Trash Talk Is Back, And It Is Max!

Calling the current GOP “fuckers” is one of the most true and innocuous things I have ever seen or heard. They are among the, if not the, most destructive humans currently on the face of the earth. Take Mitch McConnell. Please. If these fuckers are not fuckers, then who would real fuckers ever aspire to be?

So, what is up?

Apparently 737 Max aircraft are back up, and it may be being hidden from you. Or may not. But this is indeed something to keep your eye on as it was the explicit suggestion of the hollow branding man in chief, Trump:

“Even President Trump has weighed in on the MAX name: “If I were Boeing, I would FIX the Boeing 737 MAX, add some additional great features, & REBRAND the plane with a new name,” he Tweeted in April.”

Don’t know about you, but I will not be boarding one of those planes.

Okay. Enough. There are real games out there. Not just the ones in Washington. I’d say and Washington, as in Seattle, but Boeing moved to the home of Rahm, Chicago.

Clemson has demonstrated clearly what fakers Notre Dame have been all along. Too bad they can’t do that for Ohio State too. Coastal Carolina deserves to be in the final four far more than either the Domers or the Buckeyes. It is almost comical how hard the NCAA tries to always put posers in their finals instead of the best teams. Nebraska barely held on to beat….Rutgers. Texas A&M beat the Vols, but pretty shocked that Oklahoma edged out Brock Purdy and Iowa State (both with Phoenix area QBs that will play on Sundays soon enough).

Josh Allen is, as we speak, and his Bills crushing the Broncos. Can Carolina take it to 12 and the Pack in Lambeau? Not going to take that proposition. Pats at Fins will be really interesting. So far, it looks like Flores is building right and Tua is real. But Bill Bel will game for this, and I’ll bet on that. Might have taken the WFT at home over the Squawks, but for Alex Smith being out again. The big game is really the Chefs at the Saints. Drew Brees will be back, but Nawlins is not the same without the raucous crowd. Mahomes is too much.

Let it rock. Don’t laugh at the music, she can really sing. Even Dolly thinks so.

85 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    It pained me to watch the Fighting Journalists go down, especially after their strong first half. But damn, can Trey Sermon run. His O-line did a good – not great, but good – job opening holes, but he was breaking tackles right and left.

    Chefs v Aints will indeed be the big game this week. Locals around KC are torn between thinking Mahomes can do anything and a repeat Super Bowl win is in the bag and on the other hand they look back on their history and think that something bad will happen.

    • bmaz says:

      Chefs never had anything like Mahomes before. There are also a LOT of weapons around him. Bell is, at this point, still an afterthought. But, if KC loses a RB or two, they still have Laveon Bell.

      As long as Mahomes is healthy, I have no idea who will beat KC when it counts.

      • Peterr says:

        That “as long as” is what worries folks.

        Every time the sportscasters open their news segment with “And in COVID news . . .” everyone in the whole area holds their breath until they know that the word “Mahomes” does not come up later in the story.

  2. drouse says:

    One would have to be a fool to fly on anything that Boeing did the software on. Their commercial crew capsule failed its test flight because of software and still hasn’t flown a retest. One thing I find telling is that Boeing’s in-house astronaut, who was slated to command the first manned mission, announced that whenever it gets scheduled, he plans on having important family business ti attend to.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Boeing used to be much more serious about the engineering, but then they bought McDonnell Douglas and apparently the cost-cutting mindset took root. Add to that the costs involved to qualify a new platform in comparison to an extension of an existing platform and it’s easy to see why Boeing chose the dark side. The Seattle Times has been reporting on this from the beginning, and I’ve used the MAX example to show why engineering corners cannot be cut, because being banished to the wilderness costs more than the savings.

      Why did the FAA allow this change to be declared as a mere modification? Because (IIRC) DJT was in the WH.

  3. quebecois says:

    A friend of mine programmed a simulation of the 737 with its flaws upfront. I crashed it within two minutes after take off. Thrice in 15 minutes. Flying big planes like that is all about following procedures. Do it right and they fly, easypeasy. The plane was brutal.

    Perez will be a hell of a teammate to Verstappen, Horner is turning up the pressure.

  4. Stew says:

    Indeed she can
    Showed her skill as Hannah Montana
    Vicki Lawerence and Dolly Parton as grandparents?

    Listening to the Devil’s Daughters
    Misti Moon steeped in Rockabilly in her DNA

  5. BobCon says:

    NBA preseason games have already started. Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a maximum contract and ignored overtures for big city teams, and now the obvious question is what kind of talent can the Bucks afford to fill out the team.

