. http://jalopnik.com/5435326/new-tsa-security-rules-for-a-post+underwear-bomb-world Read'um and weep. It's comforting to know that out safety is in the hands of such idjits.
  1794. MichaelG on Come fly with us.
    December 28th, 2009  6:54 pm

  1795. Wow! President Kennedy entertains nude women on boat (or vice-versa). Check it out! http://www.tmz.com/
  1796. MichaelG on Come fly with us.
    December 28th, 2009  8:33 pm

  1797. Knowing his reputation, I'm guessing he wasn't oblivious, Brian, just tired.
  1798. MichaelG on The fool's errand.
    December 29th, 2009  6:56 pm

  1799. Pretty cool, Dexter. A true Flying Pigeon.
  1800. MichaelG on The fool's errand.
    December 29th, 2009  7:00 pm

  1801. Not impossible to be a cougar, I suppose, Brian, but probably a bobcat.
  1802. MichaelG on Oysters, snails, champagne.
    December 31st, 2009  6:21 pm

  1803. Grind your own, Alex. It's better anyway. I was wondering about links too, Chris. I mean I can cut and paste but why should I have to? ROgirl said it. It's been tough but let's hope for better in 2010. Happy New Year, all!
  1804. MichaelG on Oysters, snails, champagne.
    January 1st, 2010  6:35 am

  1805. Geez, Whitebeard. I'm sorry. We're all behind you and Moe and you're in our thoughts and prayers.
  1806. MichaelG on Interesting times.
    January 4th, 2010  6:45 pm

  1807. Ken Levine had good stuff on Warren Beatty. http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/ Our Governator does his State of the State Wed and issues the new budget in draft form on Fri. Can't wait. I have a feeling we're going to make MI look like paradise. Didn't we have a big thing on ground beef a couple of months ago? It's plain that you have to be self destructive to by frozen burgers.
  1808. MichaelG on Interesting times.
    January 4th, 2010  7:58 pm

  1809. Somebody stole the "U" out of "buy" in my earlier post. Beatty is 72. To make it with 12,000 women he would have had to have been with a different woman every other day starting on the day he was born. A different woman every two days, no breaks, no calling in sick. Don't know when he was able to fit in seconds with any of them. Gotta admire that dedication.
  1810. MichaelG on Interesting times.
    January 4th, 2010  8:55 pm

  1811. Henry Waxman, the only honest man in Congress, has done some chasing after obscene war profit makers, but he's only one man trying to climb a mighty steep slope.
  1812. MichaelG on Interesting times.
    January 4th, 2010  10:59 pm

  1813. I agree with Jeff Borden. No, Mary, I didn't make any assumptions. I just pointed out that that the one every two day requirement would be there if you averaged the conquests out over every day of 72 years starting at birth which I'm guessing even Warren didn't do. The practical application can have been made any way Warren wished. By the way, I'm neither envious nor appalled. This is amusing gossip and as somebody pointed out, an old story. There's enough bad stuff out there to get het up about without letting this ruffle your hair.
  1814. MichaelG on Just being supportive.
    January 5th, 2010  10:50 pm

  1815. Thanks for all the encouraging talk about Texas. My daughter and son-in-law are getting transferred to Ft. Hood this year. I'll let them find out for themselves. You're a nice person, Mary.
  1816. MichaelG on Flakeout.
    January 6th, 2010  6:17 pm

  1817. Happy Birthday, Mary. There's worse things than dog cooties.
  1818. MichaelG on Flakeout.
    January 7th, 2010  6:07 pm

  1819. Loves Baby Soft. Wasn't that a toilet paper?
  1820. MichaelG on Screen gem.
    January 11th, 2010  10:27 pm

  1821. I don't shop at Whole Foods very often and when I do I always come away feeling vaguely icky. They don't have anything that I can't get somewhere else for a lot cheaper. Their prices are confiscatory. There is a natural foods co-op not far from where I live but the people in there are even worse than those who shop at Whole Foods. The place is a religious shrine for them. I go there rarely as well and each time vow never to go again. They're a bunch of weedy, self important, self loving, aging hippy types who are smugly self satisfied, aware that they're superior to everybody including yours truly. They're the same dweebs you see pimping pledges on your local public TV station during the never ending pledge weeks. It feels like everybody is staring at me in there. Their prices are sky high as well. I feel like I need a shower after shopping there. Why do those health food freaks always look so unhealthy and unattractive? Why are their meat and produce so shitty looking? I think Cooz and J. C. have pretty well described the schizo nature of the Whole Foods shopper. The store seems to have a following based on its brand name and based on its providing products that aren't available in all areas. Food is a very competitive business here in Sacto. There are plenty of locally owned supermarkets and smaller stores where I can get a full range of very high quality stuff for reasonable prices including TJ's (OK, so Pasadena isn't really local). The big one is Corti brothers. The huge Asian supermarkets are a whole world unto themselves. Then there's the Farmer's Market which I would stack up against anyone's. My favorite is the smallish, locally owned Taylor's Market which is one of the best grocery stores I have ever seen. Very upscale and gourmetish (want pheasant stock? truffles?) but the people who work there are so friendly and down to earth and the building is so old and so not quite run down that one is immediately disarmed. I love the place. Great butcher shop as well. The kicker is that their prices are very competitive with Safeway. The Briddish chain, Fresh and Easy acquired some dirt in my ghetto neighborhood and was going to build a store for a 2009 opening but that got deferred because of the economic meltdown. I don't know about this George Clooney guy, but I can tell you that I have had a serious letch for the beautiful Gina Gershon for many years. I heard her on an SF talk show one time. She was very smart, very quick and very funny. Yum.
  1822. MichaelG on Screen gem.
    January 12th, 2010  1:02 am

  1823. I've seen both Showgirls and Bound. Showgirls was truly an awful movie but there were some pretty girls to see. Bound was an excellent movie
  1824. MichaelG on Watch your language.
    January 12th, 2010  11:40 pm

  1825. I used to work with a guy who was born in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. He was well into his thirties when he moved to this country and became a citizen. He was -is- white. His family had come from Great Britain. Being an African-American, he used to laugh at the various tortured characterizations. As is so often the case in this country, we seem to worry more about the sizzle than the steak.
  1826. MichaelG on Watch your language.
    January 13th, 2010  6:32 am

  1827. I kind of like the idea of electronic books in principle but I'm a long way from actually buying a reader. Look at this: http://www.boingboing.net/2009/12/21/effs-ebook-buyers-gu.html#comments Maybe the new Apple notebook thingy will be better.
  1828. MichaelG on Faults and other problems.
    January 14th, 2010  6:05 am

  1829. We are all behind you Whitebeard. Our hearts are with you. Video images flow by. Play them over and over and they still flow by. A still photo captures a single moment and allows the viewer to absorb all the nuances of that moment. Jeff (tmmo), it's wonderful that you are operating a clinic in Cale­basse, Haiti! You have my admiration. Perhaps you could share a little insider's experience and atmosphere with us?
  1830. MichaelG on There will (not) be cake.
    January 14th, 2010  7:21 pm

  1831. Bob Greene was in 2002? I've been following nn.c that long? Man. Happy blogaversary! This is my firstthinginthemorning thing. Don't know what I'd do without it. Thank you, Nance. The SacBee used to carry Dexter's column. I liked him but he used to piss me off a lot. I remember his last column. Somewhere around '95? It was kind of a "screw you" thing. Apropos the trial going on in SF, He once wrote a terrific column about gay marriage. I'd like to see it again.
  1832. MichaelG on There will (not) be cake.
    January 14th, 2010  11:36 pm

  1833. The widespread structural failure found in Haiti is sad but very predictable. You see lousy building in every third world country. Concrete is a perfect example. With no building codes or inspection to speak of, with uncaring contractors and developers you're guaranteed to get a substandard building. Thus lots of cheap sand vs expensive Portland Cement in the mix. Clean, properly sized aggregate? Catch as catch can. Rebar? That looks about right. I was in Puerto Vallarta one time watching construction of some oceanfront condos. They were using sand right off the beach for their concrete. I don't know what their mix design was bit the rebar was clearly rusty and substandard in size and installation. Ocean beach sand has lots of salt in it and that salt will leach out of the concrete as time goes on weakening it and dissolving the rebar. At least the builders in Haiti don't have to put up with any of that awful govt interference or have any of those stupid codes to worry about.
  1834. MichaelG on More misery.
    January 17th, 2010  9:37 pm

  1835. Good Lord, Basset. Pancetta is pork belly, it's a type of Italian bacon that's salt cured and rolled but not smoked. If it looks raw it is raw. Of course it should be on the pizza, not served as a side dish. Who knows what those people were thinking. But then I remember when my daughter lived in Clarksville. Things are different from where I live. Stay away from that "restaurant". Don't even drive past it. Go around the block.
  1836. MichaelG on This is a holiday?
    January 18th, 2010  9:36 pm

  1837. Harking back to yesterday's thread, Basset, I have, in fact, been to the Blackhorse Pub. Not a bad place at all. I enjoyed lunch with my daughter. Hubby was at work I'm not eating raw pancetta. I am a big fan of Prosciutto, though.
  1838. MichaelG on You still suck.
    January 19th, 2010  9:32 pm

  1839. There are any number of good to excellent locally owned pizza places here in Sacto and probably most everywhere else. I can't think of a reason to patronize a chain other than maybe delivery. Chuck-E-Cheese anybody?
  1840. MichaelG on You still suck.
    January 20th, 2010  2:31 am

  1841. Nancy asked who was going to be number three and Brian weighed in first with Erich Segal. A genuinely fine author did die in the person of Robert Parker. I, for one, will miss him.
  1842. MichaelG on You still suck.
    January 20th, 2010  6:20 am

  1843. After a day of pizza stuff here on nn.c I had to go out this eve and get me some. It's been several months since I had any. I went to Masullo's on Riverside and 2d Ave. The pizza (thin crust, the way I like it) was very good: tasty, crisp and yummy. A glass of a really nice wine and I'm back home. OK, two glasses. Without going into the numbers, it was expensive. Your travel education is amusing and right on, Deborah. I learned in college to go for breakfast as road food when traveling. No matter where you are, you can usually scare up some good breakfast.
  1844. MichaelG on Baby it's cold inside.
    January 21st, 2010  10:51 pm

  1845. As a firm champion of the First Amendment, I support the right of every individual to purchase the very best legislator money can buy.
  1846. MichaelG on Baby it's cold inside.
    January 21st, 2010  11:34 pm

  1847. McConnell is the guy I had in mind with my #25 post. I'm very sad to say that I agree entirely with Moe. Thinking of the Calif Gov and Legis and the US G'ment is enough to drive one suicidal.
  1848. MichaelG on Nowhere but up.
    January 22nd, 2010  8:58 pm

  1849. Sacramento is located in an enormous valley. It's flat here and the elevation is just a few feet above sea level. The mountains start just to the east and in two hours or so you can be at 7000 feet, though it will take much longer than two hours on a snowy January Friday when the roads are packed with skiers. It doesn't rain here from roughly mid April until around Halloween so the winter rains and snow have to last us all year. We had a lot of rain here this past week with a little street flooding but nothing like SoCal. On the other hand, the high country got a huge amount of snow which is great because the snowpack is what we drink. The ski resorts are ecstatic. Also depleted reservoirs have been filling up so we're hoping to see the end of the drought. Today will be a rainy one but Sat and Sun will be dry. It's been chilly (for us) with highs in the 40's when the avg high is in the mid to upper 50's. Rain is scheduled to resume on Mon and Tues. I think SoCal's weather will be similar. Here's one of the greatest radar maps going. You can see the whole country: http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/full_loop.php I'm so disheartened by the venal and incompetent politicians and the willfully stupid voters that I don't even want to think about the SCOTUS decision or health care. Speaking of health, anybody know how Whitebeard's doing?
  1850. MichaelG on Cocktails in Brobdingnag.
    January 25th, 2010  6:10 pm

  1851. I'll be rooting for the Saints but I suspect Indy is the better team. Of course the Saints have Ashley on their side. I have a Herb Caen signature martini glass. Really. His sig is etched below the rim. The Chron had some made years ago as a promotional item. My brother in law, who worked there at the time, scored me one.
  1852. MichaelG on Cocktails in Brobdingnag.
    January 26th, 2010  6:20 pm

  1853. I don't know who Cooz has in mind, but the last time I listened to Limbaugh was when Clinton had just come into office. Limbaugh was going on and on about what an ugly little girl Chelsea was. I was appalled that he was being so nasty about a 12 or 13 year old kid. I also love the way he claims to be an entertainer and then attacks Hollywood types who express a political opinion as stupid entertainers whose opinions aren't worthy of attention. Somehow MM Jeff, your moralism reminds me of Honest Ave the hair splitter.
  1854. MichaelG on Stuck in neutral, or not.
    February 1st, 2010  10:15 pm

  1855. I simply cannot imagine crashing my car the way the off duty CHP guy did. I don't understand how that crash happened. Stand on the brakes, turn off the ignition, pop it into neutral, pull the accelerator back with your toe. The CHP does train its people in high performance driving skills. They have a track and a skid pad here in West Sacramento at the CHP Academy. You can see it here off Reed Ave in the western part of West Sacramento. It's just west of I-80. http://www.bing.com/maps/#JnE9eXAud2VzdCtzYWNyYW1lbnRvJTJjK2NhJTdlc3N0LjAlN2VwZy4xJmJiPTM4LjcyNzAwNjUyMTI2NjMlN2UtMTIxLjA0NTAyMzcyNDQzNyU3ZTM4LjMyMzA0MzMyMTQ5NSU3ZS0xMjEuNjc4Nzk3NTI4MTQ4 I always drove a stick until I bought my present car. My ex refuses to drive an auto. She has a 2006 PT Cruiser. I ended up with an automatic on my car because stick shift cars are getting harder to find, especially beyond the entry level. I would prefer one. Neither my ex nor myself have ever replaced a clutch. I put 125,000 miles on an '81 Corolla in San Francisco and the clutch was fine when I sold the car. I got rid of it because it didn't have A/C which isn't necessary in SF but is in Sacto where I was moving. If you drive properly a clutch will last forever. Simply don't slip it. I made sure my daughter learned to drive on a stick shift. Today she and hubby have two cars, one auto and one stick. I've been sort of fascinated with the new Nissan Cube ever since the rental people gave me one for a few days when I was in Hollywood last fall. It's a hoot. When was the last time anyone here changed a tire? I had a flat this AM when I left to go to work. I have a compressor and I tried to blow it up but no go. So I put on the little space saver thingy and went off to the tire store to spend $250 on a pair of skins for the front. The rears have lots of tread still. They don't do anything but keep the back bumper from dragging on the ground anyway. Way to start the week. I can't remember the last time I changed a tire. It hasn't gotten any more fun.
  1856. MichaelG on Stuck in neutral, or not.
    February 2nd, 2010  2:34 am

  1857. Jeff B., I had a couple of those old spider wrenches at the house in Auburn but forgot to take one when I moved down to Sacto. Since the car was in front of my house I had access to a 3/4" deep well socket and a nice breaker bar. That little scissors jack sucks though. My insurance covers this stuff but I couldn't see the wait or the hassle. We saw one of those gruesome movies in Driver's Ed with all the icky bodies. As almost 16 yr old boys we had to act like it was cool.
  1858. MichaelG on My HBO problem.
    February 2nd, 2010  7:30 pm

  1859. There is an ad for "The Office" (I think it's "The Office" - somebody correct me) that has a supposedly pregnant guy going into labor, standing over a waste basket claiming his water just broke while the laugh track howls in the background. I took it as an absolute warning to stay away from the piece of shit they were advertising.
  1860. MichaelG on My HBO problem.
    February 3rd, 2010  6:08 pm

  1861. Brian, MarkH, you two couldn't be more right about Speed. It's been ruined by lowest common denominator shows the same way the Food Channel was. The British and German touring cars are lots of fun, F-1 guardedly so (the whole program and Bernie E piss me off so much I can't really get into F-1) and last weekend's coverage of the Daytona 24 hours was superb. I miss the Aussie V-8 supercars and the Rally coverage. Do we really need a thousand hours of watching identical '69 Camaros auctioned for obscene prices? NASCAR was good twenty years ago but I don't like the spec racing series for a few hyper rich owners into which it's devolved. Bring back real cars. Also, Brian, don't get rid of all the ovals. I like a few of the big ones where the cars can really get out and roll. Over the years I've seen them at Sears (now Infineon) a half dozen times. Watching those big cars bumping and grinding their way around a road course is a great show.
  1862. MichaelG on Detroitywood.
    February 3rd, 2010  7:42 pm

  1863. I haven't ever been told that I have a Maine accent. Of course I've never been there either.
  1864. MichaelG on Frozen.
    February 4th, 2010  10:44 pm

  1865. We have two big time corporate women running for Statewide office here in California. Carly Fiorina, former HP honcho is running for Barbara Boxer's senate seat and Meg Whitman, erstwhile E-Bay Boss, is running for governor. Both are conservative Republicans, both offer further proof that prowess in the corporate boardroom is not an indicator of political potential. Whitman, in particular, is running an odd campaign. Her plan to solve California's fiscal crisis has three points: Fire 30% of State employees, create new jobs and lower taxes. No matter that the points are total fantasy, they resonate with pissed off voters. She appears only on radio and occasional TV commercials, won't do interviews or talk shows and refuses to debate her primary opponent. In short, she does nothing but repeat her mantra over and over in paid ads while hoping to be anointed governor from above. The other day she was busted trying to bribe her primary opponent into quitting the race thereby giving her a free pass to the general election. The fur still hasn't settled from that one. It is being bruited about that she has spent $30 mil of her own money on the campaign so far. It's interesting times when Jerry Brown is the sanest looking candidate on the block.
  1866. MichaelG on Frozen.
    February 4th, 2010  10:53 pm

  1867. Don't forget that when "buying" a Kindle E-Book from Amazon that you are only buying the opportunity to look at the book on your reader for a limited period of time. The period runs from when you make your purchase to when Amazon decides it will cut you off. They can erase it from your Kindle at will. They can see how often you access it and when. You can't copy it, print it or loan it or sell it to another party. There are other strings attached as well. It will be a long time before I pay good money for something like that. I'm sticking with the library and used book stores.
  1868. MichaelG on Frozen.
    February 4th, 2010  11:36 pm

  1869. Whitman is trying to avoid the public and the media and their nasty propensity to ask questions. She wants to run for gov and then run the State from her aerie. She wants to be queen. Her talking points, if that's what we can call them, show her to be indisputably either totally uninformed about how things work or a lying sack of shit.
  1870. MichaelG on Frozen.
    February 5th, 2010  1:26 am

  1871. In my post at #14 I brought up the question of just what you actually get when you "buy" an E-book. Before I think about how much I want to pay for something like that, I want to see some serious thought on the part of all parties about just exactly what an E-book is. I wouldn't give you a plugged nickel for the Amazon model. There are lots of small publishers and purveyors all over the net offering E-books in Adobe and in many other formats with many different strings attached from $3.95 up. I don't know if these would be readable on Kindle, I suspect not, but I'll bet you will be able to read them on your IPad. Like VHS and BETA, there will eventually be a single basic format. I'd like to see something analogous to today's actual book book. I can loan it, resell it, burn it because it was written by a commie or whatever else I want to do. I hate the Kindle model. Talk about corporate totalitarianism. Amazon makes Bill Gates look like Mother Teresa.
  1872. MichaelG on Thawing.
    February 5th, 2010  9:45 pm

  1873. "When you have to take your shoes off to count the number of women you’ve slept with, perhaps its time to stop counting. And time to keep the pants zipped." Why?
  1874. MichaelG on Thawing.
    February 7th, 2010  1:32 am

  1875. I think suggesting there is something sexual about the SI cover says more about those making the suggestions than it does about the picture. Rana, I can see your point but I still have no objection to the way SI posed the cover picture. It seems to me that the idea was to give the readers a good look at a star rather than to present a skiing picture. One of the swimsuit issue stars is doing pretty well in the NASCAR ARCA race which is gracing my tube right now.
  1876. MichaelG on Thawing.
    February 7th, 2010  1:35 am

  1877. Jeff B, I've been saying for years just what you've pointed out about the Dems peeing their pants. The total lack of a spine anywhere in the Democratic party is one of the things that has me depressed about the state of the country.
  1878. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    February 7th, 2010  2:29 am

  1879. Pork jowl is often cured and made into a type of bacon called guanciale. It's excellent - tastes pretty much like regular bacon.
  1880. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    February 8th, 2010  5:57 am

  1881. Saints win and Ashley smiles.
  1882. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    February 8th, 2010  6:42 am

  1883. Mary, it's also great in Carbonara. And I don't think I've ever seen two posts with the same time stamp. Must have been a bittersweet moment for Archie Manning, who, by all accounts, is one of the true nice guys of the NFL.
  1884. MichaelG on It's all in the angles.
    February 12th, 2010  12:51 am

  1885. First: Been out of town for a couple of days. So - glad to hear you are doing OK, Whitebeard. Also, enjoy the isles, Moe. When in the Army I vowed to never eat any of those Jello dishes again. Only vow I've ever kept. The stuff is beyond gross.
  1886. MichaelG on Dull and duller.
    February 12th, 2010  10:21 pm

  1887. One day back in the '70s when we lived in San Francisco, I, along with my then wife and a girl friend of hers, took the N Judah line to a garage to pick up our car. There was a bar across the street and the women decided to go have a beer while waiting for me to ransom the car. When finished, I parked the car on the street and went into the bar to join them. The female bartender's orientation was obvious in her husky build, DA, man's tee shirt with sleeves rolled, levis and attitude. The girls sat at the bar grinning at me. The bartender pointed at the door and 86'd me. No men allowed in the bar. I had to stand out on the street waiting for the smirking sisters to finish their beers. They were still grinning when they came out and they hadn't hurried either. While none of us had known the place was a lesbian bar, my wife and her (straight) friend sure derived a lot of amusement rubbing my face in it.
  1888. MichaelG on Dull and duller.
    February 14th, 2010  9:48 pm

  1889. See my earlier post up at 18. Alex, Cosmo, Rana, the incident related there took place in the early afternoon. There were only a couple of other customers in the bar. Business models or whatever aside, I can tell you that I was tossed from the place within seconds of entering simply because I was male. Did I put up a fuss? No. I knew about gay and lesbian bars, had even drunk in gay bars and I understood what they were about. I'd also been in places that were male bastions. I could respect the owner's desire and when asked to leave, I did so quietly.
  1890. MichaelG on Dull and duller.
    February 15th, 2010  1:07 am

  1891. Oh, Rana. I wasn't disgruntled or put out in the least at being thrown out of the lesbian bar. I thought I made that clear above. I said that I understood and respected their position. I guess the point, if there was one, was the way my wife and her friend were so entertained by what happened to me and how they took their time finishing their beers and the big grins they sported as they watched. As soon as they sat at the bar they knew what was going to happen when I showed up. After all, they were women too, even if they were not lesbians, and they had been subjected to the type of treatment to which you allude. And my wife's reaction didn't bother me. I found the whole thing kind of amusing too. We all went home happy. By the way, I know a thing or two about bars. I've been going to them for over forty years. I can't tell you how much we treasured a nice, quiet place where we could have a drink and talk.
  1892. MichaelG on Thirty-six hours of fun.
    February 15th, 2010  6:53 pm

  1893. Wait a minute, wait a minute! I know my biology is a bit sketchy, but how does that love child of Tark and Moe thing work, Cooz? And she sure does look like it.
  1894. MichaelG on Lunatic fringe.
    February 16th, 2010  7:43 pm

  1895. I've traveled for good dim sum. I'd do it again. But only for good stuff. Somehow bad Chinese food is worse than bad any other kind of food. You want a place that has those circulating carts so you can see and grab what you want not a place where you have to order off a menu. Also a place that's busy so all the stuff is fresh. Best I've had was in a joint on Pacific between Stockton and Grant in SF. I forget the name but I know where it is.
  1896. MIchaelG on Lunatic fringe.
    February 17th, 2010  3:23 am

  1897. Great news, Whitebeard. Eat hearty.
  1898. MichaelG on This halo, it chafes.
    February 18th, 2010  8:42 pm

  1899. "smug self-effacement" Great phrase. It sure do exist.
  1900. MIchaelG on The heemanee.
    February 21st, 2010  9:37 pm

  1901. We have those kiosk/central parking meter things here in Sacto as well. There are two per block so the walk isn't really that far but it is a pain in the ass on a cold, rainy day. The instructions are to peel off the backing and stick the ticket to your window. Sure. I just leave the ticket on the dash. They take quarters and credit cards. I started out hating them. Now I don't exactly like them but I've gotten used to them Deborah, also read Ken Levine before you go: http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/ Brian, don't they sell beer in the grocery store? You need to hang out more at liquor stores and bars. Sounds like you had a misspent youth.
  1902. MIchaelG on The heemanee.
    February 22nd, 2010  7:31 am

  1903. Deborah, Levine's site had a funny thing about movie goers, not a review of Shutter Island. It was meant to be amusing.
  1904. MichaelG on Among the dead.
    February 23rd, 2010  12:16 am

  1905. Thanks for the great news, Mo. Keep it going. My God! Corn holing, Brian? Gonna add tea bagging too? Or is there another kind of corn holing? I still say "skiing" back and forth through a ditch or over a bunch of bumps is trash sports. Watch this for a minute or two and then look at the downhill. Tell me there's an equal thrill there. They're sports invented to include those who couldn't make the real team.
  1906. MichaelG on Among the dead.
    February 23rd, 2010  4:44 pm

  1907. Ease up MarkH? That was a joke though you obviously didn't understand that. I guessed that Brian had something else in mind though I no idea what. I'm sure he was aware that there was nothing malicious pointed at him in the post. And I had never heard of that game. You have to wonder who dreams that stuff up.
  1908. MichaelG on Dear Prudence.
    February 25th, 2010  10:39 pm

  1909. Hey, I fit that Concordia profile. Except for the part about young. Or polite and maybe I'm not so neat and I know I wouldn't have felt at home in the Nixon admistration and . . . oh, well. I tried.
  1910. MichaelG on Linkfest.
    March 2nd, 2010  8:29 pm

  1911. Did the earth move? I read somewhere yesterday that the Sumatran quake at Banda Aceh was good for 7" plus or minus. I didn't feel anything then either. I wonder if quakes on the other side of the world cause movement in the opposite direction.
  1912. MichaelG on Linkfest.
    March 3rd, 2010  12:21 am

  1913. "at the shore." I love the way you guys talk back there.
  1914. MichaelG on The beauty shot.
    March 10th, 2010  1:26 am

  1915. Last year the Gov and Mrs. Schwarzenegger were featured in several ads promoting California tourism. The State Trade and Commerce Agency paid them $250,000 for the honor. Last week they returned the money saying all their bucks were in a blind trust (along with the Democrats' balls, but that's another story) and they had had no idea that the money had been paid. Can you imagine having so many bucks that you misplace the odd check for 250 grand?
  1916. MichaelG on We are not amused.
    March 10th, 2010  6:10 pm

  1917. Jeff, call me back when you have Elisabetta Canalis on the list.
  1918. MichaelG on We are not amused.
    March 10th, 2010  11:26 pm

  1919. Eagles Quarterback and noted dog lover Michael Vick was one of 32 NFL players to receive the Ed Block Courage Award. The award is presented to players who exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Somehow this fits right in with today's comments.
  1920. MichaelG on The good stuff.
    March 12th, 2010  12:46 am

  1921. Y'all's own Ohio congressman, George Hamilton Boner is hot after Massa, demanding an investigation.
  1922. MIchaelG on Wrongspeak.
    March 13th, 2010  10:48 pm

  1923. You gottit, A. Riley. "One of their own" gags me. When I was a kid, before the ice cooled, WLS in Chi was a great music station. Great jocks like Dick Biondi, the Wild Itralian, and Dan Sorkin. Yes, that's "Itralian". Used to hear on TV, on the weather particularly, "the Chicagoland area". Repetitively redundant.
  1924. MichaelG on Evolution and solar radiation.
    March 16th, 2010  6:30 pm

  1925. I'm particularly enchanted by the toenail fungus commercials they seem to show only while I'm preparing dinner. TV is wonderful. They'll show torture, beatings, murder and other felonious activity in loving detail. But sex, (which is still legal in most places as far as I know) oh, no. That's evil. Boggles the mind. My house was burgled last fall. They took TVs, stereo, computer, etc. I was very concerned after I had replaced everything that the bad guys would be looking for the brand new stuff as Jeff B. notes.
  1926. MichaelG on You and you and you.
    March 17th, 2010  5:45 pm

  1927. That writing has a definite "Dick and Jane" quality to it. Want lat and long on somebody's house? Check Google Earth. Those wing nut idiots really do live in an alternate universe.
  1928. MichaelG on Who smells smoke?
    March 18th, 2010  7:00 pm

  1929. From what I see here and there Stupak is fast moving up in the laughingstock sweepstakes.
  1930. MIchaelG on Go Bobcats.
    March 19th, 2010  10:26 pm

  1931. Well shucks, Happy Birthday, Brian. She Who looks like she's wearing one of the late Fess Parker's old coonskin caps.
  1932. MIchaelG on Go Bobcats.
    March 20th, 2010  7:48 am

  1933. Loved Molly Ivins and miss her greatly. Also had a serious letch for Ms. Turner twenty some years ago. Crimes of Passion, Body Heat. And thanks, Dexter for that Friedman link.
  1934. MIchaelG on Go Bobcats.
    March 21st, 2010  7:56 am

  1935. Cooz, I wasn't sure which dwarf you had in mind until I clicked your link. I kind of had a mild letch for Ms. Lopez about 15 years ago when she was new on the scene. She wore that out quickly. Very. Back when that name shortening thing began, first initial of the first name and first syllable of the last name (J-Lo), I immediately thought of a certain Russian figure skater. She won a couple of Olympic medals, maybe gold, maybe not. Anyway, she had the greatest name: Irina Slutskaya -- I-Slut. It's easy to see why the thing never really caught on. Just think of POTUS.
  1936. MIchaelG on Go Bobcats.
    March 21st, 2010  8:01 am

  1937. I'm kind of surprised that as literate a crowd as this wasn't familiar with the term "to ferret" or "to ferret out" as an expression meaning to work out or to dig out or whatever out a bit of information. I've seen it in literature for years. I don't know whence it came, but in Briddish spy stories intelligence agents are sometimes known as ferrets.
  1938. MIchaelG on Go Bobcats.
    March 21st, 2010  7:41 pm

  1939. You're right, ROgirl. Maybe she meant "fete"?
  1940. MIchaelG on The way they did it.
    March 25th, 2010  4:25 am

  1941. I've been down south for the last couple of days. I flew out of Burbank this afternoon and I can report there was no snow there. This beautiful college campus thing seems to come up a couple of times a year. I've visited a ton of college campi over the years and somehow find all of them beautiful. I can't see any profit in trying to decide which is the most beautiful. People see things differently, people have different tastes. The beauty of the moment is too much tied to other factors. The University of Illinois at Champaign will never be a contender in the most beautiful sweepstakes but it has its moments. The most beautiful sight on a college campus for me occured on a winter evening in Champaign in about 1963 when I was walking down a tree lined street in the midst of a snow storm holding hands with my girlfriend. It was one of those snows when the temp seemed warm, there was no wind and the snowfall was so heavy that things were instantly covered with a silent white blanket. I was young and in love and the night and the girl were beautiful. I think the true beauty of college campuses is the vitality, the optimism and the hope of the young people. I like the warm feeling I get when walking on a campus.
  1942. MichaelG on The way they did it.
    March 25th, 2010  4:26 am

  1943. I did a typo that came out "MIchaelG" I'm really "MichaelG".
  1944. MichaelG on The way they did it.
    March 25th, 2010  6:19 am

  1945. Dorothy, I have the browser remember it but I delete all that stuff periodically. The last time I entered I didn't notice the typo. I finally got around to fixing it. Maybe it's superstition, but deleting everything and running a scan makes me feel safer. I've had my problems with a virus here and a virus there. I've edited before (you wouldn't believe) but I didn't try to edit the heading or whatever you call it. I'll try to avoid a next time.
  1946. MichaelG on Let's try on rings.
    March 25th, 2010  6:12 pm

  1947. A while ago you newspaper types were talking about bloating your output. How about Linda Holmes telling us of the twenty some exclamation points and other multiple uses of punctuation or the use of all caps - are these legit output bloaters or are they cheating? How about your new mayor's plan to tear down 10,000 buildings?
  1948. MichaelG on My labor today is elsewhere.
    March 27th, 2010  9:06 pm

  1949. We haven't heard from Whitebeard in a while. Anybody know how he is? I filled out my census form today. Just to be safe I wore rubber gloves and a tinfoil hat. I used a sponge to moisten the envelope flap. So that's me. Still one step ahead.
  1950. MichaelG on My labor today is elsewhere.
    March 28th, 2010  8:13 pm

  1951. Good Lord, Cooze. Just look at Wendy Linebacker's picture. I wouldn't want to get close enough to find out if she snores.
  1952. MichaelG on My labor today is elsewhere.
    March 29th, 2010  5:11 pm

  1953. Yeah, John, but some are the little shu shus and some are step children.
  1954. MichaelG on You don't have to be Jewish...
    March 30th, 2010  4:26 pm

  1955. Here's the low down on both the insurance industry dust up over covering kids and strip club Repubs. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/
  1956. MichaelG on He's done it again.
    March 31st, 2010  6:40 pm

  1957. I almost didn't click figuring it would be a link to the Petal Pushers about whom I had read the other day. Glad I did. It's a great story.
  1958. MichaelG on The bad duck.
    April 2nd, 2010  12:55 am

  1959. Wow! Poultry and rabbit stories. We had rabbits once when we lived in Marin County. Two became 24. Believe it or not they crapped in a box with newspaper in it. We posted a sign on the wall down low next to the box that said "No Cats Allowed". It seemed to work. I trotted momma down to the San Francisco animal shelter (at the time they didn't kill animals) just a day or two before she was scheduled to drop another litter. I gave them a phony name and phone number so they wouldn't call and bitch at me. Then we somehow ended up with a little golden lop that was gay. He tried once too often to rape the A rabbit, a medium sized Dutch who was named Rafael. Rafael tore the little lop up so badly that we had to get $500 worth of work done at the vet before we could give him away. We were able to lay most of the rabbits off on pet stores and gave the rest away except for Rafael. He lived to be almost 10. When we (I - my ex is still there) lived in Auburn we had lots of chickens. The girls were always an amiable bunch, smarter and with more personality than you would expect. To this day I miss those wonderful fresh eggs. One day we acquired a giant rooster. A Speckled Hampshire or a Spotted Whatevershire or something like that. He was young and just beginning to grow his spurs, thank God. Sucker stood higher than my knee. He terrorized the girls and me equally. I had a length of 2 x 2 that I carried with me. I was only able to clobber him the first couple of times before he got wise and started in with his rooster fu. He was very quick and evasive and I couldn't hit him. He would stalk me from behind trees and bushes and stuff and jump out at me. Then he'd stand there, bobbing and weaving and looking at me as if saying "Come and get it, Motherfucker". Gahd, what a beast. We snatched him when he was sleeping and put him in a box. I took him down to the feed store and gave him to a chicken feed salesman from Oregon. We ended up with a chocolate runner duck. Seems like we were always acquiring odd animals. She was a nice girl but messy as hell. She would shit copiously everywhere all the time. I think ducks and geese have some kind of internal multiplier so that they shit three or four times the volume of what they eat. We kept a kid's wading pool for her and every week or so tossed a dozen goldfish in for her dining pleasure. She'd snaffle them up in no time. She had a habit of carrying dirt to put in the pool when we changed the water. Lord, she was filthy. One night she got out of the shed and a fox ate her. Most of her, anyway. I tried her eggs, but never really liked them. They have a taste very different from chicken eggs. One of my ex's goaties died a few weeks ago and T got a replacement. Of course the new goat turned out to be preggers. Fortunately the baby was a girl. Cute as can be. Male goats are as filthy, smelly and nasty as ducks and geese.
  1960. MichaelG on Happy Easter.
    April 2nd, 2010  9:24 pm

  1961. Hope Mrs. Basset is feeling better soon. Don't tell her about DiCaprio as McGee. It'll cause a setback.
  1962. MichaelG on Happy Easter.
    April 3rd, 2010  9:05 pm

  1963. Prospero, Dave Robicheaux would make a poor Travis McGee. Too angst ridden and too crazy when provoked.
  1964. MichaelG on Happy Easter.
    April 5th, 2010  7:17 am

  1965. We felt nothing of the quake here. It was covered on TV and it seems that damage was, I hope, minimal, but let LAMary tell the story. It was a spectator thing here. It does seem like we're about due for a another big one. The weather has been miserable for the last two weeks and looks to be awful for at least another week or so. Cold, wind and rain. It's raining like crazy right now. High temps have been in the fifties when avg April temps should be in the seventies. I sat here and stared at the 10 day forecast hoping something would change, but no luck. Then I went to another site and quickly clicked back to the weather site hoping to catch a break but no change. Stanfurd vs. UConn Tues. Stanfurd needs to pick it up.
  1966. MichaelG on Unforeseen consequences.
    April 5th, 2010  9:50 pm

  1967. Meg Whitman says she will balance the budget and gel the recovery by firing 40,000 State employees, building new prisons and creating new jobs. Whatever "creating new jobs" means. I'll leave it to somebody smarter than me to figure how all that works. Poizner is going to balance the budget by cutting all services to illegal immigrants, despite the fact that the Federal Courts have already said that such cuts are not permissible. I can't imagine that services to illegal immigrants amount to all that much anyway. Certainly nothing close to $21 Bil. So we have two candidates building their platforms on fairy tales. I don't know who first called Jerry Brown "Moonbeam". He's a very smart guy, if a tad quirky. He does have personality and can be an excellent and entertaining speaker. And he can be charming when he wants. I've heard him several times. It's interesting days when he's the sanest of the candidates. I'm voting for him too. Might as well. I did last time he ran for gov. Look at one of the sat maps, google or bing. Mexicali is a huge place with about a million people. I had never realized that until I had a job in El Centro and was traveling to the area regularly. If there's anything that demonstrates the good side of govt presence, it's the contrast between places that have seismic building regulations, building codes and genuine inspections and those places that don't. I would offer Chile vs. Haiti for your edification and also, I would suspect, Mexicali vs. the California side.
  1968. MichaelG on By any other name.
    April 7th, 2010  4:33 pm

