Monday Open Thread

Mondays always seem to be busy around here. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    This will bring a smile to your face (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:54:57 PM EST

    My favorite line of the whole article is bolded below.

    Ada Laurie Bryant and Robert Mitchell Haire were married Saturday in Hockessin, Del. Robert L. Bryant, a Universal Life minister and a son of the bride, officiated at his home.

    The bride, 97, is keeping her name. She graduated from Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass.

    She is the daughter of the late Ada Lee Laurie and the late Richard Laurie, who lived in Hingham, Mass.

    The groom, 86, a chemical engineer, retired as a manager of labor relations from E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company in Wilmington, Del. He graduated from Vanderbilt University and received a master's degree in history from the University of Delaware.

    That's a really nice story. (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:27:15 PM EST
    I guess it struck a chord with me personally, because I just learned from my mother yesterday that my 87-year-old uncle -- the Tea Partier I've mentioned here from time to time, who was recently widowed last September -- has been keeping company with a recently widowed woman who's nearly two years his junior.

    Both my mother and aunt expressed their concerns whether it perhaps was too soon after the death of their sister-in-law. For myself, I responded that he was married for 64 years and obviously missed the female companionship, and that he's also in his late eighties, and exactly how long an interval would they consider to be proper for him to wait before beginning to date again.

    After all, life is meant to be lived, regardless of one's age -- and I can't help but believe that somewhere up there in the cosmos, my late aunt is smiling at me in full agreement. I've no doubt that she would've wanted my uncle to be happy.

    Thank you for making my day. Aloha.


    Along the Same Lines (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:04:03 PM EST
    There apparently isn't much that can slow down Edythe Kirchmaier. The 105-year-old California resident made headlines on Monday when she passed her driving test - continuing 86 years without a blemish on her driving record and maintaining her status as the state's oldest living driver.

    Did I mention she holds another title:

    Facebook has declared her its most senior user



    At least it's good to see ... (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:07:30 PM EST
    ... that California requires people to be retested.  More than we have in most states.

    Vision test and written test. (none / 0) (#132)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:15:27 PM EST
    No practical? (none / 0) (#133)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:20:32 PM EST
    Well, ... better than nothing, I guess.

    CA has the option of giving a practical, (none / 0) (#134)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:23:18 PM EST
    they apparently chose not to.

    has a fairly large potential of ending badly...

    Oh, my, It most certainly does. (none / 0) (#128)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:07:22 PM EST
    You and I have discussed this particular matter at length before. Suffice to say that my own mother is of the opinion that all seniors above age 75 should be road tested first, prior to being granted a driver's license renewal. For the record, she's going to be 79 in June.

    Donald.... you first (none / 0) (#146)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:55:04 PM EST
    I propose Reading Comprehension Skills testing (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by Angel on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:33:00 AM EST
    for those 75 years and older.  We should let jimakaPPJ be first in line.  

    Huh??? (none / 0) (#155)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:03:21 PM EST
    Don't you have a brand-new Secretary of State to start maligning over there on toocuckooforcocoapuffs.com?

    Come on Donald (none / 0) (#166)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:41:34 AM EST
    Wait until you are 75 and then start yelling for one.

    Why wait? (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:19:03 AM EST
    You can only have an opinion on things that personally affect you?


    Guess we should let the 15-and-under kids set the minimum age for driver testing ...


    Ditto for Drinking Age (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:37:05 AM EST
    Try reading Donald's comment again, (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:54:36 AM EST
    and this time try to read all the words so you can grasp that it is Donald's 79-year old mother who believes drivers over the age of 75 need to be re-tested.

    Oops.  So much for your snarky "you first" comment, huh?

    Say, don't you have some kids you need to chase off your lawn?  You'll feel better afterwards.


    Sweet! (none / 0) (#3)
    by Cashmere on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:56:48 PM EST
    The bride is keeping her name... (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:25:47 PM EST
    Probably because she has a joint gravestone with her first husband that already has it... all it needs is the date of her departure...


    But I do admire her for marrying a much younger man.. Dare we call her a cougar??


    Hahaha! (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:41:49 PM EST
    I think that, once the woman is over 90, we can stop talking about "cougars."
    Except, perhaps, if her guy is at least 40 years younger or more.     ;-)

    {Head slaps all the way around} (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:06:31 PM EST
    Obama skeet shoots "all the time".


    The president mentioned skeet shooting to The New Republic after he was asked if he had ever fired a gun. Obama responded that "in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time."

    "Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there," Obama continued in the magazine interview. "And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake."

    To which, of course, Jay Carney was asked about this and had to reply:

    "I'm not sure how often he's done that," Carney said a day after The New Republic published an interview with Obama in which the president said he did skeet shooting at Camp David "all the time."

    "I'd refer you to the president's comments [in the interview],l" Carney said.

    Goose hunting with (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:37:39 PM EST
    John Kerry on tap weekend.

    Yeah.. (5.00 / 6) (#12)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:57:25 PM EST
    then he and Hillary are going to a blue collar to do a few shooters

    Then its on to a brief stopover, photo-op at an alligator wrestling for Jesus marathon..

    So we'll all be reminded that at heart he's a man of the people, who ain't never gonna take all our guns away.


    He and Hillary (none / 0) (#14)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:07:28 PM EST
    can come on up here and go deer hunting (in season, of course).  I wanna see them field dress a deer.   ;-)

    Somehow, I think Hillary (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:10:17 PM EST
    would be the one capable of doing that. Bill would be throwing up behind a tree (but, full disclosure, so would I).

    I Was the Same Thing... (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:27:29 PM EST
    ...might even enjoy it.  

    Obama would be trying to talk the deer into coming on over, not realizing it's just not in their nature.


    A dress (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:52:24 PM EST
    would look silly on a deer.

    Sorry, I had an Amelia Bedelia flashback.


    Oh, my kids loved those books! (none / 0) (#74)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:28:51 AM EST
    Many happy memories of reading them to the girls - there was lots of giggling involved!

    Hillary is from a blue collar (none / 0) (#78)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:37:06 AM EST
    republican family from NE Pa.  They still have lake property about 20 minutes from where I live.  It's country now.  Back then it was nearly wilderness.
    I am sure that as a child she saw her share of dead deer. Around here the first day of deer season is a school holiday. I am not kidding.

    I grew up in central pennsylvania. Deer hunting (none / 0) (#140)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:53:43 PM EST
    season was big.

    As terrible as that final moment of the deer's life is, it enjoyed complete freedom until that point.

    In contrast, the existence of factory raised beef, pork, etc., consumed by ninety or so percent of Americans, including the smuggest of gun haters, can't even be called living.


    The smuggest of gun haters? (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:59:10 PM EST
    The smuggest of gun lovers and second amendment fundamentalists also eat a majority of factory-raised meat. They also vote by and large for factory-farming policies.

    This smug gun-hater tries to eat as low on the food chain as possible, and when I eat meat, it's not from a factory farm.


    Hopefully not from Whole Foods - (none / 0) (#182)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:57:58 PM EST
    - that outfit's CEO is a notorious right winger.

    "whereabouts" (none / 0) (#148)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:47:01 PM EST
    As my dad would have asked )& all my other relatives from the Coal Region as well):  Whereabouts??

    One of my uncles--Uncle Pete--owned, & with bunches of family help, ran a bar in Shamokin.  My home town...where else! When I was about 7 or so, I remember one Sunday afternoon, after Mass, going down in the basement & watching my much-older Cousin Smokey making shot on a kind of press machine ... he & the other cousins of that age were avid hunters.  Sometimes they travelled together to Montana for hunting; but, mostly, they stayed nearer home & went to their jointly-owned cabin in northcentral PA.  (BTW, the bar was open upstairs...as it was later Sunday afternoons contra the then longstanding PA Blue Laws, which everyone knew & ignored.)

    My own contradictions about guns are many.  Yet, very fundamentally, I respect and understand the true sportsman (not the drive-up to the prearranged victim animal standing there to be shot, tho...that is quite different.)  In any event, expanded registration & limited magazine--in the true sportsman's view (see Joe Manchin) is sensible these days.

    But, I digress....  So, Whereabouts in central PA?


