Thursday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, who shared images of the children, said it was another sign of the toll that Putin’s war against Ukraine is taking on children.

    He wrote on Twitter: “Putin is at war with children. In Ukraine, where his missiles hit kindergartens and orphanages, and also in Russia. 7 y.o. David and Sofia, 9 y.o. Matvey, 11 y.o. Gosha and Liza spent this night behind bars in Moscow for their ‘NO TO WAR’ posters.

    “This is how scared the man is.”

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    German authorities have reportedly seized the $600m superyacht belonging to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov in a Hamburg shipyard.

    Usmanov was on a list of billionaires to face sanctions from the European Union in response to Russia’s 24 February invasion of Ukraine.

    A Forbes report based on three sources in the yacht industry said his 156-metre (512-foot) yacht Dilbar, valued at $600m and regarded as the largest motor yacht in the world by gross tonnage, was seized by German authorities on Wednesday.
    Usmanov bought Dilbar in 2016 for a reported cost of $600m from German shipbuilder Lürssen, which custom-built it for him over 52 months. The firm calls it “one of the most complex and challenging yachts ever built, in terms of both dimensions and technology.”

    At the time of its launch, Lürssen CEO Peter Lürssen said: “Dilbar has the most advanced security technologies of any superyacht in the world. But the things you read about it containing an anti-aircraft missile defence system are all nonsense.”

    At 15,917 tons, it’s the world’s largest motor yacht by gross tonnage, and is typically staffed by a crew of 96 people, with space for 24 passengers in 12 suites. It has the largest pool ever installed on a yacht as well as two helicopter pads, a sauna, a beauty salon, and a gym.

    A crew of 96. Outside of pampering his Russki ass, what do they all do?

    Ukraine’s advisor to the minister of internal affairs, Anton Geraschenko, responded to the report on Telegram by saying the yacht should be sent to Ukraine and refitted as a missile cruiser.

    The Ukrainian Ministry of Sarcasm has brought their A game to this war.

  3. DK says:

    An opening? From Reuters:

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Moscow remained committed to the demilitarisation of Ukraine and there should be a list of specified weapons that could never be deployed on Ukrainian territory.

    “Specific types of strike weapons must be identified which will never be deployed in Ukraine and will not be created,” Lavrov said in an interview with Al Jazeera, the text of which was published on his ministry’s website.

    Lavrov said Russia recognised President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as Ukraine’s leader and welcomed as a “positive step” the fact that Zelenskiy wanted to receive security guarantees…

    Zelenskiy said in an interview on Tuesday that Russia needed to halt its bombing of Ukraine before further talks could take place. He called for security guarantees, but from NATO and not from Russia.

    Am I reading too much into this? It seems there are significant potential concessions here by Putin, dropping demands for regime change and Ukraine swearing off NATO membership as long as NATO weapons are not placed there.

    Is that what’s being offered here? Zelensky is basically saying you broke the security guarantee you gave us in 1994 when we gave up nukes, we trust NATO not you. And Putin is saying, fine but no NATO weapons in Ukraine ever.

  4. CSK says:

    Autherine Lucy Foster, the first Black student at the University of Alabama, has died, age 92. RIP.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Oil has now hit $119 a barrel. With that in mind, I got all my propane tanks filled up.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DK: If a sanction hurts an oligarch’s asset portfolio, can Putin hear them scream?

    “Lavrov said Russia recognised President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as Ukraine’s leader” is the big deal here, I’m a little surprised to hear them admit that Ukraine is a sovereign country and their govt is legitimate. Beyond that, everything else is mere positioning.

  7. DK says:


    Beyond that, everything else is mere positioning.

    I’m like, it can’t possibly be this easy, what’s the catch? I know human psychology, but I don’t understand diplomacy well enough to grasp what Lavrov may be offering, past dropping the offensive “de-nazification” (regime change) stuff.

    Maybe they’ll tell us more if there’s a second round of talks. I don’t want to get hopeful. Seems to me Putin might just as well decide to flatten Kyiv (which I have begged my Ukrainian friend to leave).

  8. JohnSF says:

    Unless it’s (hopefully) some attempt to cover a climb down, the catch will be that Putin doesn’t believe a word of it.

