Open Thread: Summer Sunday Afternoon

It’s a Sunday afternoon in the middle of a three-day holiday weekend. We’re all feeling the weight of the last several weeks’ horrors along with oppressive heat and humidity depending on where you live.

It’s a good afternoon to kick back and sip something cold while cracking open a beach read or a book you’ve put aside for a slow day. We deserve and need the relaxation.

~ ~ ~

“Summer is only the unfulfilled promise of spring, a charlatan in place of the warm balmy nights I dream of in April. It’s a sad season of life without growth…It has no day.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

~ ~ ~

“Dandelion wine. The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer caught and stoppered…sealed away for opening on a January day with snow falling fast and the sun unseen for weeks…”
― Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

~ ~ ~

“I have only to break into the tightness of a strawberry, and I see summer – its dust and lowering skies.”
― Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

~ ~ ~

What are your summer reads? I’m working on Carol Leonnig’s Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service while I dog sit for my kids.

Tony Ornato appears several times in this text, by the way.

I think I may have made a mistake, though, choosing this text to read while caring for these two canines who are a lot like my kids — one is serious and mildly anxious, the other is as uncontrolled as an 11-month-old Aussie Shepherd mix can be and as smart but ADHD as their owner.

Not a good combo under my care when our white trash neighbors give in to their annual not-to-local-code zeal for fireworks. I don’t have any CBD for dogs on hand to give the jittery rat terrier-spaniel mix or the spastic Aussie when the sun sets and the neighbors’ first firecrackers are lit.

You may imagine me later this evening experimenting with white noise applications until I find one that works for dogs and fireworks. Hope for the best.

I’ll get as far as I can in the mean time while the dogs continue to loll about in the grass beneath the shade of my maple tree.

This is an open thread. Talk about your beach reads, or barbeque, or what not.

151 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Damn it. The younger one just woke the older one from their dog nap because they want to play and the older one is very displeased with the disrespect. It’s like having my school-age kids back at home but with the added bonus of shedding all over my furniture.

    Dog grandma needs to take these two to the bark park for a run. Behave while I’m away.

    • J R in WV says:

      Since we live in the wooded hillsides of West Virginia, our dogs have all heard lots of gunshots fired at wild game, off in the distance, and not terribly far away as well. I target shoot out behind my shop, with the dogs in the house a hundred yards west of the shop. We also have a neighbor who attends a downtown Mega church, and invites folks to come out to his farm to shoot on his target range.

      So the louder booms of commercial fireworks displays in the distance don’t faze our dogs, who don’t even blink. Our dogs are country dogs, with all that implies. Bringing home pieces of game, some killed by hunters, some just found dead. That can be gross when they disgorge it on the bed, but the dogs are trying to support their pack by bringing edible meats home.

      Even our shelter dog is calm about loud noises.

      • Rayne says:

        I suspect your country dogs might be a bit uncomfortable with big city-sized displays, though some of them are now banned.

        Calls to mind when I was in Hawaii for New Year’s Eve when the year rolled over to 2000. The amount of firecrackers lit by the Chinese American community was like nothing I have ever experienced elsewhere in the US — multiple strings of firecrackers 20-35 feet long suspended from every telephone and light pole and sign post, festooned across balconies, all going off at the same time. Utterly deafening and breathtaking not only because of the percussion but the smoke from the explosions. I don’t even know if there were fireworks; it never dawned on me to look for them because I could neither see nor hear anything besides the firecrackers in the streets.

        For that matter I was so stunned after the firecrackers that it didn’t dawn on me to check for Y2K-related problems until after I’d gotten some sleep.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Is there a police response to a running Black man that does not require shooting to kill?

    Jayland Walker’s case in Akron is the latest. Eight officers apparently fired some 90 rounds, resulting in some 60 entry/exit wounds. The police chief was quick to note that at least one officer attempted to “resuscitate” Walker, after he was handcuffed. The police version of events seems to have a few holes in it. I’m wondering whether all the police in Uvalde put together fired that many rounds.

    • timbo says:

      Disgusting. This country really needs to stop doing this sort of unnecessary police abuse of power. Seems to me that it was intentional homicide and cruelty. Why would you handcuff anyone with 60 bulletholes in them? insane abuse of power.

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    Watching the game at Wrigley.
    Hope we avoid a sweep. 4-2 in the eleventh but any thing could happen

  4. rosalind says:

    ah rayne, all the best with the doggos. am taken back to the 4th of July night where I was keeping a 1/2 newfie, 1/2 tibetan mountain dog company while his people vacationed in europe. i found out the hard way the small town’s annual fireworks show took place directly behind their house. at the first “kaboom” the magnificent beast jumped into my lap pinning me against the chair, and there we huddled for the duration. he, by choice. me, unable to free myself if i wanted to.

    reading-wise, brain is in need of lighter fare, so have been enjoying autobiographies from comics, actors and musicians. some favs have been books by eric idle, minnie driver, harvey fierstein and dave grohl.

    • Rayne says:

      OMG rosalind with friends like those…did they give you no warning at all about their dog’s possible response to fireworks??

      I’m lucky these two canines are of manageable size. My oldest wants a second dog but I told them if they get one it had better be a one-hand pooper if they expect me to dog sit for them. I refuse to watch a dog whose poops require two hands and multiple bags to pick up and discard.

