Whitebeard.

    WhiteBeard on Copycat.
    March 2nd, 2008  7:08 am

  1. I hate you! Shame on you for exposing a thief and compelling me to quit my retired ritual of playing card games, watching a DVD movie or reading the news wires online. Instead, I became obsessed with reading all of the comments on your wonderful expose and then diving into your previous observations on the media where I have toiled for the past half century and enjoyed the newsroom politics. I was aghast at the inclusion of comments in newspaper stories online (I agree that the electronic presentation is much easier to decipher than crayon scribbles on paper towels). But it is a new world we live in with "Internets" and blogs quickly shedding and shredding the emperors's new clothes and unmasking the thieves and scoundrels who lift others' thoughts. When I first started in the radio news end I was handed an "incredible" short story and asked as a writer what I thought about it. My reply was I liked it better the first time and was told that was a horrible accusation and I should prove it. It took me 20 minutes in the local library to find the original in a science fiction anthology; it was not an exact copy, the name of the lead character was changed in the retyping and that was the only change (even the typos were included). No, really, I don't hate you, just the opposite, and I plan to use your caffeine-free blog to start my day from now on. Keep up the great work.
  2. WhiteBeard on Closing time.
    March 6th, 2008  1:57 am

  3. Please, norelief, would you crawl back under your solid, conservative rock instead of spitting your own viscious venom at the messenger who deserves respect, not disrespect. By the way, it wasn't just a few columns that were plagiarized, but more than two dozen at last count. And if he is one of the better human beings you have known, I really think you should get out more. A 145 IQ (wow!) is not a license to steal.
  4. whitebeard on I'll miss the guy.
    March 6th, 2008  6:59 pm

  5. I liked "Ghost" a lot for the supernatural theme and that was about the only Swayze movie I remember watching. But I have to agree that on the bad-bad films the award goes to (envelope, please) anything with Steven Seagal; I cannot help myself and keep on rooting for the bad guys in all his films.
  6. WhiteBeard on The first ladies.
    March 11th, 2008  4:20 pm

  7. You got me, Nancy, I had to look up unnatural sex practices (no color photos, please) to find the scatalogical meaning of coprophilia re Gov. Eliot (Ness) Spitzer but I totally agree that the high and mighty can sink to new lows in their bedroom romps. And I, too, feel truly sorry for the grim-looking First Ladies and wonder if the First Gentlemen would be so inclined to stand by their women so honorably. On the stressful urge to exercise, I have found that taking two low-dose aspirin immediately lessens the need, leaving me to lift nothing heavier than my wifi laptop.
  8. whitebeard on Now that's a snow emergency.
    March 10th, 2008  11:50 pm

  9. excerpt from complaint on Client 9, a.k.a. Elliot Ness LEWIS continued that from what she had been told "he" (believed to be a reference to Client-9) "would ask you to do things that, like, you might not think were safe - you know - I mean that . . . very basic things. . . . "Kristen" responded: "I have a way of dealing with that . What would she not think were safe, voting a straight Republican ticket to give McCain false hopes?
  10. WhiteBeard on My inner Communist.
    March 14th, 2008  8:19 pm

  11. Back to the original thought about great house tours and the grand lifestyles of the rich, famous and now deceased, Biltmore House, in Asheville, North Carolina, is another special place, the showpiece of the Vanderbilt wealth and called at one time the largest private residence in the nation. Now restricted to 8,000 acres from its original 125,000 acres, you could spend two hours or better yet, two days there seeing the interior of the house and the gardens. Back to Montreal, when the British trade commisioner was kidnapped in the tense Separatiste years, the kidnappers remarked on the opulent residence he occupied, the thick carpets, things they had never seen in any home they lived in. Now that CEOs are making 600 times that of the lowliest worker in their companies, maybe the rich are getting too rich without doing much physical or mental effort to earn that wealth. I applaud Bill Gates whose mental agility produced Microsoft and who now is moving into his philantrophy pursuits for his giving back to society in general. He truly deserves a Nobel Prize for good works. And, Yes, everyone in my family has a PC and I sat in the wings in awe when he spoke at a computer show in New York City many, many years ago. Nothing against Macs, I have a couple and used them on the job, but I still have not lived down my furious backing of Beta videotapes.
  12. WhiteBeard on My inner Communist.
    March 14th, 2008  7:39 pm

  13. During my decade in Montreal in the 70s, pig knuckles boiled in beer was a special treat. But Montreal restaurants were a gourmet's candy store with 29 varieties (at least) of Chinese restaurants, a pair of Vietnamese eateries (one north and one south Vietnamese) close to each other on The Main, the popular name for Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Then there was the restaurant housed in the old city morque in Old Montreal. After my newspaper shift ended I would be a bouncer/bartender at the Black Bottom, a jazz bar in Old Montreal where Aunty Bea would treat us to soul food. And how about Montreal's famous smoked meat on rye, also in different styles. It makes my mouth water just thinking about that wonderful food, so I need to visit my daughter there more often.
  14. whitebeard on Ripped from the headlines.
    March 18th, 2008  6:44 pm

  15. Setting aside the politics (Canadians are not allowed to vote for a president, nor for a prime minister either), Heather Mills' outfit appeared to me to be a definite fashion statement, like "Like it or lump it" to her watchers. And I intend to gather a clutch of Lippman books the next time I am in the library and will read them in sequence, I hope. I was reading that before the latest storm Quebec City had 210 inches of snow this winter; now that is decidely The Great White North. I remember driving down I-75 below the Mackinac Bridge when I encountered my first whiteout. I slowed to a crawl and inched over to the side of the road with my flashers blinking and waited half an hour: now that is also Winter At Its Worst
  16. WhiteBeard on Vanity plate: TITANIC.
    March 21st, 2008  3:36 am

  17. Re: Front drive shafts, both left and right, have rubber boots that hold lubricant and protect the universal joint. Both are cracked and need to be replaced. Add $1,000. I had an original Mini (an Austin 850) back around the 60s and when the rubber boots went the dealership charged me $180 (when that was really big money) for parts and a couple hours labor. I bought a factory service manual for around $35 and when the boots failed again I bought new boots at the dealer for $10 and replaced the first boot in 17 minutes and got faster from then on. The secret, said the manual, do not raise the car off the ground with a hydraulic lift because that involves compressing the spring and takes a lot of extra time. CV (constant velocity) joint boots today cost between $10 and $30 online depending on the car. Maybe that's why I write about car repairs and such in real life as a freelancer.
  18. WhiteBeard on Vanity plate: TITANIC.
    March 21st, 2008  4:19 am

  19. To change the subject literally and harken back to FEMA and its heckuva leader, there is a Rocky Mountain News story on truly pissed-off phone workers who were told to stay on the job and not take a latrine break. Qwest and other companies have for years offered portable urinal bags to workers who could find themselves in the field far from a bathroom. The bag's manufacturer, American Innotek, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency ordered 2.5 million bags after Hurricane Katrina, reports the newspaper. It sort of fits in with wild spender FEMA's 84.9 million pounds of excess ice from Katrina, worth about $23.8 million, according to the Boston Globe, that was kept on ice (is that redundant) for another $12.9 million until it was allowed to melt last July.
  20. whitebeard on Poor Billy.
    March 24th, 2008  8:48 pm

  21. I was bullied as a teenager because I was a skinny, bookworm nerd and a teacher's pet and did not know how to fight back. Until one day when the class bully attacked me and I purposely fell to the ground and brought my bony knee up swiftly into his tender parts. He writhed on the ground howling in pain for 20 minutes and no one, especially him, ever bothered me again in school. Now at 70, I am more than six feet tall, have shrunk to 245 pounds, look as mean as hell and when I walk near Times Square, (with care, mind you) the bad dudes cross to the other side of the street. I do not need to teach the knee-in-the-groin move to my grandson, just 13. who lives with us permanently, because he is very athletic and taller and superior, physically and mentally, than most kids in his school. But he is African-American and Canadian Indian in a basically lily-white school and we pounce on principals and teachers alike at even the slightest hint of racism, either in words or looks. At summer camp when one blonde boy, echoing his parents, said our grandson would be nowhere if his ancestors had not freed the slaves, I gently told the boy that my grandson's ancestors had been standing on shore watching as the first Europeans landed. Not only did the blonde boy apologize but he became a staunch defender of my grandson when other bigots and racist piglets surfaced.
  22. whitebeard on Have at it, you vultures.
    March 22nd, 2008  6:09 pm

  23. What a great movie, that must have been a fun venture. We gave our grandson a video camera for his 11th birthday. He began making movies about World War Two and I was the tough drill sergeant. He could have literally used your scriptwriting talents.
  24. whitebeard on Family duty.
    March 26th, 2008  6:27 am

  25. I have a grandson, who lives us, and he is called Ishmael; but wait, I have another grandson who lives in Canada and he is also called Ishmael
  26. whitebeard on Tacky, tacky.
    March 31st, 2008  11:09 pm

  27. After countless references to picking on Mitch Albom and your inability to stop, I decided to make my own judgment and read his latest column AND YOU ARE RIGHT. Albom is a perfect example of the treacle-down theory in all its meanings from the Merriam Webster online dictionary. 1) a medicinal compound formerly in wide use as a remedy against poison 2) chiefly British a: molasses b: a blend of molasses, invert sugar, and corn syrup used as syrup —called also golden syrup 3) something (as a tone of voice) heavily sweet and cloying Suffice to say that I will never, ever doubt you again, unless you tell me that you landed in Bosnia under sniper fire with your daughter and a comedian in tow
  28. WhiteBeard on Don't hate me for this.
    April 4th, 2008  9:32 pm

  29. During my early newspaper years, the news people had a float in the community parade in Sault Ste. Marie Canada and I was on the float dressed as Herman Munster with full face mask. Beside me was a very full-breasted reporter and she was dressed as Lily "Mrs. Munster" and was holding a sign that said "The Magnificent Pair" and she did not, may I use the word "grasp" the other meaning until halfway down the parade route and started to hit me with the sign. As an aside, I did wear the rubber Herman Munster mask and when I went into the local pub for a beer. The inebriated man at the next stool said I had the ugliest face he had ever seen. When I replied that I thought I was quite handsome, he left, muttering "I got to stop drinking this much."
  30. whitebeard on Tacky, tacky.
    April 1st, 2008  6:00 am

  31. Oh, my, I have it all wrong. I thought people went to church to meet their friends, see who has a new hat, see which politician was in attendance for the first time in months (that usually signalled in Canada that the Prime Minister was going to dissolve Parliament and call an election, but had not made it public yet) But I didn't know you were suppose to really listen to the sermons as if there were going to be a test after to see if you heard and understood all the words. If there was an exit poll outside many churches, there would be so many versions of the sermon just given that the pollster would throw up . . . . his hands.
  32. whitebeard on Yes, he's a DEMOCRAT.
    April 2nd, 2008  8:09 pm

  33. I agree with Connie, 15 minutes does seem rather fast, even by Michigan standards; oh, hold on, does Michigan even have standards at that level of social interaction
  34. whitebeard on Excitable boy.
    April 4th, 2008  11:37 pm

  35. I am reading all of Ashley's comments, thanks to your blog, Nancy, and his was a fierce voice for New Orleans, the city that should not die. Only Ashley could write "HI, I BROUGHT THE HEROIN!" in the midst of dealing with his mother's death in Florida. I saw my old newspaper boss at his mother's wake and funeral this week and he was surprised and very pleased that I had shown up and called me a great guy to work with, even though sometimes I was a pain in the keister. Ashley was plainly a pain in the keister as far as those fuckmooks in New Orleans and Washington were concerned, but they deserved every heaping plateful of scorn he served them. Just reading words by him makes me a little teary-eyed and I am so new here that I barely know all the players.
  36. whitebeard on My plea.
    April 8th, 2008  7:11 pm

  37. As a dead-tree journalist for the past half-century, first as a stringer and now as a free-lance columnist (with a helluva lot of challenges in between) I see some newspapers morphing from just reprinting their paper stories on the web. They offer slide shows and videos of top news stories, others will put breaking news on their websites or run updates on the web while their presses are idle. On obituaries, The Providence Journal in tiny Rhode Island, www.projo.com has guest books online where friends and family can comment. One obituary's guest book has 19 pages that will be on the website for slightly more than a year and seems to be able to accept audio and photos. The New York Times broke the Governor Eliot Spitzer sex scandal story on its website as it happened and then did the followup in printed form. The news rooms of magazines and newspapers have a flock of talent that can produce both web and print content as long as the bloodletting does not get too severe. One writer told me his magazine has hired a half-dozen videographers (is that a word) to keep pace with the technology and supply video content on its website. News is news, ladies and gentlemen, and should not be abandoned to the newcomers who sit at a keyboard and monitor and copy whatever they find and present it as their own. OK, I will step down to the ground and put the soapbox back in the laundry room.
  38. whitebeard on My plea.
    April 8th, 2008  8:20 pm

  39. velvet goldmine. my experience with newspaper brainstorming sessions is almost everyone, with noteworthy exceptions, seems to leave their brain back at their desk. My wife was at one brainstorming session where the better (or worst) part of an hour was spent discussing the size of the subheads on the op-ed page and one mathematical genius used a very precise ruler to announce that the subhead was 13 points, but the electronic phototypesetter only had 12 and 14 points. When my wife showed it to me, I replied that it was 12 points .... but it was out of focus ... because the composing room was having mechanical adjustment problems. When there was a brainstorming session at my newspaper and we went from downstyle to upstyle, e.g. capitalizing the first letter of the first word in a headline to capitalizing the first letter of every noun and verb in the headline, there was a long heated discussion of whether to capitalize pronouns, conjunctions and other words as in "To Be or Not to Be" My outrageous suggestion (I have a loud voice even when I am not shouting) was totally upstyle in that every word in the headline should start with a capital letter just as in book and movie titles, so we could stop all this useless bickering each day about "to" or "To" every time a headline was written. My idea was accepted and is still In Force (mostly) more than a decade later, even on the website.
  40. whitebeard on My plea.
    April 9th, 2008  6:26 am

  41. Harl, despite your assertion that 'That mathematical genius doesn’t understand typography, because you can’t determine the size of cold type from a single line." the whole point of the anecdote was that the mathematical genius did not understand that the type was out of focus, which is pretty hard to do with hot metal but was easy to do with phototypesetting in its earliest stages. Another related anecdote was that my wife was the only person in the newspaper working with cold type at first as a test subject and another genius (well, not quite, obviously) decided that she had to know when the phototypsetting machine was off line so he installed an electric horn in her room that blared enough to wake the dead. even the braindead. Funny thing, if one opened the horn's innards and inserted a broken popsicle stick, less popsicle of course, as i did, from then on it only made a very meek buzz. As a retiree, I was offered a free online newspaper subscription this year so they would not have to pay a driver to drop off my free daily dead-tree newspaper on a rural route. So, I totally agree with you, Harl, on being against charging for an online newspaper or a newspaper website. Funny thing, I keep on getting mail now asking me to reconsider subscribing to the printed newspaper, which I got free for a quarter century. (Left hand not knoweth what right hand doeth, I guesseth)
  42. whitebeard on My plea.
    April 9th, 2008  7:09 am

  43. Now, one more rant, I am a Canadian and was on the city desk in Montreal when the doctors were on strike against universal health care, but then went back to work because the Canadian insurance lobbyists could hold their annual meeting in a telephone and were not very effective. Yes, income taxes are higher in Canada, partly to pay for universal health care. But with my first major operation, to reattach my left retina, maybe $20,000 or $30,000 a quarter century ago, which did not include two weeks in hospital flat on my back with heavy sacks to keep my head straight and hand-fed by my wife and newspaper friends, I was forced to pay $5.69 for a bottle of eyedrops to keep my pupil dilated. No doctor bills, no hospital bills, no effing insurance companies saying they would pay only 80 percent, no being kicked out of the hospital after four days by an effing pencil pusher, no slimy collection types asking when I can pay the money I owed the hospital. No, it did not cover prescriptions e.g. the eyedrops; no, it did not cover nose jobs or other cosmetic surgery. My mother in Canada fell and broke her hip in her 80s and the local hip surgeon was on vacation. She was flown (her very first plane trip) to a city a few hundred miles away where the hip surgeon was not on vacation and she had the hip operation. Her cost: Nil, Zero, Nada. As long as the U.S. has killer pharmaceutical companies who peddle drugs they know are not effective, greedy insurance companies who make big bucks saying no to needed medical treatment and hospitals who turn away those in need who do not have a fat-enough wallet, the average American worker is screwed until he or she retires and is old enough for Medicare (and can afford expensive supplemental health insurance). OK, I will put the soapbox away again.
  44. whitebeard on The soft belly of Hardball.
    April 10th, 2008  6:27 pm

  45. This "It can be amusing if slightly painful to watch Matthews’s facial expressions and body language on the set of “Hardball” when others are talking; he will, at times, bounce in his seat like a Ritalin-deprived second-grader who is dying to give an answer but has been admonished too many times for interrupting." from the NY Times Magazine article, describes my take on Matthews and prompts me to leave my place near the TV set, because it is painful for me to watch ( I am not amused at all) and cringe at his eventual, extremely loud, repetitive, outlandish rhetoric. Give me Keith Olbermann's calm, carefully crafted cynicism any day of the week. But, who am I to talk, I have not stared into a live microphone (before lapel mikes were invented, so it dates me) for almost half a century.
  46. whitebeard on Forget it, Jake.
    April 12th, 2008  7:41 am

  47. I worked with someone, who, believe it or not, introduced himself as Dick Handler, and never knew the meaning
  48. whitebeard on Forget it, Jake.
    April 12th, 2008  5:36 pm

  49. Harl, this Dick Handler was incredibly obnoxious and totally clueless. The first Iraqi War, the real one, happened around deadline at the morning paper where I worked and we were updating with better photos and a better story for every edition. I collected all six editions to save as a souvenir and he came up to my desk, picked up "my" papers and said he was looking for the various editions. And as for clueless, he bought a new car and called me the next day because it would not start. I asked him all kinds of questions: was it automatic or manual? Was the battery fully charged? Was it the primary key or secondary key he was using? When he said it was manual, I asked him to go out to the car and see if he heard a click from the engine compartment when he turned the ignition key to start. He came back in to say there was no click. I then asked him to go outside and turn on the headlights and see if they dimmed when he tried to start the engine. He came and said that the lights did not dim. I then asked if he had any trouble starting the car the day before and he said the salesman had started the car and he, Dick Handler, got in and drove it home. Then I asked the question I had been saving right from the beginning of our conversation 23 minutes ago. When he pushed the clutch pedal, I asked, did he push it all the way to the floor. Why would I push the clutch pedal to the floor when I start the engine, he replied. Oh, I said, didn't you know that on new cars there is a safety ignition interlock feature that means you have to press the clutch to start the engine. Payback is always fun.
  50. whitebeard on Forget it, Jake.
    April 13th, 2008  3:37 am

  51. I did not emphasize that clutch lesson enough to my daughter, who started an older BMW while in gear. The car shot forward into the repair shop where her husband was working and hit the car lift, dislodging a much larger Buick that partially crushed the BMW. The shop owner was in shock at seeing this, as if he was seven months pregnant as my daughter was at the time. She was unhurt.
  52. whitebeard on Forget it, Jake.
    April 13th, 2008  5:41 am

  53. We are proud of the 13-year-old grandson who lives with us as well because he has fun picking T-shirts and other clothes in Goodwill and when I travel to other cities on business, my friend takes me to Goodwill stores, she loves handbags, I look at anything I can cram into my carryon luggage
  54. whitebeard on Stupid things, facts.
    April 14th, 2008  10:59 pm

  55. Birth date tunes, indeed! For me, Christmas Eve, 1937 ... "The Dipsy Doodle" by Tommy Dorsey; for my wife, Easter Sunday, 1941 ... "Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)" by Jimmy Dorsey (two Dorseys, that's a coincidence) and for our grandson, who lives with us, March 1995 ... "Take a Bow" by Madonna (very appropriate because he is bigger than life in any situation, even at 13). No TurboTax here, but a new accountant to replace the old one, who gave bad advice and did our taxes late, which earned a penalty and nasty interest that was later forgiven because a Nor'easter (think hurricane with snow) ripped through Connecticut at tax time and we were declared a disaster area, or something, the IRS pronounced, much to our surprise.
  56. whitebeard on Our Hillary problem.
    April 15th, 2008  7:41 pm

  57. I am not totally enamored with Hillary, but I detest her lamebrain speech writers who put blatant lies in her mouth that get her in fact-checking trouble. With friends like her back-stabbing strategist who quit recently, whose firm grabbed, what was it, $10 million of her hard-earned campaign funds, she doesn't need enemies, much less crude comments from sexist Republican white male cave dwellers who have brought this country and the entire world to its knees economically and are too cowardly to admit it. The disgusting words about Hillary show how much those white males are afraid deep down that a woman in the White House would spur efforts to curb greed and corruption in the oil industry, the insurance industry, the drug industry and the military-industrial cartels. As for the gun-toting rednecks. their scatalogical vocabulary is as low as their IQ from marrying their cousins. And their rifles are symbols of their sexual inadequacy. I know all is fair in love, war and politics but maybe some self-censorship should be enforced.
  58. whitebeard on Oh, totally.
    April 17th, 2008  5:21 pm

  59. awe sum, item on Chinese menu in White House kitchen
  60. whitebeard on Oh, totally.
    April 18th, 2008  1:42 am