    If he has decided that attempting to determine the politics of Ukraine is not worth the cost, a settlement could be reached.
    If not, not.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DK: Yeah, hope is a dangerous thing.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ron DeSantis suggests France would ‘fold’ if it was invaded by Russia

    Hey, ya dumb fck, the GOP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia.

    eta rephrased

  11. DK says:

    Just now, from NBC:

    Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has said the idea of nuclear warfare is “not in the heads” of Russians…

    Lavrov said it appeared as though the thought of “a nuclear war is constantly twisting in the heads of Western politicians,” but he said it is “not in the heads of the Russians.”

    “Therefore, I assure you that we will not allow any provocations to force us out of balance,” he said.

    So to translate from Kremlinspeak, Putin is thinking constantly about using nuclear weapons and will use them if his feelings are hurt.

  12. JohnSF says:

    Incidentally, even if he has come to believe the current game isn’t worth the candle, he’s all too likely to be back for a another bite at the cherry at a future date.

    – Agree a ceasefire, play for sanctions to be lifted then play games with the currently occupied areas citing “violation”.
    – Hand occupied zones over to “local autonomous governments” on the Donbas pattern, wait a bit then arrange for “implausible deniability” artillery fire “by local forces outside Moscow control” in “self defence”.

    Lots and lots of options for an inventive chekist.

    Aim being as form the outset: to compel Ukraine to accept Russian dictated reshaping of its politics, by injecting a Moscow client “federated” sub-state into the system.
    That would enable Putin to veto by proxy further economic alignment with EU and the end of the gradual erosion of oligarch/mafiya power.

    So Ukraine falls back into the “kleptosphere” by default.

  13. Sleeping Dog says:

    The ‘Disney’ for Boomers Puts Hedonism on Full Display

    The enclave has been called Disney for retirees. The comparison is apt, not only because of the nonstop amusements. Its entire aesthetic is too studied and precious to feel like the real world. The three quaint town squares and main retail areas were developed around themes: Spanish Springs, Lake Sumter Landing and Brownwood Paddock. The streets and public areas are spotless and beautifully landscaped. And everywhere you look, there are golf carts.


    It is easy to mock all the clubs and events as boomer hedonism mixed with golden-years YOLO nihilism. Eat, drink and be merry, because tomorrow you may get diagnosed with shingles or need a double hip replacement! And the frenzied socializing can definitely veer in that direction. Residents mentioned that alcohol abuse is a real problem here. And for years, the community has fought its reputation (based in part on a 2008 book) as a den of sexual iniquity, where seniors get jiggy in golf carts and S.T.D.s run rampant. Many Villagers are definitely on the hunt for companionship, and the men are quick with the offer to buy a gal a drink. (At City Fire, you can send over a poker chip for someone to use as a drink token.) The surreal effect of living in a bubble where everyone is encouraged to act as if on perpetual holiday was a focus of the 2020 documentary “Some Kind of Heaven,” co-produced by The Times.

    Seems like a nightmare to me. Just wish those folks would stay in FLA rather than return north for the summer.

  14. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I knew a couple who were considering moving to Celebration, Florida, the planned community built by Disney. It sounded absolutely horrific to me.

  15. Sleeping Dog says:


    We have friends in a place like The Villages, but outside of Chicago. Whenever we visit there, I cringe at the thought of living there. At this place there are something like 10,000 houses and pretty much every block looks the same. You wouldn’t have to be severely demented to get lost.

    They like it though.

    A much better situation are our friends who have an apartment in downtown LaCrosse. Library across the street and a park. Walking distance to the core of downtown and numerous restaurants and coffee shops. College town so there is always lots to do.

  16. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    That sounds absolutely dreadful. Then again, I am not one for a great deal of forced socializing.

    I love where we are now–quiet, rural-ish area that is close enough to shopping and restaurants. Local library is about ~2 miles away. At some point down the road–hopefully not for 20 or more years–we’ll have to take driving into account, so I do understand at least part of the objective of such communities. It does make me somewhat wistful for Europe, which due to its size has a far more robust system of public transportation. There, you CAN live out in the quiet towns but still get around without a car.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Oh brother: From Kansas, with love: like it or not, my home defies stereotypes

    One Saturday last fall, my husband and I bought an antique clawfoot bathtub in Manhattan, Kansas. After loading it from a stranger’s backyard into the bed of our truck, we walked to The Chef, a downtown diner, figuring we might be seated quickly with half the town tailgating at the Kansas State University football game.