    State College. We later moved out of town to (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:52:48 PM EST
    here ( 40.800413,-77.870415 - google map coordinates ) because my mom and stepfather wanted to raise horses.  The indoor riding arena visible on the google map was planted on top of our old apple and pear orchard.  Weird to see the changes but it's been forty years since I saw the place.  lol - I got to muck out the horse stalls, and in those days horses were bedded with straw.  Rough going.  Notice the road name to the east, Polecat road.  One of the neighbors lived in Polecat City.

    Town kid moves to stone age, or so it seemed at the time.   When the plaster was peeled off to update the house's bathroom we found out that the walls were actual logs.  Unreal.  The teachers at the new elementary school whacked kids with yardsticks and paddles.  Very hard to believe we'd moved only eleven miles.  

    The biggest benefit of moving out of town was that there was no cable and due to the mountains TV reception was abysmal, so I read acres of books. (Yeah, I know, Coloradans may chuckle at my use of the word mountains to describe anything east of the Rockies.)

    Anyway, I appreciated the country and the people who lived there, and their values, a lot more once I'd left it.


    Oops - that was our house in town. Here's (none / 0) (#181)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:54:33 PM EST
    the farmstead: 40.782433,-77.667829

    Maybe windsurfing will be next (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:14:08 PM EST
    Probably just your (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:06:25 PM EST
    small varmint type skeet.

    Next we'll learn he also likes pork rinds and c&w music.


    "Skeet shooting" may ... (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:56:43 PM EST
    just be their code term for "drone strikes".

    (Bah-DUMM-Bumm-Bumm!) LOL! (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:02:57 PM EST
    I think you'd appreciate Mel Brooks' take on the subject of skeet shooting.

    Love that bit. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:40:11 PM EST
    And it was probably in the back of my mind when I wrote the comment above.

    Is the Pres. walking back his (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:37:51 PM EST
    strong support for increased gun control?  Or has he been spending too much time w/ John Kerry, who hunts geese?

    doesn't it.

    I think his comment about skeet shooting ... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:28:06 PM EST
    ... was qualified in terms of it being one of the available activities at Camp David for the president's guests, i.e., "Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there [to the shooting range]."

    Personally, I happen to believe that there's absolutely nothing wrong with someone's personal admission that he or she doesn't care personally for either guns or hunting. Not everyone likes to go fishing or surfing, either. But such expressions of personal sentiment should not therefore be construed to necessarily imply that this person also doesn't care for those people who do like those activities.

    I think it's a telling sign of the open state of belligerence currently being cultivated by the NRA and the gun lobby toward this president, as well as a statement of the politically divisive times in which we live, that Mr. Obama felt the compelling need to openly state his respect for both the sport of hunting and its practicioners. That's sad.


    FRANK FOER: Have you ever fired a gun? (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:38:57 PM EST
    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.
    Unless, of course, you are arguing that it depends on what the meaning of the word 'yes' is.

    And your point is ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:58:08 PM EST
    ... what, exactly? Considering what he said in context, I understand it to mean that when he has guests at Camp David and they express a desire to go skeet shooting, he is a gracious host who accompanies them. So what?

    Hell, I've gone skeet / target shooting in the company of my relatives many times, because it's something they like to do and I join them in the interest of being social. But one shouldn't necessarily conclude on the basis of that statement that I've developed any real personal affinity for the sport.


    I thought skeet shooting (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:04:54 PM EST
    Involved moving clay targets.

    Also, why did the Pres. Throw in the line about. "The girls"?  Stupid.


    "Not the girls" - No, not stupid (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Peter G on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:13:07 PM EST
    It shows what a loving father he is.  When he hears the word "we" come out of his own mouth, in relation to a weekend getaway, he thinks of his immediate family, including his kids. He then sought to clarify for the interviewer what definition of "we" he meant, so as not to be misunderstood; that is, as Donald said, his official guests at Camp David, who may like to shoot skeet. And that he has sometimes joined them in that activity.

    Simply clarifying what he said, (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:07:29 PM EST
    which is different from what you said.

    Point taken. (none / 0) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:07:15 PM EST

    Seems like (none / 0) (#168)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:55:38 AM EST
    These are the kids of comments that are just stupid on their face, and only lead to more headaches than they are worth.

    For example:

    The Pinocchio Test

     The evidence suggests that until Obama had access to a shooting range as president, he never went skeet shooting. He certainly did not speak like a politician who had once used a firearm.

    But it is also curious that the White House refuses to provide any documentary evidence that he actually used the shooting range at Camp David, since he claims he uses it "all the time," or that a presidential friend has not come forward to confirm the president's comments.

    We live in suspicious times and the president lives in a media fishbowl. That's the way it is. In the meantime, we do not have enough information to make a ruling one way or the other. We are eager to see a photograph, or hear from someone who saw him at the skeet range, to put this matter to rest.

    I don't need a photo (none / 0) (#169)
    by kmblue on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:21:17 AM EST
    because I don't care.  Kindly refrain from speaking for others on this issue.

    YMMV (none / 0) (#173)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:10:44 PM EST
    It is stupid for a politician, ANY politician, to say things to pander to people, which a) do not fit the character, beliefs, or narrative which they are trying to push, and b) are so easily checked, that a 5 year old could do it.

    This has now become a story - granted, a dumb one, but it has.  It takes space and attention away from other, more important, issues.

    Kindly remember this when a politician you don't like says a dumb thing on an issue you do care about (cough, Todd Aiken, cough).


    This is beyond silly (none / 0) (#174)
    by sj on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:29:02 PM EST
    He doesn't have to use it personally to use the inclusive "we".  "We" open up my sister's downstairs family room for holiday activities but "I" don't go down there nor does my sister nor does my brother-in-law nor to most of the guests, frankly.  

    Really much ado about nothing.


    YOU (collectively) (none / 0) (#176)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:14:11 PM EST
    aren't trying to pander to the millions of people who doe use their downstairs family room.

    Thanks for agreeing with me - it's a stupid comment made trying to show he's something he's not, and it got several news cycles, when it was so avoidable.

    Again - see Todd Aiken


    Turns out he was telling the truth. (none / 0) (#183)
    by Angel on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 11:27:23 AM EST
    "POTUS shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David on Aug. 4, 2012," reads the tweet, with a link to the photograph.

    I think it displays an ignorance (none / 0) (#80)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:51:50 AM EST
    of what the 2A is about.  No member of the NRA is worried about their hunting rights being taken away.  The 2A is not about hunting and never has been.  

    Someone should tell the US ... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:58:45 AM EST
    ... Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit about their "ignorance".

    District of Columbia v. Heller - The court then held that the Second Amendment "protects an individual right to keep and bear arms", saying that the right was "premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense ..."

    While the 2A omits any statement of purpose for the use of firearms, the SC in Heller (a case dealing with a ban on handguns) supported its rationale that the 2A was an individual right by citing three state constitution arms-bearing provisions enacted immediately before and after the 2A.  Two of those states (Vermont and your very own Pennsylvania) expressly indicated hunting as a purpose.  


    Best wishes to Barbara Walters, ... (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:48:23 PM EST
    ... who's currently hospitalized with a case of chicken pox.

    Having suffered from that illness myself when I was a senior in college, I'd like to caution Ms. Walters' colleagues on "The View" that a first-time varicella zoster infection is really no laughing matter for adults, particularly for an 83-year-old senior like her.

    Chicken pox is what killed my former boss, the late Congresswoman Patsy Mink, in Sept. 2002. And if I had to choose between suffering the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy for Hodgkins' lymphoma, which I experienced twice personally, and coming down with a case of chicken pox, I'd gladly choose the chemo, hands down every time.

    I agree, Donald (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:49:10 PM EST
    In an adult, this can be very, very serious.

    I was very lucky that I was home ... (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:23:56 AM EST
    ... in Pasadena visiting my mother, when I became ill right before I was to return to school at UW in Seattle. I had been playing baseball all summer in the Alaska Baseball League, which is what a lot of college players still do today, and that's where I was exposed to the varicella virus at the end of the season.

    I was actually making a quick 10-day trip home before returning to Seattle for the fall quarter. Had I been back in my school dorm, and since there was no vaccine back then, I'd have likely also infected every student there who, like me, had never contracted chicken pox as a child.

    As it was, it hit me very fast, and I went down really hard. I had been running a fever for two days and had a sore throat, and my mother took me to see the doctor because I was feeling quite lousy and she thought I might have a strep infection.