    Zion Williamson is healthy, and he looks like he has dropped from 285 to 260 pounds, which should make him even scarier.

    The league is planning on a somewhat abbreviated season, and they are hoping to finish before the Olympics. I’d be surprised if there aren’t a lot of defections from national teams regardless.

  6. Stew says:

    Zion is too fragile because of his explosiveness coupled with his weight.
    He’ll be brilliant, then he’ll suffer a major injury.
    Something akin to Bo Jackson’s career

    • BobCon says:

      I think it’s fair to say that 260 pound guys put a huge strain on their joints, although some guys like Charles Barkley are able to handle it well. I think to Williamson’s advantage is that he’s a remarkably athletic player, and can probably develop a game that doesn’t need a lot of explosion, but he’s had some issues with injuries which can start to take a toll. At any rate, I hope he stays healthy because he’s wildly fun to watch.

      • bmaz says:

        Chuck is who I think about when I see Zion. Barkley had a good long career, but was not the same at the end of it.

    • scribe says:

      Bo’s career took the ultimately-fatal hit because his hip joint developed necrosis after a hard tackle. It was one of those “perfect angle, perfect impact” things that we would ordinarily call “one in a million”.
      And he went through rehab and all the rest. Nike ads “Bo knows rehab” n’at.
      Tragic, really, because he conceivably could have been HoF in both baseball and football.

      • bmaz says:

        It is hard to compare athletes across time, or even against each other. But not sure ever saw any human better of an athlete than Bo.

  7. Stew says:

    LeBron recruited Anthony Davis to LA to defend against Giannis and KD
    Who cares where James Hardin or Westbrook go? It will be all for naught the way they hog the ball.

    wish KD would come back and show his court genius one more time
    same for Curry

  8. subtropolis says:

    A couple of weeks ago I read somewhere that Boeing HAS given the 737 MAX a new name: the 737-8. Don’t let the airlines fool you!

  9. Badger Robert says:

    We took the train to go to downtown Denver, with masks. The train provide a view of the megatron, and the score was as blogged above, Bills 48 v Broncos 19. By coincidence, here is the score again.

  10. Eureka says:

    I’ve accreted some trash in the interim, here’s a couple items from the pile:

    Just a gorgeous photo (and the Melbourne city lights nicely evoke Christmas … ’tis the season…), scroll down for reply with photog’s story about these being widowed penguins coming together (heart):

    New Scientist: “This shot of fairy penguins in the suburbs of Melbourne by Tobias Baumgaertner won the Community Choice Award in Oceanographic magazine’s Ocean Photography Awards 2020.[photo, link]”

    From early this month, solution to a blockbuster mystery that’ll be a movie someday (way more satisfying if you’ve been following along — the prior stories are linked therein):

    “Con Queen of Hollywood” Arrested (Exclusive) | Hollywood Reporter

    As you mention them, it was quite a day for Vols gossip: NCAA investigation into their recruiting was announced before the game (though known internally for a few weeks), fans hopeful this means unwinning coach Pruitt can be loosed from his contract (fired for cause); their QB entered the transfer portal post-game. Scuttlebutt from one reporter was that Peyton Manning showed for the last two home games as some kind of morale- / program-saving statement (which I would turn and point towards a show of support for his former coach, now AD, Fulmer — as in extricate Pruitt or whoever, but leave Fulmer out of this collapse).

    #BillsMafia: I am so happy for them, if consternated by Cuomo’s morally-challenged announcement last week that if they host a game, he’d try to get fans in there. Dunno, maybe Buffalo’s not on fire as bad as everywhere else but the comment struck me as craven, setting up a lot of people for FOMO heartbreak. [They didn’t allow fans when transmission rates were very low in September, so many are puzzled by the turn.]

    There are lots of cojoint Bills-Eagles fans, besides the conviviality between their fandoms. I couldn’t watch Josh Allen earlier because of PTSD at watching our own QB (I mean Allen would do some pretty crazy things, too — recall last year’s playoffs as an icon of same, him running wild for the subway or bus stop or something. Even some stuff earlier this season bore a resemblance…). Now if only Wentz would (have) lay (lain) down his man-baby ways and take to some coaching, real tutelage, like Allen — maybe we’d have (had) a nice football game. I say that not to diminish the real effects of constant pummeling on his nerves, just that it’s something that can be controlled. Let Frank Reich fix him. A reunion might be good for all involved. [As declared, I am not a jinx. But somehow feel like I just made one by typing that last bit, hmm. Undo, Undo!]