      • bmaz says:

        Oh, stop. Since the trash people come on Monday mornings, it is my duty to pick up poop in our backyard from dainty little 92 pound pupper Misscue. It can be a lot of poop. How do they produce so much??

        On a positive note, have never had doges afraid of fireworks.

        • JohnForde says:


          [FYI, link has been edited as it pointed to your desktop. Try looking for a similar .jpg in Google Images, copy the address of image and share here in a reply. I’ll try to add it to your comment. Thanks. /~Rayne]

        • Rayne says:

          My hands reflect my stature; I’m shorter than the average American woman. Your hands may be much larger.

          A 92-pound dog would also drag me around easily. 65 pounds of dog distributed across two leashes yesterday was quite enough, thank you.

          • bmaz says:

            Misscue is pretty easy. But you should see her drag Mrs. bmaz if there is another interesting doggo around. Which is a constant in this neighborhood.

      • rosalind says:

        the poor massive thing was shaking so hard i gave up any idea of extricating myself and just hugged him tight. i also discovered magnificent beast was considered the small town mayor, and got used to total strangers showing up at the door for “their daily walk” and off they went. doggo always came back, so i just went with it.

        • timbo says:

          I love it when some random neighbor shows up to walk the dog during a pet-sitting gig—so awesome!

          • Rwood says:

            I’ve been stuck on the couch with covid for the past ten days and my neighbors have all taken turns walking my 180lb Great Dane.

            It’s to the point that I hear a voice yell “Taking Henry out” and he shows back up a while later exhausted. Half the time I’m not even sure who it is but if they pass canine check and are willing to take on a dog that size who am I to complain?

      • wetzel says:

        If that Australian Shepherd mix has some Retriever, do not teach it to fetch unless you want it coming in and dropping the ball on your dinner plate or into the bathtub because it will never stop wanting to play fetch all day.

        You can teach an Australian Shepherd or Border Collie to catch a tennis ball like a wide receiver, and if you are lucky the other dog will figure out the position of linebacker and play zone or dog-to-dog defense. Australian Shepherds have so much agility that after six or seven years you can have one catching a tennis ball like Lynn Swann.

        • rip says:

          Be careful with those interference patterns and contacts. I’ve done four doggie ACLs over the years because of rough-housing and competing with frisbees, sticks, bones, tennis balls, whatever.

          1,500 USD per pop (figurative and literal.) Ouch!

      • Krisy Gosney says:

        We have one dog who is terribly effected by the fireworks. And we live in an area that several residents put on professional level fireworks displays for a couple of hours (don’t know how they afford it and how they don’t get caught). Its immersive and beautiful but loud and intense. CBD is really helpful of course but black out curtains, white noise like air purifiers and white noise machines, dog beds under your bed and something tasty but long lasting chewy to nervously occupy their time really help too. Good luck to you and the pooches!

  5. BruceF says:

    With family visiting from Switzerland and Texas I find myself isolated in my bedroom after testing positive for Covid. Nothing to do so I rewatched Hutchinson hearing. One question I want answered in the next round of J6SC hearings follows:

    On January 5th, what prompted Chuck Grassley to announce he would be handling the counting of Electoral Votes in Mike Pence’s place. What communications led to the drooling dotard making this pronouncement. It was notable that in his statement Grassley made clear he would be open to considering challenges to the state submissions!

    Has Grassley, or any of his staffers been questioned to track communications that led to Grassley’s bizarre pronouncement!

  6. Bobby Gladd says:

    My principal read at the moment (among many) is Ed Yong’s “An Immense World.”

    Also, halfway thru “Borgen” on Netflix, after finishing their series “The Lincoln Lawyer.” Just started “Bosch” on Amazon Prime.

    Going to the Baltimore Orioles vs Texas Rangers game tomorrow at Camden Yards, with the kids and our grandson Calvin.

    Hope everyone has a good holiday weekend.

    • MB says:

      Binge-watched Bosch with a friend during a 2-week vacation in rural Wyoming recently. Well…I got seasons 1, 2 and part of 3 explained to me before starting in the middle of season 3, going through all of seasons 4-6 and most of 7 before returning home. Kind of like a high-production-value updated version of Dragnet with Bosch doing a hat-tip to Jack Webb for the monotone “just the facts” cop role. With lots of location shooting in L.A. recognizable by Angelenos – it feels almost as if I never left (and it beat going outside and mingling with the local Trumpers, although I did see one Liz Cheney banner).

      • Bobby Gladd says:

        I have a painful affinity for all things LA. Spent 1996-1998 there (lived in Vegas at the time) sleeping on a cot in my late elder daughter’s Hollywood apartment thru her fatal cancer illness (finished grad school at UNLV 6 weeks prior to her death). Bosch takes me back there. As do flicks such as “LA Confidential,” “Memento,” etc.

        Like that Bosch has some cats from “The Wire” in it.

        • MB says:

          Ouch. Selma & Fairfax is relatively close to where the central hub of Bosch’s action, the Hollywood division LAPD station, takes place.

