Wednesday’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:

    Seattle’s cement workers strike over low wages and unfair labor practices

    “Every day is different,” said Tim Davis, a concrete mixer truck driver in the Seattle, Washington, area.

    The work Davis and his coworkers do on a daily basis provides the foundation for every big construction and infrastructure project in the region, with long hours and varying start times every workday, leaving little time to spend with family. “We live in those trucks day in and day out,” Davis said.

    He is one of 330 concrete mixer drivers and plant workers – represented by Teamsters Local 174 – who have been on a general strike over unfair labor practices, accusing their employers of refusing to negotiate in good faith. The striking workers fear employers want to purge unionized workers from the area’s construction industry and attempt to bankrupt the union through litigation.

    The strike is reverberating through the construction industry in and around Seattle, which has the second most construction cranes of any city in the US and has been leading the country’s construction boom since the pandemic hit. Hundreds of contractors have been laid off as construction projects have ground to a halt or been forced to reduce operations without concrete, and layoffs are expected to continue as the strike drags on.

    No concrete? No work. It’s as simple as that.

    Some 34 dump truck drivers began striking on 19 November at Gary Merlino Construction, with about 100 workers joining the strike on 1 December. The remaining workers launched an industry wide strike on 4 December at six different employers that dominate the concrete industry in the Seattle area: Gary Merlino Construction, Stoneway Concrete, Cadman, CalPortland, Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel and Lehigh Cement. Workers unanimously voted in favor of authorizing the strike.

    The companies’ lead negotiator, president of Gary Merlino Construction Charlie Oliver, did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.

    The workers’ contract expired on 31 July 2021, and they had worked without a contract for months before walking off the job in response to the stalled negotiations.

    As a union carpenter my sympathies are where one would expect them to be, but unanimous? It’s got to be pretty blatant for everybody to decide that no pay is better than whatever they were getting before. All the other Seattle area contractors are probably leaning pretty hard on these 6 companies to reach a deal. If they aren’t, they will be soon.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A documentary film about Alexei Navalny, who narrowly survived an apparent poisoning attempt with novichok, has premiered at the Sundance film festival.

    The 90-minute film, simply titled Navalny, features fly-on-the-wall footage of the Russian opposition leader, filmed during the several months he spent in Germany in late 2020 as he recovered from the poisoning. There are interviews with Navalny, his wife, Yulia, and his closest team.

    The most extraordinary sequence of the film is when, from Navalny’s Black Forest recuperation hideout, he made a prank call to one of the hit squad he believes carried out the poisoning, and got him to reveal details about the hit by pretending to be an angry security services boss.

    “I remember just being like, ‘OK, make sure we’re rolling, keep it in focus. This is the most important thing you’ll ever film in your entire life,’” said director Daniel Roher in an interview with Hollywood Reporter about the moment of the telephone confession.

    “Afterward everyone was freaking out. We were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. I was like, ‘Let’s offload the footage right now. Should we call the police? Do we need protection at the house?’”

    Can’t say as I blame them.

    At the end of the film, Navalny answers a request from the director to record a message for the eventuality that he were killed on his return. “I’ve got something very obvious to tell you: don’t give up, you’re not allowed. If they decided to kill me, it means we are incredibly strong, and we need to use this power,” he said.

    In an Instagram post announcing the film, Navalny complained in his usual irreverent tone that the prison library where he is serving time does not have a subscription to HBO Max, so he will not be able to watch it.

    He still has his sense of humor.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Edouard Mathieu

    The US CDC updated its data on deaths by vaccination status.
    One key takeaway: the large relative reduction in death rates after full vaccination doesn’t only apply to older people.
    Here are weekly deaths among 12-17 years old, 18-29, 30-49, 50-64.

    Our World in Data

    The COVID death rate by vaccination status in the US.

    [From our post by @redouad
    and @maxcroser
    on death rates by vaccination status:

    Oliver Darcy

    Most recent data from NYC continues to show that those who were unvaccinated were far more likely to get infected during Omicron surge than vaccinated. Unfortunately, the tenor of much of media coverage really suggested everyone was getting infected at relatively equal rates.