  61. Del, re: "Whitebeard, you mentioned the Soo in one of your posts. Any connection to LSSU (and its banished words list)?" Although Lake Superior State University was founded in 1946, well before I left the Canadian Soo in the late 60s for the now-vanished Montreal Star, I never paid it much mind until I started reading the LSSU banished words list in recent years. But I do have a funny story about a LSSU student who was returning to the Canadian side after her afternoon art class. I was standing behind her in the Canadian Customs line where you had to declare everything you bought in the retail stores in the Michigan Soo. She was not declaring anything. she said, because she never bought anything and endured his repetitive "are you sure, Miss?" questioning. He looked to me for help in his quest to uncover blatant smuggling because he was on my bowling team, but border smugglers of contrabrand comic books and cheaper clothes, like myself, never squeal on fellow Customs criminals, so I ignored his uplifted eyebrows. Later, at bowling that night, he asked politely whether she had bought anything and not declared it and said she was in the clear now, anyways. Well, I laughed, and told him she bought some expensive makeup, a new wristwatch, some cologne and some trinkets at Montgomery Ward and put them in her brand-new purse that was on sale that day. I said I could not give him a clue while standing in line trying to smuggle in the three shirts I was wearing, but I wondered why he didn't spot that she was carrying two good-sized leather woman's purses. He laughed so hard he missed two easy spares and bowled below his average.
  62. whitebeard on Oh, totally.
    April 18th, 2008  11:42 am

  63. Del, re: "Just read about a couple of dorks from Quebec who looked at a map and figured they could smuggle some weed across the border this past winter along the St. Mary’s river. The ice broke and they were rescued. Awesome, eh?" That is a scary story about global warming because in my day the St. Mary's River did freeze over and many things were pulled into Ontario on a sled, duty free, so to speak. One Soo Ontario radio announcer smuggled in an expensive radio/phonograph the size of a motorcycle and then made the mistake of bragging about his successful smuggling on the air. Customs officials called him on it and he had to pay the duty and, I think, a fine. Of course, he always spoke first and thought later, which is why, when giving a plug for the upcoming policemen's ball in adjacent Korah Township, added that everyone knew that Korah policemen have the biggest balls of all.
  64. whitebeard on Busy busy busy.
    April 22nd, 2008  8:58 pm

  65. ah, elevator stories. I was in one elevator that went too far down and the doors opened on a blank concrete wall. I suppose it was supposed to go there when the techs and friends as per Derwood want to get on and check the cable connections and eavesdrop on people. The other time, I came back from a meeting and was on deadline so I used the phone on the stuck elevator to call the city desk and dictate my story from my notes. When the assistant city editor asked why I dictated it because I still had time to type it up myself for the next edition, I replied that I was in the building but stuck in the elevator and the techs didn't know how long it would be to get it fixed, so I thought it best to phone in the story. Unflappable, I guess. One time in Montreal the editor-in-chief commented to the city editor that I didn't look excited enough to be doing a good job sending reporter/photographer teams in radio-equipped cars in the 70s to language riots breaking out across the city as soon as the police desk gave me locations. The city editor simply replied that is why I was so good because I did it all calmly and was on top of everything that night. Pennsylvania --- Obama by 12, he pulled out all the stops ,,, and the train whistle (horn) ... in the past few days and he looks like he will not have a heart attack and die in office
  66. WhiteBeard on Simple, stupid.
    April 28th, 2008  6:57 pm

  67. I loved my week in a Solstice and my afternoon in a Skye, it reminded me of a British sports car. Of course, I have built-in extra rear cushioning so that helps considerably. As for banks and rating companies and "investing" on Wall Street generally; in any other world it would be called gambling with other people's money and the dealer or house always takes its cut "commissions" first. Then if a Bear Stearns gets in trouble there is a government bailout of billions and billions of taxpaper money. But no one really helps the poor guy who is threatened with foreclosure and the foreclosure arrangers are meanwhile making a mint. Don't get me started, please, I anger easily when I hear of fat cats getting fatter.
  68. whitebeard on To the plastic mattresses.
    April 22nd, 2008  11:28 am

  69. Back to IKEA and brick and board shelves, we had the latter in Montreal before we moved to this centuries-old farmhouse which has floor to ceiling bookshelves on three walls in one stretched room we naturally call "the library." I was amused by Ellen's comment about Europeans and Brits moving everything, "such as the kitchen cabinets and the light fixtures. IKEA stuff is designed for that kind of portability." Portability was a key ingredient in the July 1 "La fête de déménagement" (The moving holiday) in Montreal when tens of thousands feverishly create traffic jams as they switch apartments http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/media_target/hottopics/en/html/181_en.asp Yes, a very unusual but legally enforced moving day in La Belle Province that is like no other. It's also Canada Day, or Dominion Day as i still call it, to mark Canada's birthday. I had an old Ford Econoline van then and was very popular among my colleagues, especially in the creative breaking of those July 1st leases. How do you break a lease? Well, you move on any day you choose, usually around midnight when the powers that be (landlords, building supers, concierges) are asleep, you hope. There's a certain danger, of course, when you are using ropes to lower a sofa from a seventh-floor window. An IKEA bookshelf would be much easier to lower that way. There were other frightening moments, too. On one midnight move, dictated by when I left work for the night, a somewhat unfriendly policeman asked me, the driver, what I was doing and asked for my driver's license. My friend, the moving tenant, followed suit and showed his license, but then asked me later why I was so polite to the policeman instead of refusing to show any piece of paper as I usually did, legally by the way. Well, I said, you did not see the police sniper, his cap on backwards, watching us from around the corner of the school. That made me extremely polite and informative, I said. This is at the time when LEO (law enforcement officers) were frantically searching for the kidnappers of the British trade commisioner in Montreal. One final note on bricks, when we were moving from Montreal I hired day laborers to load the rented U-Hell vans. One of them was slowly lifting a smallish box, one of several, and asked what was in it, bricks? Yes, i replied, pointing to the word "BRICKS" on the boxes. Another one carefully loaded a black plastic garbage bag, we discovered on unloading. that contained ashes, not grandfather's ashes but plain old ashes from cleaning the chimney.
  70. whitebeard on They talk funny.
    May 21st, 2008  3:34 am

  71. From Jeff "I think there’s been more race in the voting around Obama, who is winning nationally, than there’s been sexism around Clinton." To mix politics and foodstuffs in the same thought, does anyone think that Hillary is past her sell-by-date in this campaign what with Obama still gaining on delegates, racism notwithstanding.
  72. WhiteBeard on Slick.
    April 26th, 2008  7:13 pm

  73. From hot oil to politics in Connecticut, President Bush visited my neighbor on Friday with 450 other guests and all I got to see of him was the helicopters constantly flying over our house. The Kent hillside estate of Henry Kissinger butts up against our 36-acre wood lot in Warren at the town boundary so that makes him a neighbor, an unseen neighbor but still a neighbor. But what fascinated me about the whole shebang was my freelance newspaper visual coverage of the president's visit (4 videos, 62 photos) linked at http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-bush0426.artapr26,0,6781261.story that shows what a newspaper can do in this ever-challenging news arena. The only fault I could find was that one video was sometimes identified as being a protest in Kent, the adacent town, when it was actually in downtown Warren. Not a sprawling downtown, mind you, a church, a liquor store, a town hall soon to be replaced by the Taj Mahal of town halls, a deli, an antique store, one traffic light, an elementary school, a sports field, a pottery shop (oops, that went out of business) and a thriving library. I have had some indirect dealings with the Kissingers. When his security detail decided that his blueberry patch that earned much money for a church was a danger because they could not let all those berry-picking strangers get so close to the boss, they decided to cut down the hundreds of blueberry bushes. The church people were shocked and I tried to interest my newspaper in doing a story but was rejected so I called CBS in New York and got "Hey, we like it." They did a great video, the wire services picked it up along with other newspapers, including Paris Match in France and the Kissinger spokeswoman was constantly saying "Of course, Dr. Kissinger likes blueberries." The upshot was that the bushes were dug up carefully and donated to the preppie Kent School and after three years were producing record crops again. Linked at http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04E5D61138F932A1575AC0A965948260&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/People/K/Kissinger,%20Henry%20A.
  74. whitebeard on Um, I forgot.
    May 7th, 2008  9:35 pm

  75. Catherine "Re the $7.50/gallon gas: Has anyone else ever wondered what would have happened if this country had taken all the megabucks spent on this stupid Iraq war, and instead, set the goal of being energy-independent" Get an oil man in the Oval Office for eight years running and energy-independent is a cussword, Catherine, if it pertains to anything else other than crude oil. Where did all the Enron leeches go, anyway, or are they trading in oil futures as they traded in electricity. If the oil sitting in the ground doesn't need to be fertilized, and the pumping of that oil and the refining of that oil have not increased that much then a truly dishonest bunch of crooked manipulators are making a fortune by gouging the public on the price of a barrel of crude oil. And the current administration is letting the sleazy manipulators get away with it and bring the whole country into a depression, not just a deep recession. This is the time for wartime price controls on a bigger economic war than that stupid, illegal one in Iraq and someone brave enough should freeze the price of crude oil at a sensible amount, say, $50 a barrel and let the chips fall where they may. These oil manipulators make the saving and loans scandal look like penny-ante poker games.
  76. whitebeard on A nation turns its eyes...
    April 24th, 2008  5:39 am

  77. I saw Pete Rose in Montreal and he talked with me for 20 minutes and I did not know who he was, but the best time was when one man had to stop his wife from chasing me into the men's room at a restaurant because she thought I was Luciano Pavarotti who had just given a sell-out concert in Connecticut
  78. whitebeard on I are an elitist.
    June 19th, 2008  11:35 am

  79. Nancy,I thought that the "Lee Adams" parody was priceless because of my connection to Hartford, but then I thought the original Lee Adams memo posted by Romenesko on Poynter was also a parody "Before I joined Tribune, I had NO idea that reporters were around the globe reporting the news." That kind of mindset would believe that hens laid three different kinds of eggs, boiled, scrambled and fried but you never knew which until you cracked the shell open. When I worked in Montreal, I never knew my newspaper had a Paris bureau until the office was closed (probably a major reason for closing the office). When I worked in The Soo, we had an editor who laid out advance pages and he laid out one page with a story about the upcoming launch of the Canadian satellite Alouette 1 (French for lark or skylark), another story on one page about the actual launch (Sept. 29, 1962) and then a third story about some minor glitch. Unfortunately, all three advance pages ran the same day. Abrams probably would have praised that as successful packaging.
  80. whitebeard on Um, I forgot.
    May 8th, 2008  1:38 am

  81. Yes, nurses do chat about interesting items. When I was linked up to fluids and machines in a hospital bed and they had the big electrical box with paddles to shock my heart nearby the night before they put three stents in my artery, I felt I had to rest my eyelids for a while. But I had my hearing aid volume turned up high and the nurses were trading delightful anecdotes about their underwire bras almost being tugged off by the powerful magnets in the MRI machine room. Of course, maybe they were under orders from my doctor to try to keep my heart beating and my spirits up until the next day. Speaking of keeping my spirits up, my assistant editor had to caution her British-born mother about telling patients she visited to keep their pecker up. Yup, the chatting nurses did that for me as well.
  82. whitebeard on Um, I forgot.
    May 8th, 2008  1:42 am

  83. To explain further about British cheering up words. From the British website www.phrases.org.uk/meanings "Whilst pecker is a word now associated with American slang the usage here is the English pecker, i.e. nose or mouth, as opposed to the American, i.e. penis. The phrase is equivalent to keep your chin up. . . . The imagery is of a bird that pecks for food. As a further example of British slang that raises eyebrows is the desk clerk in a small British hotel who asks what time you want to be knocked up in the morning, e.g. awakened with a knock on the door or a telephone call to your room.
  84. whitebeard on In my Face.
    April 29th, 2008  5:05 pm

  85. I mostly use Facebook to look at my family members' diaries of what they are doing and what new nieces are arriving (as babies) or posting once they leave the crawling stage. And I have a few friends as well that I keep in touch with. Total number for both categories equals 15 but I do enjoy FaceBook for the photo sharing and photo commenting. I also enjoy posting photos on deviantart.com (no, not those kinds of photos!) because of the wide selection of photos on my favorite subjects: railroads and automobiles.
  86. whitebeard on In my Face.
    April 29th, 2008  5:44 pm

  87. When I moved to the USA in 1981, I went to one staff party and had some drinks, mostly wine I think, and did not like the carefree (not careless, just carefree) driving I did. Because I drive a lot, I decided no more drinking and driving even though I had been told in Canada that I was a happy drinker. OK, i have had two or three drinks since then, two at parties out of state where there would be no need to drive anywhere and one drink in 1999 when the Supreme Court of Canada handed us an incredible decision that gave us custody of our U.S.-born grandson after flaming headlines against us across Canada.
  88. whitebeard on In my Face.
    April 29th, 2008  6:09 pm

  89. I just checked my family name on Facebook and I see my grandson has more friends than I have, 25, to be exact, mostly young girls that seem to cotton to him.
  90. whitebeard on In my Face.
    April 29th, 2008  6:57 pm

  91. Sue, I am slowly working on a blog, but have not put that incredibly wonderful decision on it yet. I will rely on Nancy to give me your e-mail address and I can give you links to some of the news stories and some added comments. As the Chinese curse proclaims "May you lead an interesting life" and I think this qualifies as "interesting" and a little frightening at times.
  92. whitebeard on Urban renewal
    October 1st, 2008  9:09 pm

  93. When I moved from Montreal to Connecticut I hired some day laborers to load everything into the U-Haul truck. As they were moving some boxes marked "bricks" they asked me what was in there, bricks? Duh? They also loaded two plastic bags of soot from the chimney cleaning operation a few weeks previous. The house I am in now has portions from the 17th and 18th centuries and it has more nooks and crannies with five fireplaces. And it came with an old one-room log cabin out back that might be 1600s
  94. whitebeard on Luxury amid the chaos.
    October 1st, 2008  9:15 pm

  95. We have a 13-year-old grandson who has been EXTREMELY 13 since he was 11, who has a pack of girls cheering him on at baseball games where he is incredible, steals more bases than Wall Street steals dollars. I can also relate to Brian and LAMary because he lives with us full time.
  96. whitebeard on I love you guys.
    June 6th, 2008  10:05 pm

  97. When the blogmistress explains her bartender philosophy regarding Caliban/MichaelJ, I am surely tempted to buy a round for the house because of her benevolent attitude. When I was a bartender/bouncer I had the same kind of attitude; when I answered the late night phone at the city desk, I talked with everyone, no matter what phase of the moon. When someone complained to management that the cleaner was calling me a dirty name (something involving mothers) I apologized to him because I enjoyed his friendship. However, having said that, I am like Lex, I plan to delete the colorful vocabulary, if and when I ever get my blog going, when it is personally insulting and not worth the bytes it consumes.
  98. whitebeard on I love you guys.
    June 6th, 2008  10:43 pm

  99. Howie, I have tried the cheap hotel/take the train to Manhattan plan and believe me, what you save in dollars is not worth the aggravation. I have found some hotels on www.hotels.com that were not cheap but were reasonable. Hotel Pennsylvania and Milford Plaza (theatre district) are two examples, but we have found family-type accommodation in small "boutique" hotels in older buildings. If you Google New York City Hotels and spend some time there it will pay off. But getting close to museums you want to see is a good bet, also. We are lucky in that we can hop a commuter train to Grand Central terminal (not station) and spend a long day in Mahattan (as long as my legs hold up)
  100. whitebeard on I love you guys.
    June 6th, 2008  11:26 pm

  101. On MichealG's comment on Caliban "and sometimes his fingers don’t all seem to be connected to the same brain" there was a wonderful Irish columnist in Montreal who typed his column as he talked to me one night as a sounding board for his ideas. When he handed it in later, the night copy desk chief screamed that it was gibberish and threw it in the wastebasket. I rescued it and immediately realized that my friend had been leaning a little too much to the right (physically, not politically) and he was an excellent 10-finger touch typist. I carefully retyped it by moving over one letter to the left on the keyboard and his sparkling prose reappeared as if by magic. There also was one reporter whose copy was full of crossed-out sentences and blank spaces that I always stayed late to handle, so I could retype it. He had been in the war and tossed a grenade in a building where a German had run that was a family home with children and he always remembered their bodies. That was post traumatic stress syndrome before they even coined the phrase. But he wrote beautiful words with feeling.
  102. whitebeard on Glorious freedom.
    May 1st, 2008  6:23 pm

  103. We went to New York City to see a play a few weeks ago and we pointed out the central clock/information booth in Grand Central Terminal to our grandson, 13, who llives with us, and said that is where we will meet if we get separated. Mind you, he is 5 foot 10, 170 pounds and looks like a young Muhammad Ali (or would that be Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. then). We have let Ishie (short for Ishmael) wander off on his own at carnivals, fall fairs and giant flea markets since he was much younger. We all carry cell phones in case one of us gets lost and confused (it's usually me). When his mother, then 6, was let off her school bus in Montreal at the wrong stop, we went into panic mode, called the school bus people and drove frantically all around the bus route to look for her. Meanwhile, she calmly walked home and went to the neighbor's house when she found our front door locked. Children are very resilient and smarter than we sometimes acknowledge. My wife calls me on her way home from work to see if our grandson has been let off the school bus, but this is to check to see if she has to stop by the middle/high school to pick him up after baseball practice. It's 18 minutes by car, so it would be a long walk home. We will let him go jogging for about half an hour or more but we will not let him ride his bike to a friend's home because people around here drive like idiots, even on a back country road. When I was much younger than him I would ride my bike seven or so blocks on a busy downtown street in The Soo (with saner drivers) every week to the library to get a basketful of books. Even before that I would walk to my cousin's house many blocks farther and consult my city map to make sure I was headed in the right direction (because then, as now, I am somewhat directionally challenged).
  104. whitebeard on Internal derangement.
    May 23rd, 2008  5:23 pm

  105. A sweet little old lady pushed me off an icy sidewalk in Montreal one winter and it hurt like the blazes even though I am usually insensitive to pain. I hobbled into the nearby movie theatre, figuring that resting my knee might solve the problem. I forget the movie but the pain vanished, However, as I got up to leave, there was a slight complication. My knee had locked up in a straight-out position and I had to ask the usherette to let me hobble out the exit door at ground level. I grabbed a taxi to the Royal Victoria Hospital, one of the many castlelike structures that grace Montreal. After helping subdue a disturbed man with a rifle in the emergency room and after explaining to the police why I grabbed a loaded rifle and wrenched his fingers loose (it was pointed at my nose from about 8 inches away, damn it) the doctor used this humongous needle to drain fluid from under my kneecap. A kind taxi driver hauled a folding wheelchair up three flights of stairs to our apartment so I rolled merrily around the apartment, merry because my inner painkiller was working again. I saw an orthopedic surgeon two weeks later who took some x-rays and said everything was torn up inside and I needed surgery as soon as possible. This was after he swore at me in French because he and his assistant tried unsuccessfully to move my knee to get a different x-ray view but neglected to let me in on their plans, which they should do when they have a 250-pound patient. I asked what would happen if I did not get surgery and he said my knee would lock up and I would not be able to walk. Seeing as I still was not feeling pain (I love my internal painkiller) I said when it locked up, then I would think about surgery. Well, 37 years later and it still has not locked up, although I never played basketball or football again. Come to think of it, I never played much basketball or football before the knee incident, so it wasn't much of a loss.
  106. whitebeard on Internal derangement.
    May 23rd, 2008  5:41 pm

  107. Ah, the private parts vocabulary. I called UPI once because they had a story about a protester claiming that the Vietnam memorial was the biggest gash in Washington, even bigger than Jane Fonda's. I told this young lady that, ummm, in Vietnam, soldiers said, umm, gash when they were referring to a woman's ummm, slice of heaven. She laughed and said she would correct it herself because she doubted if the young man who had edited the story had ever seen the real thing so would not have known any nicknames. I also called Canadian Press much earlier when they had a bank robbery story in which the robber emptied the teller's drawers, which to me would have been a considerable distraction when he was only after money. I thought I had made my point clear that drawers was another word for panties or underwear on a woman, bank tellers usually being female in those days, but when I saw the next version, the story said the robber had emptied the cashier's drawers. Duh?
  108. whitebeard on Internal derangement.
    May 23rd, 2008  6:43 pm

  109. I remember muffin and muff-diver usage in Canada and another was "beaver" although its usage varied between Eastern and Western Canada. In Eastern Canada, Smoky the Bear said "save a tree, eat a beaver" but out west, one correspondent wrote a cutline for a photo of some beautiful young ladies in a (no-kidding) Beaver Club contest for the newspaper and said that Vancouver is known for having the best beavers in the west. Could be, but Vancouver's erotic listings in the yellow pages seem to cater to men seeking older matronly women, perhaps because of an abundance of pubic hair. Back in Montreal, one of the posh restaurants at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel was called the Beaver Club. Back when I started in television, the cameraman almost fell off his stool when the sports announcer asked the huge lady weighlifter he was interviewing if he could see her "snatch"
  110. whitebeard on Internal derangement.
    May 23rd, 2008  7:18 pm

  111. The current discussion sent my brain in awkward family name alert and I caught this just a few minutes ago "Kathleen Titsworth, a banking department spokeswoman" There is a large Titsworth clan, although one Ann Titsworth also goes by the stage name Tammy Tittie. Can this discussion ever end peacefully and gracefully?
  112. whitebeard on Glorious freedom.
    May 2nd, 2008  5:43 am

