Friday Evening Open Thread

There are great Michael Jackson videos on all the music channels this weekend. I can't believe Comcast doesn't have a live MTV HD channel. Anyway, you can watch online above. MTV is doing a tribute to him this evening, but there are too many interviews. Better to watch online, or one of the other channels.

The autopsy showed no signs of foul play or trauma to his body. Michael's body has been released to his family. Toxicology tests will take 6 to 8 weeks. His doctor, Houston cardiologist Conrad Murray, who was living with Jackson, has agreed to be interviewed. He's not suspected of criminal activity. Jackson's ex-wife and the mother of two of his children, Paris and Michael, will get custody as she never relinquished her parental rights.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    More rain (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 06:10:07 PM EST

    Messing up the start of the (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 06:15:17 PM EST
    Subway series! And upsetting the Dot.

    I just hope it's dry tomorrow until 1:30 when I'm done with my shift for the CSA. Hauling containers of veggies in the rain and mud is not my idea of a good time. I do like the feel of the air coming in my window right now though.


    Too bad... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 12:16:29 PM EST
    it wasn't a rain-out last night:(

    Arrived home on a stiflingly (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 06:22:10 PM EST
    (is that a word) humid day to find that there was no cool air coming out of the vents...are you f'ing kidding me???  We have a call in for repair, and hubby, who sells HVAC for a living and knows more about it than anyone would ever want to know, will look at it when he gets home.  Might be something simple.  Please, God.

    In the meantime, the weather is supposed to break - it's been rumbling and darkening and threatening for hours - but so far...nothing.  Now the blasted sun is out again - but that may generate the thunderboomers and get this show on the road.

    what's coming in from my window fans (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 07:08:04 PM EST
    feels great. And I just cooked dinner, so I should not be so comfortable. Humidity seams to be drying up and the temps cooling, about 12 degrees in the past 30-40 minutes. Ahhhhhhhhhh! Here's hoping the same happens for you!!  :)

    The good news is that we shut the (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 07:29:10 PM EST
    system down for about an hour and when we turned it back on, wonderful cool air was coming out of the vents again!  We'll see if it keeps perking along, but since the outside air is still just like dog breath (and I have two dogs, so that's not meant to be insulting, just descriptive!), I will be happy if it hangs in there until the front comes through.

    Dog breath is a good description! (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 07:45:50 PM EST
    Especially as mine lets me know when she feels it's too hot and humid by laying practically in my lap and panting in my face. Message received, lol!~ Nothing worse than 50lbs of panting dog laying on ya in this weather, unless perhaps you have 2!!

    Glad to hear your AC came on! I killed my big one last Labor Day weekend. Trying to decide how I want to do the new set up. Get another wall one  or go with a couple of smaller window ones along with my newer big window one . . . sigh, must decide very soon or we're gonna have one mother of a heatwave!  ;)


    At least Dalmations are short-haired... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 07:54:12 PM EST
    I've got big, hairy labs.

    When I dislocated my shoulder and had to have surgery, I ended up sleeping on the sofa for a pretty long time because we had a water bed that I could get into, but not out of, without a significant amount of pain.  It was a comfy sofa, so that was good, but invariably I would wake up around 3:00 am just dying of the heat because the dog - who had started out curled up at the end of the sofa - had gradually shimmied her way up alongside me and acted like a 75lb heating pad on High...and she snored, to boot!


    lol!~ that's what Dot does during the day (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 08:36:45 PM EST
    She starts out on her section of the couch, and at some point I find myself uncomfortably hot and in an odd position (upper arm pain included) because she seems so have slithered and morphed into part of my body and I'm working off of about 6" of couch!

    Yeah, she does have shorter hair than a lab, but I'm convinced they may have the same heating power. It's one of the reasons I don't let her sleep with me. She's pretty good if I nap on the couch (aside from my cramped legs!), but she's not nearly as polite on the bed. She's almost as tall as me at full stretch, and she, like my youngest cat, likes to sleep stretched out, belly up against me . . . with feet on pillow. Thankfully, I don't have any current snore machines!! The nice thing about peak summer is most of the cats will retire to the coolness of tile in front of a fan. Dot would still hog the bed and give me hot flashes if allowed . . . .