    I’m sure JKB will be along shortly to post a Youtube video by some random RW nutjob that will absolutely destroy the above data graphs.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    COVID-19: endemic doesn’t mean harmless

    The word ‘endemic’ has become one of the most misused of the pandemic. And many of the errant assumptions made encourage a misplaced complacency. It doesn’t mean that COVID-19 will come to a natural end.

    To an epidemiologist, an endemic infection is one in which overall rates are static — not rising, not falling. More precisely, it means that the proportion of people who can get sick balances out the ‘basic reproduction number’ of the virus, the number of individuals that an infected individual would infect, assuming a population in which everyone could get sick. Yes, common colds are endemic. So are Lassa fever, malaria and polio. So was smallpox, until vaccines stamped it out.

    In other words, a disease can be endemic and both widespread and deadly. Malaria killed more than 600,000 people in 2020. Ten million fell ill with tuberculosis that same year and 1.5 million died. Endemic certainly does not mean that evolution has somehow tamed a pathogen so that life simply returns to ‘normal’.

    As an evolutionary virologist, it frustrates me when policymakers invoke the word endemic as an excuse to do little or nothing. There’s more to global health policy than learning to live with endemic rotavirus, hepatitis C or measles.
    The best way to prevent more, more-dangerous or more-transmissible variants from emerging is to stop unconstrained spread, and that requires many integrated public-health interventions, including, crucially, vaccine equity. The more a virus replicates, the greater the chance that problematic variants will arise, most probably where spread is highest. The Alpha variant was first identified in the United Kingdom, Delta was first found in India and Omicron in southern Africa — all places where spread was rampant.

    Thinking that endemicity is both mild and inevitable is more than wrong, it is dangerous: it sets humanity up for many more years of disease, including unpredictable waves of outbreaks. It is more productive to consider how bad things could get if we keep giving the virus opportunities to outwit us. Then we might do more to ensure that this does not happen.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Not satisfied with just trashing up our planet and near Earth space, now we’re littering on the moon: Out-of-control SpaceX rocket on collision course with moon

    As for whether the collision could be viewed from Earth, Gray says it will probably go unobserved. “The bulk of the moon is in the way, and even if it were on the near side, the impact occurs a couple of days after New Moon.”

    Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at Harvard University, wrote that the impact was due on 4 March but was “not a big deal”.

    Nevertheless, space enthusiasts believe the impact could provide valuable data. Berger believes the event will allow for observation of subsurface material ejected by the rocket’s strike, while Gray says he is “rooting for a lunar impact”.

    If the laws of gravity give you space impact lemons, might as well make lemonade.

  6. Kathy says:

    I left work yesterday shortly before 12 am today, then woke up at 5am to make it to the office by 6, so I could see some samples loaded and taken away. It’s not the few hours of sleep that get me, but leaving when it’s dark, waking up when it’s still dark, and then driving when it’s still dark.

    When I have to do something like this, I remind myself of the time we finished work at 2 am, and I had to be somewhere at 6 to, you guessed it, present samples. I didn’t even go home, but dozed at my desk. I was sure if I went to bed, I wouldn’t get up in time no matter how many alarms I set.

    On other things, my fusion chicken cordon rouge was rather good. It would help to slice the turkey sausage in half lengthwise, and wrapping just half a sausage and the cheese in each chicken milanesa. Next time. maybe even brown the underside on a pan, too. the mole on top was pretty good.

    On the reading front, I finished a lecture series on Athenian democracy, which I found rather illuminating. Like the Romans afterwards, the Athenians taxed some of the wealthy by making them responsible for certain public expenses. Can you imagine something like that today? “Hey, Zuck. You gotta build a freeway and ten units of public housing. here are the specs. We will check your work for quality”

    Now I’m reading a book on physics called “Einstein’s Dice & Schrodinger’s Cat.”* It intersperses details of both scientists’ life stories with their work and the progression of the fields of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

    *Poetic license. As we all know, those were God’s dice.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: but leaving when it’s dark, waking up when it’s still dark, and then driving when it’s still dark.