    When I told the doctor that my scalp really hurt, she took only one quick look before abruptly callng my mother into the examination room and telling her to take me home immediately, because I had chicken pox. (I remember my mother stifling a chuckle and saying, "Oh, you've got to be kidding -- at his age?") As it was, we had to leave through a back entrance so I wouldn't expose any other patients in the waiting room.

    My condition subsequently and quickly deteriorated in only a matter of hours after that. My fever spiked at 104-106 degrees for over a week, and during that entire time I was breaking out in zoster blisters until I was literally covered from head to toe. I was in utter agony from the pain, and if I'd had a gun in my possession, I'd have gladly shot myself, that's how horrible I felt. I just laid in bed as still as I could, because every little movement made me feel like I was being either skinned alive or skewered with a hot fireplace poker or both.

    I remember crying a lot, which is something I hadn't done since I was a very young boy, and then feeling really embarrassed about it because big boys don't cry and I couldn't help myself. I couldn't eat or even drink water because I had developed sores inside my mouth, which of course caused my mother and the doctor a great deal of concern, and I was soon hospitalized because I became dehydrated and came down with a case of pneumonia, which is a not uncommon side effect of chicken pox in adults.

    I can't really say for certain if I was ever in any real danger at any point, but there's no question that I had a particularly rough go of it. Ultimately, I lost over 30 lbs., and I was forced to miss the entire fall quarter of school because I looked like absolute hell for nearly six weeks after my fever finally broke and the hundreds of blisters I had all over me turned into scabs. My college baseball coach stopped by to visit me one day in November while on a recruiting trip to the L.A. area, and the surprised / shocked look on his face made me feel terribly depressed and I didn't want anyone else to ever see me looking like that.

    What was initially a quick trip home became a four-month stay, with my mother and younger sister as my nursemaids. It took me that long to rebuild my full health -- and I had been a 21-year-old college athlete who was in great shape prior to my exposure to the virus. Given my subsequent health problems with Hodgkins' lymphoma, I still wonder if chicken pox had done such a number on my immune system that I became succeptible to other systemic ailments.

    So, if any of you have never had chicken pox, do yourselves a big favor and get inoculated. I described my experience in detail to emphasize that this is not something you ever want to leave to chance as an adult, especially when it's now so avoidable thanks to the vaccine.



    My brother got the chicken pox (none / 0) (#91)
    by sj on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:18:51 AM EST
    when he was a senior in High School.  He almost didn't graduate due to all the school he missed.  He was very, very sick indeed.  

    I (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:48:04 PM EST
    was a sophomore in college when I got the chicken pox.  The funny thing was - I was never sick, and didn't itch.  In fact, the day I realized I had them, I saw them as I was getting dressed to go somewhere.  I ended up having to stay home, babysit my 3 younger sisters who all had them (and were actually sick!), and take care of various workmen who happened to be in and out of the house that day.  I had to warn all them they were coming into a "den of the plague" and they all laughed and said they had already had the chicken pox.

    I still never got sick.  But I had to miss a week of my summer part-time job.  Boo.


    That was very, very lucky (none / 0) (#106)
    by sj on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:58:18 PM EST
    I'm not sure I've heard of that before -- contracting chickenpox but not getting sick...

    It happens more than you realize, or (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:05:24 PM EST
    at least it did back before there was a vaccine.  And while both my kids had the CP, one was really sick with it - lots of blisters, even in her throat - while the other one had a very mild case.

    I guess I'm of an age where I had it all: mumps, measles (rubella and German), chicken pox, whooping cough...just recently got the Tdap vaccine, what used to be the DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus), because whatever immunity I had from having pertussis as a toddler has long gone, and my daughter wanted those of us who were going to be in close contact with her baby to have it.  Got a flu shot for the same reason.

    Since I turn 60 this year, I guess I can get the shingles vaccine now; I actually had shingles about 10 years ago, and lordy, I wouldn't wish that on anyone.  Like being burned with a hot poker that had needles embedded in it - awful, awful experience.


    My nephew contracted chicken pox ... (none / 0) (#112)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:00:05 PM EST
    ... as a 7-year-old, and he was very sad that his mother and grandmother would not allow him to go outside to play with the other neighborhood kids. He had only a few zoster blisters and scabs on him, for which he constantly admonished by everyone to not scratch, but otherwise he was fine.

    I should clarify (none / 0) (#115)
    by sj on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:08:22 PM EST
    I meant as an adult.  Because your right about some childhood cases.

    You're Freaking Me Out People (none / 0) (#96)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:17:45 AM EST
    Never had them and Donald's tale has me really regretting the numerous times I cheated my way out of getting the vaccination.

    Any advise, I am 42.

    Cheat sheet says i should get it, hmmmm.


    You know (none / 0) (#99)
    by sj on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:32:28 AM EST
    I'm not 100% certain that I've had them either.  I think I have, but I don't know for sure and I no longer have a parent to ask.  I think I should ask my physician what to do about it.  

    I think you can have a blood test to (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:21:11 AM EST
    see if you have antibodies, which might mean you were exposed enough to develop antibodies, but not enough to cause the typical symptoms; I have a friend who had the test when she found out she was pregnant, because chicken pox was making its way through her sons' school, and she couldn't remember if she had them.  Turned out she did have the antibodies, so somewhere along the line, she was exposed, and her ob felt it enough to protect her (no vaccine at that time).

    It seemed like every spring when my kids were in elementary school, there was an outbreak of chicken pox; with such a long incubation time - almost 3 weeks - it's nearly impossible not to be exposed even before the infected person develops symptoms.  I remember that one child broke out with them on Mother's Day, and the other one got them on Memorial Day.  

    I'd think that the chances that you didn't have them are probably slim, since your childhood likely preceded the vaccine.


    I agree that chances are slim (none / 0) (#104)
    by sj on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:21:54 PM EST
    and yet... my youngest brother didn't contract them until High School.  And I'd moved out by that point.  

    I guess no matter what it's a good idea to check with my doctor and then get either get the shingles vaccine or the chickenpox vaccine whichever is appropriate.

    Same with mumps.  I don't remember having them.  

    Now mind you, it isn't all that unusual that I don't remember a lot of details about my childhood.  I largely lived in my imagination.  I remember some of my daydreams more clearly than I do actual activities.  

    I'm not sure how I feel about that.

    You know what I remember most about elementary school?  

    1.  A failed art project -- I just couldn't make a secure Christmas wreath
    2.  My uninspiring second grade teacher who was my first exposure to public school.  She insisted on a parental note to prove I had read a book so that I could add it to a bulletin board list.  My mother, on the other hand wasn't about to write a note for something that she hadn't seen me do.  She went to battle with my teacher saying that if I said I read it, then I read it.  Both were adamant.  My 2nd grade self decided that the solution was to stop reporting the books I read.
    3.  my wonderful 4th and 5th grade teacher.  She held a Monday morning spelling pretest with that week's words.  If you spelled them all correctly you didn't have to do the spelling workbook for that week.  Instead you got 10 harder words and mimeographed (remember those?) worksheets.  Plus you got to work in the empty class room next door which had shelves full of Reading text books going back about 40 years.  I first read Mary Poppins in there because I made sure to finish my work quickly.

    And now, I've eaten my lunch and it's back to thinking for a living.  This is an open thread, right? :)

    I remember my kindergarten teacher ... (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:11:39 PM EST
    ... scolding my cousin -- who was in the same class as me -- because she was supposed to draw an owl like everyone else, but decided to draw a horse and barn instead.

    And I also remember my cousin glaring right back at the teacher with those Drew Barrymore "Firestarter" eyes of hers, because she had a mind all her own and nobody outside of her own parents -- and I mean, nobody -- was going to tell her what she could or could not draw. Thus, a budding rabble-rouser flouted her first authority figure.

    As for me, I was perfectly content to draw an owl, because I happened to like owls and thought they were totally cool birds. Still do.


    Ha! (none / 0) (#117)
    by sj on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:20:54 PM EST
    The world needs both owl-drawers and horse-and-barn-drawers, doesn't it?

    I think the reason I remember that d@mn Christmas wreath is because it was the first art project ever that gave me problems and I seemed to be the only one having problems.  

