Friday’s Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mu Yixiao says:

    Can’t teach about the Holocaust because it includes some bad words.

  2. Kylopod says:

    @Mu Yixiao: My mom, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, had me read it when I was just a kid. But it was actually one of the first works to be referred to as a “graphic novel,” the term they started calling comic books in the 1980s when people began treating them as serious works of art for adults rather than trashy pulp entertainment for pimply-faced teens. I suspect this will have a Streisand effect and lead teens who had never heard of it before to read it. In that sense, the school board has inadvertently done a service to kids’ education.

  3. Mu Yixiao says:


    Streisand Effect would be nice. What got me about the story is the “arguments”. It would be one thing to say the kids are too young (that’s a rational debate), but… We can’t teach about genocide because it uses the word “goddamn”??

  4. Kylopod says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

  5. Jon says:

    @Mu Yixiao: There is also, apparently, a naked mouse.

  6. My Yixiao says:

    For the past two days, my only access to the internet has been my phone.

    How the frack do kids do this??

  7. Kurtz says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The concern about “normalizing” sexuality. Yikes.

    P.S. I hope your medical situation improves. Good luck!

  8. Kathy says:

    It seems I’m getting the booster just in time for the newest trump virus variant, Omicron BA.2

  9. JohnMcC says:

    @My Yixiao: I bet I speak for all of the regular readers here, we’ve been glad to keep hearing from you. Get well soon.

    And take good care of those stents! After some length of time, they’ll mush right into the artery wall. Til then, take your meds that ‘thin’ the blood. Which means, be careful especially about bumping your head.

  10. Kylopod says:

    “I can describe an axe entering a human skull in great explicit detail and no one will blink twice at it. I provide a similar description, just as detailed, of a penis entering a vagina, and I get letters about it and people swearing off. To my mind this is kind of frustrating, it’s madness. Ultimately, in the history of [the] world, penises entering vaginas have given a lot of people a lot of pleasure; axes entering skulls, well, not so much.” — George R.R. Martin

  11. KM says:

    I’m waiting for links and images to flood TikTok or whatever platform the youth are doing for their protests lately. Any kid with a phone is going to have access to things their parents don’t want and the more you tell them no, the more determined they’ll be to spread it. Or someone with money to burn could put up billboards about it – it’s a comic after all and that would catch kids’ eyes. Wow – I can learn history in an interesting format instead of stupid classwork? That’s going into the search engine!

  12. My Yixiao says:

    Advance scout from the Cardiac team came through a bit ago. No final answer on the echo cardiogram, but no “We need to have a talk”, either.

    He suggested that I take a full week off of work and do nothing. That’s a frustrating combination. But he tempered it with “at least three days”. I’ll start there.

    And… Apparently, Friday day shift is when they bring in the really young, really hot nurses (because, of course, it means they’ll be working the weekends). My day nurse and assistant make the babes on Grey’s Anatomy look like Nurse Ratchet! Wowza!

    I’m wondering if this is a stealth stress test. 😀

  13. CSK says:

    The local news stations around here (eastern Mass. and New Hampshire) are going absolutely nuts over the impending snow apocalypse.

  14. Jax says:

    @CSK: So’s the Weather Channel, it’s like the rest of the country doesn’t even exist! Pretty boring here, though, crystal clear sky and cold, -11.

  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    My wife and I are buying 100 copies of Walk Two Moons (also on the hit list) and 100 copies of Maus through a Tennessee bookstore to be distributed free. (Haven’t worked out the details of that yet.)

    I oppose right-wing censorship of books and leftwing canceling of books.

  16. Stormy Dragon says:


    To be fair, GRRM is notoriously bad at writing sex scenes, so I have no doubt he gets lots of complaints about them.

  17. CSK says:

    Well, there are 55 million people who could be adversely effected by this, so I suppose that accounts for the uproar.

  18. My Yixiao says:


    I prefer snowmageddon. It rolls off the tongue better.

  19. CSK says:

    @My Yixiao:
    I suppose plain old “blizzard” just won’t do nowadays.

  20. Sleeping Dog says:


    Saturday will be a good time to sit back with a good book, music in the background and a vessel of your favorite beverage (may vary by time of day). The weather weasels will always hyperventilate and be prepared for the visual of the weather reporter, seemingly struggle to give a report, while a couple glide past on skis in the background.

