148 thoughts on “Weekend Open Comments

  1. This judge is out of control. There’s much more to fear from judges who sign willy-nilly any warrant waved in front of their face than there is from the jurist who is reluctant to sign anything.

    The court order demanding such a massive search is perhaps the most expansive one we’ve seen unconnected to the US national security apparatus and, if carried out, could set an Orwellian precedent in a bid by the Edina Police Department to solve a wire-fraud crime worth less than $30,000.

    Investigators are focusing their probe on an online photo of someone with the same name of a local financial fraud victim. The image turned up on a fake passport used to trick a credit union to fraudulently transfer $28,500 out of an Edina man’s account, police said. The bogus passport was faxed to the credit union using a spoofed phone number to mimic the victim’s phone, according to the warrant application. (To protect the victim’s privacy, Ars is not publishing his name that was listed throughout the warrant signed February 1 by Hennepin County Senior Judge Gary Larson.)


    After learning of the warrant, Andrew Crocker, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, tweeted: “Holy sh*t. Case name should be In re Minnesota Unconstitutional General Warrant.”

  2. Good foggy morning Hamsters. We have a lovely cool 59, and fog that began as a mere halo around yard lights at 6 is now a big murky blanket on the moors of the Brazos. Weather service has posted a dense fog advisory until 8 am. The service got the dense part right. The house behind us has vanished, and only ghostly images of trees near the barn remain. Everything is dripping.

  3. #4 Shannon, DAYAAM, that’ll get your motor runnin’ !
    Last night I was just dang Tarred of the news shows so I watched an old rerun of Gunsmoke, where Matt is framed for killing (hanging) his prisoner that he was transporting to Fort Dodge. Of course the Cavalry Sergeant that was investigating the crime had a grudge against the Marshall, since Matt and put him in jail for drunken brawling. I wish we still had good TV shows where the good guy always wins.

  4. BFA was extubated yesterday afternoon, after tests showed not enough brain activity to sustain life. She was moved to another room, and my cousin and I headed to her church to arrange the funeral mass. Eldest Sis and her counterpart were at the hospital, and did not make an announcement to the family, in large part because of the Harpy mess I went through. They didn’t want particular parties to try to insert themselves into a decision that they, as BFA’s executors and caregivers, were really responsible for. BCS called the hospital and made the announcement this morning. BFA’s heart is still going, surprisingly. I’m sure it was a long night for Eldest. The supposition was that upon extubation, she would stop breathing. Surprise!

    While working on the selections for mass, Cousin and I were talking about BFA’s emergency room experience. She wanted to let BFA go then, rather than go through all this treatment, when it was pretty obvious that her time had come. On the other hand, she said, it may have worked out well that her brother overrode her decision. “If I had let BFA go in the ER,” she said, “your sisters may have treated me the way they treated you.” Another rift in the family avoided, but at the expense of BFA.

    I’m assuming the Harpies are en route to the hospital, and since I’ve said my good-byes already, I’m focusing on other tasks. I have work to do here, I need to drive to Sweeny to take pics of our unit for rent, and probably need to start prepping my home for the reception on Tuesday. I can pray for BFA here at home.

    Lots of work to keep me busy. That’s a good thing.

  5. Another rift in the family avoided, but at the expense of BFA.

    My condolences to you and yours, TT. I don’t think BFA is suffering at all, based on what you have reported. All of her essence, that which made her who she was, has gone on to be with THE LORD. She is in peace even if her “earth suit” has not quite figured that out yet. You should be at peace as well and don’t let the harpies get you down. Try and encourage your cousin, she needs you.

  6. #10 TT: I would rather the Texans have another losing season that take that sack of bad attitude and discord onto the team.

  7. Two different tales of one city.

    I’ll take em both.

    Off the couch and hittin” the running trail.

    And as I say using my Al Pacino impersonation from Scent of a Woman…..


  8. #17 Bonecrusher

    That picture of Hildebeast looks like someone who has been on significant doses of meds, like steroids, to combat something serious enough to require same. Swollen face looks rather roundish like a pumpkin. I saw a headline a couple of days ago that Michelle Obama had said Hildebeast was on medication(s). This certainly appears like it.

  9. #8 – I don’t necessarily have a fear of ducks, but I do have a gear of quacks taking over the medical profession. I think that’s another requirement of Ocare though. Quack, quack….

  10. I don’t know if anybody here remembers this story.

    In December, a Newsweek writer living in Dallas was arguing on Twitter with people when someone sent him a tweet with a gif attached that flashed a bright strobe light at the viewer. The journalist, Kurt Eichenwald, was sent into an epileptic seizure and I believe needed to go to the hospital. Eichenwald had written a number of times about his life-long battle with epilepsy and the things that provoked a seizure.

    The sender of the Tweet was signed in as @jew_goldstein and the fake name (((Ari Goldstein))). Kurt Eichenwald is Jewish. Now, for those who are unaware, the neo-Nazis and white supremacists always put a Jew’s name in triple parentheses whenever they write them so this was an immediate clue for me the sender was one of those creeps.