  1969. Gawd, I'll also fess up to peeking at APS for the last several years. My only reaction to the whole half hooker business is "So what's new"? Also a "So what's new?" to all the eminently predictable moralistic reactions. The term "knee-jerk" comes to mind.
  1970. MichaelG on American ingenuity.
    April 10th, 2010  7:04 pm

  1971. John G. Wallace, yes, that was Coors' "finger fucker" can. You always ended up with the tip of your finger getting wet. It could get a little perturbing when you were working on your car and your hands were greasy. I have no idea what Coors was thinking but the can didn't last long. When I was in the army I had a friend who swallowed a poptop. He had pulled it off and dropped it into the can as was his custom. He had been doing it for a long time before he finally swallowed a top. We went to the e-room at Ft. Bragg. When the doc stopped laughing he told my friend to look for it in the bowl next time and if it didn't show in a day or so to come back. It showed up or so I was told. It's one of those things where you take people's word.
  1972. MichaelG on American ingenuity.
    April 10th, 2010  9:26 pm

  1973. Here's a blog by a friend of mine. A guy I used to work with. He's always been a very funny writer. California folks will appreciate his picture of Meg Whitman. Steve has an irreverent take on everything. http://unexpectedmushroom.blogspot.com/
  1974. MichaelG on American ingenuity.
    April 11th, 2010  8:41 pm

  1975. On the face of it the crash at Smolensk seems easy to evaluate. There was a memorial service scheduled to take place at the site of a WWII massacre. People were already waiting on the ground at the memorial site, presumably shifting from foot to foot in the lousy weather. The Polish military pilot had already made several approaches in extremely poor visibility without being able to land. The tower was telling him to divert. He had the whole Polish govt. in the back, including his big boss. The pressure to land must have been overwhelming, possibly with bigwigs telling him they didn't give a shit about any stupid fog, just get the goddamn plane on the ground. So he did. It doesn't seem the aircraft type was an issue at all although some aircraft are equipped with Cat (something or other - help me here, Joe) electronics that can facilitate a zero visibility landing assuming the airport was similarly equipped. I kind of doubt Smolensk is so equipped. So I would guess human problems rather than Tu-154 problems caused the accident.
  1976. MichaelG on American ingenuity.
    April 12th, 2010  6:33 am

  1977. If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going. LAMary, check the pix of Meg Whitman on my comment above. Going away. Back Friday.
  1978. MichaelG on Tax day.
    April 16th, 2010  4:20 am

  1979. Got home from Fresno an hour or so ago and first thing was, of course, nn.c. Rana, there is a big dif between filing as two single persons and filing as a married couple. When we split we elected to go for a legal separation rather than a divorce. This allows us to file taxes jointly. She had the accountant prepare it both ways last year and the difference was major. At least for us. Also, as separated but not divorced, I can keep her on my health insurance. That only costs me a hundred something a month. I simply could not cut her off without insurance. Also some more, neither of us has any particular desire to get married again. Also yet some more, I still . . . oh, never mind.
  1980. MichaelG on In which we loaf.
    April 16th, 2010  9:40 pm

  1981. LAMary, where is Oinkster? Sounds great and if it's not too far away, I'll stop there for lunch one of these days soon.
  1982. MichaelG on In which we loaf.
    April 17th, 2010  6:41 pm

  1983. Yeah, Crinoidgirl, that was great news. I've had friends for whom this has been an issue and I'm very pleased there is progress on this front. I feel so stupid, LAMary. As soon as I posted that request about Oinkers I slapped myself on the forehead and looked the place up on the net and of course it is all there, maps, photos, directions, the whole thing. Thanks for the directions. You must have been thinking "What a dolt!" while posting them. It may be later this summer before I can get there. I'll have a pretty good sized job at the Glendale DMV on Glenoaks Blvd. going then. Oh, and Mary, check out my friend's Whitman Sampler: http://unexpectedmushroom.blogspot.com/
  1984. MichaelG on In which we loaf.
    April 17th, 2010  10:45 pm

  1985. Unfortunately, Whitman is not funny. Her platform and campaign promises are pure fantasy. She is pandering to the worst of the tea baggers' flights of fancy, her commercials are vicious, full of lies and airing all the time. She stays mostly out of sight, refusing to appear in any but the most orchestrated and restricted of rallies.
  1986. MichaelG on The greasy stuff.
    April 20th, 2010  7:31 am

  1987. There's a place right nearby where they cure their own bacon. You buy it in slabs and slice the skin off and then cut it yourself. The pieces are smaller than supermarket bacon but it sure is good and the price is competitive. No water and no two inches of grease in the pan. I don't mean to sound like a snob. The stuff is just down the street convenient. And when I was a kid my mom used to cook eggs in bacon grease. She always saved the grease in an old coffee can. I haven't had bacon fat fried eggs for years. Maybe I'll try it this weekend. I have also heard of people making bacon grease sandwiches back in the day. I never did watch The Wire. For whatever reason. Tonight I looked at Treme for the first time. I don't look at a lot of dramatic TV but I felt invested in Treme because of Ashley. My usual act is to read a book while watching news or sports or entertainment on the tube. A few, a very few, minutes of Treme served to disabuse me of any thoughts of multi-tasking. Treme commands your full attention. I don't know what episode I watched; it's the one that ends with the carpenter/musician older guy beating the shit out of the robber and maybe killing him. It's great and riveting TV and I'll continue to watch the show. I'm also falling in lust with the woman who owns the restaurant. I must say, however, that the black people who inhabit the ghetto where I live are tad different from the people on the TV show. It's not quite so brotherly and heart warming here in the real world.
  1988. MichaelG on Fail.
    April 20th, 2010  5:42 pm

  1989. The Pope's Cologne - perfect for attracting that special pubescent someone.
  1990. MichaelG on Fail.
    April 21st, 2010  6:23 am

  1991. Gotta second Pilot Joe and Dexter on the Meigs Field issue. Maybe I'll try the bacon fat popcorn thing. Sounds just awful enough to maybe be good.
  1992. MichaelG on Curse you, Craig.
    April 22nd, 2010  2:10 am

  1993. Peter, lots of pilots have made the move from the Air Force to the airlines. I don't know how things are today, but that's an alternative worth exploring. Flying C-17s isn't a bad life.
  1994. MichaelG on Caught some Zs.
    April 22nd, 2010  9:24 pm

  1995. Rana, I had a girlfriend many, many years ago who had bright rainbow colored wool socks with five toes in each - like gloves. She would wear the goofy socks with clear plastic sandals. Actually looked kinda cool. I buy my sneakers at Big 5 when they have one of their great $14.95 sales. Have done for years.
  1996. MichaelG on Are you not entertained?
    April 26th, 2010  8:15 pm

  1997. Y'all and your WFS amuse me, given where I live. It's spring and the hookers are on the corner again. Music? There isn't any. Just that soul killing rap shit pouring at full volume out of home windows and throbbing car windows. Nancy covers my reaction to the stuff pretty well.
  1998. MichaelG on Are you not entertained?
    April 26th, 2010  9:33 pm

  1999. My speed: When I was in Phoenix last Dec I got dragged to a Glenn Yarbrough concert. Guy looked like he was on a 60 minute pass from life support.
  2000. MichaelG on Are you not entertained?
    April 27th, 2010  5:43 am

  2001. Flash back to that Polish jet crash. Joe and any others who might be interested. Here's a video of a CAT III autoland at San Francisco. I think I might be a tad nervous. Scroll down. http://ryanthepilot.blogspot.com/ Actually, youtube has a bunch of them.
  2002. MichaelG on You're eating fungus.
    April 27th, 2010  8:07 pm

  2003. So Skip Bayless is Rick's brother. I didn't realize that, Sue. I used to read his column in syndication when he wrote for a Dallas paper. I thought he was quite good. I haven't seen him on TV.
  2004. MichaelG on You're eating fungus.
    April 28th, 2010  2:47 am

  2005. What I like is that the bill includes a provision encouraging people to sue law enforcement if they feel the cops are not enforcing the law strictly enough. And of course, they're going to get sued by everybody they enforce against. Talk about both ends against the middle. So all those little border towns are going to be squashed between the ACLU etc on one hand and the Minute Men et al on the other. How nice of the AZ state gummint. Did you ever see a law, rule, regulation, whatever that law enforcement didn't abuse when they felt it convenient to do so?
  2006. MichaelG on You're eating fungus.
    April 28th, 2010  2:54 am

  2007. Illegal immegraton doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's tied into a whole economy that requires an indentured sub-class to fill shitty jobs at sub-par wages in one place and another, worse place that people need to leave to make a living. You don't see Canadians picking tomatoes or cleaning hotel rooms. I don't care how how many laws and walls you create. You ain't gonna stop it. The whole thing needs to be dealt with as a package and dealt with honestly. Fat chance.
  2008. MichaelG on You're eating fungus.
    April 28th, 2010  6:10 am

  2009. In the '70s a former girl friend of mine jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. Girl friend, shit. We were lovers and lived together for several years before we broke up. I then had various short term relationships before meeting T whom I married and from I just split a couple of years ago. Even after I married, R and I would have an occasional lunch, sanctioned. R went off the bridge about two years after I married T. She died some hours later in Letterman Hospital. The whole thing was just an unspeakable horror. The memorial service and facing her father and sister, both of whom I had known well when we were together, was awful. I still have bad moments because of R's death. It isn't any consolation that R's mother had also ended her own life. In the end, it was the suicide itself and the damning knowledge that I was a contributor, not the method she chose that was the overriding thing. I hope they don't put up any barriers. People will always find a way. Suicide didn't begin with the Golden Gate Bridge. One point, jumping off the bridge isn't a bid for attention. It's the real thing. I've heard about that movie. I'll never watch it.
  2010. MichaelG on A dangerous man.
    April 28th, 2010  6:25 pm

  2011. We're with you, Moe. Best wishes. My fingers and toes are crossed.
  2012. MichaelG on Sore. But a good sore.
    April 29th, 2010  5:37 pm

  2013. I kinda like the kiss marks tattooed on his cheek and neck. Next time you're in Milano, check out the Via della Spiga. The store windows there are full of 500E tee shirts and 1000E pants. There's even a boutique deli with designer pasta for many many Euros per kilo. I forget the exact prices but they're eye watering. I have pix at home. It's a lot of fun to window shop, though.
  2014. MichaelG on The people parade.
    April 30th, 2010  8:24 pm

  2015. We used to frequent SF playgrounds 25 years or so ago. It wasn't as bad as Jim portrays it but maybe things have changed. I always figured there was something wrong with a kid who didn't have a scab on his or her knee. My daughter used to eat green peppers and carrots instead of candy. We never put that on her. It was her own wierdness. She also doesn't drink. She certainly didn't get that from me. I'm proud and happy with the way she turned out. Licking Valley High? That's like Oregon State where the womens' athletic teams are known as the Lady Beavers. Hoping for the best, Moe. We're all with you.
  2016. MichaelG on The people parade.
    May 1st, 2010  6:45 am

  2017. LAMary, you forgot about the separate checks.
  2018. MichaelG on The people parade.
    May 2nd, 2010  12:39 am

  2019. Spot on, Dexter. I travel a lot and am a member of all the hotel chains' club deals. They often pass out drink tickets on check in. The bartender isn't part of that. He works just as hard whether the drink is free or not. I always tip.
  2020. MichaelG on Funny guy.
    May 3rd, 2010  5:50 pm

  2021. Good luck, Basset. It's about your turn for a break.
  2022. MichaelG on Funny guy.
    May 4th, 2010  2:05 am

  2023. I kind of wondered when we hadn't heard from him. Don't feel badly about not knowing, Nance. I don't think any of us really thought to check the Hartford papers until Sue did today. Here's hoping this all the bad news for a long time.
  2024. MichaelG on Neck-deep.
    May 6th, 2010  6:34 am

  2025. Jeez, Mary, you're in great form today. I've just gotten home from a couple of days in Barstow where the best restaurant in town is Denny's. Your post on El Atacor really hurt. Dinner tonight was cheese and crackers. OK, goat cheese and flatbread but it's still cheeze and crackers. I still feel bloated from the shit I've eaten for the last couple of days. I need to be smarter when I order. Even in a dump. Boy, the cats are really going at it tonight outside my window. Sounds like true love. I joined FB a year or so ago and haven't really updated or sought friends since. Now I just kind of lurk. It's something that takes a whole lot of work and a whole lot of time and I just don't feel motivated to spend my life there. I never heard Ernie Harwell but some of you Midwestern folks may remember the great Jack Brickhouse who did Sox and Bear games when I was a kid. There's a real art to doing sports on radio. Here in the (extended) Bay Area the legends are Bill King and Lon Simmons. Best of luck, Basset. Starting over is tough, I don't envy you but my best wishes are with you.
  2026. MichaelG on Neck-deep.
    May 6th, 2010  6:37 am

  2027. Alex, I remember fifteen years ago or so when every joint had lingerie Wednesdays. Models with bras and panties between beers at noon. Heavily attended. They do that back East?
  2028. MichaelG on Neck-deep.
    May 6th, 2010  6:38 am

  2029. Cooz, who gets to hold the remotes?
  2030. MichaelG on Neck-deep.
    May 6th, 2010  4:19 pm

  2031. Ken Levine had a good Harwell tribute here (scroll down): http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/
  2032. MichaelG on Drinking Miss Daisy.
    May 6th, 2010  10:43 pm

  2033. Cooz, I don't know what Miller would be doing in Turkey other than making a misguided visit seeking relatives. Whatever he would be doing there, I'm sure he'd be doing it in a cave. Maybe looking to add to his coprolite collection. Boy, you're on this week, Mary! That restaurant review is probably the funniest one I've ever read.
  2034. MichaelG on One pill to change it all.
    May 8th, 2010  4:50 am

  2035. That's wonderful, Moe. I'm so pleased to hear some encouragement.
  2036. MichaelG on One pill to change it all.
    May 8th, 2010  8:57 am

  2037. Jesus, Moe. How depressing. It's not enough that you have to fight a horrible disease, you also have to fight a bunch of mindless, heartless assholes to get the right treatment. And fight them when you're deathly ill. It really brings home the fucked up state of health care in this country.
  2038. MichaelG on Cold, cold sunshine.
    May 10th, 2010  7:35 pm

  2039. The first troops sent to Detroit to quell the riots were NG. They were unable to gain control of the situation so troopers from the 82d Abn were deployed. Things immediately quieted down. I happened to be out of the country at the time but I had a lot of friends who went to Detroit and to D.C. as well. They had a lot of stories to tell.
  2040. MichaelG on Cold, cold sunshine.
    May 10th, 2010  11:09 pm

  2041. Three words for Lena: Beauty, class, talent.
  2042. MichaelG on Disaster.
    May 11th, 2010  5:12 pm

  2043. My toaster just broke. The catch won't catch. Push it down and it pops right back up. The average high for May 10 around here is 80. Yesterday it was 47, rainy and windy. This morning it was 39. It's been a really shitty spring. The Tour of California starts this Sunday. First leg from Nevada City to Sacto. I'll be there. It's on VS with Liggett and Sherwin et al. It's supposed to be warm.
  2044. MichaelG on Disaster.
    May 11th, 2010  6:56 pm

  2045. I've got one of those stovetop espresso pots. Also I've used paper towels for filters. It can get sloppy, but it works in an emergency.
  2046. MichaelG on Disaster.
    May 12th, 2010  1:32 am

  2047. My busted toaster is a Cuisinart. Does that mean something? I get my coffee at Peet's. I let them grind it. I'm too lazy. Two mason jars will swallow a pound and keep it reasonably fresh in the reefer. I use a Mr. Coffee - the cheapest one they make. Works great with no frills; just hot water through a cone with a warm plate. . I paid $17.95 at Target. I had my eye out for Lileks when I was there but didn't see him. I have a French press but I don't like it. It's a pain in the ass. Too much work, too messy and I don't see the big improvement over the Mr. C. Nice scratch and a pig's ear for Eli and Lexi. Get better quick. I pushed the "submit" button by accident.
  2048. MichaelG on Disaster.
    May 12th, 2010  4:25 pm

  2049. You're up early this AM, Mary. I don't even want to think about losing pets. It sure is the huge downside to having them.
  2050. MichaelG on The annotated She-who.
    May 12th, 2010  5:58 pm

  2051. $30? The TV this AM said $200. At my age I'm up for any and all diseases. Who cares? I'll spend the money on a bottle or a case of wine. Much better ROI. I agree with McCain and Souder. Y'all need to build a fence to deter those hordes of maurading Canucks.
  2052. MichaelG on Swallowed.
    May 13th, 2010  6:52 pm

  2053. I must admit that “You guys” drives me nuts. Check too late also bugs me. I feel as if I’m being held hostage to the check. I’m ready to leave and can’t. Too early? Doesn’t bother me. If I want something else it’s their problem to refigure the check. Don’t ask about change. Just bring it. And break that large bill while you’re at it. I had breakfast in Barstow the other day and the tab was nine bucks and change. Dumb ass waitress brought me a few coins and a ten dollar bill. How was I supposed to tip her? I had to ask her to go break the ten. I wonder if she’ll ever figure out why her tips are so low. I lived for years in San Francisco’s Marina District at Francisco and Broderick and later at Francisco and Diviz. It is truly one of the world’s great neighborhoods. What a wonderful place to live. Loma Prieta sure did demonstrate liquefaction. All our best, Moe. We’re pulling for you.
  2054. MichaelG on Swallowed.
    May 13th, 2010  9:46 pm

  2055. Yeah, Paddy. That "How ya doin" thing gets me as well. Invariably they ask when your mouth is full. If they would pay attention to their tables they would know when somebody needs something. That other stuff about the grocery store is true to. It's a forced bonhomie that always rings so false. It can't be done to a script like restaurants and grocery stores, etc. impose on their employees. They'll never learn. Cheer up, Mary. It's going to be a nice weekend. And believe me, I know about financial issues with the ex. My sympathies.
  2056. MichaelG on Swallowed.
    May 14th, 2010  12:14 am

  2057. Good for you, Mary. As long as he doesn't come sucking around for alimony or something. The cold rainy weather was the reason they moved the Amgen from Feb to May this year. It should be low 80's. I got some good pix last year. We'll see how it goes on Sunday.
  2058. MichaelG on A tortured man.
    May 19th, 2010  2:59 am

  2059. Nice call, Rana. And thanks, Mary and Sue. Nice to see some comic relief from other states. What’s happening in CA is way too depressing. I’m one of those hated State employees and I work hard and pay lots of taxes. So do illegal immigrants. My favorite politician’s response to a scandal was that of State Sen. John Burton who was, at the time, President Pro Tem of the Senate (majority leader). Upon return from a stay at the farm for drug and alcohol problems, his stance before the inevitable news conference was “So the fuck what? It’s nobody’s Goddamn business.” No hypocrite, he, although he was famous for being just a tad colorful in his language. He was reelected in a landslide. Burton was, of course, from San Francisco. He was also an excellent legislator, smart as can be and hard working. He’s quite old, now, and retired. We could use a couple of dozen of him under the dome today. Edit: The Burton quote is close. Not word for word but the "fuck" and the "Goddamn" were there. This was years ago before term limits.
  2060. MichaelG on A tortured man.
    May 19th, 2010  6:56 am

  2061. Send a copy to the Pope.
  2062. MichaelG on You won't be missed.
    May 20th, 2010  2:21 am

  2063. Dexter, I absolutely agree with you about the jerk who claimed to be a Viet Nam Vet. That’s a mortal sin. Period. I just looked at that Leininger article and there’s nothing about “cornhole” to be seen. Maybe somebody told them. What these jerks never seem to get is that it’s the hypocrisy. I don’t give a hoot who is bonking whom. It’s none of my business. It’s the bloody hypocrisy and the “that stuff only applies to the little people” attitude.
  2064. MichaelG on Odds and ends.
    May 20th, 2010  8:24 pm

  2065. Brian, I like the way the text the Lincoln statues was supposedly reading changed. Now I guess he would be reading an apology for something or other. There’s something about hyphenated names that just reeks of narcissism. I don’t like them. Suppose Nigel Smith-Jones marries Gemma Cholmondeley-Bates and they become Nigel and Gemma Smith-Jones-Cholmondeley-Bates. Then suppose their child, Thomas Smith-Jones-Cholmondeley-Bates, marries -- well you can see the problem and can see why hyphenating is essentially selfish.
  2066. MichaelG on Odds and ends.
    May 21st, 2010  2:17 am

  2067. Jeez, Two Buck Chuck (still $1.95 here in SacTown) has to be cheaper than Listerine. The Brits do some strange things, Mary. You must know, having one in house. Beaulieu is pronounced "Bewley". Or maybe they think we do some strange things. I used to know a couple named Janet Jones and John Jones. They were not married but had lived together for years. Both were born "Jones". When they bought a house the bank never blinked or asked about their marital status.
  2068. MichaelG on Who speaks for you?
    May 25th, 2010  6:59 pm

  2069. Now that I've moved from Auburn to Sactown my rep is Doris Matsui, a Dem. Doris is a 65ish woman who acceded to the seat upon the death of her husband Robert Matsui and then was elected to the seat. Bob Matsui was a well respected and honest guy who represented the district well. Doris is a nice woman who votes the right way and says the right things but isn’t a ball of fire. She’s good enough as a place holder until she decides to retire. I have the same two Jewish mothers for senators as does Mary. We could do a lot worse although DiFi pisses me off some times.
  2070. MichaelG on Who speaks for you?
    May 25th, 2010  8:27 pm

  2071. The times are so goofy and the mood is so anti-incumbent and campaigns so viscious that I really don't have a feel at this point for how well Fiorina will do against Boxer or how Whitman will do against Jerry Brown - assuming the races shake out this way. The Reps are in a headlong dash to the right.
  2072. MichaelG on Who speaks for you?
    May 25th, 2010  11:22 pm

  2073. LAMary, Meg knows what to do with the money. Give it to Goldman-Sachs.
  2074. MichaelG on Who speaks for you?
    May 26th, 2010  1:40 am

  2075. Good ones? One of the best is Henry Waxman from, I think, Santa Monica.
  2076. MichaelG on Blotto.
    May 27th, 2010  1:28 am

  2077. My daughter went to Austin Peay State U. in Hopkinsville TN. Hubby was stationed at nearby Ft. Campbell. I have a bumpersticker around here somewhere that says "Let's go Peay!" Mary, was that Rogue JC located in Oregon whence flows the Rogue River? When I was at the U of I in the mid 60s a friend of mine was busted in the back seat of his car receiving oral favors from a young woman. The university authorities sentanced him to see a shrink every Thursday at 3:00 PM for six months. So the first day Dwayne went to the shrink and the shrink asked what his offence was. Dwayne told him. Shrink pondered a moment and then said "Let's go to Stan's and get a beer." So every Thursday Dwayne and the shrink would go to Stan's.
  2078. MichaelG on Blotto.
    May 27th, 2010  4:48 pm

  2079. You're absolutely right, Basset. Austin Peay is in Clarksville and that's where S. lived. I've got pix of it all. It seemed like a nice campus. It's Campbell that's listed as being in Hopkinsville Ky. even though it straddles the state line. I was stationed there for a couple of months in fall of '67. Daughter now lives in Austin Tx and hubby is packing to leave in July for a year long all expenses paid tour in A'stan.
  2080. MichaelG on I miss the free toasters.
    May 28th, 2010  8:20 pm

  2081. Another credit union guy here. When I was with my wife, we maintained a couple of CU accounts and an account with what used to ba A. P. Giannini's Bank of Italy but is now headquartered in Charlotte. We kept the acct there because my wife was European and we transferred money back and forth. Most American banks are totally useless when it comes to international dealings. This includes CUs. I'm happy with my CU for the most part but they mostly look so good when compared with the abysmal "service" provided by banks.
  2082. MichaelG on I miss the free toasters.
    May 30th, 2010  9:22 pm

  2083. I remember when gas stations used to give stuff away. The thing became absurd to me when I saw a bumper sticker in Berkeley (where else?) that said "Free Angela Davis with every ten gallons." You remember Angela Davis, don't you?
  2084. MichaelG on Happy holiday.
    May 31st, 2010  9:35 pm

  2085. Boy, Nance, that picture looks kind of like a pizza. Mid eighties here which is avg. Several things, Dexter. I am entirely with you on Ashley Judd. She's a beautiful woman. I watched her yesterday after the race. Laughing, crying, sweating, happily running barefoot down the pit lane totally being herself and totally not giving a shit that she was on national TV. I can't think of very many women who would behave so wonderfully. Dario's a very lucky man and not a half bad race driver. I was in the service from Jan '66 to Jan '69 so the Angela Davis etc. stuff all happened after I got out. Other than basic, AIT and jump school, my entire army career was spent in the 82d Abn and the 101st Abn. Race relations in both units were very good. We got along and we talked about it. Whites were called "Aces" and blacks were "Deuces". The 82d was called the Eighty Deuce because of the high proportion of black troopers. We used to share Oreo cookies. I shit you not. We kidded back and forth about a lot of things, food, sex, urban vs. rural living and all learned a lot about each other. It wasn't any Garden of Eden but it was pretty good for what it was. My first trip to the RVN was with the old 1st Bde of the 101st. It was an all Regular Army, all Vietnam volunteer unit at that time and a very professional outfit it was. Maybe it was the collective feeling that we were all airborne first and whatever else second that was a major factor. A very real shooting war also has a way of focusing things. I know that race relations deteriorated badly after the sixties. Too bad. My father served during WWII, I went to Vietnam twice, my son in law will be leaving for his second trip to Afghanistan in July and my daughter will be a single mom again for a year. I am righteously offended by fatuous assholes who have never served urging me to "remember the troops this Memorial Day". Sorry. I'll get off my soap box now. And yes I'm a liberal Democrat and yes the various Republican candidates here in CA have been saying some remarkably stupid things in their campaign ads and, sickeningly, people are eating it up.
  2086. MichaelG on Happy holiday.
    June 1st, 2010  1:44 am

  2087. Who cares?
  2088. MichaelG on Happy holiday.
    June 1st, 2010  7:12 am

  2089. I didn't mean to sound dismissive with my curt "Who cares?" a while ago. It was just that Dexter and I were only agreeing that she was a beautiful woman and I was expanding that into an observation on her reaction to her husband's success in a most difficult endeavor. With Ms. Judd, as with any other performer, there are detractors and those who would praise her. I've seen her in several movies and have always thought she was more than competent without being the greatest actress who ever lived. People can argue either way. What else do we want? I am still taken at her unbridled joy the other day; the pure, unselfconscious Ashley Judd she revealed. Great actress or not, it was a wonderful moment and I loved her for it.
  2090. MichaelG on Acting childishly.
    June 1st, 2010  4:44 pm

  2091. BP has a record of shoddy maintenance and operation. Look at the Houston refinery blow up a few years ago. Look at the Alaska pipeline problem a year or so ago. Look at all the citations BP has received from oil friendly oversight agencies. It’s clear that they did a lousy job of constructing the casing and well head of the blown out well in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s clear they didn’t install or maintain the blow out preventer properly. A dead battery. Give me a break. There were warnings a day or two before the blow out and BP ignored them. See a pattern here? I wonder how many other wells are on the verge of disaster. The Feds are complicit here. There is no standard spec for constructing well heads, casings or blow out preventers and no standard spec for the materials used. The type of concrete to use and the method of installation are widely debated. Where’s the research? This is the stuff the Feds should be on top of. There are no regulations and no inspections. I don’t know how you would inspect these things but they should know. Worse, it has become clear that neither the Feds nor BP had any plan to deal with a disaster and no back up to their no plan. Today, 6 weeks or so after the blow out both BP and the Feds are stupidly, blindly fumbling around trying to fake a solution. Neither knows how to stop the well and neither knows how to clean up the spill. Here is where I would hold Obama accountable. The day after the blow out he should have appointed a Czar and convened an ongoing symposium to develop solutions to the leak problem and to the spill problem. He should have recruited people from the North Sea, from the Middle East, from Asia, from colleges, universities, labs, consulting companies, oil companies, geologists, oil service people from countries all over the world. There is a lot of brain power out there and there are a lot of experienced people with lots of ideas and all I see is Thad Allen and those dweebs from BP. Then when solutions presented themselves they should have been applied with no time or expense spared. They could worry later about settling up with the oil companies involved and not bother at all to worry about stepping on toes. Instead, I see nothing. I don’t see any sense of urgency or any sense that anyone is really trying to fix things. This is where Obama has failed us. That Kos article to which Catherine linked is interesting, if a bit profane. I missed the connection to Ms Judd, though. “The best way to honor our troops is to stop killing them.” Absolutely right, beb. Thanks, Kim. The Daughter and the Sergeant and the kids moved to a suburb of Austin, TX a month or so ago. He’s at Ft. Hood in a helicopter maintenance company. He’s the First Sergeant, so I’m crediting him with enough sense to know how to watch out for himself. They’re already beginning to deploy and the Company Commander is going with the first group. Son in law will stay at Hood until just about everybody is gone and then he’ll bring up the rear with the rest of the troops. Cooz, we miss you.
  2092. MichaelG on Acting childishly.
    June 1st, 2010  8:23 pm

  2093. That scheme with a bunch of tankers out there sucking up oil seemed to work in the Persian Gulf. Maybe it would work here. Those pictures of dozens of little fishing boats and shrimpers trying futilely to make a dent in the tide of oil break my heart. This is the best the US can do? We'd be a laughingstock if there was anything to laugh at. Thanks, Joe.
  2094. MichaelG on Out of gas.
    June 2nd, 2010  6:22 pm

  2095. I saw that earlier. He does have a nice take on BP. Nice shout out at Roy’s. I like your thoughts about Al and Tipper. The running out of gas and the not knowing what goes on in other peoples’ marriages. So, so true. Don’t judge, don’t over analyze, just take the situation for what it is. I experienced something very similar. I don’t want to go into it very much, it’s personal and something I’m still working through, but I can sure sympathize. Can’t stand Bill Maher. Never have. I’d send him off to an island with Dennis Miller. They could amuse each other.
  2096. MichaelG on Out of gas.
    June 2nd, 2010  6:28 pm

  2097. Wow! I wrote my comments before seeing Mary's and the pic of Bourdain. I've always liked him and have all his books. And I agree about travel. The little I have done has made me think differently about where I live. That picture does nothing for me. Post one of the Goddess Padma and call me back.
  2098. MichaelG on Out of gas.
    June 3rd, 2010  1:32 am

  2099. Bourdain quit smoking two or three years ago.
  2100. MichaelG on Disaster, the sequel.
    June 3rd, 2010  5:37 pm

  2101. I back my HD up regularly. I write some not so edifying fiction and back that stuff up every day to one of those little USB port memory sticks. When I was robbed late last year they went through my desk drawer and took my thumb drives along with the computer. The portable hard drive was in a file cabinet. So I lost a fair bit of stuff that I had written. No great loss to the world but, still, I was pissed. Lesson is to keep back up away from computer area when not actually transferring data. I bought a laptop a few weeks ago and have had a devil of a time getting it linked. After hours spent talking on every help line under the sun, the laptop works fine now with internet hookups but won’t print. The desk top is having trouble loading pix. More help time coming up. Both boxes have Win 7. You might be right, Cooz. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were some kind of flaw in 7.
  2102. MichaelG on Think of England.
    June 7th, 2010  2:39 am

  2103. I've seen couple of dead dolphins - on video. I can't watch that stuff anymore. It's too sad.
  2104. MichaelG on To the glue factory.
    June 8th, 2010  7:00 pm

  2105. Well, Dorothy, I never really thought of myself as elderly, but if you say so . . . I work for the same reason the rest of you do. I need the paycheck. I found your comment offensive and patronizing.
  2106. MichaelG on To the glue factory.
    June 9th, 2010  4:03 pm

  2107. Dorothy, my comments reflect what I read in yours. If I misunderstood or misinterpreted your meaning, I’m sorry. This is a sensitive issue with me. I would love to retire but circumstances (a marriage that ended a couple of years ago) have foreclosed that option for the immediate future. I am very cognizant of the attitudes mentioned by Sue @ #28. It’s a real issue among employees of the State of California. Our pay has already been shaved by 15% and who knows what wonders the new budget will hold if and when the geniuses (that doesn’t look right, but spell check says it’s OK) under the dome get around to passing one. As a result, there is pressure for us expensive old folks to leave. Pressure but no incentive. I’m sick of people asking me when I’m going to retire. The results are mostly in and it looks like maybe, just maybe, some really boneheaded propositions are going to fail. Keep’em crossed.
  2108. MichaelG on Fun with numbers.
    June 11th, 2010  10:24 pm

  2109. We won't any more, Mary if Prop 14 holds up. It's an open primary proposition that was passed on Tues. Both Democratic and Republican leaders predicted the end of the world if it passed. It won handily and I'm sure there will be court battles before it either comes into play or is tossed for good. If everything goes well the 2012 primary should be a lot of fun. I'm hoping for a bit of peace on my TV before the fall campaign gets into full swing. I'm sick of all the viscious commercials and know that the ones coming up are going to be worse. My phone is also quiet now.
  2110. MichaelG on Fun with numbers.
    June 12th, 2010  2:03 am

  2111. Amen about Meg, Steve and Carly. I wonder what Meg and Carly are going to do about trying to recover the large and growing Hispanic vote. That was great, Cooz. I laughed out loud. The system voted in last Tues is different from what has been described in comments here. There will be only one ballot. It will have all the names. Here in CA there could be thirty or forty people running for senator. After the votes are counted, the top two will be on the ballot for the general election. Could be two Dems or two Reps or one of each or neither. A lot of things have been predicted for the new system, but one thing is sure. Incumbents in "safe" seats will start sweating.
  2112. MichaelG on Saturday afternoon Ann Arbor.
    June 13th, 2010  2:27 am

  2113. Looks like he or she keeps the car clean, though. I wouldn't put a bumper sticker on my car at all, let alone on the paint. It's asking for trouble. The ones I really don't understand are the people who put those gay rainbow things on their cars. Too many gay bashers out there. Around here the Peoples' Republics are Davis and Berkeley. Is Madison in the confederation?
  2114. MichaelG on Saturday afternoon Ann Arbor.
    June 14th, 2010  6:16 am

  2115. How about "Baby carries no cash".
  2116. MichaelG on A day away.
    June 14th, 2010  5:07 pm

  2117. For Sunday dinner I generally like to select a twenty year old bottle from my collection of vintage Beaujolais nouveau.
  2118. MichaelG on A day away.
    June 14th, 2010  8:24 pm

  2119. A couple of years ago when I spent some time in Milan I shopped in a supermarket where one had to leave a deposit for a cart. One Euro, I think. My first thought was that this would be in the States in no time. I haven't seen it, but obvously it's here. Also in the produce dept the shopper was required to bag his or her selection, weigh it and push a button which caused the machina to issue a price label to attach to the bag. The checker then just ran it over the reader. No flipping through cards for the look up. And the checkers sat. I don't think I'd want to give you any crap, Mary.
  2120. MichaelG on A day away.
    June 15th, 2010  12:10 am

  2121. We have the dog fence carts and carts with a stirrup attached near a rear wheel so the fronts cannot be lifted off the ground. I'm expecting the twenty five cent carts any moment but I'll wager we don't get our quarter back. I don't visit TJ's so much anymore myself. Lots of great places to buy wine, much better places to buy cheese, etc.
  2122. MichaelG on A day away.
    June 15th, 2010  5:00 am

  2123. Sounds great, Mary. In fact, I know it's great because I make a thing like that except I add chopped fresh jalapenos and red onion. Red for color. By the way, jalapeno and corn are two flavors that come together superbly - one of those flavor marriages made in heaven. Add jalapeno to your corn bread. Muy bueno! For the worried, cooking cuts the hot. Dinner tonight was an asparagus frittata: Five nice finger thick delta stalks cut in half inch rounds briefly done in a half inch of boiling water in a small pan. Chop and sauté a shallot in butter and olive oil in an eight inch fry pan, add the drained asparagus, sauté for a minute or so and add two beaten eggs. When mostly set, stick under the broiler until done. Watch like a hawk. Garnish with chives or flat leaf parsley or whatever you have. Start to finish is like fifteen minutes. A thick slice of Acme Pain au Levain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acme_Bread_Company and a glass of Bogle old vine Zin to complete. Serves me. Scale for your needs. I know it sounds snobbish but all of the above is available at the farmers' market and at Taylor's and Safeway (believe it or not the local Safeway is an excellent food and wine source) and costs the same as or less than prepared crap bought for convenience. Dinner tomorrow will be at some restaurant on San Fernando Blvd. in Burbank.
  2124. MichaelG on Bloomsday.
    June 17th, 2010  7:00 am

  2125. I’ve been in Riverside and Burbank and Glendale for the last couple of days. Just got caught up. My post about a certain new French wine was meant as a joke. I buy a bottle every year and drink it within a week or so. I don’t really know why. It’s never rung my chimes, but it's fun to talk about. I have a copy of Ulysses and have gotten beyond page ten but by not much. I’ve tried several times but I must concede failure. Dubliners (short stories) and Portrait of an Artist I have read and they are great books. In California, Lancaster, pronounced as it looks, LAN cas ter and La Canada, pronounced as explained earlier are not far from each other. For what that’s worth. Then there’re the guys who refer to it as their “unit”. There is a fantastic used book store on San Fernando in Burbank called Movie something. It has amazing and not cheap movie memorabilia (this is Burbank, after all) and a fantastic collection of paperbacks piled everywhere. I know I can find whatever mystery I want there. I searched Sacto in vain for months for the Parker wherein Susan stepped out on Spenser. Found it on the first shot in Burbank. Heinlein’s another author beloved by the libs. Speaking of YA, I read him as a kid and loved the stories. No philosophy sunk in. Breaking news: Daughter Steph just called. She’s been accepted into Univ of Texas for the fall. A miracle itself at this late date. She wants to go back to school to get her PhD in math. I’m over the moon. She says she has all the child care, etc. issues worked out while hubby is in A’stan. He leaves after the July Fourth weekend. I’m a happy dad.
  2126. MichaelG on Bloomsday.
    June 17th, 2010  7:17 am