  21. CSK says:

    In answer to the question of who wants to buy the crap Melania Trump is peddling: Apparently no one.

  22. CSK says:
  23. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    The only thing that bothers me is the possibility of losing power. I have three battery-operated lamps, and the batteries to keep them powered, so I’ll be able to read (thank God), and get around without falling over something, but not having coffee in the morning could be tough.

  24. charon says:

    UPDATE: Maus currently sold out on Amazon

  25. charon says:

    Well, now they’re going to have to take the cell phones away from their kids, because they’re all going to be reading “Maus” online, for free, no return date, no wait list.

  26. CSK says:

    Gee, what a surprise. You have to wonder if Pantheon Books, the publisher, didn’t pay off the Tennessee school board to pull that banning stunt. Publicity and sales bonanza are the result.

  27. Jen says:

    @CSK: I had noticed that as well…what’s so different about this snowstorm? Maybe newsrooms are just bored AF with reporting on covid so they are excited to have something else to get worked up over, maybe?

    And, on book bans–I see that Wentzville, MO school board has voted to ban The Bluest Eye.

    I will never, as long as I live, understand the mindset of “I don’t want my kid to read this, therefore NO ONE ELSE’S kid can read it either.”

    I just do. not. understand.

  28. Mu Yixiao says:


    I have candles and oil lamps for light, a gas stove I can light with matches, and a wood stove for heat (if I don’t mind getting up in the night). But… I grew up in Wisconsin. This is normal for us old folks.

  29. CSK says:

    I think that ever since the Blizzard of ’78 it’s de rigueur for news rooms to go into hysterics every time a flake falls.

  30. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    It’s not abnormal for here, either. Probably less frequent than on your native turf.

  31. Scott says:

    I was living in Ridgefield, Connecticut during the February Blizzard of ’78. I was a contract janitor in a corporate headquarters at the time. They let everyone go home at noon. But me? No, I had to keep the sidewalks shoveled and the doors unblocked. By the time I could leave my car was totally snowed in. Had to walk home about 2 miles in the dark. Wasn’t very cold, thank goodness. Anyway it took the Gov (Ellen Grasso) to order all traffic off the roads so they could get shoveled. Everybody complained (just like they do today) about the restrictions on their freedom but it worked. Can’t do much plowing if idiots get slide around and get stuck.

  32. My Yixiao says:

    Cleared to go home!!*

    * As soon as all the red tape is finished.

  33. CSK says:

    @My Yixiao:
    Well, that’s good news. Take care of yourself.

  34. Sleeping Dog says:

    @My Yixiao:

    Won’t be before 1PM so the hospital can be paid for today!

  35. Kathy says:

    I was very disappointed 😀

    It took longer, though I arrived later. I even stopped to get coffee on the way, which was a mistake as there were no restrooms along the line of cars…

    I got AZ, as expected. I see the scoreboard as Pfizer 2, AstraZeneca 1, COVID 0.

    The latter is my personal goal: COVID 0 for life.

    Not because I think I can’t catch CVODI, but because I’m aware how easily I could. ergo, I’m taking precautions and will continue until the outbreak is over, and possibly beyond.

    So far, so good.

  36. Kathy says:

    @My Yixiao:

    The red tape is never finished. It only takes occasional breaks.

    How was the meatloaf?

  37. Mu Yixiao says:


    Meatloaf was passable.

    I got the expected call from the nutritionist. I’d already got the 5 page “how to eat” document. I replied that I already do all that, gave a few examples. She laughed and hung up. I’ve been through this a few times since I hit 50. 🙂

  38. CSK says:

    Thirty-six years ago today the Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff.

  39. inhumans99 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Lol, Tom Clancy had this problem as well. I remember the book of his about China going to war with us (and of course we ultimately prevail in the end, because as Team America would say, America, Frick Yeah, lol!) and one of the plots is an American businessman basically spying on China through his job and he befriends a Chinese woman and there is a passage where Clancy says something like she liked to call his penis an American sausage, or something like that, rotflmao!

    So yeah, other authors also have this problem. Really good at describing violence but not very good at the sexy, sexy talk.

    So, the next part is not a direct reply to Stormy, rather a comment on the folks who note that Maus is a great gateway graphic novel entry point into going on to learn more about the Holocaust in things like a textbook vs a graphic novel.