    Meanwhile, the Justice Department identified the suspect as 29-year-old John Rayne Rivello, who was arrested early Friday at his residence in Salsbury, Maryland.

    “What [this person] did with his Twitter message was no different from someone sending a bomb in the mail or sending an envelope filled with Anthrax spores,” said Eichenwald’s attorney, Steven Lieberman. “It wasn’t the content of the communication that was intended to persuade somebody or make them feel badly about themselves; this was an electronic communication that was designed to have a physical effect.”

    Back around 2000, I took my mother to see a specialist in the Medical Center and afterwards we decided to stop at Kahn’s Deli in Rice Village for pastrami sandwiches. As we were walking from my truck, we passed a record store and in the window they had two large strobe lights flashing into the sidewalk. I thought my mother was going to faint and she became so weak, I barely got her back to the truck. The strobes triggered a severe migraine and I had to drive her back to Bellville and put her in bed, where she stayed until the next day. She had suffered from migraines her entire life and bright flashing lights were the main trigger.

    I don’t think anyone should get away with the sort of harassment suffered by Eichenwald even if he is a complete jerk in my book.

    See this article for how Eichenwald started the whole Russian spying/Donald Trump chain of lies.

    The article, titled, “Dear Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, I Am Not Sidney Blumenthal,” went viral, and earned Eichenwald several appearances on national TV. His story was immediately picked up by the pro-Clinton crowd, who read it as evidence not only that Putin wanted Trump elected, but that Wikileaks had released “phony” documents. As we noted on Paste at the time—and we were not alone—there was no merit to this argument even before Moran came forward with the real story, and Eichenwald’s descent into pure red-scare hyperbole stands as one of the strangest and most irresponsible examples of mainstream journalism in a very strange and irresponsible year.

  11. It’s believed that Jefferson first encountered ice cream during his stint in France from 1784 to 1789. When he returned home, he brought recipes and an ice cream freezer to ensure he could enjoy the stuff for the rest of his life.

    As president, he served ice cream at formal dinners on at least six occasions. Guests were delighted and somewhat baffled by the delicacy. In 1802, a Congressman from Massachusetts wrote, “Ice cream very good, crust wholly dried, crumbled into thin flakes.” Representative Samuel Latham Mitchill described “balls of frozen material inclosed [sic] in covers of warm pastry, exhibiting a curious contrast, as if the ice had just been taken from the oven.”

    Tom Jefferson’s handwritten homemade ice cream recipe right here.

  12. Jefferson also fell in love with Mac&Cheese while he was in France. One story has it he brought home on the ship a macaroni extruding machine with instructions for the cooks at Monticello. It was known to be served there.

    Here is his drawing and description of the machine.

  13. Somewhat related to Jefferson’s love of macaroni and cheese is his love of Parmesan. Though he wanted to replicate the production process in America, Jefferson ultimately decided it was impossible to recreate the flavors in the cheese since it was made from the milk of Italian cows. Instead, he had many wheels imported for his own personal use—he was especially fond of sprinkling the cheese over the top of his “macaroni pie” to finish it off.

    Jefferson was also extremely interested in a steam-powered grater, capable of shredding a chunk of Parmesan in minutes. Between that, the macaroni machine, and the ice cream freezer, it’s safe to say Jefferson was probably the first kitchen gadget enthusiast in America.

  14. Pssst,

    Have you noticed that all the BS our kind, loving Tedtam puts up with is promulgated by the womenfolk?

  15. When I first came up here to Baghdad on the Hudson, there were not that many trucks and they were split between Chevy and Ford with some Dodges. They were almost every one a commercial or work truck of some kind.

    Now, 14 years later, there are pickups everywhere and Ford overwhelmingly dominates the market.

    The other thing I see more of than anywhere else is the proliferation of Jeep SUVs in New Jersey. They are absolutely everywhere on the road here and all I can figure out is Chrysler Corp must be giving them away, especially on lease deals.

  16. #22
    I remember the strobe story because I read somewhere that the “victim” said he had been sent a strobing picture of Pepe the right-wing meme frog. I instantly thought it was probably our old friend from The Simpsons.

  17. #29
    How could it be otherwise? There seem to be several hundred women in her family. About 20 sisters, some aunts, 40 cousins, etc.

  18. I luv my Tundra. However I was a Ford man for years.

    Ford trucks have been the #1 best sellers in America for the past 40 years. I got into an argument with a guy that pointed out the Chevy was broken down (poor choice of words) into two divisions GM and Chevy. So their sales are split between the two thus Chevy has to sell even more trucks to be #1. So I did some checking and at THAT time GM and Chevy combined did not out sell Fords. Well that was in full size trucks.

    In an effort to be honest and objective (Holy crap did I say that) Combined Chevy GM does defeat Ford when you factor in mid size truck sales. Ford Rangers suck so I can understand the disparity. The Number 1 seller of mid size trucks? Toyota Tacoma.