  2127. Prospero, I listened to that guitar solo and it was nice. How many guitar players are out there? How many genres are there? Joe Montana was a great quarterback. So was Y. A. Tittle. Who was better? Best ever is a mug’s game. Too many qualifiers. Take excellence for what it’s worth and let it go at that.
  2128. MichaelG on Pound! Pound! Pound!
    June 18th, 2010  6:31 am

  2129. Shit,Prospero. You busted me on that thesaurus thing. I'm glad you're back. I love outrage. We need more of it.
  2130. MichaelG on The cleanup.
    June 18th, 2010  7:53 pm

  2131. Excellent, Rana. A voice of reason. A perfect example of the iodicy: Pols around here are exhorting people to save gas and use their cars less while at the same time cutting bus schedules, trimming routes and laying off bus drivers.
  2132. MichaelG on The craft of assembly.
    June 23rd, 2010  4:54 pm

  2133. Obama needs to fire McChrystal the moment he sees him. Anybody who has ever been in the service will tell you that. He (and the other idiots) have to be fired decisively, not allowed to resign. Anything short of this and Obama will entirely lose the respect of the military.
  2134. MichaelG on The craft of assembly.
    June 23rd, 2010  6:30 pm

  2135. This isn't about the wingnuts. This is about the military. All members of the military recognize that Stanley Mac and friends crossed way over the line and they know there can be only one result. They may not like Obama and they may love McChrystal but they know the score. If Obama waffles, he's toast as far as the military is concerned.
  2136. MichaelG on The craft of assembly.
    June 23rd, 2010  7:25 pm

  2137. Paddyo has it. Grow some balls. The admin is never going to get anything but grief from the right no matter what they do. So go ahead and do the right thing. The Dems have never understood this simple truth. USA beats Algeria 1-0 in 91st minute to advance to 2d round.
  2138. MichaelG on The craft of assembly.
    June 23rd, 2010  9:25 pm

  2139. Yes, Jeff B. Drop the bipartisanship and make the bastards actually filibuster everything. Call their bluff and make them vote.
  2140. MichaelG on The craft of assembly.
    June 24th, 2010  1:35 am

  2141. I was at work and didn't get to watch any of the game, let alone see the Goal. I dipped in now and then to get the score. I hope I'll see the Goal on the news tonight. I think I missed something, Dexter. Why is Clinton more likely to get laid in S. Africa than anywhere else?
  2142. MichaelG on Because you asked...
    June 24th, 2010  6:07 am

  2143. I just had another long phone conversation with my son in law. He’s the first sergeant in a helicopter maintenance company that’s in the midst of deploying to A’stan. His tired, matter of fact discussion of the things that he’s responsible for and that he has to make happen left me with a new and renewed respect for what senior NCOs are expected to accomplish. I’ll spare the details, many of which I can’t even remember, the rest are way too many to relate here. The CO is gone and it is up to R to see that everything and everyone and all the details (of which there are many) in Texas are in the pipeline to Afghanistan before he leaves around July 15. The brigade has a Chinook company, a Blackhawk company and an Apache company. R is the 1Sgt of the Maintenance company. It’s up to him to keep all the birds in the air. And I mean up to him. He answers all questions. His unit is being deployed to a new spot in northern A’stan. They will be creating a new base on bare ground. There they’ll support conventional US units, Germans, Norwegians and Special Operations people. This is a whole new front for the war and a high profile one at that. R is a serious right winger. I avoid certain discussions with him for our mutual comfort. He related this evening that he had spent an hour and a half today with the brigade commander (a bird colonel) and that the subject of McChrystal had come up. Their take was exactly as I had expected. They don’t like Obama but McChrystal had crossed the line and had to go. R feels that the incident will disrupt things in A’stan for the next couple of months. I’m not qualified to comment. R is a guy whom I would never have encountered let alone have long discussions with but for his relationship with my daughter. All I can say is that he’s a fine father and a fine husband and that my daughter is in love. Brian, I’ve been through several good earthquakes and even knowing what was happening, it was always disorienting.
  2144. MichaelG on Because you asked...
    June 25th, 2010  9:31 pm

  2145. The State public health people have reported that whooping cough is at epidemic levels in CA, that at least a half dozen children have died and that we are on pace to break the record number of cases reported in 1958. 1958. And here I thought that we had vaccines and shit that were wiping out all these old childhood diseases. What? Oh. Vaccines are only good if they are administered and if the idiotically superstitious refuse to let their kids be vaccinated . . . We truly are on the road back to the 12th century.
  2146. MichaelG on Because you asked...
    June 26th, 2010  4:43 am

  2147. It's not particularly life threatening to adults but it's very dangerous to infants and toddlers. The hell of it is that, absent a bunch of half wit parents listening to Jenny McCarthy and some wing nut radio personalities, this wouldn't have happened. It was totally avoidable.
  2148. MichaelG on Because you asked...
    June 26th, 2010  7:59 pm

  2149. Julie, that’s exactly the kind of intrusion government should make. Catherine, point taken. I was generally aware of the booster situation but hadn’t really thought about it. It’s obvious your work is desperately needed.
  2150. MichaelG on Because you asked...
    June 27th, 2010  7:45 am

  2151. Oh, Brian. I agree with your thought that war is mostly a costly rather than productive enterprise. Especially post WWII war. But no infrastructure from WWII? How about hundreds of airfields, ports, shipyards, railroads and factories and lord knows what else? Most of which are still in use today. Zillions of dollars worth of machine tools, equipment, planes, trucks and other stuff provided cheap start ups for untold numbers of companies after the war. WWII was a bonanza of infrastructure improvements.
  2152. MichaelG on Reconnaissance.
    June 28th, 2010  5:55 pm

  2153. The French like mayo on their pommes frites. Those Texas Goppers are truly nuts. One point I did agree with is the abolition of red light cameras. I hate those things. They mentioned sodomy but I didn't see anything about oral sex. Are there people who consider oral sex to be sodomy?
  2154. MichaelG on Reconnaissance.
    June 28th, 2010  10:40 pm

  2155. I dunno, Mary. My wife was European and I spent years watching her eat fries with Mayo. I'm not sure I'm up for that. I will say that frying them twice in the Belgian fashion makes for the best fries. Put them in your whatever (I use a large wok) with the oil at 280 for 10 - 12 minutes. Remove and drain. Bring oil up to 375 and fry them again. Takes just a minute or two. Or you can keep them until company is ready and refry them then. Yum.
  2156. MichaelG on Eye-catching.
    July 1st, 2010  1:26 am

  2157. Been in Monterey for work the last couple of days. Wonderful place and wonderful weather. Easy on us old white men. Some years ago we bought a beautiful used crib for when my daughter visited with the grandchild. It was a beautiful, very expensive crib. We got it for next to nothing because there was a plastic part that had broken. I took the crib outside, disassembled it and thoroughly cleaned it even though it appeared immaculate. Of course, we bought new bedding. I got a new plastic part from the manufacturer in a matter of a couple of days for five or six bucks via the internet. Gotta go for Brazil in the Cup. Too many friends and old associations with Brazil. Herb Caen, the greatest three dot columnist of them all was always posting "overheards". One of his funniest gigs was "Overheard in Marin" which skewered the folks in Marin County. I loved that young mother in Lance's post. I might have mentioned this once before. One day I was in Safeway and came around the corner into the paper goods aisle. The toilet paper section had been picked over and there was some empty shelf space. A young mother had her year or two old kid on the shelf and was walling him in with toilet paper packages. The two of them were laughing absolutely fit to bust. It was a beautiful, intimate moment and I turned around and tip-toed out of there so as not to intrude.
  2158. MichaelG on G&B = good.
    July 1st, 2010  10:38 pm

  2159. I couldn't get any farther than four paragraphs or so into that ax story. My ex goes to Brussels every year to visit her mother. When we were still together she would bring home 12 lb of mixed pieces (you know, like you would see at Fanny Mae's or See's). We would put in the garage freezer and make it last for a year. Somebody else mentioned not sharing. We never told anybody that we had it nor did we share it. Evil us. I can't grow a beard. I suffer from "baby's ass syndrome".
  2160. MichaelG on In which I mutter.
    July 2nd, 2010  9:53 pm

  2161. There's lotsa moral obligations out there, MMJeff, but rooting for Ghana ain't one of 'em.
  2162. MichaelG on Motown in Motown.
    July 6th, 2010  7:33 pm

  2163. I had a friend who raced go-karts. He would load shot into frame tubes to meet weight and also to balance the kart for the track he was going to run. Remember NASCAR driver Dick Trickle? The guy who used to smoke during cautions? My favorite name.
  2164. MichaelG on Motown in Motown.
    July 7th, 2010  12:36 am

  2165. Agreed. The Versus TDF coverage is superlative. I’ll watch it when I get home but I peeked in on the written updates on VS’ web site so I am generally up on what happened. I never saw so many wrecks before. I hope today’s crashes are pretty much the end of the pile ups. I was very impressed by Cancellara yesterday. He restrained the wild men after the chaos, organized the peloton, got things running properly, organized the protest, registered it with the authorities and led the protest to the finish line while still keeping order in the peloton. All at the expense of his yellow jersey for the day. Yeah, he helped the Schlecks, his teamates, but his actions were far above and beyond. Good show, Fabe. There you go, Mary. The Dutch are in the finals.
  2166. MichaelG on Motown in Motown.
    July 7th, 2010  7:33 am

  2167. My first 45 had Bill Haley and his Comets doing "Rock Around the Clock" on one side and "Rock'n (that doesn't look right) Through the Rye" on the other. Bought it new in 19__ and paid __cents.
  2168. MichaelG on The motorcycle gang.
    July 7th, 2010  8:23 pm

  2169. Average mid July highs around here are 94 -96. The record for today is 110 set in 1989. Today and the balance of the week high temps are going to be mid to upper nineties. Humidity is low. The key to living here is that the average temp at night is down around 60. That’s right. 60 degrees F. We sleep very comfortably in Sactown and mornings are glorious.
  2170. MichaelG on Dream houses.
    July 10th, 2010  7:49 am

  2171. Wait a minute, Mary. I'm probably your greatest supporter/fan here on nn.c (not, I'm sure, that you need any support) but how can you be your own MILF? I used to be five foot eleven and a half hoping in my youth to make the other half inch but in my dotage I've shrunk. When in Europe I've been staggered by Dutch women. They all seem to be 6' 2", blonde and beautiful and wearing little bitty, ass shorts and braless tank tops. Makes me want to revert to the fetal position. Been to West Covina this past week. It's a totally generic L. A. area place. It's completely indistinguishable from any of the towns in a 360 degree radius. Civic pride? In what? The West Covina DMV office is the busiest one in the State of California which must make it the busiest one in the world. The lines, yes, lines plural, for there are multiple lines for different services, and they wrap around the building. The crowds are unreal. Upon arriving one would think that Elvis was in the place. The parking lot is full and that includes all the lanes and the people cursing and yelling and screaming at each other. The inside of the building resembled a sardine can in a pressure cooker. Anybody who denigrates State employees should come and spend a day working in this place. The weird ass State pay structures are such that the people who work here are paid absolute shit wages. That includes the manager. The manager. She's an amiable, friendly black woman of about thirty five with the command presence of a sergeant major, the decisiveness of a ship captain and the brains of a professor. On top of all her problems here I come with sixty six contractors who want to do a pre-bid inspection in her office. The building is going to be totally remodeled next year. My contract alone for HVAC, ceiling replacement and lighting will be a million bucks. There's a hundred thou in hazmat abatement by itself. The contractors, to be fair to them will need to see what they are going to be bidding on. So here I am with a herd of folks blundering into her DMV office and Debbie is smiling bravely, saying, "It's OK, I know you have to do it." There are only ten bazillion tense people demanding driver's licenses and license plates and lord knows what else in this place and she's being nice to me. And then the contractors are all on the roof where the bulk of the air handling stuff is and I'm thinking of the of the load factor of a bunch of people on the roof (around 12,000 pounds) and telling Debbie that I'm going to wait in the parking lot until they all come down and she's not sure whether to believe me or not, but she's not going to leave no matter what and I suddenly realize that my joke was really stupid and tell her that I'm only kidding and that I'm sorry. In the end I hustled all of the contractors out of there, passed out my bid packages and called it quits for the day. I'll do another walk in two weeks for qualified bidders in the very early morning so as to give the contractors a fair look and to not burden Debbie any more than I have to. I worked out all the details of the coming walk through with Debbie and the DMV facilities people. My job is so easy when I get to work with people like her. Assholes who talk shit about State Employees make me see red. They have no idea of the competence and dedication of people like Debbie and the staff of the West Covina DMV office and the hard work they do under the most adverse conditions. There isn't enough money in the world to induce me to work in one of those offices. As far as I am concerned those people are heros. West Covina on the other hand boasts all the conveniences and hotels that a visitor (and I emphasize "visitor" would want). It's not bad, it's just not much. Still, there are worse places. I've gotta go to Glendale on Tues, Riverside on Wed. I like Burbank and the Valley. Also other places in L. A. (Silver Lake and the area where Mary lives and Pasadena and other places and parts of Orange County). The Los Angeles area is a wonderful place. This from a guy who truly likes Sacramento.
  2172. MichaelG on Dream houses.
    July 11th, 2010  9:37 pm

  2173. Mary, I have no idea what you look like other than you mentioned the other day that you are 5' 10" tall. From the wit and self confidence I see here I have no doubt that you are a very attractive woman and are, indeed, a MILF. My MILF comment about you had to do with the location of the perception. That is, my take on MILF is that it means "Mother I'd Like to F..." As such, it seemed to me that a second party would use the term. I'm sorry if you took it as a criticism. I certainly intended none. I wouldn't dream of down grading you to a mother someone might possibly etc. Unbelievably only ten or fifteen percent of customers make advance appointments at the DMV. I had to go the Carmichael office last fall. I made an appointment and it was only twenty minutes from the time I left my car until I returned to it. I have a meeting at the Glendale DMV on Tues. We're going to close it August 23d for a couple of months. I work for DGS, DMV is the client.
  2174. MichaelG on It's a flat-tax life.
    July 15th, 2010  7:46 pm

  2175. Smuggling smokes to NY has been a major industry on the East Coast for the last fifty years or more. Boy. Fifty years ain't what it used to be.
  2176. MichaelG on It's a flat-tax life.
    July 16th, 2010  1:36 am

  2177. Maybe they could fit Cheney with the heart from that cursed little gecko
  2178. MichaelG on Different colors.
    July 19th, 2010  6:43 pm

  2179. Last week the Catholic Church declared that people who advocate the inclusion of women into the priesthood are committing crimes equal in severity to those committed by pedophiliac priests. Their continued intransigence regarding birth control should be no surprise.
  2180. MichaelG on Different colors.
    July 20th, 2010  1:36 am

  2181. That's an oldie but goodie, Deborah, and so true. It's playing sexual roulette. Nance mentioned "diversity" at the beginning. Diversity is one of those made up do gooder concepts that drives me nuts. The fact is that diversity (and I mean the real thing - all racial and cultural groups, bowlers, Moonies, rattlesnake reverends and polka dancers included) is a neutral condition. It is neither good nor bad. It exists in varying degrees in varying locations. Some people like it in big doses, some people are comfortable with a more homogenized existence. There's nothing right or wrong with either. Some places like New York and San Francisco have large, very diverse populations, some cities have smaller, less variegated populations. So what? Are the people who live in Duluth less valuable and less worthy because they don't have Thai and Ethiopian restaurants on every corner? Are they to be condemned because the local college isn't 50% populated with people of whatever? Diversity is something that simply is, it just happens, it's not something to create as a theme park or a nod to current fashion.
  2182. MichaelG on They were holding his cell.
    July 23rd, 2010  9:21 pm

  2183. Been at San Luis Reservoir, Riverside and West Covina the last three days. Basset, good to hear of the progress on your house. We're gonna need pix when you're done. A used bookstore in an airport? Wow.
  2184. MichaelG on They were holding his cell.
    July 24th, 2010  4:17 am

  2185. And California gets ravaged, paying far more into the federal coffers than we get back.
  2186. MichaelG on They were holding his cell.
    July 24th, 2010  9:46 pm

  2187. My Ex has a purple PT Cruiser - stick. She puts the dogs in the back, she can carry sacks of feed for the goaties in it and she carries her bazillion dollar Specialized "S-Works" bike in it. Price one of those things. Your eyes will water. She got it used, one year old, in a steal of a deal from a women's' pro team out of Athens, GA that had changed sponsors and hence found the Specialized bikes surplus. It had been professionally maintained and was in pristine condition when she got it. It even had new tires, pads, chain, sprockets and cassette, etc. on it, all SRAM. Lucky girl. It was the deal of a lifetime She'll put a hundred or more miles a week on it so it's not that big of an extravagance. Anyway, back to the PT. I've driven it a number of times and it's a nicer car than I would have expected. I like it. It was cheap and the dealer tossed in three years or 30,000 miles of free service. She likes it a lot and I think the car has been seriously under rated. I kind of like the KIA Soul. There are several of them around here. I've had a rental Nissan Cube: http://www.nissanusa.com/cube/?dcp=ppn.28434549.&dcc=0.205796030 I liked it. It was a fabulous city car with a microscopic turning circle. You can park it in amazingly small spots and it has enough power to get out of its own way. I drove one with the CV tranny. It's a little disconcerting at first but you get used to it. I might consider one but my biggest doubt about it is it's maybe too small. I don't know if you could easily fit a bike into one.
  2188. MichaelG on They were holding his cell.
    July 25th, 2010  1:58 am

  2189. Hear, hear, Rana. I've had a couple of SSRs inflicted on me. They are indeed ugly. The proportions are grotesque. They're also lousy drivers and you absolutely can't see out of one.
  2190. MichaelG on Hot time in the old town.
    July 27th, 2010  8:07 am

  2191. WOW, Rana. Just Wow. You knocked my socks clear into the next state. I always liked it when Norman Mailer described himself as a "left conservative".
  2192. MichaelG on Hot and crushed.
    July 28th, 2010  5:42 pm

  2193. So Brian, when you get your 25% of the 15 Mil, which is 3.75 Mil, you're buying lunch. Let us know.
  2194. MichaelG on Ghetto economies.
    July 28th, 2010  9:52 pm

  2195. The old lady across the street sells prescription drugs. There's a steady procession of customers in and out of the place all day which can be annoying at times. Oh well. She needs to make a living somehow. MarkH, "Boffin" is Brit speak for "Scientist". I got as far as the 2182 impact date and stopped reading. Ain't my problem.
  2196. MichaelG on Ghetto economies.
    July 29th, 2010  12:25 am

  2197. The Guv has reinstituted furloughs for State Employees. Three days per month until the budget passes. Furloughs for some employees that is. Those who work for revenue producing agencies are exempt. Rank and file employees who are in bargaining units that have signed MOUs with the Gov for new contracts will be exempt and will be required to work on furlough days but their supervisors and managers will be furloughed. Go figure that one. I think I'm getting sucked into that alternate universe.
  2198. MichaelG on The world is watching "Cribs."
    July 29th, 2010  8:23 pm

  2199. Ken Levine's take on Betty Draper: http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/ Scroll down to Mon, 07-26. I live by myself in a thousand sq ft high water bungalow. Three beds two baths. I sleep in one bedroom, one is storage and the third is an office. Living, dining and kitchen is one big space. I like it. Cigar room is all around you.
  2200. MichaelG on Follow the bouncing ball.
    August 4th, 2010  5:20 am

  2201. Schlafly’s hair? Same place as Pat Nixon and Nancy Reagan. Our public TV station (KVIE) still shows Lawrence Welk reruns. And they wonder why their contributions are tumbling. We used to watch Mitch Miller when I was a kid. I still don’t know why. It didn’t fit my parents’ tastes. They had lots of classical stuff and every folk album ever made including Pete Seeger albums and Weavers albums. I got to know Ronnie Gilbert of the Weavers a little many years ago. It was after the Weavers and before she became acquainted with Holly Near. She was kind of between things and was training to become some kind of counselor. I was working in the Unemployment Insurance office in Berkeley at the time. I was an “Adjudicator” which meant that I interviewed people and decided whether they got paid or not. This would have been around late ’72 or so and everything was done in person. I recognized Ronnie from all those Weavers album covers as soon as she walked into the office and made sure it was I who interviewed her. The issue was that she was going to school while claiming UI. So I ended up interviewing her with regard to her eligibility every two weeks for, I don’t know, four to six months. The interviews ended up being half hour to 45 minute gab fests. Her eligibility was a foregone conclusion as far as I was concerned. It was a great experience for me and after the initial meeting when she was understandably nervous, she seemed to enjoy herself as well, especially after she realized that I was a fan and would never cut her off. What a smile. Eventually she stopped coming in and I lost track of her. She was a lovely, kind, good humored woman about the age of my mother. I liked her a lot.
  2202. MichaelG on Spilled tea.
    August 4th, 2010  6:51 pm

  2203. Never seen any recipes for basil tops but I've got lots. I've always cut them off. I'm open to suggestions. Mary Woronov. "Eating Raoul" has always been one of my faves.
  2204. MichaelG on Word by word.
    August 6th, 2010  2:31 am

  2205. The cow that was killed at the Calif State Fair last week was one of the birth exhibit animals. She broke loose very early in the AM before the fair opened. The only people around were employees. TV showed footage of the idiots chasing her with a car. Chase an animal and what happens? Right. They run. The accounts are a little vague. Some say that the animal tranks didn't work. Others say they (whomever "they" were) didn't want to use tranks for fear of hurting the very soon to born calf. Whatever, the cops comprehensively perforated her with their pistolas killing her and the calf. I'm not an expert and I wasn't there but it sure has all the feel of one of those scenes that was very poorly handled. I read some Vachel Lindsay years ago and once heard a recording of him reading "The Congo". Don't play it at an NAACP gathering.
  2206. MichaelG on Mind-shopping.
    August 8th, 2010  8:02 pm

  2207. OK! Winner in the great male vs. female sporting debate wins a date with Tamara or Irina Press. Your choice. One size fits all.
  2208. MichaelG on Right here in the toy shop.*
    August 9th, 2010  6:33 pm

  2209. I was down the valley a couple of weeks ago and got some peaches from a road side stand. They were warm from the sun and so juicy and sweet and tasty. The best I've ever had. It's been cool here this summer. Will be mid eighties here today against a mid nineties avg. We've had only one or two triple digit days. No complaints.
  2210. MichaelG on Right here in the toy shop.*
    August 10th, 2010  6:17 am

  2211. Actually, Dorothy, you're right on it. Much time and effort and money have been expended to develop steroids, hormones, suppliments, whatevers that are not detectable by ordinary testing methods. There's a constant arms race between developers and testers. I wonder, MMJeff, just how many locally produced kids' programs were aired during the fifties and sixties over the breadth and depth of this great land of ours.
  2212. MichaelG on You can't fire him, he quit.
    August 10th, 2010  8:07 pm

  2213. What I noted in the Alaskan plane crash story was that Sean O’Keefe, former NASA chief is (was?) now a big wig with EADS, a European aero-space operation. Funny how those things work. I’ve flown 32 trips during the last 12 months according to my account. That’s only a fair amount but it does give one a good look at flying. There are lots of people who fly several times a week. Most of my flights are the one hour shots between Sacto and SoCal so we aren’t on the plane long enough for the true awfulness of contemporary flying to set in. Also I sleep. The flights are 90% business travelers which is nice. They know the drill. I avoid flights to John Wayne (Orange County) because they’re all loaded with families going to Disney Land. I’ve seen all the people described and more (with the exception that I’ve never seen flight attendants have to hustle people off the plane – the folks I’ve seen need no encouragement to unass the aircraft) and several things stick out. I am amazed at the amount of pure stuff and the size of the suit cases people bring aboard. I guess SWA encourages it because the more shit pax schlep on and off the aircraft the less their people have to move and the quicker the turn around. The worst problem is on boarding where so many people want to sit in the front of the cabin and clog things up selecting their seats, settling and stowing their garbage in the overhead bins. This causes everyone else to stand in the jetway waiting for them. You also can’t believe how many people will stand in the aisle and chat, obstructing a whole line of people. I just zone out and go with the flow. Being in a hurry will only raise your blood pressure. It is in the nature of people to stand up the second the plane hits the jetway. There must be a gene for it. Except for Burbank where there are no jetways but people stand up anyway. This includes seasoned travelers. I don’t understand it. Also, like a reflex, they all have to call somebody on their cell phones. I’ll see many of these same urgent callers at the rental car stand so they’re not calling for a ride. Don’t know what those must make calls are about either except there seems to be an “I just flew in from out of town, aren’t I important” element involved. The Wednesday midafternoon flight out of Ontario always has a number of recent prison releases on board. Recent as in that day. They can put down three or four beers between ONT and SMF. Getting people on and off the A/C takes a lot of time and affects the turnaround of a fast operator like SWA. SWA is after Boeing to come up with a replacement for the 737 – a real replacement, not an upgrade. One of the things they want to work on is getting folks on and off the plane. They’re even willing to explore twin aisles for a 150 seat A/C. Boeing and Airbus now share the market for A/C in that class which, by the way, is the largest selling class of airliner there is. An astounding 6000 plus 737s have been sold. Boeing is dragging their feet on a replacement because they have huge investments in the late blooming 787 and the 747-8 freighter which they want to start recovering and because they are looking for a next generation engine which isn’t on the horizon just yet. Airbus has their own problems with huge investments in the giant A-380 and the A-400M which is a military transport. In the next few years manufacturers in Canada, Brazil, China and Russia will begin to challenge Boeing and Airbus and both are going to be forced to respond. You can bet that some of these new entries will be sold at deep discounts. Gonna be interesting.
  2214. MichaelG on You can't fire him, he quit.
    August 11th, 2010  6:30 am

  2215. All those rules about sitting, standing, kneeling, genuflecting, bags, etc. on airplanes are FAA regs, not something dreamed up by Strato Lines, Inc.
  2216. MichaelG on Queuing in Purgatory.
    August 12th, 2010  11:15 pm

  2217. The bride is an attractive looking woman. But a color guard? At a wedding? How about the marching band? Did the attendees do the wave in church? Star Spangled Banner before the preacher said 'I now pronounce you ..."? Honor guard outside the bedroom door. EEEWWWW Time to stop.
  2218. MichaelG on Fly-by.
    August 16th, 2010  8:57 pm

  2219. Adrianne, I really enjoy Burdette's Bangkok books though I've never been there. I've read three. The library doesn't have the fourth and I'm thinking about buying it. Other good stuff? LL (above), James Lee Burke, Michael Connelly, John Sandford for a start. There are others.
  2220. MichaelG on Fly-by.
    August 16th, 2010  11:55 pm

  2221. Here's a great web site that will tell you about just every popular author (and many who are not so popular) and their books. Just hit a letter, scroll down and select. http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/
  2222. MichaelG on The old conservative.
    August 17th, 2010  5:33 pm

  2223. I once read a thing of Kil­patrick's about toilet seats falling down while he tried to piss. He named this kind of evil seat a "Bijuna or Bijoona". Don't remember the spelling. It was pretty funny.
  2224. MichaelG on The old conservative.
    August 18th, 2010  12:07 am

  2225. Yeah, I kinda liked the gourd bra to, 4dbirds, but what were those other accessories?
  2226. MichaelG on Daddy's girl.
    August 18th, 2010  7:10 pm

  2227. Jesus Christ, Prospero! What was with that attack on JCBurns (@58 yesterday) all about? If you were serious it was appalling. If it was meant as some kind of joke it was also appalling. Your absolutism, your anger and your bitterness can be interesting to read but can also wear awfully thin awfully quickly when not controlled. Get a grip. You owe JC an apology.
  2228. MichaelG on Buggy.
    August 25th, 2010  10:45 pm

  2229. The CHP has tested Chargers and generally doesn't like them. CHP feels they are too small inside but they do prefer rear wheel drive vehicles. They've tried Volvos, Mustangs and Camaros and I don't know what else. They didn't like the Camaros. The criticism was that they were unstable and had no brakes. They wrecked most of them. You'd be amazed at how many cars they wreck. They liked driving the Mustangs which had four speed standard transmissions. But all three, Volvos, Mustangs and Camaros were too small. As the CHP has been driving Crown Vics since around 1992, the Crown Vic is about all anybody remembers. I've read about the Carbon. The articles I've seen have several reasons that the authors are skeptical about the venture's success. A big one was the high cost. I wouldn't buy stock.
  2230. MichaelG on Upgrade.
    August 31st, 2010  10:12 pm

  2231. I fly reasonably often but it's all with Southwest. They don't do miles and they don't do upgrades. They do pass out free round trips to frequent fliers. I have three round trips in the bank right now. Time to go someplace. They also give preferred seating and a free beer to those with X number of trips per year. Preferred seating is an aisle seat. Also all my flights are only an hour in duration so one is getting off the plane before the awfulness of air travel really sets in. In addition, it seems like about 80% of the pax are business travelers so everybody knows the drill. Just avoid Orange County if possible because that's where Disneyland is and the plane is full of screaming kids and excited parents all flying for the first time. Any flying outside CA is done on SWA for free so there is no first class. I can't complain at the price. I did a lot of air travel in the late '70s. A very lot. That was between San Francisco and most often the Southeastern US - like Atlanta and Miami. I became fairly skillful at promoting upgrades to first class then but things are very different now. Upgrades are most valuable on long flights. Say the obvious, Mike. I flew Business Class to Saigon several years ago and was happy that I paid the extra $$ which wasn't all that much. Happy birthday, Dorothy!
  2232. MichaelG on Upgrade.
    September 1st, 2010  7:03 am

  2233. I dunno. A drive from here to Burbank is around six hours, Ontario is close to seven. Flying, my house to BUR or ONT, is a comfortable two and a quarter hours, about 45 minutes of which I'm sleeping. I've done both lots of times and have it down to a science. I've taken the train from here to Fresno and Bakersfield many times and highly recommend it. Once when in college I took the train from Chicago to Oakland. It was nice enough, I guess, but I was dirt poor and couldn't afford beer or burgers. It was a long ride. After seeing all those James Bond movies I have long entertained the fantasy of traveling first class on a train with my honey.
  2234. MichaelG on Whiny little babies.
    September 1st, 2010  8:41 pm

  2235. Cooz, "mys­tic Dan­ish nip­ples". I love it (or them).
  2236. MichaelG on Whiny little babies.
    September 3rd, 2010  6:50 am

  2237. Enjoy yourself in STL, Deborah. Nighty night, don't let the bed bugs bite! I read the other day that there is a study showing bedbugs had actually become immune to DDT which, if true, would contradict the wingers and their call for removing the ban on DDT. But who knows what current generations of the bugs are susceptible to. As long as they stay in NY and Ohio ... For me, Rana, an “unusual and fre­quently used” bed would be located in a hotel. Gulp.
  2238. MichaelG on Good weekend, all.
    September 4th, 2010  1:33 am

  2239. Yeah, Mary. As Julie says, don’t forget food. And parking. And the goddamn tchotchkes or as my wife would call them “merdinhas”. And Joe, you’re right about loops and rolls and spins. When we had the Citabria it was fun when I was driving. Not so much when my partner was. Although I never did number three I felt a tad green on occasion. One time a young woman got sick in the back of the Citabria. I didn’t have any barf bags and had horrible visions of cleaning up a foul mess but she came up with an inspired solution. She used a sock. Then she wanted to know what to do with it. I told her to toss it out the window. We were over the bay at the time. I flew very carefully back to Oakland. I remember the Bobs and the Shoot the Chute (is that right?) at Riverview from when I was a kid in Chi. Much later we were with friends and the kids at a little amusement park near San Jose called Frontier Village. I learned not to go on rides after drinking a few beers. It was a near thing. Oh, and I wasn’t driving.
  2240. MichaelG on Good weekend, all.
    September 4th, 2010  7:35 pm

  2241. I suspect, Rana, that "number three" is not so much regional (after all, Joe lives in the Midwest and I live in California) as simply relatively little used. None of the basic words used to denote or describe regurgitation are proscribed so other terms referring to that unpleasant activity tend to be just slang rather than euphemisms.
  2242. MichaelG on Making more time.
    September 7th, 2010  5:29 pm

  2243. We've had a cool (for us) summer this year. Avg # of days in triple digits is 22. This year we've had 12. Avg temp in July and Aug is mid 90s. We've had many days in the 80s. I'll take it. No catastrophic fires in Northern California so far this season although Oct is the scariest month.
  2244. MichaelG on Making more time.
    September 7th, 2010  6:40 pm

  2245. Prospero, the latest Dave Robicheaux is the Glass Rainbow, published this year. I haven't read it yet. It's buried in the reserve lists at the library.
  2246. MichaelG on Breaking breeze news.
    September 8th, 2010  5:47 pm

  2247. Well, Mary, I had a nascent project at the Arleta DMV wherein they were going to replace and upgrade the parking lot lighting, but it sort of died. Like all the rest of the offices, it's way overworked and parking is difficult. Maybe just stay out of the lot and find a spot on the street and walk a half block. Look out for parking restrictions. I got a ticket in Fresno a month or two ago. Since you made an appointment, you'll be avoiding 90% of the grief. The Glendale office on Glenoaks is closed which you probably noticed. The place has been gutted and they are redoing all the interior and the HVAC which is my part of the job. New units going on the roof tomorrow. I can't make it but I'll be there next week. Nance, tell us more about that firestorm business that destroyed 85 houses overnight. That sounds awful. And good luck with the interview. Whether you are the 'er or the 'ee we are all behind you.
  2248. MichaelG on Breaking breeze news.
    September 8th, 2010  11:23 pm

  2249. Excellent, Mary! Last time I was at Arleta I bagged one of the employee spots. I had to go to the Carmichael office here in the Sacto area to get a new license last year. Same as you I had gotten an appt at the DMV web site and was in and out in 15 minutes. I've asked DMV people why so many customers wait in line rather than get appointments and they're at a loss to explain. So to any of you here in CA: Get an appointment at the DMV. Trust me, you don't want to stand in those lines. Just filed for Social Security retirement bennies on line. I'll be 66 next month. The whole process took me about 15 minutes. I couldn't drive to a SSAN office in that time let alone accomplish anything.
  2250. MichaelG on Breaking breeze news.
    September 9th, 2010  1:27 am

  2251. I don't know where you live, Dexter, but that wouldn't fly in an urban office in CA. There are rural and small town offices where you could do that. Wish I could register two cars for eighty nine bucks.
  2252. MichaelG on Imperfect humans.
    September 9th, 2010  5:41 pm

  2253. I was in Boise once - to visit M-K, as a matter of fact. Seemed like a nice enough place the taxi I took from the airport was an old Cadillac. What I particularly like about Boise is the nicely understate blue turf field at Boise State. Boise is a dirty word in Virginia.
  2254. MichaelG on (more).
    September 10th, 2010  10:21 pm

  2255. Nice, Rana. Well done, Sue. Goes to prove that God is a man.
  2256. MichaelG on (more).
    September 11th, 2010  12:09 am

  2257. Yeah, but he doesn't have an MBA from Harvard.
  2258. MichaelG on (more).
    September 12th, 2010  9:47 am

  2259. Interesting post, Dexter. I have both similar and different memories. It was July, 1966. We were on a Braniff 707 out of Travis for Bien Hoa. I vividly remember the heat and the humidity and the incredible activity on the airbase. We debarked from the plane and loaded on those buses with screened windows to repel grenades for the trip to the 90th Replacement Detachment. I wasn't bothered by the heat and humidity so much as intoxicated by the exotic sights and smells and sounds. There was a jungle smell and that tropical smell that includes flowers and decay and earthiness overlaid with exhaust and people and strange things cooking. The sights were equally exotic. People were dressed strangely, traffic was largely military, buildings were oddly made and finished, signage was indecipherable. There were huts and people cooking by the side of the road and women with conical straw hats trotting along with bars across their shoulders supporting unbelievable twin loads of rice or water or whatever. Horns were blowing, people were shouting at each other, semi nude children were playing on the sidewalk and in the street, chickens ran across the road (to get to the other side, of course) and little boys guided huge water buffalo down the street with sticks. My eyes and ears and nose were on sensory overload and I was entranced. I fell in love with Vietnam that day and love it to this day. Walking in that humidity makes a gringo sweat but my joints always feel oiled and I seem to move so easily and comfortably in it. You soon learn to lose your undies because they just get wet with sweat, bunch up and chafe. Women's complexions are so soft and so smooth because of it. The monsoons are, indeed, a trifle damp but somehow the warm rains are less bothersome than the cold winter rains we get here in Sacramento. It was amusing, though, to see locals shivering and hugging themselves and feeling chilly oneself and discovering that the temp was 75 degrees. I can't believe it's been since 2000 that I was last there. I have to go back again soon.
  2260. MichaelG on (more).
    September 13th, 2010  2:50 am

  2261. Thanks, Dexter. I had forgotten the shit buckets and the morning columns of smoke on every compass point. We often used the Stars and Stripes for TP. At one point there was some bastard who would use the sports pages first. We never did catch him. The shit burning was a U.S. military thing. You don't see that today. By the way, if you are at all interested in Vietnam, there is a wonderful show on the new Cooking Channel called Luke Nguyen's Vietnam. It's terrific with great videos of Vietnam and excellent recipes. I never miss it.
  2262. MichaelG on The dresses speak.
    September 15th, 2010  5:08 am