    We drank bloody Marys on the patio among white, Black and brown diners while purple school flags waved in the autumn breeze. Our server pointed to a pile of blankets in case I got chilly.

    When we left, I handed my blanket to a trio of thick men eating bacon and wearing hunting gear. “In case you get chilly,” I said. They laughed. Then the server, who was wearing facial hair, makeup, men’s shoes, pearls and a crop top, refilled their coffee cups.

    Unfashionable places such as Kansas – “one of the square ones in the middle,” coastal acquaintances have said to me with a smile and a shrug – are often portrayed by Hollywood and news headlines as a homogenous expanse of “uneducated,” white, straight, cis-gendered conservatives who are cooking meth or terrorizing outsiders.

    Perhaps that is because most of those employed as storytellers or gatekeepers in film, television or the national media industry have led urban lives geographically removed from regions condescendingly known as “flyover country.” I have been a journalist for 20 years and have never once, to my knowledge, worked with another journalist who had direct experience of rural life or agricultural labor, not to mention economic poverty in any setting.

    Uh… Sarah? I hate to break it to you but Manhattan KS, the home of Kansas State University, is not at all typical of rural Kansas, anymore than Columbia MO or Fayetteville AR are typical of the Ozarks. You are correct that most Hollywood treatments of rural America are little better than caricatures, but your love letter to Manhattan obscures the realities of 95% rural life just as much.

  18. charon says:
  19. BugManDan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Probably just moving away from the campus/downtown area would change the description.

  20. Kathy says:


    In the future, we’ll al go to the Near Death Star.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BugManDan: Well, it’s a college town, which in my experience are far more inclusive and egalitarian just by their very nature. It is hard to hold on to narrow mindedness when one is exposed to people from all over the world everyday.

  22. CSK says:

    The main attraction of Celebration for these people was that it was near Disney World. They were in their sixties at the time. Given that I never wanted to go to Disneyland or Disney World even when I was a kid (standing in the hot sun for hours just to get on a stupid ride was and is my idea of torture), the appeal is lost on me.

  23. Sleeping Dog says:


    There is a co-housing community in Maine, can’t remember where but I believe Downeast and another just outside of Peterborough, but close to town. My understanding that is that both are multi-generational and being, commune-lite, have the expectation of being involved in the community.

  24. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    It takes a Villages, I guess.

  25. Kathy says:


    I’ve been following this (surprise).

    I wonder what the supply situation in Russia is regarding balsa wood and rubber bands.

  26. Beth says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Honestly, I think if there was one of these places designed by and for Queer people, I’d probably like to retire there. I’d much rather retire somewhere warm and safe with my own people. I’m an extrovert and love being around people though. My partner scolds me when I mention that I vastly prefer Queer spaces/bars. I don’t have to put up walls or partially dissociate through the fear. I also get a really good smile out of the “ABSOLUTELY ONLY ONE PERSON IN THIS BATHROOM AT A TIME AND WE REALLY MEAN IT!” signs.

  27. CSK says:

    Do they enforce it? 😀

  28. Beth says:


    Ehhhhhh, sometimes? I would say, some places, absolutely not, others, maybe.

  29. CSK says:

    Didn’t you mention that you were about to undergo your second facial surgery last December? I assume it went well. Hope so, anyway.

  30. Beth says:


    I did! Thank you. It’s amazing. Rhinoplasty is seriously no joke. The recovery has been intense and the Dr. expects most of my nose to basically be hard until like October/November. The best part though was the absolute relief that washed over me when the splint came off. I never realized just how much pain and suffering I was carrying with me about my nose. That alone made a drastic improvement to my mental health. If anyone ever needs or wants a nose job, I can’t recommend Dr. Marco Ellis at Northwestern highly enough. Plus, he’s gorgeous and really nice.

    One other weird thing though. I had chin reshaping done. Basically, they go through you inner lip to do it and as part of it they have to cut the muscle that meets at the tip of your chin in half. When they put the plate in and stitch it all up it gets tight and swollen. For me, this has lead to a near constant feeling that my bottom front teeth are falling out. It’s slowly fading, but it comes back intensely at times.