    I'm not so sure what the "need" is for the no-Christmas-Wreath-makers, but I still won't use them for holiday decorations.  So there!  pffffft!


    What Anne said, Scott. (none / 0) (#126)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:50:07 PM EST
    Your doctor should be able to determine through a blood test whether or not you've ever been infected with the varicella zoster virus (VZV). If you haven't, then I would strongly suggest that you be vaccinated ASAP.

    All that, of course, is contingent entirely upon your own doctor's advice, because were you to have some sort of latent or passive immunodeficiency condition, it might preclude your tolerance for such a vaccine.

    For example, I have polymycemia vera, which is marked by an overabundant proliferation of red blood cells in my system and requires me to take an anticoagulent regimen, which is probably due to the fact that I've been chemo'd and rediated heavily on three separate occasions in my life. With my immune system partially compromised, I'm considered a very poor candidate for the shingles vaccine out of concern that it might actually trigger an outbreak of VZV, rather than prevent one.

    But please, check with your doctor. When it comes to chicken pox and shingles at our ages, it's always much better to be safe than sorry.



    Donald, I think (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:41:37 PM EST
    you intended to write: polycythemia vera. Glad you are doing so well.

    I'm glad you caught that. (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:23:58 PM EST
    I was typing rather quickly, and didn't bother to proof what I wrote. Thank you for the correction and kind thoughts. I plan on being around for quite a while yet.

    Is It the Vacination... (none / 0) (#118)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:23:33 PM EST
    ...that leaves a scar on your arm ?

    Smallpox leaves the scar on your arm. (none / 0) (#120)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:27:50 PM EST
    I still have a faint scar on my upper left arm from the smallpox vaccine I got back in the 1950s.

    No (none / 0) (#121)
    by sj on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:30:40 PM EST
    that's the smallpox vaccination.  Do they still give that?

    No. The smallpox vaccine stopped being (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:39:17 PM EST
    given as a regular vaccine in the U.S. in 1972. That was when it was determined that smallpox had been eradicated from the U.S.

    In the aftermath of Sept. 11 there was discussion of how much smallpox vaccine was stockpiled and could be used in case we were hit with a biological weapons attack. There was some discussion at the time about whether those of us who had been vaccinated as children still carried any immunity to smallpox and so would not need to be re-vaccinated. I believe the conclusion was that whatever immunity we still carried was probably very minimal and should not be counted on to protect us.


    Thanks for the info (none / 0) (#125)
    by sj on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:48:18 PM EST
    that is one nasty disease.  Was the vaccine detrimental?  Because I don't understand the rush to declare smallpox eradicated.  To me, eradicated means there is no virus extant.  And as long as some one keeping some about to use as biological weapons, it isn't eradicated.   IMO

    It's Weird... (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:47:59 PM EST
    ...because almost every I knew has the scar, I was young in high-school having a summer bday.  I must have barely missed the cut off.

    It's handy, even know, I can tell if someone is older or younger than me so long as I can see their arm.


    I still had a very few scabs (none / 0) (#177)
    by Amiss on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:52:11 PM EST
    from CP when I was given my smallpox vaccine. I still have a few of the scars on various body parts. My advice; dont get it if you have any type scab.

    another member (none / 0) (#160)
    by Amiss on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:38:56 PM EST
    of the "family" is ' cold sores'. which I had off and on for years before my diabetes was diagnosed.
    I had and have an "odd" case of diabetes and have found it is most likely I had it for approximately
    7 yrs. before itfinally reared its ugly head and put me in a coma for a month, after doing a lot of damage to my body.
    Donald, your case of cp reminds me of the diabetic neuropathy I suffer from. It is a cruel side effect of diabetes and covers the entire right side of my body, less the pox part.
    aIt is important that anyone get a flu vaccine. I have terrible insurance, but at my pharmacy, it covered my vaccine.

    and if you had chicken pox (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:06:35 PM EST
    when young, and are now 50 or older, you should get a shingles vaccine. Shingles is really miserable.

    Shingles is a painful localized skin rash often with blisters that is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles because VZV remains in the nerve cells of the body after the chickenpox infection clears and VZV can reappear years later causing shingles. Shingles most commonly occurs in people 50 years old or older, people who have medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, or people who receive immunosuppressive drugs.

    Shingles vaccine is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to reduce the risk of shingles and its associated pain in people 60 years old or older.

    Not everyone should get one. (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:28:08 PM EST
    Zoster vaccine is contraindicated in persons with primary or acquired immunodeficiency.  I have been told not to get one due to my transplant.  

    Check with your doctor if you have doubts!!!


    good advice (none / 0) (#58)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:32:02 PM EST

    younger than 65, you need a script from your MD.

    Yes SUO that is true but... (none / 0) (#175)
    by fishcamp on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:47:09 PM EST
    it sounds to me like that's an insurance situation as well as an age one.  Jeralyn says people over 50 and you say younger than 65.  I don't know if insured folks less than Medicare age are covered for the Shingles vaccination but Medicare people have to pay at least $200 on the spot.  As I mentioned in an earlier post weeks ago Medicare paid me back $135 of that $200 after I found that form online.  It was very easy to find.  You just need the receipt and the little label from the vaccine bottle.  You don't want Shingles so I strongly advise getting the shot.  

    I dunno. I went to my local pharmacy (none / 0) (#178)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:09:18 PM EST
    who is advertising the vaccine, and they told me that I needed a prescription from my doctor as I am under the age of 65. They also said the vaccine would cost me $235, so I don't think my insurance is involved.

    Sarc, call your insurance company, and (none / 0) (#179)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:43:43 PM EST
    ask them if you are covered for the shingles vaccine. You might find out that you are and it is a reimbursable charge rather than direct-pay.

    I don't know when fishcamp got his shingles shot, but as of early this week the shingles vaccine is not covered by Medicare Part B ( the part that covers doctor visits and most everything except hospital stays). It is now covered by Part D, the prescription drug program that is run by for-profit insurance companies. The agent I talked with at my Part D plan was completely ignorant of the shingles vaccine. At my urging, she did some investigating and found that my plan does cover it, but she could not figure out how, since my plan covers prescription medications, I could access the coverage.

    I cannot just go to the pharmacy with a prescription for the vaccine and give it to myself. My pharmacist does not keep a nurse around to give random shots to people. I am now trying to figure out if I can get my doctor to write the scrip, pick it up myself at the pharmacy and take it back to my doctor to have the nurse give me the shot. Nobody seems to know if Medicare part B would cover the office visit to give the shot.

    If anybody has any recent experience with Medicare Part B and Part D and getting the shingles vaccine, please let me know.


    when the pneumonia vaccine came out (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Amiss on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:49:13 PM EST
    my physician had me take one, was told it was good for the rest of my life (taken because of the immunosuppressio of diabetes) then was told it was good for 5 yrs. now being told I need it yearly. ugh. Had chicken pox very early because of an older brother bringing home cp,measles and mumps when I was very young. I have also hadBell' s palsy ( related to cp) and am debating on the shingles vaccine. Its nuts!

    my son got shingles (none / 0) (#82)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:00:32 AM EST
    when he was in college. They told him it was due to burning the candle at both ends.  He worked, took full time credits, ran his fraternity (which did actual charity and other good works)as well as the girl friend and parties.  I was shocked though.  I thought it only happened to older people.

    Had a friend (none / 0) (#159)
    by Amiss on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:09:38 PM EST
    in HS who got it.

    With all her globe trotting over the years... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by unitron on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:37:50 PM EST
    ...I'd have thought she'd have been vaccinated for anything and everything thirty-seven times over.

    Got hung up on by ... (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:18:45 PM EST
    one of my Obamabot friends this weekend.  I forget how sensitive they can be.

    Of course, I probably deserved it. My teasing had reached Swiftian proportions.

    And in addition to being sensitive, they are a bit satire impaired.

    I have to remember these things.


    Whatever did you say? (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:34:18 PM EST
    Won't repeat it here ... (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:53:32 PM EST
    but suffice it to say it was something in the "A Modest Proposal" vein.

    You do know... (none / 0) (#63)
    by unitron on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:46:26 PM EST
    ...that the original was written to make fun, not of the poor and downtrodden, but of the people who look down upon them?

    Duh! (none / 0) (#69)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:46:15 AM EST
    That's the whole point.  Did you just realize that?

    Sad, sad, sad.