  19. The Tacoma is pretty popular up here. It’s understandable since all the parking lots (except for Walmart and Costco) are designed for small cars.

    Driving my 4-door long bed F-350 around here for years was a huge source of stress whenever I was trying to park. It was over 23′ long with the heavy duty roughneck bumper.

  20. I got all my weeds mowed down but the job took longer than I expected. I had to get out the edger and do some of the front curb and driveway. That means I also need to use the blower but I don’t have the energy at the moment. This is way earlier than usual for my first mow.

  21. I’m a car man.

    Toyota Camry XLE is the best car I’ve ever owned.

    Want to upgrade to newer one but I don’t like the body design with the front end that looks like a whale shark, wide open mouth and scooping up plankton by the tons.

    Tough getting the bugs outta those grills.

  22. #29 – I’ve always made allowances for the exceptional ladies who visit the couch here. And, if I’m not mistaken, the Harpies are also of the female gender, so yes, I’ve made that observation. Over time though, I’ve noticed that the stories are all the same, it’s just the faces that change.

  23. #22 Texpat

    A flashing light was a critical part of Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain book and movie when the monkey infected with the virus got loose in the remote sequestered laboratory complex. The escape set off warning horns and flashing lights as various sections were automatically closed off, and the epileptic doctor who was the main scientist was caught in a hallway with a flashing light and went into a grand mal seizure that incapacitated her for a critical time.

    Dr. Crichton was an MD virologist who pretty much went straight into research rather than a medical practice.

  24. But he hasn’t written anything yet about these darn ducks that have magic vision capabilities and can watch you from anywhere in the world. Even tin foil hats cannot deny their long range capabilities. Just remember, no matter who you are and where you go, the ducks are always watching.

  25. 39 Adee

    Thanks, I forgot about that. I was riveted by Crichton’s book, but never saw the movie. I’m sure I mentioned the incident to my mother.

    Chrichton is sorely missed today. We could use his wise voice in this healthcare mess.

  26. 41 EG

    Michael Crichton was a man of vast talents and intellect, but writing books while he is dead is beyond even his set of skills.

  27. #43 Texpat

    The movie is well done and certainly must be available on Amazon or Netflix archives.

  28. #33 –

    The Number 1 seller of mid size trucks? Toyota Tacoma.

    I’d venture that #2 may well be Nissan……………….I have only my OWN Datsun/Nissan experience to refer to…………..and it was NOT a mid size – my lil blue ’85 Nissan 2WD pikkemup (’85 was the first year the new name was displayed – the ’84s showed BOTH Datsun and Nissan monikers)………….my lil blue workhorse was $7,100 out the door and survived quite well up to a whopping 425,000 miles before my Son Guppie totaled her (other driver’s fault) right after we re-built that Z 2.4 / 4 cyl / 8 sprk plug engine.

    I do recall keeping ALL my receipts for the life of that little truck and before She “died”…….. er was killed by that other inattentive driver – I calculated purchase price + ALL maintenance, parts, tires, oil, alternator(s), shocks, suspension upgrades (as I had almost a full ton of ladders & drywall gear loaded on Her the last 7 years of her life)………………that little jewel only cost me just under 3 cents per MILE!!!! (not counting fuel of course)

  29. Katfish
    I gotta say one of the best cheap trucks I ever owned was a Mazda B2000. I achieved the same miles per cents that you did. I can’t blame her untimely death on the other guy. It was all my own doing.

    That was a tough little four banger. I drug a full sized Uhaul loaded form Mississippi to Texas and that truck never complained. Did not get over 40mph except on a long down hill in Mississippi but ran 65 all the way through La to here.

    Funny how I came to buy that truck. I went to the Nissan place up here and not one salesperson would talk to me. Okay so I looked like a homeless guy but dang it I had cash for the truck. I got mad and went to the Mazda place up here where they were advertising a truck for $9000 back in ’82 and if you bought a truck that day you get a TV set. Got the truck and the set. LOl

  30. Doing a bit of research shows just a smattering of diesels in 1/2 ton pickups, but they have never really been popular. I wonder if Ford’s entry in the last half of 2018 is going to change that dynamic. If the rig doesn’t get better than 25 mpg (2wd, combined city/highway) and/or have significantly better performance/driveability then why would anyone bother with the increase costs of fuel ($/gallon) and maintenance? The possible exception would be for a commercial vehicle.

  31. Here’s a story about a 1939 Cummins engine in an International pickup. Cummins sent their in house historian 1,200 miles to pick it up.

    Up and over a hill, we follow the remnants of a road now covered by 3-foot high prairie grass. We pass an old shuttered home that is somehow still standing and old vehicles in various states of decomposition until we reach the top of another hill. There, in the back of an impromptu junkyard lays our prize. It is the forefather of all current Cummins engines, and its appeal prompted the engine maker to send their historian nearly 1,200 miles with a truck and a flatbed to retrieve it.