      • Eureka says:

        That was a heartbreaker here, bmaz – we have a new QB in town and that Nor’easter that hit our side of the country last week was caused by the ‘ahhhhhhhhh’ exhale of millions of Iggles fans watching an enjoyable game (v. Saints) for a change, followed by the gut punch that our Oline would change yet again, with a known sack-facilitating replacement. Plus the Wawa parking lot pickups for 2ndary (“OMG Hopkins will get 300 yards”) (one of the guys really _was_ working at a tire place) and a busted punter. And it being Hurts’ second start. Whatcha gonna do? So it was a heartbreaker because after all that it was soclose. The Eagles are a new football team. [Also, you don’t have to worry about shots of the second toes when the second heel was down clean, clearly.]

        With all the front office/QB drama I do NOT want to lose Dougie P and a win would have helped there. I could watch and listen to Hurts all day over Wentz at this point. He’s got a great attitude (whereas Wentz is flinching and robotic platitudes that I.cannot.take.anymore). For Hurts, that statue out front is goals, not a crippling cuckold.

        I assume you’re quite pleased with the result but maybe have the opposite concern: Kingsbury gets you to the playoffs, so keeps his job (which you don’t seem too happy about).

        Spouse said whoever your D coordinator is, he’s good. (He also said he thought the Eagles should have gotten Fitzgerald ten years ago when he was a FA. Knew he’d burn us for yards/TD, too. It’s tradition.)

        • bmaz says:

          I’ve nothing against Wentz; he seemed to be a better bet than Allen was for the Bills. They are not necessarily equatable. QB’s are hard to get right. Eagles won a SB with Foles, who was rightfully considered mostly a bust before that. Philly has a hard choice ahead though, and Pederson is not really the issue as far as I can see.

          • Eureka says:

            I’ve nothing against Wentz but the _pain_ and reports for years now that he just doesn’t take to coaching since Reich and DeFillipo (good cop bad cop) left post SB. I really hope he gets sorted out. Eagles, too, of course.

            Some of the reporting/drama suggests that Pederson’s job is not secure in any shake-up, and if they do fuck up and force him out, it will be to their detriment, I believe. (The GM Howie Roseman is in thick with owner Lurie, is a real behind-the-scenes player, and others get scapegoated for his mistakes, to TL;DR it.) Frustrating.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      The Hollywood Reporter does some great journalism. They’re in my wheelhouse (media criticism) so I discovered them by way of research, but like certain other venues (Teen Vogue) you might not expect to do so, they’ve put talented reporters and columnists on beats that let them go deep into cultural issues.

    • Pablo in the Gazebo says:

      The fairy penguin photo is touching in way I did not expect. It seems to capture a reflection in the animal world of the isolation we all feel. Looking across the bay we can see a future that we know is there, but can barely make out.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Aww (and awe), thanks for the fairy penguins, Eureka. When I went outside to feed the cats this evening, we were treated with a surprise bike parade of 5 adults with their wheels decked out in holiday lights. One of the bikes was pulling a tiny wagon with a miniature Christmas tree surrounded by a petite picket fence.

      “Feeding the cats” has become a euphemism for the growing menagerie visiting daily. Technically, I feed 2 cats ( one who acts like a dog, and one who I have never been able to pet.) But there is also an assortment of visitors which includes neighbors’ cats, a surly feral new addition I wouldn’t want to tangle with, a variety of birds, and the occasional raccoon, squirrel and dog.

      Then today, there was a bedraggled bee on the rim of one of the water dishes. I assisted it to a safer, dryer place but it still seemed unsettled. So I gave it a lift to a hidden, secret garden where there are some blooming roses. After a moment, it became much more animated. I wonder where the other bees live. Hmm.

      • Eureka says:

        I love your story, SL, and have to tell you that *I waited with baited breath for a racoon and there s/he was*! My grandmother fed cats on the back porch, and raccoons would come join: I helped her and we have those 210-era quality photos to show for it.

        Also, I love cats that are really dogs.

        You’ll have to update us when you learn the bees’ secrets.

        Today, we found bunny prints on our porch — so enjoyed imagining how it clambered up our steps. (And that also explained at least one of the ‘whos’ our dog has been sniffing in his snow-banked habitrails we shoveled the other day. There’s usually a feral cat or two around as well, but no sightings yet. (And this is reminding me of dog-like cats; one would throw itself down, belly-up at the doorway.)