          When I was in high school, I got busted for shoplifting a Led Zeppelin III record from a local retailer, the Akron. Police came, handcuffed me, got put in a squad car, and driven to the very same Hollywood station, and had to sit in a windowless room until my parents came and got me a few hours later. My high school friend, who was the devil’s advocate in this scenario, didn’t get caught, but my parents yelled at him more than they did at me.

          Also spent 4+ years haunting various ERs (mostly Kaiser) during the final 4+ years of my mother’s life – she died in 2015. So I know the feeling…

    • joel fisher says:

      Bosch doesn’t suffer fools lightly; just ask Harvey Pounds. Reminds me of EW, Bmaz, and Rayne. The books are better than the TV series and the TV show is very good.

    • Baltimark says:

      I just started An Immense World. And my wife just finished Bergen with me tagging along for most of it. And while I probably won’t hit the Yard today, we’re only 2 1/2 miles to the east along the north side of Patterson Park so, I mean, it _could_ happen.

  7. MB says:

    Reading “The Three-Body Problem” by Cixin Liu. Chinese science-fiction. Interesting in that the background story involves descriptions of the harsh Mao-era treatment of scientists and intellectuals and the polemics of “revolutionary” vs. “reactionary” that fed the vicious polarities of that era. Lots of footnotes – unusual for fiction – explaining details of ’60s Chinese culture to westerners…

      • John Colvin says:

        I really liked the “Hunter in a Dark Wood” metaphor.
        I find that a lot of sci-fi – for all of the effort put into world building – fails to do a very good job of imagining what a different culture might be like. Liu’s trilogy succeeds better than most, in part because of the Chinese elements.

      • vvv says:

        It is a thought-inducing trilogy, that has come to mind many times since I finished it o’er the winter past, when yon plague was reconstituted.

        • J R in WV says:

          I’ve been reading fiction with war between the Elves and the Dwarves, or between the light angels and the dark angels, etc, etc. As well as SciFi with sentient star ships who disagree with the plans of the captains of those star ships.

          This diet of odd fiction helps distract me from the hostile reality created by the RWNJ fascists attempting to take over our democracy, whether most folks are with them or not. The dogs are affectionate as well, and that always helps with anything stressful~!!~

    • P J Evans says:

      I haven’t read the rest of the series, but I did read that one.
      I’ve been reading “The Grief of Stones”, the third book in a (loose) series by Katherine Addison. The first is “The Goblin Emperor” and the second is “The Witness for the Dead”.

    • skua says:

      That looks like a way for me to move from one end of Chinese detective fiction, Judge Dee, to the other end of the arc. Thanks. Though I’m hoping the Cultural Revolution details provided sit well with breakfast.

  8. Adam Selene says:

    Hello all. Cool and cloudy here in western Washington. Made crockpot country style ribs today.

    You’re a nice doggy babysitter, Rayne. That’s a tough assignment on the Fourth of July weekend!

    My new ‘Adam Selene’ handle is my reaction to the “billionaires in space movement” this decade. I think Elon Musk, Steve Bezos, and the lot deserve a one-way trip to the moon!

    Their employees will all chip in a bag of cement from Junior’s Farm…

  9. Jon says:

    I’m just here to talk smack about F1. Summertime, the fish are high and the cotton is jumping. Quite a race at Silverstone today, and amazingly, again, no one died. Hamilton managed third, and the racers and teams I most dislike did not do as well as they had hoped. Cars even passed other cars, even though there was no rain. I would have liked Bottas and Danny Ricky to have come out better. And some court should revoke the towing of Russel’s rig. That was cold.

  10. OldTulsaDude says:

    I’ve been reading the handwriting on the wall at the southern border; it says, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter” How they managed to use Oklahoma’s state slogan is beyond me.

  11. Badger Robert says:

    Starting my campaign against the Japanese beetles. Losing the opening battle with the thrips that are sucking the juices out of my gladiolas.

    • FiestyBlueBird says:

      I feel your frustration with the Japanese beetles. They’ve certainly pissed me off the past several years. I haven’t gone to war with them. I just survey the damage and talk to the squirrels about it, but they don’t have any useful ideas.

    • jhinx says:

      For me it’s vine borers. This year I dispensed with growing any kind of squash altogether. So frustrating starting seedlings indoors, prepping the container, pampering the plant until it’s close to producing, and then watching it wither.

      On the plus side, cukes, green beans, and tomatoes are going gangbusters. Going to be one of those years where I’ll be giving away or trading produce.

    • Rayne says:

      They munch on my pole beans something fierce. I try to go out first thing in the morning when it’s cool and they’re a little more sluggish and brush them into a bucket of soapy water. I’ve also used an old vacuum which has lost much of its suction — not enough to pull off leaves but enough to suck bugs into a bag.

      Need to use nematodes around places they congregate when the beetles are in grub form. I forget to do this every year.

  12. gnokgnoh says:

    Went blueberry picking at Tabora farms, a tradition on July 4 weekend in PA. Picked 20 pints, making blueberry crumble this evening. Drank lots of water. Love summer!!

    • timbo says:

      Nothing like fresh blueberries!

      Your post reminded me to thank a neighbor who brought over fresh blueberries right off her bushes to my BBQ on Saturday—that was certainly of note and well appreciated by all.