    I agree, having read Maus I would say that many young adults could certainly handle the content and would appreciate a way to learn more about this historical event without having to plow through thousands of words contained in your average textbook about this subject.

    This reminds me of how I ultimately ended up being able to say I have read a good chunk of the Bible, but not in the manner one might think (i.e., cracking open an actual Bible), my mother is Sicilian and Catholic, so that is how I roll, and we had this awesome Bible on our coffee table for many years but other than occasionally opening it up I never really took the time to read the Bible.

    So several years back, when I was perhaps in my mid to late thirties, I thought to myself, let’s see if I can find the Bible on comixology as I went through a period of reading tons of comics in a digital format. Well, I found what is called The Action Bible, and it had good reviews and was over 750 pages (so a pretty thorough telling of the Bible in a comic book format) so I purchased it.

    That did the trick, in a short period of time I read the entire Bible in comic format and it was a wonderful experience. Also, this version is for ages 9 and up because it does not shy away from mentioning all the affairs folks had with each other, the sacrifices, and violence that is contained in the Bible.

    I forget the context, but I do know I was walking to Church with my mom in Castro Valley and it came up in conversation that I finally read the Bible, but in a graphic novel format of over 750 pages, and my mother high fives me and basically said right on (which was a bit out of character for my mom). I guess she sees it as this, any port in a storm, if it took the Bible being in a graphic novel form for me to read the darn book than so be it and she was thrilled that I really enjoyed my experience reading the Bible.

    Happy Friday folks!

  40. CSK says:

    I think Clancy readers probably prefer his long descriptions of technological/military equipment. It’s their version of porn.

    A friend of mine, an engineer for Verizon, read a Clancy book to while away a flight to Australia. He said Clancy got the fiber optics discussion all wrong.

  41. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..He said Clancy got the fiber optics discussion all wrong.

    When I was working in the landline telephone industry and had a nickel or two for speculation I would read Motley Fool and other investment items about telecommunications stocks. The photos that accompanied the articles always showed pictures of electric power transmission lines. Not a telephone cable to be seen. I actually eMailed the author of one of these articles to point out the error and wonder if he did not know the difference how good could his advice be. Not like I expected a reply but a few months later the same author had an article about some telecommunications investment. He mentioned that he had been chastised for the pictures that were displayed with his previous features and used a photo of actual telephone cable conductors.

  42. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Oh, yeah. Good luck to everyone in case Mother Nature decides not to skip your town.

    The Other Portland and Seattle go completely wack-o every time there’s a threat of snow. Of course, given how icy and crappo the wet snow is here, and the number of idjits who don’t comprehend that AWD does not mean all wheel steer or all wheel stop (oh curse you, immutable laws of physics!), I can understand it.

    As a refugee from the Megapolis of Puget Sound, one of my all-time laughs was news coverage from Seattle some years ago. There’s a hill from Alki Beach up to the top of West Seattle – maybe 1000 ft elevation. Major bus route (and Seattle was running articulated buses). There were half a dozen buses stuck, jack-knifed most of the way up the hill, and here comes another one, weaving his way around the stuck buses, until he inevitably lost traction and slid back to further block the road. Reporter seemed confused as to why they couldn’t keep the road clear.

    In Puddle Town, we inevitably get the least seniority news staff up on top of the hills, shivering in the rain/ice/snow/wind mix.

  43. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    The author (or whoever chose the pics) probably assumed no one would know the difference.

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    It’s going to be cold here, with a high of 17 degrees on Saturday, so that means the snow will be light and fluffy (I hope). Presumably there won’t be tree limbs crashing down all over the place. Strong winds may, however, accomplish that. I know there’s a concern about coastal flooding. Some people in the shore towns have been advised to evacuate.

  44. Mister Bluster says: one would know the difference.
    My assumption was that whoever chose the pics did not know the difference either.

  45. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Probably. Electric power transmission lines, telephone cable conductors, hell, what’s the diff?

  46. Gustopher says:

    Finally, Joe Biden has delivered on his most important campaign promise.

    The Bidens finally have a White House cat. World, meet Willow.

    The cat is, predictably, pretty cute. Photos in the story.

  47. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher: Cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria!

  48. CSK says:

    Well, the Clintons had Socks the Cat and Buddy the Dog.

  49. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Just curious, did you get the reference?