    Be nice (none / 0) (#71)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:51:27 AM EST


    .....heart was in the right place.

    (That didn't make any sense, did it?...lol)


    Uhmm, did you call your friend a "bot?" (none / 0) (#66)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:52:48 PM EST
    Actually he does! (none / 0) (#70)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:48:42 AM EST
    We've know each other since we were kids.

    Not quite... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:56:21 AM EST
    Well, although Obama didn't exactly follow through with his pledge to close Guantanamo, his department of State is doing the next best thing.

    It is closing the office dealing with closing Guantanamo.

    Next case?

    The Audacity of a Dope (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:22:55 AM EST
    And believe me, some kid is out there having Dreams of His Father about his old man who's in some cage in Cuba.

    Haters gonna hate (1.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:53:35 PM EST
    Yeah and I hope he blames gutless cowards like Feingold who were big on talk but short on action when the proposal to close Gitmo came to the floor.

    Yeah....thank goodness that the spineless (none / 0) (#130)
    by DFLer on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:07:39 PM EST
    Feingold was replaced by Sen. Ron Johnson. Really!

    Feingold... (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:51:11 PM EST
    ...was one of the best Senators in my lifetime, to date.  I loved the guy and it really hurt to see my home state swap him out with an idiot.

    Russ Feingold's a good guy, who ... (none / 0) (#156)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:10:08 PM EST
    ... simply wore out his welcome with Wisconsin voters, that's all. And yeah, it's a shame that they traded him in for a real lemon, but that's the way it goes.

    Voters enjoy an inalienable right to get it terribly wrong sometimes, and hopefully they'll learn from their mistake. And given that Sen. Johnson currently enjoys a 36% approval rating, I think they probably already have.



    Well, let's not get ... (none / 0) (#137)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:50:26 PM EST
    ... TOO carried away here!

    I happen to believe that then-Sen. Feingold should've been called to account by liberals and progressives for not putting his money where his mouth is regarding the disposition of Gitmo. To be honest, I lost a lot of respect for him during his last two years in the Senate, finding him increasingly sanctimonious to the point of annoying.

    But to replace him with someone who's since proven himself as someone who's not only rigorously ideological in mindset, but who also refuses to do his basic homework? That's quite obviously another matter entirely.


    Donald: I'm trying to recall (none / 0) (#149)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:09:13 PM EST
    About Feingold's confirmation votes....  My recollection is that he voted for John Ashcroft as AG and that he okay'd also the SCt nominations of CJ Roberts and whatws-his-face, while citing the prerogative of the President to have great leeway in nominations.  

    Although I agree that a President should be accorded great leeway in such nominations -- the significance of presidential authority -- it is most curious that we give Feingold much more leeway in his associations & votes such as these that we give others.  I'm not saying he is a scoundrel or anything like that ... because, he did some very progressive things.  'Just a picky reminder that noone is "perfect."


    I think (none / 0) (#164)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 11:03:21 AM EST
    the reason it pissed me off so much is this was one of those cases some on here are arguing for- Obama kept a promise, went out on a limb and when push came to shove not even those most putatively outraged about Gitmo could summon the courage to back his play- instead they undercut him.

    I love Obama as a human being (none / 0) (#139)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:53:37 PM EST
    I have more in common with the cat than you can imagine.

    I just wish he had an OUNCE of genuine creative or imaginative drive in his body. He could make a REAL difference that way.

    And forget Gitmo, all the non-violent drug offenders rotting in our private prison kleptocracy, there's more than a few fathers and mothers and sons and daughters being wasted and abused for the profit of free-market jailers.

    And O loved to smoke the herb when he did, so...

    Hooray. Sigh.



    Well, "sigh" from this end also (none / 0) (#150)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:17:52 PM EST
    IMO, it is quite easy to see that this President has already made a positive, progressive, significant difference.  Without getting into arguments or dissections of "yes, but he didn't get this part of a program," I would only point out that President Obama has already achieved what a lot of other progressives have tried.  And, I fully expect that the methodology of his approach to Immigration reforms -- by the convergence of political/demographic circumstance together with his own ability to recognize how to box in the Repubs with their own proposal -- will result in the forward movement of real accomplishment that has eluded us for a generation.

    I understand your point of view...  But, others of us take the half-loaf & come back for the rest later -- incrementalism ala Alinsky.  It workds for a lot of people, millions of people.

    And, as you suggest, he is a good man.  A good man who has done a lot for his country...already.


    Hey taxpayers, it is good to know (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:07:34 PM EST
    that $3 Million still buys a lot.   The House Republican leadership, earlier this month, raised the cap on the legal contract to defend DOMA from the original $500,000 to $3 Million.  For that we got the high powered attorney, Paul D. Clement, Harvard Law and former Bush Solicitor General.  In a legal brief to the Supreme Court along with another brief filed by Charles J. Cooper, U Alabama Law, and a top appellate/litigator and Reagan DOJ officer defending CA Prop 8, we got a novel and, probably made-for-Scalia, legal arguments for "traditional marriage"  

    To address the 'rational basis' argument--that there is some legitimate reason for the law, Clement wrote that marriage should be limited to man and woman because they alone can "produce unplanned and unintended offspring."  By contrast, when same sex couples decide to have children, "substantial advance planning is required."   There is the undeniable and distinct tendency of opposite sex relationships to produce unplanned and unintended pregnancies."    ..."unintended children produced by opposite sex relationships and raised out of wedlock would pose a burden on society."  

    Cooper, in defending Prop 8, posited that "it is plainly reasonable for CA to maintain a unique institution (marriage) to address the unique challenge posed by the unique procreative potential of sexual relationships between man and women"    Same sex couples need not be included in the definition of marriage, he said, because they "don't present a threat of irresponsible procreation."

    Apparently, it is reasonable to steer straight couples toward  wedlock, since the institution is, essentially,  the shotgun of marriage.  At first bounce, the argument struck me as perplexing, but it really brings a lot of bang for the buck--a multi-purpose argument that is anti-gun control (we need shotguns), inequality is rational, and planned parent hood can be de-funded.   The problem remaining, is what happens to marriage post-child bearing years? Maybe, the "institution" automatically dissolves.  Of course, that 97-year old bride and the younger groom (see above) are out of luck since they are unlikely to  present a threat of procreation--irresponsible or responsible.

    Jeralyn, new computer yet?? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Cashmere on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:55:34 PM EST
    ??  Hoping so...

    not yet! (none / 0) (#53)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 09:48:56 PM EST
    I'd still really like one though.

    Have any of you a recommendation (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:05:10 PM EST
    for a realtor in Manhattan?  Not for an Upper Eastside entire floor. Think small. Thanks.

    Can I interest you... (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:26:01 PM EST
    in a refrigerator box under the Henry Hudson Pkwy?  No heat, so maybe just as a summer cottage.

    If ya need heat, maybe something in the abandoned subway tunnels near a steam pipe.

    That's as far as my knowledge of affordable Manhattan real estate goes I'm afraid;)


    Shades of "The Fisher King." (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:34:58 PM EST
    Are you moving? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:24:54 PM EST
    You will be closer then

    Dreaming. But I just got (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:52:35 PM EST
    a recommend for a realtor. My friends say I'm "too old."  But I remember Dear Abby. You'll be the same age whether you take a chance or don't!

    Get a sleeper-sofa and subsidize the move (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:02:40 AM EST
    by renting space to TL visitors!

    You love it there (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:07:25 PM EST
    You love everything there is to do there, and are so comfortable traveling, what is a little move in that context?

    $$. Plus, besides the (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:13:14 PM EST
    amazingly accommodating kdog I only know one person.  A close friend from college who.seems reluctant to come into Manhattan. Of course I am a "chatter-upper" and can comment on TL.

    $$$ An issue for sure (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by sj on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:32:49 PM EST
    But I moved to Baltimore knowing two less people than you know in New York.  Not as brave as it might sound -- I had my dogs who not only were wonderful company, but also ensured I got out and didn't hibernate in my apartment.

    If you have a vehicle with which to meet people it's less scary.  In my case I already had a job.  But you have cultural events.  You have to do what's right for you, but, oh my!  How exciting this sounds!

    And I love the Dear Abby observation.