  2263. I read that NYT article on older workers the other day and was thinking of it this AM as I scampered up the ladder to the roof of the Glendale DMV. I might have lost a step. Never could stand G. Paltrow. She ruined that otherwise cool Mario Batali romp through Spain that was on NPR the other year. Mary, what kind of boots does a vegan wear? Rubber? I've always figured that the clothes one sees in the fashion stuff and the models and their expressions and the half dead skag whore makeup were all produced by men who hated women. But why do the models all walk down the runway in that horrible hunky, clunky manner? I dunno, Jolene. You really think I'm dumber than I was 20 years ago? Who told you I haven't taken any classes at the U in the last 10 years? Who said I don't keep abreast of current happenings in the industry and hadn't taken any recent training? You happy to discount experience? Rather have some rookie at the controls of 1549 than Sullenberger? Really think I should step aside for a younger person who will cost less than me? You gonna pay my bills if I do quit? You really believe I was happier clambering around on the filthy roof of the Glendale DMV this morning than I would be strolling down a leafy Saigon boulevard or browsing fish restaurants for lunch on a Greek isle or even dawdling over the paper and my coffee down at the Cornerstone Cafe? By the way, my contractor - one of the best I've ever had is 60 and his terrific electrical sub is 79, Y'all need to take a course in real life. Besides, rookies are no fun to drink with. They got no stories. Social Security is not in any kind of emergency mode yet. Removing the $106,000 or whatever it is today contribution limit will go a long way to helping. Let everybody contribute. Notice how SS contributions are heaviest on the lowest wage earners. Raise the take a quarter of a percent maybe, but the system works. The problem, however big it may be, will only last for another 20-30 years. When the baby boomers die off the balance of payers and collectors will shift. And by the way, I've been paying in along with my employers for over 50 years. I'm not getting any freebies here. Jeff B @ 21, that's the saddest post in this whole string and sadly, I am afraid you are entirely correct. Yeah, Brian, but 27 in what kind of years? Her "Love is a Losing Game" absolutely knocks me on my ass.
  2264. MichaelG on Old times there: Not forgotten.
    September 15th, 2010  5:24 pm

  2265. I didn't look at the Inez Sainz pictures. I just read the story. That "If he can please himself ..." question seems to me like a double edged, er, sword.
  2266. MichaelG on Old times there: Not forgotten.
    September 15th, 2010  7:55 pm

  2267. "Catholic schoolgirl uniforms"? We are getting out into fetish land.
  2268. MichaelG on Kwazy.
    September 17th, 2010  7:32 pm

  2269. Hope your ankle is better quickly, Nance. Enjoy the rest. Years ago T, my ex, slipped and fell flat on her face in the kitchen. She ended up with a very nice shiner. At a party a day or two later somebody asked her what had happened. She pointed at me. "Asshole punched my lights out." Talk about a conversation stopper. For some reason I can't remember, I was selected to attend a special showing of "The Green Berets" in Fayetteville, N.C. (home of Ft. Bragg). This was in '68 not long before I got out of the Army. There were a few minor actors and some behind the camera people and a bunch of generals on hand. As is their wont, the generals gave speeches and handed each other awards before the screening. The movie sucked. Off to lunch with T.
  2270. MichaelG on Kwazy.
    September 18th, 2010  12:17 am

  2271. Had a very nice lunch with T today at P.F. Chang's in Roseville which is mid way between Sactown and Auburn. She works for a very small company that does a lot of business with the State of California. They haven't been paid in weeks now and things are getting difficult. To top things off, the Board of Equalization (they collect sales tax from businesses) wants their quarterly payment. T has an appointment to see them on Monday to tell them she can't pay the taxes because the State hasn't paid its bills but that she will be glad to pay B of E as soon as the State pays her what it owes. And they wonder why tax revenues are down. You can't make this shit up. I wonder how many people our brilliant Gov and legislators are going to put out of business this year. There are so many things the State could do to help ease the effects of the depression, but instead, it's actively working to drive businesses under. Happy birthday Dexter and happy house Basset! It's not so bad, guys. I'm more than halfway through my sixties and I don't feel old or crappy or anything. Don't worry about it. Just continue living as always. But it sure got here fast.
  2272. MichaelG on Kwazy.
    September 20th, 2010  5:30 am

  2273. It has been suggested that there is little reason to travel abroad as there are so many lovely sights to see in this country. There's truth to this. After living for years in California I came to the conclusion that it was "God's Country". Then thirty some years ago I started traveling in this country for work. Each place I visited amazed me with the beauty of its forests, beaches, charming cities, historic sites and museums. Turns out it's all "God's Country". There are many cultural differences to absorb as one moves from here to there in the U.S. Yet, while Los Angeles, Memphis and Miami, Marin County, Bexar County and Cook County are each very different, all are fundamentally American. To travel abroad is to truly experience something very different. People, culture and language are all very different from what we are accustomed to here. Folks over there think differently, live in different kinds of domiciles and eat different and sometimes odd food. They get around differently, shop differently and remove the trash differently. All traveling is broadening but visiting a foreign country will open one's eyes to new and strange things as well as providing another perspective on the way we live. Please don't discount foreign travel. That said, all travel is enlightening. Day trips can provide wonderful experiences. I know that foreign travel is expensive and that not everybody can trot off to Paris at the drop of a hat. But if you can manage it, a vacation in a foreign country is a wondrous experience. Canada and Mexico are nearby for some of us. Otherwise please spare the time and a few bucks and go down the road just a hundred miles. There's a world of wonder to be seen a few miles away as I can attest and as Brian has so ably described. I live in Sacramento but San Francisco is 80 miles and a world away. Go someplace. It's one of the best things one can do for one's self and for everybody else.
  2274. MichaelG on Kwazy.
    September 20th, 2010  5:35 am

  2275. Reading over my comment above, it occurs to me that I've used up this blog's allotment of the word "different" for the next two weeks. It also sounds kind of mawkish. Oh well. I may have had a little of what makes Prospero hum.
  2276. MichaelG on Scrapping.
    September 21st, 2010  8:53 pm

  2277. How about "drownded" and "realator"?
  2278. MichaelG on Scrapping.
    September 21st, 2010  11:10 pm

  2279. Jeff B., "weak-kneed Democ­rats" is repetitively redundant.
  2280. MichaelG on On the menu.
    September 22nd, 2010  5:37 pm

  2281. Unfortunately, Cooz is right. Those people are being exploited. I can't wait for the rapture and for them all to leave. Over 100 lap tops for $158,000. How much did DPS pay for the computers in the first place? Maybe the person who sold them and the purchasing person are the real thieves.
  2282. MichaelG on On the menu.
    September 23rd, 2010  1:50 am

  2283. Don't forget the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
  2284. MichaelG on Invisible-hand jobs.
    September 28th, 2010  3:57 am

  2285. My dad was on the board of the Oakland, CA public library and I’ve been and still am a heavy library user. There’re library books sitting on my counter right now. I’m also a State employee and very sensitive to the constant efforts of exploiters to privatize government activities. I’m astounded and appalled by the voters who will vote in favor of a government supported athletic palace to the benefit of zillionaires while nixing a minor issue to fund libraries. There must be something somewhere that benefited from a private take over, but I’m not aware of it. Whence did the legend arise that private enterprise would automatically perform better than government enterprise? Business and government are two very, very different animals. Anybody look at the failure rate for businesses? How many businesses have been bailed out by government? How many governments have been bailed out by business? I agree with what everybody has been saying. I also don’t get home schooling. In most cases, it seems to me, it’s the parents satisfying some contrarian need in themselves rather than a true concern for the betterment of their unfortunate offspring that motivates it. It was 99 here today. Get me another one while you’re up, will you?
  2286. MichaelG on Invisible-hand jobs.
    September 28th, 2010  6:45 am

  2287. Cool, Mark. All the stuff you talk about happened over a hundred years ago. There may be an exception here or there but corporate America today is rapacious not philanthropic. Main stream religion is in no position to do the things they did a hundred and fifty years ago and the new religious wealth will never be spent on anything constructive.
  2288. MichaelG on Tedding tomorrow.
    September 28th, 2010  7:08 pm

  2289. TEDx sounds like a merger between a failed United Airlines subsidiary and a package carrier. Ken Levine often has interesting things to say about radio. Today for example: http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/
  2290. MichaelG on Tedding tomorrow.
    September 28th, 2010  11:43 pm

  2291. Wow, Mary. 115. Glad I don't have to go to Burbank this week although it's 103 here today. When I lived in Auburn we had a neighbor with a labyrinth in her yard. We would walk it from time to time. I never felt anything from it but E claimed it did her some good. Re your “on brand look”, Nance: When I had lunch with T a few days ago she was wearing jeans, silk tee shirt, blazer and scarf. She looked like a million bucks and knew it. She certainly drew enough stares. Sigh.
  2292. MichaelG on Tedding tomorrow.
    September 30th, 2010  7:15 am

  2293. Prospero, I argee with msot of what you wirte. I might point out, however, that the Obama administration has, if anything, tightened up on the spying and secrecy policies initiated by the W administration. This to my great dismay. Ended wars? My daughter and her two kids are long sufferingly waiting along with T and I for her husband's return from Afghanistan where, as far as he can see, the war goes on. Obama has gotten himself mired in the same morass that claimed LBJ. Moe, I have said exactly that same thing many times. I staple my ballot receipt to a piece of paper, label it "License to Complain" and hang it outside my cube. Done it for years. I've been voting without a break since '66. And, Moe, how are you doing?
  2294. MichaelG on Calm down, Dorothy.
    September 30th, 2010  5:47 pm

  2295. I was driving down Broadway this morning on my way to work when I saw a pick up slow and pull over. The girl working the corner crossed the street toward the truck. She looked small and vulnerable and alone and had to be scared to death. I would never have enough guts to do that kind of job. I enjoyed Tony Curtis in "Ivanhoe". Great line : "Yonda is the castle of my fadda." Yeah, you gotta wonder about a guy who gets so worked up about what team somebody else plays for. Fire the jerk.
  2296. MichaelG on Calm down, Dorothy.
    September 30th, 2010  10:57 pm

  2297. Fifteen for this recovering Catholic. It's been a long time since I saw "Ivanhoe" or "Black Shield". I wonder how I came to believe in the castle line. Funny how the mind works. I was unable to see the Shervill clip. Our lovely IT people dropped a large wet blanket of a filter over our internet access. Now there's all kinds of stuff that we can't access. It seems random. I don't know how they choose what to block. I sure they think they have a system. It's a pain in the patoot.
  2298. MichaelG on Shocked. Awed.
    October 1st, 2010  6:39 pm

  2299. Yeah, my daughter's 32 and the difficulties still pop up. I spent two hours on the phone with her the other night.
  2300. MichaelG on Shocked. Awed.
    October 1st, 2010  10:28 pm

  2301. I see something like the Volt as a niche car. I understand that the battery may be partially charged by the engine but I am not certain if it can be fully charged by the engine. Further, it is apparently charged in its plug in mode by a standard 110 volt outlet and power cord. How many hours does this take? Is there a three phase adaptor to plug into your dryer or other 220 outlet? This would halve the charging time. How do you charge one if you don’t have a garage? Many people park their cars on the street. They will not be Volt buyers. What about apartment buildings? If mgmt doesn’t provide outlets for all, these folks won’t be Volt buyers. I see some limited applications for these kinds of vehicles and for full on electric cars but not as general usage vehicles. Not yet. The Cruz may be built on a different platform than the Volt but it’s the same class of vehicle. For the difference in price you can buy a hell of a lot of gas, even at $4 per gallon. I also don’t approve of the federal subsidy. As noted above, only some people will be able to even consider a Volt. Why should those of us who can’t pay for those who can? Maybe I should pay more attention to fashion issues.
  2302. MichaelG on Shocked. Awed.
    October 2nd, 2010  7:55 pm

  2303. Beb, ease up a tad. I wasn’t attacking the Volt, merely pointing out that it is a niche car. It is. I’m fully aware that many people don’t have electric driers or stoves but many do and I only asked if the car came with a 220 volt adaptor. That’s all. The rest stands. Many people, myself included, in fact, have no practical way to plug in a car. The Volt is expensive. Many people may feel it is too much so to justify their dollars. Many people will buy one and California environmental laws do not preclude the sale of any of the small high mileage cars that are on the market. I have no idea what the Iraqi war and the Volt have to do with each other. I too, opposed the war there and the war in A-stan and still do. That doesn’t mean I can’t also dislike those federal subsidies for selected automobiles. You are fully welcome to love ’em to death. I agree, Jeff B, that less is more in the medal dept. Those US generals and the inbreeds on the tomandlorenzo site have no idea how self-parodying they are. I’ll pick Princess Madeleine. She’s kind of cute, has a twinkle in her eye and looks ready to party. Her escort, Carl Phillip looks a little shaggy around the edges. Grooming standards must not be too tight in the Swedish Navy. Maybe he’s a hotel doorman, not in the navy at all.
  2304. MichaelG on That boy ain't right.
    October 5th, 2010  1:29 am

  2305. My pal Steve has some great stuff here. http://unexpectedmushroom.blogspot.com/
  2306. MichaelG on Bad boys.
    October 8th, 2010  6:51 am

  2307. "exten­ders" Yeah, Bassett, there was a woman across the aisle from me the other day who needed an extender for her seat belt. Open invitations? I've got a whole sack full of free roundtrips from Southwest. Actually only three, but I'm liable to show up anywhere. And happy birthday, Deborah. Welcome to today's sixties. I've loved those Mies apartment buildings since I was a kid. I'm jealous. And IIT too. You guys are Mies all the way.
  2308. MichaelG on Rough cuts.
    October 8th, 2010  8:45 pm

  2309. Happy birthday to all and to all a good weekend!
  2310. MichaelG on Rough cuts.
    October 9th, 2010  9:26 pm

  2311. I was in the car a while ago listening to Click & Clack on NPR. They were passing out entertaining snippets of advice. One bit of advice for little girls amused me: "Don't let Mommy brush your hair when she's mad at Daddy."
  2312. MichaelG on Saturday afternoon sailing.
    October 10th, 2010  8:24 am

  2313. What a great picture. You could call it "Bood bye cruel world"!
  2314. MichaelG on Saturday afternoon sailing.
    October 10th, 2010  7:06 pm

  2315. Whoops. "Good bye cruel world."
  2316. MichaelG on Lost weekend.
    October 12th, 2010  12:28 am

  2317. Mary! Sounds like you're caught up on your Prospero lessons. Nevertheless, I agree.
  2318. MichaelG on Lost weekend.
    October 12th, 2010  5:56 pm

  2319. You look good, Moe. Must have been a nice party. Prospero, your comment at 33 looks the way my car radio sounds when I get too close to high tension lines. It is fun, isn't it ROgirl?
  2320. MichaelG on Make it un-snappy.
    October 13th, 2010  7:38 pm

  2321. It's not raining here, Mary. You are, unfortunately, correct about miners in the US, 4dbirds.
  2322. MichaelG on Consider yourself trolled.
    October 25th, 2010  10:03 pm

  2323. Questions: No on the Price, I have seen Oprah, No on the reading but I've probably read the male equivalent of an H romance. And when is the rapture going to come so all those assholes will go away and leave the rest of us in peace? Cruise ship or RV? Never have, but why not? Branson? I've heard of it, of course, but simply can't imagine going. I'd have to pass Reno, Tahoe and Vegas to get there. If I want to see some has been or other fourth tier act I can go to an Indian casino around here. I was in Springfield. MO once thirty years or so ago on bidness. Flew in on Sunday evening and stayed at a Holiday Inn. People were drinking coffee with (that's WITH) their dinner. I asked for wine. "What kind?" "Do you have a wine list?" "No we just have red or white." "OK, gimme a glass of red, please." "Do you want red red or rose' red?" That kind of meal. At breakfast I asked for an English muffin. The waitress brought me an English muffin. I asked if maybe they could split it, toast it and butter it and asked with a straight face. They were happy to accommodate my desires at no extra charge. Never been to one of those club meetings.
  2324. MichaelG on The pumpkin debrief.
    November 1st, 2010  6:48 pm

  2325. No kids at my house last night either. I live in the ghetto so I guess all the local kids went to Nance's house.
  2326. MichaelG on Come wade in the sewer.
    November 2nd, 2010  6:26 pm

  2327. Whatever the Repubs gain this election day, they will have well and truly earned. They've kept their message short and simple and constant and they've kept it in people's faces. Truth? Doesn't matter. Say it often enough and it becomes true. When I was a kid, our tiny, flickering, black and white TV beamed the presence of Sen. Everett Dirksen and Rep. Charlie Halleck into our house - the Ev and Charlie show. From those days in the fifties to the present with Rep. Boehner and Sen. McConnell we've had appearances several times a week by the Republican Senate and Congressional leaders. Remember Dole's Dr. Doom Demeanor? Newt? Lott? And the others. A couple of times a week for fifty years the Republican Congressional leadership has been on the TV telling us over and over and over that the Democrats are wrong, wrong, wrong. Fifty years. Where have the Dems been? Nowhere. Silent. Why haven't we seen a steady diet of Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Reid and decades of their predecessors beating their own drums? Yeah, why? And when we do see the leadership, it's Reid haplessly responding in his reedy voice to some Republican insult. The last two Democratic Senate Leaders have been real winners. Reid and Daschle. A pair of strong, granite like, charismatic, inspiring, compelling orators who couldn't even hold on to their own seats let alone lead the congress. Then there's talk radio and more recently TV talking heads where again the Rs have been pushing their message for years and years. Again the message is short and simple and repeated over and over until it becomes gospel. The Ds? Who knows what they think other than what the Rs tell us they think? In the last fifteen years another front has opened up. Email. For the twelve or thirteen years I've been on line, I've received daily emails from the Republican hate machine. Cartoons, inspirational shit, stories, jokes, pictures, caricatures, you name it. Hate stuff against libruls, Hillary, Bill, Pelosi, Obama, Mescans, blacks, etc., etc., etc. A daily, steady drumbeat of the stuff. It's professionally done and much of it's very good. I don't know where it is all sourced, but somebody is out there creating this material and being paid to do it. Where are the Dems? Not present. If anyone doubts me, send me their email address and I'll be happy to forward my daily dose of drivel. Fifty years of repeating their message on the TV, the radio and now on email. It's compelling, it wears on people and it starts to take hold, especially when you hear your neighbors and work mates parroting it. Don't believe me? Look around. They even have the main stream media going. The MSM takes so much Republican BS at face value precisely because of the fifty years of uncontested weight behind it. Fifty years. When are the Ds going to wake up? The fact the Ds get anywhere at all is a compliment to the power of truth and common sense. If they worked half as hard as the Rs do to get their message across they'd be invincible.
  2328. MichaelG on The mop-up.
    November 4th, 2010  7:13 am

  2329. This afternoon I was up I-5 at one of the "W" towns in a CHP field office briefing room watching the SF Giants victory celebration at SF's Civic Center Plaza on the tube. The Governator appeared and was roundly booed by the happy, good natured crowd. If one could call boos friendly, these were friendly boos. Everybody knew the role was over and he was returning to where he belonged. Go Giants, bye-bye Ahnold. I love SF. Things could have been better on the proposition side of the ballot but given the state wide election winners and the few props that did fall the right way, it could have been a lot worse. Given the nationwide context, we have little to complain about here in CA. I don't know what it means but it's interesting to reflect that Dianne Feinstein is from San Francisco. Barbara Boxer is from Marin, Carly Fiorina is from the San Jose area, Meg Whitman is from Atherton, Brown lives in Oakland. Almost all of California's statewide officeholders are from the Bay Area. While maybe not as strongly worked up over that poseur's faux claims to Vietnam veteranhood as Dexter, I share his feelings 100%. Dexter stated his time in country, so I'll state mine: July '66 to July '67, 1st Bde, 101 Abn and Feb through May '68, 3d Bde, 82d Abn. I ended up vehemently opposing the war but I'm fiercely proud of my service and anybody who falsely claims to have served is the lowest piece of shit in the pond.
  2330. MichaelG on The mop-up.
    November 4th, 2010  7:26 am

  2331. I've been reading in the comments about what a fine, high toned bunch we are. And truly, we are a gentile, civil lot. However, Tom M's "Oh, Dexter, you poor silly boy." comment had me closer than you will ever know to drastically lowering the tone of this place.
  2332. MichaelG on The mop-up.
    November 4th, 2010  3:49 pm

  2333. Moe, the GI Bill was alive and well during the Vietnam era. It helped me to finish school and later to buy a house. mmJeff we have the same budget problem here in CA. You can't cut your way out of the problem and you can't raise taxes. The voters just passed a measure that removes that horrid 1/3 majority budget rule and replaces it with a more rational 51% rule. But they also passed two more props that limit the govt's options for raising revenue. Win some, lose some.
  2334. MichaelG on The hospital of you.
    November 5th, 2010  12:19 am

  2335. What a clusterfuck. They've sent out lay off notices to 1000 people here at DGS where I work and intend to actually can 500. Furloughs? Who knows. As now (2:18 PM) I don't know if I am working tomorrow or if I will be furloughed. Your State of California - a jack leg operation.
  2336. MichaelG on Life's rich banquet.
    November 6th, 2010  12:41 am

  2337. Nice Sparky Anderson thing by Ken Levine (scroll down): http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/
  2338. MichaelG on One sweet hour.
    November 8th, 2010  9:24 pm

  2339. They must rotate ads. I didn't see any Big John ad. I must have done something with that extra hour, but damned if I can remember what.
  2340. MichaelG on Calling in.
    November 10th, 2010  7:13 am

  2341. I saw some of the Lauer - W interview here and there on the tube. Well, I guess it's not a tube any more. I saw it on the flat. That doesn't work either. Anyway, I saw it. Some of it. The part about the waterboarding was instructive. W ordered it. The lawyers said it was OK. What's the problem? It's just that there seemed to be no thinking about the process, what it represented, mostly a fishing expedition with Mohamed Cagada or whatever his or their names were. No thought of where it took Bush or the U.S. in the moral realm, what international reactions would be, of whether it would really gain any useful intelligence, no thought or introspection or consideration of anything. "Un, oh, sure. Go ahead." I'm just taken by the sheer, empty, vapid stupidity of the whole thing. Mom with bro in a bottle? I have no idea of what to think or to say. I think I'll leave that one. Purfuckt potluck, Cooz. I still have tears in my eyes. Truly, the imagination in your writing is fabulous. Mary, I had an excellent corned beef sandwich for lunch at Billy's in Glendale today after very good asparagus chicken for dinner last night at Somethingorother 88, a white table cloth Chinese restaurant on San Fernando Blvd. in Burbank. The waitresses at Billy's can be a tad aggressive but I was happy.
  2342. MichaelG on Catching up.
    November 11th, 2010  12:50 am

  2343. Happy anniv, Dexter. The good plane ride was the one headed back this way. We called the airplane a seven-0-fast. We were young then. I remember WLS from High School. Dick Biondi and others whom I forget. I graduated in '62.
  2344. MichaelG on Catching up.
    November 11th, 2010  3:27 am

  2345. I liked the Hillary interview. She seemed so amazingly accessable.
  2346. MichaelG on Self-destructing in 60 seconds.
    November 11th, 2010  8:59 pm

  2347. Thank you, Dexter, for your gracious comment, although I doubt I spent anywhere near twice as much time as you in the other country. And you’re correct about the toll on those left behind. When I got out of the army I used to hang out at a bar in Berkeley just off Telegraph, about a block from campus. Kip’s, if anybody is familiar with Berkeley. Anyway, there was a gathering every week to watch the Avengers. Everybody reckoned Ms. Rigg a goddess. She once starred in some TV version of a Shakespeare play. The bar passed on a sporting event to watch the play. Kind of unprecedented but this was Berkeley and it was Diana Rigg. Ken Levine had a piece about the death of TV themes and intros a while back. He pretty much said the same thing Prospero did. I think dropping them is a mistake. The theme gives a show an identity that persists well beyond the half hour or so that it takes on air. You still hear the theme from Peter Gunn even though it’s been fifty years since the show was aired.
  2348. MichaelG on Self-destructing in 60 seconds.
    November 12th, 2010  12:39 am

  2349. Rana, my point exactly @21. Thanks, Moe. What an incredible cast! How about Oral Roberts and his brother?
  2350. MichaelG on Counts, recounts.
    November 13th, 2010  8:03 pm

  2351. Coozledad, you can do a collection of your stuff, call it "Cruize'n with the Cooze". Auburn is where my Ex, with whom I lunched yesterday, lives. I live in Sacto, in the hood.
  2352. MichaelG on Saturday afternoon market.
    November 14th, 2010  10:09 am

  2353. Weather's been beautiful here over the last couple of days. I'd like to watch the F-1 race, Brian but I'm not getting up at 4:30. That's week day stuff. Maybe they'll replay it later. Sometimes they do. I went to one of those GoodGuys car shows today at the Alameda Cty fairgrounds. Lots of cars, all American. One can only look at so many Camaros and Chevelles. I think I'll pass next time. Highlight of the show for me was a '61 Plymouth Fury Sonoramic Commando (I have a picture of the badge) that even the owner cheerfully agrees is the ugliest car of all time. http://www.pbase.com/image/43083861 It's all original, even the paint (which is to say, slightly tatty) with a huge original equipment 413 engine sporting a pair of four bbl carbs on sweeping cross ram induction intake manifolds and three, yes, three on the floor. And a square steering wheel. The owner intends to preserve the car as a driver without restoring it. It's an extremely rare car that would be worth a lot of money but the guy loves it and enjoys driving it to shows all over the west. He recently drove it to Idaho for a show. We need more guys like him and fewer Barrett-Jackson Auctions.
  2354. MichaelG on Saturday afternoon market.
    November 15th, 2010  12:26 am

  2355. Lord, MaryRC, those comments were the best ever. I'm still giggling. I'm gonna email that to everyone. Brian, what you posted is a '60 Plymouth. No prize to be sure, but no match in ugly for the world beater '61. The Exner years started with the '55s. The '55 through '57 cars were the best for my money. The '62 through '64 are starting to look nicer to me nowadays. I saw a couple of them yesterday. I've only been to one F-1 race. That was in Long Beach back in '76. The race was won by Clay Regazzoni in a Fazzaz. The paddock area was quite accessible, no drivers though and I had a great time. I've been to a number of Indy Car races at Laguna Seca. I find Indy Car/CART to be a more entertaining and competitive series than F-1. It's been six or seven years since I last went. The paddock there was very accessible and the drivers were friendly, hanging around after the race to sign autographs and meet the fans. I'm sure you'd appreciate, Brian, the staggering number of beautiful women in attendance at Laguna. I don't know what it is about high dollar racing and the way it attracts women, but wow. Laguna, by the way is a wonderful track. I've been to dozens of races there, club races, Indy Car/CART and the old Can-Am races. The corkscrew is everything people say it is. The wildest sight I've seen there was the late Mark Donohue wrestling that huge Penske SUNOCO Porsche 917/30 panzer through the corkscrew, fighting turbo lag, flames coming out of the exhaust on the overrun, a loud bang ensuing when he got back on the throttle, the car sideways heading for the next turn about 200 meters away and Donohue upshifting (!) with another bang in the little chute there before disappearing downhill around the left hand turn. I have no idea how he did it but he did it lap after lap. In traffic. I had a driver tell me once that the corkscrew was easy. You merely arrived at the top of the hill, closed your eyes, jerked the wheel left, then right, reopened your eyes and everything would be fine. If you missed, you'd end up in Salinas. Sears Point is a terrific track too. Speed will replay the F-1 race in ten minutes. Bye.
  2356. MichaelG on Saturday afternoon market.
    November 15th, 2010  2:32 am

  2357. The race just ended. That was a scary crash for Schumacher. For a second there, I thought Vettel was going to do a Carl Edwards back flip. You just brought out the charm of watching sporty cars as opposed to the roundy rounds. Strolling here and there around the track, checking out different viewing areas, checking out the crowd. I once went to a race at Sears. Later I was comparing pictures with the friend I had gone with. He had taken pictures of nothing but girls.
  2358. MichaelG on The senior portion.
    November 15th, 2010  6:55 pm

  2359. Only jerks would pile all that junk including liquids on a pool table. At least cover the damn thing. I used to live in San Francisco's Marina district not far from the Golden Gate Bridge. We'd lay in bed almost every night and listen to the fog horns. Also they used to fire an old artillery piece over at the Presidio every morning when the flag was raised and every evening at taps when it came down. Great old memories. I loved it there. It was a romantic time and a romantic place. From the emails floating around here I'd say that some of that writer's clients work in my building.
  2360. MichaelG on The senior portion.
    November 16th, 2010  1:48 am

  2361. He made a big point in the course of the piece about how he could stretch a few words to many. He was quite proud of it.
  2362. MichaelG on God save the marriage.
    November 16th, 2010  8:08 pm

  2363. Mary @14, you posted what I was going to say about bog vs. loo. I can't see Gawker here at the office. The new filters have eliminated a lot of ordinary sites.
  2364. MichaelG on Adults like to fret.
    November 18th, 2010  5:03 am

  2365. The last time I listened to Rush Limbaugh was back when Clinton had just taken office. I remember two things, one in general: Limbaugh claimed to be "just an entertainer" not a political commenter, so people should cut him some slack. The second thing, the one that enraged me and made me turn him off forever was when he began talking about the ugly kid in the White House, the ugliest kid he had ever seen, the one with the frizzy hair. Poor Chelsea must have been around 12 at the time. That was almost 20 years ago and was so over the top disgusting I haven't forgotten it to this day. I was in Burbank and Glendale yesterday and earlier today and had KPCC on the car radio. They were in their begging mode and were touting their "fair and balanced" news casts. That hit a nerve. News isn't supposed to be "fair and balanced", it's supposed to be honest. I thought lots more but I'm too hungry for dinner and too lazy to go on. Mary, I almost spit wine on my keyboard at the turducken comment. I've been a turducker at the S. F. Zoo. I'm still coughing from inhaling the wine.
  2366. MichaelG on Adults like to fret.
    November 18th, 2010  6:55 am

  2367. By the way, I liked that little Cad. I'm always willing to give some slack to somebody who's willing to try some real style with a car. It's gotta be better than that Cimarron from 20 years or so ago. If ever Cad had a low point, that had to be it.
  2368. MichaelG on Dash out.
    November 18th, 2010  11:25 pm

  2369. It's good and green for William to use his mom's ring. You know, recycling. As an alternate, he could always pick up something nice at Zale's. I'm sure they'd give him credit.
  2370. MichaelG on Dash out.
    November 18th, 2010  11:26 pm

  2371. Deborah, did he ever give you a vacuum cleaner for Christmas?
  2372. MichaelG on Dash out.
    November 19th, 2010  1:19 am

  2373. I just googled Scumbuster. They're expensive. How does it relate to Valentine's day? I've got that "my finger is being pulled feeling".
  2374. MichaelG on Dash out.
    November 19th, 2010  2:54 am

  2375. Well, OK, but I still can't see the Valentine's connection. I just pour in a shit load of clorox, swizzle it around, come back in a few hours and flush. Don't piss on the clorox. Also, I'm the only one who uses the potties. I have two.
  2376. MichaelG on Under the sink again.
    November 23rd, 2010  8:26 pm

  2377. Happy Birthday, Moe. Lascivious is good, Prospero. I got no problem with a couple of old letches sitting together watching that dance show. And if you have a septic tank rather than a sewer hook up, there are a lot of other things you shouldn't put down the disposal.
  2378. MichaelG on The countdown.
    November 24th, 2010  6:43 pm

  2379. A Happy Birthday to you, Nance! And a Great Thanksgiving to all! It's friggin cold here. Low thirties last night and into the twenties tonight. Supposed to have record lows. Double Brrr.
  2380. MichaelG on Who ARE these people?
    December 1st, 2010  9:30 pm

  2381. Hillbilly Hand Fishing, Mary? Sounds like some secret ritual that takes place out behind the Pastor's out house.
  2382. MichaelG on Bad news on the doorstep.
    December 4th, 2010  8:31 pm

  2383. I’ve heard lots of weapons of every caliber – far too many of them fired in my direction. I still hear shots fired at night here in the hood. The difference between the sharp sound of the round breaking the sound barrier as it passes by and the lower sound of the weapon being fired is easy to discern. None of them sound like a backfire. We used to do the shut off the ignition thing when we were kids – just for a bang. Nyuk, nyuk. It was especially fun to do while going through an underpass. Krugman has a devastating column. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/opinion/03krugman.html?_r=1&ref=columnists
  2384. MichaelG on Bad news on the doorstep.
    December 4th, 2010  10:27 pm

  2385. Absolutely, Alex. It pretty well sums up why I've come to dislike the spinless Dems almost as much as the Reps. Between the two of them we're absolutely screwed.
  2386. MichaelG on Bad news on the doorstep.
    December 4th, 2010  11:33 pm

  2387. Is Helen a Moslem or a Christian? Danny and Marlo were/are Lebanese Christians.
  2388. MichaelG on Bad news on the doorstep.
    December 5th, 2010  9:11 pm

  2389. Cub fans, Ken Levine demonstrates how to write an obit (scroll down to Fri, 12-3) http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/
  2390. MichaelG on My virtual office.
    December 7th, 2010  5:45 am

  2391. Mary (way back at the beginning) that hat was lurvly but I really liked the shower curtain in which the lady was wrapped. Wi-Fi? New ways of working? My ass was on the 6:00 AM plane to Ontario to make a meeting at the Unemployment Insurance call center in Riverside this morning. We're doing a renovation on the building. Somebody saved some money by snaffling up a 1995 spec built tilt up. Wanna see some shitty construction? Water intrusion? I got home at 5:30 this evening. That's a long day and I'm sure the State of California is grateful for my efforts. They employ over 200 people at the call center. Ever see one of those places? They're something. Every time I get bummed about my job, a visit to a place like this makes me realize how lucky I am. That pre-dawn flight suddenly looks pretty good. I asked the manager why they didn't just outsource the whole thing to India. I thought it was funny. He didn't. I'm already gonna work until I'm seventy which is only four short years away. So are a lot of you and a lot of other Americans. That's simply the new reality. Sorry Brian, Julie and the rest of you hopefuls. Obama and the Dems have caved. The Reps and Boner only have the high hand because it has been ceded to them. What we saw today really happened months ago and was entirely predictable. Read Krugman. He speaks truth. At my age I can't start over. If they screw social security and my pension which I still hope to enjoy one day, I am fucked. Wish I made $250,000. Shit, I'd take half that. I have Pergo flooring in my place. I just vacuum and then use your basic sponge mop and a squirt bottle filled with white vinegar. Cheap and works fine.
  2392. MichaelG on Starbucks cracker barrel.
    December 9th, 2010  9:26 pm

  2393. Another Sothrenism for that fizzy brown stuff in a bottle is Co-Cola. I heard that a lot. You mash the button. Grandpa drove either an Oze or a Chivrolet. Then there's the places where you go to the family reunion to pick up girls. You know, where the family tree looks like a telephone pole.
  2394. MichaelG on Starbucks cracker barrel.
    December 10th, 2010  12:54 am

  2395. paddyo - remember the Emeryville mud flats well. There were truly some wondrous sculptures there. I've passed through some towns in the South that had paper mills. God, the smell.
  2396. MichaelG on Starbucks cracker barrel.
    December 10th, 2010  2:43 am

  2397. I had a friend who served aboard the Oriskany during the Vietnam war. He said they used to call it the USS Zippo because of its propensity for catching fire.
  2398. MichaelG on Your holiday DJ.
    December 13th, 2010  1:31 am

  2399. Dark, gloomy and mid fifties here in Sactown. Much rain forcast for later this week. I'm not planning any travel for the balance of the year if I can avoid it. Airports are no fun this time of the year.
  2400. MichaelG on Your holiday DJ.
    December 13th, 2010  9:15 am

  2401. Directly from a solid to a gas. That's called sublimation, right? I saw that Metrodome video earlier and then again on Sunday Night Football. It's gonna be a while before they get that fixed. Cowpersons lost. Heh, heh.
  2402. MichaelG on Yo, snow.
    December 13th, 2010  6:39 pm

  2403. "wife getting haemorrhoid surgery" and he wanted it done now. Boy, that conjures up some marital images. I'm an Irish drunk and get neither mean nor morose. Maybe a little sincere. My grandfather was a gen-u-wine IRA member before he emigrated to this country. Wait, he emigrated from Ireland and imigrated to this country? I guess it's all in your point of view.
  2404. MichaelG on Yo, snow.
    December 13th, 2010  9:14 pm

  2405. Dorothy, my thoughts and hopes are with you and your husband. For what it's worth, I have a very good friend who had the same thing seven or eight years ago and is in fine shape today. There is cause for optimism. A bazillion years ago when I was in the Army, I was driving down Bragg Blvd in Fayetteville, N.C. in my VW when it died. I coasted into a gas station, right up to the pump. Pretty lucky. Your house looks lovely, Nancy, and I like that light tree, Alex. Hate crime indeed.
  2406. MichaelG on Yo, snow.
    December 13th, 2010  9:54 pm

  2407. Lucas electrics, Deborah. Brought to you by Joseph Lucas, the man who invented darkness. Why do Brits drink warm beer? Because they have Lucas refrigerators. Apologies, Mary, if the above offends the in house. Those are ancient jokes.
  2408. MichaelG on Look at the bones!
    December 16th, 2010  7:42 pm

  2409. Never could stand Gwyneth. Mario and Mark were way patient with her on the Spanish Road trip. However, Claudia Bossols is a goddess.
  2410. MichaelG on Gamesmanship, part 2.
    December 17th, 2010  9:04 pm

  2411. Denise from yesterday's comments, are you referring to Roseville, CA? That lady suing McDonald's is here in Sacto and the story got quite a bit of play here. She's claiming that her kids aren't sophisticated enough to discriminate between programming and advertising and that McDonald's . . . I don't know what. I hope she doesn't mind being a laughingstock.
  2412. MichaelG on Gamesmanship, part 2.
    December 18th, 2010  3:55 am

  2413. That's terrific, Dorothy. Just terrific. I'm so pleased. The Roseville question was because we used to foster kittens and volunteer at the adoption center at the Roseville, CA Pet (co or smart, now I can't remember which it was).
  2414. MichaelG on Gamesmanship, part 2.
    December 19th, 2010  9:23 pm

  2415. I don't know about "cubic money" but "cubic bucks" is an old, old phrase that I've used and heard for decades. Maybe it's a West Coast thing.
  2416. MichaelG on Homewreckers.
    December 20th, 2010  6:27 pm

  2417. Maybe he bought it at Jared's.
  2418. MichaelG on Homewreckers.
    December 20th, 2010  11:35 pm

  2419. Here's some cute. Who says you can't make a bird poop on command? This is my erstwhile wife and Murphy the burd at the Auburn house. Murphy is a 29 year old Yellow Naped Amazon. Somewhere around here I have a picture of Murphy eating a chicken drumstick. It's pretty funny. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qugMpR-l59g
  2420. MichaelG on Don't look too close.
    December 22nd, 2010  10:11 pm