    The 1939 Cummins engine sits like a diamond in the worse-for-the-wear International Harvester truck. It looks so large and imposing to the naked eye it simply dominates the ’50s truck. With its straight six-cylinder design and girth, the engine is more reminiscent of a small locomotive engine than today’s modern Cummins engines. Yet, there it sits, and embossed on the side is the “Cummins” brand name blended into iron block.

  32. History of Dodge Diesel Engines 1916 to 1975

    In 1939, Chrysler celebrated its 10th anniversary of purchasing Dodge by building a 658,000-square-foot truck assembly plant in Warren, Michigan. Its output included 28 different truck models and offered a complete range of choices for light- to heavy-duty truck platforms for the first time. The real news was the corporation’s introduction of an in-house-designed and branded Dodge diesel engine.

    The totally new Dodge diesel was an inline-six-cylinder, four-cycle engine that produced 96 hp at 2,600 rpm and 225 lb-ft of torque at 1,000 rpm. The new mill displaced 331 ci and featured a compression ratio of 14.5:1. Its block incorporated nickel-moly alloy and featured full-length water jackets, valve-seat inserts, overhead valves, and a chain driven camshaft. A 24-volt electrical system was also included.

  33. I believe further investigation will show that the Dodge half-ton was not available with a diesel until 2015 – the first half ton pickup ever available with a diesel.

    They certainly weren’t available in 2005 or I would have bought one instead of the gasoline version.

  34. A moment or two of clarity in today’s March Madness. Wisconsin won over Villanova this afternoon by 3 points, so last year’s champion is vanquished. Badgers live to play another day at least. This apparently was a shocking outcome except to only a few pundits.

    JJ & family surely must be delighted, as are we.

  35. 58 Shannon

    Is the writer in my #51 just completely misinformed when he wrote…?

    …in the third quarter of 2013 as a 2014 model, it will be the first time a light-duty pickup truck is sold with a diesel engine.

  36. 60 GJT

    If Chevy comes out with a 1/2 ton diesel it will have a Detroit in it and you can follow them all over town by the trails of oil they leak out onto the road.

    Worse than British built cars.

  37. I dreamed of a Dodge pickup when I saw the prototype new body style many years a go at the Car Show. It took a lot of years to attain that dream finally in 1998. It was a 3/4 ton diesel, single cab. I loved that truck. I ultimately wished it had been 4WD because that thing was soooo front heavy I stuck it more than a few times and my half-ton-gas buddies breezed right around me. I was between jobs and drove the heck out of that thing all around Houston, the surrounding counties, and Lousyana….hot-shotting for Superior Delivery.

  38. I only hot-shotted for six months because I ran the numbers and was only breaking even. Sorta.
    That wasn’t even taking depreciation / wear & tear into consideration.

    But I at least had some cash flow. And a helluva lot of fun.

  39. 56 EG

    This is the first I’ve read the details of the story I first heard about on local radio yesterday.

    Unbelievable. I can promise you no one, absolutely no one, leaves anything in or on a bike or motorcycle in NYC. The agent lived in Bath Beach which is an older decent, blue collar neighborhood in Brooklyn, but still.

    The NYPD report is pretty chilling. My question is why did she not only leave the laptop, but all the personal stuff like service pins, etc. in a saddlebag of a motorcycle on the street overnight ?

  40. I’m going to assume the Diesel engines in these half tons are a smaller version.
    Dodge had trouble for a couple of years coming up with a decent tranny when the Cummings were first used.

  41. RE: Diesels

    Cummins has always been the best diesel goin in the consumer truck market. VW auto produced a pretty good diesel for passenger cars. American auto in the 80’s tried to covert gas to diesel and it just did not work. Cadillac/Oldsmobile tried and bombed miserably

  42. 64 Shannon

    The article I quoted in #51 was written in February of 2013 talking about a Dodge press release stating Dodge would be coming out in the 3rd quarter with the 2014 diesel half ton.

    Maybe they didn’t actually make it until a year later.

  43. Shannon

    I only hot-shotted for six months because I ran the numbers and was only breaking even. Sorta

    Those hotshot companies are a ripoff to regular guys like yourself. There is only one or two that I know of where the drivers actually have a chance to make a little money. Most are set up so that drivers “make money” at tax time when you deduct your fuel, depreciation, insurance and maintenance. .

  44. Oh, and the article in 51 has been corrected at the bottom where it says the 2014-15 Dodge Diesel 1/2 ton would be the only, not the first, 1/2 ton diesel in America.

  45. Ford deleted the Ranger a number of years ago. Truly a piece of caca. There are rumors that they will bring it back. Or something called a Ranger, in that category.