  113. Some people believe whatever they read without thinking about the logic involved or how farfetched it is; they also believe what they hear or half-hear and it becomes gospel. Case in point, I read a news item on the air in The Soo about a high level of strontium-90 found in some milk from cows in Western Canada. Six months later a woman called and asked whether it was now safe to drink the milk produced by two local dairies in The Soo. Huh? I always like to kid the folks about life in The Soo, kayak woman, nine months of winter and three months of poor sledding, or would that now be three months of poor snowmobiling. And sure, you can swim at Lake Superior beaches, on July 15 between two and four in the afternoon.
  114. whitebeard on Scowly.
    May 2nd, 2008  5:40 pm

  115. Ah, sweet Google, where I only rate a paltry 608 entries at last peek, but as for "The Spanish designer Manolo Blahnik creates the most sought-after shoes in the world," and his 990,000 entries, I confess a total lack of knowledge and firsthand sightings. But I, too, claim a glowering appearance (even when I smile, damn it). It has made for questions like "what precinct do you work out of?" when meeting police on the street or at a party.
  116. WhiteBeard on Scowly.
    May 2nd, 2008  6:26 pm

  117. I carried around a picture of a lovely British Sunbeam shaft-drive motorcycle for five years when I was in my teens; maybe that is why my sister kept on setting me up with dates (with girls, not bikers)
  118. whitebeard on Farewell, you %#&$.
    June 23rd, 2008  3:59 pm

  119. Jeff, thank you for the Obetz story. My nickname is B'ar (or Bear) so I am always interested in my furry cousins. When a friend from Nebraska was with me on a visit to an anthropology museum in Ohio he thought he had found a kindred spirit when I agreed with him that I did not believe that humans, or those resembling such, had descended from apes. But he was taken aback when I stated emphatically that we had descended from bears.
  120. whitebeard on I love you guys.
    June 9th, 2008  1:23 am

  121. Wow, Judith, your comment at the end of your letter: "Racism and bigotry are what they are, and they cannot be covered up by calling them “patriotism.” is a worthy slap-in-the-face at the columnist. Imagine, the definition of full-blooded American applying only to white Americans. My grandson was born in Connecticut and he is a full-blooded American in my opinion and could run for president some day, but he also has roots as a West Indian, as a Black American, as a Black Canadian with a little Irish thrown in, and as a Canadian Indian his people watched from the shore as the Europeans landed. Obama's selection as the nominee-to-be is both a turning point and a tipping point in the story of America and it will never be totally the same again, thank God.
  122. whitebeard on The props.
    June 9th, 2008  8:01 pm

  123. My wife's mother had a Corvair that she zipped around in, but one day she drove off to work and came back 10 minutes later and told the family they would not believe what happened. The car stalled and she lifted the lid in back and she said it looked like the engine had fallen down. Which it had of course, because the last mechanic had not checked the engine mounts. She then zipped around in a Mustang and the engine never fell down.
  124. whitebeard on Procrastination.
    August 18th, 2008  6:57 pm

  125. To unclog writer's block, I play six games of Solitaire (Klondike for me, my wife plays Spider) then one game of Canasta and one game of Criibbage. When I was working at my newspaper full time, I played real face-to-face Cribbage for half an hour (lunch break) with my computer programmer friend each day for 18 years (less vacation time, election nights and severe trauma in computer room) I do spend more than 90 minutes a day surfing the Internet because I am a news junkie, but then I compile a weekly free-lance newspaper column of auto industry news, so I guess it can count as paid work as well.
  126. whitebeard on Revenue streams.
    June 25th, 2008  9:30 pm

  127. There was once a fake customer service response on FaceBook to a wrong order to a sex boutique that read along the lines of "We are sorry that we cannot supply the extra-large red dildo you ordered from our website store photo (photo attached) because that is our fire extinguisher." It had me truly rolling on the floor laughing and my wife asked if I was all right, which made me laugh even more. As a retired copy editor, the prospects are scary today, what with outsourcing to India and pencil-pushers wielding a sharp axe to increase the bottom line. When I was a wire editor in The Soo, I would hop in my Austin 850 (the original of the BMW Mini, only much smaller) after work and deliver newspaper bundles to paperboys. It included one drug store, because it was across the street from the tavern where I delivered a fresh copy of the newspaper to the publisher who was taking the public pulse there every weekday. It was a great gig because the IRS equivalent in Canada let me deduct gasoline and car repair costs and I had fun. I also started hobby farming and a horrible rainy spring drowned my potato crop and the taxman declared it a regional disaster and sent me a letter listing all kinds of other items I could deduct. Here I was gloating with a basketful of tax deductions and the news editor at the next desk tried to deduct mileage costs for going to fires and such and the taxman disallowed it because he didn't need to go there.
  128. whitebeard on Home of the losers.
    September 10th, 2008  1:28 am

  129. Love those wacky ads from the past; I have bookmarked them for my nightly pleasure. On the Lysol "solution," one family friend would douche with vinegar after an STD encounter and when I was accused (unfairly) of wanting to go to bed with her, my response was that I didn't want my cucumber pickled just yet.
  130. whitebeard on Beyond the fence.
    May 19th, 2008  11:34 pm

  131. If Obama wins and the House and Senate get solidly Democratic, Republicans will be in the desert for another 40 years. Of, course, it may take 10 years to restore the financial system, 20 years to restore the U.S. image around the world and 30 years for some new Republicans to surface and wonder why they are holding their convention in a phone booth.
  132. whitebeard on Sunday fried fish.
    June 3rd, 2008  5:40 am

  133. The web is not uncommon, I have met other old fogies who had the same thing although not as bad as mine that required a diet of baby food for too many months. They even have various sizes of upside-down miniature Christmas trees that are poked through the narrow opening to widen it. To add to the fun, my throat has a hard time swallowing because it's allergic to some unknown food, probably red meat, which causes frequent choking when eating. I always try to sit next to someone big enough to administer the Heimlich maneuver on me. I also try to avoid red meat so I don't choke in the first place.
  134. whitebeard on Refill on that?
    July 23rd, 2008  12:51 pm

  135. I can relate to Starbucks because the bottled Vanilla Frappacino caffeine really hits the spot, unusual because I cannot drink real coffee, even though I would always volunteer to grind the coffee beans (love the aroma) for the lunch room in the first newspaper for me. Being a young man, I would occasionally go out drinking with the gang and then have a coffee to "sober up" and get violently sick. It wasn't until I had coffee with a friend at the laundromat in the daytime that I discovered that it was the coffee that was making me sick and not the booze. From then on, I never got sick and never got a hangover, although after I had five bottles of white wine for lunch one time, my restaurant friend said he had never seen a happier drunk. Could be, I guess, because I bought my wife a sewing machine desk, or whatever they call it, carried it home on my back with some ropes, carefully hid it in our third-floor aspartment and couldn't find it for about three months. It was OK to drink in The Soo or Montreal because I could always get a cab or even walk home when we lived downtown, but after one party with mucho free wine after moving to Connecticut, I decided it was not safe to drink and then drive 46 miles home. So I stopped party drinking, but didn't stop partying. I think I have had about half a dozen glasses of liquor (usually rum, I avoid white wine because it tends to flow too easily) in the past quarter century on occasions when I did not have to drive anywhere. And guess what, I am just as wildly happy, outrageously flirtatious and hilariously critical of Republicans when I don't drink.
  136. whitebeard on Sunday fried fish.
    June 3rd, 2008  2:35 am

  137. I had the gastroentero whatever and the doctor found a web growing across my stomach entrance so he punched a hole in it with the camera to start with. but the strange part is that novacaine could not be used to numb the passageway because I am severely allergic to anything ending in caine. So they knocked me out, greased up the camera tube and did their poking. I do not remember a doctor ever suggesting a colonoscopy but both my parents never had colon problems and lived into their mid-eighties.
  138. whitebeard on The long drive.
    June 2nd, 2008  11:02 am

  139. Dexter. I can even remember traffic lights to regulate the flow of vehicles at certain times of the day. Of course, most freeways have recommended speed limits for entrance ramps; they must be only recommended because no one pays attention. I also remember 55 mph speed limits during the oil shortage; perhaps the double nickel (55) should be reinstated because of the shortage of money to pay for our soon-to-arrive $5 gasoline and $6 diesel fuel. Set the thermostats to 55 also; you look good in blue in the northern states.
  140. whitebeard on Friday, finally.
    November 21st, 2008  11:25 pm

  141. JB, we moved to Connecticut in 1981 and the country life. Before that we lived in Montreal, right downtown, where I could walk to work at Canadian National Railways headquarters in 20 minutes and my wife could walk to McGill University in seven minutes where she took graduate courses in anthropology. But we also could walk in 15 minutes through a park to the top of Mount Royal, which has a magnificent sky-high view of Montreal and offered a lot of nature in a major world city.
  142. whitebeard on My 9/11 movie.
    October 8th, 2008  2:25 am

  143. I didn't get a chance to be "dazed and frightened and confused and angry and depressed" because I watched the first tower fall on TV where my wife and I were having breakfast and I rushed to get my car to drive to work at my newspaper and worked there straight out for almost 14 hours. Connecticut's southwestern corner is a bedroom community to Manhattan and the home to many victims of the attacks on the towers. It's not a case of news people being immune to the effects of a tragedy (I volunteered to talk to the wife of a friend after her little boy strangled to death when his scarf got caught in the outdoor clothesline) but we deal with it on a different level. Still, it took me years before I could go to the site in lower Manhattan.
  144. whitebeard on Parasites.
    July 25th, 2008  3:33 am

  145. If the railroad track wasn't so damned heavy, a lot more of it would be disappearing, but today's standard 60-foot length of rail weighs 2,600 pounds and needs a lot of cutting to fit in the back of a pickup truck (and would probably be much too heavy for the truck's springs). Even the old standard of 39 feet to fit in a 40-foot-long gondola car for seldom-used branch lines weighed 1,690 pounds. Has anyone seen the old movies of a dozen or more Chinese laborers struggling to lift a single piece of rail to fit it into place on the wooden ties. A dedicated scrapper would need a lot of friends. Since the 1950s, says Wikipedia, much of the main line trackwork is continuously welded rail, also known as ribbon rail, for smoother riding. Try slicing that, you evil scrappers hiding under boulders committing fellatio like the smarmy snakes you are.
  146. whitebeard on The long drive.
    May 31st, 2008  10:12 pm

  147. I would have to say that my favorite car might be the next one I drive, but I loved my original Mini, an Austin 850 that got about 50 mpg. The Cadillac CTS-V was an impressive offering from a staid old company that Cadillac actually raced. The old and New Beetles brought back a lot of good memories, especially the old Beetle that would start floating when the underpass flooded. I put tire chains on my 1954 Buick Super convertible, red and white of course, and drove through winter storms like a tank and would haul a small boat out to camp in back after I took out the seat cushion in the summer. I have driven more than a thousand cars for a week at a time over the years and I am always constantly surprised at what the automotive engineers and designers can do that is sheer perfection and then completely miss the boat sometimes. By the way, Nancy, thank you for the Argentina-Dearborn trip story; I have asked Ford to send me a jpg so I can submit it to the newspaper I freelance for.
  148. whitebeard on We can do it.
    June 30th, 2008  7:07 pm

  149. Ah, health care issues are meat and potatoes to any Canadian worth his salt. I was on the city desk at The Montreal Star when universal health care or single-payer health care came into being in Quebec, after a brief unpleasant battle between a band of money-grubbing doctors with really fat wallets and the architects of a health care system that CARED. As for the Canadian system (with each province in charge of its own health care role) being in ruins, what a bunch of hogwash. In any system, health, taxes, transportation, you can find a headline-grabbing incident and claim it represents a complete failure. I have Medicare here in Connecticut, which is a federal single-payer system and will stay that way if the Repuglicans are driven out of the temple in this general election. And as for Claude Castonguay's task force report on the need for user fees and a Quebec sales tax, "He took issue with how media reports interpreted his recommendations and said they were misrepresented as a road map to privatization." CBC News back on Feb. 20 http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/02/20/qc-castonguayreax0220.html?ref=rss
  150. whitebeard on What election?
    July 31st, 2008  5:46 pm

  151. We are all glad to see you back, even if you want some more deep hypnotic drugs. How can a bird cage liner of any sort not cover an election, the world becomes more baffling each day.
  152. whitebeard on We can do it.
    June 30th, 2008  7:34 pm

  153. When I wrote about that band of money-grubbing doctors with really fat wallets that pretended to speak for every doctor in the province of Quebec, I forgot to mention the good guys, the good doctors who did care. When the general practioners went on strike against the plan and held a meeting and my newspaper's medical reporter went AWOL (he said he was hungry so he stopped for lunch on the biggest story of the decade) I called the head honcho at the meeting and asked if they had voted to return to work. He answered that, of course, they were going back to work and I knew in my mind that his fellow doctors favored universal health care and no worries about being paid in a timely fashion. In the next decade before I moved south to the U.S., after numerous doctor visits, hospital emergency room visits, hospital stays and even major eye surgery (a detached retina) I never heard a doctor or hospital worker complain about the new system, and believe me, I asked every chance I could.
  154. whitebeard on Oliver Stone's revenge.
    July 29th, 2008  6:51 pm

  155. Do you remember the debate on what can be done in Photoshop to change photos and how far can you go. Well, the LA Times is going to see how far with its new Sunday magazine at http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=129945 The comment ""You cannot Photoshop or alter photography at all if it comes from a newsroom," Ms. Anderson pointed out. LA will not be so constrained. "You know the magazine world," she said," should open up some interesting debates. Let's see. Yes. Can you subsitute a Pepsi can for that Coke can? Of course we can.
  156. whitebeard on Oliver Stone's revenge.
    July 29th, 2008  6:59 pm

  157. W. is on my fall movie schedule for sure now; I was waiting for the other Stone to drop for a long time.
  158. whitebeard on Today, I'm Pat Parsley.*
    May 15th, 2008  3:00 am

  159. Re: Inside joke for Fort Wayners: Pat Parsley was the byline on the recipe-exchange column in my old newspaper. The woman who wrote it, most weeks, was named Susan. More MSM lies! The nickname Pat Parsley was better than my name "Sew What's New" for a sewng column in my old newspaper where you could order sew-it-yourself patterns. I also had a pollution gauge each day and if you were downwind from the refineries east of Montreal the sulphur fumes would eat holes in pantyhose, which was somewhat disturbing and scary too.
  160. whitebeard on Today, I'm Pat Parsley.*
    May 14th, 2008  11:51 pm

  161. My wife said to add some Feta cheese to the baked chicken/spinach dish to get a little zing.
  162. whitebeard on Today, I'm Pat Parsley.*
    May 14th, 2008  10:37 pm

  163. All those recipes made me hungry so I went to the icebox for the leftovers from last night's dinner. My wife layers bits of cooked chicken, canned spinach (inexpensive Popeye brand from Aldi's) and cream cheese in a baking dish and tosses it in the oven. I love it, even though I was thrown off chicken when my Dad raised chickens (five meals a week) and traded the eggs for sugar coupons so he could make his own beer. He also raised Giant Flemish rabbits who were so big and so mean the foxes didn't stand a chance.
  164. whitebeard on Are you OK?
    May 11th, 2008  6:14 am

  165. I cannot sit idly by, Caliban, while you demonize Howard Dean; he actually ran for the Democratic National Committee post and won it, fair and square, from under the Washington establishment's noses. He turned the Democratic Party into a 50-state party instead of blindly following the Terry McAwful pick-and-choose foolishness. Dean is the reason the House turned Democratic and proved that people, ordinary people, can be energized, which is what provides the support for Obama. I met Dean and I got good vibes from him; I went to an Obama rally and got good vibes as well, especially from the mix of people in the crowd. Face it, Caliban, progress is going to roll right over you like a Sherman tank and you will be left sputtering stupid obscenities in the dirt. Michigan and Florida broke the rules and they got what they deserve. Since when do people get rewarded for lawlessness.
  166. whitebeard on Send caffeine.
    September 29th, 2008  9:39 pm

  167. I am reminded of the famous line in a gangster movie "The blood will run in the streets, Joey" and I am thinking of Wall Street in particular. Tums can't help on this one, LAmary
  168. whitebeard on Less pump pain.
    May 29th, 2008  3:48 am

  169. In Montreal, didn't think too much about gasoline prices, walked to work in about 20 minutes from the duplex. On vacations, took the passenger train (free on employee/spouse passes) and rented a car at the other end. Grocery store around the corner would deliver phoned-in orders. Even when we lived away from downtown, the Metro (subway) was a block and a half away from our nine-room, $100 flat, and took 20 minutes to our jobs, which were about two blocks apart.
  170. whitebeard on Less pump pain.
    May 28th, 2008  11:58 pm

  171. Kirk. When I was a kid, a couple of us went to a nearby shed where the neighbor had bottled his own beer and discovered the device that squeezes the cap on the bottle. We then opened up a few freshly brewed bottles and replaced the beer with some that had been circulated through our kidneys, you know, like recycling. We never heard a peep from the neighbor; maybe he thought he had accidentally made some true American beer or had not let it ferment enough.
  172. whitebeard on Less pump pain.
    May 28th, 2008  11:03 pm

  173. From www.fueleconomy.gov "Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town." Now if those arrogant stupid speeders were only taught to read before they left first grade, we might be better off. As for fake gas, the Germans made their own ersatz gasoline – synthetic fuel manufactured from coal in World War II. Germany also used carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane to make liquid hydrocarbons (synthetic oil). And Germany invaded Russia to get at Russian oil fields. Does anybody see a parallel to Iraq or a reason for all the propaganda for an attack on Iran?
  174. whitebeard on The service economy.
    May 13th, 2008  8:22 pm

  175. It's difficult to be absolutely unacquainted with the latest in fashion trends and the switch from upscale fashion-wise Montreal to downscale New England reinforced that feeling. When my oldest daughter visited from Montreal and got off the plane at the airport, I thought she had on a cotton nightgown because someone had confiscated her luggage and was going to suggest she go back home and get some proper clothes that were less "inappropriate." "Oh, Daddy." she said, "this is what everyone is wearing in Montreal." I can remember, years earlier, when my youngest brother was visiting Montreal with his wife and was fascinated by the mannequins in store display windows who had very obvious nipples. I, in turn, pointed out Montreal girls who were wearing tight dresses with no bras and said "Look, Bill, real nipples." I got my comeuppance, however, when I pointed to his gaudy shirt hanging in the closest and was told it was his wife's "dress." His second wife dressed much more appropriately.
  176. whitebeard on Lightning strikes twice.
    May 13th, 2008  5:58 pm

  177. Re invading Burma, I wonder how many countries considered a humanitarian military invasion after El Presidente refused countless offers of financial and material aid to the stricken people of New Orleans (yes, New Orleans, one of the most beautiful cities in North America). His reasoning was that "we" can handle it, the handling being to award the lucrative mortuary contract to a Texas pal to stack the victims' bodies days before the infamous "Brownie" could even get his act together and get FEMA fully on the scene. New Orleans is still waiting for the "handling" to be completed as promised. Don't get me started. And, Caliban, the "progressive horseshit" you mentioned, I have always believed that the English language's so-called leading example of an oxymoron being the phrase "military intelligence" was easily trumped by the Canadian political party known as the Progressive Conservative Party.
  178. whitebeard on Lightning strikes twice.
    May 13th, 2008  5:03 pm

  179. I just read that Washington Post article and it hit home, seeing as we are raising our grandson who is a combination of Canadian Indian and African-American and born in the USA. When he was told by another young lad at summer camp that his (white) "people" saved my grandson's "people" from slavery, I politely countered with the fact that our grandson's "people" were standing on shore watching the first Europeans land. That young lad became our grandson's staunchest defender for the rest of the summer. One conversion at a time in my lily-white section of America.
  180. whitebeard on Lightning strikes twice.
    May 13th, 2008  12:00 am

  181. I have a maple by the side of the house that we plan on having cut down; this photo adds more urgency to the plan. Also our dooryard maple, more than three stories high, has a dead limb in the center; that too should be cut away, although there are a dozen cables reinforcing the rest of the huge limbs in the event of high winds. Maple makes great firewood for the wood stove. I heard something fascinating (not awesome) on the weekend; when you burn birch logs the smoke smells like root beer.
  182. whitebeard on Marital aids.
    May 12th, 2008  7:53 pm

  183. Ah, the old newspaper days when the censors were on every floor including one stunningly beautiful composing room person who made a grand fuss about a perceived camel-toe in a swim suit ad and it never saw print, thanks to her vigilance. Then there was the person who bought bad-word finder software that was so dumb that it blocked any mention of a VW Passat because there was an "ass" lurking there to contaminate young readers under 62. In Montreal, the abbreviation of the Confederation of National Trade Unions being CNTU, proofreaders were on constant lookout for mixing up of the letters. In The Soo, the composing room foreman pounced on me first thing in the morning to change the Ann Landers headline that read "A Good Frig Is All She Needs." Perhaps she also required that kind of attention, but what she really needed was a good refrigerator to keep her box lunch cold. The headline on a pet store in another paper "Two Friends Like To Do It Doggie-Style" made the first edition and the headline writer did find a job at another newspaper. Back to Canada, the story about Karsh, the famous photographer of prime ministers and the like. including Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau whose photo was hanging on the gallery wall in Parliament, accepting lesser assignments, earned the headline "Now You Too Can Be Hung Like Trudeau." Another Montreal story about the decrease in the number of pawn shops with their distinctive three golden globes to attract attention. "Man With Three Balls Rare Sight On (Whatever) Street."
  184. whitebeard on No more pencils.
    June 11th, 2008  6:16 pm