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Even the surliest of feral cats can become your best friend in the world! I wouldn’t have believed it (even as a lifelong cat person) if it hadn’t happened to me. My husband named him Black Bear; he was the alpha male of a raging feral colony in our old neighborhood until he broke a foreleg. It was freezing winter. I would just talk to him whenever I put food out, moving the dish a bit closer each day. It took three months, a retired dog crate from my days raising golden retrievers, and some incredulous but admiring (of him) vets. They gave him six months to live, but I got six wonderful years of BB limping beside me just like a faithful, grateful dog.

        • Skillethead says:

          Thank you. Although CC is this year’s Ain’t They Great underdog team, their SOS by Sagarin was 108th in the nation. OSU’s was 36th. Posers? They have the second most players in the NFL (roughly 50) next to Bama with CC having 2.

          CC is not one of the top three teams in the nation “by far”. They are only marginally one of the top three teams in the Carolinas.

          They did, however, get hosed on the New Year’s Six selection. Would have loved to have seen them play the Aggies or Okies.

          • bmaz says:

            So, you think a second rate OSU team that had to have the rules changed to even get their sorry asses into the equation are worthy? Your own response evidences that they are “36th”. And you want to blithely claim I “don’t actually follow football”? What a joke.

            Probably you should provide some apologia for the overrated Domers too (who would have two losses if they had played Taylor Lawrence twice). The CFB is a bought and paid for joke. It is funny how people understand that as to politics but not the just as, if not more, corrupt assholes involved in the NCAA.

          • Peterr says:

            Having the second most players in the NFL says something about the strength of their program in the past. It means squat when considering the quality of this year’s team.

  11. Bay State Librul says:

    Speaking of the lead “fucker” and “shit slinger” Mitch

    “What Mitch McConnell “lacked in charisma or interest in policy he more than made up for in discipline, shrewdness and shamelessness — all of which he employed in the single-minded and dispassionate pursuit of power.” Review of Obama’s Book

    Watching the Celts will never be the same without Tommy.

  12. phred says:

    On behalf of Dr. EW and myself, I raise my glass (well, coffee mug) to Ms. O’Malley Dillon — hear hear!

    In a world of “Go fuck yourself” Cheneys and Fucking Rahm Fucking Emmanuel and whichever Republican member of Congress it was who called AOC a “fucking bitch” on the steps of the Capitol, it is high time we pry the pearls out of clutched Republican talons and reclaim the right of women everywhere to call a blowjob a blowjob on TV ; )

    Bravo Ms. O’Malley Dillon, keep up the good work!

    And while I’m here… Go Pack!!! : )

  13. Silly but True says:

    OOH, it’s tough to get beyond the serious technical & ethical problems of the MAX.

    OTOH, it is probably at this point the most technically scrutinized engineered system in the history of the word, and probably has the safest program in place to now operate.

    I say this, but I can’t bring myself to flying on one now either. Maybe in a couple of years.

  14. Chetnolian says:

    Back to Boeing. The 737 MAX disaster is a subject I know far too much about. If you are bored some day read the Joint AuthoritiesTechnical Review of 11th October 2019.

    So the following three points arise from what is said above.

    Sorry, on this one we can’t blame Trump. The decisions which caused the problem were taken before he was in the White House. Actual certification was in March 2017 and the failures of both Boeing and the FAA go back long before that. It takes a while for a bureaucracy to rot from its heart.

    And I do wish people would stop talking about software failures. This was a SYSTEM failure, which is much worse. The system starts with a simple open tube at the mouth of which you measure what angle the air is passing at. It’s called an Angle of Attack Indicator. Obviously the measurement is complex and a mixture of hardware and software but that is essentially it. The system finishes with the whole tailplane of the aircraft. Everyone who has ever worked on airborne systems knows you should not rely on one sensor. Ideally you would have three. Boeing relied on one. Everyone know a system should fail safe, which in this case would mean if there was no data the system would do nothing. Boeing chose to assume that, if the data from the tube was awol, the system should work! (In the Ethiopian case no-one is really sure but it looks as if the AOA Indicator actually came physically off the aircraft, probably because a bird hit it.) In both accidents the pilots at first reacted correctly by levelling the plane. Boeing chose to design a system which did it again and again, stronger each time. ! And lastly they chose not to tell the pilots this might happen, again and again! And the FAA let them do all of these things.