  2421. You guys have me all frusteracated because the filters here bar Gawker and have barred whatever site that is with the no heel shoes. They're filtering more and more stuff all the time. The most irritating Christmas song for me is "The Little Drummer Boy".
  2422. MichaelG on Days ahead: Merry, bright.
    December 23rd, 2010  11:51 pm

  2423. That poor Marc Jacobs model. The one on the runway. She has the zombie look down just right, plus it looks like her hips are down around her knees. She probably feels crappy because she doesn't look a tenth as good in that dress as the First Lady. I must say, Ms. Obama certainly wears clothes well. Stuff just looks great on her. Ms. Roberts and the kids look like props out of some catalogue. And a fifties catalogue at that. What is peppermint bark? And what does one do with it? Happy Holidays, everyone! Hee,hee.
  2424. MichaelG on Days ahead: Merry, bright.
    December 24th, 2010  8:36 pm

  2425. Unbelievable. Was that real? The Vats get creepier and creepier. I kinda liked the slinky chick in the black outfit, though.
  2426. MichaelG on For auld lang syne.
    December 30th, 2010  10:31 pm

  2427. Cleavage was on folks' minds a while ago. For anyone who's wondering how all those TV and movie women develop such remarkable assets, here's the answer: http://tv.gawker.com/5721330/chinese-scientists-invent-electro+abs-for-womens-chests
  2428. MichaelG on For auld lang syne.
    January 1st, 2011  5:44 am

  2429. We’ve had our share of senatorial lulus here in CA. Remember George Murphy, the tap dancer? S. I. Hawakawa? John Tunney? I recall when Tunney was said to campaign for Sen. Hruska because as long as Hruska was in the Senate, Tunney wouldn’t be the dumbest Senator under the dome. It’s freaking cold here. Early thirties. That’s just unnatural. Humans can’t survive long under these conditions. Happy New Year, everyone. May all have happiness, health, love and financial pleasantry.
  2430. MichaelG on For auld lang syne.
    January 1st, 2011  8:36 pm

  2431. Great web site, Cooz. I particularly liked the valkyrie in the collared, fur lined bustier, armored loin cloth and dual swords. The terris chick isn’t too bad either.
  2432. MichaelG on For auld lang syne.
    January 2nd, 2011  9:53 pm

  2433. Right, MarkH. Hayakawa wore a Tam. He was a semantics prof at SF State and later Pres there. I have no idea how he came to be elected to the senate. As I recall, he was famous mainly for spending his time on the senate floor sleeping.
  2434. MichaelG on For auld lang syne.
    January 3rd, 2011  3:15 am

  2435. Hayakawa's anti-student activities largely revolved around his quashing student anti-war protests in the late sixties. I don't remember the details, I was in the Army at the time, but he was a particularly vicious sort. He was not loved and certainly was not the cuddly sort he tried to pass himself off as. He was a prissy, simpering, self loving, little twit. I didn't start attending SF State until spring 1970 as a transfer senior. It was an interesting school at the time with a lot of recently returned vets and a lot of life. "Streetcar State" out there on the M-Ocean View line at 16th and Holloway. The closest bars were some joint at Stonestown Mall and the Boathouse on Lake Merced. I met my first wife there in an English Dept study lounge. We lived in a flat on 4th and Hugo and later moved to a townhouse in Pacifica off Skyline near Serramonte. I graduated in '71. Those were the days. Wow. It sure was a long time ago.
  2436. MichaelG on Movie nights.
    January 3rd, 2011  8:01 pm

  2437. So Mary, no ingredients with more than 16 letters? Stuff that might have been prepared in a kitchen rather than in a laboratory?
  2438. MichaelG on Movie nights.
    January 4th, 2011  1:37 am

  2439. Mayo in guacamole would make me do a reverse guacamole enema. I think you're right about vegans et al,Jtmmo. It's been a while since my daughter was in school here in CA, but the school nurses I saw were harded, practical and no nonsense. But, Mary, that was A Riley's ped, not a nurse.
  2440. MichaelG on That stinks.
    January 4th, 2011  7:24 pm

  2441. The deficit here starts at $25 Bil. At some point something is going to have to be done to increase revenue. Raise taxes, have a bake sale, I don't know what. Maybe even, horrors, make corporations pay a little. It's not just men. There are also women out there who seem to marinate in stinkwater before coming to work. There's one who smells like insect killer. I've been in the elevator with her several times. I can hold my breath for four floors but my eyes still water.
  2442. MichaelG on That stinks.
    January 4th, 2011  9:27 pm

  2443. I once got on an elevator on the first floor with a guy who had been drinking. He got off on the second floor but the elevator still stunk of booze. Then a woman got on on the third floor. I got off on the fourth with the woman staring at me. I couldn't imagine what she might have been thinking.
  2444. MichaelG on That stinks.
    January 5th, 2011  2:47 am

  2445. Moe, you correctly identified the difference between public and private sector employment. As with your job, private sector people who do what I do get paid a whole lot more than public sector folks. The public sector attraction over past decades has been that employees have stable employment (no layoffs and no required moving around the country), good health care coverage and a decent pension. Talented people have long accepted lower wages in return for the benefits. The stories about huge pensions are just that - stories like the welfare Cadillac stories. Yeah there are a few. There are always exceptions and abuses but I can tell you that your average CA State retiree is most assuredly not living in a villa on the Cote d' Azure. Now the Repubs are attempting to cut the benefits so that public employees will get both lousy wages and lousy benefits. Guess who will be staffing all those public jobs in the future. That's right. People who can't get anything else. Even as it is, we have long had chronic shortages of architects, lawyers, engineers, etc. because the State compensation package just hasn't been competitive. The notion that State employees are the cause of the CA budget problems is simply ludicrous. You could fire each one of us and the savings wouldn't be a drop in the budget crisis bucket.
  2446. MichaelG on Leave the lights.
    January 5th, 2011  6:23 pm

  2447. Throw in a few oysters, Nance, and you've got a hangtown fry.
  2448. MichaelG on A house for the girls.
    January 7th, 2011  11:50 pm

  2449. Thanks, Moe. That was an enlightening read. I'm saving it and am going to pass it around. I agree with Prospero. From the enlightened perspective of my 66 years, all boobs are good boobs although, for several reasons, I'm not so fond of the store bought variety .
  2450. MichaelG on A house for the girls.
    January 8th, 2011  9:02 am

  2451. The thing you have to keep reminding yourself about with Hg is that it's cumulative. Other bad shit you get a little trace dose and your body flushes it out. Next time you get dosed you're starting from zero. With merc the stuff never goes away, those traces keep adding up. Pretty soon your eyeballs turn inside out. Prospero's not paranoid, he's spot on. Like vino. I'm carrying more than a trace amount now at ten pee emm but in the morning it'll be gone. God, what if wine was cumulative like Hg.
  2452. MichaelG on Gabrielle Giffords.
    January 9th, 2011  7:36 am

  2453. I’m just appalled and can’t stop thinking about how this all might spread. People read about stuff like this happening in places like Pakistan and the Ivory Coast and Iraq and Afghanistan and sneer at the third world savages but here it is. I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t already been better said by somebody else except to note that I read earlier that AZ has outlawed the teaching of Mexican studies in schools while preserving Asian studies and Black studies. It’s getting brutal there. I keep hoping that people will have to wake up but they don’t. We’re truly in the grip of insanity.
  2454. MichaelG on Gabrielle Giffords.
    January 9th, 2011  9:51 pm

  2455. It’s easy to simply dismiss Loughner as a nut job. Thing is, today’s steady, continuous, pervasive drumbeat of hate speech is exactly the sort of stuff that provides the impetus and the direction to push a nut case past the tipping point.
  2456. MichaelG on Mommy dearest.
    January 11th, 2011  10:51 pm

  2457. Gawker provides a lot of amusing items along with some thought provoking ones. LAMary’s link to the wacko woman is amusing but there are people listening to her seriously. The Stephanie Seymour and her kid pictures are amusing. Gawker has featured the story daily for three or four days now and I have – er – forced myself to look at the pictures. She’s a beautiful woman, but as somebody said, “If she were any dumber, she’d have to be watered twice a week”. What I really wanted to point out, though, was John Stewart’s comment on the Tucson affair. It’s the best I’ve seen yet. Please watch. http://tv.gawker.com/5730178/watch-jon-stewarts-poignant-speech-on-the-arizona-shooting And Ken Levine has a comment on Ted Williams. Scroll down. http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/
  2458. MichaelG on A dog's life.
    January 14th, 2011  3:17 am

  2459. Hubert Humphrey used to shed a tear now and then.
  2460. MichaelG on Tin for the 10th.
    January 19th, 2011  10:19 pm

  2461. I knew about merkins all along. LBJ used to talk about them all the time. "Mah Fellow Merkins . . . I can't follow any of those links until I get home. They have so much blocked now and some kind of nasty report goes to I don't know whom everytime somebody hits a blocked site. I wonder how many people they have policing this stuff. Helluva job. Ten years. That's a long time. I know how tough it is to do something like your blog every day, roughly anyhow, and it's damn tough. You are to be admired, Nance, and thanked. I haven't missed a day in - how many years has it been since Bob Greene? Thank you and congratulations. Alex, I remember your blog. Bring it back. There were a couple of women out there today on 43 degree, foggy, 5:15 AM street corners. What an awful way to make a living.
  2462. MichaelG on The First Closet.
    January 20th, 2011  8:27 pm

  2463. I just took a look at Pioneer Woman's blog as I do every week or so. She has a book out and is giving away five copies. The post had over Twenty Two Thousand comments. 22,000. Holy smoke. It was yesterday's post. With that kind of circulation or whatever you call it in the blogosphere she must be worth something to somebody. I'd be after her to endorse whatever I was selling.
  2464. MichaelG on The First Closet.
    January 21st, 2011  8:09 am

  2465. Same thing here in CA. It says "Donor" on my license. It's an easy block to check on the app. Costs me nothing. Unfortunately, anything I have to offer is gonna to be pretty high miles when I'm done with it. Certainly nobody's going to get any bargains when they part me out. I've liked P Woman for her portrayals of contemporary ranch life. The rest you can have. It's a bit, well, too much for me. And like Prospero, I'm deeply suspicious of home schooling. I've always kind of liked Nigella. Her recipes are so-so but I think she's quite an attractive woman. Some might think her a tad full figured, but she's most certainly an unabashed, card carrying woman and I like that. My current lust object is Laura Calder who does French stuff on the Cooking Channel. Another genuine female. Maybe her act is a bit coquettish but she's got me hooked. Whew!
  2466. MichaelG on Venison stew.
    January 22nd, 2011  3:22 am

  2467. I don't really know what drives peoples' eating habits but I do have a couple of observations. Linda @53 has an important point. Poor inner city people (read "minority") have less access to good, healthful food than the more affluent. They don't have cars and there aren't a lot of supermarkets in the hood. There is a supermarket not far from where I live but it has a surprisingly small produce section and a surprisingly small meat counter. The frozen food section is huge. The junk food variety is mind boggling. I don't even know what half that stuff is. I watch food programs, but they are all on cable or NPR. I'm not aware of a lot of food programming on network TV but am aware of an awful lot of prepared food advertising there. The array of stores selling wonderful fresh foods of all kinds here in Sacramento is truly astounding. Unfortunately, I see relatively very few black people at the many, many Asian, Hispanic, specialty food or open air markets. Why? I don't know. I always thought of chittlins as more of a rural south thing. By the way, is there anybody who understands Wikipedia's pronunciation scheme? They say we should pronounce chittlins " /ˈtʃɪtlɪnz/". It looks like some weird Turko-Bulgarian curse. My tongue is in a knot. And I must say that Camilla Belle looks delicious and that that guy Mary linked to looks worse than the deer.
  2468. MichaelG on Venison stew.
    January 22nd, 2011  3:31 am

  2469. The torture heads always seem to want to justify their jones by saying that it would be necessary to get that guy to tell us the codes to inert that nuke-u-lar device at the airport. The fact that this has never happened and the fact that the cops or whomever could always make an exception if they wanted never seem to be noticed. As Rana says, "what's wrong is wrong". To debate it drags it from the realm of the wrong to the realm of the let's talk about it. I guess that's where they must be on the issue of Abortion.
  2470. MichaelG on Venison stew.
    January 22nd, 2011  3:33 am

  2471. Yeah, I knew that, Rana. I was trying to make a lame joke and I also think that that's too complicated a means to demonstrate pronunciation. There are easier, more accessible ways.
  2472. MichaelG on Venison stew.
    January 22nd, 2011  8:07 pm

  2473. People are writing blog comments here, Kirk, not a PhD thesis. Wikipedia is a quick and easy info source. I’m sure everyone’s aware of its weaknesses but, your thoughts aside, it’s usually pretty accurate.
  2474. MichaelG on Venison stew.
    January 23rd, 2011  9:41 pm

  2475. I agree with Beb that adding a means test to SS changes things big time and once there, who knows what's next. You know, the camel's nose is in the tent. That's what bothers me so much about this current ill conceived contribution "holiday". If you want to talk about means, what SS should do is raise or eliminate the max contribution level. At present earnings above, I think it's $125,000 are exempt from SS. What this means is that mid and lower income people are disproportionately funding the program. Why should people who make lots of money be given a free pass on earnings above 125 grand? Also retirement and SS money woes will substantially subside in thirty years or so when all the boomers have died off. Not that I give a shit but my grand kids will be happy.
  2476. MichaelG on Venison stew.
    January 23rd, 2011  9:46 pm

  2477. As long as I'm here, I'll agree with Prospero. $106,000?
  2478. MichaelG on Strength and fitness.
    January 25th, 2011  3:02 am

  2479. You mean there really is or was a "Harry Baals" in Ft. Wayne?
  2480. MichaelG on Strength and fitness.
    January 25th, 2011  3:03 am

  2481. God, now I feel like I just bit.
  2482. MichaelG on Down Downton way.
    January 25th, 2011  6:30 pm

  2483. I read that haggis article. I had never thought of England as being south of the border before. After seeing places on TV described as compounds (like the Kennedys in H-port) I once thought to describe our place in Auburn as a compound. Then I realized that with the exception of the Kennedy place, almost every property so described on TV also included views of helicopters, blue FBI jackets, gates being crashed, perp walks and all the rest. That's when I dropped the idea.
  2484. MichaelG on Waiting for Oscar.
    January 28th, 2011  3:13 am

  2485. My daughter taught eighth grade math for two years in a public school in VA. She told me stories just like the ones in Big Hank's link. She told me about how she would come home from work and cry. About how she ended giving her lunch away and eventually bringing food and other things to kids (Ms. C., I'm bleeding down there. What's happening?). She did lots of things above and beyond and ended up in despair knowing that all she was doing was shoveling shit against the tide. She ended up poisonously full of disgust and hate for the vicious and corrupt administration. She's a great and compassionate kid and she'll never teach school again.
  2486. MichaelG on Caffeine and bloggage.
    January 30th, 2011  9:48 pm

  2487. Re Jeff @78: Hence the birth of the hourly wage. Also what happened the next time the guy wanted help in his vineyard?
  2488. MichaelG on Severe. Clear. Cold.
    February 4th, 2011  4:16 am

  2489. I just got home from Orange County where I've been since Sunday. I won't make anybody feel badly about the weather other than to say I wasn't suffering. Thank you, Jolene, for those pix. They were absolutely wonderful. And there's more on that site which I need to explore. I've eaten at a Macaroni Grill in Roseville. It was so-so. Sacramento is a great town for local restaurants which makes it tough for chains to compete in quality. There is fabulous food of every description. The markets as well. I would stack Sac Town up against any town in the country for food. Especially a place of similar size. New York and Chicago keep quiet. L.A. too. This is also a great place to be a locavore. You don't have to make any sacrifices.
  2490. MichaelG on She's got the look.
    February 5th, 2011  2:08 am

  2491. I went out and bought a Honda this morning. I traded my old Ford on a new Element. Orange. I'll get the new car tomorrow or Monday. It's in the pipeline, hasn't even been delivered to the dealer yet. The tranny on the Taurus was getting wonky and it needed brakes and I've recently done the fuel pump and the water pump so I figured it was time. Lots of Zubies here as well. No problem getting them worked on.
  2492. MichaelG on She's got the look.
    February 5th, 2011  10:43 am

  2493. Holy shit, Dexter. I barely spent three times that for a brand new Honda still on the truck with a 100K mile extended warranty. I know this is the last year for the Element and it's 2wd but good Lord . . .
  2494. MichaelG on She's got the look.
    February 6th, 2011  4:59 am

  2495. I don’t mean to be a smart ass and I’m not a used car expert, Mark, but after a brief glance at eBay, $7000 seems like all the money for the car Dexter referenced, especially from a rust belt city. For that kind of money I’d expect the car to be clean, well maintained and totally dry. I’m not criticizing Subarus at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. By all accounts they’re great cars and I’ve never heard a negative word said about them. I considered one while shopping over the past few weeks but a new Outback costs significantly more than a similarly equipped new Element, although the hefty resale value does offset the price. Hondas also have excellent resale value. In the end, price, the cavernous interior of the Element and the fact that I have no use for 4 wheel drive drove my choice. Especially the first two. Twenty one grand is a good price for an Element EX in Sacto. If you can find one cheaper, I congratulate you. I have heard that Honda had a pretty fair clearance sale in Dec. Don’t tell me any details. I’ll just feel bad. Scary stuff, beb. Keep your head down.
  2496. MichaelG on She's got the look.
    February 6th, 2011  9:27 pm

  2497. At my age I'll take any magnetism I can get, Mary. Besides, I'm above all that petty stuff. What do you think I should wear? San Francisco is in the seventies this weekend, Dexter. Same here. Chinatown's a wonderful place. I used to shop there all the time and the Chinese New Year's parade is a great event. My daughter used to march in it when she was attending the Choy Lay Fut kung fu school. It's an evening parade, run in the dark, and a nice Chinese dinner was always part of the night. There's a bus route, the 30 Stockton, which goes through Chinatown. Everybody used to call the 30 Stockton the "Orient Express." I took it all the time when I lived in the Marina. It stopped right on my corner and ran downtown. It's a trolley bus. Trolley buses were fun. Kids would run behind them and pop the poles off the wire. The driver would then have to go back behind the bus and get the pick-up on the end of the pole aligned with the wire and connected. That had to be enjoyable, especially in the rain. Sometimes the driver would go around a corner too fast or at the wrong angle and lose the wire himself. I wonder how much those Marina apartments run today.
  2498. MichaelG on She's got the look.
    February 7th, 2011  1:03 am

  2499. The San Francisco Marina District has some of the best apartments anywhere. They are on the corners of streets like Francisco. I lived in two different buildings there, one at Francisco and Broderick and the other at Francisco and Divisadero. The buildings are all three storey walk ups with garages for the tenants. The stairs are very wide, making it easy to haul mattresses and couches in and out. The apartments were very large one bedroom and studio units, bright and airy with huge closets and separate kitchens. The place was fantastic and altogether, the Marina is probably the best place I’ve ever lived. When I lived there in the seventies and eighties rents ran about $750. Single family homes have been seven figures for decades. For urban living, I’d stack the SF Marina up against any city in the world without reservation. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl
  2500. MichaelG on She's got the look.
    February 7th, 2011  1:11 am

  2501. Well, that link doesn't work worth a hoot. One was 2295 Francisco although on Google street view it shows as 2297. Later when we got married we lived at 2395. I remember our first Christmas tree - a little Charlie Brown thing. We had just gotten married on 12-21. Jeez, we had a small second hand TV. Sorry for inflicting my memories on you but I had great times there.
  2502. MichaelG on Day two of dullness.
    February 11th, 2011  10:44 am

  2503. My office is in a building on the west bank of the river, just opposite Sacramento, called the Ziggurat. It's a stepped pyramid, a ziggurat, actually, ten stories high. http://west-sacramento.blogspot.com/2007/11/ziggurat-est-1998.html It was built in the nineties to house a second tier mortgage lender called the 'Money Store'. My daughter worked there and she managed a data base. That the place was failing was obvious and Stephanie prudently removed all of her personal stuff. She was planning to quit soon to get married anyway. The Money Store kept having layoffs and one day they got to her. They canned a ton of people that day. As Dexter noted, security people escorted folks out the door on the spot. Didn't bother Stephanie as she could carry everything in one hand. They gave her three month's severance and continued her medical coverage for three months. The catch was that, if required, the laid off employee would come in and work. Stephanie was asked and dutifully presented herself for two or three days. She was amazed. "Dad, they just fired me and now they want me to come back and update their data base." She was laughing her ass off. "I could kill the whole thing with a single key stroke while the boss was standing there. You know. 'Whoops. Oh gosh. I'm sorry.'" She couldn't get over how stupid they were but didn't sabotage anything. It worked out perfectly. The three month's pay carried her to the time when she got married and moved to Tennessee. The place was vacant for a year or two until we moved in.
  2504. MichaelG on Harry Baals.
    February 12th, 2011  1:34 am

  2505. My daughter went to Austin Peay (pronounced "P") State U in TN. I still have a bumper sticker around here someplace that says "Let's go Peay". The Oregon State men's athletic teams are called the "Beavers". The women's teams are redundantly called the "Lady . . . Then there are always the UC Santa Cruz "Banana Slugs".
  2506. MichaelG on Gleeful.
    February 14th, 2011  7:35 pm

  2507. Wow! I didn't know all that about glee clubs. I had some vague idea about band and cheerleader competitions but that was about it. That stuff was never on the radar when I was in high school nor was it there when my daughter was in highschool. There's a big world out there.
  2508. MichaelG on Gleeful.
    February 14th, 2011  9:32 pm

  2509. This show choir thing is a new world for me. I had no idea. I'm not sure who gains what from the whole experience. What do the kids and the school take away from all this other than having stories to tell over beers for the rest of their lives? I'm inclined to agree with Prospero. It sounds horrible and the idea of having to regularly pick up my kid from an after school event at some to be established time between 8:00 PM and 11:00 PM after six or eight hours of "practice" is a total nonstarter.
  2510. MichaelG on No toddling zone.
    February 15th, 2011  6:38 pm

  2511. Sidewalk? Here in the 'hood where I live everybody just strolls down the middle of the street. Those dresses on T & L are awful. I also don't get the men's clothes. But then I never heard of half those people before, either. This all says something about me. I'm not sure what.
  2512. MichaelG on No toddling zone.
    February 15th, 2011  7:57 pm

  2513. One time in Safeway there was an old lady blocking the whole aisle in front of the dairy case while she memorized the label on a carton of milk. I politely excused myself and asked to get by. She just looked at me, said "Fuck you" and returned to her task. I wish I could have seen my face. Happy B'day, Mr. C.
  2514. MichaelG on No toddling zone.
    February 15th, 2011  10:01 pm

  2515. Well, mark, I'll think of you. I'm on the 12:25 to ONT and am leaving for SMF right now.
  2516. MichaelG on Fed up.
    February 19th, 2011  10:23 am

  2517. Busting unions is striking at the very heart of what has made this country great. Unions embody the idea that every working woman and man has the right to a life of dignity and prosperity. Unions achieved a level of status and honor for all working people, members or not, that would not have been possible without their efforts. Instead of trying to help all Americans to attain a living wage with good working conditions and health benefits and an honest retirement, the Republicans are trying to return the working people of this country to an eighteenth century serfdom. And by working people I mean every person who draws a salary regardless of type of job or number of $$ on the pay check. As it stands now, we are on a very fast track to the third world. Don't tell me about the excesses or abuses of some unions or some union bosses. They aren't a wart on the ass of the abuses of big business or Wall Street. Here's one for the late evening after a few glasses of wine and thoughts of a blown relationship from a poor, crazy, self destructive woman. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfC6CCtZjxk And yes, it has caused me to weep.
  2518. MichaelG on Fed up.
    February 19th, 2011  7:55 pm

  2519. “Breaking public service unions? I don’t see how this even cracks them around the soffit and fascia, let alone damages the foundations. “Collective bargaining” is not the principle in danger here.” What kind of fatuous comment is that, MMJeff? It sounds exactly like the semi-literate, red necked idiocy one sees in the SacBee’s comments only with better spelling. The business in WI is most assuredly about doing away with the unions and collective bargaining. What else do you think the fuss is about? I love the crazy legends that float around the countryside concerning state employee retirements. Get more money retired than when working? Why the hell are any of us working? I would have retired long ago. There’s also a story going around that has the State supplying us with free gas. Even after all these years I’m still amazed at how much hatred for public employees there is.
  2520. MichaelG on Fed up.
    February 20th, 2011  3:20 am

  2521. Thanks for the great link, Brian. Don't play the victim here, MMJeff. A couple of people have disagreed with you but you have not been flamed. What JC said @80 is very true. Certainly it is in California. The deal has always been that people take a public sector job for lesser pay in return for better benefits and job stability. Absent the latter two factors and it's not hard to guess what kind of employees the public sector is going to saddle itself with. The WI employees have indicated that they will agree to wage and benefit cutbacks. What they are fighting is the Governor's imperial attitude and the planned destruction of the union and collective bargaining. They have this weird thing about wanting to be treated like real people, not serfs. We've given up lots here in California without folks hitting the streets. Why? Because everything was discussed or is being discussed at the bargaining table.
  2522. MichaelG on Fed up.
    February 20th, 2011  5:22 am

  2523. I wouldn’t tip at a take out place. Yes I leave a tip on the bathroom vanity in motel rooms and I tip sky caps on the rare occasions I use them and yes $5 seems right to me. Maids and sky caps work hard and are paid squat. I keep my land line because I need it for my DSL, because the Sat TV provider requires it and because my alarm company requires it. I haven’t talked on it or answered it for years.
  2524. MichaelG on Fed up.
    February 20th, 2011  8:16 am

  2525. Several years ago I wrote a strong and somewhat scathing post directed at Brian. Whatever I said, I was wrong. Brian’s comments are consistently the most thoughtful, honest and genuine comments on this blog. Of course, that’s easy because he comments so prolifically. To be serious, he sets a high standard and I believe he is a big reason why the comments on this blog are so well considered and civil. So, Brian, a belated tip of the hat. But I still think Bernie Eccelstone is the devil incarnate.
  2526. MichaelG on Fed up.
    February 21st, 2011  7:00 pm

  2527. My teeth are firmly compressed on my tongue. Consider it gone, MMJeff.
  2528. MichaelG on Thousands strong.
    February 25th, 2011  10:10 pm

  2529. Snowed in in Ellay, Mary? That should be fun. I want pix. On the other hand, I spoke with my erstwhile one a little while ago and she says she's seeing it at about 1150. I was up in Truckee (6000 ft) on Wed and 80 was clear and dry and the weather was beautiful, temps in the early twenties, bright sun, low humidity and no wind. Stay out of the shade.
  2530. MichaelG on Thousands strong.
    February 26th, 2011  7:13 am

  2531. Here's a not bad summation of the public employee wage and retirement situation. It shows how public employment has worked to provide some simulation of a living wage to lower echelon employees while professionals have opted for the job stability and benefits package over wages. It also reflects the thrust of union efforts over the last few decades. I have a more detailed scholarly study that says the same things. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/26/us/26salaries.html?emc=eta1
  2532. MichaelG on Pretty in pretty much everything.
    March 1st, 2011  2:54 am

  2533. A couple of observations: The Hollywood remembrance thing tagged the luminescent Susannah York. I was a kid in college when “Tom Jones” came out and fell in love with her. Gwyneth Paltrow does a lousy Emmy Lou Harris imitation. I’m not a big Anne Hathaway fan but as somebody pointed out, she worked her ass off carrying that lump Franco around. There is a guy two cubes down from me, calls himself Conrad the Barbarian after our former governor, who went to PS 13 on Staten Island. He knows of PS 22. I guess their choir is a big deal.
  2534. MichaelG on Ruminations with eggs.
    March 1st, 2011  11:34 pm

  2535. Duck eggs do taste differently from chicken eggs and I'm not crazy about them. I have heard and LAMary seems to confirm that duck eggs are great for baking. I haven't tried them there. It seems like most of Gawker Media's web sites underwent makeovers. They all suck. They are ugly and user unfriendly and just plain don't work. Why do so many web sites change themselves so often? Take Microsoft's Bing Maps. It used to be an excellent site. Now it's totally unusable. I guess it's the old saying: "If it ain't broke, break it."
  2536. MichaelG on Ruminations with eggs.
    March 2nd, 2011  8:05 am

  2537. I had a balut egg in Vietnam a few years ago. More like ten years, I guess. It took a whole can of beer to wash it down. Thing is, that stuff is all in the mind. Lots of people love balut eggs and eat them every day. Nothing to it. It's a delicacy. At least that's what I told myself. I'll never do it again. I didn't gag but maybe I was sweating a little bit. Lovely picture, Moe. I'm not a fan of tattoos on women or much of a tattoo fan at all. Most are muddy and poorly done. Multiples look like graffiti on a subway station wall. One day, however, I was having lunch at a cafe in Little Saigon on Bolsa in Westminster when a Vietnamese woman sat down with a friend at the next table. She had on a loose white, sleeveless blouse over a dark skirt and an incredible tattoo. She was a lovely and classy looking young woman with long black hair that flowed down her back. From under her blouse, covering her shoulder and down her right arm flowed the most incredible tattoo. I wasn't close enough to see the details; much was covered by her blouse and her arm moved in her animated conversation with her companion but I was able to discern scales and shapes of an incredible delicacy and in a series of brilliant and subtle shades of reds and pinks and greens and blues. It was an astounding, erotic and captivating vision and I wished I could have seen her nude to partake of what was truly a work of art that had been applied to her skin. From what I could see it looked to have covered much of her back. She and her adornment were gorgeous. What will they look like in thirty years? Sadly not all art endures.
  2538. MichaelG on Pleased to meetcha.
    March 4th, 2011  9:46 pm

  2539. Best I could do with taxes due, VG. Hope Phoebe has a great time!
  2540. MichaelG on Pleased to meetcha.
    March 6th, 2011  1:01 am

  2541. Was just down at one of the Vietnamese supermarkets in Sacto's Little Saigon, one on Stockton Blvd. and 65th. There must be eight or so of them along Stockton there. I'm not talking little corner markets; these are supermarkets as large as any Safeway or Kroger or Food Lion or whatever's in your area. After all these years the incredible variety of exotic stuff sold in those places still amazes me. Also, looking around and noting that I'm the only gringo in sight is different. I saw an attractive woman whom I took to be Indonesian, maybe mid thirties, with a Muslim type wrap around her head obscuring her hair and neck. Below that she had on a very thin, very tight cotton sweater that boldly highlighted her rather sizeable assets and a pair of jeans in a thin fabric that looked to have been sprayed on. The contrast was startling. I had to look again just to be sure. Oh, and they had duck balut eggs for eighty nine cents each. I managed to struggle past the display without buying one. What a story Stockton Blvd. is. Just a few years ago it was a wasteland. A couple of miles of deserted, falling down commercial buildings, empty, weed infested lots, bums, gang bangers, a couple of sad looking used tire stores. You've all seen urban blight. Now it's block after shining block of Vietnamese malls, supermarkets, office buildings and restaurants. It's crowded, thriving, alive and a generally wonderful area. I don't know where all the money came from but I'm glad it came. Brian, Hank the deuce came within an ace of buying Ferrari back in the seventies. I saw that F-150 controversy a while ago. It reminded me of when Chevrolet, back in the eighties, fielded two models, one called a Corsica and the other called a Beretta. For the first, I couldn't see why they would name a car after a French island known principally for its gangsters. For the second, the story was that the Italian gun manufacturer planned to make a cheap Saturday night special and call it a Chevy.
  2542. MichaelG on A 24-hour fly-by.
    March 8th, 2011  3:30 am

  2543. Hey, VelvetGoldmine, nobody has "claimed" (paypal's word) the money I posted the other day. I sent it to mjordanreilly@aol.com. Is that wrong? Lemme know.
  2544. MichaelG on It's his money.
    March 11th, 2011  3:33 am

  2545. I've spent the last few days in SoCal. I had occasion to pass through the Fullerton State campus early Wed. The spring co-eds were in bloom in short shorts and tee shirts. The view and the weather were just great. The last couple of nn.c days were vintage. Sous vide and Molecular Gastronomy are really two different things. Sous vide is nothing more than a method of slow cooking. Grant Achatz has several videos on YouTube showing how easy it is to cook this way with a simple plastic freezer bag, a candy thermometer, a timer and a pot full of water. In other words, nothing you don't already have in your kitchen. The perceived problem is all the whiz bang special packaging, immersion circulators, high priest mumbo jumbo and other stuff that will intimidate one and set one back a zillion bucks. Molecular Gastronomy, which is what that type of cookery is known as but not really the name of the method if it can be called a method. I know. I know. Anyway MG is the one with all the magic powders and the deconstruction and the foam and the liquid nitrogen etc., etc. Haven't tried it and am not breaking my leg to get there. Maybe one of these days. Check out http://alineaathome.typepad.com/ . She's an excellent and amusing writer with a good slant on this kind of cooking. If you are interested in the hows and wherefores of cooking, how the biology and chemistry of food work and all the reasons why food is prepared the way it is, read Harold McGee. His "On Food and Cooking" is the bible and he's the guru. His book is required reading at the CIA (the other one, where they learn to cook) and is the go to reference work for the professional chef. McGee has an interesting and erudite blog: http://www.curiouscook.com/cook/harold.php I have amassed a rather large collection of recipes on my computer. I need to get them better organized but as someone suggested earlier, I put my laptop on the counter and pull up what I want to see. Works great. I just have to keep the wine glass away from the computer.
  2546. MichaelG on Swept away.
    March 11th, 2011  10:23 pm

  2547. I know, Mary. There's a kind of creepy feeling in the air. We are big time due. Over due. Whether it's L.A. or the Bay Area or up north, it seems like there's one looming over our shoulder. I don't recall a really big one ever happening here in the Valley but who knows? Quakes keep occurring along "heretofore unknown faults". The Santa Cruz and especially Crescent City harbor areas have sustained some pretty serious damage from the tsunami. The tsunami clips out of Japan are incredible and horrifying.
  2548. MichaelG on Nancy Whiskey? I'll take it.
    March 17th, 2011  9:03 pm

  2549. I'm Irish. My grandparents were born over there. I even used to go out and get drunk on March 17. It's been a while, though. What's the story with the 'Detroit News' and their now ex-auto reviewer? Hmm. auto reviewer. http://jalopnik.com/#!5782691/how-the-detroit-news-sold-its-soul
  2550. MichaelG on Nancy Whiskey? I'll take it.
    March 17th, 2011  10:26 pm

  2551. Danny Boy? Shane Macgowan will show you a non-treacle version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5X5IrA0zEs
  2552. MichaelG on Friday.
    March 19th, 2011  1:46 am

  2553. After UCLA did their best to give it away to MSU last night I ended up pawing through YouTube listening to old music, smoking a cigar and drinking a couple of glasses of wine. Among other things I watched and heard several Joan Baez songs. It'd been a while and I had forgotten how great she is and what a stunningly beautiful woman she is even now at 70. Then today I watched Rebecca Black.
  2554. MichaelG on Friday.
    March 19th, 2011  9:46 pm

  2555. Count me in with the NPR and PBS fans even though the smug, self righteous fund raisers on Channel 6 make my teeth hurt during their everlasting begging sessions. I love KXJZ, the local NPR station. Also, a lot of NPR stations are associated with librul colletches.
  2556. MichaelG on Saturday afternoon birthday.
    March 20th, 2011  3:54 am

  2557. Happy Birthday, Brian and fifty more!
  2558. MichaelG on Saturday afternoon birthday.
    March 20th, 2011  10:17 am

  2559. Holy shit! The wind is roaring and the lights are flickering. I opened the door and it was almost sucked out of my hand. It's raining but the rain is skipping over the street sideways and it doesn't really seem like rain. They were talking about 65 mile an hour winds and I can believe them. My house is tight and I normally can't hear the wind, but tonight, wow. It's scary. The trees are moving dramatically, I mean the whole freaking tree trunk. As long as one doesn't fall on the house I guess I'm alright. I'm going to go to bed and pull the covers over my head. We're all getting older, and at sixty six I feel like one of the senior citizens at nn.c. At this age, acquaintances are starting to sicken and die all around me. Days, months and years are coming faster and faster. None of my closest are gone but some are getting fragile and I know it won't be long. Yet I feel strong and loose and easy and not old at all. I don't know what any of it means but all I can say is that age happens amazingly fast. Yesterday I was eagerly waiting to turn sixteen so I could get my license. Today I'm an old man. Jeez, the house rocked to that one. The wind is really roaring - that subway sound. Yesterday I had lunch with my once wife. In the darkened restaurant she looked young and beautiful. She also dresses for our lunches. In the rain soaked daylight outside she looked impossibly young and lovely at fifty nine. That competitive bicycle stuff really works. No wisdom here other than to say that family is important. Don't ever fuck it up. Any more and I'm gonna get maudlin.
  2560. MichaelG on Saturday afternoon birthday.
    March 20th, 2011  8:14 pm

  2561. Thanks, Brian and yeah. We're still here and the wind has died down. I might point out that while I was writing maudlin shit last night I was listening to some really nice classical jazz on an NPR station. None of that on Clear Channel.
  2562. MichaelG on Virtual travel.
    March 22nd, 2011  6:32 pm

  2563. Nice pictures of Kate yesterday. She's looking like a young lady now, not like a child anymore. I could read the pride in your post. That's so nice. Holy smokes, Mary. In Sacto I pay about $932 a year for full coverage on a brand new 2011 Honda Element. When I was married and living in Auburn we paid even less for three cars, a pickup and two drivers. Wait until your kids move out and start their own lives. Your auto rates will plummet. I can't remember what I pay for insurance on the house but it never struck me as a whole lot, maybe another $900. Tax and insurance are paid out of an impound account so I don't write the check. I don't carry flood or earthquake insurance. Sacramento has never been hit with an earthquake, but who knows. Maybe tomorrow. I can't imagine a scenario in which I would get flooded, although, looking out my office window at the Sacramento river flowing under the tower bridge, the river is as high as I've ever seen it and moving fast. The reservoirs are all full and there's record snow in the mountains. A couple of 60 degree days in the high country along with a bit of rain and it could get wet around here. But still not at my house.
  2564. MichaelG on A girl and her bijoux.
    March 24th, 2011  10:37 pm