  185. A possum got in the house through the cat door and attacked the broom I chased it with; it was a vicious large beast that even frightened the dog, a German shepherd. I trapped it in a Have-a-Heart cage, drove it to the center of town beside a busy highway. IT came back, even more menacing. I trapped it again, drove it over three rivers, looked for pit bulls for it to play with and left it in a gravel pit. IT never came back. Be safe, drive fast and far. Did you hear the one about the Islam fanatic who did his martyr bit and went to Hell where 72 very mean Virginians were waiting for him.
  186. whitebeard on Less pump pain.
    May 29th, 2008  3:30 am

  187. KW (and Soo Ste. Siberia) LOL?, Cannot be Siberia; I was born in The Soo and the worst cold I ever experienced was in Montreal at 40 below on Christmas Day back in the mid-70s, where we lived in a stone-front, upper-lower duplex a few blocks from McGill University. And Ottawa was then the coldest national capital in the world, even Moscow (nicknamed the Big Potato, really) was warmer.
  188. whitebeard on Less pump pain.
    May 29th, 2008  3:54 am

  189. Here, in Connecticut I made up for being spoiled in Montreal, 46 miles (one-way) to my work, no public transportation, nearest grocery was four miles away, changed into a deli a few years back and now is closed, so it is a 18-minute drive to nearest grocery stores, banks, you name it.
  190. whitebeard on What gets left.
    August 13th, 2008  11:27 pm

  191. Remember when you had to "rent" a Bell telephone to have a second phone in the house and Bell would routinely measure all the phone lines to see if a second "illegal" phone had been installed. The trick was to disconnect the bell on the added telephones so it would not show the extra ringer coil impedance or resistance in the circuit.
  192. whitebeard on Parasites.
    July 25th, 2008  2:38 am

  193. The question about "nightly nookie" Jeff reminds me about what a "morner" is and the answer is that it is like a nooner, only sooner. Of course that reminds me of a conversation with a young female acquaintance who said that she would not be going to lunch because she had a cold and could not drink any alcohol. When I mentioned that you didn't have to have a drink at lunch to have a fun time, she said if anybody else said that she might be offended, but when I said it she didn't mind, because I had no ultererior motive in my words. That is when the conversation turned to "nooners" and "morners." Lordy, she must have thought I was the original 39-year-old virgin.
  194. whitebeard on The long drive.
    June 2nd, 2008  4:14 am

  195. Dorothy, Bassett, Please Caliban and his rants are known as free speech, protected by the law of the land, last I heard. We can, if we wish, decide to ignore and not read what he writes, but he is like a diamond in the rough, uncut, unpolished and definitely not a perfect typist. Sometimes, I am upset by what he writes and express my displeasure, but I will vigorously defend his right to post his comments, as I would hope he defends my right.
  196. whitebeard on A man after my own heart.
    June 10th, 2008  2:41 am

  197. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) wrote: "All true Catherine — the problem is answering the question whether 40,000 injured Americans along with 4,000+ killed, and 50,000 to 130,000 or more civilian deaths worse than what would have happened if we hadn’t gone into Iraq?" And the answer is: Since when did the USA become the world's policeman when the United Nations is available, the world's sponsor of democracy in countries that do not accept democracy and become the world's deepest wallet for fat-cat war profiteers from Haliburton to Blackwater, especially when the justification for Iraq was all blatant lies and criminal untruths.
  198. whitebeard on Behind closed doors.
    June 25th, 2008  4:55 am

  199. I laughed with all the rest of you over Lee Abrams Tribune memo linked here, including the point about "15. MAPS: We are in the GPS age. The eye candy age (and I'm not talking about Page 3)..." My laughter was squelched when I saw my newspaper's story today about arrests made after two dead bodies were dumped on interstate ramps in Connecticut and saw the link to two Google Earth captures of the ramps, a photograph of the street where an arrest took place and another street scene photo showing the building where the murders allegedly took place. It's the GPS age, but GPS stands for God Preserve Us in this case. I plead guilty, however, as a young radio reporter, standing on the waterfront in The Soo and talking for hours live on the air from our mobile unit about the royal yacht Britannia, sans Princess Elizabeth, anchored in the St. Mary's River. Back at the station, my control room host would not take back the mike, despite many hints and pleas from me until the police called and said the broadcast was creating the traffic jam of traffic jams and would I please shut up. Later, during her actual visit, I took photographs and a short film clip of Princess Elizabeth visiting the steel plant. Those were the glory days, Film at 6 and 11. By the way, the Britannia is now anchored at Edinburgh, Scotland, http://www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk/ can be hired for corporate events and is open for tours during the day. "Look out for the on-board Garage housing one of Her Majesty’s Rolls-Royces."
  200. whitebeard on Just keep driving.
    June 10th, 2008  9:14 pm

  201. The Narnia chronicles are a good bet for summer reading, provided we have an ordinary summer. We are in the fourth day of a heat wave with heat plus humidity equal to over 100. Most schools have been closing early yesterday and today. Heavy rains Saturday with thunderstorms with 4,000 lightning strikes in small Connecticut, including one lightning death. More thunderstorms fprecast for tonight and believe it or not, a tornado watch this afternoon. It pales in comparison to the Midwest deluges, I know, but the air is so heavy it is hard to breathe here.
  202. whitebeard on No more pencils.
    June 11th, 2008  6:36 pm

  203. James, that really sucks big time. When I had my detached retina (left eye) almost four decades ago, I had noticed is so quickly and gone to a doctor that it fell back in place overnight and the eye surgeon scolded an intern for not being able to draw it on a sheet of paper. Even after the surgeon welded it securely, no lasers then, it was so hidden in one corner that he asked me if I would mind being a test patient for his surgucal classes. I agreed, the guy had saved my sight. Even today, eye doctors have great difficulty spotting the buckles where the retina was reattached. In recent years, cataracts flared up and I have two implant prescription lenses so I basically see beyond nine inches without the powerful eyeglasses that I bought with my first job when I was 16. I worked at a movie theater and couldn't see the screen clearly until a cute usherette (remember those) let me try on her glasses and I realized what I had been missing up to then. I couldn't see the blackboard in school so I would walk by slowly and memorize the homework questions and write them down when I was outside the classroom.
  204. whitebeard on Will I get a souvenir DVD?
    July 30th, 2008  6:14 pm

  205. Demerol is cool, royally loosens my inhibitions. The first time I was given it was before ingrown toenail surgery, following by a general sleepytime drug. When the doctor came back after I woke up, he said I had set their whole schedule back 20 minutes because they couldn't stop laughing about the demerol-induced tag I had put on my good big toe saying "Not this toe, the other one!!"
  206. whitebeard on Friday, finally.
    November 21st, 2008  10:42 pm

  207. JB, wild turkeys are protected in Connecticut and they are numerous where I live "in the country" and it's comical that drivers, who will not pull off the road when police cars drive by, will stop in both directions to let a wild turkey and her brood cross the road. It's also touching to hear the mother turkey call to the last little guy to follow the others and cross the road. There are no turkey-crossing signs to match the deer-crossing signs because the turkeys cross where they damn well please. They also fly straight as an arrow with a magnificent wingspread and roost in the trees when they are not stopping traffic or raising their brood.
  208. whitebeard on Parasites.
    July 25th, 2008  2:03 am

  209. A chap came by and asked my wife if she had any scrap metal and she made a a giant heap for him and he cherry-picked the good stuff and left the rest. Suffice to say, when he resurfaced a few months later, we told him we promised it all to someone else. But the worst fat, ass-crease-revealing slob was the gutter man who put on a new front gutter and when he asked if we wanted him to haul away the old gutter (copper, no less) we said no, leave it for us, we will find a use for it. Lo and behold, when he and his young daughter left, they had taken the old copper gutter from the front, picked out pieces of copper from that previously mentioned giant heap, and then, believe it or not, Ripley, ripped out a flattened copper gutter from the grass that was directing rainwater away from the basement wall at the back. I called two scrap yards, asked how much that many feet of old copper gutter was worth, called his home-based business and told his wife how he took the copper when we told him to leave it for us. When she said he probably took it for gas money because he doesn't make much money from seamless-gutter jobs, I blew up, and said that when the homeowner says leave the copper, taking it is stealing and ripping it out of the ground at the back of the house is even worse. And what kind of example was he giving to his 14-year-old daughter who was helping him steal. She asked how much should she put on the check she was going to mail me that afternoon before he got home. I also bet he didn't get his nightly nookie at the end of his hard-working day.
  210. whitebeard on Open primaries.
    July 25th, 2008  7:57 pm

  211. The big supermarkets and food producers have us in their grip and react strongly to any notion to control them. Have you ever gone to a giant supermarket and been told your favorite product is no longer made but then you find it in smaller locally-owned grocery stores. That's because the manufacturer has dared to refuse to pay the big supermarket "blackmail" for shelf space to carry its product. Yes, that happens all the time. There is even an extra fee charged the suppliers for the coveted end-of-aisle display. Sometimes, the shelf wars become hilarious; in one local giant supermarket near me, the store manager had to end a squabble between soft drink rivals, which alomost came to physical blows, by using a tape to measure out the exact shelf space "bought" by the bottlers. And, products will vanish because the store's damned computer will note that sales of that product have decreased and curb purchases. Even if sales are down because the shipment was lost en route because of a highway accident, the computer is king when it comes to re-ordering and couldn't care less that the product didn't arrive. Computers are quick, but they are essentially dumb and do whatever they are told to do. Take the famous, or infamous, time a copy editor used the word-replace function to be politically correct and the city budget story reported how finances, which had been in the red for years, were now in the African-American.
  212. whitebeard on What gets left.
    August 13th, 2008  10:52 pm

  213. Getting physical to get free pay phone calls can be inventive. At a veteran's hospital in Montreal in the 70s, there was a pay phone on wheels that would be rolled around and plugged in to make a call, with coins of course. But the resourceful veterans found that if you tipped the phone to the left side, the coin mechanism thought it had been fed a quarter and gave a dial tone and a free call. The telephone company responded by putting in a mercury switch that cut off the circuit if the rolling phone was tilted to the left. The veterans responded by tilting the phone cabinet to the right, bingo, another mercury switch was put in; to the back, another mercury switch; tilted forwards for a free call, another phone company mercury switch. The telephone war ended when a squad of veterans turned the phone upside down and the phone company raised the white flag and surrendered to its fate. I might have mentioned this before but when I was calling my wife-to-be from a phone booth in the New Haven, Connecticut, bus station, New Haven being the birthplace of the first telephone book in 1878, I got more than a free call. The phone started giving me quarters like a slot machine; I dialed the operator but she said she could not stop the mechanism. My wife-to-be was astonished, amused, tickled pink and grinning as I dipped into two full pockets of quarters for sodas, newspapers, gasoline (remember 23-cent-a-gallon gasoline) for the entire weekend.
  214. WhiteBeard on What a weasel wants.
    August 30th, 2008  12:34 pm

  215. My wife is a political science major, has followed politics all her life, thinks this year is the best yet, politically speaking. After listening to the talking heads, surfing the internet to find out Palin's views on everything, she has come to this startling conclusion. McCain picked Palin because she is, get this, shorter than he is . . . even with her hairdo . . . and that is his guiding criteria. And i sincerely hope that he waits at least two weeks until he hits on Palin, his other guiding criteria.
  216. WhiteBeard on Who made thee?
    August 30th, 2008  12:28 pm

  217. When I was a child we had giant Flemish rabbits who were aptly named, were extremely vicious to everyone and could outweigh and beat up any fox that showed up. Their purpose was to provide an alternative meal to chicken and to keep little sisters warm. Two rabbits were enough to make a long fur coat for a young girl.
  218. whitebeard on Send caffeine.
    September 29th, 2008  8:01 pm

  219. I see that my paper, The Hartford Courant, also a Tribune newspaper, came out with its redesign on Sunday, huge photo on the front covers Sunday and today, fewer weekday sections; I haven't checked the reader comments yet, but they have been very nasty in general lately after reporter buyouts. Sunday's cover was an incredible tribute to Paul Newman, who lived in Connecticut; Monday's cover was a big well-written and well-researched piece on Connecticut's big player in the federal buyout, Senator Chris Dodd. and donations from the financial industry.
  220. WhiteBeard on Bye.
    October 14th, 2008  7:00 pm

  221. Some interview questions pop up in my mind. What was the first story you wrote? What was the experience in your life that gave more than it took? Who was your biggest influence in your career choice? What is the most money you made in a summer? Why? Where?
  222. whitebeard on A silver lining.
    October 29th, 2008  7:20 pm

  223. The Brits view some words as less taboo than we do. My British-born co-worker had to suggest to her mother who was a volunteer in a local hospital that she stop using the phrase "Keep your pecker up" as she said goodbye to male patients she was visiting. In Britain, this would mean "keep your chin up" because pecker is slang for mouth. I don't imagine that pucker up your pecker for a kiss would be used much here in the U.S. either, at least not in seemingly polite circles.
  224. whitebeard on A few words about moose.
    October 10th, 2008  1:17 am

  225. Ah, an angry moose, 1,500 pounds of fury running at 35 mph is something not to mess with. In Northern Ontario years back, a moose heard the horn from an early diesel locomotive and thought it was a triumphant moose boasting of his conquest of a female. What is one to do but charge the other moose. The charging moose died of his injuries but he killed the locomotive on the spot, probably antlers through the radiator, and the train had to wait until a new locomotive was sent up as a replacement. The solution was to change the sound of the diesel horn. Moose are extremely short-tempered and thus are unpredictable; does that remind you of a certain presidential candidate?
  226. whitebeard on What gets left.
    August 13th, 2008  7:32 pm

  227. On the making of noise to let pedestrians know that a electric car is heading in their direction, perhaps the sound of a bicycle bell would be enough, but a souped-up Mustang exhaust rumble would be a tad too much. But, with today's infrared and radar sensor technology, the sound would only have to be turned when live pedestrians were close enough to be hurt. Who knows what NHTSA, whose acronym stands for Never Harshly Troubling Sweetheart Automakers, will come up with after hearings.
  228. whitebeard on What gets left.
    August 13th, 2008  7:19 pm

  229. I agree with Jeff "no one returns phone calls the way they did even a few months ago, let alone one or two years ago." When I am freelance writing, if I do not get a call back or an e-mail answer within a day, that person misses out on being included in the story. But in the very old phone days, when telephone exchanges had electromechanical "stepping" relays (I think they might have been called T Bar systems") and you absolutely had to have an answer as deadlines approached and the line was busy, you could dial (yes, with a real telephone dial) all but the last number and lock up that number for any number of minutes you wanted to wait. And the first words you heard from them when you dialed the last number was that their phone stopped getting calls for the time you had their line on "hold" and you agreed that it must have been something wrong at the damned phone company. Mind you, that trick also froze nine other telephone numbers so you had to use it sparingly. A telephone technician could free up the stepping relay but it would be hard to find among hundreds, maybe thousands of relays back at the telephone exchange office.
  230. whitebeard on The sum-up.
    August 16th, 2008  7:43 pm

  231. You know what they say, Nancy, a picture is worth a thousand words. I used to like ferris wheels until we stopped at the top to let the people at the bottom off and one of our daughters tried to climb out. After she tried to climb out of the little boat going into the scary tunnel ride, we skipped amusement parks forever.
  232. whitebeard on Just doing our part.
    October 7th, 2008  6:43 am

  233. I have read the NY Times' Reckoning series and the Rolling Stone's devastating article on McCain and watched the Dow freefall unfold while sitting in my $25 flea market recliner (feet up to escape The Deluge). I feel like I have been punched by those pieces on McCain and the economy; maybe I should not have read both the same evening. And it is Tuesday in Asia and stocks are still falling. The thermostat in the room we call the library is turned way, way down to keep the bogeyman (the oil delivery truck) from the door and I am wearing a thick sweater and using an imitation Martha Stewart sheepskin lap robe to keep my legs and full stomach warm. I am trying unsuccessfully to be Pollyanna and all I can come up with is that it isn't snowing yet even though it is getting darned cold (40 degrees). Is there a line somewhere about the Winter of Our Discontent? I am still freelance writing, which keeps me in those little bottles of Starbucks vanilla frappucino (or whatever it is called). I rejoice in my grandson's baseball prowess. five batters struck out, one walk and one giant leap from the pitcher's mound to catch a line drive (the only hit by the opposing team in the last two innings) to end the game. At a weekend scrimmage after a game that didn't happen, the coach brought my grandson the baseball he had hit, showing part of the cover ripped off and the innards askew and asked what my grandson had hit it with. Whoever said that a picture was worth a thousand words never talked about megabytes and 14,000 jpegs on my backup hard drive. Just rambling as I try to unlock my writer's block; maybe a movie or TV show (Bones) on hulu.com will help (multiple solitaire games didn't).
  234. whitebeard on Send caffeine.
    September 29th, 2008  10:46 pm

  235. My sides are hurting from watching the SNL Palin Couric video and I think we need some gallows humor based on Alaska's proximity to Russia. To wit; I think Alaska will be the battleground state with thousand of Russian troops and war vehicles fueled by vodka (both troops and vehicles) gathering near the Bering Strait on one border and a Canadian Armed Forces brigade on the other border with the general saying: "we need to help protect Alaskans, they speak almost the same language as we do, eh? And we like hockey also." To underscore the seriousness, Canada has also sent all six of its tanks to Alaska and is trying to jumpstart both of its submarines, which it bought from a used-sub salesman in Britain.
  236. whitebeard on A silver lining.
    October 29th, 2008  7:16 pm

  237. I loved all those credit card offers in the old days, especially the ones with the thick plastic card with your name embossed on it instead of those cheap, filmsy cards they are using these days. Why? Because you could use the thick card to scrape a light coating of frost off your car's windshield. It surely beat hunting for the regular scraper on a dark morning in The Soo. Nowadays I save up my old credit and debit cards, hammer out the name and number and erase the magnetic strip. It will be handy today if I go out because we had our first snow last night, nothing like the electricity-shedding storm further south, in New Jersey, but still snow, nevertheless. The winter of our financial discontent will soon be upon us in full force and I will need many more scrapers. I am trying to write a freelance story about auto leasing and my lead paragraph seems to change every day as the automotive world is shaking and is shaken.
  238. WhiteBeard on Send caffeine.
    September 30th, 2008  2:01 am

  239. A narrower roll of newsprint costs less to purchase, very basic economics and i think fewer separate sections means they can get by with fewer press units running to put out a daily newsaper
  240. WhiteBeard on The end of everything.
    September 5th, 2008  5:00 pm

  241. I agree with Laura on a need for civility. My Canadian vote does not count for much so I am trying to stay out of the political arena although the secessionist talk interests me. I can remember back when there was talk of the Upper Penninsula seceding from the United States until the then-bridge to nowhere (also known as the Mackinac Bridge) was built.
  242. whitebeard on Paging Tim Gunn.
    October 6th, 2008  3:08 am

  243. I just discovered this story, with an interesting wrinkle "LiveScience.com Sun Oct 5, 10:25 AM ET The oldest-known tracks of a creature apparently using legs have been discovered in rock dated to 570 million years ago in what was once a shallow sea in Nevada." and he seemed to be carrying a tiny sign that read "McCain for Cavern Big Cheese"
  244. whitebeard on Rooting for grubs.
    October 7th, 2008  6:58 pm

  245. The Dow has dropped into the red again; so much for the bailing out (hand me the pail, pal; don't just stand there with your mouth hanging open). To mention more agreeable colors than red, my wife's garden provided yellow tomatoes, various and assorted yellow and green squash, green beans, soft yellow corn and now brown potatoes (small but incredibly delicious) and she shops at Aldi's (six bags of groceries for $45-$50 as opposed to one bag at Stop & Shop for $30). We do not live a farm life, just a productive garden and a big wood lot across the road from our old farmhouse and former thirties' alcohol rehab center. I would buy a bicyc;e but my wife is not impressed with my ability to maintain my balance and the nearest bus stops are 35 and 45 minutes away. The Manhattan commuter train is 22 minutes away if I can ever find the station on a bunch of crooked roads. I do not see a second Great Depression happening but I do see fewer $5,000 Armani (or whatever) suits, fewer million-dollar homes and fewer leeches sucking the money out of hedge funds and fancy derivatives. If you have been flipping collateral debt obligations and credit swap defaults (where do they get these names?), you are ideally trained to flip those hamburgers at Burger King but I would not trust you near the cash register.
  246. whitebeard on Get the stretcher.
    September 25th, 2008  6:15 pm

  247. I loved Letterman, played it a couple of times to get the digs just right in my mind, befuddled Canadian that I am. You guys have exciting campaigns and poll-watching as a sport beats watching the snow melt in August. I too am saddened that Jeff, the mild-mannered one decided to hibernate because I respect a different opinion; I may not agree with it, but I respect it. My wife tells me to stop talking about politics but I have such great fun telling Republican jokes (wait a minute, they aren't jokes; they are true).
  248. whitebeard on Tawana told a lie.
    October 26th, 2008  7:38 am

  249. I saw W on Sunday on a rainy afternoon, the scariest truth indeed, but a decent movie. I came home and read something about Daimler closing factories for a month and the insurance industry and hedge funds wanting part of the $700 billion bailout pie. I read of the millionaires' plaything, Cerberus Capital Management, pursuing General Motors by offering the crumbling shell of Chrysler for the rest of GMAC, the GM credit arm, so that GM can shutter its rival's factories. The Bush Legacy will continue for some time after Jan 20th, no matter who wins; it will take years to cleanse the bleeding global economy, to purge the almighty greed, to heal the gaping financial wounds from the Bush administration. Hang in there, friends, hang in there. I am, as you know, a Canadian who cannot vote but I urge you to march to the polling stations or cast your ballot early so that McCain does not get his chance to do more damage.
  250. whitebeard on Detroitywood.
    October 12th, 2008  6:35 pm