    It's horrible here (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 09:01:17 PM EST
    but dry.  We have a dehumidifier installed too because the minute mold that the humidity encourages in the house is my worst enemy.  It hasn't kicked on though much today.  I don't ever remember that happening in the summer here in the four years we've lived here.  Zero rain dating back to before our vacation began outside of a five minute sprinkle a few days back.

    Tomorrow, June 27 (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 06:29:44 PM EST
    marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.  It was interesting to read the eyewitness recounting by Lucian K. Truscott IV as set forth in his op-ed column in today's NYT.  I was struck by the progress since made on so many fronts, which only brought to the forefront the inattention given to the promised next steps by the Obama administration.  Moreover, differences of opinion for effective strategies that were  cited by Truscott, especially between those established and those younger--fight within the system or without, respectively-- continues at present. But, at least, one important development is that there is now some support in some of the media.  Stephen Colbert's recent piece is masterful, with the idea that gay women and men were promised a puppy, but President Obama won't give it.  Just  a dog house, bowl and leash, and maybe it will feel as if Rover arrived.

    o'reilly the hypocrite gets crazier!!! (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by kenosharick on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 07:40:09 PM EST
    I flipped on fox to hear him tearing apart the media over the Sanford "tragedy."  He claims reporting on this story is "vicious and un-American" and that fox and the right never pushed or celebrated the John Edwards story. He then turned to karl rove who immediatly started talking about Barney Frank's ex boyfriend running a call boy service. That was 20 years ago!!! Their stark hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me.I guess reporting on a repub's affair and his leaving his state is "un-American," but reporting around the clock for a year (and they bring it up still)about Bill Clinton's sex life is doing the lord's work.

    Did he mention Gannon? (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Fabian on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 09:02:42 PM EST
    Much more recent!

    Of course he didn't - must not besmirch the Bush administration.  (Or the security that let Gannon through.)

    "vicious and unAmerican"?  Can anyone remember a previous politician going AWOL for days?  Any governor who takes off for days without telling anyone should be promptly replaced by the Lt Gov until he's pronounced fit for duty by a psychiatrist and a physician.  


    Hey! I'd almost forgotton about Gannon. Gannon (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by DeborahNC on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 03:10:57 AM EST
    should be a regular talking point when the GOP starts its slander of Democrats, particularly gay Democrats. That topic should shut them up for a while.

    NBC Dateline tonight (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 01:50:21 AM EST
    I'm certain Ann Curry read a statement from Governor Barack Obama and didn't correct herself. I think she was hoping no one noticed.

    I think I've maxed out on Michael Jackson (none / 0) (#1)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 06:05:45 PM EST
    coverage; I think he was a great talent, his contribution to the music world cannot be discounted in any way, I am sorry his life was so tortured, his family has my sympathies, but enough is enough.  And it's going to go on until they get the poor soul in the ground.

    What creeps me out, as it always does, is how hungry the media is to cover death.  

    No offense meant to you, Jeralyn - you've put up some nice and respectful posts on this - I just have my limits, I guess.

    The coverage (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 06:55:19 PM EST
    has taken Iran and healthcare off the front page.  (Not to mention it's taken away coverage of Mark Sanford and the further GOP meltdown, a fact for which I'm sure the GOP is really, really, thankful, hence the wall-to-wall Faux News Michael Jackson coverage.)

    People die every day -- especially people without health insurance and in horrifying "preventive" wars.  People have horrible, disfunctional lives every day and also don't have billion dollar talents to help offset the horribleness (of course, nor do they have personal doctors "helping" them self-destruct, but that's another story.).  It really is time to get back to real news, important news to the country at large. Maybe Monday will bring things back to where they should be.

    In other words, we are in total agreement!


    Chief Justice Roberts, (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Peter G on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 08:38:01 PM EST
    when a young aide in the Reagan White House, criticized Michael Jackson's songs and recommended against the President recognizing his charitable work when he was playing a concert in DC.  Priceless.