    But I would happily fly on a MAX. It is probably now the most examined airliner ever.

    • Peterr says:

      That last sentence X1000. There’s a reason why getting it back on line took almost two years. The absolute last thing Boeing wants is for another wave of crashes to take place, as that would likely shut down their commercial airliner business for good.

      And the reason various airlines have been hoping to have the 737 MAX back in service is that IIRC, its fuel economy is around a 20% improvement over the predecessor version of the 737 and well ahead of most if not all of its competitors. Airlines are hungry to cut fuel costs, especially as governments are putting more stringent environmental concerns into law.

      • Chetnolian says:

        Comparable to, not well ahead of. The only realistic competitor is the Airbus A320/321 series and Airbus can’t make enough, so the return of the MAX will be welcome for environmental reasons, if no other.

        • bmaz says:

          Still not getting on one. At this point, not sure I trust any Boeing plane. The same dishonest agents and authorities that did the examination and recertification did the original sham.

            • Nehoa says:

              Thank you! I have thought she is great since I first heard her several years ago.
              Side note: you might like the movie “Rumble” about Native Americans’ influence on rock and roll. And blues. There is a part in the middle where you see how early blues came out of Native American music. An “oh yeah!” moment.

            • Savage Librarian says:

              Thanks, Nehoa, I’ve put Rumble on my watch list for this holiday season. Giddens is so much fun to listen to and watch. This one excels at evoking emotion:

              “S’iomadh Rid (The Dhith Om / Ciamar A Ni Mi)” – Rhiannon Giddens


              “Push It Further: Rhiannon Giddens Takes A Turn On Tradition” – WBUR News, 2/10/15

              “There’s a Gaelic song you perform live. What sort of song is that, and how do you manage to sing it for what is quite a long time without seeming to breathe?

              “Well, it’s a type of music called Gaelic mouth music. It’s a tradition in many places. The idea of mouth music [is] vocal music to dance to, basically. This particular strain of it is from Scotland, and the reason why it’s usually called mouth music is because the poetry is considered sort of throwaway lines. They’re chosen often for percussive sounds, and so they didn’t really have names. I really got into Gaelic music and the whole sound of it, and I got to go to Scotland. And I’ve studied with native singers, and it’s just beautiful music, and it reminded me a lot of Native American singing. I’ve done some powwow singing. It was just really intriguing to me, so that piece is, I don’t know — it speaks to people.”

              “I’m always interested in [the fact that] the largest settlement of Scots-Gaelic-speaking Highlanders in the 1700s was in North Carolina, and there was cultural interactions between them and the natives who were there and the African-Americans. I mean, it was just kind of a fascinating history to me, and I love being able to push that musically and … try to represent that in my own way.”


          • Silly but True says:

            Several key systemwide failures:
            1. Lack of informed consent: pilots were never informed that the flight model MAX 8 had not been equipped with new automatic anti-stall system, nor that it could be activated by faulty reading of single sensor. This was not hardware or software problem per se, but complete lack by Boeing in its operation; this wasn’t noted in features, wasn’t part of pilot training, or plane operation. Boeing buried this decision. Because it was a klunky fix to more fundamental design errors on its part which it also wanted buried. Were Boeing required to explain the anti-stall system, it would further had to explain the sensor.

            Lack of precautionary vision by Boeing leadership. Several days after the MAX 8 was being grounded around the world, Boeing CEO Muilenburg called Trump directly and assured him there was no cause to ground US models — despite it being unclear to Boeing the causes of crashes. FAA concurred with Boeing, taking position that there was not evidence provided by foreign aviation authorities (we suppose beyond multiple crashes) to warrant action. Precautionary measures should absolutely been taken in US and Muilenburg’s assurances were perniciously backwards: US fleet should have been grounded until proven safe.

            Neither of these deficiencies are resolved by technical improvements to the MAX. There is no technical improvement to “fix” Muilenburg’s credibility beyond his sacking and strong assurances from a new leader lacking Muilenburg’s business lineage.

    • Marc says:

      Actually, the 737 (and most modern airliners) use an even simpler kind of angle of attack sensor, a small metal blade sticking out of the side of the fuselage, mounted on the shaft of a digital angle encoder. Simple and accurate, unless there is an undiagnosed defect in the encoder that causes bad position readings (first crash), inadvertent damage/misconnection during routine maintenance (a couple of near crashes), or the blade is damaged by something that hits it in flight (bird hit may have led to second crash).