  13. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    I’m stuck in Airline Hell. They warned us that flights would be canceled. And they were right. I won’t quite beat my record of 36 straight hours of Airline Hell, but I’ll hit 30 hours no problem.

  14. FiestyBlueBird says:

    Lots of interesting tales in Zero Fail, aren’t there? I read it last year. My memory isn’t good enough to have realized Ornato is in there.

    Recently finished two change of pace reads:

    Lennon, the Mobster & the Lawyer (by Jay Bergen)

    Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III (by Robert Greenfield)

    The Lennon story is a nice to know tale of how John did beat a crook in court, but the prose is rather dry.

    That is not the case with Bear. (“There’s nothing wrong with Bear that a few billion less brain cells wouldn’t cure.” –Jerry Garcia) A really fun read, for me, anyway.

    Now deep into:
    Spies, Lies, and Algorithms (by Amy Zegart)

    Amy’s book is a primer on the intelligence community. Pretty good so far.

    • P J Evans says:

      Yeah. And I’m in an area where they’re illegal, but they’re going off anyway. Some go past 11pm, when most of us want to sleep. (I suspect alcohol is a factor in those.)

  15. swmarks says:

    Also reading Ed Yong’s “An Immense World.” Smartly written, even funny at times.
    Reading “The Jew of Malta,” by Christopher Marlowe with a friend who has taught English for 40 years. Even though I know anti-semitism was around well before 1590, it’s still jarring to see how it hasn’t changed much over the centuries.

  16. punaise says:

    And the grievin’ is easy
    Shit is Trumpin’
    And Tom Cotton is high

    Your daddy’s a bitch
    And your mum is good at takin’
    So hush little baby
    Don’t you try

  17. posaune says:

    Happy 4th to all.
    We are sans enfant ce week-end. We are chilling out, feet up while son is on a trip to Atlanta with a friend’s family. Our son, just turned 18, graduated HS and is headed to college, enrolled in a BSW-MSW 5 year program! There have been some trying times, but it still went fast! Hard to believe the little 6-yo, welcomed as a foster child with a vocabulary of only 50 words, huge challenges of developmental disabilities, has surmounted so much! He made high honors all through HS, and even made it through bio-chem with an A-. Now, he wants to help other “kids from hard places,” as he describes it. He wants to help foster kids. His heart is in the right place. So, to ask all here: when does our life of leisure start for real?

  18. Skillethead says:

    One of the downers of being an ex-pat is the Fourth of July. Just another work day here. On the positive side, the All Blacks thrashed Ireland over the weekend. I’ve taken to reading classics that somehow I didn’t quite get to when an undergrad 50-some years ago. Just finished “Riders of the Purple Sage.” Maybe not a classic in the classic sense, but it is absolutely hilarious.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Ha! Although my grandma only went to school through the 3rd grade, she loved to read Zane Grey novels. She even named my mother after an indigenous woman in one of his early novels. I bought a classic reprint of it as a gift for my brother & his family several years ago.

      Although he was from Ohio, most of his multitude of novels were westerns. And a legion of films were based on them. I like to imagine that some of his creativity rubbed off on my mother, who was a prolific amateur artist.

      Every time the threads here spin off into talk of cactus, tequila or hallucinogens, I think about her. Not because she had an affinity for any of those things, but because her name was related to them. It often came up as a topic of discussion whenever she met someone new.

      • Skillethead says:

        Wow! Great story, Savage!

        Grey’s full name was Pearl Zane Grey making him Pearl Grey — no wonder he went by Zane. He was born and mostly raised in Zanesville, Ohio, and his middle name comes from an ancestor who once owned the land that makes up the city. I’ve always felt an affinity with him as I also lived in Zanesville for a while. He visited New Zealand, my adopted home.

  19. vvv says:

    Just finishing *This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden …* It’s interesting, but taking a long time.

    Spent the afternoon doing a set-up on my new-to-me G&L L2000.

    Watched 3 episodes of the Chris Pratt vehicle *Terminal List* on Prime, which is much better than expected. Finished the Josh Brolin series *Outer Range* which was interesting but I do hope season 2 is better.

    Spent yesterday and this AM catching up ’round these parts, and now I am.

  20. Molly Pitcher says:

    July 4th in the Bay Area is always foggy and this year also unusually cold. Just finished John Lithgow’s “A Confederacy of Dumpty’s”, a gift from a friend. Next going to start on Marcy’s “Anatomy of Deceit”.

    Decided to go to the Sausalito July 4th parade because it will be the least jingoistically patriotic, most irreverent thing we could find to do. Plus the Cal Band will be marching.

    Mr Pitcher and Pitcher Jr are going to wear their Meidas Touch black t-shirts that say “Unapologetically Pro-Democracy”. I am wearing head to toe black with an upside down American flag pinned to my chest. It is nice to know there won’t be any MAGA-ettes there.

    On Brit Box, I highly recommend Hugh Laurie’s new version of the Agatha Christie “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans ?”

    I hope your day is satisfying, however you choose to spend it.

    And bmaz, KD is still looking for a home.