  46. I believe it was last year (2016) that the mid-size GM Colorado/Canyon became available with a diesel.

  47. We have a family friend whose son didn’t go to college and went off to train as a mechanic at Cummins. He became certified also on their new line of marine engines that came out in the (?) late 80s. After a stint in south Louisiana, a marine service company built a new facility in La Marque to service Cummins marine units before they realized there were no certified Cummins marine techs in Texas so they hired our friend’s son and they paid him very, very well. Last I heard he was general manager.

  48. 70 SQK

    One thing that really PO’d me was they charged us fifty bucks a month to use their (required) 2-way radio. I’m still PO’d about that. 🙂

  49. 72 Shannon

    If it’s not something comparable to the Toyota Tacoma, they might as well not even bother. The Ranger hurt their reputation and they don’t need to repeat. They had to really work hard to produce a piece of crap like that.

  50. My question is why did she not only leave the laptop, but all the personal stuff like service pins, etc. in a saddlebag of a motorcycle on the street overnight ?

    Emotional problems. And the patriarchy.

  51. #66, 77 – Obviously she told someone where it would be; or conversely, someone told her where to leave it. Come Monday, she should be chasing counterfeits in Boise or Nome, althought I can tell you from personal experience that Amarillo might be punishment enough – but then she would be voting in Texas.

  52. There was a nice men’s shoe store, part of a chain from Denver, that was on the southeast corner of San Felipe and Post Oak.

    They aren’t there anymore, but they had 3 or 4 stores in the Houston area back in the 80s and 90s and early 00s. They didn’t go out of business for lack of my money and I still have 3 pairs of shoes I bought there around 2001-2.

    Does anybody remember their name ?

  53. I think American carmakers gave up on competing against the Tacoma long ago.
    Utter defeat.
    They simply are not capable. Or don’t want to be. Or would have to charge five grand more for something comparable.

    I drove a new one recently. The interior and tech have come a long way. Really nice, for a Toyota. The ride is still rougher than a go-cart with no suspension.

    And about 9000 dollars overpriced.

  54. 78 EG

    People, dressed head to toe in black, don’t pull up to a dark building in Bath Beach at 3:00 AM in an Uber car, get out, walk directly to a small motorcycle parked by a stoop, steal a backpack, walk off down the street, take out the laptop, throw the backpack and contents away and then disappear into the night as a matter of routine.

  55. Phil
    I drove a Camry for nine years and loved that car.
    Ditto on the new front end body style. Terrible.
    And Toyota carries that look on their Lexus, too.

    Was recently listening to that Saturday car show that mostly talks about new cars. Lady calls in for advice on a certain category of cars. The host mentions the Lexus and the caller said “No Way – I couldn’t look at that ugly front end every day.”

  56. 84
    Reminds me of when Ford put those really ugly tail lights on the Crown Vics and LTD’s.

    Ruined the whole car.

    I don’t remember if Katfish’s Crown Vic has those ugly tail lights or not.

  57. Don’t let him fool you.
    It’s almost Easter and the feed stores all have baby ducks, now.
    He bought a dozen and turned them loose in the house.
    And now he’s gone around the bend.

  58. #79 TP: Was it Larry’s Shoes? BTW, on the north side of San Felipe, just east of Post Oak was the only store in Houston where my mom could shop for shoes, it was called Brucette’s. Mom wears 4A shoe. Her feet look like tongue depressors.

  59. Brucette’s was on San Felipe just east of Post Oak. My mother also shopped for shoes there because of her very narrow size. We also bought shoes for Shannon there back when they had children’s shoes. He had all kinds of foot problems as a little kid.

    Larry’s came later and was in the center on the southeast corner. I used to walk over to Willie G’s from Larry’s and have a drink while I calculated how much in sales I had to do to pay for what I spent at Larry’s.

  60. Here is an old City-Data thread with former Larry’s Shoes employees and customers bemoaning Larry’s son running the company into the ground. Larry was an old school Jewish shoe man.

    I used to go in there to the same young black shoe salesman and he was a champ. Real old time service and knowledge. They sold only quality upscale product.

    I’m still wearing a pair of captoe black lace up dress shoe I bought from them 16 years ago. They’ve been resoled once and refurbished a couple of times. I paid $229 for them and they still look almost new. $13.75 a year for great shoes. Not bad.

  61. El Gordo may be interested in a new spy movie I hear’s coming out.

    Sort of a poor man’s B-rated spy flick called, ‘The Spy Duck who FuhQuacked Me’

    There’s a Blofeld type character that looks a lot like that famous media stooge of an actor, FlushJohn Jigsaw McClam.

    The plot line is McClam goes around trying to start WWIII by claiming Russian hookers were paid to provide reach arounds to a certain shady Baloney salesman, who wants to bring down a sitting president, using F.I.Bectre’s Inspector Dumbseau and a whole host of other agencies such as the C.Y.A.S.S the N.S.A.B.C.DO.RE.ME. and the ever present B.I.G-B.R.O.T.H.E.L–The Empire of Media Conglomerates and their slogans.–Up is Down.–In is Out.–Propaganda is Good and Truth is Treason.