    Worthless.........Roberts, that is. (none / 0) (#22)
    by Angel on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 10:35:33 PM EST
    A former colleague of mine said (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 11:01:08 PM EST
    "Roberts and Alito are a waste of skin, while Scalia and Thomas are too inhumane to even warrant that much association with humanity". Harsh but not altogether unwarranted.

    The blanket coverage is reminding me (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 06:47:41 PM EST
    of the weekend of Princess Diana's death. Why ever did they insert Elton John into the tradional English church music at the Abbey?

    I've only watched the news once today (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 09:05:43 PM EST
    no other television.  I don't want to get burned out by it all.  My daughter's friends have been fighting on facebook about MJ's "actual" musical importance since last night and most of them aren't even 20 years old yet :)

    The man and his music (none / 0) (#3)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 06:11:35 PM EST
    is what ABC is airing tonight. Sounds like it is only about his music.

    I may check it out if there's another rain delay . . .  

    Who will get (none / 0) (#7)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 06:34:04 PM EST
    little Michael II?  One of the problems of surrogate parenthood.  

    So sad to split kids up.

    Perhaps you've forgotten, but the (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 08:29:32 PM EST
    Padres are a pathetic excuse for a baseball team.  4th inning, 9 t9 1, Rangers.  

    Tough to be an attorney in Aurora, CO (none / 0) (#21)
    by rdandrea on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 09:15:52 PM EST
    Denver Post this morning had an interesting story about an attorney who had his legally-parked car towed by the Aurora police.  The cops initially said the car wasn't legally registered, but it turns out it was legally registered.  It just so happens the attorney is representing the family of a man who was recently shot in the head by the Aurora police.

    Coincidence or harassment?

    Not being an attorney, I'll leave it to the attorneys on this site to comment.

    My yard is getting eaten up at an alarming pace. I've tried egg shells, copper tape, and copper mesh barriers. But the slugs just crawled leisurely over all of them - in broad daylight!

    On the other hand, I've discovered they will gladly drown themselves in dixie cups full of beer. They prefer Stella Artois to stout. I'd much rather repel them. Any suggestions anybody?

    An ad for Stella Artois? (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 11:19:46 PM EST
    Better living through chemistry (none / 0) (#26)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 11:27:08 PM EST
    Get yourself some pesticides!

    WTF? (none / 0) (#27)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 11:31:27 PM EST
    They crawl over the copper tape???  I think that's physically impossible.  Are you sure?  Have you seen them crawling over it or is it just that you're finding them inside the tape?

    I've had 100 percent success in stopping slugs with copper tape, so I'm baffled.  But there are always the slugs that are inside the protected area and then of course can't get out.  Are you sure that's not what's happening?

    There's no way to protect a whole yard, but the tape and/or diotomaceous earth (far easier to deal with and less ugly than eggshells) will make a barrier that will keep them from crossing over.

    I lay down the copper tape on the ground around whatever it is I really need to protect (a bunch of nice hostas, for example), and then pin it to the soil with ordinary hairpins from the local Walgreen's.  You do have to keep an eye out for mud or dirt getting on the tape after a rain, but as long as it's reasonably clean, it works.

    Diotomaceous earth works less well and has to be reapplied periodically.

    There's also slug poison you can get in garden and hardware stores, but it's really ugly, gets moldy quickly, and also has to be replaced after it rains or every couple of weeks.

    I have to say that my experience with beer saucers alone is that it just attracts more slugs to your yard from neighboring areas.  But it works fairly well to deal with the slugs that are inside a tape-protected area.

    I absolutely hate the damn things, so you certainly have my sympathy.

    More info about exactly what you're doing with the tape, etc., would be helpful.


    That's what I use (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 07:48:41 AM EST
    It works very well for me too and I have a significant fight on my hands :)

    I'm loving these suggestions, thanks to all... (none / 0) (#40)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 09:14:19 PM EST
    Gyrfalcon, yes I've actually watched the slugs crawl up and over a 3" wide strip of copper tape; and copper mesh, and egg shells. I set it up as an experiment and tested each of those methods on a few slugs, in situ. Like you, I was also surprised by the outcome.