    • timbo says:

      Let us know how it goes. I wouldn’t be surprised if those MAGA scum did try to be there this year…they have to keep visible or else fade away. I’ve ridden my bike through the parade on may ways to destinations further afield many a time. Looks like the weather isn’t too bad on the Bay…although there does appear to be some fog threatening overcast wisps as well here to the east.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        Hi timbo,

        The weather was pretty good ! The fog held off and it was overcast but not cold, actually felt a little muggy like the East Coast.

        The parade was smaller than usual, but, as expected MAGA free. There was one group leading chants of “What do we do in November?” “VOTE” !!! Lots of signs in the crowd about freedom and autonomy for women and the oppressed.

        Lots of Jerry Garcia contemporaries playing music on floats and prompting sing-a-longs of old rock-n-roll.

        But the highlight was the Cal Alumni band who were near the front of the parade, then they run, out of sight of the crowd, back to the beginning of the route and march thru a second time, stopping to serenade the crowd a couple times a block.

        The mood was determined, resigned to the fight with an undercurrent of sadness, made more poignant by the sight of little kids running to catch the candy thrown from the floats. We have to do this for them, we have to win.

        • Former AFPD says:

          SF was fogged in but that didn’t stop the cross city fireworks displays. Here in the southeastern part of the city, the thunderous booms start a week early. There was a small fire on Twin Peaks and then another in the Mission District last night, fireworks pyre out of control. The wildfires and toxic smoke have ruined fires for me forevermore.

          I’m reading The Sentence by Louise Erdich. There’s something comforting and haunting about reading a tale of Native people in the present day, on the 4th of July, as the reproductive rights I’ve known literally go up in smoke in front of me. It doesn’t feel like summer to me. I’m angry. The shooting in Highland Park just put me over the top.

        • Tassy says:

          Moved from Sausalito a few years ago and, boy, sometimes I miss it. Loved the parade. Would always see Robin Williams there on his bike… miss him too. Thanks so much for sharing your day with us.

  21. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne. “Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them.” Thom Jones

    Just finished reading “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” by Margareta Magnusson. All about getting rid of a life time of clutter. Idea is to clean out clutter frequently so one doesn’t have to at the end of one’s life or leave to family members.
    Some very good ideas on how to disperse of items to live with less stuff. Inspired me to clean, organize and get rid of stuff. Cleansing holiday.

    • Tom says:

      I’m only ever good for about 20 to 30 minutes of decluttering. After that, I start thinking, “Y’know, some day I might have a use for this cracked old coffee mug with the broken handle”, or “There might be a time when this six-inch length of metal chain will come in handy”, or “Maybe I can turn all these odds & ends of pine board cut-offs into some sort of arts & crafts project.” That’s when I know it’s time to quit.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        Exactly !! Of course it doesn’t help that the minute I get rid of something, the need for that thing pops up !!

        • earthworm says:

          a beloved kid who worked for me years ago (son of a vietnam vet with cancer, natch) used to say “the people who declutter are rich. poor people save everything.”

  22. Epicurus says:

    It’s July 4th and some form of freedom.

    Finished The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin. Recreated and sailed a leather boat from Ireland to Newfoundland to prove the monks could have done it. Discoveries and freedom of the sea.

    Reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s The High Sierra about love for the Sierra Nevadas. Would love to see the stars from so high up. Discoveries and freedom of the walk.

    • mass interest says:

      Loved the story of that voyage. Particularly remember the Faroe Islands crew member who caught fulmars, which were part of their seagoing menu.

    • rosalind says:

      “The High Sierra” looks great. Local indie has 5 copies on the shelf. On the list it goes…

  23. Ddub says:

    Emptywheel is helping me keep sane about now. Thanks to all.
    Helping a buddy install their first workbench. Repurposed from a partial deck demolition – that was fun! Yup she wanted pegboard and the metal holder thingys so it’s on.
    Not reading as much as I used to. The Soul Thief series in hiatus.
    Part lyric of a tune I’m trying to write: Get Me More

    The new regime
    Believes in God
    A mean old sod
    Wants everything for himself

    • Epicurus says:

      Hah! well done! I have Job, A New Translation by Edward Greenstein on the bookshelf, next on my reading list. Job may have hummed a similar tune to the one you are writing.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        Greenstein’s book is awesome. Job has always been my favorite ancient text. I am very grateful for this version because it gets us closer to the original.

  24. !? says:

    Asking out of ignorance: Does Ruan change the scope of how state abortion laws are interpreted?

  25. Benji says:

    Well now, a day off to smoke thick cut bone-in pork chops seasoned overnight with homemade sazón (no turmeric), country style orange-Whisky ribs (Jameson’s and Gran Mariner plus the sazón), Scottish eggs and some decent Brats.

    I have a large sack of lightly salted radioactive rat dicks for the MAGATs out there.

    Going to be reading ‘A Dog’s World – imagining the lives of dogs in a world without humans’ by Pierce and Bekoff – challenging the notion that dogs would be helpless without their human counterparts even after millennia of being removed from wolf stock. Sounds good – bioethics and evolutionary biology kind of thing.

    The Blue Heeler-Mountain Fiest mix is blasé about fireworks but has taken an interest in tracking down the local grey fox. How would she and the fox get along without humans around?

    Will be reading that while the Missus heads back to Missaukee County for family reunion – bunch of pseudo Yoopers (rolls eyes…) meets Fargo types. Me – not going back to Romeo for anything.