  251. During a Canadian army militia exercise I was made up as a maimed soldier, mangled face, broken leg, etc. and some of the young cadets almost threw up when they saw me and were afraid to touch me, much less put me on a stretcher to rescue me. It is amazing what makeup can do, e.g. putting lipstick and a flirty smile on a riot-inciting rabid pitbull almost makes Gov. Sarah Palin look human as long as you drastically lower your standards.
  252. whitebeard on Send caffeine.
    September 29th, 2008  8:56 pm

  253. CNN just gave me a Breaking News e-mail that ''-- Dow industrials fall more than 600 on fears bailout package vote will fail." and I don't have enough Tums left to cope.
  254. WhiteBeard on Paging Tim Gunn.
    October 3rd, 2008  7:14 pm

  255. So my question for the group is: Is it acceptable for a 50-year-old woman to wear her husband’s old motorcycle jacket?……. YES, absolutely, even with one of those thick turtlenecks, sans scarf. It would give you a don't-mess-with-me look when you are talking on your Iphone as you sit on a bench with your bike nearby. As for Palin cloyly winking and flashing those grinning teeth, Is she imitating Tina Faye; is it life imitating parody or parody imitating life? My friend down the road says turn off the sound when she speaks and you get a lip-snarling, mean-looking biker babe with a moose-skinning dagger you wouldn't want to run into in a dark alley. And since when do you say you do not choose to answer the question and switch subjects and just read from your notecards?
  256. whitebeard on A few words about moose.
    October 10th, 2008  6:49 am

  257. Wait a minute, how can Short-Tempered Moose McNasty accuse Obama of associating with terrorist Bill Ayers, when the charges against Ayers were dropped as per Wikipedia "Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers turned themselves in on December 3, 1980, in New York, with substantial media coverage. Charges were dropped for Ayers. Dohrn received three years probation and a $15,000 fine." Can you still be considered a terrorist if you are not convicted as such, do not serve jail time as such and have the charges dropped? On the true moose of this posting, I remember a buddy in the army in The Soo would head north on Algoma Central Railway each year, hunt and kill a moose for winter food for his family. The southbound train would stop wherever a hunter had hauled the moose along the tracks and have a special car in which to hang the moose to bring it back to The Soo.
  258. WhiteBeard on Paging Tim Gunn.
    October 3rd, 2008  8:30 pm

  259. Ok, I confess that I cannot spell Tina Fey's last name, maybe it is an aversion to the word fey from my childhood. But my daughter in Montreal sent this bit. "According to Isabelle Carreau of the blog TV Squad, the newspaper Le Soleil accompanied a story about Palin with a photo from Fey’s most recent “SNL” turn as the candidate. The photo also included Amy Poehler, who played CBS anchor Katie Couric in the sketch." My wife was also appalled about baby Trig being handed over to the young daughter. What is going on here, RePugnant PhotoOp 101?
  260. whitebeard on One more time...
    February 3rd, 2009  9:53 pm

  261. I also get upset when I hear completely destroyed but I want to lash out when I hear completely decimated, which takes some doing, mathematically speaking. Do you think that Tom Daschle is completely humiliated now, or would he have his hopes completely dashed? Hmm, "Daschle Hopes Dashed" would fit in the New York Post, wouldn't it?
  262. whitebeard on Detroitywood.
    October 13th, 2008  4:38 pm

  263. A hearty welcome back, Jeff Even I was agreeing with Caliban but equally frightened by Mark lately; does that mean I should check with my doctor about Lisinopril (although my pancreas reacts badly to blood-pressure medicines and I have BP of 130 over 68).
  264. whitebeard on Detroitywood.
    October 13th, 2008  5:02 pm

  265. Thank you, Caliban. I searched for Leonard Pitts and found a copy of the original column you quoted from http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2008253075_opin12pitts.html Pitts has hit it right on the nose and it is scary;
  266. whitebeard on For your consideration.
    November 12th, 2008  8:08 pm

  267. Loved the Zombies, the gore, the election theme on cemetery voters, the excellent script, the scenes (although I did not get the Hillsdale reference at first), When the cemetery voters issue arose (pun intended) in Connecticut there was an editorial page cartoon of a hearse with a placard in the rear window that said (absentee voter on board) or something like that
  268. whitebeard on Shopping list: Sugar.
    October 30th, 2008  6:30 pm

  269. So the Fed has lowered the rate to.one percent, but not for the ordinary joes and Paulson and crew are still talking about mortgage loan modifications. Socialism for the big guys first, of course, not the middle class. The New York Times says today that AIG has declined to outline how it is using the $90 billion in bailout money and AIG's internal auditor is in seclusion, The congressional backlash against these greedy companies is going to mean blood in the streets, Wall Street, that is. The smarmy hedge funds and banks were short-selling Volkswagen and lost $38 billion because Porsche had a lock on about 75 percent of the shares when it announced its holdings in VW. But sometimes there is payback for the peons. When I needed a big block of ready cash some years back and I borrowed against a savings account that was earning 2 percent I read the fine print. When the loan manager said the rate would be 13 percent, I countered with 4 percent and she said that was impossible until I showed her the regulations that said when you borrow against a savings account, the interest rate is 2 percent above the interest paid on the account. She said huffily that she would see about that, called her boss and came back and signed the loan papers at 4 percent and never spoke to me again when I visited the bank, even though I went out of my way to her desk and said hello. I love reading fine print.
  270. whitebeard on What the market wants.
    November 19th, 2008  9:24 pm

  271. You are right, Nancy, automakers build what consumers want, or try to in any event. But it helps if you have a wide array of choices so you can cope with the need for smaller vehicles when there is a downturn. It wasn't the auto industry that caused the global financial collapse; it was the people who don't drive cars but are driven to work at the investment banks in a limousine and could play with our money in the back seat. Investing used to be putting money into a company you wanted to thrive, not gambling with oil futures, short selling, credit default swaps and other Ponzi schemes. Back again to autos, I am going to speak to a group of fans (I hope) at an out-of-town library Thursday night and I know somebody is going to ask if GM or Chrysler should be left to plunge into bankruptcy. (obviously I think Ford has a better chance of surviving) or get a government bailout. I think all three should get a bailout with strict conditions on building more fuel-efficient vehicles, eliminating dividends (until they recover), closing unproductive factories, and halting bonuses for the people who do not get their hands dirty from actually building cars.
  272. whitebeard on Digging out.
    December 19th, 2008  8:37 pm

  273. Starting to snow here in Connecticut, 16 inches expected; state employees and major company workers released on staggered schedule beginning at 10:30. All schools closed because last year's December storm had students trapped in school buses for up to eight hours. Still have power at my house but thousands in New England who lost power in last week's ice storm are still in the dark.
  274. whitebeard on O.I.D.
    October 17th, 2008  1:35 am

  275. Hmmm, Jolene's words on the ACORN scandal that "It turns out that they are required by law to submit all completed applications." if known by the rabid right is obviously ignored in the campaign attack headquarters. Since when would truth stop the slime and smear squad? It, and the incessant Ayers link accusation reminds me of a joke. How do you tell when McCain is lying? And the answer is when he opens his mouth to speak"
  276. whitebeard on Say goodnight, womyn.
    February 2nd, 2009  5:51 pm

  277. I have not gone to bars on a regular basis, mainly because of the smoking. My lungs are so sensitive I can detect someone lighting up a cigarette, legal or otherwise, two blocks away (which made watching 2001: A Space Odyssey on the McGill campus in Montreal with its accompanying marijuana a very elevating experience). Of course, even the smell of American beer is bothersome and I feel I need to burn my clothes after a visit to a tavern. Canadian beer is stronger I know, but even so, it does not have the aroma of American beer, which seems to be somewhere between camel piss and sheep dung. There, having offended a legion of beer drinkers on this blog, I confess that I have only had a few non-beer drinks since moving to Connecticut in 1981, because of my "iron" will to abstain from drinking and driving.
  278. whitebeard on Tawana told a lie.
    October 24th, 2008  10:43 pm

  279. Gasman, you spoke the truth and deserve some praise for exposing the sex appeal of Gov. Palin, although I wonder if the Republican Viagra set, or dear misguided forever hateful Dwight, swimming in his cesspool of ignorance, will appreciate that the campaign spent about $45,000 so far for the beauty queen pageant, er, election, (per Washington Post and New York Times) for makeup and hair styling and the month of October ain't over yet. And that is not counting the makeup for McCain either. OK, you can give the slacks, blouses and red leather jacket to charity and you can cut off the hair and put it in the wig bin at the Salvation Army thrift shop, but how in hell can you scrape off the makeup.
  280. whitebeard on Shopping list: Sugar.
    October 30th, 2008  5:16 pm

  281. OMG, the video for the Back-Up says you can have a holder for a shotgun on both sides of the bed (just in case the dinner-table shouting match extends to bedtime). Beam me up, Scotty; there is no intelligent life on this planet.
  282. whitebeard on Little luxuries.
    December 16th, 2008  8:05 pm

  283. As Nancy says "Others in the building, not so lucky." On the news pages side, copy editors became proofreaders, so goodbye to proofreaders; copy editors and graphic designers became pagination masters, so goodbye to compositors; in the end two composing room people sent off the news pages, but even before I retired in 2004 I could send directly to the platemaking machines from the news room. Ah, progress?
  284. whitebeard on A Raymond Carver story.
    January 30th, 2009  11:48 pm

  285. I had an editor at a Canadian newspaper who thought that GOP stood for Government Opposition Party, the party that was out of power. That has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? And if President Obama nominates Sen. Gregg to Commerce and the New Hampshire Democrat who is governor names a Democrat to the Senate to make it filibuster-proof, I have a mental image of a herd of elephants linked trunk to tail muttering under their breath about the need for a new image as they head into the political graveyard. The voters have already told the Repugs what they thought of the party image in the mid-term and presidential elections.
  286. whitebeard on It's not you, it's me.
    December 2nd, 2008  1:22 am

  287. Mark, many of your posts start off with "I don’t think I made a snarky comment about .... " Well, obviously, most other people think you were snarky and remarked on it even though you don't think you did. OMG, I hit on what is happening, you still do not realize that the election is over and you are still fighting the same battles with the same tired arguments that didn't work the first time around. Get real, Mark, and don't let the sand in the political desert where you have been banished get in your boots. And watch out for those Republican snakes, they are so shaken that they will bite their "friends" at the drop of a hat.
  288. whitebeard on Go ahead, knock it off.
    December 15th, 2008  4:26 am

  289. Wait a minute, regarding ""He denies any wrongdoing but pled no contest to quickly resolve this private matter," Mulkoff said," in the university paid strange-sex scandal. Isn't that what Senator Craig did after he got caught in the airport men's room and then spent thousands of dollars and hours of court time trying to undo his quick resolution?
  290. whitebeard on Digging out.
    December 22nd, 2008  7:48 am

  291. Brian, I stopped shaving on doctor's orders when I had an eye operation (detached retina) in 1971 and decided I liked the professorial look. It started out red, then speckled, then white. I let my hair grow long in 1995 when we were battling in the courts in Canada to get our grandson back, liked the look again, although grandson and wife insist on a ponytail thingee to keep it out of my eyes when I am with them in public. But I leave my hair loose for my photo with the column in the newspaper.
  292. whitebeard on Miss? Another cocktail.
    February 5th, 2009  10:53 am

  293. The coldest capital is not Moscow, to get really cold the Russians must travel to Ottawa and experience the Canadian air masses first hand. I expected warmer weather when I moved to Connecticut years ago but we have had the coldest January in 15 years and the temperature now is zero and the bathroom pipes have frozen again (about the 10th time this dreaded winter of winters). I am running the electric fan/heater in the bathroom to thaw the pipes and thinking of the 45 degrees forecast for Chicago next week when I am there for the auto show press previews. I am not too worried about leaving the house for Chicago because we have our handyman living with us in the depths of winter while his house nears foreclosure and the Grand Old Public utility has cut off his electricity. Isn't this depression great, just what we needed to cleanse the economy, the markets, the hedge funds and the obscene bonuses from our system. Katrinka has a nice ring to it, with a hint of mischief in the air.
  294. whitebeard on The big dry.
    January 29th, 2009  6:15 pm

  295. Maybe I can start the comments (if I can type faster) with the last paragraph in the New York Times about bonuses on Wall Street despite all the red ink "A poll of 900 financial industry employees released on Wednesday by eFinancialCareers.com, a job search Web site, found that while nearly eight out of 10 got bonuses, 46 percent thought they deserved more." Sure, they deserve more, like tarring and feathering and being ridden out of town on the rails without the benefit of a cozy commuter train keeping them warm on these below freezing days.
  296. whitebeard on Every picture tells a story.
    December 22nd, 2008  9:33 pm

  297. LA Mary, that's my kind of car. I once had a very used Pontiac T1000 that I parked at LaGuardia airport in New York City in a rush to fly to a funeral. When I came back a week later, someone had broken into it, looked at the vintage McDonald's wrappers in the back seat and gently closed the door. Even car thieves were not that desperate to steal those pitiful wheels and would rather walk. In today's economy it might have been a different scenario. One of those greedy, bonus-rich bankers might have taken it to pretend he was down to his last stolen dime.
  298. whitebeard on Garbage in, garbage out.
    April 28th, 2009  5:15 pm

  299. Maybe I will be the first commenter here. I liked the excerpt from Christopher Buckley's book; I saw both honesty and love combined in excellent writing. I lurk here daily at the beginning of my morning Internet surfing; to be also honest, whitebeard describes my 71-year-old appearance and my name is Duncan Haimerl and I write two weekly automotive columns for The Hartford Courant (have been writing about cars since the 1970s in Canada). I am a resident alien; my Connecticut-born wife from a newspaper family was allowed to bring back one husband duty-free in 1981. I have 8,350 hits for "duncan haimerl" (About) - 0.30 s on my Yahoo search engine, although many are duplicates as other newspapers, websites and blogs seem to pick up my question-and-answer columns without paying me of course. My second column is about local auto shows and auto industry news, all dutifully credited as to source. Maybe I should set up my own website with my two weekly columns, some banter about cars, photos of vehicles I drive and reference to my second hobby, railroads big and small. I have not decided to become a U.S. citizen yet because I wanted my Canadian universal health care as a safety net in case I get dreadfully ill. Although I have great hopes as President Obama may eliminate that need as he corrects the U.S. health system and reins in the evil, greedy, slimy, dictatorial, Draconian health insurance companies with their over-compensated CEOs. When I first thought of moving to the U.S. as a 19-year-old Canadian radio reporter who crossed the river in The Soo each weekday to read my news at my American radio station I was told that the first gift I would get would be a one-way, all-expenses-paid flight to South Korea with my very own army uniform.(They don't want 71-year-old, arthritic bodies in Afghanistan, do they?)
  300. whitebeard on Data-mining the past.
    September 26th, 2009  12:42 am

  301. Moe, my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours; fight on!
  302. whitebeard on Happy holidays, heathens.
    December 24th, 2008  7:44 pm

  303. Merry Christmas to you and yours from Connecticut - - - and yours includes all your loyal readers. My birthday treat today is a Chinese lunch as long as the sleet storm we are having does not make the roads too slippery. Ah, Winter wonderland and studded snow tires on all four wheels of the Taurus station wagon. And we did get the bathtub drain thawed, which could be considered an ominously good sign for Christmas Eve.
  304. whitebeard on What fresh hell?
    February 6th, 2009  6:07 pm

  305. Jeff, I vote for Detroit for a long layover, nice quick overhead shuttle trains in the Northwest terminal, wonderful shops; it is so great you might want to stay over longer. On Charlotte, I spent hours there during bad weather and it did not win any gold stars in my travel notebook. I didn't notice the smoking, but I did not feel good, maybe it was more than the unpleasant layover. My handyman friend did not get a quick sale of his small cottage to avoid foreclosure and a public auction on Saturday, so he will be staying with us a lot longer and is doing some odd jobs around the house, cutting some firewood for the small stove in the old kitchen, which he is cleaning up as a one-room apartment. My wife also says he is a gentleman because he helps carry out the garbage unlike the two other lazy males in the household, me at 71 and our grandson at 13.
  306. whitebeard on Send to your whole list.
    February 22nd, 2009  11:19 am

  307. Toyota would be in big, big trouble if it had that many defective transmissions as per the chain letter that earned this many hits "6,230 for “rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission” (About) - 0.31 s |" I don't know many Repugs who drive Toyota Corollas unless I see one at my next speaking engagement. I have already decried the political bashing of the Detroit 3 in print; I'll see how it flies from my bully pulpit (well, they did ask me to speak to their club, didn't they?)
  308. whitebeard on The home investigation.
    January 8th, 2009  4:06 am

  309. Radio daze in a small station, CJIC in The Soo, with an even smaller budget so the good microphone was usually borrowed from the announce booth. Early morning newscast read into the desk lamp while the frantic control room guy tried to grasp words from the ether. On another newcast, this time at night, frantic control room guy watches in horror as two newscasters battle over who is going to read the news. Scripts are torn in half, set on fire, blows are exchanged. Good acting too, because the newcast had been pre-taped and was on the air while the control room guy only heard and saw the mock struggle.
  310. whitebeard on The different Detroits.
    December 24th, 2008  3:40 pm

  311. I have visited Detroit and its suburbs since I was a young whipper-snapper in The Soo and over the years as I wrote about cars in Montreal and Hartford from the 1970s onwards and was very much made aware of the three Detroits. At the auto show, I was given a safe and secure route to test drive some new models and promptly became lost because I am directionally and geographically challenged. I stopped several times and asked for directions and was treated courteously and with laughter every time as I explained my predicament (being a bearded, long-haired, bear in excess of 250 pounds might have encouraged friendliness in the daytime). I peeked in what remained of the windows at Michigan Central Station as a longtime railroad fan, rode the people mover as a transit fan, but stayed at a motel near the tunnel entrance in Windsor that time because it was far cheaper (and I am a Canadian, after all). Yes, Detroit has its problems. but what the Weekly Standard chap wrote could describe any older Northern city where factory shells remain if you deliberately look for them, where poverty exists if you hunt for it, where political malfeasence runs rampant. But in the end, I wouldn't turn down an invitation to visit Detroit again.
  312. whitebeard on The cheaper cuts.
    November 25th, 2008  4:19 am

  313. LA's Union Station is indeed marvelous; I have taken both long-distance and commuter trains from that station on my infrequent trips to the West Coast although I am partial to Grand Central Terminal in New York City because of its grand restoration and the shorter walks to the trains without navigating stairs, my worst enemy these days.
  314. whitebeard on An album.
    January 12th, 2009  9:41 am

  315. Wonderful coverage, it's like being there again, without the aching dogs. Thank you for being our window into automania, Detroit-style.
  316. whitebeard on On generosity.
    December 13th, 2008  2:31 am

  317. Re Dexter says: "I have been dealing with assholes like Dwight for decades…I am a retired UAW worker and I served on union committees and was trustee for our local." I quit high school when I was 16, joined the Steelworkers Union a few years later and was amused and amazed at some of its antics but I was never an anti-union hard-ass like Dwight. Then, after I left to enter the news reporting field, that Steelworkers Union, Local 2251 if I recall correctly, created a group health center for union members and their families that was a model for health care in Canada with its own doctors and specialists that turned the greedy, evil conventional insurance company/private doctor model on its ass and won my praise forever. Unions have done immense good work for worker health, worker safety and worker earnings that have spread to many in the non-union population, but not far enough as long as anti-union, anti-fair pay Draconian thugs like Dwight still breathe. I never officially joined a union again and have done a stint in management but I believe in the right to form a union to oppose management greed, does WalMart ring a bell?
  318. whitebeard on Another one gone.
    November 25th, 2008  1:15 pm

  319. Happy, happy birthday and thanksgiving together
  320. whitebeard on Another one gone.
    November 25th, 2008  8:31 pm

  321. Julie Robinson, holidays and festive events. My birthday was on December 24th in 1937 and I missed being called Noel by thismuch. Yes, I got presents both days. I married my first wife on Valentine's Day and felt the poison tipped arrows in my heart, but I married my current wife on St. Patrick's Day in 1972 and it has been the luck of the Irish ever since. And I have been an dead tree refugee for more than half a century, Paddyo; I fell into the ink barrel by accidental osmosis and never climbed out because it is so much fun. And, I, too check on the birthday gal's blog every day. Ah, come on, guys, the Dow numbers are red again, what set them off this time?
  322. whitebeard on Start your engines.
    January 10th, 2009  1:46 am

  323. To Answer the question from Beb earlier "whitebeard I’m still trying to understand why, if you were staying in Windsor, you took the train to Toledo and a bus back to Detroit instead of hiring a taxi to just drive you through the tunnel?" The Amtrak train and really cheap fare (something like $60 roundtrip) was from New York City to Toledo. I live in Connecticut, a commuter train ride to and from Manhattan). I freely admit I am geographcally challenged, but from Windsor to Toledo to Detroit might have rang some alarm bells for me.
  324. whitebeard on Another one gone.
    November 26th, 2008  9:03 am