      The software design and testing of this system was completely inexcusable, as was the FAA for inspecting and then not refusing to certify this mess. Methodologies have existed for engineering safety critical software since the 70s, and have been required for NASA manned spacecraft since the early shuttle days, some military aircraft, and, at least, up until a few years ago, commercial air transport aircraft. Doing it properly costs some time and money. You get what you pay for.

  15. scribe says:

    Short entry today.

    I guess that “not riding Boeing” thing puts the kibosh on that B-17 ride.

    My Stillers have played like they’re wearing concrete overshoes. As one commenter, both wiser and wittier than me, said: “Pouncey has been playing like Betty White.” That was before his trip to the corona squad.

    To be fair to my Stillers, they are down 4 linebackers: Dupree, Bush (both first-teamers anywhere), some guy numbered 41 (who was looking good), and some other guy. They brought on at least one former J-E-T-S LB, who actually did well between incanting “Thank You, Jesus!” For getting him out of the Green Slime.

    I recently read an analysis wherein the author reminded readers how touch-and-go, with bad losses and all the rest, the successes of the great Stillers’ teams of the 70s were. Useful perspective.

    At least Tomlin benched the player who dropped passes. Followed through on his threat.

    Rolling into winter here. Passed on doing most of the annual Christmas baking, figuring I really didn’t feel like sending around boxes of baked goods during a plague year. I did make my fruitcake, which gets good reviews everywhere. I think Dr. EW can attest to that; I recall sending her some back before she moved offshore. My recipe is a “dark” fruitcake with the sweetness coming from dark brown sugar and molasses. As I was mixing it up yesterday I found myself wondering what would happen if I substituted maple syrup for the molasses. If anyone has experience with that idea, I’m all ears. I also keep the fricking candied citron out of my house – hate it – and the candied pineapple too (no flavor, just cloying). I substitute candied orange peel and dates in the recipe. The candied orange peel is awesome just by itself, or in my oatmeal. And walnuts instead of pecans. Works.

    I’ve been saying since February and jokes about bat soup that corona is Mother Nature’s way of evening up the scales on Euros with common colds visiting indigenous peoples around the world.

    A well-loved aunt passed two weekends ago. Corona. She was in her 80s and had been in a nursing home well over a years as she was wheelchair-bound. Her nursing home had done a good job of keeping corona out. But, as I said back when “when you have a ‘novel’ virus, that means it’s ‘new’. And that means no one has immunity to it. Which, in turn means that sooner or later everyone’s going to get it.” My aunt and her husband, a favorite uncle, had been married over 60 years. Since corona came to town he could only visit her through a closed window – the nursing home doing a good job of control. So it goes, I guess. I don’t have anything more profound.

    Jill Biden has the same doctorate as William Cosby.

    • bmaz says:

      In fairness to the Steelers, they are indeed banged up. More worrying though is that Big Ben looks out of sorts, and it is not all dropped passes. Condolences on your aunt. I am actually surprised there has not been far more death at elder care facilities. Not that there has not been a lot of course.

      • scribe says:

        Thanks for the kind thoughts.

        Many elder care facilities were quick to recognize the potential corona held for devastating their populations. The elder care facilities generally have a strong awareness of infectious disease and how to control it, and this was just another nasty bug, a particularly nasty one, but something more or less manageable..

        It makes it quite difficult for residents, spouses and relatives when they cannot visit in person. An elder care facility near my home has been on lockdown since the very beginning – no visitors.

        • bmaz says:

          Have a good friend from college with a very elderly mother at an, actually, pretty nice facility. It got rampant there early. Honestly, they were trying as best they could to my eye.

          The people at such places don’t seem to be reckless, so much as overwhelmed. Everything is different, but hard not to feel for the folks who have to deal with it all with the most at risk in their care.

          • Peterr says:

            That’s definitely the case with the facility where my MIL is living. The local news did a story about that place, and the CEO told the reporter “The state has been in to inspect us 8 times in the last two months” (or something like that) “and each time we’ve gotten a perfect review. I almost wish we didn’t, because then there’d be something to fix that maybe could keep more of our residents from dying.” The tv crew pulled the state inspection reports, and he wasn’t lying.

    • P J Evans says:

      Your fruitcake sounds like a cousin to my sis-in-law’s fruitcake, which is dark and moist, and fruitcake-haters have said it’s good. (Her family recipe. Can’t get that – but it’s very tasty.)

      • scribe says:

        My base recipe is out of the Fannie Farmer cookbook and I just fiddled with it as described above. The candied orange peel really makes the difference – a gentle orange flavor that lingers just a bit.