    I think you should do it (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 09:58:10 PM EST
    You are so into the performing arts and NY is great for it.  NY makes international travel easier (one less connecting flight.) Plus, you don't have to have a car or drive. The only downsides are economic ones: without a lot of money, you will probably have to downsize considerably, closets and kitchens won't be what you are used to.

    The grocery stores leave a lot to be desired too in my opinion. But I don't recall you writing a lot of comments about cooking, so maybe that's not a big deal.

    Maybe you could rent for a year and see how you like it before committing to buying?


    I love my neighborhood grocery stores (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by JDM in NYC on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 11:31:13 PM EST
    We're on the Upper West Side and they're great (so long as you avoid Gristede's).
    I have a neighbor who's a realtor- I don't know anything else about her, but I could get you her contact info.
    NYC can seem intimidating from outside, and expensive, but it's really a wonderful place and other than housing you can get by fairly cheaply and still take advantage of what it offers.
    And if you want to meet lots of people quickly here, get a dog. We accidentally got one last year and it's amazing how personal boundaries vanish when dogs are involved.

    Maybe I'll borrow a dog! Two guys (none / 0) (#86)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:51:18 AM EST
    asked to join me at a table at Starbucks Sat. afternoon.  Definitely amenable to conversation. One is a stagehand at the Koch venue in Lincoln Center.

    I was amazed at a one bedroom (none / 0) (#64)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:47:56 PM EST
    apartment I saw in a very fancy tower.

    The "kitchen" amazed me.   No wider than 2-3 feet--it had everything, a stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher.   It was ingenious how much they fit into a glorified broom closet.

    A dorm room I saw at Columbia was about the size of a prison cell.


    So far, so good re my 15 day (none / 0) (#84)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:44:33 AM EST
    Studio rental. I think I could comfortably live in a studio this size as it has lots of natural light   But there is one flight of steps outside to front door and one inside to "my" studio. Not a problem at present. No washer/dryer.   No dishwasher, although I wouldn't be hosting any sit down dinner parties. It was raining yesterday and my personal cultural calendar was blank so I tried out a "nesting" day and read the script of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff,".for which I have a ticket tonight.  

    I don't know what your space needs are, oculus, (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:46:53 PM EST
    but I live in a studio apartment that is approx. 300 sq. ft. I've lived here for close to 20 years. It is small, and at first I thought it would never work. I'm still here, though, so clearly I found a way to make it work.

    It helps to have a good spatial sense or to have a friend with good spatial sense. A key to living in a small space is multi-use furniture and creative storage. Also, look for a place with as much natural light as you can find/afford.

    My building has a laundry room. So, washer/dryer are close at hand even though not in my apartment. And, since I have never in my life had a dishwasher, I don't miss it here.

    If you decide to look at studios in Manhattan, or any apartment there, ask about individual storage space in the building for tenants/owners. Some places have storage rooms or lockers for people in the basement or someplace like that. It can be helpful to, for example, have some place other than your studio to store things like luggage.


    This place has three north exposure windows. Very. (none / 0) (#131)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:12:57 PM EST
    It looks like we are going to be summering (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:40:22 PM EST
    In Korea.  Not certain yet, they could still decide to not retain my husband, he is past 20.  But it looks like they are moving towards retention and if so, Korea this summer.  Thinking about flying Space-A.  You can take a sleeping bag and lay down and sleep usually.  Korea is a long flight, it would be like airplane camping.  Josh thinks it sounds weird.  He is trying to get used to the idea.

    Pops flies Space A everywhere (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:43:53 PM EST
    Tells stories to active duty types....

    Sounds a little spartan though....


    If Pops is brave (none / 0) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:55:47 AM EST
    Maybe we can be too.  They said they will let you bring a small cooler too for foods.  Josh is such a picky eater, that could work in my favor.  But they said to make certain all your meats and fruits and veges are eaten by the time you land or your cooler will be confiscated.  No movies or anything, sometimes not even seats, but then again the seats flying can be a nightmare.  We have a couple of gaming systems and an ipad to watch movies to entertain Josh.  I would probably read.

    Just going for the summer or is this is new (none / 0) (#39)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:43:30 PM EST
    longer term posting? And isn't Korea really hot in the summer?

    Just the summer (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:55:01 PM EST
    They don't send us command sponsored overseas because of Josh's medical needs.  It places them on the hook for providing needed services and his hardware in his back is still a process and procedure mostly confined to the U.S., Canada, France, and probably Great Britain and Germany now.  But because the healthcare system is not connected to Germany's they would not feel that they can promise him needed care there so when they send our soldier away it is without his family for a year. We pay for our Korea adventures out of pocket but once there our military I.D. allows us on all the posts and bases to go to the commissary and to receive basic healthcare if we need it.  You can go to available movies and things too, but it is best to get off the post or base and check out the world.

    The last time we went we got bumped to 1st class.  What a bump.  Can you guys explain to Josh the real world doesn't really work that way and having a sleeping bag to stretch out on can be fun too?


    Korea's climate reminded me a lot of (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:58:41 PM EST
    Colorado's only with humidity. That is what wipes you out is the heat with the humidity.  We usually wind up with only one room that has AC too (the living room area) and in the middle of the night everyone migrates to it and you wake up in the morning on the furniture or the floor.  The winters are very cold too because of that humidity.

    If you have the time, check out ... (none / 0) (#43)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:31:41 PM EST
    ... the island of Cheju, which is directly to the south of the peninsula itself. I attended a conference there about 14 years ago, and I found the place to be enchanting. Other than that, the only other place I visited in Korea was Seoul-Inchon's urbanized sea of humanity-- which was, in a word, overwhelming.

    I also took a side trip to Camp Bonifas along the DMZ at Panmunjon where U.S. troops are stationed, just to the north of the capital, and got to stare at the North Korean border guards, who simply stared back impassively. My favorite sign was the one at the par-3 golf course at Camp Bonifas, which read simply: "CAUTION: LAND MINES. Do Not Attempt to Retrieve Balls Outside of Fairways."


    I will check out the island if he gets sent (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:37:30 PM EST
    We will be hanging out close to the DMZ this time.  It will be the second time he is going to be stationed close to the DMZ.  I love going to Seoul though, I drink it.  It is so metropolitan and full of life.  Many languages on the street.  And corn, on Pizza Hut pizza :)

    My friends just visited (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:59:59 PM EST
    Seoul as tourists. 10 degrees above zero when they went to the museum, which they sd., was the best museum tracing a culture they'd ever seen. Which is saying a lot!

    When I was shopping once (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:49:22 AM EST
    I was contemplating whether or not to purchase an antique Buddha.  I asked the shop owner how old the antique Buddha was and he told me it wasn't really an antique, it was only about 400 years old :)

    Their war memorial choked me up though.  Each country that had a person die in the Korean War has a giant sheet of marble, and though the names may be few for some nations every soldier that they can document who died in the Korean War is named.  When we visited it, North Koreans were starving in a particularly bad food shortage also.  Profound how a specific political system can affect such things.


    My nepehew (none / 0) (#75)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:13:05 AM EST
    just went over there back in December. He wanted to take his wife but apparently could not get approval to do it.

    She can visit if she would like (none / 0) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:06:16 AM EST
    Often even if soldiers are sleeping in community quarters  (they usually have their own room at least now) spouses are allowed to stay in the rooms too if visiting.  The only problem I ever had was staying 94 days instead of 90 and not getting my passport stamped for extended in Seoul.  I had to pay a $400 fine before I could leave country.

    Some rent a small apt or house fairly reasonably for the visit if kids are coming too.  Near the bases there are usually a supply of Korean owned dwellings for soldiers needing to rent more space to live in, even some very tempting luxurious stuff if you want something like that in some places.


    Not sure (none / 0) (#90)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:08:26 AM EST
    they can afford for her to come over. One of the problems with her not going in the first place was that the army wouldn't pay for her and they were going to have to absorb the entire cost of her moving to Korea. I think since it's just a year he is going to be over there, she will probably just stay here. Neither one is very mature and it's been eventful. She's already wrecked two cars in the last year. The first one was not her fault but this time she decided to drive on icy roads.

    Oh dear (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:23:33 AM EST
    I try to be a help to the younger folks in this.  I did not have to finish maturing in this system and for that I count myself fortunate.  If she flew space available it doesn't cost much but I'm sure that it can be very intimidating if you are alone and young.  I would have done it when I was young, but I was crazy :)  I did whatever the hell I wanted.