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: Plus, he’s gorgeous and really nice.

    Heh, certainly gives one a good reason to go to the Doc.

  32. Jen says:

    @Beth: Good to hear that you’re doing well.

    Re: teeth–not really that comparable, but your comment made me think about my braces. I had them on for more than five years (we moved twice during that period and I had to keep changing orthodontists). When I finally got them off, I had this strange sensation that my teeth were unsupported–they felt like they were as breakable as glass.

    Maybe it’s all of the nerve endings in the mouth?

  33. gVOR08 says:

    A couple days ago Perry Bacon noted Biden’s low poll numbers in a column at WAPO then did a deep dive into election data.

    Virtually none of the most common criticisms are fully accurate — and many of them are just flat-out wrong. Here are three truths about the Democrats’ struggles that puncture some of the myths:
    1. Democrats didn’t lose because of ‘defund the police’ in 2020

    2. ‘Wokeness’ has not pushed voters without college degrees away

    3. Education issues are not crushing Democrats

    He sees our current partisan split as pretty much baked in the cake and political messaging as largely ineffective. Even FOX and the GOPs hammering with defund on Ds who never supported defund.

    Of course, candidates and tactics matter. It is obvious Biden should not promise to defund the police. (As he did in the SOTU only to have the Gov of Iowa say Dems are defunding an hour later.) But the clearest evidence we have is that messages, candidates and tactics don’t matter a lot — and we can’t be sure which ones will work or how much they will work ahead of time.

    Democrats are muddling through, but they can’t change the fundamental dynamics. We have two parties about equal in size in a zero-sum fight for power.

    But Stacey Abrams, for instance, has shown there are things Dems can do.

    Republicans have become visibly nuts. They’ve become a rural party in a country that’s 20% rural. They ran without a platform because they have no actual policy they can talk about in public. They’ve done nothing substantive for the 99% and have no plan to ever do so. They committed insurrection on video. And they’re struggling to pretend to decency over Ukraine.

    Polls favor Dem positions on most issues. Dems have actually helped common people and strengthened the country. Dems have almost all the intellectuals and creatives. Of late Dems have as much money. I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE LOSING TO THOSE GUYS. Maybe, just maybe, the people who are driving the train, the party leaders and funders, should take some responsibility and not just blame a few activists while they wait for demographics to bail them out.

  34. CSK says:

    I’m delighted it went so well for you.

  35. CSK says:

    The hilarious aspect of this is that Trump was trashing Biden yesterday for his low approval rating of 37%. I distinctly remember when Trump was bragging about his rating of 36% on Twitter. “Almost 40%,” he boasted. No, it’s not, you pathetic twerp.

  36. Beth says:


    Maybe it’s all of the nerve endings in the mouth?

    It’s got to be. It’s so wild to me that that’s how the brain interprets the signals. Not, “oh, this is just swollen, ignore it”. Instead it’s all “OMG all the teeth are falling out!!! Panic!”.


    Thank you. Now we start the prep on the next surgery. Goddess-willing I’ll be recovering from that this time next year.

  37. Sleeping Dog says:


    Beth, check around. I’m sure that I’ve heard of co-housing organizations that have as there mission being welcome and supportive of GL etc.

    The one thing about co-housing communities is that you want them to be multi-generational. Part of the concept is neighbors helping neighbors and that may mean healthy 70 something pitching in with child care, but the middle agers have an expectation that they will look out for the frail elderly. If the community is too biased toward the olds, the risk is that too many will become needy at once and there’ll be no one to offer assistance as spouses will be taking care of their own.

  38. DaveD says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I went to college in LAX and when you said across the street from the Library I immediately thought of the bar. 3rd street was a blast.

  39. Beth says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I’ve heard of a couple around here. Mostly for lower income queer seniors and there is a huge fight to get in. Luckily, I wouldn’t need anything like that for many years. I’m just thinking I’d prefer something with a more exciting lifestyle. I have older friends in my local Trans group that live in senior living and they all dislike the boredom and loneliness.

  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    Another Ruskie yacht seized, this time by the French.