  325. Julie, when I was in Montreal, the employees club would round up a dozen Santas to go to the two children's hospitals. All of us had ample girth without the need for a pillow. In my assigned ward, one non-believing 13-year-old decided to yank off my fake beard. But she was startled when the rest of me followed because I had a real beard. "Mon Dieu," she said, "un vrai barbe" and she had a twinkle in her eye that wasn't there a minute before. All the looks on the children's faces were priceless; remembering makes me smile even now, almost 40 years later.
  326. whitebeard on Boxing Day.
    December 26th, 2008  8:46 pm

  327. I delivered Toronto newspapers in The Soo, long walks with few customers, then later delivered newspaper bundles to the newsboys and newsgirls after I finished up on the wire desk on the Sault Daily Star. I volunteered to deliver a bundle to the Barnes drug store at Queen and Gore streets because I always dropped off a fresh copy to the publisher in the tavern (I forget the name, the tavern not the publisher) across the street. I also delivered a copy to the president of Local 2251 of the Steelworkers, because he always gave me good story quotes and unintentionally landed me a job offer from the Sault Star when they published a wildcat strike story I wrote for the Toronto Globe and Mail, forwarded by the Canadian Press wire without giving the Canadian Press any attribution, pretending it was their own story, and they must have felt guilty. Not really, the union boss would only talk to me, not to any other reporters in town, probably because I had worked for the steel plant in my younger days (well, a year and a half younger). It's hard for a newspaper to cover the biggest union in town when the union president wouldn't talk to the newspaper. That was probably because the newspaper ran a story of the union president being refused entry to the Michigan Soo because the U.S. thoughr he was a Communist because he, gasp, choke, had actually visited Russia. Canada, at that time, had an official Communist Party running candidates in the elections
  328. whitebeard on Twilight High.
    December 12th, 2008  12:34 am

  329. Sure, Paulson and his merry men (rob the poor to help the rich) and supportive senators can pour hundreds of billions into greedy Wall Streeters who give up bonuses reluctantly but will accept cash retention awards of up to four million bucks each but cannot save the auto manufacturing heartland with $14 billion in LOANS, not handouts, not bailouts, but LOANS. Paulson will lose his parking pass for his Prius at the Treasury Department; it's just not soon enough to solve the economic disaster that has crippled the globe under his watch. And now the banks and credit card warlocks are raising credit card rates to usurious rates and trying to get my 13- year-old grandson to get a credit card. The new team will have to curb the greed with regulations, jail sentences and heavy penalties that will put them in the poorhouse.
  330. whitebeard on On generosity.
    December 12th, 2008  6:59 pm

  331. There seems to be a chance that the President will dip the bucket into the financial bailout money to help the Detroit Big 3, well, at least GM and Chrysler, and effectively tell the offensive Repugs blocking automaker loans in the Senate to clean up the messes their horses left in Washington yesterday (or was the mess from Wall Street bulls). Now, if there was an almighty responsible for ice storms like we are having in New England, a little shift to Alabama and Kentucky for a week or two would be most gratifying as long as the senators for those states know why it is happening. They have to be told, however, in small words because they are too blindly stupid to get the big picture.
  332. whitebeard on The buzz.
    January 12th, 2009  9:55 am

  333. Cleaning up a hundred smokestacks is much more effcient than cleaning up millions of tailpipes as far as electric cars are concerned; diverting water through a hundred hydroelectric turbines is even more efficient. It requires a concentrated effort, not this assinine idea of carbon credits or the even more foolish scam that deregulation lowers the price of electricity. I rant, therefore I am.
  334. whitebeard on Best-laid plans.
    January 12th, 2009  11:27 pm

  335. Considering how long in advance you have to make a medical apppintment, I would stay the course, wait with the others, report on a quick glimpse of humanity that surfaces when the fire alarm sounds, just like N.N. did. I'm with her.
  336. whitebeard on Less tone-deaf, maybe?
    December 4th, 2008  11:20 pm

  337. The Malibu hybrid indeed exists and the back seat has room enough for one large-size individual with size 13 shoes, 250 pounds, 3x shirts and a 50-inch waist, namely myself. I found the Malibu peppy to drive when I sat behind the wheel for an afternoon set of test drives and cathedral quiet, although I will admit that Chevrolet was a little light in its marketing and distribution.
  338. whitebeard on Carry on, all.
    March 3rd, 2009  12:26 am

  339. All I hear about AIG is that it is too big to fail; maybe it really is too stupid and greedy to save
  340. whitebeard on Your memories may vary.
    February 16th, 2009  6:43 pm

  341. Jeff TMMO, a huge thank you for the link to knapsack, I have just spent a delightful half hour of reading about faith and about wind turbines. I now plan on making it a regular stop on my surfing journey
  342. whitebeard on It could be worse.
    January 17th, 2009  11:17 pm

  343. Dexter et al. Water line to john froze at 16 below zero, now thawed and heater standing by for tonight. Not enough snow cover on outside wall to block cold arctic winds in Connecticut (I refuse to call chilly wind the Montreal Express as others do). Train stories: When working for railroad caught wrong train leaving Montreal and conductor stopped train at switch tower so I could board correct train, which also was stopped there to wait for me. Hazards of just showing rail pass and not needing to buy train tickets. When working on newspaper story on Montrealer passenger train to be reinstated by Amtrak, rode on second locomotive of freight train following planned route and accidentally kicked piece of board holding dead man's throttle safety lever down, bringing both locomotives to a halt. But no one got mad at me for kicking out. When riding caboose on freight train to Atlantic provinces from Montreal to do story, slept through derailment unharmed because caboose stayed upright on rail. A very sound sleeper. When doing newspaper story on Amtrak, got off passenger train in Midwest because freight train had derailed. Watched sadly as passenger train left me on the ground, had my baggage held and took train next day after abysmal hitchhiking attempt (no beards when thumbing a ride in Midwestern states, please).
  344. whitebeard on Digging out.
    December 19th, 2008  11:37 pm

  345. Basset, I'll see your 1600 Tri-X and raise you a F-stop or two on Panatomic-X (ASA 32) with fantastic resolution (think of tilting the enlarger to project the image through the doorway into the next room's wall before you could see the grain). Also could be flashed during Microsdol developing process to produce black and white positive slide. Fun to work with.
  346. whitebeard on One more time...
    February 3rd, 2009  9:49 pm

  347. My heavens, what is the matter with high muckety-mucks and income taxes; don't they realize that it will be their undoing eventually. The average Joe or Jill hates income taxes, they hate the IRS (also known as the Infernal Revenooers) and they are afraid of audits so pay their taxes on time. When they hear that someone powerful is evading taxes, they grind their teeth and clench their fists and become quite outspoken (without lashing out). Didn't they finally get gangster Al Capone on his "tax" problems instead of his "murdering people" problems? As a Canadian, I have a rather lackadaisical attitude toward the IRS and taxes, so my wife has insisted we always use an accountant to do the taxes. In Canada I did not file my income tax forms for seven years; I paid my taxes through payroll deductions, I just didn't do the paperwork. When the Revenooers finally noticed, a friendly chap said don't do all seven years, just do four years and the current year and we'll be happy. The good news is that I received an enormous refund (tens of thousands) for alimony deductions and the Revenoors then tried to find my ex-wife over back taxes owed, which is considered a more serious matter than not filling out paperwork each year.
  348. whitebeard on To the New York island.
    January 19th, 2009  9:34 pm

  349. In my weekly newspaper column about car problems, I mentioned " I think Detroit’s automakers are in a bind right now that is not entirely their fault, but is shrinking their sales. "Sure, they may have built too many big sport utilities, but they did not put wheels and tires under toxic derivatives that burned up so much money it crippled the world economy." And I get a response like this: "The last item I would like to say you should never put your political point of view in the article. Respectfully J.D. Rocky Hill" Does anyone think I hit a hand-wringing Republican who equates any comment about the destruction of the economy as a political point of view.
  350. whitebeard on To the New York island.
    January 19th, 2009  9:38 pm

  351. Likewise, what Beb said about Africa and the failure of the Bush program because it was tied to anti-condom stupidity when that is a vital part of battling AIDS
  352. whitebeard on Miss? Another cocktail.
    February 4th, 2009  9:17 pm

  353. I lost my two brothers, years apart, but both were 58 years old, one a heavy smoker, suddenly as he walked downstairs to his car, and the other on dialysis and everything else failing, peacefully in his sleep. It seems unfair that one's younger brothers should die first; there was so much more to talk about. So my prayers go out to the widow and her young boys.
  354. whitebeard on Digging out.
    December 22nd, 2008  6:31 am

  355. It definitely is a white Christmas here, 10 above, sleet on top of snow on top of freezing rain on stop of snow, not that I was worried, and 10 above. And here is my Facebook profile http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=607325916
  356. whitebeard on The home investigation.
    January 8th, 2009  4:15 am

  357. The joys of a bigger television budget, same station, with two (yes, two) on-air cameras. Producer calls for switch to Camera Two while said cameraman is trying to peer down the blouse of the well-endowed guest. Same cameraman, different guest, almost faints with horror when sports announcer asks the possibly well-steroided female weightlifter "Now, let's see your snatch." And you thought the announce-booth window was shatterproof. Station manager slams phone down so hard it bounces through said window and announcer is showered in glass while reading commercial and very calmly announces that there seems to be a problem, shuts off mike and screams "What the (expletive) was that?"
  358. WhiteBeard on What do we think?
    February 8th, 2009  2:23 pm

  359. Is that a Linotype typesetter keyboard or an old Underwood manual typewriter? Looks good in Explorer, font is very reabable, but the font for the "write a comment" is too small. When I was at the railway in Montreal the pensioners, who received a shrunken version of the employee newspaper in their pension payment envelope, asked whether the powers-that-be thought that their eyesight had improved with age. I did some research and found it was thousands of dollars cheaper to send them the full version; it just meant a longer press run at pennies a copy
  360. whitebeard on Start your engines.
    January 9th, 2009  7:37 pm

  361. This report of "A storm system headed south to the Ohio Valley is expected to dump as much as 9 inches of snow in Metro Detroit by Saturday evening" from The Detroit News today, brings to mind my one and only visit to the press previews at the North American International Auto Show a few years back. I stayed at a $60 a night Windsor motel at the tunnel entrance/exit after a super-cheap Amtrak train trip that dumped me in Toledo and then a bus to Detroit. In my pre-cane days I loved walking but discovered that Detroit didn't always clear snow off the sidewalks, heck, even the roads were not well-plowed. But the extravaganza of the auto show was worth the tired feet; I will look forward to your un-jaded, honest reports
  362. whitebeard on What do we think?
    February 8th, 2009  2:10 pm

  363. I have the newest version of FireFox and it also only sees a blue bar at the top; I will try it is Explorer as a test. Also the font makes me squint too much. I am all in favor of change although my Motoring section front layout in The Hartford Courant was unchanged for about a dozen years and I was happy.
  364. whitebeard on Stiff peaks.
    February 24th, 2009  8:43 pm

  365. This Doonesbury cartoon popped up on Automotive News magazine's website today as Gary Trudeau pulled no punches in these desperate times for auto dealers and big SUVs http://www.autonews.com/assets/PDF/CA60149223.PDF When times are this bad you have to laugh or cry, your choice.
  366. whitebeard on Boxing Day.
    December 26th, 2008  8:02 pm

  367. mmmm, that Lumix is cool with the film modes and the Leice lense. I was given a pocket-sized GPS that has a vehicle mode and a walking mode and when I get lost I can look at a photo slide show and short videos and listen to Willie sing "On The Road Again" once I figure out how to make MP3s, whatever they are (I am into visual not audio so I will have to ask my 13-year-old grandson to help, if I can tug him away from his Christmas laptop).
  368. whitebeard on The things we carried.
    December 29th, 2008  11:09 pm

  369. My friend in Canada's capital this week sent me this NBC video I missed earlier and i get a little choked up each time I see it. My nephew is in the Canadian Armed Forces (militia) and wants to go to Afghanistan. Highway 401 is the main east-west superhighway in southern Ontario, not just a secondary road. Here is the link http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27651384#27651384 A fervent hope that President Obama will stop the military from hiding the coffins.
  370. whitebeard on Impostor Rabbit.
    January 29th, 2009  5:35 pm

  371. Re Jeff (the mild-mannered one) "there’s an assortment of reasons why even 11 Democrats could be against this peculiar “stimulus” bill. It’s not a “stimulus” (even Kramer on CNBC agrees with that, and the CBO charts i linked), it’s a “grow government over the next five years” bill" Sorry, Jeff, it took eight years of Shrub and company of crooks and robbers to get us into this economic mess, you have no nitpicking rights at all. The republicans (lower caste) don't have any stones to throw in the Blame game so they should just shut up for a change.
  372. whitebeard on Impostor Rabbit.
    January 28th, 2009  7:11 pm

  373. In my larger-self, darker-bearded days, I was mistaken for Luciano Pavarotti in a restaurant after he gave a concert that my wife attended in Hartford and a man had to almost physically restrain his wife from barging into the men's room to get my autograph. When I got back to my table, my wife hustled me and our two daughters out of the restaurant and waited until we were outside before she told me what had almost happened. It explained why the woman was looking at me with wide eyes as we walked by her table.
  374. whitebeard on I am Alex's liver.
    February 23rd, 2009  4:24 pm

  375. Having owned houses in Montreal and now Connecticut for a fixed location from which to sally forth to work is the greatest thing since sliced bread and bottled milk. But then again I stayed on my last job for 23 years and still write freelance there, so I am not the wandering kind. So, Florida's theory is that we should do more renting and enrich fat, greedy, selfish, heartless, evil Republican landlords and be a mobile work force, going where the crops need cutting and the bricks need mortaring. The only reason the whole home ownership gig got out of hand was that fat, greedy, selfish, heartless, evil Republican bankers preyed on gullible people by telling them that home values would always increase. And need I mention those fat, greedy, selfish, heartless, evil Republican broadcasters and writers who perpetually tell us it's our fault for wanting too much.
  376. whitebeard on Freebies.
    March 25th, 2009  10:40 am

  377. That is a wonderful true fan story, Dexter
  378. whitebeard on V. 2.0.
    March 27th, 2009  3:32 am

  379. I had one newspaper boss, who boxed one story on Page One with two-column wide type, had reverse white on black type for another story, had centered type in a brief note pointing to something inside, ran four airy columns of type on a six-column space (remember those wide broadsheet pages) and mistakenly asked me how to make his fifth story stand out and I suggested, in a serious tone, to make it regular-width type, because nothing else on the page was normal. He was the same boss, who, as the first edition was being printed with a lead story about a man who died after hanging himself in a jail cell, let the presses keep rolling full-tilt after I told him that my mother, who worked at the hospital, said the "dead" man ate a hearty lunch under her supervision. He took the time to find the police reporter to find the police chief who repeated his earlier statement that the man hanged himself, "we never said he died," added the chief.
  380. whitebeard on The big con.
    January 27th, 2009  7:45 am

  381. My thoughts are with you, Deborah; this global economic mess sucks big time when the rich get richer, hear me mr. Thain, and the middle gets mangled
  382. whitebeard on Is this war?
    February 14th, 2009  7:12 pm

  383. Thank you, Jeff TMMO, for the statue Snopes link and for answering Basset's need for an added option 7 in these discussions. I am recovering after a trip to Chicago for the annual auto show press days with the obligatory beautiful models (female) at each exhibit and the lovely models (metal) of enormous commercial trucks that make Hummers look like play toys. There was also an obligatory media/PR/exhibitor party, this time at Buddy Guy's Legends on South Wabash, and the admission ticket had a revealing verse, which, of course, I will repeat here: "When your baby went and done you wrong. When your house has been sold for a song. When your wheels can't continue to cruise. It's time for a beer and some Windy City blues." I skipped the beer but thanks to my hearing aid guru and his special settings, I was able to hear some great blues, pick out the sound of every musical instrument and thoroughly enjoy myself. Maybe the reason I never got caught up in music appreciation is because I was tone deaf and did not realize it until I acquired these incredible hearing aids. They also connect to Bluetooth devices and cost more than a very good used car. No, I did not sing the blues; there is a limit on how much I will torment my fellow man (and woman), no matter how happy I am. As another, non-political aside, I am getting all of the new look of this blog on Firefox and it looks great, especially after my successful cataract operations with corrective lens implants on both eyes. (Well, that was a couple of years back, but another example of how modern science has given me some great help. See, no politics, no criticism of Wall street, no damning of American beers. I am not certain I can keep up this improved chat mode.
  384. whitebeard on Alone with oneself.
    March 1st, 2009  9:37 pm

  385. Jeff TMMO, re "so broadband porn is almost the only opportunity you’ve got? I’m quite sure that would describe much of West Virginia, once you got off the interstates." Never been to West Virginia, but that is a slam, isn't it. what did they do to deserve that?
  386. whitebeard on Alone with oneself.
    March 1st, 2009  9:41 pm

  387. alex, i love that rejoinder "The short of it: conservatives just need to get fucked." But what I remember during the election camapgin was that many conservatives who wanted to get fucked, wanted Sarah Palin to be the fuckee.
  388. whitebeard on Is this war?
    February 14th, 2009  9:48 pm

  389. Thank you for the link, Basset I am a big fan of those dog rescue organizations; I have some friends who have adopted greyhounds at the end of their racing careers and they are very good pets, once their nervousness has eased. My wife's mother raised collies for years and my wife is a wonderful dog person, so wonderful that dogs abandon their owners to come and say hello to her. Some owners are happy to see their pets make new friends; others panic and take their dog away and put it in a car. My wife has put dogs through their paces and won ribbons at local dog clubs and at the Westminster Dog Show in Manhattan. And any dog we have does what my wife wants without many commands. A visit to the vet and our latest dog, a sweet springer spaniel, climbs on the weigh scale with just a gesture, consents to all the poking and prodding with nary a whimper and likes to make doggy friends in the waiting room.
  390. whitebeard on Sticky fingers.
    February 18th, 2009  5:34 pm

  391. It's refreshing to read Congresswoman Bachmann spouting forth pure garbage about manipulating the census to redraw congressional district lines to keep Democrats in power for 40 years. Wait a minute, that is what the Republicans did with redrawing district lines with the same goal in mind, but guess what, whining, pathetic gals and guys, you lost big , , , twice. I don't think upping Bachmann's meds will help; she has a congenital defect in her hate genes.
  392. whitebeard on My back pages.
    February 20th, 2009  4:25 am

  393. Deborah, re the photos of our homes. Our privacy has been invaded, photographed and filed away in the great blogging universe
  394. whitebeard on What it is, is stealing.
    February 5th, 2009  6:51 pm

  395. Bravo for your stance, Nancy (if I am permitted to call you by your first name) I like that kind of resolve. I aggregate auto industry news, about four or five graphs each, and I credit each source in a weekly freelance newspaper column I do and I have talked with some of my sources and they say it is OK as long as they get credit. I will be extremely interested in your experience on this quest. Thank you for your experience, Jeff. I have spoken to various groups and I never have a set script. I twist and turn with my words, depending on the degree of glaze in the eyes of the audience. If someone yawns, I respond with something outrageous and then try to justify it.
  396. whitebeard on Whinypants.
    February 9th, 2009  7:06 pm

  397. Why do we talk about how much money they make, how much they spend, how much of a bonus they should or should not make; those crooked lowlifes stole the retirement money people had in 401Ks? They stole the jobs on Main Street; they stole the carpets under people's feet who were forced into foreclosures and did it all with a fake smile on their botoxed faces. People who steal a loaf of bread can get a year in jail; these thieves deserve to be sent to jail for decades for stealing Other People's Money.
  398. whitebeard on The Whatever BBQ.
    April 11th, 2009  3:22 am

  399. Because my auto columns have always welcomed questions and comments from readers since the 1970s I have self-censored what appears in the newspapers, so the "batshit bloggers" do not see publication unless they are very creative. Although I will grant you, e-mails are much easier to read than brown crayon (I am being kind and assume it was brown crayon) scrawled on pieces of paper towel proclaiming me to be a hairy bastard, because my column photo showed a beard and flowing long hair. I will read the comments on stories sometimes, resisting the temptation to throw a shoe at the screen when the crazies write racist and political rants and repeatedly vow to never read the comments again and constantly break my vow. Even as a night city editor in Montreal, I would talk with any callers, even when there was a full moon, because I love talking, period. But I would welcome a "be nice" credo atop the comments section and appropriate steps to enforce that stipulation.
  400. whitebeard on Saturday morning market.
    April 11th, 2009  7:45 pm

  401. Years ago, ouw 20-year-old cat approached the house making the strangest cry while softly carrying a fluffy baby rabbit in her mouth (she even brought another baby bunny and the cry was for us to look after them, probably because the mother rabbit had been killed by a predator. One was too weak to survive but the other thrived for months on lettuce, freshly shredded carrot and organic blue corn flakes (I do not know why they were blue) My wife would come into the room where his cage was and start shredding the carrot and he would pop up from his hiding place and come to get fed. When he was old enough to survive on his own, my wife brought the cage outside and opened the cage door. He hesitated and then hopped out a few feet and then looked at my wife for a few minutes before he hopped into the underbrush. For months afterward, when my wife was working in the garden, a brown bunny with the same scar around his ear would hop up and look at her for minutes at a time and my wife was sure it was "R.B." her nickname for her furry friend. When my wife was a youngster her collie would help her round up the domestic rabbits when they escaped by gently placing his paw on the rabbit until my wife could pick up the escapee. A few times her collie gently put his paw on a wild baby rabbit, who froze to the ground it was so frightened. As a youngster my father raised giant Flemish rabbits. which weighed about 25 pounds, two skins of which made a fur coat for my sister. One did not put a hand in the cage (the rabbit's, not my sister's) recklessly, because ours was genuinely vicious, both rabbit and sister, unlike the soft cuddly friendly ones advertised on the Internet http://sunnyoaksrabbits.tripod.com/
  402. whitebeard on My civic duty.
    February 26th, 2009  12:09 am