    If she does go, she can only visit or they will take away their housing allowance too.  We have had a couple of friends who just moved their wives and even children over there for a year and home schooled.  They found rental property and with their military housing allowance they made it work, but if you aren't using your housing allowance in the United States and you aren't "Command Sponsored" that isn't okay with the military.  So the two families that were discovered to be doing that had to pay back their housing allowance for all the months they were in Korea.  They will still consider longer stays visits, but only slightly longer....and you must get your passport stamped or Korea fines you like they did me.

    A Command Sponsored tour in Korea is usually a 3 year deployment that has the family living in Korea.


    We could fly Space-A (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:42:25 PM EST
    and come bother you too.

    Oculus (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:13:10 PM EST
    My cousin, Rhoda, has an apartment in Manhattan and, I believe, is also a realtor.

    Give me a little more info than, "I want to move to Manhattan," and I'll be more than happy to steer you straight.

    My email is in my info, fwiw.


    Most essential requirement is (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:46:49 AM EST
    walking distance to Lincoln Center and Met. Museum.

    That area (none / 0) (#93)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:32:07 AM EST
    would give you plenty of midday conversation over coffee with kids from Juilliard.

    You can't really have both (none / 0) (#95)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:16:07 AM EST
    walking distance to Lincoln Center and Met. Museum.

    One is on the East Side of Manhattan at 84th, the other on the West Side at 66th.

    There's a big park between :)


    You have not seen Oculus walk! (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:29:53 AM EST
    Not a problem, believe me. I even did it (without her) but she could probably beat me in a foot race.

    I google mapped it (none / 0) (#101)
    by sj on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:38:50 AM EST
    and you're right, they are on opposite sides of Central Park.  But it would be walking distance for me -- during three of the four seasons, anyway.  It's only about a mile and half.  Other than walking when it's cold, the only part that gives me pause is that I don't like walking through parks at night.  I've seen way too many movies for me to feel comfortable with that. :\

    Rhoda Morgenstern?? (none / 0) (#59)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:34:43 PM EST
    LoL (none / 0) (#60)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:37:40 PM EST
    close, but methinks there may be several "Rhodas" in NYC.

    But, who knows?


    Well, I think after divorcing Joe (none / 0) (#68)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 11:39:24 PM EST
    R.M. may have returned to St. Paul to hang with her BFF, Mary.

    Think small (none / 0) (#25)
    by Dadler on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:57:30 PM EST
    I asked the lessor to (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:09:29 PM EST
    Estimate the sq. footage of the studio I am occupying. She claims she has no idea. I may have to buy a tape measure!

    I reckon they do it all the time... (none / 0) (#10)
    by EL seattle on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:46:48 PM EST
    whenever the Cheneys come a-visitin'.

    Funny. I imagine the president is more familiar (none / 0) (#15)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:07:41 PM EST
    with skee-ball than skeet shooting.

    From our "Megalomania 2.0" file: (none / 0) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:49:26 PM EST
    From today's Rush Limbaugh show:

    "I mean, thanks to Obama you have amnesty unless you get convicted of a major felony.  So I don't know that there's any stopping this [immigration reform]. It's up to me and Fox News, and I don't think Fox News is that invested in this. I don't think there's any Republican opposition to this of any majority consequence or size."

    So, I guess it's now all up to Rush to save us. The question is -- from what, exactly?

    From... (none / 0) (#100)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:35:46 AM EST
    ...white folks being able to threaten brown folks with a call to immigration.

    We can't have a functioning society/economy with brown and white people belonging to the same classes.  We need second class citizens to blame for all our problems, or so it seems.

    I was actually happy to read that comment, Fox News and the republicans aren't going to oppose the upcoming legislation, good to know, wonder if it's accurate or more Rush bluster.  I see McCain standing there, with the other pro-immigration legislation Senators, and I just can't imagine him being able to help himself from disparaging brown people under the guise of saving America.


    I think (none / 0) (#76)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:19:32 AM EST
    we have a Texan that posts here? My husband applied for a job in Houston. Not that I want to move to Texas--too hot and too many crazy people--though we have lots of them here in GA too. I was wondering about what y'all think of the Houston area? There's been no offer or anything near it yet but all the other jobs are "live anywhere" jobs and require no research. Thanks.

    Houston (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:31:32 AM EST
    Is a nice city, but it is big and hot (although, coming from Georgia, you should be used to it).  It's got lots of stuff to do - you are close to Galveston and the Gulf, 5 hours from Dallas, 4 hours from San Antonio or Austin and about 5 (I think) from New Orleans.

    I lived outside of Houston for almost a year in the mid-90's and while I didn't enjoy myself during that time, I think it had more to do with my job, rather than the city.

    While I didn't agree with most of the politics of Texas, (I lived all over the state over 6 years), I found the people generall to be extremely nice and friendly.

    Houston has a vibrant museum and theater district.

    Obviously, it's been a long time since I lived there, and someone who lives there now could better speak to the area, but I think you'll be happy there (at least, content). :)


    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:04:54 AM EST
    I'm not used to that kind of heat they have in Texas. Here is does get up to 100 and it is humid bu they are like 110 and 120 and more humid than we are here. A friend of mine who moved out there from living in Metro Atlanta said that it was really hot, so hot that the rubber around her car door melted and her rearview mirror would not stay glued onto the glass.

    But beggars can't be choosy either and if that is where he gets a job, then I will just suck it up and move.


    I grew up near Houston and worked in Houston (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Angel on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:54:48 PM EST
    after college.  It does get hot, not up to 120 but a couple of years ago they (and most of Texas) had a very long spell of days at or over 100.  Average during summer months is in the 90's, though humidity can be high so it's like being in a sauna sometimes.  I'm used to it but I don't like it.  Everything is air conditioned, so you're safe when inside.  :)  Even living in Austin (about 3 hours west) we get pretty much the same temps and humidity although less rain.  Flip side is winters are mild, today is sunny and beautiful.  Snow is rare.  Lots of nice places to live in Houston and prices are reasonable compared to Austin. Lots of jobs, too, and in a variety of different sectors, and many things to do including outdoor recreation, theater, museums, etc..  Best of luck wherever you end up!

    Though the word I get is (none / 0) (#163)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 10:54:48 AM EST
    that because of the strong job market in Houston, lots of people are (again) coming in and the result is to drive up what were formerly outstanding housing (rental) prices, in the better neighborhoods of course (e.g. Montrose).

    Stories of what used to be fine 1-2 bdr spacious apts in good areas for $1,100-1,200/mo now shooting up to the $1,800-2,000 range.  Not sure if that applies to some of the vast outer suburban areas, either apts or houses, if you can tolerate living out there and doing the daily grind on the usually clogged freeways.


    That's probably true. But Montrose, River Oaks, (none / 0) (#165)
    by Angel on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 03:46:42 PM EST
    West University Place - anywhere inside the Loop - those places have always been THE prime real estate; yet I've always thought even though they were expensive they were under-priced. So it's still a good deal considering the salaries the good jobs bring.  You can still get more house for your buck in Houston or Dallas than in Austin, where prices are ridiculously expensive.  And I mean ridiculous, as in outrageous!  

    Scott is the TLer who lives in Houston. (none / 0) (#109)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:45:15 PM EST
    He might have an email address listed on Tl wit his info.

    I hope the job search finds success soon, Ga6thDem.


    ScottW714 is his full TL name. n/t (none / 0) (#110)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:45:54 PM EST
    Houston Rocks... (none / 0) (#135)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:39:39 PM EST
    ...but I guess I am impartial.  I moved here from Wisconsin 15 years ago and love it.

    From a business perspective, it's a great place to go, it's why I choose it out of college.  No job, didn't know a soul, but drove a Uhaul with a girlie and found a temp job two days later.  The city is mostly gas and oil, with tons of energy companies.  Which allowed us to ride out the recession fairly easy, we never felt the pain of the rest of the Nation and that too me is comforting.  The cost of living is cheap, but the cost is the commute if you live in the burbs.

    What I really like is that gas and oil brings in people from all over the world.  You will have to look hard to find someone who is actually from Houston, they just don't seem to exist.  Some Texans, but a lot of yankee's and Europeans.  The people are probably the biggest asset.  