  41. CSK says:
  42. Sleeping Dog says:


    I understand. Too few of these places are in urban areas where you can simply get stimulation by sitting out front and watching the world go by. When my MlL was in an assisted living, it was a nice place and she was well cared for, but there was nowhere to go w/o getting on the bus for an outing. My idea of miserable.

    I’d much rather be the old codger, sitting on a park bench feeding the pigeons while watching the world go by.

  43. Beth says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I have a family history of dementia. I watched what retirement and dementia did to my grandpa and I desperately don’t want that. I think the park bench is too quiet for me. I’d much rather be the crazy old grandma at the rave handling lollipops out to the drugged out kids. That sounds way better. Or being the weird old lady hanging out at the Queer bar making up stuff to tell the youngsters. Those sound way better.

  44. BugManDan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Probably just moving away from the campus/downtown area would change the description. @OzarkHillbilly: That is true, but as someone who went to Mizzou and whose in-laws still live in CoMo, moving out from the downtown area (or should I say, to the non-student parts of town) quickly becomes much less open minded.

  45. Jen says:


    moving out from the downtown area (or should I say, to the non-student parts of town) quickly becomes much less open minded.

    Yep. And even more so outside of Columbia’s city limits. (I lived in Jeff City for a number of years.)

  46. wr says:

    @Beth: “Honestly, I think if there was one of these places designed by and for Queer people, I’d probably like to retire there.”

    Have you visited Palm Springs?

  47. CSK says:
  48. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..the GOP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia.

    I’d rather be Ukrainian than a Republican.

  49. Jay L Gischer says:

    There’s this very interesting thing going on now. Maybe it has been going on for a while, but it’s just visible now?

    Anyway, in a recent poll posted by Steven or James, both Republicans and Democrats (and independents) showed an 88% disapproval rate of Russia, with no partisan gap at all.

    And yet, among Republican influencers, there’s a huge partisan gap. Large numbers of the pundits and talking heads support Putin or talk him up in some way. This seems like an opportunity for driving in a wedge. I think it’s likely that Biden has noticed this already.

    This phenomenon has the smell of money to it. To me. And with Russia, and Russians, unable to move money around, how will that work.

    WAIT, there’s one avenue of funds transfer that still works. Crypto! The choice of criminals worldwide.

    I doubt that aircraft servicing companies will take crypto in payment, but paid shills probably will. Especially when it comes from such a righteous gay basher and gun lover.

  50. Kathy says:

    I wouldn’t mind retiring to an old age home, provided I were left mostly alone where I could read and watch TV and post to OTB all day long 😉

    A kitchen would be nice, but not strictly necessary.

  51. Sleeping Dog says:


    Hell, people get more closed minded when you are west of Clayton in StL County.

    When I was there, I always appreciated that, except for work, I didn’t need to go west of I 170.

  52. reid says:

    @Sleeping Dog: It seems like starting in the ’90s, there have been waves of these housing developments built, usually be a single developer and all pretty similar. Albuquerque, NM has had a housing boom on its west side (and other areas). We were looking at properties there once and were shown one of these places, and it just felt wrong. Maybe it was just me. The appeal is that they’re more affordable and modern. But the maze-like uniformity and inability to walk anywhere was repellent. Maybe these other communities I’ve seen mentioned here are better-designed and include more than just housing, but I doubt I’d like it all the same.

  53. Sleeping Dog says:


    The developers knew the baby boomers were coming and that we weren’t interested in retirement housing that attracted our parents. So they settled on these one level, detached houses with a two car garage, no basement, smallish lot and minimal setback. And yes, a lot of people liked them. Due to the small lots and repeated design, they were pretty cheap to build and therefore sell. Given who the owners are, they also turn over fairly frequently and as you would expect, the developer has a real estate broker on staff, to help the family dispose of the property and likely a finance and closing company. The initial sale paid the development costs and the rest is gross revenue. Remember the units pay a condo fee, that covers maintenance and grounds upkeep.

  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BugManDan: My experience in college towns is mostly limited to building stuff on and around campus, and getting lunch or breakfast or just driving through. What you call ” the non-student parts of town” is less open minded, but still far more open minded than say Steelville, MO or Harrison, AR.

  55. reid says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Sounds like you have experience with them! That sounds about right. At one of the smaller communities we visited, the developer did indeed have their own realtor on-site. That probably is the norm.