  2565. Happy b'day, 4dbirds! Have one on me.
  2566. MichaelG on They keep us in the dark.
    March 25th, 2011  8:13 pm

  2567. Prop 13 from back in the early seventies is one of the root causes of our current budget problems in California. Among the provisions was one that froze property taxes at 1974 (I think, somebody help me) levels for people and corporations that have not sold their property since then. So along with not paying any income tax, corporations are paying property tax based on long ago property values for property they've owned since before Prop 13. Take Disneyland for example or Standard Oil or any of those huge land holders, all paying pennies on every property tax dollar. It's obvious that all of our financial problems would go away if corporations paid their share of taxes. When will the American public wake up?
  2568. MichaelG on Housework for dummies.
    March 28th, 2011  5:59 pm

  2569. A. I have low flow toilets. When one flushes after peeing, the refilled bowl has a definite yellow tinge. One must flush at least twice to have clear water in the bowl. Otherwise, everything goes down fine. B. When I bought a new washer and dryer a couple of years ago, I did the usual internet research and saw lots of complaints about leaky washer doors. So I bought a top loader. The front loaders were also lots more expensive. I haven't priced them recently. My mid-range Kenmore works just fine even if it doesn't have digital controls. I've always had gas driers and my house is plumbed and wired for your choice. Again I did my research and was surprised to find that electric driers have become much more efficient. According to what I read, gas is still more efficient but it would take an average family doing their eight loads per week (?) two years to make up the price differential between a gas drier and an electric drier. I don't do eight loads a month. I bought electric. C. I rinse stuff before putting it in the dish washer. It sure seems to me that if you don't rinse there's going to be a great agglomeration of crap in your appliance after a while. I've always rinsed. It just makes sense. Was at Trader Joe's the other day. Two Buck Chuck is still $1.99. I went for the $7.99 Bordeaux. and the $2.99 Pinot Grigio. Sad to hear about DED. I've read him and enjoyed him for too many years to count.
  2570. MichaelG on Housework for dummies.
    March 29th, 2011  2:05 am

  2571. A buck ninety nine for a bottle of wine. How do they grow the grapes, crush them, process and store them, bottle and label them and provide all the assorted cartage necessary and make a profit? We don't have water meters here in Sac Town so I have no idea how much water I use. I pay a single monthly bill of $111.72 to the City. It covers water, garbage, sewage, storm drain, street cleaning, garden waste pick up and recycling. I thought Cal won the NCAA Men's swim title. Another big appliance brand that has popped up in recent years is LG out of Korea. Never heard of them until relatively recently. All my appliances are from Sears. Washer, dryer, stove, reefer, dish washer. Boy, did I make them happy that year. Also a lawn mower, a string trimmer and a shed for the back yard. We had a new Bosch dish washer in Auburn when I left. That was a really nice one. Totally silent, easy on water and fast.
  2572. MichaelG on Among other things.
    March 29th, 2011  5:37 pm

  2573. Last night after the ND - Tenn game I saw a brief interview with Pat Summitt, the Tenn coach. With that horrible expression on her face, the one that could curdle milk a block away, what she had to say about her team was that they couldn't overcome being tired, that they lacked intensity, that they didn't come to play, etc. and etc. All bad, mean spirited stuff about her own players. What the hell was that? OK, so it was a tough loss. Too bad. The coach should put on a public face and praise her troops for trying hard, for having a good season for something nice for God's sake. Any respect I might have had for this woman went right out the window. Or is it just me?
  2574. MichaelG on Dutchday, anyone?
    March 30th, 2011  8:26 pm

  2575. I was at the Santa Ana / Orange County Civic Center and had time to kill before an appointment. I happened to be reading a T. Jefferson Parker novel. There was a scene in the OC Sheriff's office and lo and behold, I looked up to see the OC Sheriff's office just across the street. It's also fun to follow Harry Bosch in downtown LA and in the Valley. If you are going somewhere it's easy to take a little detour. Chez Pannise is in the heart of the Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto. I used to live two blocks away on Bonita St. The original Peet's coffee is just around the corner from CP. Great neighborhood. I miss it.
  2576. MichaelG on Dutchday, anyone?
    March 30th, 2011  10:38 pm

  2577. The Bradbury Bldg is one of the places I looked up while following Harry Bosch. I had a job at the Reagan Bldg just a block away and managed to wander over during the course of one of my trips to Ellay. It's beautifully restored and what a building. Much money spent on architectural details that you wouldn't see today and billable square footage wasted. Developers would hate it today. There's even a souvenier shop.
  2578. MichaelG on The clatter of the keys.
    March 31st, 2011  7:34 pm

  2579. I was given a refurb Royal HH for graduation from High School. I used it all through college and left it with my parents when I quit school in 1965. It had to have weighed 25 lb. For my last and a half year in the Army I sat behind an R. C. Allen as a personnel NCO. It was a world of correction fluid, correction tape, erasers, carbon paper, manifold paper and tension. Tension because there were some items, like officer efficiency reports, that had to be typed without error and had to be typed by an NCO. I couldn't shine them off on one of my clerks. The pressure rose with every line. If there is any nostalgia for those beasts here, it's the type one feels when provoked by memories of walking 20 miles barefoot through the snow to school. I got the Royal back when I returned to college after the Army. Later I had an IBM electric with keys, not that ball thing, and last was a Brother, light and plastic and with some kind of back up erase feature. No,. I don't miss typewriters but I am glad there are enthusiasts who are working to preserve them. I don't know Jeff B. I kinda like "squirmish". Here in California the conservatives (who don't seem conservative to me at all but rather to be some species of right wing radical) are working just as hard as those in the Midwest to turn working people, especially public employees, into serfs. Evidently we're responsible for everything from world hunger to the disaster in Japan. We have a Democratic governor in Jerry Brown and a Dem majority under the dome but we also have that stupid two thirds majority requirement for a budget that leaves us perpetually in thrall to the tyranny of the minority. They're not FOR anything. They're just a bunch of rock throwers. So the waterhead Republicans have brought the whole process to a halt. I don't know what's going to happen but it's not going to be good. My first meeting with the word "concupiscent", at least as far as I can recall at this distance, came when I read Wallace Stevens' poem "The Emperor of Ice Cream".
  2580. MichaelG on Mint condition.
    April 1st, 2011  7:38 pm

  2581. Kirk, you mean like donate $7Mil to NASCAR? We used to wear the garrison cap with a glider patch on it. It was called a c**t cap. As noted in the article it was easy to stow. What the hell would a bunch of GIs do with cowboy hats on an airplane? It's a 4/1 joke. In the 'Nam people ended up wearing all kinds of stuff. One time when we had been out in the field for a long time and hadn't been resupplied with anything but food and ammo for a long time our clothes started rotting off. We ended up cutting off sleeves and lower pant legs. We must have looked pretty rag tag and smelled worse.
  2582. MichaelG on Mint condition.
    April 1st, 2011  9:52 pm

  2583. Dexter, what 4dbirds said.
  2584. MichaelG on Mint condition.
    April 2nd, 2011  7:19 am

  2585. I took typing in high school and then typed all my stuff through college and then the Army sent me to typing school after I came back from the ‘Nam. I’ve found my typing skill to be one of the most valuable things I’ve acquired. That said, why is it on TV and in the movies that everybody types real fast and nobody ever uses a mouse? Most of what you see on the screen would be done with a mouse. I know. No noise and no urgency.
  2586. MichaelG on A little foggy.
    April 5th, 2011  5:07 am

  2587. Medical marijuana is big business here in California. The Sacto alternative paper has page after page of four color, full and half page ads for medical marijuana outlets. They’re on every corner. There are battles going on in counties, cities and under the dome over taxing, licensing and regulation of this lucrative enterprise. I agree that marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed. Unfortunately there are powerful interests fighting legalization. Think of all the cops, judges, dipshit drug agents, lawyers, prison guards, pharma drug manufacturers and lord knows who else that will be diminished if weed is legalized. I think MM Jeff is right about local TV news people. They are poorly paid and work under pretty poor conditions. I don’t mean slaving in salt mines, I mean being on call 24 hours and then maybe not being called for days on end. Then the stations regularly recycle a certain percentage of them. It’s amazing how many of them turn up as spokes persons for various State agencies, corporations, utilities and foundations where they can earn a steady pay check.
  2588. MichaelG on Tuesday mornin' coming down.
    April 6th, 2011  7:05 am

  2589. Lip-syncing etc. Those people aren't singers, they're performers. You want a singer, call Ella. My favorite Joan is still Baez.
  2590. MichaelG on Empty shelves.
    April 13th, 2011  5:35 pm

  2591. (Carry over from yesterday - I couldn't resist) Bitter, is that the Fecal Finger of Fate?
  2592. MichaelG on Empty shelves.
    April 13th, 2011  7:06 pm

  2593. See, Dexter? It was the fecal finger of fate.
  2594. MichaelG on Farewell, Erica.
    April 15th, 2011  11:41 pm

  2595. I don't know about back there but the Spanish language channels here carry Mexican and Brazilian soaps which are the greatest ever. My erstwhile wife and daughter are hooked. I even used to watch.
  2596. MichaelG on So what's new?
    April 21st, 2011  5:27 pm

  2597. I'm generally fine with the new format assuming the edit feature will be restored. The bouncing sidebar is very distracting, especially when one wants to read through a large number of comments. The column is kind of wide as some have noted but if one hits that half size thing up there in the corner next to the red "X" it comes to a nice readable width. Mostly that bouncing side bar is bad.
  2598. MichaelG on So what's new?
    April 22nd, 2011  8:08 pm

  2599. Hello? Hello? Anybody there? I don't see any Friday post from Nancy and I don't see any comments after number 89 Jakash at 12:28 AM. It's like I've been disconnected.
  2600. MichaelG on So what's new?
    April 22nd, 2011  8:13 pm

  2601. Wow! After I posted, suddenly all the comments up to Prospero at 94 popped up. The side bar is still bouncing for me but now the words are all muddy like the thing had too much ink on it when it hit the paper. Did you get this stuff second hand from some haunted web site?
  2602. MichaelG on So what's new?
    April 22nd, 2011  9:19 pm

  2603. Comment.
  2604. MichaelG on Good Friday.
    April 22nd, 2011  9:23 pm

  2605. I hope things improve soon, Moe. We're all thinking of you.
  2606. MichaelG on He was just the stenographer.
    April 26th, 2011  6:20 am

  2607. I'm not ordinarily one to pile on, but I see that Mr. Caswell is a member of the American Legion. I can see him wearing his little hat at the Friday night smoker deflecting questions about his service record while staring open mouthed at the girls on the screen. This just confirms my opinion of the AL as a scumbag organization which will accept just about anybody who has the price of admission.
  2608. MichaelG on A thin line, etc.
    April 27th, 2011  5:23 pm

  2609. Lord Patrick Smoky-6th Avenue
  2610. MichaelG on The wait is over.
    April 27th, 2011  9:11 pm

  2611. That "Birth Certificate" is an obvious fake. ROgirl, yes, Smokey was a cat. I once read somewhere that "Smokey" was one of the two or three most common cat names.
  2612. MichaelG on The wait is over.
    April 28th, 2011  2:08 am

  2613. I don't know what the procedures are but I am certain that Mr. Obama's background was very thoroughly checked by the FBI or the Secret Service or some government agency the moment he chose to run for the senate and more thoroughly rechecked when he decided to run for the presidency. It's just incomprehensible that he and everybody else in the mix isn't vetted for a whole laundry list of things that could cause problems the moment their hat goes into the ring. I remember when I was a twelve year old kid we had an army colonel as a neighbor. He was up for promotion to general and the FBI interviewed my father in the course of a background investigation. Shit, they even investigated me for the secret clearance I had while I was in the army. Hasn't it occurred to any of these dolts that Obama's legitimacy was well and thoroughly investigated and established long before his name appeared on the ballot? Brian, don't grocery stores in Indiana sell booze? Every store in California has all the beer, wine and hard stuff right out on the shelves. I buy wine at Safeway and at Taylor's market all the time. Also Cost Plus, Trader Joe's and Raley's and others. Just a plug, but in California we probably have the largest selection of foreign and domestic wines and the lowest prices anywhere in the world. Filling up my car is another story.
  2614. MichaelG on The wait is over.
    April 28th, 2011  5:12 am

  2615. Yeah, I know, Mary. I was down in Riverside the other day. It's a tad less here, but I'll have to check tomorrow. As you say it's going up day to day. The oil companies just announced their usual obscene record profits, but Boner says we shouldn't tax them because they'd just raise prices more. So I guess what he means is that record profits on top of record profits for the oil companies are good for consumers if not for airline and trucking companies.
  2616. MichaelG on Big government II.
    April 28th, 2011  5:55 pm

  2617. Interesting that gas prices seem to be going up relatively uniformly this time rather than spiking some places and only rising moderately in other places. How come I never hear of tornados occurring in other countries? The Supremes just overturned a California law allowing consumers to sue businesses like phone companies, credit card companies and so forth without going to arbitration as the business interests wanted. The result totally denies consumers access to the courts in this area. This is another direct, obvious and outrageous screw the consumer action by the Court. We really are on our way to the 19th century third world.
  2618. MichaelG on Big government II.
    April 28th, 2011  8:32 pm

  2619. Alabama sounds horrible, Mark. Post apocalyptic. Good to hear that your family is OK. Numbers for Sacramento: Largest year over year employment decrease, 260 metro areas: Rank 1: Sacramento Largest year over year pctg employment decline: 36 largest metro areas: Rank 1: Sacramento Highest unemployment rates for the largest 49 metro areas: Rank 1: Riverside, 2 is Vegas, 3 is Sacramento. Pretty encouraging news.
  2620. MichaelG on All the silly ladies.
    April 29th, 2011  5:32 pm

  2621. A miracle, Nance? Notify the Vatican right away. They can add it to JP's sainthood portfolio.
  2622. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    May 1st, 2011  3:49 am

  2623. Am I the only one here who was treated to a local news person advising the world that tomorrow Pope JPII will be "beautified"?
  2624. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    May 1st, 2011  5:07 am

  2625. I thought so too, but you never know what folks might be up to.
  2626. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    May 1st, 2011  9:39 pm

  2627. He enabled the rise to power of the very powerful, ultra right wing Opus Dei cult and the rush to sainthood for Josemaría Escrivá. He presided over a radical right turn for the Church dashing any hope of advancement toward equality for women. He reinforced the Church's ban on contraception, guaranteeing that more poor women would bear unhoped for children and failing to participate in the battle against AIDS. He crushed any dissidence and open discussion within the Church. There was financial scandal after financial scandal during his years. He did his level best to stonewall and bury the horrid child abuse scandals that have and still continue to rock the Church. He selected his right wing pal, Ratzi, to run the Church on a day to day basis while he traveled the world acting holy and anointed Ratzi as his successor. Elevating Ratzi along with appointing a record number of Cardinals, all of them in his right wing mold, ensured that the Church will continue on its misbegotten course for years to come. Such is the legacy of Pope John Paul II. Is the Church as an organization, as a religion, as a center of benevolence better off today than it was before JPII took over? Assuredly not. If any Pope in recent history should be sainted, it would be Pope John XXIII. The rushed beatification of JPII is nothing more than a cynical ploy on the part of the Vatican to try to capture the sympathy of the poor and the gullible with a little pomp and pageantry.
  2628. MichaelG on Osama bin Hidin'.
    May 2nd, 2011  4:21 pm

  2629. I too feel somewhat conflicted on the kill vs. capture question. I wasn't in any mood to take to the streets and I know this is only one day in a long conflict. But I'm not sad that bin Ladin is gone and I have a nice feeling of pride in the the small unit guys, Seals I guess, who pulled it off, and whatever one feels about this kind of operation, it's better than starting a war, killing untold thousands and squandering billions of dollars, not to mention squandering a whole country. That's what we did to get Saddam Hussein. I also agree that if bin Laden had been captured it would have led to years of bickering and political posturing and finger pointing and and and. This was so much cleaner and more decisive. Also I can tell you this: A small unit on an operation behind the lines has a very tight and unforgiving time schedule. They also have very few resources against the other guy's many. They don't have a lot of space for baggage. The whole thing has to happen very quickly to preserve their only advantage which is surprise. Life and death decisions have to be made and executed instantly. In, do what you're there to do and out. Now. No talking. No negotiations. No fucking around. It's called "You Bet Your Life".
  2630. MichaelG on Park bench.
    May 4th, 2011  11:59 pm

  2631. With reference to John G. Wallace's comment yesterday at #53, yes those were rather special models of the Blackhawk called (if I recall correctly) MH-60s. They would have been operated by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The choppers have augmented avionics suites including an absolutely dazzling Forward Looking Infrared Radar. They are quickly convertable from slick to gunship and back. They carry booms for mid-air refueling. They can be equipped with air to air missles and carry flare and chaff dispensers for air defense. And other stuff. So yes, they would have destroyed a disabled helicopter. My son in law was with the 160th SOAR for ten years. They provided transportation for the Seals and for Delta Force. All their stuff was secret. He would get a call in the middle of the night and disappear for two weeks. I have no idea what all he did. I do know that in late 2001 he and another chopper were the first ones into A-Stan and that they operated with CIA operatives while there. Join the Army and see the world.
  2632. MichaelG on Kremlinology for dummies.
    May 5th, 2011  7:10 pm

  2633. St. Padddy's day, Alex. St Paddy's. He's a boy. Paddy is a diminutive of Patrick. Sorry for being strident.
  2634. MichaelG on Kremlinology for dummies.
    May 5th, 2011  9:21 pm

  2635. John G., the MH-60 I described is what I saw when I visited the 160th SOAR at Ft Campbell about 10 years ago. Sounds like what they are using now is an updated version with all that stealth stuff added. The 160th also uses CH-47 Chinooks and MH-6 "Little Birds". The latter two are updated Vietnam era choppers. I rode on 'hooks when I was in the Army. The MH-6 is a development of the old Hughes 500 which we called loachs. I think it was for light observation helicopter or something.
  2636. MichaelG on Urban explorer.
    May 6th, 2011  7:08 pm

  2637. Crudity and poor taste are one thing but animal cruelty is something else entirely. Somebody needs to go to jail for what they did to that poor donkey. There used to be a restaurant named "Squid's" in San Francisco. It was all pink decor and served guess what and only that. Too bad if you wanted a burger. The food wasn't bad and they lasted a year or two. No vertebrates were harmed in the production of their meals.
  2638. MichaelG on Repeal!
    May 9th, 2011  5:52 pm

  2639. Wow, I guess I've been living in a bubble. I had no idea about Tyler. Yeah, he should be making little ones out of big ones but so should the girl's parents. Makes you wonder what else Tyler's been up to over the last 40 years. I never thought that Stroh's was the world's greatest beer but Pabst was certainly no better and I never had any idea that it was iconic anywhere. When you're a kid any beer is good and 99 cent beer is excellent. I agree. "Free" mugs are the best.
  2640. MichaelG on Repeal!
    May 10th, 2011  1:59 am

  2641. I don't know anything about the movie, but the book 'The Lincoln Lawyer' was written by Michael Connelly who is a very fine novelist and one of my favorites. I recommend his books to anybody without reservation. His stories are mostly set in Downtown Ellay and the San Fernando Valley. Connelly worked for some years as a police beat reporter for the L. A. Times. Now he's rich and lives in Florida.
  2642. MichaelG on King Robert, fleur de lis and rain.
    May 13th, 2011  11:13 pm

  2643. MarkH, a few years ago I would have been appalled. Today it's just business as usual.
  2644. MichaelG on King Robert, fleur de lis and rain.
    May 14th, 2011  1:07 am

  2645. Brian, it's not just the resistance thing, although I disagree with you there, it's that they have the court's blessing to enter a person's house without permission or warrant. That bothers me. I hope SCOTUS dumps this horrible decision but my confidence is frayed.
  2646. MichaelG on King Robert, fleur de lis and rain.
    May 14th, 2011  5:39 am

  2647. Dexter, I'm sorry to disappoint. For the first time in my history with the Amgen, it's coming to town on a weekday. I've been a volunteer the last three years but not this time. I have a most important meeting at a job site out of town on Monday and I just won't be able to be on hand for the race. It's a wonderful spectacle and I'm unhappy at having to miss out but there's not much I can do. I plan to be home for the evening replay. I still can't get over just how bloody FAST those riders are traveling. The finish line here in Sacto has always been set up so that they get four blocks of straight riding down a very broad, straight and smooth L street to the line at 11th and L. Sprinters rule and they seem to be going a thousand miles an hour. They're blocks away and suddenly, in a blaze of color and confusion and screaming they're past. The excitement, the electricity are unreal. You just have to go home and see the replay on TV to make sense of it. The reality of the live finish is so quick and so crowded with riders and fans and sounds and exhilaration that you simply can't process it. I hope the folks here at nn.c get Versus. VS provides excellent coverage with, what is for my money, one of the very best crews covering any TV sports event anywhere: Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwin and Bob Roll. The same people and the same quality you see at the Tour de France. Watch it if you can. I will. The other bad thing is that the Lake Tahoe area is scheduled to see some freaky, off season weather on Sunday. Yes, snow and rain and misery and temps in the 30s. We're expecting temps in the 60s here. Brrr. Average here in mid May is in the low 80s with 60s in the high country. Then CalTrans goes and closes Hwy 50 for repairs, effectively shutting out thousands of fans from the Tahoe stage. What a kick in the rear. I don't know what the organizers will do. It's a shame because they've shown great confidence in the Sacramento area as a real hot bed of cycling. Three of the eight total stages are here in the Auburn - Sacto - Tahoe area. Maybe if somebody sacrifices a midnight chicken at second base. No, wait, that was BroomHilda rooting for the Giants. Sigh. California could sure use a break. I've heard it suggested that maybe we should outsource our budget problems to India. They couldn't do worse than the empty suits that occupy the dome now. At least our State Supreme Court isn't as loony as Indiana's. And our Chief Justice is cuter than theirs. http://www.law.ucdavis.edu/blogs/Deans/posts/confirming-the-new-chief-justice.html
  2648. MichaelG on King Robert, fleur de lis and rain.
    May 15th, 2011  7:34 pm

  2649. There are several inches of new snow up at Tahoe this morning. The hope is that things will improve as the day goes along. To that end, the start of the Amgen has been pushed back from Ten to One. I hope it goes well. It sure is cold and dark here in Sacto. Temps are in the forties here right now. Avg high for this date is 81.
  2650. MichaelG on King Robert, fleur de lis and rain.
    May 16th, 2011  4:02 am

  2651. Temps in the area are running 30 degrees below normal. It hasn’t been this cold since mid March. It looks like we’ll have record low max temperatures for the date. Pictures of heavy snow falling in Tahoe grace the TV along with the universal agreement that the only choice was to nix the day’s bike racing. The organizers cancelled the stage but apparently the riders had made clear their lack of enthusiasm for competing in 28 degree weather with five inches of snow on the ground and who could blame them. They will ride tomorrow but there is some question about just where the event will start. Here we had hail, thunderstorms and heavy rain. What a day. What a bummer. I bought a dresser for my daughter and ran it up the hill to Auburn and dropped it at my erstwhile wife’s house. It was freaking cold. My car was covered with hail. It was the first time in four years that I had been in what had been my, our house. It looked different. T looked beautiful as always. We’re looking at rain and very low temps Monday and Tuesday. Monday’s second Tour stage will start – somewhere – and end in Sacramento. Earlier I noted a four block straight run to the finish in Sacramento. It’s actually seven blocks. Tuesday the third stage will start in Auburn and run through the eastern suburbs of Sacto to end in Modesto. Sacramento is the only city to be visited by the race each of the five years of its existence. Assuming they get here tomorrow. The turn out and enthusiasm have been phenomenal. The Tour of California is a very big deal around here but I don’t know if it rates a mention in papers or on TV elsewhere. Dexter?
  2652. MichaelG on Splitsville.
    May 17th, 2011  10:57 pm

  2653. I'm sure the maid will surface any day with Gloria Allred clutching her arm.
  2654. MichaelG on When egos collide.
    May 19th, 2011  2:30 am

  2655. Are these the same deficit hawks who just voted down an attempt to cut billions in subsidies to oil companies who are charging us $4.00 plus for gas and making further billions every quarter doing it? That's quite a chart, Moe.
  2656. MichaelG on I can hear music.
    May 21st, 2011  6:21 am

  2657. John G. Send us your URL, please. I would like to see your site.
  2658. MichaelG on I can hear music.
    May 23rd, 2011  3:48 am

  2659. Sounds great, Mary. You can come to my house any time and I won’t talk to you. Prospero, first time anybody has ever agreed with me that Lynn Swann was a weenie. Also I pretty much agree with you about the right wing religious thugs that run Israel.
  2660. MichaelG on What weekend?
    May 23rd, 2011  5:37 pm

  2661. Diver was using a work computer to access and exchange pornography? Right or wrong aside, this is terminal stupidity. He was a school principal? Using a work computer for this purpose in a work environment that includes youngsters and where he was an authority figure for the kids somehow seems to compound the offence for me. His accessing porn doesn't especially bother me, it's how and where - and what kind. I don't have any problem with his being fired. And being asked to resign has long been accepted to be the same as being fired. The comments seemed few and fairly genteel. You should see the rabid ravings on the SacBee web site. If that story were posted about a local Sacto principal on the Bee's site there would be hundreds of comments by now. Most of them unprintable and a very few of them even readable.
  2662. MichaelG on No one's as Irish.
    May 24th, 2011  8:36 pm

  2663. Jeff B, for many long, sorry years the Dem's motto has been "We have not yet begun to fight". Regrettably and unlike J. P. Jones, it seems they have no intention of beginning.
  2664. MichaelG on No one's as Irish.
    May 24th, 2011  10:59 pm

  2665. Bill E, the Sacto Bee today announced 44 additional layoffs to raise their body count to over 400 in the last couple of years. The product looks like it. Fry's electronic store and a couple of car dealerships are all that are propping the endeavor up now. The Bee was a decent paper a couple of years ago. Now ...
  2666. MichaelG on Waiting out the rain.
    May 25th, 2011  5:36 pm

  2667. I can't speak for the balance of the country but the Joplin disaster has been receiving extensive coverage on local TV here in Sacto and the NBC evening network news has originated from there with, again, extensive coverage. I don't think it's being ignored. From yesterday but ever timely: I was wondering if Prospero had a decoder ring he could sell me.
  2668. MichaelG on Waiting out the rain.
    May 25th, 2011  5:42 pm

  2669. On looking at your post again, Judy, I guess you were talking about a twister in Mpls. No, that didn't get much national coverage - here at least. We've had a lot of rain this year and temps have been ten degrees below normal for the whole year so far. It's cool and rain is forecast for today.
  2670. MichaelG on Waiting out the rain.
    May 25th, 2011  10:44 pm

  2671. Well, Brian, here's Audi's take on F-1: (from Autoblog) "Though rumors persist that one of the Volkswagen Group's brands could make the jump into Formula 1, Audi is adamant that it won't be the one to do so. According to the company's motorsport boss, F1 bears "no relevance to the road." The German automaker most prominently races Le Mans Prototypes, like the new R18 TDI pictured above. Is that really so different from F1? Audi points out that over the course of a 24-hour race like Le Mans, just one of its cars covers more distance than an entire F1 season, its average speeds are 20 mph higher than in F1 and they use 42 percent less fuel in the process."
  2672. MichaelG on Waiting out the rain.
    May 26th, 2011  1:45 am

  2673. It rained all day here although it seems to be tailing off now. Watered my lawn. Average temp here for this time of the year is mid eighties. Today it reached 54 degrees. That's thirty degrees back of average. Brrr.
  2674. MichaelG on Movement.
    May 31st, 2011  7:11 pm

  2675. Good toughts and crossed fingers, Moe. It will be so cool when it works. James M. So another Sacto guy here. You stole my thunder. I was all set to whine about the fifteen degree below normal days we have been having around here. Of course it will be pretty OK when normal highs reach the mid ninetys. ROGirl, I had no idea about that E and pacifier business. I'm embarassed to admit that I don't even know if you're pulling my finger. Next I'll be buying Easter Island gold over the phone from some silver tongued slickster.
  2676. MichaelG on I can see clearly now.
    June 3rd, 2011  2:08 am

  2677. A pipe, a tweed jacket with patches on the elbows and a Volvo. Can't miss. My experience with multi- focals is that the distance area is in the upper portion of the lens and the reader part is on the bottom. As a result, a person might have to raise his or her head up a bit to read. The larger the top to bottom dimension of your lens is , the less pronounced this tendency is. I've got it worked out over many years so that I'm comfortable reading with my multi-focals but I have to raise my head uncomfortably to use the computer. The distance from my eyes to the screen is different from the distance between my eyes and a book or newspaper. I use supermarket readers to work on the computer. So if you've had a bad experience with multi-focals and you had fashionably teeny glasses, lens size might be your problem. Revisit multi-focals with larger lenses. No beard. I just can't grow one. I tried sitting in the corner in the dark and pushing real hard and it still didn't work. No inclination to try contacts.
  2678. MichaelG on Trendy, trendy, trendy.
    June 3rd, 2011  5:53 pm

  2679. Thanks, Julie. I'll be looking out for the Avon lady. I should probably get some of that orange dye for my hair while I'm at it.
  2680. MichaelG on Trendy, trendy, trendy.
    June 4th, 2011  1:43 am

  2681. Me neither. Priceless, Moe.
  2682. MichaelG on Trendy, trendy, trendy.
    June 5th, 2011  2:06 am

  2683. I don't know what to think about the weather. Here in Sac Town it's in the sixties and has rained steadily all day. It's still raining. We usually just don't see rain from May to Dec other than an oddball little dribble here and there. It's supposed to keep raining through Monday. Avg temp on this date is 86. It's 62 right now. We've been running fifteen degrees or more below normal all year along with getting unbelievable rain. I just hope Ma Nature doesn't decide to make it all up to us in July and August.
  2684. MichaelG on Faking a little blogging.
    June 6th, 2011  7:53 pm

  2685. Thanks for yesterday's compliment, Dexter. What is this “stiflingly hot”? What is this A/C? Yesterday it almost reached 70. Sunshine? It’ll only be a little cooler here today. The quality of our representatives in DC and in the Statehouse, Rs and Ds both, has got to be the lowest in history. This has, particularly, to be true given the broad scope of things these creeps control and the effects on everyday life. I despair.
  2686. MichaelG on Faking a little blogging.
    June 7th, 2011  3:18 am

  2687. Jeff B., your post made me shiver. Heal up quickly and get back on that bike. All us old guys are pulling for you. I simply can't imagine what goes on in the minds of those politicos who do such stupid things. Is it arrogance, some kind of total pussy captivation, a self destructive impulse, what? Weiner and Edwards are not stupid guys.
  2688. MichaelG on Battle of the bulge.
    June 7th, 2011  5:44 pm

  2689. Cong. Weenie Wagger probably wonders why it’s OK for Vladimir Putin to publish weird pix of himself but not OK for him. Putin. Now there’s a truly creepy dude for you.
  2690. MichaelG on Battle of the bulge.
    June 8th, 2011  3:21 am

  2691. Finally, Dexter, a lovely day in Sacramento. About 75, sun is shining. Still 12 degrees or so below normal but no complaints here. Every door and window is open. It’s supposed to reach the 80s by the end of the week. Summer’s coming. I remember those huge 4 X 5 Speed Graphix cameras and those plates and the actual flash bulbs used with them. When I was a kid I badly wanted one of those 2 1/4 Rolleis. Edit: The TV says it was 77 today and will be 82 tomorrow. The guy pointed out that 77 would normally be considered a cool day.
  2692. MichaelG on Butt rock for beginners.
    June 10th, 2011  6:18 am

  2693. It's funny how taste may vary with one's gender. For example, I can't get at all concerned about men plucking their privates. I'm certainly not going to do it but otherwise who cares? Then again I have stronger preferences when it comes to women. Tattoos don't do it for me. Maybe something small and discreet but today it seems like half the women I see look like fugitives from the tattooed lady freak show. I'm less concerned about piercings but I'm tired of belly button jewelry. I like women's navels and those stupid piercings get in the way. What really does bug me is the number of teenage girls getting tattoos, piercings and, God help us, plastic surgery. This stuff is all tied to fashion. In ten years tattoos may be passé and then what? They should at least wait until they're old enough to make an informed decision before doing anything. And don't I sound like a pursed mouth old fart.
  2694. MichaelG on Butt rock for beginners.
    June 10th, 2011  9:43 am

  2695. Thing about so many of these women is that they seem to have random tattoos splattered here and there and, in some sad cases, everywhere. They look like graffiti on subway station walls. They could at least try to coordinate the artwork. Can you imagine what they’re going to look like when they’re my age? I mean this isn’t any moral or religious stuff. I love women’s bodies and these people are fucking theirs up and I hate that.
  2696. MichaelG on The blaming of the shrew.
    June 12th, 2011  9:14 pm

  2697. Your explanation is perfectly clear as I read it, Jolene, except that as soon as I look away it drains out of my brain and I'm back to square one. It's kind of like math that way. And it's not getting any better as I get older. Florence Nightingale on the right hand side was interesting too, Prospero. Poor Brian. They finally have a F-1 race on at a decent time and it's raining. I enjoyed the Indy Car race(s) last night. Shitty for some of the drivers but fun to watch.
  2698. MichaelG on Authority problems.
    June 15th, 2011  5:38 am

  2699. In my view zero tolerance equates to zero brains. With it (as someone noted) we don't need administrators. Just clerks. No judges. Just clerks. Even murder prosecutions are nuanced, for heaven's sake. Circumstances are carefully considered before charges are leveled. Murder, manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, etc. The same goes for sentencing those convicted. Zero tolerance is in the same sack as "tough love", that punishment category beloved of sadists and the 'one kid fucks up so all kids suffer' school of justice. You know, "Johnny farted so none of you get to go on the circus field trip". Parents blowing horns at graduations and otherwise misbehaving are another category altogether from cap and gown discipline. You can't compare them to the Marine kid. Those louts are not subject to school rules or school disciplinary procedures. The administrators should have called the cops and had the jerks removed. That said, I am truly conflicted over what to think about decision concerning the ill-advised Marine girl who wanted to wear her uniform. She seems to be a narcissistic exhibitionist but who knows who else is pushing her. Sadly, this doesn't seem to me to be a hill to die on for either party. There are those who don't think Marine uniforms are the coolest thing around. I mean bright blue pants with red stripes. White hats. That's high school band stuff. When I was in the 101st Abn we called them clown suits. We thought our simple, tightly tailored khakis with spit shined jump boots and glider caps were it. We weren't the least bit opinionated.
  2700. MichaelG on Insomnia.
    June 16th, 2011  6:56 pm

  2701. Well, I can see why Foote might have been scared off pussy.
  2702. MichaelG on Dead fans tell no tales.
    June 20th, 2011  5:29 pm

  2703. Talk of hot is timely. The TV tells us that we'll hit triple digits for the next couple of days. Yes, I have A/C.
  2704. MichaelG on Dive-bombed.
    June 24th, 2011  8:06 pm

  2705. I haven't met her, but La Canalis if pictures are to be believed, is a goddess. Not quite Monica Bellucci but very close. Bring a badminton racquet with you on your rides, Nance. My ex tells me that crows are quite easy to teach to talk.
  2706. MichaelG on Dive-bombed.
    June 26th, 2011  4:02 am

  2707. I’m guessing it wasn’t rutabaga, Cooze. He and his secret boyfriend were probably playing figgy wiggy. It was most likely ginger. Rita Tushingham. ‘The Knack and “ Haven’t thought of her for years. Great movie and she was an excellent actress and a babe. I have the Indy car race in Iowa on the TV live. They just had the singing of the National Anthem. It was sung by some woman representing the Iowa cornholer's coalition or some such. Best I’ve heard in years. The Anthem is not a cover song, it is not a country and western song. I’ve thrown curses at the TV for so long that I almost muted this latest attempt. It was very good. Was she a terrific singer? No. Was it excellent? No. But she gave it a helluva try. She sang it straight and she stayed within herself and it came out just fine. I was happy.
  2708. MichaelG on Dive-bombed.
    June 26th, 2011  8:41 pm

  2709. Just got around to reading Sweet Juniper. His 06-21 post on e-reading is a classic. He's on Nance's blogroll.
  2710. MichaelG on If it keeps on rainin', the sequel.
    June 27th, 2011  5:53 pm

  2711. One of the awful things about floods is the slow motion aspect of the disaster. Those poor people in Minot are looking at several weeks of flooding before they can get back into their ruined houses.
  2712. MichaelG on If it keeps on rainin', the sequel.
    June 28th, 2011  1:46 am

  2713. Some years ago when I owned half an airplane (a '69 Champion Citabria 7ECA) my partner ran dry somewhere east of Reno and landed on I-80. A kind person went and got him some gas, the cops closed the freeway for him and he took off. He always did have a tendency to push the envelope. MarkH and BHD make very valid points about pilots keeping current and active. The doctor/Bonanza thing was widely talked about here on the West Coast as well. Here it was "What's the most dangerous thing in the world?" "A doctor in a Bonanza." There is a prescribed method for making an approach to an uncontrolled airport which involves calling your pattern legs (downwind, base, etc.) on what's called a unicom frequency. It wasn't so important to identify your tail number as to give an idea of what you were so another pilot would know what to expect to see. I would identify myself as "the yellow Citabria". One day I was making a pattern approach to Gnoss Field in Novato, calling my legs, when I caught a flash of light straight out from the runway. I simply extended my downwind. Sure enough. What I had seen was sunlight reflecting off a Bonanza that was making a long, straight in approach without a single radio call. And yes, the guy turned out to be a doctor.
  2714. MichaelG on Writes too much.
    June 30th, 2011  2:17 am