        I just went back to the fridge and cut off another slice. Mmm.

        Adding the orange peel – my experiment – made something reminiscent of an event that occasionally happened if you were a good soldier and the gods smiled on you. The C-ration dessert – a canned hunk of cake – pretty regularly was “chocolate nut roll” (think a good brownie), “fruitcake” (ok, but not great) or “pound cake” (just that). If you had been very very good you might, just might, get the coveted “orange nut roll”. This was serious trading material, if you didn’t just eat it right off because it was so good.

        The recipe for the candied orange peel – absolutely simple – also from the same cookbook. 3 orange peels, 3 tablespoons of light corn syrup, 2 cups of granulated sugar, 3/4 cup water, time, patience and simmering.

          • scribe says:

            I think Christmas dinner will be grouse breasts. How they will be cooked, still open.

            Beats defrosting a turkey for a week.

            Nice of King Roger to move a national broadcast game to Friday, Christmas Day. I’m not a big NBA follower and breaking their tripleheader monopoly on sports TV is a welcome development.

    • Eureka says:

      My condolences, scribe, for the loss of your aunt and everyone’s time with her. I recently lost an uncle who flitted from hospital to nursing home, and his bride of the same number of decades never did get to see him there (they apparently would have allowed visits after a quarantine and her own negative COVID test, and she did get to see him when in the hospital, but the back-and-forths chipped away at time and it’s gone now).

      On the molasses-maple syrup: you’re going to lose a subtle deep earthy note (you’ll find out later, I guess, if that registers in any important way — but using dark brown sugar as your sugar, maybe it won’t be so noticeable). I’d go for it. Maybe you’ll have a sniff more moisture (either to bake off or enjoy). I sub it for sweets all the time (as I think out loud, maybe a touch of honey would return some ‘earthy’) and sub flours willy-nilly (accounting for fiber/moisture) but it’s your prized fruitcake (I’ve done this from origo, or with things I don’t make annually, so not the same expectations perhaps). Yeah, definitely mix in some honey with that maple syrup sub and you’ll be fine. Possibly decrease your dry sugar a bit (or sub maple syrup/honey smidge for all your sugars, and decrease any other moisture or bake off). Nothing can go wrong really.

      • scribe says:

        I’ve got a recipe from a cookbook by the doyen of Penn Dutch/Amish food studies, Wm. Woys Weaver, for shoo-fly pie made with maple syrup. This is on the agenda for later in the winter.

        Reading cookbooks is almost as satisfying as actually eating.

        • P J Evans says:

          I have a nice collection, because reading recipes is fun as well as zero calories. (You’re only in trouble if you make and eat the stuff!)

          The “Essential NYT Cook Book” is worth the price, for reading if not cooking – it has recipes going back into the 19th century, all tested. One of the earlier ones is green-tea ice cream, which was a surprise. Another good one in that line is Beard’s “American Cookery”.

  16. Peterr says:

    The Rose Bowl will be played where?

    The College Football Playoff semifinal scheduled to take place at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, has been moved to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the Rose Bowl announced Saturday. The game will take place Jan. 1 and be broadcast by ESPN.

    According to the release, the decision to move the game was based on the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Southern California, along with the inability for players’ and coaches’ families to attend because of state restrictions during the pandemic. Since March, all sporting events in California have been unable to host fans and participants’ families.

    The Pasadena Tournament of Roses made its first appeal for a special exemption for the Rose Bowl Game in November and followed up with a second request to the state this month. Both requests were denied.

    Memo to Pasadena: the virus does not care about roses, football, or your little burg. Good on whoever denied these requests.

    Memo to Arlington: you might want to look at the charts put out by your own Tarrant County Public Health, especially the graph of hospitalizations and capacity. Spoiler alert: it ain’t pretty.

    • P J Evans says:

      The college football people wanted a stadium audience, particularly the players’ families. I guess having millions watching on TV isn’t good enough for them any more. (The parade got cancelled.)
      It won’t be the first time it’s been played elsewhere, though – they moved it for 1942.

        • P J Evans says:

          There is one advantage: the residents of Pasadena won’t be dealing with tourist season. Which, as someone who lived there, is hard on the nerves: they don’t know the roads, they don’t know the traffic rules, and a bunch of them come in RVs towing a car or small SUV.

  17. Peterr says:

    J-E-T-S Jets JETS JETS beat the LA Kroenke’s!