    When I was 19 or so I spent a winter working in a small factory. I hated it. Go to work in the dark, come home in the dark. Wouldn’t see the sun for days on end. Once a week I got to take out and dump the acid bath in the hazardous waste vat. I lived for that 5 minutes and would milk it for all it was worth.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    US to hold surprise plant inspections targeting pollution in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled plans to conduct unannounced inspections of plants suspected of air pollution violations in the heavily industrialized region in Louisiana known as Cancer Alley and other locations around the US south.

    The move, announced on Wednesday morning alongside other significant new enforcement and monitoring actions, is aimed at reining in pollution in an area with much of America’s most toxic air.

    The agency intends to expand air monitoring in a number of locations visited by the EPA administrator, Michael Regan, last November, and will work to develop new measuring techniques for the “emerging contaminants” chloroprene and ethylene oxide. Both pollutants are likely or known human carcinogens that are emitted at dangerous levels in locations around the region, notably in St John the Baptist parish.
    In neighboring St James parish, Regan said his department would provide technical assistance to the US army corps of engineers in an ongoing re-evaluation of a proposed plastics facility operated by the Taiwanese company Formosa, in effect placed on hold by the Biden administration last August amid widespread community concern.

    The gargantuan facility had been permitted to emit 13m tonnes of greenhouse gasses a year, the equivalent of three coal-fired power plants, along with 15,400lb of ethylene oxide.

    In the same parish, the administrator announced enforcement action against a steel plant, run by the industrial giant Nucor, which last year was revealed to have been quietly emitting cancer-causing sulphuric acid mist and hydrogen sulphide for six years without a permit.

    In unveiling a new plan of unannounced inspections in the region, Regan told reporters: “We want to keep these facilities on their toes so that they’re doing their due diligence all the time, not just when there’s a planned EPA inspection.”

    Long overdue.

  9. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy: …leaving when it’s dark, waking up when it’s still dark, and then driving when it’s still dark.

    Sounds like England in Midwinter. 🙂

    Only here it’s day after day.
    Getup at 6:30 AM = dark
    Drive in to work = dark
    Sunrise at 8:00
    Sunset at 4:00
    Finish work at 5:00 = dark
    Drive home = dark

  10. CSK says:

    He sure has porked up. Not that he was ever what you’d call trim.

  11. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “I’m sure JKB will be along shortly to post a Youtube video by some random RW nutjob that will absolutely destroy the above data graphs.”

    Nah. YouTube was invented after 1922, and he seems to be allergic to citing anything that wasn’t created before then…

  12. Kathy says:


    These days it’s dark when we leave at the regular time, 6:30-7:00, and dark when I get up. but the sun’s usually out on my drive to work.

  13. grumpy realist says:

    @JohnSF: That was what drove me nuts about England–the total lack of sunshine (heck, daylight) in the winter months.

    I’m probably the first person in history who went for a trip to Belgium to see the sun.

  14. CSK says:

    On the other hand, in the summer, it stays light till almost midnight. Or at least it did in Edinburgh.

  15. grumpy realist says:

    New variant of Omicron has hit the shores.

    Not much is known about it, but it doesn’t look to be any worse than Omicron_1.

  16. Jen says:

    Re: the recent post on alcohol not being good for you…

    The study found that those who do not drink at all were more likely to get COVID-19 while those who drink liquor had no more or less of a chance of contracting the virus. But the key findings were that those who drank 14 glasses of red wine or fewer per week were 10 to 17% less likely to get COVID-19. The same number of glasses of fortified wine reduced the risk by 12%. Those who drank white wine or Champagne were up to 8% less likely to get the virus.

    Yes, I know it’s correlation not causation but I’m going with it. 😀

  17. JohnSF says:

    But red wine 10 to 17%.
    Such variation!
    Rigorous testing is called for to determine the possible differentials between a vintage Burgundy, a Pomerol, Gigondas, Barossa Shiraz, Barolo, Valpolicella Amarone, Rioja Gran Reserva…
    I volunteer as tribute!

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A counter argument: ‘This ain’t Vegas’: should a cruel end to the Bills’ season prompt an overtime change?

    Football played by human beings is not like a Madden game, where the “progressive fatigue” factor can be switched off. The players we like to think of as giant Energizer Bunnies get tired. Case in point: the Buffalo Bills defense on Sunday.