    Here, at least, many of the places are two-story. Some are even quite upscale in terms of design and finishes. Nice houses in their own right. But yes, they’re all relatively affordable, which is why younger people with families are no doubt interested. Aside from the gruesome uniformity, they’re usually in outlying areas and require driving to get anywhere.

  56. BugManDan says:


    Oh, have you been to Hallsville? While at Mizzou, I worked in a grocery store in Col., but near Hallsville. And the Hallsville folks (HSers mostly) that also worked there might have been from my tiny hometown in SW MO.

  57. BugManDan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I won’t argue with that. I was just agreeing with you (obviously poorly) that her representation was probably just as bad as the ones she was disparaging.

  58. Jen says:

    @BugManDan: Yes, I’ve been to Hallsville. I had relatives in Moberly and did some work in Mexico (MO) and have been all over that area. I’ve also been in SW MO, (Neosho, Joplin, Monett). Part of my job at the time had me traveling all over the state so I have a pretty comprehensive (but dated, it’s been a while!) understanding of MO.

  59. Jen says:

    What a headline. I don’t even know what to do with this story.

    After Affair with ‘ISIS Bride,’ Texas Republican Suspends House Re-Election Campaign

  60. CSK says:

    The Daily Beast story on this quotes one of Taylor’s text messages to Joya. If I repeated it here, I’m not sure it would get through the filter.

  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DK: This conversation makes an interesting “exit ramp” for Putin. Now if the Ukrainians could take Putin’s word on even the color of the sky without looking out a window…

  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Exactly the sort of “can’t take Putin’s word on the color of the sky” type situation I was thinking of.

  63. Kathy says:

    I’m trying to think of Putin jokes, and it’s not easy. Even if the man is a fool, he neither looks nor acts foolish. That’s no good. he’s mean, though. So:

    A philanthropic agency gains an audience with Vlad, where its representatives ask him for money to help refugees.

    Annoyed, as Vlad expected some kind of humanitarian award because why wouldn’t he, he replies, “Do you know how bad things are in some rural regions of the Soviet Un- of Russia! Do you? we have poverty, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, children as young as ten turning to prostitution to put food on the family table! You’re idiots to expect any money from me, as I refuse to give my own people a damn red kopek! Get the F**k OUT!!”

  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I’ve been to both coasts–Disneyland twice (band tour in college and once on a Rose Bowl junket) and Disney World once coming back from visiting my brother and s-i-l in Williamsburg (a kind of a theme park tour, if you will). Liked both. Don’t feel a strong need to go back because Luddite lived on Capitol Hill in Seattle, so I already know what living at the circus is like.

  65. Kathy says:


    (standing in the hot sun for hours just to get on a stupid ride was and is my idea of torture)

    I went with friends in late 1990 in the very low season (I forget the month exactly, fall seems kind of right). I don’t think we stood in line longer than 2 minutes at any ride (shows varied). Lots of rain, though, but that’s expected in Orlando.

  66. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: @Kathy:

    Interesting. I’ve heard horror stories about the lines.

  67. Michael Cain says:


    A kitchen would be nice, but not strictly necessary.

    Many facilities that include assisted living options require everyone to eat in the cafeteria, at least in the US. Some of it is insurance. When I visited the place my mom was going to move to (at age 87), the director told me that I wouldn’t believe how much higher the premiums would be if they allowed elderly people access to a stove/oven. My wife has progressive dementia-related memory problems. The day is coming when I won’t let her do anything with the stove.

  68. Kathy says:


    I’ve lived horror stories in the lines.

    Many rides, particularly in Epcot, move continuously. There’s this endless string of cars circulating through the ride, and they begin and end along moving platforms so they don’t ever stop even to let people on and off (they move slow). So the line for the ride mostly moves along as well. It does stop for people who need assistance with the moving platform. The downside is everything stops. So you get to hear some portion of Spaceship Earth over and over again.

    Things like roller coasters and shows can’t do this, and older rides do stop. So you get lines that move in fits and starts. Last* time I visited, 2006, I did get stuck like 90 minutes for one roller coaster, I don’t even recall which one. But that was in June, I think (it was during one Global Snooze Fest**)

    But that 1990 trip was heavenly. We even got sick of revisiting rides, and left for Cape Canaveral a day early. We all planned to use the day we had left on the tickets, before they expired one year hence. We never did.