    The tag line for the new movie will be…Spooks don’t only come out on Halloween, They also Haunt your Samsung while you’re splaying your ham hung.

    Be afraid! Be very afraid!

  62. Ref #17: How can you have a picture of HELLary Clinton without captions? Let me see if I can explain the picture with my “Top Ten” captions for that picture:

    1) Okay, whose going to pay me my $250K standard speaking fee for this gig?

    2) Look, I’m running again in 2020 because the ‘third time is the charm’.

    3) I’ve asked Moochelle if she will join me as my running mate in 2020.

    4) Now, if I could just learn to be more personable, I might have a chance in 2020.

    5) Wonder if those Arabs would want to contribute to the Clinton Foundation again?

    6) Tony Perez and DNC can help me win the primary.

    7) You people don’t want Plan B (Biden) in 2020, he’s senile.

    8) Now, what can I do to stay relevant until 2020.

    9) I’m a shoo-in for 2020 because the Dummycrats don’t have any ‘young bucks’ to run against me.

    10) Hope they can improve ‘Botox’ because I’m going to need it in 2020.

  63. Good morning Hamsters. Dense fog again this morning blankets the moors of the Brazos, and the house behind us is gone except for the yard lights. Still a dampish 60 at 7 and a bit chilly to be outside without a sweater. Guess the fog will be watering the grass and plants this morning.

  64. Quack, quack I mean good morning. I see starting a lawnmower in my future. Wondering if they had to pump Willie full of that hiliary medicine to keep him on stage for his performance. That may be one of his last shows. How many performers can keep on going through generations – some but not all that many.Have a good day couch sitters. If you want to know what I’m doing, just tune in to the duck channel and watch.

  65. 97 Texpat

    The graphic seems to indicate that of the news sites that might be considered “conservative”, something called the Conservative Tribune is third most visited.

    I’ve never been there and hadn’t heard of it until this morning.

    And probably won’t go back.

  66. #94 phil
    This post finally makes me wonder if you need psychiatric help, unca phil. I am more comfortable seeing when you have posted another Tom Jones song and video.

  67. How could Hillary run again in 2020? She was only kept standing up by medications — and a travelling ER in the back of a black sedan — on the campaign trail last year.

  68. BFA passed away last night. I had gone to see “The Shack” – which I recommend, btw – and I got the call just as the movie as getting underway.

    The funeral is Tuesday, viewing and rosary Monday evening. I may have to lead the rosary, as we don’t if we can get the seminarian on such short notice, and all the way across town, in the evening. I’m nervous – I’ve never *led* a rosary, but I have my Scriptural rosary book that I can read from and follow. I talked to a friend who led my father’s rosary before his mass, and she went through her procedures with me and was very supportive.

    Eldest Sis and her counterpoint, MMCousin, are doing most of the heavy lifting, but my other cousin and I are helping with some stuff, mostly me. It’s like a duck swimming. From what the rest of the family is/will be seeing, it’s all calm and things are moving along, while underneath the feet are paddling furiously.

    Off to get pics of BFA to Eldest…hand off keys to a friend…make sure I have an appropriate outfit (it’s been a while since I’ve tried on some of my clothes, since my daily attire is shorts and t-shirts while working at home)…order flowers…so much to do.

  69. #94 phil
    This post finally makes me wonder if you need psychiatric help, unca phil. I am more comfortable seeing when you have posted another Tom Jones song and video.

    And some folks wonder if I need psychiatric help because of my passion for Tom Jones music.:)

    It’s a catch 22 I tell ya.

    P.S.–It”s tough to type in this straight white jacket.–Please send cookies. Chocolate chip.

  70. @ the Car Wash,…and apparently I’m not the only one that thought that this beautiful day would be good time to warsh up the old truck. There must be 70 vehicles in 5 lanes, all backed up. The bed of my truck is still in the car wash tunnel, I do hope they don’t run another one through there.
    Mornin’ Gang

  71. Dang, the WiFi here SUX! Slower than molasses in January.
    It takes about 25-30 seconds for the OC Pix to load (must be huge) and another 8-10 to load content.
    Hey, the old Pick-Um-Up has moved into the second line third slot. About 6 vehicles came off at once.

  72. For Phil, from Emo Philips
    Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

    A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

    When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.

  73. Phil, straight-jacketed in a chair.
    A yellowing, flaking Tom Jones poster on the wall.
    He, too, is surrounded by murmuring baby ducks.

  74. I checked out the guests scheduled to appear on the Sunday talk shows, and John McCain’s name wasn’t there anywhere. So then I checked the obits, and he wasn’t there either. Anyone know what happened? I thought the constitution required that McCain appear every week on at least one talk show.