  50. Mister Bluster says:

    Tomorrow Cancelled
    The comic strip This Modern World has been a weekly feature of The Carbondale Times and it’s predecessor Nightlife for at least 25 years. The first thing I do when I get to the office at 6am to pick up my deliveries is check out the comix page. Today in place of the strip was a note that This Modern World is moving to in February.
    Say what?
    Yes I had seen the letter to the editor in last weeks paper complaining about the strip but….
    Turns out that in addition to that complaint one of the advertisers who had been placing ads in the paper for many years sometimes on the comix page recently objected to the strip and pulled his ads.
    The complaint went right to the top ownership of our little rag and sure enough local management was instructed to drop Tomorrow from the paper.
    Goddamn right wing snowflakes.

    try this link for Tomorrow…do it today

  51. Kathy says:


    At a very young age, I wondered why the phones still worked when the power went out. Later also why the phones were not hooked to a power outlet. At the time, among the batteries sold in stores was a large, cylindrical type labeled “TELEPHONE” I assumed a smaller version was inside every house phone.

    Then I took one apart to make sure. There was no battery inside.

    To this day, I’ve no idea what those batteries were for.

  52. Kathy says:


    No, but Google did.

    “You will have saved the lives of millions of registered voters.”

  53. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..what’s the diff?
    High Voltage!

  54. Sleeping Dog says:


    wireless phones. They specify a particular battery that isn’t used anywhere else and charge a small fortune for it as a replacement.

    Why telephones aren’t plugged in is because the phone company provides its own low voltage power on the phone line.

  55. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve sometimes mentioned Frank Lunz and his messaging advice for GOPs as key contributors to our current situation. Interesting article at the Guardian about him. I was unaware he had a stroke a couple years ago, following which he did some reevaluation of his life. He bemoans the partisanship in U. S. politics and expresses some recognition that he helped create it. The article focusses on his advice to Brits to not be like us.

    Brings up the usual question about these partially reformed conservatives. Do we welcome them as allies or damn them for the harm they’ve done? I’m not sure we can’t do both. And it’s unclear how much of an ally he really is.

  56. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    This was in the early 70s. I don’t think wireless phones were a thing then.

    It was a 1.5V battery, I think, cylindrical, not as wide as a soda bottle but taller. They had them along the large square 6V batteries with terminals on the top that were used for camping lanterns.

  57. CSK says:


  58. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..early 70s

    Could have been for an old magneto phone. Each phone had a battery.

    Technology Gives Way to History as Nation’s Last Crank Phone System Dies

  59. Jen says:

    @Mister Bluster: Two things to consider with this. One, the person selecting the photo for publication is rarely the person who wrote the piece; and two, because of photography attribution and copyright, most companies either have to choose from stock images or a “photo library” of authorized pictures, which frequently don’t have what you need.

    Signed, a PR person who has had to pick some not-terribly-logical photos to accompany pieces.

  60. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Maybe it was. they sold them at supermarkets and department stores for year, so clearly they were intended for the general public.

  61. Mu Yixiao says:

    Well, folx: I’m home. Freshly showered (though I’ll be pulling EKG glue off my body for weeks), in my comfy jammy pants and massive sweatshirt, with a nice glass of scotch (eleventy million doctors, and not a single one said I shouldn’t drink!), a barrel full of drugs (none of them the fun kind), a novel of medical info to read through, and a massive black patch on my stomach from the last blood-thinner injection (nothing from the first two, but this one is 1×4 inches and black).

    I’m home for the first three days of next week, then on “light duty” until I say otherwise. Since 95% of my work is actually light duty, it’s not much of an issue. The average of 12k steps per day is, however, going to take me a while to build back up to (and that’s all just doing my job at work!)

    I’ve been doing wood-working and restoration projects every weekend for the past 3 weeks, but that’s off the table. So… I’ll be doing video intro of my workshop, I think.

    And writing thank you notes. Disappointingly, the card shop didn’t have “Thank you for not letting me die” cards. Not even a “Thank you for calling the ambulance”. Really?? I thought there was a Hallmark card for every occasion!

    Any of you doctor-types on here: Is it kosher for me to make home-made caramels and send them to the cardiac and ED staff? I mean… I know they’ll love them, but I don’t want the package confiscated and tossed in the incinerator or sent off to the bomb squad (the bomb squad does not deserve caramels from me).