  403. I took a pass on officially moving to the U.S. from The Soo because I was working at an American radio station, WSOO, and the move included free plane fare to join the Korean Conflict, but I did serve in the Canadian militia. The powers-that-be discovered that I could type so I quickly became the orderly room lance corporal, corporal, sergeant, staff sergeant and warrant officer in succession. I arranged a lot of weekend night compass exercises, attending combat training and weapons handling classes, but I really missed being able to tear down the engine on a deuce and a half. I transferred to one of the militia units in Montreal but my being named night city editor at the Montreal Star during the troubles didn't leave any evenings free for the militia.
  404. whitebeard on White House, green thumb.
    March 22nd, 2009  12:05 am

  405. My wife is to nature born, with animals and plants that bend to her wishes. In Montreal, a very short growing season, she grew the largest sunflowers I have ever seen and all the trimmings of a bountiful garden. When falling ice broke a limb off a crab apple tree she taped it up with a people bandage and it was a amazingly successful graft. Her harvest from a tiny back yard prompted all the neighbors to be copycats and it turned a bleak alleyway into a feast of color and edible treats. Right now she is outside trimming shrubs and a spreading rose bush and plotting her garden. Over the years she has transplanted flowering shrubs from back of the house to the dooryard, turning it from a large open lawn into a giant flower garden with easy-to-mow pathways. Tall autumn olive trees mix with fire bushes to block the view from passing cars and provide food for the birds most of the winter months.
  406. whitebeard on Send to your whole list.
    February 20th, 2009  11:37 pm

  407. Emergencies happen when your doctors are not available, maybe that is why they are called emergency rooms. But you are right, Connie, when my wife brought me to the ER, one look at me and I am rushed into a room and surrounded by doctors and nurses. I guess my 30-beats-a-minute pulse showed on my face. Blood tests showed trouble and then I am in an ambulance to a bigger hospital with a very talkative attendant to keep me alert and awake. The next morning my wife is told I survived the night and then three stents in a major artery that afternoon. Medicare is definitely socialized medicine and it works, god damn it, and the sooner you take insurance companies and their myriad stupid policy rules out of the mix, the rest of the younger folk can enjoy what us old folk cherish. OK, enough of my rant for single-payer health insurance without the greed and corruption of the money-huggers. I was in newspapers in Canada when the universal health insurance took form, talking to striking doctor groups who were against it, talking to distraught mothers who called and said their sons would never be able to pay their medical school bills. And guess what, it works; my niece is a charge nurse in an Ontario university hospital ER and they check your pulse before they check your insurance cards.
  408. whitebeard on The condiment question.
    May 8th, 2009  4:56 pm

  409. Ah, to me, a garage sale, tag sale, lane sale, yard sale, flea market, boot sale (British) whatever you call it, is a fine way to begin a weekend. And I found out that my favorite grand flea market (called Elephant Trunk in western Connecticut) rents ride-em scooters so I can extend my range beyond my limited walking ability. Go find some treasures, enjoy. And a spot of mustard on my hot dog, please, nothing fancy or too spicy. And could you put the mustard on the bun before you insert the dog because I spill a lot when I eat and I do not have my mustard yellow shirt on today. I do not like the taste of beef these days but I have a double cheeseburger (hold the pickle, but otherwise all-dressed as they say in Montreal) from McD's once a week, which raises the obvious question "Where's the Beef?
  410. whitebeard on Miscellany.
    April 10th, 2009  1:12 am

  411. Jeff Borden and Basset, our handyman friend is staying with us because his house was foreclosed on and we just could not let him sleep in a cold warehouse this winter. We went down the hill to the next town to get some repair fittings for the drain this morning and he started work on it. He needed more parts because the RotoRooter job was so sloppily done and drove with me about a 100 miles this afternoon for some of my business, picked up the added parts and I just flushed the john 10 minutes ago (5:50 pm) and he hollered from the basement that the repaired section didn't leak a drop. Sometimes when you do a good deed, you are rewarded in return. What goes around comes around, in other ways as well. My crippled shoulder and legs do not let me, so he volunteers to pitch a baseball to my grandson baseball star, who runs from home to first base in 2.4 seconds, the fastest kid in the middle school baseball tryouts this afternoon. I've read somewhere that the average MLB player runs all the bases in 16.5 seconds, so our grandson dude is sensational. He turned 14 last month.
  412. whitebeard on Money problems.
    March 11th, 2009  2:17 am

  413. good grief, I don't get a paycheck any more, but if the Obama help kicked in that fast, what a change from the Bush rebate checks that required a million dollars to send a letter that we would get a rebate check and then more millions to cut the checks and mail out the checks and, even then, that got messed up. And, Gasman, I'm sorry, but I think even Hell has certain standards that won't allow it to accept those wretched wrepublican wrascals, to quote Elmer Fudd.
  414. whitebeard on My civic duty.
    February 25th, 2009  11:04 pm

  415. Julie Robinson, I'll see your table radio weapon and raise you a pickled aorta for gruesome. As a young reporter in The Soo, I covered a murder trial and the reporter's table was also the evidence table. The sailor on trial had stabbed his girl friend in the aorta (you could see the knife wound in the aorta sitting in a large jar, inches from my hand). I imagine that it prepared me for a film appreciation course at McGill University in which required viewing was a movie called Autopsy, aptly titled, and for reporting on a car recovery off a dock in The Soo when the driver's door was opened and out popped the bloated driver's remains.
  416. whitebeard on Duty done.
    February 27th, 2009  4:30 am

  417. moe99, my thoughts indeed; the free marketeers have had their days of infamy, now let sanity prevail. And it would be really really intelligent, Pilot Joe, if you would drop the Messiah crap; your guys lost big, live with it.
  418. whitebeard on Alone with oneself.
    March 2nd, 2009  5:35 am

  419. Jeff tmmo, with that kind of lack of magazines and living there for six years, your comment is fully justified. Maybe I am colored by Connecticut and New York and the availability of every publication under the sun as well as the darker reaches of society, such as railroad magazines, which do not feature railroad ladies, of course, except in rare circumstances. I have taken some pain elixir for my shoulder spur, so I am feeling more generous at this hour, except toward NCLB and its shenanigans
  420. whitebeard on Green.
    March 18th, 2009  5:41 am

  421. I agree with you, Deborah, the AIG taking/giving they flunky bonuses rates them the pond scum award of the year. But I worry about the not-so-bright idea of my newspaper to print a photograph showing the exact location and address in Wilton, Connecticut. where the AIG Financial Products crooks and scoundrels are counting their retention bonus loot? There are enough gun-toting wingnuts hereabouts to think of expressing their anger in more violent ways. Some AIG employees are afraid to go in the building to work and AIG has had to hire extra guards. I have a bad feeling in my bones and it was a warm day today.
  422. whitebeard on Blackouts.
    March 20th, 2009  2:02 am

  423. Jeff tmmo, there were regulations in place but the regulators were out to lunch with the crooks and liars (e.g. bankers, insurers, hedge fund operators and such lowlifes) and didn't enforce anything. The bad folk, to quote a former president, are going to moan and groan about tougher Draconian regulations, but they brought it on themselves. Their addiction was money and heaps of it. On the boozing and drugs, the fetal alcohol syndrome, the waste of a life or lives, I know the pattern and it is horribly numbing and tragic for the caregivers.
  424. whitebeard on Basketball weather.
    April 6th, 2009  9:42 pm

  425. Now that is a great idea, charge the moon, plus taxes, on ammunition for those right-to-bear arms. And then make everyone produce a gun-ownership license to buy ammo, but only allow a limited purchase, say one box of ammo every year. When bullets cost much more than beer, guess which one gets to the kitchen table first.
  426. whitebeard on The reckoning.
    April 7th, 2009  6:11 pm

  427. In the sixties, as chairman of the Ontario news study committee, I was encouraging Canadian Press member newspapers to share more complete stories using their own teletype machines than would appear on the news wire. To find out what would be involved I had meetings with the major telecommunications carrier in Canada, worked on the overnight rewrite desk at Canadian Press in Toronto a couple of nights and met with the Canadian Press wire desk people in New York City to research ways to get U.S. news to Canadian newspapers faster. I was not well liked by some Canadian Press management when I suggested at a general Ontario wire editors meeting that starting the New York operation an hour earlier would help immensely. When told that the logistics involved would include asking the New York staff to get up in the middle of the night to take the commuter train, I calmly answered that the New York staff already gets there an hour early to avoid the rush hour and has been asking to start earlier for years. On hearing that, the president of Canadian Press told his operations manager to make it happen, which it did, with a lot of muttering by the operations guy afterward that no hayseed farmer was going to tell him how to run Canadian Press. When I suggested to my friends at Canadian Press headquarters that I should show up for my next visit wearing a straw farmer's hat and chewing on a stalk of wheat or hay, they advised me not to do that because the operations guy would really blow a gasket.
  428. whitebeard on Miscellany.
    April 9th, 2009  2:19 am

  429. jcburns, the reference to an AP exec not even knowing the great white news knight had a YouTube channel was hilarious. I have lost touch with all my old AP friends, they would have loved this, so I will share it with my daughter who works in the news department at a Montreal TV station.
  430. whitebeard on I, tweezer.
    June 4th, 2009  7:04 am

  431. Cooz, I like your dad's sense of timing, just the right way to break the ice at the kitchen table with friends. Ah, ferocious eyebrows, when I see my wife descending on me with a pair of scissor, I know there is no mayhem pending, but only that I have a couple of thick curly hairs poking into my eyes. Her only comment is "You never notice them, do you?" Continuing along hairly lines,she accepts my silky, light brown hair down beyond my shoulders but gently hints every half-year or so that I should trim my snow-white beard , , , which I do.
  432. whitebeard on Miscellany.
    April 8th, 2009  8:21 pm

  433. Beb, I love Ebert's Squeaky the Mouse reference. When I was editor of the railroad employee newspaper, our Toronto reporter wrote about the CN Tower work as the greatest erection Toronto has ever experienced. Having visited Toronto when they used to roll up the sidewalks downtown at 5:05 p.m., it could very well have been true. Ebert's putdown of Bill O is priceless.
  434. whitebeard on Closed systems.
    May 28th, 2009  5:26 pm

  435. My given names are Duncan from my Scottish grandfather and Alois from my German father, frequently misspelled, and with Alois, always mispronounced, although I bet that Governor Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger never allowed Alois to be mispronounced a second time.
  436. whitebeard on Drunks, again.
    April 26th, 2009  1:59 am

  437. brian stouder, the links to that double DUI story have been vanishing faster than newspaper jobs this weekend. Here is a new non-Tribune link that the "mysterious they" should not be able to erase http://thelaurel.wordpress.com/ this link covers the angle that her boss, also the new publisher of the Hartford newspaper was in her car when she was first arrested, came back to the police station after he was called and brought her back to her car so she could drive off drunk at speeds in excess of 70 mph and get arrested the second time for drunken driving.
  438. whitebeard on He will be missed.
    August 26th, 2009  8:38 pm

  439. One of my Facebook friends mentioned the Mary Jo tragic death in a snarky, hate-filled remark about Ted Kennedy. At the bottom of his Facebook profile page is a button that can be clicked to remove said friend; friend is gone now and will not be invited back. I thought the "liberal lion" was a remarkable senator who fought hard for the little guys, like you and me, unlike most of his colleagues. And his friend who mourns him today, Senator Chris Dodd, is also one of the good guys; he helped us win custody of our grandson by asking the U.S. consulate in Vancouver, Canada, to keep tabs on what was happening in our case.
  440. whitebeard on First a hologram, now this.
    April 13th, 2009  4:49 pm

  441. Abysmal animation! Was it take your two-year-old to work on Easter Sunday at NBC and have him/her help out in the graphics department? But that was a feel-good story for Easter Sunday; the Navy snipers were incredible, the captain was saved and the U.S. Navy and their commander-in-chief are royally stirred up to do something about the pirates. I cannot imagine how the Repugs can twist that around to explain the failings, but I am sure they will try.
  442. whitebeard on The Br'ers Rabbit.
    October 30th, 2009  7:01 pm

  443. News to me from Canada from the Vancouver Sun in September, to wit: Justice Robert Bauman was named chief of the B.C. Supreme Court by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, only 18 months after he was appointed to the province's highest bench as an appeal judge. A savvy jurist, Bauman has handled the highest-profile cases, parsed the most complex municipal law issues and played Solomon in difficult custody matters. Back in 1998, he was at the centre of a bitter international custody battle and ruled a four-year-old native boy should be returned to his adoptive American grandparents. Bauman said he made his decision in part to remove the child from the media spotlight. We, the American grandparents, above, liked his reasoning, and so did the Supreme Court of Canada, ruling against the British Columbia Appeals Court that had reversed Justice Bauman's decision.
  444. whitebeard on Boats against the current.
    April 14th, 2009  5:36 pm

  445. Quick, aomeone, anyone, please. Find Mark's meds and Coozledad and I will shove them down his throat. Get over it, Repugs, your team lost and the tea party movement against taxes is too late to save your blood-sucking, money-grabbing, coupon-clipping hides. There, my rant is over; now I can go read about another infected boil from the septic Bush era being lanced. And, Del, great clip from Paul Krugman about trying to restore fair taxation for the fat cats.
  446. whitebeard on Fire.
    July 16th, 2009  7:27 pm

  447. When my wife and I worked at rival newspapers in Montreal, we always called our respective city desks whenever we saw something happen downtown during our daily walkabouts (we both worked nights), e.g. bank robberies (including a favorite detective called Kojak North, who shaved his head and wore a loose overcoat even in the summer to conceal his heavy-duty weaponry), building fires, mailbox surrounded by bomb squads, plain old city bus filled with police in full SWAT gear, you know, common stuff like that.
  448. whitebeard on A day away.
    May 19th, 2009  1:51 am

  449. Jeff TMMO wrote" For a community project here in Granville, OH, i’ve been doing a ton of reading in primary sources about the speeches and writings of Victoria Woodhull, first woman to run for president of the United States (first woman stockbroker on the NYSE, first woman publisher of a major city newspaper, first to publish in English Marx & Engels’ “Communist Manifesto,” et cetera). My wife is a descendant of Victoria Claflin Woodhull but her elders did not talk much about Victoria's doings. My wife's grandmother was an active suffragist and a courageous reporter in Chicago's criminal courts who left reporting to work at home writing the newspaper serial "Revelations of a Wife" so she could devote herself to raising her two children. We did some research a few decades back and there was not that much to read then, but I see this afternoon that the available material has mushroomed.
  450. whitebeard on A quick bite before I leave.
    August 17th, 2009  6:17 pm

  451. Caliban, I do not see anything offensive in the headline, although I agree with coozledad that G.I. Jane might shoot someone in the foot and say, I am a Marine, Bub. But a dictionary http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/GI acknowledges that G.I. refers to enlisted members of the United States armed forces, without a sexual difference
  452. whitebeard on A story for Friday.
    April 4th, 2009  3:07 am

  453. Off topic, but worth sharing. My wife has a part time job assisting elderly people with errands and such and with her payroll deposit confirmation today in the mail was a pink slip. No, she did not lose her job; the idiot managing the payroll was notifying my wife of the Obama tax withholding reduction and printed the notice on pink paper and then folded the paper to fit in the envelope so my wife had to unfold the paper thinking "Pink Slip, Pink Slip." These idiots walk among us and procreate because the Pope tells them not to use condoms and they will produce more Republican offspring who will expect corporate welfare and more bonuses for royally screwing the world economy
  454. whitebeard on A day away.
    May 19th, 2009  5:02 am

  455. Jeff TMMO, Re: "Whitebeard — i’m assuming a Claflin sister of Victoria?" My bad, I meant the Claflin clan, not Woodhull herself, There apparently was some connection between the Claflin line and the Chicago Coleman line and my wife's grandmother was a Springer, another line tied closely to the Coleman line. When I suggested one day to my wife's uncle that he hadn't fully explained Victoria Woodhull, he answered with a Leprechaun-like smile "that he didn't intend to"
  456. whitebeard on Culling the bookmarks. Again.
    May 21st, 2009  4:29 am

  457. Thank you, Jeff TMMO, for Eddie's railroad blog. have to sign off , power blinking on and off. It is Connecticut Light & Power, also called Candle Light & Prayers
  458. whitebeard on Regretting the error.
    August 4th, 2009  4:57 pm

  459. Thank you, Bill Breen, for sending me on a delightful educational jaunt through past After Deadline blog entries, even though I have abandoned my blue pencil (or blue felt pen in more affluent newsrooms) for a life of relative leisure.
  460. whitebeard on Basketball weather.
    April 6th, 2009  6:44 pm

  461. I believe in personal gun control; I do not own any guns, although there may be a .22 rifle in the attic that my wife's dad had for use on dying animals. I will not allow anyone riding in my car to have a handgun in their briefcase. My car, my rules, even though my friend was fluent in Russian and would like to impress Russian strippers with my wheels of the week, which made for interesting conversations back at the motor lodge after the show was over. Note: just conversation, most of them had Russian bodyguards who basically had one word in their vocabulary and that was NYET. I have exercised gun control by taking a loaded rifle away from a mentally unstable man in a hospital emergency room (that's a long story). When coworkers (and handgun nitwits) would say I was afraid to even hold a gun, I informed them I had been in the Canadian Armed Forces Militia and had held and fired a Browning machine gun, Luger pistol, Sten submachine gun, Sterling submachine gun and other loaded weapons, and participated in rifle competitions with an Army-issued FN-C1 (technically a carbine and not a rifle), most of which I could field-strip in the dark and not lose any parts. I am not afraid of guns; I just do not like them and do not think they should be so readily available.
  462. whitebeard on Going down swinging.
    November 4th, 2009  3:18 am

  463. When I was night city editor, an obnoxious reporter and a copy editor had a nasty verbal dispute about some tiny fact and the reporter vanished. I did not smell blood so I figured he was safe ... and alive. It turned out he had spent hours in the morgue looking up files of prose gone by instead of writing the story he was working on. He surfaced and challenged the same copy editor with a clipping that showed he was wrong and in a shrill, unpleasant-sounding voice chanted: "I was right and you were wrong, I was right and you were wrong, I was right and you were wrong. Say it, I was right and you were wrong, say it." the copy editor decked him and the reporter hit the floor, got up slowly after a few minutes and called the police. When the police came, everyone in the newsroom said he or she had not seen a thing. As "The Boss" I testified that I had not seen what happened earlier but I saw the reporter on the floor beside the picture desk and ventured a guess that maybe a photographer had brought in a wet print and there was water on the floor and the reporter had slipped and fell. The officer grinned at me and said he would write in his report that there were no witnesses to the alleged "attack" and I had agreed, as the person in charge. This is the same obnoxious reporter I had told to go home months later or I would kick his fat ass down every stair after he pointed out a fellow reporter to rioters so they would chase him. He called the city editor to complain, who called me and said I could have fired said obnoxious reporter on the spot and he would have backed me 100 percent. I have been reluctant to Google his name in fear that he still is an unpleasant tack under the saddle of someone else's horse. He once proposed a resolution to ban women from the press club and everyone disliked him so much, even the chauvinists, that they voted against his resolution, and admitted women to the sacred sanctum. Ah, the memory; the copy editor's punch was spectacular, right to the chin and the obnoxious little twit was down for the count. I will buy a round in Allen's name any time there is a congregation of newspaper people and I am present.
  464. whitebeard on Miscellany.
    April 9th, 2009  6:01 pm

  465. My new goal is to rip out the big RotoRooter ads in all the telephone company yellow pages across because the drain repair done by a RotoRooter crook just fell apart and my basement is ankle deep in shit. If you ever think of calling RotoRooter to fix your john, your kitchen sink or your outdoor faucet, stop right there before your hand reaches for the phone. In my case, the john was plugged and Drano was not working and the next thing I know he had chiseled a huge cash in the cast iron pipe aand had to replace it with plastic at a cost of $2,500 and, get this, when he left the john was still plugged up. I called RotoRooter who sent an honest plumber and he fixed the john at no charge. I had also to apologize to the RotoRooter receptionist for my language in calling for help.
  466. whitebeard on What came after.
    September 12th, 2009  12:09 am

  467. Mark, talk about the cavalry arriving in the nick of time, even if they wore air force uniforms.
  468. whitebeard on Drunks, again.
    April 25th, 2009  4:33 pm

  469. Speaking of drinking and drunks, there is a scandal brewing about the new publisher, 40, of The Hartford Courant, who is also the general manager of WTIC-TV Fox 61 in Hartford, who is married, having a role in the story of the married woman who was arrested twice for DUI in the same night in a nearby town at http://www.courant.com/community/news/fv/hc-dui-arrest-folo-0424.artapr25,0,1947920.story And there is the police photo of the woman, 29, in question. who is the manager of marketing and public relations for Fox 61 http://www.wpix.com/common/medialib/image/221... and there are the police reports, one for each arrest http://thelaurel.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/... http://thelaurel.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/... The original story made the rounds in the world press, including Russia
  470. whitebeard on Hallelujah.
    May 11th, 2009  7:32 pm

  471. Thank you for spamming Dwight, even trolling has its limits.
  472. whitebeard on The Whatever BBQ.
    April 12th, 2009  10:13 pm