  2715. Just back from Riverside and another night at the lovely Mission Inn. Don't have an indian name. Nobody ever offered me one. I agree that sports owners are mostly a bunch of greed heads and deserve whatever grief comes their way. However, with so many zillions of people slaving away at jobs for menial wages, the effort to feel sorry for poor, oppressed pro athletes is way, way back there beyond the back burner. How horrible that they might have to work for fixed wages. Tough shit if they blow all their $$ on pussy and cars and possies. Dexter, I do indeed remember the fuck you lizards. I thought it was a joke at first, then we thought it was a bird and then discovered it was a lizard. One time when I was in the recon team we were set up on some hill top. It was night. One of the guys had an urgent call. He advised that he was going outside the perimeter to do what he had to do. "When you hear the fuck you lizard three times, that'll be me coming back. Don't shoot." A little while later we heard a crashing in the brush and then this deep voice. "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you." We fell about laughing hysterically. I guess you hadda been there. Just remembered his name. Corporal Stock. Nobody ever knew his first name. Just Corporal Stock. Corporals were rare in those days. Only way one became a corporal was to be a sergeant first. Stock was always wanting to show off his genital warts. Everybody was "um, no thanks." or "that's OK, Stock, I'll take your word for it." God, it was another world.
  2716. MichaelG on Rules of the road.
    July 2nd, 2011  11:13 pm

  2717. I got the impression that the changes to the teachers' deductions, working conditions and so forth may have been offered at some point by the teachers' union but that in the end, with the new legislation, they were simply imposed by the cheese pot district. The changes as presented in the comment by Cynthia don't seem that unreasonable on the face of it. What must be scary for the teachers is that it appears as if the district can impose whatever new conditions they wish next year or next month and those may not be so reasonable. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Driving in Vietnam certainly is an adventure. I drove there during the war a hundred years ago. A lot of the roads are very narrow so that driving is a constant game of chicken. The protocol is supposed to be that each oncoming vehicle puts two wheels off the pavement onto the shoulder. You can guess how that worked with a bunch of testosterone loaded GIs. In those days the locals drove a lot of ancient, clapped out French stuff and surplus American military vehicles, some dating back to WWII, along with a potpourri of later model European and Canadian things. Japanese rolling stock was just starting to show up. There were colorful buses loaded with people, pigs, chickens and stuff, American civilian contractors driving eighteen wheelers, Army transportation and supply units also driving big rigs and a large assortment of other military folks driving five tons, deuce and a halfs, three quarter tons and jeeps. Every mile or so there would be an elderly truck by the side of the road with the rear resting on blocks while the rear axle was changed. I have never figured out why or how they busted so many differentials. I was young and goofy and it was lots of fun. I loved the competition. I was riding with a friend in a deuce and a half one day when we banged mirrors with an oncomer. The busted glass flew behind our heads, across the back of the cab and out the window on my side. When I last traveled to Vietnam around ten years ago things seemed mostly the same except that there are a lot more cars now and a bazillion 50 and 100cc bikes. The cars are Korean and Japanese as are the bikes. Make that two or three bazillion bikes. At that time there were lots of old Russian trucks dating to the eighties. Heavy, crude and ugly. The balance of trucks are mostly Korean and Japanese. There isn't much of a car rental business. Or wasn't ten years ago. The drill is that you hire a car and driver or take a taxi. Taxis are cheap. Interestingly, I made that trip from Saigon (HCMC) to Can Tho in a minivan. It was every bit as wild and chaotic as Bourdain relates. You can't exaggerate. I thought it was fun. It was on that trip that my brother in law talked me into eating a balut egg while we were waiting for a ferry.
  2718. MichaelG on Rules of the road.
    July 3rd, 2011  7:04 am

  2719. I dunno, Dexter. It was one of those moments. My Brother in law ate one, pushed one on me and I did it. Washed down it with a can of Heinekens. Or two. I do know that I have no intention of ever eating one again. Bleagh. A couple of weeks ago balut eggs were on sale at one of the Asian supermarkets on Stockton Blvd for eighty five cents each. I could have sent a couple of dozen to NN.C central for sampling. I don't see the point of these everlasting comparisons; of these everlasting assertions that someone is the best or that somebody is better than somebody else. I've read everything that Hemingway wrote and everything that Chandler wrote and had many hours of enjoyment from both. Isn't that enough? And, MMJeff, I'm not quite sure I follow. Maybe you could elaborate on the distinction between voice and tone.
  2720. MichaelG on The runaway bride.
    July 6th, 2011  1:42 am

  2721. I haven't followed the case of the young woman in Florida who was accused of killing her daughter and don't have an opinion as to her guilt or innocence. The story I just read does say that she has been in jail for the last three years. I've always seen lying to the cops as a kind of bullshit charge (heh, heh). If there's any justice, she'll be sentenced to time served on the lying charges and cut loose.
  2722. MichaelG on Mr. Swish and Mrs. Beard.
    July 14th, 2011  11:01 pm

  2723. Jeez, Alex. Go easy on us poor old liver spotted geezers. After months of dodging it in favor of the old scanner, the TSA people at Ontario finally stuffed me through the naked machine yesterday. The scanner part wasn't bad, I didn't feel my molecules become disassociated or anything and I was still in Ontario when it was over. I don't suppose the experience was a pleasant one for the observer, wherever he or she was but that's their problem. What I hadn't realized was that when you exit the machine there is a TSA Troll to hold you up until he gets the OK from the observer to let you go. I stood there stupidly for over a minute in front of the mute troll with my feet on the yellow marks. Nobody said a word. Finally the head set spoke to him and he asked me if I had anything metal on my right ankle or calf. "No." I told him. I badly wanted to make some kind of stupid remark but figured I had better keep quiet. The guy behind me in line was grinning and rolling his eyes. So the troll squatted and vigorously massaged my leg with his purple gloved hands from mid thigh to the top of my shoe. "OK, you're good to go." I could have told him that. If the sample I experienced is any indication, I can certainly see why people are livid at being exposed to a full body TSA "pat down". It would truly leave anyone shaken.
  2724. MichaelG on Going to the mat.
    July 17th, 2011  4:23 am

  2725. I’ve been hearing horror stories about heat and drought all over the country. I hope all of you who are in the hot zone are safe and comfortable. We’ve somehow caught a break here in Northern California. With record rain and snow levels last winter we have plenty of water. Temps this year have been low. We had five days of triple digit temps ten days or so ago but it’s been a cool mid 70’s to 80 since then. Today’s avg is 94, the temp was 79. Given the very low humidity here, things are quite comfortable. I haven’t run the A/C in almost two weeks. It’s going to be in the mid 90’s late next week but that’s simply average. Nights are in the 50’s and low 60’s. We are so lucky here. I’m appalled and depressed by the Republicans and their willful stupidity. Krugman comes right out and calls them “crazy”. McConnell is a maggot. What the Rs are doing is unprecedented. They are gleefully pursuing nothing less than the destruction of this country. I hear people on TV calling Murdoch’s operation “News Core” I know that the word “corps” as used in a military context (Corps of Engineers) is pronounced “core” but as far as I know “News Corp” is a contraction of ‘News Corporation” and it seems to me it should be pronounced “News Corp”. Can anybody enlighten me? Also in the second sentence above I wrote “I know that the word “corps”. Should it have been “I know the word etc”?
  2726. MichaelG on Pleased to meet you.
    July 21st, 2011  1:35 am

  2727. Pink Flamingos was fun but I lurved Lust in the Dust. I recommended it to my very Catholic parents. What the hell, I thought it was funny. They didn't speak to me for a month. My wife was all "I told you not to recommend it."
  2728. MichaelG on Playground rules.
    July 24th, 2011  2:29 am

  2729. This has always been Amy Winehouse for me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfC6CCtZjxk I used to play it late at night after I broke up with my wife. Half drunk, tears in my eyes like a teenager. I always kind of guessed it would end this way. Poor kid. I hope she finds some peace now.
  2730. MichaelG on Work-related casualties.
    July 30th, 2011  12:19 am

  2731. Pioneer Woman has very good portraits of family ranch life. All the kids work all the time and these are very prosperous people. You have to wade through a lot of her cutsy wutsy stuff but the working day posts are kind of worth it. Scroll down to July 18 for example. http://thepioneerwoman.com/confessions/
  2732. MichaelG on Saturday afternoon Maker Faire
    July 31st, 2011  6:42 pm

  2733. All this talk about tasseling and bean walking is a real revelation. I’d never heard of either. I had no idea. When I was a kid I delivered papers, worked in the hobby store and later in the drug store. It was one of the original drug superstores. I feel kind of silly for asking, but what is bean walking?
  2734. MichaelG on The expensive blue line.
    August 4th, 2011  1:03 am

  2735. I had a project in Susanville a couple of years ago. A Cabela's had just opened in Verdi, NV. Verdi is a hoot. It's a tiny place on I-80 just across the state line from CA. It has two things: the Boomtown casino and Cabela's. I stopped in a couple of times while passing by on the way back from Susanville. It certainly is a huge and spectacular place. I don't know anything about the owners but am not surprised to hear that they're righties. I wouldn't make a special trip to one (I'm not much into that stuff anyway and REI is right close to where I live) but if you're ever in the neighborhood, it's worth looking at. Very nice to hear Mary. I was out of town the last couple of days without a computer so I, regretfully, didn't get to vote. I'm really pleased you won.
  2736. MichaelG on The expensive blue line.
    August 4th, 2011  5:44 pm

  2737. Don't forget Cairo, IL. We have a park here in SacTown named Goethe Park. Spoken Gaty Park. Then there's that Congress Troll from Ohio. Boner or something.
  2738. MichaelG on The slow spiral.
    August 4th, 2011  11:04 pm

  2739. That cops vs. cartoonist conflict reminds me of the time the President of the California Bar Assn. lobbied to get lawyer jokes classified as hate crimes.
  2740. MichaelG on Bearded.
    August 6th, 2011  6:15 pm

  2741. I agree, Brian, with both the eating and the credit crooks comments. No beard here. I suffer from baby's ass syndrome.
  2742. MichaelG on Gnashing.
    August 8th, 2011  7:37 pm

  2743. I wish Molly Ivins was still around.
  2744. MichaelG on Help. (I need somebody.)
    August 11th, 2011  5:18 pm

  2745. I'm sorry about your dog, Alex. I know how difficult it is. Our thoughts are with you.
  2746. MichaelG on A new way to read.
    August 11th, 2011  10:54 pm

  2747. Mary, I sympathize with your problem, Once when I had to fax something to six people I first made six copies. You know, one to fax to each. Is there a Kindle koffee table book for those art prints and architectural renderings? How does that work? Here's your daily, heart warming animal story. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/10/3829611/calif-woman-wont-get-jail-for.html
  2748. MichaelG on A new way to read.
    August 12th, 2011  1:50 am

  2749. Robbery is a great upgrader, Mary. Every time I get burglarized, I get a bigger TV and a faster computer.
  2750. MichaelG on Who wants yesterday's papers?
    August 12th, 2011  5:35 pm

  2751. Enjoy your vacation! Send us a picture.
  2752. MichaelG on Who wants yesterday's papers?
    August 12th, 2011  7:48 pm

  2753. I'm not aware of anyone selling pasties around here although the Streets of London pub may. We do have a Mexican version of a pasty called an "empanada" and an Italian version called a "panini". Hold the rutabaga. It's interesting to hear of groups of grandmas making pasties in the UP. Here we have the same things with groups of Mexican grannies making tamales. Various people sell them around office bldgs and take orders every few weeks. You give your order for a dozen (chicken, beef or pork) and they deliver in a few days. They are always excellent eating. Used to be ten bucks a dozen. Freeze 'em two to a plastic bag and when hungry add a few drops of water to the bag and microwave them. Yum. I gotta order some.
  2754. MichaelG on The Snyderman house.
    August 15th, 2011  11:00 pm

  2755. There are some straw bale houses in this area. The local rice straw is said to be excellent for them. I took a good look at one at the State Fair a couple of years ago and was impressed. Hope you don't mind two foot thick walls. There is very often another party in the owner, architect, contractor let's put up a building group. That's the construction manager. The CM is the conductor of the orchestra. He (for the sake of brevity) coordinates the activities of all the other parties, makes them play nice and is in charge of the three Ss - Scope, Schedule and $Budget. It's his job to shepherd the architect and client through the design phase ensuring that everybody understands just what is and is not going to be done. It is the CM's role to manage the contractor when the construction phase begins and to oversee submittals, requests for information, schedule, pay and the like. The architect is a poor project manager because, as Prospero noted, he is an interested party, having done the design, and might tend to make decisions based on self serving reasons. Here at the State of CA, copies of a new planset are given to reviewers. The marked up sets are then given back to the designer so that she can incorporate the comments in a new plan set. When that's done a set of the new plans goes to the inspectors for a constructability review. Plans are also reviewed by the State Fire Marshal for Fire Code compliance and by the Office of the State Architect for Access compliance. We still end up with lots of problems on site. In the case of all those dream houses that leak, etc., it's my opinion that the contractor is at fault. The contractor needed to coordinate with the architect and work to solve gaps and deficiencies in the design. A PM would help! Somebody made my argument for me when they noted that the roof of the Snyderman house was done by a carpet layer. ??? My argument was made again several years ago when the "This Old House" people restored Wright's Falling Water property in PA. It was a PBS special. They noted the design problems and the construction problems and went about solving all of them. The finished project was indistinguishable from new but sound and tight and fully functional. If the original contractor had been worth his salt, he would have noted and solved the problems then.
  2756. MichaelG on The Snyderman house.
    August 16th, 2011  12:12 am

  2757. Here in CA we have a new "Green" building code that took effect this year. The requirements are graduated with the size of the building and the type of project (new or remodel) but they are very stringent including a tough commissioning process. I'm not a fan of LEED. It seems a little too points and guys getting their picture in the trade rag shaking hands. I know we need a standard, but here we have the new code. For me, LEED is too much those two guys in MA or wherever milking a cash cow. Writing specifications is indeed an art. I don't do tech specs but I've written many a front end.
  2758. MichaelG on Go for it.
    August 19th, 2011  9:19 pm

  2759. A fellow state employee slug two cubicles down is black and spends two weeks at Martha's Vineyard every year. For whatever that's worth. He was gone last week and this week. I guess he just missed POTUS and family. It do go fast, doesn't it, Julie.
  2760. MichaelG on Land of the raven and loon.
    August 22nd, 2011  10:57 pm

  2761. Here, here, Mary on the culture vulture remark. And those winter tomatoes don't come from California, they come from Mexico. Good tomatoes are available if one takes the time to look. Below is a recipe for pissaladiere from the delicious Laura Calder. http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/laura-calder/pissaladiere-recipe/index.html
  2762. MichaelG on The University of Insanity.
    August 25th, 2011  2:34 am

  2763. Basset, my daughter graduated with a degree in math from Austin Peay in Clarksville. Let's go Peay! Her choices were limited with hubby being stationed at Fort Campbell but AP turned out to be a decent little librul arts school. The kids covered the costs with some help from us. God. She and her husband just officially separated two weeks ago. I went to U of Illinois at Champaign - Urbana with the assistance of a National Merit ride and my parents' money. I worked at various jobs during school and in the summers. I had a wonderful time partying too hard. For a number of reasons I left in Dec of my senior year and joined the Army. When I went back to school at San Francisco State four years later things were a tad different. I was married and had a step kid. No partying this time. I still worked and had the G. I. Bill for help. It only took a year to graduate. In those years SF St was mostly a commuter college. They called it "Streetcar State" The "M" car stopped right there. I started college in fall of '62 and graduated in June '71. At UI and at SF I had no trouble getting in (though I had to be a little aggressive at SF) and the costs were very reasonable. I shudder at what the poor kids are paying today and the crippling debt they assume. I don't know what's going to happen to my grand kids.
  2764. MichaelG on The University of Insanity.
    August 25th, 2011  2:36 am

  2765. Mary, are you referring to Azusa Pacific? I really don't know anything about the place.
  2766. MichaelG on The Reaper and the cutting-room floor.
    August 27th, 2011  1:36 am

  2767. Prospero, I have that Leadbelly album. How about drinking a Hurricane NO Style? 1 oz white rum 1 oz Jamaican dark rum 1 oz Bacardi® 151 rum 3 oz orange juice 3 ozunsweetened pineapple juice 1/2 oz grenadine syrup crushed ice Combine all ingredients, mix well (shake or stir). Pour over crushed ice in hurricane glass. Best enjoyed through a small straw. Garnish with fruit wedge if desired.
  2768. MichaelG on Ed the knife.
    August 30th, 2011  12:17 am

  2769. C'mon, Prospero. Just blurt it out. Alex, I'm sure we'd both agree that disemballing is a pretty extreme step but what you're describing is disemeverythinging.
  2770. MichaelG on Animal-watching.
    August 31st, 2011  6:25 am

  2771. God, I know whereof you speak, Brian. I would sometimes act stupidly with my wife in the car. Didn't help the marriage. I think I've pretty well grown out of that stuff but still have to stifle impulses. I wonder how many people are dead behind that kind of thing. Moe, I could have gone all day without looking at that guy's pussy. Nance, He's got it stuffed backward or . . . Naw. Ed's not still in bidness. Is he?
  2772. MichaelG on Back to school.
    September 1st, 2011  4:16 am

  2773. Happy birthday, Dorothy and Connie! I've lived in the city, in the suburbs and in the country and, in the end, my vote goes to city living for all the reasons Borden lists and more. Danger? A woman was killed a couple of weeks ago in San Francisco by a bicyclist who ran a red light. Crossing streets? Try Le Loi in Saigon in front of the Binh Thanh Market. Luke Nguyen even did a feature about it on his Cooking Channel show. Deborah, it shouldn't be so difficult. We have a similar scheme. Every project has a number (my West Covina DMV project is 128595) and a folder by that number is located on the server. We can add sub folders for plans, specs, pix, correspondence, etc. Works beautifully. Bobby Fuller fought the law and the law won. I went to Kaiser this AM to see the eye doctor for my cataracts. Suddenly I can't see for shit. The appt was with "C. Leng, MD". First I saw a very nice young woman who was some kind of tech. She did a bunch of tests and disappeared to consult with the dr. C. Leng, MD turned out to be Cheri, a young, totally American, Chinese woman made up and dressed to the nines. She was extremely attractive and straight out of a movie or TV. I couldn't believe my dim eyes. She was better looking than several of the actresses on the medical shows. Also single. A nice catch for somebody. One glance through her magic eye doctor scope at my failing peepers and all she said was "God, are you ready." Unfortunately, no surgery slots until late Oct.
  2774. MichaelG on Back to school.
    September 1st, 2011  5:23 pm

  2775. I know, Deborah, but as they say, it beats the alternative. And a Happy Birthday to Basset as well!
  2776. MichaelG on Moms like who?
    September 3rd, 2011  3:11 am

  2777. Jason T. has hit on something. I get a steady flow of emails similar to the ones he describes as well as an equal number smearing Mexicans. I deleted seven or eight just from today’s email load. There is an enormous volume of this stuff and most of it is professionally crafted. It’s not the work of some strange, twisted fuck sitting in his dirty underwear and drinking Ripple in his mother’s basement. This stuff is being manufactured and distributed by pros with a large budget. There's a program here. It’s evil and disgusting. That said, I’m sick and tired of Obama’s trying to work in a bipartisan fashion. It doesn’t work; never has and never will. At this point he’s simply caving to every Republican demand. I cannot understand why the Democrats are so terrified of standing up to these people. When I voted for Obama I hoped he would be a scrappy guy with a spine who would make every effort to represent the interests of the people. I’m woefully disappointed but will, obviously, vote for him over any of those mindlessly destructive Republican candidates. I contemplate the future with little hope and much despair. I’m pretty cranky today as well. I’ve just laid out a fortune to fix my front door which was kicked in, to install steel security doors and buy a new TV. The new TV is nice, though. It’s huge and state of the art and I got it for a great price at Fry’s. Cheaper than any number I could find on the net even with sales tax added. No delivery. I stuck it in the back of the Element and be-bopped home. I have TCU and Baylor on as I type. Don't ask why. It's one of those games where I which they could both lose. Esp TCU. Tomorrow is the day all the little guys go out to get creamed by the big guys for the sake of their athletic dept budgets.
  2778. MichaelG on Crazy talk.
    September 7th, 2011  6:31 am

  2779. If you remember, in early September of 2011, Bush had only been president for something over seven months. He had done nothing and his numbers were tumbling. The press was starting to get on him and he was starting to look like, well, George Bush. Then came the eleventh. I was at work when one of the women in the place told me with some tension in her voice that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. This was very early in the morning in Sacramento. We showed up at work at about 5:30. Shit, I still do. My first thought was of the B-25 that had hit the Empire State Building many years ago. I assumed that some lost soul in a Cessna had crashed into a WTC tower. The web was a little slower to show events then and there was no streaming video, but it soon became evident that something serious had happened. We followed as best we could on the radio and searching the net until the big boss showed up. He had a small TV in his office. Then we could see. We watched for a time and the boss said "Fuck it, everybody go home." or words to that effect. The "Fuck it" was there, though. About that time he got a call from the big bosses in the main building sending people home. As usual, Bob had been ahead of the curve. On the ride back to Auburn I got a call from a friend. We met in a bar in old town and over several beers watched the towers collapse live and watched the planes hit the buildings again and again on tape. Then I went home. My wife and I watched for I don't know how long, with things repeated over and over and the experts and pundits speculating until their tongues got thin. I saw our President in that Florida classroom looking like the proverbial deer in the headlights. Doing nothing. A few hours later I found out that he had been hustled out of the classroom to AF-1 and flown to a SAC base in Nebraska or Colorado, I forget which. That was when I came to know who George Bush was. Our President, in a time when his leadership was needed, could be found cowering in a secure AF base out west when he should have been in D. C. taking charge and, most importantly being seen to take charge. If I had ever had any doubts about Shrub, that day killed them. I had, at that time, no idea about who or what or how. I just knew that I wanted our leader to lead and he was absent. In hiding. The cowardly motherfucker. A few weeks later, my son in law, who was in the 160th SOAR, was the crew chief on the first response helicopter into Afghanistan. He was there until just before Christmas flying CIA operatives (including the one who was famously killed) on their secret missions. In the aftermath of the horrible events of that day the U.S. had a sudden and large swelling of good will and sympathy directed toward us worldwide. It took the Bushies no time to kill it. When my son in law got home, he was promoted and reassigned to a slot at the Special Warfare Command headquarters at Ft. Bragg. His old chopper and crew were sent back to A-Stan where they were shot down and all perished. That happened about the time the Shuttle crashed. At the time, I did a post in the nn.c comments about those events. I can't find it or I'd repost it. Sorry to sound so negative but that's what I took away from that day.
  2780. MichaelG on Rah rah monkeys.
    September 7th, 2011  10:45 pm

  2781. I disagree with most folks. I still think that the place for a leader is out front, not cowering 2000 miles from the front lines. The President of the United States needs to stand up and be seen and to provide inspiration and leadership. Something sadly lacking for lo, these many years. I missed one, the obesity question.
  2782. MichaelG on Rah rah monkeys.
    September 8th, 2011  1:50 am

  2783. Point taken Jeff B and Mary.
  2784. MichaelG on Get well soon.
    September 13th, 2011  5:40 pm

  2785. Feel better quickly, Alex. Glad to hear it's not as bad as it could be. Take care of yourself.
  2786. MichaelG on Bikes and bagels.
    September 15th, 2011  5:54 pm

  2787. I kinda liked "ricotta rump".
  2788. MichaelG on Bikes and bagels.
    September 15th, 2011  11:14 pm

  2789. I don't care either about La Palin and with whom she may share sheets. Tahd might though. I don't know, Dexter. I'm kinda of a Monica Bellucci guy myself.
  2790. MichaelG on Bikes and bagels.
    September 16th, 2011  1:38 am

  2791. Hattie, I lived in that neighborhood many years ago. In the '70s it was Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto. Chez was two doors or so down from the corner of Shattuck and Vine. A few years later I had a girlfriend who worked at Chez. Across Shattuck was the Cheese Board, the Pig by the Tail Charcuterie and the produce store. Can't remember the name. Across Vine was Cocolat, Sal's Deli and Lenny's meats. That was Leonardo d'Meatchi, butcher to the gods. Around the corner was the very first Peet's coffee, then operated by Alfred Peet hisself. Also the Egg Shop and Apple Press. Great omelets. There was a Safeway, a Lucky's and the Co-op, that great bastion of politically correct librulism. Virginia bakery was down Shattuck and there was a nice collection of other restaurants and markets. It was a wonderful place to live in those days. It also didn't hurt that I was young and in love.
  2792. MichaelG on Bikes and bagels.
    September 16th, 2011  5:11 pm

  2793. So happy to have you back, Alex. You know the old saying, "Find a niche and fill it." Maggie, by the '80's I was living in SF myself. I'm not familiar with the gelato shop.
  2794. MichaelG on Wasted.
    October 3rd, 2011  6:18 pm

  2795. My first wife remembered being indoctrinated by WCTU people when she was a kid. The refrain she recalled was "Lips that touch liquor shall never touch mine." That was all fine and good until she reached puberty. Cooze, I had some Wild Irish Rose one time. All I can say is "Whew!". That was the night a guy ran a stop light and I T-boned him with my VW. As a matter of fact, it happened in Laurinberg, N.C. One of the things the right wing nasties are very good at is playing the victim. The uglier they get the more they wail and moan beg for relief from the oppressive forces of the socialist left.
  2796. MichaelG on Leftovers, today.
    October 10th, 2011  5:27 pm

  2797. There are reasons inbreeding is frowned upon.
  2798. MichaelG on Rocktober.
    October 11th, 2011  6:46 pm

  2799. Happy Birthday, Deborah! And have a sip of some nice champers. May you retire at 62. I think I missed the boat on that one. You can add Bruce Jenkins of the SF Chron to the ranks of good sports writers.
  2800. MichaelG on Rocktober.
    October 11th, 2011  11:53 pm

  2801. Speaking of drinks, I was out with my first wife one evening many years ago and ordered sweet vermouth with a twist for an aperitif. I was feeling all sophisticated until Donna tasted hers, made a face and declared "Jeez, this stuff tastes like flat Coke". The balloon went down pretty quickly. Hmmm. I wonder what she's doing today. She certainly was a beautiful young woman back when we were in our twenties. Do you suppose she's still a year older than I am?
  2802. MichaelG on Literally.
    October 14th, 2011  12:24 am

  2803. Deborah, I seem to recall you mentioning being involved with sculpture in public places. Have you seen any pictures of the immense red rabbit sculpture at Sacramento airport's new terminal B? http://stuckattheairport.com/2011/09/20/giant-rabbit-joins-baggage-towers-at-sacramento-airport/ I passed through last Thurs, the first day it was open, and took a couple of pictures. Then I passed through again yesterday and today. I've decided after three passes that I like the rabbit and that I like the new terminal. They spent a billion on the place and erected a huge, monumental edifice. I wondered about spending so much money and building something so big and so vulnerable to criticisms of being pretentious but I like it. Public buildings used to be big and imposing and then we started building city halls that look like bank buildings, other buildings that look like shopping centers and too many of them that look like nothing. In the end I'm happy that Sacto built a big ambitious airport terminal. It's SMF its own self and not some generic joint. Tomorrow's my turn through the birthday turnstile. I'll be 67. Jeez. That makes me positively elderly. The other day I was laughing on the phone with somebody. I had forgotten something and mentioned that I must be coming down with early onset dementia. Then I relized that it's a bit late come down with early onset anything.
  2804. MichaelG on Clutch work.
    October 14th, 2011  4:19 pm

  2805. Harking back to yesterday: Joe, I'm aware of the ADAP - the govt fund that collects money with the stated aim of funding airport improvement projects. I haven't followed it lately but it used to be famous for being a huge pot of money that sat there buried in the back yard to help make the budget look balanced. I'm happy if the money is being spent now. And yes, the work at SMF cost a billion smackers. It would have cost more but they deleted a parking garage and a hotel because of the shabby economy. Oh, and the red rabbit. From some angles it looks unfortunately like a rabbit that has been kilt, skinned and hung up to await dinner. I don't know any more than anybody else about Mr. Jobs' fight with cancer. Certainly the good doctor's speculations are plausible but it does seem to me that Steve Jobs lasted longer than most people who have pancreatic cancer. At least longer than people I've known. I've always been suspicious of oddball cures. If they're so good why isn't mainstream medicine using them? It always seems to me like the Fish carburetor or that perfect battery that the auto companies quashed.
  2806. MichaelG on Clutch work.
    October 15th, 2011  2:16 am

  2807. Thanks, Mary. That was cute.
  2808. MichaelG on Costumed.
    October 18th, 2011  7:49 pm

  2809. That article hit the California nail on the head. The view from close up here in Sacramento is pretty ugly.
  2810. MichaelG on The un-genius bar.
    October 22nd, 2011  5:08 pm

  2811. Be well, Connie. The books miss you.
  2812. MichaelG on A night to remember.
    October 25th, 2011  1:58 am

  2813. That picture of you and Alan is fab. Especially the Facebook version. The goat girls are cute but I told them not to run through the briar patch nude.
  2814. MichaelG on Scary germs.
    October 26th, 2011  12:12 am

  2815. I buy my kitchen stuff at restaurant supply stores. Good, solid stuff for very reasonable prices. Ross and Marshall's are also good sources. You can get a white plastic cutting board like they use in restaurants for about $6 at Ross. Buying that designer stuff is a fool's game. In keeping with the medical theme that has floated around here over the last few days, I'm going to have a cataract operation tomorrow. Supposed to be a piece of cake. I'll let you know.
  2816. MichaelG on Beef therapy.
    October 28th, 2011  6:41 am

  2817. Forgive me if this is a bit lengthy but I think, that given the demographic here at nn.c, several of my fellow devotees will be facing cataracts before too long. So yesterday a friend drove me to Rancho Cordova for my cataract operation. I registered, filled out some papers, signed some things and was relieved of my $15 co-pay. With previous visits and the purchase of no fewer than five different types of eye drops I figure that I'm out of pocket about $100 over the last two months for this operation. The next eye will be cheaper because there will be fewer visits and I already have the eye drops. After a brief wait, an attendant led me back to a large room where there were six or eight curtained booths, each with a reclining mobile chair. I was directed to a co-ed restroom and told to remove my shirt and replace it with a smock. There was a hand written sign on the inside of the door informing the occupant that he or she should exit the restroom when properly clad. I guessed that some people had changed and then just waited to be called. Oh well, there were lots of old folks about. I was greeted by a nurse upon my exit and directed to a chair. There she asked me a series of questions, confirmed the eye of the day and fitted me with an IV and hit me with repeated doses of eye drops. After a bit of briefing I was rolled to a booth that had behind it a door leading to the operating room. The on deck circle. Every person with whom I spoke confirmed the eye to be operated on that day and they even noted it on my forehead with a sharpie. More eye drops for numbness. There the anesthesiologist introduced himself and his assistant before leaving me alone for a moment. Then another woman introduced herself as the nurse for the procedure. Finally the surgeon, Dr. Leng came out to speak to me. I had met her before. Dr. Leng is a very young, very attractive woman of Chinese descent. Seriously attractive. Whew. She would be in the TV show. That she was born and raised in California was obvious the first time she opened her mouth. She explained some more of what was about to happen. When she was done she initialed my forehead to indicate that she had spoken with me and had confirmed the subject eye. The care they took to ensure they were going to do the correct eye seems elaborate but I certainly appreciated their thoroughness. At that, the anesthesiologist's assistant wheeled me into the OR. He obviously opened the tap on the IV because things became a bit vague after that. There was a very bright, very red light with a white center shining in my eye and I felt pressure and what was obviously cutting and then a curious nibbling which was explained to me as something akin to a power chisel chipping away at the cataract. I was totally relaxed without any of the tenseness one might feel during a root canal. I heard Leng murmur "That's really good so far." and the strange feelings on my eye continued. Finally she finished with a happy sounding "That's great." They wheeled me back to the booth where I had started and after a moment the nurse told me to put my shirt back on. I was done. There's stuff I don't remember and I think I lost a few moments here and there but only a few. Walking out of the place I felt fine, if a little drunk with my movements and my talking. There had been only a minor discomfort when the surgeon was poking at my eye. After about an hour the drunken feeling abated and I felt as good as ever. I could have gone back to work. The whole thing was amazing and all the Kaiser staff members were friendly, informative and professional. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. This morning I went to Dr. Leng's office in Roseville for the unveiling. It was unbelievable. Things were so bright, colors were so vivid and intense. Everything was so clean. I had been told what to expect but the reality was so far beyond the expectation that I was truly astounded. The other thing that amazed me was the discovery that my left eye, the one that I had thought of as the good eye was horrible. Dark and murky with serious color distortion. It still is. I could go on. It's not over. I will have the left eye done on Nov 30 and then I will still need to get new glasses but the whole thing is simply miraculous. I'm still amazed sitting here at the computer. It's so much brighter in my eight o'clock room; the colors are so clear and clean that I find hard to believe the dim existence that I had endured until this morning when the patch came off. So for any of you who experience the onset of cataracts, and a bunch of you will, I can only tell you that relief is at hand and that the sooner you get your eyes attended to, the happier you will be. I, a medical procrastinator, put it off too long and ended up for the last few months inhabiting a dim, color distorted, curiously unfocussed world. It happens gradually so you don't realize how bad it is until you see the light. Literally (God, did I use that word?). The walls in Dr. Leng's office were yellow. Then the patch came off. They were white. I closed my right eye. They were yellow again. Jeez. Where had I been for the last few months. The deterioration happens fast. Another couple of months and I would have been walking into walls. Get it done right away. The process takes a bit of time but it's less painful than having a tooth filled. I was reminded of how truly precious my sight is. I bought a large dutch oven at Marshall's two years ago for $40. It is not a LeCreuset but what's the diff? Works fine. The old LeCreuset is with my erstwhile wife along with a couple of wonderful terra cotta analogues that provide great cooking.
  2818. MichaelG on Beef therapy.
    October 28th, 2011  6:40 pm

  2819. The lovely Dr. Cheri did talk about corrective implants. You end up with one eye set at near and one set at far. She also cautioned that the rate of 100% success (no glasses needed) was not that great and a lot of people ended up wearing glasses at least part time anyway. For some reason I wasn't enchanted by the idea of having two different eyes. I don't know why but I just prefer the idea of having both work together. Maybe I'm some kind of superstitious or old fashioned here. Also, I've been wearing glasses for years and am not bothered by them so I just told her to go with the basic model. By the way, there was no residual pain that day or the next. Not even a small ache. Also the drugs wore off in an hour or so without a trace of hangover.
  2820. MichaelG on Priest-killing' time.
    October 30th, 2011  9:07 am

  2821. Happy birthday, Julie. May you double the double nickel. Mary, your movie on a sheet story reminds me of movie time in Vietnam. We would get to the rear area now and then and there would be nightly movies on a screen made of four sheets of four by eight plywood affixed to some sort of frame and painted white. Everyone's fave was the old Combat TV show. Projector clattering way, lots of action, lots of shooting. Guys loved watching that old WWII combat action. We drank beer and cheered and hooted and enjoyed the flicks to the max with airborne flares in the sky and our weapons leaning against our legs. The war on the screen was so different from ours that it would divert our attention from our own reality. God, we were so young and immortal and too many of us weren't. Now, several days after my right eye was fixed, the vision in it is surprisingly improving to the extent that that I can close my left (heretofore dominant eye) and work on the computer without glasses. I think that in a few days my right eye may take over as dominant. Can't wait until my left eye is fixed. I still can't get over how dim and yellowed and distorted vision is in what I had thought of as my good eye. Paddy, it seems cruel to me that your health care provider is making you wait before fixing your second eye. It's going to go bad anyhow so why wait? My second eye is seriously bad now so there's no question about fixing it. I wonder if Kaiser would make me wait if it wasn't fucked. Anyway it seems to me like those assholes are just stalling and hoping that you'll be run over by a garbage truck so they won't have to pay. I made a seriously killer pot of hot and sour soup this evening and sucked down some wine. Fresh wood ear mushrooms don't have much taste. Life is OK.
  2822. MichaelG on Details, details.
    November 4th, 2011  6:01 pm

  2823. I've been out of town for the last clouple of days. Pardon me for dragging things over from yesterday but I thought I'd throw my educational background into the bag with everybody else's. I started at the U of I in Champaign in 1962. Sounds like I may have been there at the same time as a couple of other nn.cers. I was an English major but quit in Dec of my senior year (12-65) and joined the Army. I went back to school at San Francisco State in Jan '70 and graduated in Jan '71 with a degree in English. I picked up the same $175 a month from the VA that Dexter received. It doesn't sound like much now but it sure helped forty years ago. When I split up with my first wife I went to grad school at Hayward State for a couple of semesters while working full time. I rediscovered girls during the first semester and interest in one sort of supplanted interest in the other until school fell by the wayside. Thus ended a long but quite undistinguished academic career. I did have a lot of fun, though. Here's to Kam's and Stan's and all the other Champaign-Urbana watering holes. Also the Boathouse at Lake Merced in SF.
  2824. MichaelG on Details, details.
    November 5th, 2011  12:33 am

  2825. Had a great lunch as well. A couple of soft tacos at Taqueria Jalisco in West Sac. Yum. Killer salsa fresca. I well remember poppies but I haven't seen any for years.
  2826. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    November 7th, 2011  6:25 am

  2827. Cooz, I'm not sure I follow you. Forgiveness has been a part of Christianity since the beginning. The ancient Christian concept of forgiveness, indeed so many concepts of forgiveness, include the requirement that a penance be served. A few Hail Marys from the confessional, a pinky for a yakuza, other offerings for other groups according to the offense. But penance is required to obtain forgiveness. There has been talk of blood money, of eyes for eyes. Sometimes the results of revenge and penance are hard to differentiate, although I guess one is offered and the other is taken. As I sort of get your Neochristian concept of forgiveness, I see all those various contemporary American sexual deviants, all those white collar thieves and assorted crooks and liars, war criminals and shitheels wanting forgiveness without penance: "Mistakes were made. I'm sorry for what happened. It's time to get on with things." That close to what you mean? I'm a little uncomfortable here. My feeling is that Joe isn't quite the homophobe that he might seem to some. I would guess that he didn't express himself quite as clearly as he might have wished. Believe me, I know the feeling.
  2828. MichaelG on Another one.
    November 7th, 2011  6:37 pm