  75. Ommmmmm Ommmmmmmmm
    Magical thought cookies [chocolate chip: check] sent to phil across the ether.

  76. I am using the blower to clean up the mess I left from mowing & edging yesterday. Also some small damp leaf piles that built up along front curb. The bottom leaves were stuck to the curb and pavement, and had trapped some dirt, i.e. now some mud. And OMG, that thin layer of mud had been colonized by earthworms, most of them very small. Once the blower had uncovered them, I had to pick them up and toss them up into the beds lining the curb — no sense in letting a worm die through no fault of its own. Slowed me down quite a bit though. I’m only half through but needed a break for rehydration. It is warm and very sunny out there.

  77. Let me LURCH back out onto the driveway for the coup de grace.

  78. Stumbled across Avocado Oil, here at HEB.
    Never heard of it. Highest smoke point of all cooking oils – 500 degrees!

  79. Cursive writing is looping back into style in schools across the country after a generation of students who know only keyboarding, texting and printing out their words longhand.

    Alabama and Louisiana passed laws in 2016 mandating cursive proficiency in public schools, the latest of 14 states that require cursive. And last fall, the 1.1 million-student New York City schools, the nation’s largest public school system, encouraged the teaching of cursive to students, generally in the third grade.


    Malliotakis also noted that students who can’t read cursive will never be able to read historical documents. “If an American student cannot read the Declaration of Independence, that is sad.”

  80. Ugh, the grace couped me, I’m still not done. Got 2 leaf bags filled, maybe 2 more to go.

  81. Tedtam, sorry that you have lost your favorite aunt, and got subjected to more family strum und drang, but they are lucky to have a stable relative to help them out in trying times.

  82. Veronique de Rugy outlines three realistic things we could do right now to start limiting government.

    This one would probably be the most difficult because they, with exceptions, don’t want real transparency up there – both sides of the aisle.

    Short of terminating programs, the first thing Congress could do is adopt fair-value accounting. Under the government’s current accounting scheme, most direct and guaranteed loans look as if they cost taxpayers nothing and even create the illusion of returning money to the Treasury. Moving to a fair-value accounting system would actually capture the direct and opportunity costs of these lending programs.

    and this could be passed now,

    Second, Congress could create a Base Realignment and Closure-like commission to eliminate favoritism. An independent commission made of non-politician experts would be charged with the narrow focus and specific instructions of reviewing programs, tax expenditures and regulations that confer privileges on commercial interests. The commission would then submit a package targeting the elimination of the most egregious corporate welfare programs. It would go into effect unless a joint resolution disapproving all of the commission’s recommendations were passed and signed by the president.

    and this only requires a few articulate, effective loudmouths in Congress,

    Finally, lawmakers could start taking a real stand against corporate welfare. When then-Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., successfully stood up against spending $223 million worth of taxpayers’ money through earmarks to reconstruct an Alaskan bridge connecting an airport on Gravina Island (population 50) to the town of Ketchikan (population 8,900)—a bridge he labeled the “Bridge to Nowhere”—not only did we remember his gesture in the name of taxpayers but also it helped kill earmarks once and for all.

    Read the whole thing.

  83. #114 Shannon, I’ll stick with P-Nut oil, smoke point: 450°F.
    That said, I use “almost virgin” Olive oil sometimes, but not for frying.

  84. Also I’m guessing that Avocado Oil is real Expen$ive! Way more than P-Nut Oil which is pretty dang expensive. Last Turkey that I fryed, the oil was about $30 Bucks!!

  85. I use olive oil for everything, but since I don’t fry anything that isn’t an issue. The health benefits of olive oil are pretty impressive.

    An old friend of mine and I started frying turkeys back in the late 80s out on Jones Road in the kitchen of a restaurant owned by some friends of ours. We would serve it buffet style in the bar next to the restaurant. The only people I knew outside of New Iberia who had heard of fried turkey back then were my expat coonass friends.

    I got tired of it though and went back to oven cooking. The brined turkeys I baked this past Thanksgiving were the best I’ve ever made and the best I’ve ever tasted anywhere.

  86. Rod Dreher quotes the left of center Peter Beinart.

    For decades, liberals have called the Christian right intolerant. When conservatives disengage from organized religion, however, they don’t become more tolerant. They become intolerant in different ways. …

    Whatever the reason, when cultural conservatives disengage from organized religion, they tend to redraw the boundaries of identity, de-emphasizing morality and religion and emphasizing race and nation. Trump is both a beneficiary and a driver of that shift.

    So is the alt-right.

    and here,

    For years, political commentators dreamed that the culture war over religious morality that began in the 1960s and ’70s would fade. It has. And the more secular, more ferociously national and racial culture war that has followed is worse.

    Dreher comments on Beinart’s observations:

    Read the whole thing. It’s important. It’s a confirmation of a line Ross Douthat had a year or so ago, telling the left that if they didn’t like the Religious Right, just wait until they see the Post-Religious Right. I’m getting anecdotal reports from readers and from acquaintances that young people with smartphones are not only streaming pornography, but also getting massive doses of political extremism on their devices. One source who sees the boys in his conservative Christian high school embracing white nationalism speculates that the megachurch Christianity of these high school seniors is not facing the reality of the world around us.