    * Literally last. I kind of fell out of love with the Disney theme park experience. Even the new Star Wars attractions don’t get me interested in visiting again.

    ** aka Soccer World Cup.

  69. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..horror stories

    The only time I went to Disneyland was in 1983. I was 35. I wanted to get there ever since the mid ’50s when my gradeschool classmates traveled by car with their parents cross country right after it opened and brought back home movies that we all got to see when I was in the 5th (?) grade in Webster, New York.
    My girlfriend and I flew to Southern California from the midwest to my brother’s home in Glendora about 30 miles from the park. It was a day or two before Christmas. The weather was overcast but it it never did rain. There was virtually nobody there. Walked right past all the signs: It is a 30 minute wait from here to the entrance to the attraction. There was my brother, his wife and her kid Jake who was maybe 10 years old. When we headed toward Space Mountain Jake started to whine that he didn’t want to get on that ride. Apparently he had done it before. I had no idea what it was. At one point there was a warning that if you had heart problems you should turn back. Walked right by that sign. The closer we got to the entrance the louder he screamed. His mom told him he was to young to be left alone as we all took the ride and she wanted to go. He was crying and screaming as we all got on the train. When It started I realize it was an indoor roller coaster. Yikes! Total darkness. Couldn’t see a thing. Above all the screams of the riders who wanted to be there I heard Jake. NOOO! NOOOO!
    It was over pretty quick. Somehow Jake survived.
    If I ever get back there it will be my first ticket!

  70. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: My first trip in college had longish lines, but it was March, so the weather was still pretty nice. For the Rose Bowl trip, I was at the park for an after-hours private party for people who had used Disney Travel for the game package and we had no lines to speak of. For DW/EPCOT, I started in the Magic Kingdom at about 8 am (I was actually one of the first 100 or so patrons that day), so ride lines were short and I was rode out before noon and spent the balance of the afternoon at EPCOT–which only had about a dozen exhibits in 70-whatever. And I’ve always like amusement park rides–even the cheezy road show ones that come to small town/neighborhood fairs, so I’m used to the lines. The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle had an amusement park in it, so I’d done rides since I was tall enough to go on them. The first girl I ever dated went on amusement park rides at Woodland Park with me.

    I have vertigo these days, so my amusement park ride days are over. I miss them. 🙁

  71. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I forgot the funny story part of my Disneyland trip in college. The year we went to LA was 1971 and going to Disneyland was still a pretty big deal and kind of a “once in a lifetime” thing that it isn’t anymore. (In fact, we had to rearrange our tour itinerary so that we could get Disneyland tickets on a day that they allowed groups to go, IIRC.)

    The It’s a Small World ride was closed for maintenance. They had a sign that, as I recall, read something to the effect of “It certainly is a small world. Although we try to keep our rides running every day, this ride is closed for maintenance (and probably on the only trip you’ll ever make here, too). We are sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this closure has caused.”

    It was interesting to me that they acknowledged the uniqueness of a Disney trip even in 1970 still. I took a picture of the sign and the apology. I probably still have it in one of the 8 or 10 unlabeled and unsorted shoeboxes of pictures that I have.

  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: For me, the total darkness part of the ride was a big letdown. Not seeing what the ride was doing diminished the effect. I don’t know how many people are affected that way, but I sure was.

  73. CSK says:

    @Kathy: @Mister Bluster: @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    These are all riveting stories, and quite well told, but my desire to go to Disney anything is still well under control.

  74. mister bluster says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: …darkness (my old friend)…
    My brother told me after the ride was over that there were small points of light on the ceiling that were supposed to be stars and planets like in outer space. I never saw them.

  75. Kathy says:


    That’s cool. If it’s not your thing, then it’s not your thing.

    And it’s not like I hold tons of Disney stock and trying to drum up business for the parks, right?

  76. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: a friend of mine spent a chunk of his recuperation after a terrible car accident in an old age home.

    It was a pretty swanky one, and it seemed kind of nice. Basically, meal and maid service, a small park nearby, and people who like to play bridge.

    The food was good. He spent a lot of time trading recipes with the staff.

    Honestly, it was about the only time I’ve ever seen that friend happy. It helps that he is a morning person.