    This is perhaps the most JETS thing possible to do, as they now would have the second draft pick and not the first.

    • bmaz says:

      Lol, it is SOOOO totally the Jets. Amazing. Taylor Lawrence must be cracking open some bubbly though. Crikey.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Jets! You had a chance at–well, not greatness exactly, but a kind of perfection. And you blew even that!!! It’s like you decided to make your own Jets joke, and you blew that too! O. M. G. And just when the Giants showed signs of lifelesslessness. Or something. Oh well. I would say I’m glad I’m a Bears fan, but I’m not. Glad.

  18. scribe says:

    J-E-T-S being J-E-T-S: they finally win their first game of the year. Now, they and Jax are the two teams with one win.

    Play out the tiebreakers, seeing as the J-E-T-S were gaming to get the Clemson QB, and if both they and the Jags lose out, going 1-15, the Jags get the first overall pick in the draft. They had the easier strength of schedule.

    They can’t even tank properly.

    This is quite similar to the time the Iggles fans booed Santa Claus. It happened this time of year, 1968 IIRC. It started with the Santa the Iggles had hired for some pre-Christmas to-do showing up … under the weather. Like in that original 34th street movie. Hammered. Knee-walking drunk. So the Iggles pressed some skinny kid into the Santa suit. The fans saw through it – the team was too cheap to hire a real, portly, sober St. Nick. And then it escalated.

    The Iggles of the late 60s, to be charitable, sucked. J-E-T-S-level sucked. That was the year the consensus first overall pick in the coming draft was some RB from USC called O.J. Simpson. And because they sucked, the Iggles were in line to get the first overall pick. So, of course, they went out and won, knocking themselves out of the first overall. The Philly fans, knowledgeable as always, saw that oncoming locomotive headlight and booed the snot out of Santa.

    Given were no or only few fans at today’s J-E-T-S win, it cannot be said with certainty any Santa they might have hired would have received the same treatment. J-E-T-S fans had their spirits broken years ago, about the same time the fireman who led the spelling bee got his butt in a jam over something or other and stopped attending games. It’s been so long I don’t remember the exact details. Of course, back in the 60s an Iggles ticket was so easy it wasn’t funny. They would sell “father and son” tickets for $8 (say, $40 or $50 today), still had plenty of empty seats, and the Boo-birds still made their presence felt.

    • Eureka says:

      I was just thinking of that story and our conversation about it a couple of years back, with the Bills on the mind. Plus, it’s Christmastime.

      Remember the ?!?!? time machine — if the Iggles had lost properly, the world would likely never have known the
      Dancing Itos.

  19. Eureka says:

    Hello. The cultural responses that have led to raging rona also stem from the failure to teach evolution in schools, integrated with biology from which it is inseparable.

    I’ll be back to talk cat-dogs and cakes. Just had to get that off my chest.

      • Eureka says:

        Thanks for always getting me, SL. Did I ever tell you that I had a dream (shortly after your arrival here) that we met for lunch?

        I mean to rejoin our earnest conversations of good and fragile things, but rage-scrolling all of the travel stories, videos of packed airports and such — these are not Monte Carlo simulations, it’s the real deal: y’all “exceptions to the rule” are out there not just Darwin Awarding non-pareille, but rendering our future impossible (check your Texas text-mill books for the Modern Synthesis, and see what happens with sustained viral replication, high host numbers) (for that matter, and speaking of Texas — can, like, South Korea or New Zealand sue us for demanding bottlenecks an extinction event?) while you act to maim or kill my family — have left the mood spoiled. However, in my journeys:

        ABC7 Eyewitness News: “Hilarious chaos ensues when woman and her dog discover raccoon hiding in their living room Christmas tree – VIDEO [link]”

        “It’s 5am”

        Of course we could skip all that and just go to correlational analogy: Thanksgiving travel/extra-household associations = hell for the helpers and other innocent bystanders :: Christmas, New Year’s …

        [But we can’t just ‘skip all that’ because it substantially founds why community immunity (slang, “herd immunity”) is achieved with vaccination, not wildfires.]

        Simmer down, wait & take the fucking vaccines and “get back to normal” sooner, or just escalate the costs, and extend the misery timespace and strategery needed to overcome selfish and dumb, besides the mere incidental. Ugh, I mean possibly having to develop new vaccines before the first ones are even (fully) administered, and the threat to in-person schooling from new variant(s) that spread well amongst the kids, simply because in large part we couldn’t just chill out.

        Happy Festivus.

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