  87. Well, the Boy is shooting for his company’s “Super Bowl Ring” this month, he has the best Senior Assistant Manager that he’s ever had and a fine crew and says that if he can’t do it in March, he”ll most likely have to wait a whole year. BUT he was out from March 9 until the 14th. He had a serious stomach virus and made two trips to the emergency clinic for hydration (I.V. for you folks in Rio Linda). Then on his first day back at work, (last Tuesday) he was kinda’ wimpy and Houston Looting and Pillaging turned off the power from 11 AM to 3 PM!!! A planned outing to fix some crap, they do this about once a month. Since it’s happened before, I told him he should get a Generac, he could get one for about $3500 Bucks and he said that it would have paid for itself on Tuesday. Anywho, I talked to him this morning and he’s on track for a $537 K month,….knock on wood, if he makes $500K gross, he gets the ring.

  88. 123
    I remember well more than a couple folks that were gently – and some not-so-gently -insisting that everyone should just “cool it” with all that culture war stuff.

    All I can say to them is, “How do you like it, now, Bubba?”

  89. 126 Hamous

    Don’t anybody read Hamous’ link. It’s on the front page tomorrow with plenty of other stuff.

  90. #123 Texpat

    I’ve encountered quite a few of the Frog People on the interwebs. What gives me hope is that they are given no quarter by conservative Christians. I have to think that they are a small, but vocal, minority.

  91. 125 Shannon

    A problem I have is I like Peter Beinart. He’s sharp as a six foot razor blade, writes beautifully, but he’s just so wrong so much of the time. The guy is good though.

  92. 129 Hamous

    I believe they are a small minority….for now. It’s the next generation under their influence I worry about. The college kids, the high school and middle schoolers. There’s at least a plausible possibility for exponential growth there.

  93. First experience with a Diesel in a 1/2 ton pick up was 1978, I think. Dad had a foreman who wanted one for his company truck. The thing was a real dog. The truck was a Chevy 1/2 ton. The engine was an Oldsmobile 350. The Oldsmobile engine was strong enough to handle Diesel combustion pressures. The injection pump failed and I got to replace it. They took out the distributor and put in an injection pump. A spider web of plumbing went to where the spark plugs were. Put in a distributor, spark plugs, wires, head spacers to lower the compression and it was a gas engine again. In theory, didn’t do it. The cam for the fuel pump was still there, would have had to take the blank off and add the mechanical pump as well. Guess the intake manifold and a carburetor would be needed, but basically it was just an Old’s long block with a mickey mouse conversion. Lasted about as long as whoever was advertising steerable rear axles for backing up trailers recently.

  94. One of the things I did today was go through my Dad’s scrapbook to get pictures for BFA’s wake and post-funeral reception for the family. Wow, was she a looker in her youth! Even in her last days, she had that sweet face and fabulous hair. It’s a shame she never had children; she would have been a fabulous mother. I also found some pictures of a birthday party held for her at my father’s Elks Lodge. She had a tiara and a pink boa and was hamming it up for the camera.

    Yeah, I hope Eldest picks that one for the event!

    It’s been crazy for me, but I’m sure Eldest Sister has had almost non-stop duties. The speed at which this has happened has really compressed the timeline on her. At least it will be over soon that way. She sounds so tired every time I talk to her.

  95. Spent a few days at the bay. Gilhooley’s has been sold. Only change so far is one cannot smoke inside. I don’t smoke but this annoys a friend who does. Never been to Noah’s Ark till Hammie mentioned it. The place is a bit left of where we turn right to get to San Leon. Nice laid back place, good gumbo, now a fav of the wife and I. They have a waitress who is a dead ringer for Bunny Meyers. Nice staff at both places. Top Water still has great food if you have two hours to wait to eat. It may be faster to buy live bait there, take it home, and cook it yourself. The hiring pool for for wait staff is rather limited down there.

  96. #134 – I think Phil is still owning Gilhooleys, but the county shut down the smoking to permit him to keep his health certificate. Don’t know if it’s allowed on the patio. I had heard that the sale fell through.

  97. Just in case you missed some guy’s recent Tweet:

    I live in constant fear that Trump will deport my latina mother-in-law who lives at 1837 3rd Street, LA 90023 blue house. she gets off of work at 6

  98. 136, Read about the sale in the Sea Breeze. Was there last week, same great place. I don’t smoke and really would not notice or care if people did. If the beer was flat I’d raise Caine. My wife and son assert the grilled oysters are as good as ever. They make a really great burger as well for weirdos who do not like oysters.

  99. The hiring pool for wait staff is rather limited down there.

    They smell really bad when they come off the shrimp boat.

  100. I had to Google Bunny Myers. She is not a stripper.

    Makes $460,000 a year for being a YouTube fashion personality.

    Now we know why Sarge doesn’t come around anymore.

    Stuck up mofo.

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