    Picked up the first three seasons of ‘Stranger Things’ – limiting ourselves to one episode a night.

    Other than that I hope everyone stays safe and that every MAGAT type out there ends up rolled in the gutter in their own sputum dressed in a pink Lurex mini-dress and a barbed wire butt plug. (H/T Spider Jerusalem).

    • vvv says:

      Jameson’s now has an orange-flavored whiskey (following in the steps of Crown Royal?)

      I don’t much care for it up, my first choice for imbibement, but it makes an interesting Old-Fashion, likely could be good inna Manhattan.

  26. Obansgirl says:

    I am one of those weird people (an old grump) who has never ever liked the 4th of July – I epecially hate fireworks! I’m always worried about wildlife and of course dogs. My old lab just passed away in peace on Jun 2nd and I’m heartbroken but also relieved she wasn’t here this year because the “illegal in my state” fireworks were worse than ever! Ugh. But happiness finds its way in nature. I have had four huminbirds at my feeder so far this morning.

    Thanks for this wonderful blog and place to unload.

  27. Doctor My Eyes says:

    July 4 feels quaint this year. It was two years ago that I said to my family that may the last meaningful celebration of freedom from tyranny. I feel even more strongly about this one.

    Since these days I never seem to be able to fully relax away from the troubles of the world, I won’t say what’s on my mind. But I have a good story to tell. At my granddaughter’s birthday party yesterday, a parent told us that on the way over, her daughter asked, “Will Rosa May make a wish?”

    P: “I guess so. It’s her birthday.”

    D: “I always wish the same thing every year, and it never comes true. I guess since it’s never going to come true, I can tell you.”

    P: “What did you wish?”

    D: “That the world was made out of chocolate and I had a turquoise unicorn.”

    From now on, that’s my wish , too.

  28. goatrodeo says:

    Ahhh, the freedom to dislike the summer and sun but to love to read, and even more, to remember reading, and to remember to read, thank you for this! Some of my summer favorites, 100 Years of Solitude but Love in the Time of Cholera even more! and House of Spirits, all lift me high above the wall and far beyond the Rio Bravo, even the gulf to One Day in December for some non-fiction or Eiger Dream or American Requiem (Carroll) to change the story. Yes summer is good for something, reading! And my Malinois-mix puppy tirelessly making alpha friends with our old Szhitsu mix giving me random 45 minute intervals of quiet and a guaranteed early and happy start to every day. And my first fourth of July missing and not taking care of my recently passed veteran father. Miss you too Papa. The days are getting shorter now. Thanks. Grateful.

  29. Robin Hood says:

    I represent the all lurkers that come here every day, more than once even and am deeply grateful for the tireless work of Dr. Wheeler and raise a glass of stout for her health.
    Apologies to bmaz – I can’t remember my handle. Please don’t destroy me. I didn’t say RICO or treason. Dubs are champs. Phoenix can hav KD.
    The conversations here serious, real, intelligent, and spiced with humor. I am writing down book references. Thanks.
    I don’t have a dog.

  30. Ewan says:

    I don’t have a dog. I am reading ” Les miserables ” and when it is too disturbing I switch to “Priceless markets : the political economy of credit in Paris, 1660-1870 “, Hoffmann Postel-Vinay Rosenthal Chicago University Press.

  31. gmoke says:

    I’ll listen to Charles Ives’ “The Fourth of July” on loud and see if the farmers’ market is happening.

    Published a piece on “Playing with Electric Trains as a Climate Tactic” ( last night to add a little realistic optimism to the mix as regenerative braking seems to be gaining more and more traction as a way to decarbonize rail (and other) transport.

    That is, if anyone is into climate optimism in these dark days.

    PS: This is the amicus brief filed by Senators Whitehouse, Warren, Sanders, and Blumenthal in the W Virginia vs EPA case which outlines the process by which we got our new Calvinball Court where do what you will is the whole of the law:

    • Ddub says:

      “Their endurance was measured in millions of miles” That caught my eye. Fascinating work, well written.

    • ernesto1581 says:

      “I’ll listen to Charles Ives’ “The Fourth of July” on loud…”
      Watchman, Tell Us of the Night!

      I spent a chunk of yesterday afternoon with Fred Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated. monster pianist, I remember hearing him play it in maybe ’76, downtown somewhere.

      you might be interested to check out Ives’s Universe Symphony, as realized by Johnny Reinhard:
      (I forget: is this ok, including utoobski’s in a post?)

    • Christopher Blanchard says:

      Charles Ives says to me that I should have faith in the USA. I don’t live there, and wouldn’t unless lots of money, but us outsiders (UK here) do respond passionately to what we think you do well, all the way from Louis Moreau Gottschalk, to Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, to Jimi Hendrix. ‘Scuse me, I have a musical mind but there is other good stuff – whatever – keep doing it.