  473. The Bill Granger story moistened my eyes (men don't cry), Dexter, because I also liked the November Man and looked for more books. He built his character so well you thought you could see him at the next restaurant table, ahead of you in the supermarket checkout lane and chatting with someone across the street. When I had my heart attack (heartbeat down to 30 beats a minutes) in 2006, I didn't have a stroke attached to it so I still write as badly as ever. What I have is a diminished ability to walk, this from somebody who walked 38 miles overnight years ago on a scenic Southern Ontario highway that not only did not tolerate hitchhikers but seemed shunned by cars (and trucks) as well. Granger, a prisoner in his mind, but still able to joke about rewatching Seinfeld again and again.
  474. whitebeard on Customer service.
    October 27th, 2009  6:48 pm

  475. I am going to be 72 on Christmas Eve and i think I have my curmudgeon down pat. I love picking up robocalls from card services and pushing appropriate buttons to get a live person. Then I sweetly ask where they are calling from, say I wish I could be there because weather is much nicer than here. I talk about the bad weather here, say that I have to cut the lawn one more time and then apologize profusely and say sweetly "How can I help you today? When he replies that he can lower my interest rate on my credit card and asks how much I owe, I reply back that if he is really calling from my credit card company and he doesn't how much I owe then he must be a scammer trying to steal my money and he should be ashamed of himself for trying to scam an old man in his 70s. I figure the time he has wasted with me being chatty has saved four other people from being scammed and THAT makes my day.
  476. whitebeard on Just desserts.
    August 13th, 2009  6:30 pm

  477. I groan about those high-speed chases as well, but do you want to guess that someone was twittering as they watched. You betcha! By the way, while I have declined any invitations to follow someone's twitter, I do acknowledge that teens can easily fit their remarks into that space (140 characters is it?). My grandson had a haircut yesterday, a special haircut that copies that of President Obama. He was less than half a block from leaving the barbershop when his cellphone played its musical ringtone. It was a text message from his baseball teammate's sister driving by that said "Nice haircut." Ah, this modern world!
  478. whitebeard on Just desserts.
    August 13th, 2009  6:38 pm

  479. But sometimes, twittering sparsely is like getting into trouble with newspaper headlines or website video captions, e.g., this I one found this morning at the Associated Press Facebook page "Video Essay: Atlanta Abandons Ho..." Wait a minute, didn't Imus get in trouble for that choice of words.
  480. whitebeard on Green.
    August 31st, 2009  5:43 pm

  481. Totaally off topic but I just had to share this story my daughter told me on a visit from Canada this weekend. When my two daughters' 16-year-old siamese cat died, my ex-wife asked if they really missed their cat and she said she could have it mounted. They thought she was joking, but sure enough, she went to a taxidermist and for years thereafter the stuffed cat sat on a coffee table in the living room, next to the urn with her second husband's ashes (although she probably secretly wished it was my ashes). I mean I knew she was crazy, but that is the looniest tale of all.
  482. whitebeard on I beg you, no.
    June 2nd, 2009  5:05 pm

  483. I read Mitch and my question is "Is it possible to up-chuck when all fall down. What a pompous ass!!"
  484. whitebeard on Refreshing Friday.
    July 20th, 2009  10:09 pm

  485. On bra straps showing, but what if there were no bra at all. Just saying. Horribly off-topic but I was just sent a joke that is priceless. Herewith: The coach had put together the perfect team for the Detroit Lions. The only thing that was missing was a good quarterback. He had scouted all the colleges and even the Canadian and European Leagues, but he couldn't find a ringer who could ensure a Super Bowl win. Then one night while watching CNN he saw a war-zone scene in Afghanistan . In one corner of the background, he spotted a young Afghan Muslim soldier with a truly incredible arm. He threw a hand-grenade straight into a 15th story window 100 yards away. KABOOM! He threw another hand-grenade 75 yards away, right into a chimney. KABOOM! Then he threw another at a passing car going 90 mph. BULLS-EYE! "I've got to get this guy!" Coach said to himself. "He has the perfect arm!" So, he brings him to the States and teaches him the great game of football. And the Lions go on to win the Super Bowl. The young Afghan is hailed as the great hero of football, and when the coach asks him what he wants, all the young man wants is to call his mother. "Mom," he says into the phone, "I just won the Super Bowl!" "I don't want to talk to you, the old Muslim woman says. "You deserted us. You are not my son!" "I don't think you understand, Mother," the young man pleads "I've won the greatest sporting event in the world. I'm here among thousands of my adoring fans." "No! Let me tell you!" his mother retorts. "At this very moment, there are gunshots all around us. The neighborhood is a pile of rubble. Your two brothers were beaten within an inch of their lives last week, and I have to keep your sister in the house so she doesn't get raped!" The old lady pauses, and then tearfully says, "I will never forgive you for making us move to Detroit!"
  486. whitebeard on Swamped.
    November 25th, 2009  3:04 am

  487. My name tells it all
  488. whitebeard on Going down swinging.
    November 4th, 2009  9:19 am

  489. Del, the story continued many moons later when I received a call from the local police that said copy editor, then a columnist, was sleeping it off in a jail cell after an altercation in a bar and what did I want to do with him. I called his wife and explained the situation and asked if she wanted him home sooner than later and her reply was keep him there, which is what I did, also asking if I needed to post bail in the morning. "No, we will just let him go when he wakes up," the officer said. Amazing the number of calls I received from the police about reporters, etc. One was about one of the police reporters who had been picked up because he matched the description of a kidnapper and would I confirm his identity, which I did. Another was about the aforementioned obnoxious reporter in No. 18. He had been picked up in another city on the island of Montreal because the police thought he was a kid (he was quite short) who had stolen one of the newspaper's press cars. I hemmed and hawed and asked for a better description until he screeched: "Tell them it's me, tell them to let me go." I said that I guessed I could not suggest that the "little car thief" be locked up and the cell key thrown away and the police officer laughed. " Don't want him back, do you?" I obviously did not work in a bland, boring newsroom, Jason T., or maybe I made it less boring.
  490. whitebeard on Good dog.
    August 5th, 2009  4:08 am

  491. We call them pets and call them friends but when they twist their head and perk their ears when we talk with them and they listen so intently we know they are really family and deserve to be mourned. I am truly sorry for Spriggy's passing.
  492. whitebeard on Let's show some slides, eh?
    August 24th, 2009  5:33 pm

  493. In my neck of the woods while you were away vacationing, journalism ethics were sadly bruised when a newspaper consumer watchdog had his position terminated and within hours after his final afternoon on the job "fired" up his very own www.ctwatchdog.com website with the help of some friends. And then it mushroomed into an article in the New York Times, an Associated Press story which appeared in newspapers across the country, a CNN video, radio broadcasts and an Internet blogplosion.
  494. whitebeard on Oysters, snails, champagne.
    January 1st, 2010  2:27 am

  495. Our New Year's Eve celebrations have usually been low-key although we went to celebrate in Times Square one year just for fun. I had high hopes for 2010 but a meeting planned next Tuesday with the surgeon who will remove my colon cancer (discovered by a colonoscopy the day before my Christmas Eve birthday) is having a definite dampening effect.
  496. whitebeard on Lie, memory II.
    July 14th, 2009  6:55 pm

  497. My wife-to-be and I watched the moon landing in a tiny bar/restaurant in Massachusetts as we were on our way for me to catch a bus to Montreal. And observed in horror as some parents dragged their kids out the door just before the actual walk because it was "too late to be wasting time watching TV." We watched everything but missed the bus and drove all the way to Montreal, which is another story.
  498. whitebeard on Wild kingdom.
    October 1st, 2009  9:10 pm

  499. Haven't had one as a free-wandering house pet, but when a rabbit kisses the proprietress, you know there is some love still left in unexpected places. Our old cat, now gone, brought us two baby bunnies to look after and one survived for months before my wife released him(?)into the wild again. Later she swore she would see him checking her out but he never came forward for a munch of fresh-cut carrot that he used to love in the house in the cage.
  500. whitebeard on The red carpet.
    August 10th, 2009  10:10 pm

  501. As everyone, including NNC, should know, winning isn't everything, but hot damn, it surely feels good. My congratulations on your win.
  502. whitebeard on What came after.
    September 11th, 2009  11:54 pm

  503. My wife and I were eating breakfast at a restaurant when she saw the first tower crumble (the TV set was behind me) and we rushed home so I could drive to my newspaper; the rest of the day and evening was a blur because our presses would not be running until late that night. But I remembered from a few months before when National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice scoffed at a suggestion that aviation security should be strengthened in light of threats of airliner hijacking. Her response, on May 16,2001, was that it "would have required grounding commercial air traffic," whioh would be too much of an inconvenience to the air traveling public. http://irregulartimes.com/pointcounterbush.html And so it was that the thousands in the twin towers and the Pentagon were "gravely" inconvenienced.
  504. whitebeard on Crazy people, part deux.
    September 10th, 2009  7:06 am

  505. Gee, now even Fort Wayne knows where Hartford is, two wit: Last updated: September 9, 2009 6:42 p.m. Conflict of what? Courant assigns daughter to cover dad's team By Ben Smith The Journal Gazette Great Moments in Sports Journalism, Vol. 6,937: The Associated Press is reporting that the Hartford Courant, whose editors may or may not have had their brains sucked out by powerful suctions hoses, has assigned Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma's daughter Alysa to cover her father's basketball team. All together now: Say what?! Look, I understand that the concept of conflict of interest has pretty much gone out the window in this country (See: Health care reform, insurance company lobbyists, legislators). But, seriously, how can the Courant do this? Hello, is anyone awake over there? I'm trying to think of a circumstance where my editors would allow me to cover a team coached by my father. I can't. We may not be a major East Coast publication, but at least we still understand where you draw the line. The Courant, apparently, does not. This reminds me of a a similar circumstance that happened in Indianapolis a few years back, in which a certain Indy TV reporter was allowed to stay on the auto racing beat despite the fact she was dating one of the drivers. The general manager of the station released a statement saying that the reporter had assured him this would not interfere with the quality of her reporting. I don't know where that GM is now. On the street, I hope. Meanwhile, Alysa Auriemma assures everyone she won't be writing "anything controversial" about her father's team. Gee, ya think? Original AP story follows" UConn coach's daughter hired to cover his team By PATRICK SANDERS (AP) – 4 hours ago HARTFORD, Conn. — A daughter of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said Wednesday she's been hired by The Hartford Courant to help cover the six-time national championship team. Alysa Auriemma told The Associated Press that she'll regularly give an insider's viewpoint about her father and the team beginning this fall. The articles will be published on her blog and linked to the Courant's Web site, she said. She said The Courant is paying her "a pretty good amount per article" but declined to say how much she'll be paid. The 23-year-old, who graduated from UConn with a degree in dramatic arts, said she'll take readers behind the scenes, but will not write anything controversial about her father's team. She said she'll also counter what she called "false press" about her father, a Hall of Famer who will coach the women's basketball team in the 2012 Olympics. "There's a lot of false press about my father," she said. "This is a good format to kind of clear up some things and kind of get the truth out there." The Courant did not return telephone calls. John Altavilla, a Courant reporter who covers the team, said on his Courant blog Wednesday that Auriemma will blog, write stories and participate in question and a nswer sessions during the season. He compared her hiring to ABC News hiring former President Ronald Reagan's son, Ronnie, and NBC's recent decision to hire former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager as a "Today" correspondent. "Her blog, an inside look at what it's like to be her, is an entertaining read, and a nice insight into the life of the women's basketball team you all care about so much," Altavilla said. Geno Auriemma did not return a telephone call. The move was questioned by a journalism ethics expert and media observers of the Courant, which has come under fire in recent weeks for allegedly stealing news stories from competitors and allegations that it dismissed its consumer columnist because he wrote columns critical of advertisers. Kelly McBride, head of the ethics faculty at the Poynter Institute in Florida, said Alysa Auriemma's job poses problems for the Courant and its readers. "When you hire the coach's daughter, as an institution your independence is compromised," McBride said. "They're going to have to explain how this does not imply that they're essentially not going to become part of the family." Alysa Auriemma blogged about the team and answered some of Altavilla's questions in a Q-and-A format last season, but she was not paid and her work was not linked on the Courant. She wrote a bylined story this spring at the end of the team's undefeated, national championship season that still appears on the Courant's online archive , but it's not known if she was paid. Auriemma said she's learned that her readers want a behind-the-scenes look at the program and her father, which she'll get by watching practices, watching the players interact with each other and talking to her father about what he may tell them. "In Connecticut, everyone views this team as their family," she said. "They always say, 'How are your girls doing' or 'How are our girls going to be this year?' It's a very close-knit familial feel that the team generates." The hiring is one of several recent ethics controversies at the Courant, owned by Chicago-based Tribune Co. Editors at several area newspapers have accused the Courant, which cut its news staff in half in recent months because of sagging advertising revenues, of stealing news stories and republishing them online and in the Courant. The Courant's publisher apologized last week for plagiarism, saying it improperly stripped attribution from stories it published in the Courant that were first reported by its competitors. But it says it will maintain what it calls its "aggregation policy" of taking stories off of other newspaper's Web sites to use on its own site. Last month, the Courant dismissed its former consumer columnist, who has accused the Courant of firing him because he wrote columns critical of the newspaper's advertisers. The Courant has said columnist George Gombossy's position was eliminated and that advertisers don't play a role in news decisions. Duby McDowell, who runs a Hartford communications company and publishes a blog that covers the Connecticut news media, said the Courant's arrangement with the coach's daughter is an ethical lapse that would have been unthinkable until recently at the nation's oldest continuously published newspaper. "If you had told me this a year ago, I wouldn't have believed you," McDowell said. "But the way that upper management has been willing over the past few months to dismantle the newspaper's journalistic reputation, it doesn't surprise me." Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
  506. whitebeard on The fool's errand.
    December 29th, 2009  8:44 pm

  507. We hear coyotes howling all the time in Northwest Connecticut. Either that or Senator Leiberman is looking for Republican voters
  508. whitebeard on Unplugging.
    December 18th, 2009  7:05 pm

  509. There is nothing like backup, Dexter. I have my laptop connected to my wifi router, my wife has a desktop connected to the same router by a fat phone cable, my grandson who lives with us has a wifi laptop and I have a flat desktop and another laptop not connected to anything but with all my freelance files so I can work offline, everything is PC, but I have a couple of old Macs that I play with. A computer fanatic, I know, I know, but I used to be the go-to guy when the CCI instructors and techs were busy before I retired five years ago.
  510. whitebeard on Unplugging.
    December 18th, 2009  7:10 pm

  511. Deborah, try writing a few postcards when you are in the no-internet zone; it's like blogging comments, only much, much slower. have a good holiday
  512. whitebeard on Unplugging.
    December 18th, 2009  7:18 pm

  513. I am chatty today, guys and gals, because I am sitting at my laptop in a hospital that offers wifi to its patients, waiting to find out why I had a massive GI bleed two nights ago. Ah, modern technology, ain't it great and I can keep up with "Holy Joe" Senator Leiberman's incredible antics and pound the floor with my cane
  514. whitebeard on Searching for something.
    November 6th, 2009  2:16 am

  515. I'm with Moe99, "I found Nancy when she exposed that hor­ri­ble Bush appointee (whose name I have thank­fully for­got­ten) who pla­gia­rized his columns." BUT I remembered Tim's name and have followed Nancy every day since, sometimes commenting, mostly chuckling to myself and hoping she picks up a rock and uncovers another scoundrel.
  516. whitebeard on Scrambled eggs.
    February 10th, 2010  3:29 am

  517. had my surgery, foot of colon gone, no pain just a nasty fever of unknown origin, no biopsy report yet. cheers ftw, i did not know that meaning
  518. whitebeard on Halloween tourism.
    November 3rd, 2009  4:00 am

  519. I was at my desk as wire editor when Kennedy was shot; I had a call from home saying it had happened and was on television and then two minutes later the teletype bulletin bell started ringing four feet away, I didn't even know the teletype had a bell, I had not heard it before. And the whole news room was stunned and silent.
  520. whitebeard on Faults and other problems.
    January 13th, 2010  9:50 pm

  521. For MarkH and anyone else, this link http://www.courant.com/business/hc-autoanswers,0,7022836.columnist should get my latest columns; my eecond weekly column is an aggregation of local car shows and auto industry news that never gets archived. The short form is www.courant.com/business and I am at the bottom of the web page, usually, if the computer system does not misbehave. If you Google my name as "Duncan Haimerl" you get About 5,570 results in (0.27 seconds) and a good collection of a lot of my columns and some interesting etc. Thanks again for all the support here, it warms my heart and makes it strong, even though I am your basic cranky old curmudgeon.
  522. whitebeard on Pulp blogging.
    January 9th, 2010  8:01 pm

  523. There is an academy awards judge who brings his (or her) DVD entries to a Goodwill store near me and I grab them up as fast as my wallet will allow because watching DVDs on the portable player my wife gave me for Christmas helps blur the thoughts of the upcoming colon cancer surgery (date still not settled, heart stress tests next to see if I can survive the operation). My wife gave me Season Five of "24" and I watched all 24 episodes last weekend. This weekend I am polishing off the six "Star Wars" DVDs from the local library, which is building up a good collection of DVDs for its size. I have not bought any BluRay DVDs yet because I am waiting for the shakeout (I still have a Betamax videotape player and an RCA videodisc player in my collection of failed technologies)
  524. whitebeard on Lunatic fringe.
    February 17th, 2010  1:03 am

  525. I outran the bullet despite major colon surgery. All ten of the lymph nodes harvested by the surgeon are clear of cancer so I do not need chemotherapy, And the baseball-sized tumor did not extend behind the regular fatty tissue so all the other organs are apparently safe. But I just started eating real food three days ago so I am as weak as a kitten, but a purrrrrring kitten. Thanks guys and gals for all your best wishes.
  526. whitebeard on Soup without tears.
    January 31st, 2010  4:10 am

  527. Deborah et al, I will never link to a Malkin site ever again but a thought did come to me about Obama's daring move, it was like Daniel in the lyings den
  528. whitebeard on Faults and other problems.
    January 13th, 2010  8:13 pm

  529. This is my daily destination; it establishes that sanity still exists in this devastated universe. Heart doctor has cleared me for devastating colon surgery unless nuclear heart stress tests Tuesday and tomorrow show something major is amiss. Thinking positive, not writing my obituary in advance (yet). Pleasant note from weekend hospital visit: as the nurse's aide is pushing my bed from emergency to a third floor regular room for "observation" she tells me she has read my weekly car columns for years and always enjoys my humorous asides (my 15 seconds of fame). I also agree that Haiti did not create its own misery; it took outsiders to do that and shoddy construction to make an earthquake even more destructive.
  530. whitebeard on There will (not) be cake.
    January 15th, 2010  3:54 am

  531. Happy Blogaversary, my daily treat I had to Google the bob greene scandal, choice words about "the rug" on the horndog
  532. whitebeard on Hiatus, today.
    January 26th, 2010  8:24 pm

  533. What the Osprey program costing billions proved is that the British Harrier jet was not truly capable of flight. Of course, tell that to the Argentinian jet pilots who went down in flames in the short-lived Falklands War when they encountered the Harrier pilots. Why on earth would the Air Force try to re-invent the Harrier with newfangled technology? Because it lines some defense contractors' pockets with fresh, green cash. Per Monday's reference to P. J. O"Rourke's battle with rectal cancer, the two columns were amusing, enlightening and a jolly good read, eh!
  534. whitebeard on Cocktails in Brobdingnag.
    January 26th, 2010  12:05 am

  535. Surgery is set for feb. 3, don't want to rush these things, done a battery of tests to make sure my heart can stand the stress of surgery and got the green light from two doctors. I do not know the time of the operation yet but my surgeon says i am first on his list for that day. Surgeon did not take kindly to my wearing my leather jacket on the operation table to stop shivering, says he will have heated leg warmers and a heated chest warmer for me. Sounds comfy.
  536. whitebeard on You still suck.
    January 19th, 2010  6:57 pm

  537. No, No, No. You are wrong about Domino's, Little Ceasars, mom-and-pop pizzas; I stayed at a hotel in Saint john, New Brunswick, and they had a new special pizza on the room service menu. It turned out to be a hard flat bread with skimpy lumps of what could have been tomato sauce, but no cheese, no pepperoni, nothing as garnish to liven it up. When I complained, the restaurant said, "but that's way that everyone likes it here in this city." No surgery date yet, but soon I hope; surgeon has note on his desk to call me today.
  538. whitebeard on Screen gem.
    January 13th, 2010  9:47 am

  539. I read Jane Austen for hours to my wife's mother when she was in a nursing home with Alzheimers and whenever I made a name slip, she would correct me with a "No" although she did not have many conversational skills left by that time. She could not remember my name but always called me "The Big One" because I am, well, big. Took the first half of nuclear heart stress tests on Tuesday and will do the second half on Thursday to evaluate my surgical risks. The highlight of my weekend was getting a hospital bed by the window while I was under "observation" for 24 hours while they tried to coax my innards into working correctly. Surgery date os not definite yet, but soonest is the watchword.
  540. Holly Haimerl on Waist-deep.
    June 15th, 2010  12:29 am

  541. Duncan Haimerl, aka Whitebeard was my Dad. It is very heartwarming to keep finding positive comments about my Dad on the net. If anyone would like to post a comment there is a online obit/legacy page set up by the Hartford Courant - here is the link: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/hartfordcourant/obituary.aspx?n=duncan-haimerl&pid=141307914 R.I.P. Daddy best regards to everyone in this community, Holly H.