  2829. Alex, I'm really sorry for the situation you find yourself in with your spouse. The illness is terrible enough without the added insult of threatening financial woe. I hope the figure it out soon and that's it's not anything serious. I'm appalled by that Sandusky story. They've known about this guy for almost fifteen years and nobody has done anything about him. Of course all those senior university people including Paterno know about him. How could they not? Just like the Catholics. It's a small inbred organization and everybody knows everybody's business. Disgusting.
  2830. MichaelG on E-day, fog day.
    November 8th, 2011  8:42 pm

  2831. No election here today. So what if they make Paterno retire? He's a hundred and fifty years old. I'm sure they'd let him sit in the pressbox to watch the games which is all he seems to do anyway. Cutting his pension and bennies and all ties to the university would do it. I simply can't fathom how it could be possible for him not to know about Sandusky's proclivities. He says he thought they were just taking a shower together. Even if true why did it not seem odd to him that a sixty year old guy was taking a shower in the locker room with a ten year old boy? I always thought that creep Brent Musberger was the only one who called him JoePa. On second thought, Musberger doesn't have enough imagination to dream that one up. He had to have gotten it from somewhere.
  2832. MichaelG on E-day, fog day.
    November 9th, 2011  1:22 am

  2833. At Caliban's Virtual SF you are looking at the Presidio with the GG Bridge in the distance. I used to live in close walking distance. My friend and airplane partner worked at the Explo and I spent many wonderful hours hanging out there. That was in the days when Frank Oppenheimer ran the place. He was a quiet, gentle man. The brother of J. Robert. Boy, those were the days.
  2834. MichaelG on Ten November.
    November 10th, 2011  8:18 pm

  2835. You're too gracious, Dexter, thank you. I didn't know that show on the History Channel was coming up. I'll look for reruns. Brian, I too had that cynical thought about things breaking just after Paterno became the "winningest coach". What I want to know is if this so called firing has any downside for Paterno. Will he be Emeritus? Still have an office, a phone, a parking spot, all retirement pay and benefits? A seat in the press box? Will he be barred from practice? I wanna know more. My feeling is that he should be banished from campus. I'm sure we'll see more victims when the law suits start flying. Penn State is going to pay for this big time.
  2836. MichaelG on Ten November.
    November 10th, 2011  8:22 pm

  2837. Somebody here at the office just pointed out that institutions that accept federal funds are obligated to report all instances of sexual misconduct to the feds.
  2838. MichaelG on Eleven eleven eleven.
    November 13th, 2011  12:04 am

  2839. I’m with Brian. I watched the start of the production on ESPN. The thing was a quasi religious paean to the creaky ghost of St. Joe of Happy Valley. Where did that name come from? Prayer vigils in front of his house. Penn State players marching onto the field in a military formation. Holding hands. Big prayer scene involving both teams. Reverential commentary by the TV boobs. Poor St. Joe, victimized by the illegal alien, comminiss, tree hugging, do gooder, librul Democrat fags. It was disgusting and I had to turn it off after a few minutes. Sorry, Alex and others, no offense intended, I’m just trying to present the attitude.
  2840. MichaelG on HAL takes pen in hand.
    November 15th, 2011  1:27 am

  2841. Nepotism's been around since Adam hired whatshisname. Anderson Cooper's Gloria Vanderbilt's kid? How did I miss that? Don't answer. Love the cover, Nance. You look great.
  2842. MichaelG on Link salad.
    November 18th, 2011  3:26 am

  2843. TaTa motors makes great cars. They're bodacious TaTas. I think the OWS people started out with a lot of good will from everyone for the first couple of weeks. I mean I'm certainly in favor of the things they seem to want, who wouldn't be? Then the lack of focus and the lack of message or leadership started to tell and the demonstrations seemed to become stale and pointless. At this stage I think the demonstrations are more about the right to demonstrate and to see whose is biggest. It's about something else altogether different from what it was when they started. The demonstrations have now become their own end. I think the OWS people need to call things off, fall back, regroup and start over when they get some of their problems worked out. Also demonstrators absolutely lose me when they get destructive or violent or start to do things that inconvenience everyday folks like shutting down bridges or public transportation. That's just stupid. I can see the fat cats sitting back with big smiles when they see that shit.
  2844. MichaelG on The SparkleBaby Chronicles, Part 1.
    November 19th, 2011  1:00 am

  2845. Buffy Poon. Wow. I'd never heard of the Twilight books before today. I don't feel like I've missed a whole lot.
  2846. MichaelG on The SparkleBaby Chronicles, Part 1.
    November 19th, 2011  10:55 am

  2847. Ahh, Caliban. You bring up Joan Baez. A truly great person, a wonderful singer and a sublimely beautiful woman in her youth and to this day. I’ve been in love with her for fifty years.
  2848. MichaelG on Create the problem, sell the cure.
    November 22nd, 2011  3:13 am

  2849. Ahh, nothing like a nice vintage Beaujolais Nouveau. That's hilarious, Mary. I've seen Gorillas pitching at the SF Zoo. It does tend to scatter the crowd.
  2850. MichaelG on This was this, but that was that.
    November 23rd, 2011  12:12 am

  2851. A friend of my girlfriend’s told me about Kennedy’s shooting on the front steps of the library at the University of Illinois where I was a sophomore. I went to my dorm room and watched TV with my roommate for a while and then gathered my girlfriend and we went to the house of some friends where we lay around holding each other and watching the tube for the next couple of days. Cronkite was great and yes we did see Ruby shoot Oswald live. I agree that Bobby would probably have been president had he not been killed and that things would likely have been different today had both brothers served their full terms but that kind of speculation solves nothing. Happy Birthdays, Nance and Moe!
  2852. MichaelG on Fatheads.
    November 23rd, 2011  7:26 pm

  2853. Brokaw piss you off yesterday Dexter? Numbah 10? Or numbah Sau Muoi Chin? Feel better, please. Lots of people side stepped the military in those days. I don’t even worry about it anymore. Especially if they were honest about it. I just took a walk around our floor here at work. The place looks like it was evacuated. Humm. Maybe it was and they didn’t bother to tell me. Have a great Thanksgiving and a happy weekend, everybody. And Happy Birthday to all of the Birthday folks.
  2854. MichaelG on Fatheads.
    November 25th, 2011  9:32 pm

  2855. That bee stuff is scary. I had no idea. Wonder what else is out there. There is a bee store nearby where I buy my honey. It's a very interesting place to spend a half hour or so browsing. They have all the paraphernalia to raise bees and harvest and package honey. All the hives, trays, dividers and lots of other arcane stuff. Also centrifuges, filters, bottlers and so on. They have lots of books and friendly knowledgeable staff. They also have honey. Tons of the stuff in every flavor and it's all available for tasting. Bring your own container or they will fill one for you. Prices are reasonable as well. Great place. I saw a trailer for Big Bang this AM while watching the news. It looked pretty God awful. I sure as hell wouldn't watch it.
  2856. MichaelG on Saturday morning market.
    November 27th, 2011  8:11 pm

  2857. Deborah, hang it on the inside of the front door. I bought a live rosemary tree with lights on it last year. It stood a couple of feet high in its pot. After Christmas I planted it out back. Now I have a nice rosemary bush out there.
  2858. MichaelG on Contents under pressure.
    November 28th, 2011  7:00 pm

  2859. Love those turkey vids. When I lived in Auburn we used to see turkey gangs all the time like those in the last two vids. I’ve waded through them and shooed them off many times and none of them ever attacked me. Just lucky I guess. A gang like that can really tear up a lawn. A neighbor put in new sod for their front lawn and a few days later a gang showed up and started scratching at their new sod. She got so pissed that she went inside and got a shot gun and killed a half dozen of them. Then they ate them. I’ve never thought wild turkeys looked particularly appetizing. Kinda long and stringy looking to me. The neighbors reported they weren’t too bad. Airports are great places to observe phone behavior. There’s the important guy who is “solving” problems with his voice turned up to nine. There are the ones who call from their seat on the plane to report to somebody that they are on a plane and about to take off and then the ones who are on the phone reporting their landing even before the thrust reversers are stowed. It sometimes seems like everybody is walking along with their head down communing with their phone and I don’t see how they avoid all running into each other or walking into walls. My five year old dumb phone – one of those bend it in half sorts that has no apps and does nothing but act as a phone – is dying. It will barely hold a charge any more. I had to do something, so on the advice of thousands I ordered an I-Phone. I ordered it from Verizon and they gave me a hundred off the published price and some other concessions and I guess it will be an OK deal. It should arrive in mid Dec. We’ll see. I guess if all those other people can figure out how to use it I can.
  2860. MichaelG on Contents under pressure.
    November 28th, 2011  11:39 pm

  2861. Yeah, I could have gotten a new battery, Dexter, but reception is deteriorating as well for reasons I don’t know. My monthly bill certainly won’t be going down. I don’t know about delivery times, Dorothy. It probably has something to do with where one is located. All I could get immediately was a white 16 Gig phone. I went for a 32 Gig black phone from Verizon for $199. I don’t know how that price looks back east but it’s pretty good around here. I don’t mind the wait. I’ve had the old phone for five years. Another couple of weeks won’t hurt.
  2862. MichaelG on Contents under pressure.
    November 28th, 2011  11:43 pm

  2863. Caliban, I've always liked that web site. Something about that nurse over on the right side rings my chimes.
  2864. MichaelG on Powerless.
    November 30th, 2011  10:46 pm

  2865. I'm a day late and a dollar short here but I'm sorry for your respective losses, Julie and Dexter. My thoughts are with you. That's really ugly, Dorothy. People need to think before they put something in email. It's forever. A couple of months ago I got a piece of hate email from a woman I don't even know - a lawyer at that. The thing was about somebody else I don't know. I have no idea how it ended up in my in box except that Alex's theory is probably correct. And, Peter, did your boss look like Mitt Romney? Vietnam cured me of any hunting notions. In fact, it was years before I could even go for a walk in the woods. To this day I don't own a gun. Had my fill. On my first trip there we left out of Can Ranh. They drug tested everybody beforehand but didn't police the mens' room. As a result guys were saying "I'm clean, anybody need a bottle filled?" At SeaTac the customs people asked one guy what his bottle of pills was. He told them they were his "no sweat" pills. They took him away and interrogated him for an hour. The bottle contained salt tablets which we used to call "no sweat" pills. You wouldn't believe the shit they missed. Guys had grenades, mortar rounds, ammo, knives, weapons, you name it. I'm amazed the place didn't accidentally blow up.
  2866. MichaelG on Powerless.
    December 1st, 2011  3:08 am

  2867. Dexter, I had the bug twice when I was in country. The medicines they had, even more than forty years (sheesh!) ago, were quite effective. I've never experienced any subsequent effects from the disease and I don't know anybody else who has. So I doubt that your friend did. Something else like 2,4,5-T known as Agent Orange could have quite possibly been harmful to him. And God knows what other shit was floating around although it couldn't have been as bad as the toxic hell created during the first Iraq war. I'd be happy to sip something with y'all, Brian, but I doubt it would be diet cola. Cheers!
  2868. MichaelG on Who are you?
    December 1st, 2011  7:40 pm

  2869. Bitter @ #2, is that where the seven dwarves came from? Dwarfs? Oh, God. Which is it? When you start to think too much about something like that . . .
  2870. MichaelG on Dried-plum face.
    December 3rd, 2011  6:57 pm

  2871. Mary, it’s been windy here with lots of downed trees and power outages but nothing like L. A. Glad to hear you and your boys are safe. My power was out for around 56 hours a couple of years ago and my freezer contents were fine. Just don’t open the door. I know the temptation to open it and check can be almost irresistible.
  2872. MichaelG on Saturday afternoon walk.
    December 5th, 2011  12:21 am

  2873. Mary, I remember when you got the job you have now! Good luck on this upgrade. Fingers are crossed. Glad your freezer is safe. Deborah, that sounds really good. Can you share the recipe for the fennel potato hash
  2874. MichaelG on Mostly cloudy.
    December 6th, 2011  2:54 am

  2875. Thanks for the recipe, Deborah. I'll have to try it. That pole woman was pretty amazing. I wouldn't arm wrestle her.
  2876. MichaelG on Send friend request.
    December 6th, 2011  8:12 pm

  2877. When she was in eighth grade my daughter came to me for help with an algebra problem. I looked at it and fiddled with a pencil and mumbled and suddenly she interrupted with “Oh, I see it now.” Thanked me for my help even though she had figured it out herself and went back to her room. She later graduated with a degree in math. Navigating and building are also math intensive. Some time take a look at the calculations behind a structural element in a building. Whew. That practical course is a great idea, Nance. I would expand it to include basic living things like paying the rent, having to pay for utilities and groceries and cable and phones and all the other things in life. Also that when you move into your own place you have to get mops and sponges and etc. and etc. I think kids really have no idea of the real world when they get out of school.
  2878. MichaelG on That left a big hole.
    December 10th, 2011  1:43 am

  2879. Maggie, please be well. We're all pulling for you.
  2880. MichaelG on That left a big hole.
    December 10th, 2011  10:38 pm

  2881. I wouldn't compare any of those weasels to Martha Stewart. I was never a fan until she was convicted on that bullshit charge of lying to the Feebs. When convicted she never whined, shut her mouth, sucked it up and did her time with grace and dignity. She showed them all how to do it. Great work, Dexter. I'm proud of you.
  2882. MichaelG on That left a big hole.
    December 11th, 2011  12:23 am

  2883. Stewart was actually found guilty of four counts of obstructing justice and lying to investigators. Other people were found guilty of insider stuff but not Martha. Pallets of cash.
  2884. MichaelG on That left a big hole.
    December 11th, 2011  6:49 pm

  2885. I don't know how it works, Dexter, but if I were there I guarantee you that it would feel like 12 below to me. I don't like the cold. The 34 degree temp we have here this AM is enough to get me whining.
  2886. MichaelG on A few kitchen notes.
    December 12th, 2011  9:59 pm

  2887. When I was a kid going to a Catholic school in a Chicago suburb the nuns made us pray for ND on football Fridays. I've been happy to watch them lose ever since.
  2888. MichaelG on A few kitchen notes.
    December 13th, 2011  1:31 am

  2889. It's great to hear that you're feeling better, Maggie, and that the future is looking up.
  2890. MichaelG on Mission accomplished. More or less.
    December 16th, 2011  3:16 am

  2891. I've been out of town the last couple of days. Sorry to hear of your loss, Little Bird and Deborah. Depression is a terrible thing. Great stuff, Maggie. I love your attitude. Keep up the good work! The facts were out there back when the Iraqi war was launched. If you took the time to look it was evident that there were no nukes, no stockpiles of horrible chemicals. There was no delivery system for the nukes that didn't exist and Iraq wasn't involved in world terriss activities. Bad as Saddam was he was still better overall for Iraq than the hard core Islamists that are going to end up in charge and the sectarian conflicts we are going to see. Somebody please explain how the last eight years have been better for Iraq and the Iraqi people at large than the eight years that proceeded them. Once things started it became abundantly clear that nobody in D.C. had planned what to do after H hour and nobody had a clue as to what to do. I've read a number of books on the war but "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" was the true mouth opener. I knew things had been bad but my chin was on my chest as I read that one. I still can't comprehend the sheer mind boggling stupidity, incompetence and venality of the whole enterprise. I am still amazed at the huge numbers of otherwise intelligent people who bought into and continue to believe in the bill of goods sold to the American people. Bill Maher is funny as a rubber crutch. I never could stand that guy.
  2892. MichaelG on Gone now.
    December 16th, 2011  10:57 pm

  2893. How about "Moby Dick"?
  2894. MichaelG on Gone now.
    December 18th, 2011  10:24 pm

  2895. RIP Cesaria. The Queen of Cap Verde. She was wonderful, such a rich voice and she could just flat sing. I really love listening to her. I'll miss her. Imperial County is an interesting place. Rich farming, two state prisons, vibrant border town, even a Naval Air Station where the Blue Angels are based. Cher hails from El Centro which seems more like a Mexican town than an American one. Come to think of it, maybe she's from Holtville. Just across the border is Mexicali which is quite a large city. That whole area east of the Salton Sea is a back of beyond desert armpit. In fact, the whole Salton Sea area is just plain ugly. Slab City can exist because it's so out of the way. People don't just pass by the place so there are no innocent eyes to offend. They have to be going to the area as a destination. I have no desire to make it one of mine.
  2896. MichaelG on The lead today is buried.
    December 19th, 2011  8:14 pm

  2897. Congratulations, Nancy. You are exactly what they’re looking for and will do a fabulous job. Sounds like a really busy schedule and we’ll understand a cut back here. What year was that Bob Greene thing that drew so many of us here? I wonder how many blogs have had faithful readers who have lasted that long. I made that pork stew yesterday. It did turn out very well. Good thing it was good because I’m going to be eating it for a long time. When I went to the prune department at Safeway, they were almost sold out. What was left was all labeled “Dried Plums”. They looked and tasted like prunes to me.
  2898. MichaelG on The lead today is buried.
    December 20th, 2011  6:20 pm

  2899. I was quite pleased with the 49ers last night, Dexter. They would be dangerous if they had a quarterback. I've always thought Whole Foods a strange place and I only visit on rare occasions. One time I asked for slab bacon at the meat counter and the guy behind the counter treated me like I was an idiot. "Whaddaya want that for? We don't carry it. Sliced bacon is just as good."
  2900. MichaelG on Darkest day.
    December 22nd, 2011  7:40 am

  2901. I think Cathy C is a very attractive young woman who could stand to gain a few pounds. It seems that the primary argument against outlawing cell phone usage; texting or talking, is that it's hard to enforce. That's a way stupid argument and that argument certainly hasn't deterred our esteemed legislators from declaring things illegal in the past. Think of trans racial sex. Think of alcohol sales and consumption. Think of intra gender sex. Grass. Think of many, many other like prohibitions that never made any sense and were unenforceable. Didn't stop brilliant minds under assorted domes from declaring a plethora of activities illegal. Oral sex between consenting males and females was illegal in many states. Shit, maybe still is. The proposed ban is enforceable to the extent that observed transgressors can be arrested and it's a tool to be used against those who cause accidents. A prohibition against cell phone usage while driving, whether as a phone or a texting device, makes absolute sense. I can't tell you how many times I have seen people talking or absorbed in their screen doing stupid things while driving. Yes, I think it's as bad as or worse than drunk driving. I think it needs to be declared illegal now. Y'all can live for twenty minutes without your phone.
  2902. MichaelG on Festivus for the rest of us.
    December 24th, 2011  10:43 pm

  2903. Merry Christmas to all here at nn.c. May you all be warm, snug, and full of love and good food.
  2904. MichaelG on Festivus for the rest of us.
    December 25th, 2011  9:09 pm

  2905. I'll never be the DJ that Caliban is but here's a happy Christmas song from some Brits. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDZcGz4vmJc&feature=share
  2906. MichaelG on Festivus for the rest of us.
    December 25th, 2011  9:17 pm

  2907. Here's another take on the same song with a slight modification. Presented by Ken Levine. Scroll down a tad to "All I want for Christmas ..." http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/
  2908. MichaelG on Hanging up.
    December 28th, 2011  8:08 pm

  2909. I have a land line for three reasons: 1. My satellite provider requires it, 2. My DSL provider requires one and 3. My alarm company requires a land line. Absent those three reasons I would not have a LL. I haven’t talked on it for years. When it rings I just let it go to the machine. I wonder how many people have cell phones with area codes from areas where they don’t live. I got my cell account when I lived in Auburn where the area code is 530. Now I live in the 916 area but still have my old 530 number. I know at least two people who live in 530 and have cells with 916 numbers. Never heard awry pronounced aw ree before. List is too short. How about “realator” for realtor. Drownded. Amblience. There are tons more.
  2910. MichaelG on Hanging up.
    December 28th, 2011  10:33 pm

  2911. I dunno, Rana. Bush was the President of the United States of America. He dealt with nuclear on a policy level. When he spoke in public representing the United States in front of the country and the world he needed to pronounce correctly words like “nuclear”. How is he supposed to demonstrate that he has a grasp on policy, how is he supposed to sound credible on the world stage if he can’t even say the word? No, he needed to have one of his entourage explain the proper pronunciation.
  2912. MichaelG on Hanging up.
    December 29th, 2011  2:39 am

  2913. Connie, Penelope is a Greek name. I don't know how the Greeks pronounce it but my Portuguese erstwhile wife pronounces it "Pen el lope" with the accent on the last syllable. So there you are, not dumb but sophisticated and European.
  2914. MichaelG on Hanging up.
    December 29th, 2011  7:56 am

  2915. Cooz, you bet I have. I have a ton of old Brazilian music on vinyl and CD. I love the stuff. Gal, and Maria and Gil and Veloso and Jobim and Gilberto and the rest whom I can't think of with my zinfandel befuddled mind. Rana, I must confess that I love your comments and think that you are a lovely and gracious woman and I concede.
  2916. MichaelG on Hanging up.
    December 29th, 2011  6:08 pm

  2917. As long as we're still here, there's a town in Illinois named "Cairo" and one in Egypt named "Cairo". Pronounced differently. I seem to live in Sacramenno. Listen to how all those people on TV pronounce Washington.
  2918. MichaelG on And a parrotlet in a pine tree.
    December 29th, 2011  7:45 pm

  2919. Further small talk. I'll see your Perus and raise you one Piru. There's a Piru in CA pronounced "Pye-rue". Funny you should mention it, Nance. I've got several boxes of vinyl with a lot of stuff I'd like to hear. I'll have to try to resurrect my old system and see if I can make some sounds.
  2920. MichaelG on And a parrotlet in a pine tree.
    December 29th, 2011  9:50 pm

  2921. Good to hear about Maggie. I was thinking of getting one of those turntables that will send vinyl directly to your computer so you can download it to your i whatever. It just seems like so much work and time but there's a lot of stuff on those old records that I don't know if I can replace.
  2922. MichaelG on And a parrotlet in a pine tree.
    December 31st, 2011  11:07 pm

  2923. Geez, Cooz. I actually have Guanciale in my reefer. But not from N.J. Happy New Year, everyone. May 12 be better than 11 and may everybody see health and prosperity.
  2924. MichaelG on A new gear.
    January 6th, 2012  5:45 am

  2925. Thank you, Moe. A well written obit and a well lived life.
  2926. MichaelG on From the East German judge, an 8.
    January 6th, 2012  7:34 pm

  2927. Can’t read the Charles Pierce piece. That site is blocked on my work computer. Traffic jams are bad everywhere. I don’t know that it profits anyone to try and name the worst. They’re all bad. We even have some tough ones here in Sacto. However, Sacramento doesn’t have the sheer numbers of people and cars to build a jam the likes of which you can see in a major city like L.A. or Chicago. That seems to me to be the key. You need to have the population to stage a truly horrific jam. We’ll get a good one here but it won’t last any near as long as one you’ll see down south. I suspect that’s the case anywhere. One morning last fall, I had a flat in a rental on the Ten about eleven miles west of Ontario airport (ONT). I managed to get the thing over and stopped in a gore point by the Garey Ave onramp. I went to get out of the van and climbed right back into it. The traffic was terrifying. After only a minute or two a CHP officer pulled up behind me. He shepherded me across the on ramp to a spot up against the wall. After another two minutes or so the freeway patrol truck showed up and the guy changed my tire. No charge. I gave him a $10 tip. The whole thing from when the tire blew to when I was on my way again probably took twenty minutes. I can certainly see how easy it would be to get killed trying to change a tire by the side of the freeway. That spot is dangerous beyond belief and extremely frightening. One thing nobody seems to mention is the sound. Five lanes of traffic each way, thousands of cars blasting by on the Ten at that point. One has to shout to be heard. The sound is a physical thing beating on you and certainly adds to the terror. You're simply sitting in the middle of pure violence. I don’t know what I would have done if that freeway guy hadn’t come. I probably would have called Enterprise and told them to bring me a new car and let them worry about the flat. Fifty or sixty MPH doesn’t seem fast but when you’re standing four or five feet from a steady procession of big rigs traveling at that speed . . . Now that I live near downtown Sactown, I take surface streets during my, ahem, fifteen minute ride to work. Twenty minutes if I’m going to the airport and that’s on the freeway. No traffic there at 0500.
  2928. MichaelG on Saturday morning WTF?
    January 8th, 2012  8:17 pm

  2929. Dexter, the problem with the unseasonable weather in the high country is far broader than the lack of snow for skiers. The snowpack is what much of California drinks. No snow, no water. We could be looking at problems later in the year. Fortunately, last year was a record one and the reservoirs are plump. Also with the sixty degree temps and the high winds we've been having, the fire people are very nervous and very alert. We need snow and rain very badly. The Saints will be in town (SF) Saturday against the 49ers. The 49ers have a very good defense but I, sadly, am picking the Saints to win for one simple reason. They have a quarterback and the Niners don't. I agree that Cabela's and IKEA are worth a visit. One could spend hours at either. There is also the Bass Pro Shop. It seems to be a clone of Cabela's. There might be one near somebody who doesn't have a Cabela's in the neighborhood. I've driven past the one that's off the 15 just above the 10 near Ontario airport and it's every bit as big as a Cabela's.
  2930. MichaelG on Talk amongst yourselves.
    January 10th, 2012  6:48 pm

  2931. They offered me a Smart Car once at Ontario. I was going to Barstow that day. A hundred miles of three and four lane freeway over Cajon pass and out into the middle of the desert toward Vegas with 85 and 90 MPH traffic. Ever stand next to a Smart Car? I opted for something a tad more substantial. I do think, however, that a Smart Car would be a good alternative in a large city urban environment. I once drove a Nissan Cube around Hollywood and Burbank for a couple of days and loved it.
  2932. MIchaelG on End of a long week.
    January 13th, 2012  7:02 pm

  2933. I can buy Swiss chard, aurgula, kale and fennel bulbs at any supermarket. Always have. I didn't realize they were in any way special or wierd or exotic.
  2934. MIchaelG on End of a long week.
    January 13th, 2012  9:35 pm

  2935. Ice Pilots? Never heard of it. Tell me more JW. Where and when? I like "Top Chef". But then I've always thought Padma Laxmi was a goddess.
  2936. MichaelG on The drear.
    January 17th, 2012  8:29 pm

  2937. It was 24 freaking degrees this AM. I thought I was in Duluth. This is simply too cold for human habitation. Good thing for the Niners that they don't have to go to Green Bay Sunday. We're scheduled to get rain on Thursday. The first rain in two months and this is allegedly the rainy season. Bad thing is two drops of rain and Candlestick turns to slop. That 49ers - Saints game on Saturday was one for the ages. Especially the last four minutes or so. Great game! We'll see if SF can do it again on Sunday.
  2938. MichaelG on Is that cheddar old enough to vote?
    January 18th, 2012  11:36 pm

  2939. Sammy’s chili sounds good. A suggestion: take your jalapenos and blacken them in the fire on your gas stove. Scrape the black stuff off on a paper towel. You won’t get all of it but don’t worry. You can do it with a torch but that blackens the chili without cooking it. The gas range blackened chili is very different from a raw one and adds a really good smoky taste. Don’t know what to say about an electric stove except try a torch. Cumin can quickly take over. It must be used sparingly. Use just a teeny touch to start. You can always add more but if you put too much in, you’re screwed. I love the idea of the non-oily sun dried tomatoes. I’ll have to stop by TJ’s and get some. I eat sautéed spinach as well – garlic and maybe a little crumbled bacon, guanciale or pancetta. For raw, it mixes well with arugula and a nice mustard vinaigrette.
  2940. MichaelG on Is that cheddar old enough to vote?
    January 19th, 2012  12:10 am

  2941. I came back to say that the broiler of an electric stove would work for roasting a chili but Jolene beat me to it. Also a comal or black iron pan would work. Here's a wonderful web site with some hints: http://www.tazadechocolate.blogspot.com/2008/09/roasting-chilies-if-chili-were-woman.html
  2942. MichaelG on Never darkened, but today? Dim.
    January 19th, 2012  7:15 pm

  2943. If we were all legislated into wearing similar stuff what would happen to that website that publishes pix of weird Wal Mart shoppers?
  2944. MichaelG on Second opinions, please.
    January 23rd, 2012  7:53 am

  2945. I remember when Gest and Minnelli divorced and he sued her for beating the shit out of him. That was truly funny. Etta James had some good songs but I was never a fan and am still not a fan of screaming being substituted for singing. Ella Fitzgerald, the greatest of them all, , never screeched. Paterno was eighty five. The media didn't kill him, the exposure of his disgusting secrets didn't kill him. He died of lung cancer. There's no way to get around his being complicit in the hushing up of Sandusky's activities. The press keeps talking about "molestation" as if Sandusky ruffled the hair of a cute little ten year old boy. If what I have read is correct, the proper term is "rape", as in Sandusky penetrating those cute little ten year olds anally long after Paterno had been alerted. There's a world of difference between simple molestation and rape and a world of shame on Paterno's head. Sorry. No compassion here. If the 49ers had a quarterback they'd be dangerous. I'd say there's an opening for a punt returner but Williams was a fill in for the injured Ted Ginn. I wonder where Williams will be next year.
  2946. MichaelG on Have a heart.
    February 14th, 2012  8:23 pm

  2947. Palo Alto High produced Jeremy Lin. Sorry, Cal. Couldn’t resist. Local angle you know. I once had a friend who lived on a boat. Twice he cruised to Tahiti with his wife. In each case his wife delivered a baby the requisite number of months after returning to Oakland. I smiled at that and he shrugged. “Nothing else to do out there.” What is this stemware? I use an old peanut butter jar. Kidding aside, it's a miracle that I haven't dumped a glass of wine on a keyboard.
  2948. MichaelG on Have a heart.
    February 15th, 2012  4:26 am

  2949. That’s truly disgusting, Minnie @ #43. Truly sick. I’m continually amazed at the wide spread hatred of women. Thankfully for them, Caliban, I am not in charge of Stanford recruiting. Also I think that Lin generally slipped past the radar of college recruiters. Poor kid. Condemned to settle for a Harvard education. One of the terribly tragic elements of the Iranian situation is the fact that there are very close ties between Iran and the US. We have so many Iranians living here and they have family in the old country and travel back and forth all the time. There are over a dozen Iranians on the floor where I work alone. Some of them are close friends. The effects of a conflict on them and on their families would be devastating. And I’m not sure the Israeli g’ment could get much farther right than it is now.
  2950. MichaelG on Have a heart.
    February 15th, 2012  8:27 am

  2951. It’s my impression from talking with Iranians here in Sacto that large numbers of Iranians are secular at heart and sympathetic to the idea of normalizing relations with the west and the US. For whatever that’s worth. They’re just as much unhappy bystanders in this affair as we are.
  2952. MichaelG on What's your racket?
    February 15th, 2012  6:55 pm

  2953. There are (or were) nudist beaches in the Bay Area that were A. Not freezing and B. Well stocked with attractive females. Very attractive females. They weren’t pick up places. It was a BYOG deal. I always went with a girlfriend. It seemed too pervy to go alone or with another guy. One I’m thinking of in particular was on the Russian River. Very nice place but no amenities. Bring whatever you need. Wonder if it’s even still in operation. I was last there many years ago. Also there were the hot springs up at the Geysers near Healdsburg. Again many years ago – like over forty. There was another at a reservoir over near Orinda and another near San Rafael. The ones on the ocean in SF and West Marin were just too cold as someone noted. I’m not familiar with Kate Upton and can’t follow the links here. I’ll look when I get home. I’m no fan of fake boobs, Julie. Never have been. I know about the grand dad thing, Dexter. I keep thinking of what one of those young ladies must see and think when she looks at an old man like me. And I’ve also found that my tastes and ideas of what an attractive woman is have changed as I’ve aged. I find the young ones are too young and have discovered many lovely women in their forties and fifties whom I previously never knew existed.
  2954. MichaelG on What's your racket?
    February 15th, 2012  10:56 pm

  2955. Bitter, not really. We were all a lot younger and looser in those days. This was like '71 or '72. I don’t recall it being a problem. You guys are killing me. I can’t follow any of those links here at the office. So the Chinese can make a fair fake F-150. How are they at fake boobs? Roselawn sounds like a cemetery, Dexter.
  2956. MichaelG on What's your racket?
    February 16th, 2012  7:24 am

  2957. MarkH you're close but here is the acme of AMC performance for my money: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2010/07/29/a-vintage-racer-with-an-unfair-advantage/ AMC also had some success at the drags but that was never my bag. I'm teetering on La Upton's assets. The slo-mo indicates real but the cover pic is tough to get past. I actually kinda liked her walking (if it can be so described) away. Did someone say she was nineteen? I'm way more than three times her age. I'm going to hell. I know it sounds self serving because of the age thing but I honestly think Monica Bellucci is a better looking woman. Shit. Kate's cute. Monica's a goddess.
  2958. MichaelG on And away we go.
    February 16th, 2012  6:35 pm

  2959. MarkH, you are, of course, right about the AMX and about Penske/Donohue.
  2960. MichaelG on Friday afterthoughts.
    February 18th, 2012  11:14 pm

  2961. I'm very sorry, Moe. All the best. I'm thinking of you.
  2962. MichaelG on In da club.
    February 20th, 2012  9:04 pm

  2963. I was in a joint in Can Tho, RVN several years ago when the scantily clad Heineken girls showed up. Booze girls are neither new nor unique to the US. I certainly had no objection to pouring down a few free beers even though I don't quite represent the yoot market. 1964. Goldwater seemed a bit out there to some at the time but compared to the current GOP pantheon he would be a lefty. He wasn't a full on 'bull goose loony' like Santorum. At least not in today's context. "Back to the store in '64!" And this other oldie just popped into my twisted mind: "Don't change Dicks in the middle of a screw. Vote for Nixon in '72!" I don't remember cakes from when I was a kid either. My mom was also a horrible cook and so was my dad until fairly late in his life when he finally started to learn. While I can't remember birthday cakes I can recall some memorably horrible meals. Chop suey was one example. The old man's interpretation was a stew pot filled with chopped celery, a gallon of soy sauce and who knows what else and simmered for an hour. Just thinking about it almost makes me gag. Second hand smoke certainly causes physical discomfort and potentially causes illness for bystanders. Abortion doesn't. Maybe a better analogy would be helmet laws. The argument there is that people with scrambled brains suck up a lot of money and medical resources in the form of long term care and are a social drag as they cause much sadness and anguish to friends and relatives. I agree that a reasonable solution is to have smoking and non-smoking areas in casinos. Too bad if that special machine is in the wrong area. Dexter, that link you posted in yesterday's edition doesn't work. Repost?
  2964. MichaelG on In da club.
    February 20th, 2012  11:33 pm

  2965. Easy, Bitter Scribe. I wasn’t nostalgic for Goldwater. Somebody else mentioned him and I merely noted that he wasn’t as far out crazy and inhabiting an alternate universe like the current crop. Yes he was a bad guy and no I never voted for him.
  2966. MichaelG on Cookies and nuts.
    February 21st, 2012  6:45 pm

  2967. That Indiana guy is right. The girl scouts are absolute loaded with ten year old transexuals.
  2968. MichaelG on Cookies and nuts.
    February 21st, 2012  7:50 pm

  2969. "absolutely"
  2970. MichaelG on Spleen with a side of bile.
    February 23rd, 2012  6:37 pm

  2971. What is this snow of which you speak? The high country here is pretty bare. In Sacto we’ve had about 6.25 inches of rain since July 1 when the season began and there’s none on the horizon. I never met Jobs and don’t much care about his personal habits one way or the other. There are plenty of assholes to go around and one more doesn’t make any difference to me. I'll let his accomplishments speak for themselves. I remember having a tour of the original Apple manufacturing facility in Fremont. Boy was that a long time ago. The sight of hundreds of those things sitting there silently with their screens on was something. That was the first time I heard of “burn in”. I’m with Bitter on the pit bull subject. Nobody’s saying that every example is a vicious killer but there’s no denying that the breeding and the proclivities are there.
  2972. MichaelG on Waiting for whatever.
    February 24th, 2012  6:29 pm

  2973. I don’t know where that sexy broads in jail thing started. I’ve had occasion to visit several women’s prisons and I never saw it. Mostly it’s overweight women (prison food tends to do that) in mu-mus or in baggy jeans and blue work shirts. Believe me, there’s nothing remotely sexy about prisons. They’re awful places.
  2974. MichaelG on Waiting for whatever.
    February 25th, 2012  10:41 am

  2975. "A woman's periwinkle" Never heard that one before. I had a really nice and easy work day today (Friday). We drove up the road to Oroville and the local DMV office. We passed a very visible in the clean air Sutter Buttes (the world's smallest mountain range) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutter_Buttes. We traveled into the land of fruits and nuts, truly. The vast, fertile northern valley is devoted to the cultivation of those products and on Friday the almond trees were in bloom and the temps were in the mid seventies. We, the architect I dragged along with me and jammed into the driver's seat, met with the DMV's departmental facilities guy and the DMV analyst who will be in charge of the remodeling project. The main guy, DMV's departmental construction and maintenance supervisor showed up on his Harley. It was Friday even for the big wigs. We had an easy three hour session and settled on the scope of the project. Easy day for me. Later I'll have to sell the plans to the State Fire Marshal and the State Architect (ADA access compliance) and bid the job and oversee the construction and account for the pennies but today I stood around with my hands in my pockets nodding sagely while the DMV guy told the architect what he wanted. Then the architect and I stumbled onto an ancient burger joint and had lunch. My patty melt was excellent. The ride home and the conversation were equally so. I guess it's my turn to drive next time. Great way to wind up the week. Next week is tough stuff.
  2976. MichaelG on Award season.
    February 27th, 2012  9:17 pm

  2977. I just got my cookies this AM. The ones from the transexual abortion lovers. A tip of a thin mint to you all. MMJeff, I have noticed that strange time compression thing. For example there were 52% more Mondays in 2011 than in previous years. 2012 is trending the same way.
  2978. MichaelG on E-day.
    February 28th, 2012  6:28 pm

  2979. It’s like a hair dryer, Deborah. There’s a small gas turbine engine mounted on the back of a truck that drives a couple of fans and blows a lot of hot air to dry a wet race track, also to blow garbage off the track.
  2980. MichaelG on E-day