    Earlier today I tried dried seaweed and, sad to say, the slugs just motored right over that as well. HOWEVER, a guy at the garden store said his mother got great results from using pennies as a barrier. I tested it and found slugs avoid both new and old pennies like the plague! They won't even pass through a quarter inch gap between two pennies. So this evening I circled the base of a dozen garden plants with a 3" wide ring of said pennies.

    Given your success with copper tape and now the promise of my success with the pennies, I'd say slugs don't like copper. It may be that the actual copper content was too low in the tape and mesh I was using. Do you know the brand name of the stuff you use?

    I suspect you're right about beer attracting more slugs than I started out with. I was initially just amazed to find something that had any effect at all.

    Good to know the diotomaceous earth acts as a barrier. I read somewhere that it worked by serrating and desiccating the slug's body - so that was off-putting. Long story short, I'm now going to add some diotomaceous earth to my penny barrier and I'll give an update as to how that goes.

    Again, thank you and happy gardening - or in my case yardening.


    Flawed copper tape (none / 0) (#41)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 11:13:06 PM EST
    has to be the problem.  I have now all-day sun, so minimal slug problems (also very large garden areas) so don't use the tape anymore.  I have no clue what the brand was that worked so well for me at my previous house.  But probably best to look for one that's specifically sold by a reputable gardening source like Gardeners Supply or Johnny's Seeds or the like.

    It's not just that they don't like copper, it actually electrocutes them because of the make-up of their slime, apparently.  The fact that the pennies are working testifies to that.

    Diotomaceous earth doesn't work as well, in my experience, but it's a good backup, especially in places that aren't amenable to surrounding with copper tape.

    Seaweed and salt marsh hay only reduce slug problems, but they sure don't eliminate them, as you've discovered.

    Also, if you can stand it, laying down a few flat pieces of lumber or even a plastic bag near the problem areas, then lifting it in the morning and killing the slugs that congregate underneath it can help.

    It's an endless battle, though, since they reproduce like crazy.

    Good luck!  I imagine slugs must have some sort of useful function in the ecosystem, but damned if I know what it is.


    I'd go with the beer. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Fabian on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 07:40:08 AM EST
    The population of slugs waxes and wanes depending on predators, food and environment.  Nothing like a good drought to shrink the slug population.  It's also why I don't believe in irrigating unless I absolutely have to - keeping the soil nice and moist encourages things like slugs and grubs.

    Keep drowning the slugs unless you are losing plants.  Then go to chemicals.  


    Beer (none / 0) (#42)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 11:15:59 PM EST
    No kidding, just brings in all the slugs for miles around.  I actually think it causese more slug problems than it cures, no matter how many drown in ecstasy in it.

    Michael Jackson had 3 children, (none / 0) (#28)
    by hairspray on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 12:41:08 AM EST
    2 by a wife and another by a surrogate mother.  The ex-wife will get custody of the two children she gave birth to (and who at one time tried to obtain custody) but what will become of the smallest child was was born of a paid surrogate?

    Probably a member of the Jackson family (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 07:50:02 AM EST
    I would think.

    Madoff Ordered to Forfeit $170B (none / 0) (#31)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 01:52:51 AM EST
    in assets.

    He should have to forfeit it. Maddoff benefited (none / 0) (#33)
    by DeborahNC on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 03:25:40 AM EST
    from defrauding other people. I read today that his sons and his wife will not be attending the sentencing.

    Apparently, the two sons have not spoken to either parent since Madoff's fraudulent schemes were revealed, though his wife visits him regularly at the jail. His wife isn't attending the sentencing for fear of being victimized by Madoff's victims. She appeared to be quite indignant over her situation.


    An enabler (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 07:51:16 AM EST
    How sweet

    She's "only worth $2.5 million (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by sallywally on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 11:19:56 AM EST
    I heard on NPR this morning. Poor thing! She must be more than indignant now - her lifestyle will have to take a huge downturn. Boo-hoo!