    Believe it or not we have a ton of parks and so long as you don't live in the burbs, those are used parks and really a treasure for the city.  Surprisingly, there are lot of trees as well, beyond the dead middle of summer it's a pretty green city.  The police even keep there horses at one of the parks, Memorial which is 1500 acres and in the middle of the city.  I think the time I have ever seen a cop on a horse was for the Super Bowl.  I think that is what surprised me the most about Houston, how much green space there is.

    It's a liberal city, we have a openly gay female mayor.  There is no zoning, which I think adds to the mingling of all classes.  The wealthy live within blocks of Section 8 housing.  It's very odd with no zoning, what was a house yesterday might be a beauty salon tomorrow.  But it add character.

    The bad, while not actually in Houston, the refinery wasteland is vast and who knows what they piping into he air.  Traffic is a nightmare for the burbs.  I actually go against traffic and it's smooth, but the days when I get caught up in it are days I want to stick a fork in my head.  We have a 22 or 25 lane freeway, I-10, that somehow still gets backed up at rush hour.

    While HPD has a good reputation, Harris County does not.  While it never actually involves me, they are know for their brutal treatment of people and occasional scandal.

    The heat for me is worth it when you consider today it nearly 80's, the big cold front is moving in and suppose to take us down 10 degrees tomorrow. The only time the heat has really bothered me was the year before last when we had the big doubt and I went up to Wisconsin.  When I got back it seemed unbearable.  But then again I get to work late and my black truck sits in the sun all day long.  the humidity on the coast if always there.  Plus I grew up in northern Wisconsin and seem to have developed a allergic like reaction to the cold.  Even when it's 40 here, those 5 days, I hate it.

    I don't know anyone that lives here that doesn't like it except for the a couple of country folks at work that commute like an hour and half from their horse ranches.  Who, I believe, would find any city not to their liking.

    The biggest thing I hate living here is getting boxed into all other Texans, especially here at TL.  I am a Texan, which apparently means I am someone really stupid for living here or that I am somehow responsible for the rest of the state and the religious faction.  But being from Georgia, that's probably something you can relate to.

    It's a little frightening leaving the city and experiencing the rest of the state.  Coming from Wisconsin, I never saw true blue poverty or racism, and both frighten the hell out of me.  But Austin is 3 hours, San Antonio is 4, New Orleans is 5, and Mexico is 6.  We used to go to Mexico one a month, it was so much fun, now it's not really an option, sucks.

    If you are from Atlanta, although we have public transportation, no one uses it.  It's a city that loves their trucks and cars.  I used to use public transportation occasionally in Wisconsin, but here it's just not an option.

    And I almost forgot, the food.  Man it is hard not to eat out all the time.  I love Tex Mex and Mexican and I think there is one of those types of restaurants on every block. I also love me some Vietnamese sandwiches, but I suspect that is something all cities have.

    I swear, I could write a book about Houston and how much I love it.  So keep that in mind, I am describing it through my starry eyes.


    and really had a great time. Like Scott said the people are from everywhere and very friendly. Big houses for little money. It was pretty spread out, even back then, but so is most every major city these days.

    It's not the heat, Scott (none / 0) (#142)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:05:53 PM EST
    It's the humidity.   ;-)

    And Here is the Brewha... (none / 0) (#143)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:20:23 PM EST
    ...that went down here when I simply noted that Forbes listed Houston as one of the coolest cities.

    To even things out a bit (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:27:33 PM EST
    Houston is regularly ranked as the city with the worst air pollution in the state of Texas.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#153)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:03:33 PM EST
    so much Scott. As far as the traffic thing, well, I hear it is worse than Atlanta which is pretty darn bad but people in Atlanta do ride Marta. I did notice that you could get a lot of house for not a lot of money and that Houston totally said we have to do something to change things when the big collapse happened back in the 80's.

    I understand why people have such a negative impression of Texas. It's the same reason GA gets some snide remarks. I mostly just don't bother to defend GA because I mean after all when you elect nuts like Perry and Deal, even though you personally had nothing to do with it, it's just the way it is.



    Housing (none / 0) (#162)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 10:04:07 AM EST
    My guess is that it's cheap because we are spread out and there are no real boundaries, so they can build forever.  It's actually cheaper to build than buy used, the real problem is that building equals driving.

    This is the first place where I have owned property and everyone is always telling me how ridiculously high out property rates are.  I don't know; that check I cut seems large, but I think around 2.5% for most areas.  Which in reality doesn't seem ridiculously high to me.

    And for the record, I like Rick Perry, well before he thought he was Presidential material.  He was a long time D and certainly hasn't run his office with the insanity he did for the primaries.

    The Perry that causes me issues, is Bob Perry, the home builder that pretty much donates to that same cause types as the Koch Brothers.


    Ray, we hardly knew ye. (none / 0) (#107)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:21:11 PM EST
    Secretary of Transportation, Ray La Hood, is leaving the Obama Administration.   LaHood is a former Republican Congressman from Illinois and one of the several cabinet members who seemed to be even less visible than Manti Te'O's girlfriend.  

    Is there anything he accomplished? (none / 0) (#108)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:39:39 PM EST
    I actually heard some talking head on NPR today saying that LaHood was a good Transportation Secretary because he didn't just want to have money appropriated for that old school stuff like infrastructure for roads and bridges -- we should remember he was a strong advocate for not texting while driving!

    And this fool was serious in naming that as an accomplishment.


    Actually, LaHood was a proponent of high speed (none / 0) (#119)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:26:10 PM EST
    passenger trains. He was not terribly successful in getting that funded, but that has more to do with the Republican belief that using transportation money for anything other than more highways is a commie plot. Still, LaHood did what he could to help those states who want to invest in varied transportation options.

    Given that there is a group of politicians who would rather see citizens crushed by falling bridges than vote for any increase in infrastructure monies, and transportation is infrastructure, I don't know that LaHood had much hope of accomplishing anything.

    I don't particularly like Ray LaHood. When he was in Congress he was another GOP tool chasing the Clinton pen!s all over the place. Still, I can't fault him for the lack of progress on transportation issues.


    Some LaHood accomplishments / issues (none / 0) (#161)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:35:10 AM EST
    Detroit Free Press

    At the department, LaHood provided a bipartisan voice during the first term, helping implement billions of dollars in transportation projects from the 2009 economic stimulus bill and promoting the plan to wary Republicans. The department pushed forward thousands of infrastructure projects to improve roads and bridges and LaHood worked with Congress last year to pass an overhaul of highway and transit programs that gives states more flexibility in how they spend federal money.

    He tackled a number of regulations that had been mired in gridlock. LaHood worked with auto makers and environmentalists to develop tougher fuel efficiency standards for new cars, with the goal of providing environmental benefits and reducing fuel consumption.

    Guarding against airline pilot fatigue, the Federal Aviation Administration set new rules under LaHood's watch that would limit the maximum time a pilot can be scheduled on duty and place limits on scheduled flying time and hours for pilots flying overnight. The action was prompted by a deadly plane crash near Buffalo, N.Y., that raised concerns about pilot fatigue.

    LaHood also has taken on major transportation companies during his tenure, slapping Toyota Motor Co. with record fines for delaying safety recalls and failing to promptly report problems to federal regulators.

    He recently ordered United Airlines to ground its Boeing 787 Dreamliner following mishaps with the aircraft's batteries. The FAA is investigating the cause of the problems to the Dreamliner, which uses lithium ion batteries and is the world's first airliner whose structure is made mostly from lightweight composite materials.

    Perhaps LaHood's most passionate work has involved distracted driving, which he has called a "national epidemic." He has launched a national media campaign to end texting and cellphone use by drivers, an awareness campaign that has drawn comparisons to efforts to promote seat belt use more than a generation ago.

    Kerry (none / 0) (#144)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:21:32 PM EST
    confirmed with 94 votes in the Senate to be the next SOS.

    On a related note, it's about 94% certain the next Senator from Massachusetts will not be Barney Frank

    Prepper gun nut (none / 0) (#152)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:51:57 PM EST
    is believed to be holed up in his backyard bumker after shooting a school bus driver today in Midland City, Alabama (just outside of Dothan). One child from the bus is missing.

    That is where (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:05:36 PM EST
    Military Tracy is--well, the general area. I hope it's no one she knows.