  32. Nancy says:

    Hello, all,
    I fell off my bike yesterday. Didn’t get hurt.
    I do have to admit that my bike has always been too big for me. I was pretty sad until
    I realized that cruiser bikes with coaster brakes are a thing now, lots of them on several websites for more money that I’ve ever paid for bikes I used to buy at yard sales. The kind I want have no hand brakes or gears, and they cost less brand new than the bikes with all the fancy stuff.$200 to $500 and up for really fancy.
    I am shrinking, so a too-tall men’s bike was not the ideal choice.
    I got it 15 years ago in a $25 front yard sale in our old neighborhood. Guess I’ll push it to Goodwill.
    I love riding. The wind blowing on my face and through my hair when I live dangerously without a helmet is so wonderful.
    I am going to get a bike for short people.
    Don’t have any dogs but I do live with someone who hates fireworks.

    • J R in WV says:

      Murderbot is some great stuff…

      I wish she would write longer things with Murderbot, but I’m willing to take whatever she is interested in writing ~!!~ A great character, coming to know more about it’s own creation as the series evolves.

  33. Wayne says:

    Slogging through Walk the Vanished Earth by Erin Swan.

    I’d have given up after 20 pages but my wife suggested that I continue as reading something out of my “box” might do me good.

    Caring for a beagle post back operations Andrew a terrier worried about distant booms.

    Watched Jaws at a neighbor’s house, an annual tradition for him. Outside with neighbors, fit I’d seen it since it came out.

    Not a bad day.

  34. harpie says:

    Thanks for this conversation, RAYNE and ALL!

    No more doggies at our house… :-( [Sometimes we get to keep the grand-puppy for a few days!]

    Was invited to fireworks yesterday by someone who had a great view…I wasn’t sure until the last minute if I’d even go, much less stay to the end…[have been feeling very not-social for quite a while, now] … but I did, and I’m glad.

    Reading…? LOL! [But thanks for all the varied and intriguing suggestions!]

    Tomato plants, cukes and basil all looking pretty good so far…we’re having to do a lot of watering. We have to have 8 large Ash trees taken down…they succumbed to Ash Borer, and are too close to the house. We’re also dealing with a new to us invasive species…Autumn Olive. That gets added to the ubiquitous multi-flora.

    I’m not too keen on summer weather [ours is usually high humidity…uggg!], but today is GLORIOUS! We’ll be grilling salmon and veggies…maybe I’ll make some cole slaw.

    ENJOY your days, EVERYONE!
    -Love, harpie

  35. timbo says:

    Hosted a big wood fired BBQ at my house this weekend. 40 people, all vaxxed, no pets, no unvaxxed kids, masks required when in the house using the facilities, etc. It was great except the weather was crap most of the day, finally getting a little sun in the late afternoon. We had hm ice cream, and also of note (besides the plum and oak smoked grilling) was a yummy soba noodle salad, “Greek” watermelon salad with fresh pine nuts, feta, and basil, hm strawberry rhubarb pie (and assorted others), and an innovative tomato soup cake that was very good. A good time was had by all, no glasses were broken (that I’m aware of–a first!) and only one old redwood mini table collapsed from age (which I was also not aware of until today as someone had moved it to a ‘less obvious spot’ apparently?)

    In any case, cleanup continues while I ponder a few things. For instance, who broke the table and why didn’t they just tell me? And is everyone else so lucky as to be in circumstances to be as happy as I that that table may finally be on the way out? Or, should I try to fix it once again, much as the J6 Committee is struggling to save the Republic within the constraints it has upon it, etc?

  36. punaise says:

    Highlight of the weekend: 10 mile hike with our visiting daughter at Jack London State Park near Sonoma – a real gem.

      • punaise says:

        The park was spared from the fires that took out parts of Glen Ellen several years ago. It is in pretty good shape, not as drought stressed as one might expect. Jack London’s “lake” (more of a pond) is bone dry.

  37. Bobster33 says:

    All the Devils are here by Louise Penny and Time and Again by Jack Finney. Time and Again is the monthly murder mystery book for our book club, which is this Saturday. Both are easy reads.

  38. Bay State Librul says:

    Party time at the Fens. Shut out against Tampa Bay
    Big Papi to be inducted to the Hall of Fame in a couple of weeks
    Take that – Roger Clemens you lying sack of shit — Maybe your lawyer Rusty can connive you in Cooperstown as as a veteran🤗

  39. Jenny says:

    Excellent documentary.
    The Janes | Official Trailer | HBO (

    “We had to go underground.”
    #TheJanesHBO tells the revelatory story of a group of unlikely outlaws. Defying the state legislature that outlawed abortion, the Catholic Church that condemned it, and the Chicago Mob that was profiting from it, the members of “Jane” risked their personal and professional lives to support women with unwanted pregnancies in the pre-Roe v. Wade era. Premiered June 8 on HBO Max.

  40. 4Emilias says:

    My planned reading was, once again, interrupted by reading about gun violence, this time someone firing on an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Ill. “American Carnage” indeed.

    My best laid plans were to finish “The Flag + The Cross”, but just not in the mood. Missing Bella, the late great rescue wonder dog who always barked back and growled when thunder or fireworks threatened our house.