    The last thing I have to do this week is brace myself for the flood of questions at work. Except for the nurse, HR, and my manager (plus a co-worker I trust explicitly), nobody knows what’s happened. One of the receptionists has been hounding my sister (she works at the same place) asking what’s up with me. Sis has politely told the receptionist to fuck off (which is very odd for my sister–normally she’s not polite about it).

    I’m going to have some fun with the questions. I’m preparing a whole list of ridiculous answers, starting with “Well… I went into labor unexpectedly. But don’t worry, the triplets are doing very well.” Alien parasites is sure to be on the list. Leg amputation (isn’t it amazing what they can do with prosthetics these days?!). Demonic possession.

    If you’ve got any fun suggestions, let me know. I like to get creative with my “nunya fucking bizniz!” responses, and it’s best if I can do it without repetition.

    Thanks for all the well-wishes. I’ll upload some photos tomorrow (James & Steven: Get ready for the link alarms to go into overdrive). Unfortunately, none of them will be of the hot nurses. I didn’t want to piss off the nice young women who stood between me and death (or more realistically, between me and many, many needles and vehement ripping out of chest hair).

    P.S. Michael Reynolds: Never have a heart attack. The number of needles I had put into me in the past three days is insane–and I was fortunate that they could take all the 6 hour blood samples from my IV.

  62. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jen:..not-terribly-logical photos

    No argument from me. However the fact that they finally got a photo representing the subject that was being written about was appreciated.

  63. Mu Yixiao says:


    Signed, a PR person who has had to pick some not-terribly-logical photos to accompany pieces.

    Just curious: Are you familiar with MorgueFile and Pixabay? Those are good places for rights-free images that are very good. There’s also the Creative Commons search.

    There’s an amazing amount of “copyleft” photos out there. I contribute to them myself (though I need to do more, I’ve got a massive collection of photos from Asia that are just sitting on my hard drive). I have just 25 images on Pixabay, and have over 7k downloads since last January.

    There are also places where you can ask for certain images (I don’t know any off the top of my head, but I’ve run into them from time to time). They usually require attribution at most. The contributors are generally photographers who are looking to build a name for themselves and gain an understanding of the industry (though some just do it because it’s fun or gives them something to do).

    Considering Getty has (quite often) taken rights-free (or “rights-light”) images, added them to their collections and charged major fees for their use, I’m all for spreading the word on copyleft.

  64. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Around here, they’re all on the same poles, so even though my grandfather (who started as a lineman and became the city’s civil engineer) taught me a lot… I don’t think I’d be able to tell the distance unless I was up close.

    After all… they’re all “telephone poles”…. right?*

    In university we put on JCS, and the set was a stylistic Great Lake dock from “some time in the past”. It was all raw-cut planks and pilings. We were informed by the power company (who donated several dozen of them) that we could not call them “telephone poles”; they were “utility poles”.

    I laughed (but not where they could here me).

  65. just nutha says:

    @KM: For what it’s worth, there seems to be a pdf of Maus available at** I’m using a Chromebook today and lack the expertise necessary to highlight, copy, and link. 🙁

    **apparently autographed by Art Spiegelman, no less.

  66. just nutha says:

    @Stormy Dragon: There are sex scenes in GRRM’s books? Not in the ones that I read, there weren’t.

  67. just nutha says:

    @My Yixiao: Snowpocalypse is pretty good, too. Breaking it down into the two separate words is where the headlines go wrong.

  68. Mu Yixiao says:

    @just nutha:

    Snowpocalypse is pretty good, too.

    Not really. The “P” between a long and short “O” makes a break in the flow of the word. Apocalypse works because the initial “uh” sound is abbreviated and understated. So what we hear is “Pocalypse”–a word starting with a strong labial sound. Put “snow” in front of that, and that labial sound is intrusive.

    just doesn’t roll off the tongue as well

  69. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mu Yixiao:..Around here,..

    Wisconsin? Worked several telephone exchanges in The Badger State including Richland Center. When I was working out of Elcho I covered exchanges all the way north to places on the Wisconsin side of the Menominee River across from Iron Mountain MI. Portage, The Dells, Sun Prairie, Dodgeville, Plymouth, Silver Lake to name a few others. The longest winter I spent was working in Eden just south of Fond du Lac.
    Nice place Wisconsin…in the summer.