  41. Terry Mroczek says:

    I also want to thank Marcy for her research and attention to detail and everyone for the intellectually hefty comments that make me think!
    Wonderful first time at a neighborhood block party where one of the hosting guys spoke to everyone about how hard things are in our country right now, but we should remember how much we have in common and how important it is to be good neighbors to each other and start small when it comes to healing our nation’s wounds – we call can play a part – one by one, day by day.
    As for reading – I just started Tim Miller’s latest book – “Why We Did It”. As a person in the field of psychology, I am so waiting for someone to come along and analyze the former guy’s psychopathic tendencies and explain with detail the methods he uses to manipulate people – based on the stories from people close to him. We could really use better understanding of this as a society.
    And – I’m still wondering why we let politicans get away with lying. As citizens in a democracy, we make decisions based on information and if that information is bad, our decisions are bad (hence, Trump). It is almost like it is okay if you get away with it, but this cabal between politicans, the media and representatives who just repeat politican’s lies is killing our democracy because it seriously harms our ability to make good decisions. We have people swear to tell the truth in our judicial system (so the best decisions are made), we have truth in lending laws (so the best decisions are made) and we have truth in advertising laws (so the best decisions are made), but when it comes to the decisions we must make about who to governs us – well, that is a crap shoot. All bets are off. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    • MB says:

      As a person in the field of psychology, I am so waiting for someone to come along and analyze the former guy’s psychopathic tendencies and explain with detail the methods he uses to manipulate people

      You can start with The Cult of Trump by Steven Hassan

      • Epicurus says:

        After Mr. Hassan’s work read Demagogue for President by Jennifer Merceica. The book describes the rhetorical methods of Trump and his emulators.

        • Terry Mroczek says:

          Thanks for the reading suggestions. I am familiar with Hassan’s work, but the book is mostly arm-chair and based on research with cult leaders and compared to Trump’s behaviors that we all have witnessed. What I’m interested in is actual interactions / conversations recounted by people who were there so there are specifics. For example, when Trump did that first cabinet meeting (noted in Hassan’s book) – exactly what was each person told to get them to agree to lavish false praise on Trump? Did any push back? What made them agree to do it? Did Trump get angry with any of them afterwards? That sort of stuff.

          • Rayne says:

            Let’s keep in mind Trump had a habit of using NDAs in his businesses and in his administration. He was as litigious as hell, whipping up SLAPP suits all the time.

          • MB says:

            You’d have to get a high-level sycophant (including former cabinet members) to defect in order to get that kind of first-hand info. So far only Michael Cohen fits that profile and he was never part of the administration. Former cabinet members like Mattis and Tillerson and Kelly who broke with Trump over “policy” have certainly remained tight-lipped. Maybe Wilbur Ross will be overheard unintentionally babbling some truth in his sleep.

            The parade of lower-level rats belatedly leaving the ship and starting to speak up now will have to continue for a while before any revealing info will be leaked from inner-circlers. Even Mary Trump’s observations of her uncle are at a remove (but sharpened and informed by family history)…

  42. bob2 says:

    I read every word around here. Not sure I follow everything, but appreciate the viewpoints.
    I spent part of the day in a Piper Cub, landing on every runway in sight. No social event this evening; SoCal is having a Covid resurgence.
    We have been extremely fortunate to live the way we do – a reversion to autocracy is not pleasant, but it seems most humans prefer that to democracy. I am personally appalled at our new Supreme Court, but I shall keep smiling – I think I can “coast” from here. But I will cast my votes for a return to sanity.

    • Rayne says:

      it seems most humans prefer that to democracy.

      May I point out that a majority of Americans didn’t vote for the wannabe autocrat in either 2016 or 2020, and even more would have voted against him if they’d not been suppressed from voting.

      If pressed on the subject of whether they believe their voting matters and whether they believe in their right to vote, even most of the wannabe autocrat’s base would swear by democracy. They’ve just been brainwashed to believe their votes were stolen, all evidence to the contrary.

  43. Tom says:

    I’ve been reading “Reprobates: The Cavaliers of the English Civil War”, a 2011 work by John Stubbs. The title is a bit misleading as the book deals primarily with the lives and careers of the Cavalier poets of 17th century England. One of the most prominent of these was the poet and playwright Sir William Davenant, godson of William Shakespeare, who was appointed Poet Laureate in 1638 after the death of Ben Jonson.

    When the English Civil War broke out in 1642, Sir William abandoned his writing desk to fight for the Royalist cause. He served as a senior officer in the army of King Charles I and was later appointed to administrative posts in Virginia and Maryland by King Charles II. Unlike many of his fellow writers who sat out the war in country retreats, Sir William believed it was important to “… give good men leave to be industrious to getting a share of governing the world … for the world is only ill governed because the wicked take more pains to get authority than the virtuous …” That’s as true today as it was in Sir William’s time.

  44. observiter says:

    Went to the County Fair yesterday (July 3). We went early while it was still pretty quiet and wore masks. Rode the ferris wheel. The operator cranked up the speed to about twice what I’ve ever experienced before, but it was so much fun and relaxing. In the farm animal area there was a sheep herding competition between sheep dogs. It was incredible watching the precision of those dogs. The chicken tent housed some of the strangest looking chickens. One had such a matt of clumped feathers it was almost a walking pillow. Realized later I didn’t think about current political matters at all while there, except once when I passed the GOP booth.

  45. Judy says:

    I was lucky to be invited to two! BBQs this weekend. The one on the third I took the first zucchini and yellow summer squash from my garden to put on the grill. Both events had good food and conversation. I usually enjoy fireworks but they didn’t appeal this year.

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