  70. just nutha says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Yeah. Other places, too. My dad grew up in the eastern slopes of the Cascade mountains and when my grandmothers hybrid wood/electric stove finally died, she paid several hundred dollars extra to buy another hybrid stove.

  71. Stormy Dragon says:

    @just nutha:

    There are sex scenes in GRRM’s books? Not in the ones that I read, there weren’t.

    Three words: “fat pink mast”

  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Years ago–I was driving the Lancia, so you’ll know about what year it would have been–I had visited my parents and stayed overnight at their house for some reason I can no longer fathom. I was driving on Alki Avenue, right on the beach of the Sound, and we had just finished some sort of snowmageddon/pocalypse event so that morning the road was 2 or 3 days into the post storm period. The road was nice dry black asphalt. Driving along, just as the avenue turns about 90 degrees or so, I ran into a stretch where the early morning sun is behind a 6 or 7 story condo tower and the road became nice dry black asphalt covered with nice black ice. I had the presence of mind to let go of the wheel and take my foot off the gas as I did 2 spectacular 360s. As I say, my foot was off the gas (and fortunately there was no traffic either way–that’s how long ago this was) so the engine stalled as soon as my wheels hit the dry pavement beyond the shadow cast by the building.

    I restarted the car and continued on without incident. But it was exciting for 2 or 3 seconds while I was in front wheel drive but no steer or stop.

  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @My Yixiao: The next time I get hospitalized, I’m gonna make sure it’s at your hospital.

  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: And here’s a link for those of us who can’t crack the WAPO pay/subscribe/give-us-the-right-to-spam-you wall:

    (If all works as expected, the above link will be posted hot even thought I didn’t have a link button. Time will tell. If it turns out not to be hot, highlight it and select “Search the internet for…” on your right click list of selections instead of “Open link in a new…”)

  75. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: WA! Even my grandmother’s old pre-rotary dial phone was electrified. She had to talk to the operator to get connected, but the phone didn’t have a crank.
    And if you’re ever in Cle Elum, Washington, visit the Telephone Museum.

  76. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I don’t notice a problem, but because my mom is Northern Irish, I have a slight Canadian accent (or so people tell me).

    ETA: But I don’t particularly see a plosive as adding a “stop” to the phrasing either. YMW (apparently) V.

  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Don’t recall it, but that’s not erotic, that’s just gross. [throwing up emoji]

  78. Mister Bluster says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:..She had to talk to the operator to get connected,..
    I lived in Irondequoit NY from 1948 to 2nd grade. The phone we had at the time was the same. No dial just a round space in the center with the phone number. I don’t remember our number but when I called my friend Suzy down the street the Operator would say “Number please.”.
    “1426R” I would answer. “R” was the party line code. For some reason I remember that. We did not have dial phone service till we moved to West Webster in 1956. It was also a party line.
    The Pacific Northwest is still on my list of places to visit. The closest I have been to Washington State is either Salt Lake City or Reno NV. I also want to get up to the New England States.
    Maybe someday…

  79. Erik says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Any of you doctor-types on here: Is it kosher for me to make home-made caramels and send them to the cardiac and ED staff?

    Yup. But if you want to make sure they actually get them it’d be best if you drop them off in the department rather than mailing them. Harder these days with all the covid restrictions, but the ED is public facing and I would guess you’ll be visiting the cardiology department again so you can deliver them then. They’ll all appreciate it.

  80. Mimai says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Queen Anne hill is another one to avoid at such times. Unless you’re skiing/glissading/tubing down it. Good memories.

  81. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Ah yes, so true. In ages past, Cracker and I lived on (or at the base of) several of Seattle’s Seven Hills. IMO, driving in the snow in Seattle was always a better spectator than participant sport. And I grew up winter driving on sawdust recaps in rural Whatcom Co.

    So far, 30+ years of experience in Pdx tells me that most people here with 4wd are only vaguely aware of the immutable laws of physics, which is certainly entertaining.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Ah yes, as I recall, Lancia was Italian for unreliable (but beautiful and fast) Fiat.

  82. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: First, glad you’re home and doing better.

    On the images, rights-free and otherwise, I think you’re under-estimating how tightly wound corporate comms departments are. They want control over the images used, so even if you bring them something useful, they aren’t likely to accommodate. An example: one corp I did work for mandated use of its own image gallery. They’d frequently have mass layoffs and every time we used an image of a person we’d have to clear it with HR to make certain they still worked there.