    The Kansas City Chiefs, the Bills’ opponents in an exhilarating AFC divisional round playoff game, ran 16 plays in their final three possessions. The Chiefs covered 194 yards and scored two touchdowns, plus a field goal that they needed to send the game into overtime. They faced third down on only two of those 16 plays, converting both.

    After the Chiefs scored a touchdown on the first possession of overtime to win, 42-36, the grumbling began: the Bills should have been given a chance to match that touchdown. But that is not how the NFL rules for overtime work. Should they be changed? Maybe. Maybe not.
    “We should never let a football game be determined from a coin,” Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins said…..
    That is an A-plus quote, but the coin flip did not determine the winner, just the first team to get the chance to score a touchdown. Had Kansas City managed only a field goal, or punted, Buffalo would have got their chance. The Bills knew the rules.

    Only two players on the Kansas City defense – cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and safety Juan Thornhill – played all 64 snaps. Meanwhile, seven Buffalo players played all 76 of their team’s defensive snaps. Kansas City used 21 players on defense, compared with 17 for the Bills.

    There is also the question of how the Bills let the game go to overtime in the first place. All the Bills needed to do was to keep the Chiefs out of field-goal range (or from completing a Hail Mary pass) on their last drive of regulation. Kansas City, starting from their own 25-yard line, gained 44 yards in two plays covering 10 seconds before kicking the tying field goal.
    Prior to Sunday, the most notable playoff game using these overtime rules came in Super Bowl LI five years ago, when the New England Patriots scored on the first possession of overtime to beat Atlanta, 34-28. The Falcons did not get much sympathy after the game, because they had a 28-3 lead late in the third quarter and got five chances to stop Tom Brady.

    The Chiefs scored on six of seven possessions after halftime. The Bills had enough chances to win the game. Why should have they gotten another chance, just because the shootout narrative demanded it? Rules are rules, and life is not always fair, as humans say.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: That’s slander against white wines! Obvious reverse racism!

  20. wr says:

    @wr: Oops. I’m wrong! JKB did link to a ludicrous youTube post on another forum. And it wasn’t even a clip from Birth of a Nation…

  21. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: FWIW, I pay so little attention to football nowadays that I didn’t even know you can’t win with just a field goal anymore. Still, playoffs decided in overtime going 10-1 to the coin toss winners makes it fair to say that the game is decided by a coin toss

    There was a time not too long ago in which overtime could end with nothing more than a field goal. Sudden death incentivized winning the coin toss and picking up a few yards at a time, with the goal being simple: get into your kicker’s range and hope he comes through.
    The league knew this to be the case and attempted to make overtime more competitive (and more interesting) by adjusting its extra period to require a touchdown to immediately end a postseason game in 2010, with the rule taking effect in all games in 2012. Settle for a field goal, and the other team gets a chance to respond.
    The goal then shifted for the teams that lost the coin toss: Instead of desperately attempting to hold the last line of defenses somewhere around the 35 yard line, they just needed to prevent the opposing offense from scoring a touchdown.
    Seems simple enough. Under these rules, coin toss winners ended up prevailing in 52.8 percent of overtime games, per NFL Research. That’s far from decisive.
    But in the playoffs, coin toss winners are 10-1, winning 90.9 percent of overtime contests. Seven of the 10 winners scored the sudden-death touchdown on the opening drive. New Orleans was the only team to lose, falling to the Rams in 2018, and that game had its own share of controversy in regulation.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @wr: Hence the JKB/Youtube reference. 🙂

  23. senyordave says:

    Ohio senatorial candidate JD Vance was roundly mocked on Twitter after he celebrated an endorsement from extremist right-wing Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.
    “Honored to have Marjorie’s endorsement. We’re going to win this thing and take the country back from the scumbags,” Mr Vance wrote on Twitter.

    How do you transform yourself from a moderate Republican to someone who welcomes support from MJT, who has openly trafficked in anti semitic conspiracy theories?

  24. Kathy says:


    I hate to say this, but maybe they should take a page from soccer and play a whole overtime quarter (or an abbreviated 10 minute quarter). If they’re still tied after that, then go the sudden death, any score wins route.

    To simplify things, I’d eliminate overtime in the regular season. A game tied at the end of four quarters is a tie. Deal with it. During the season, teams play for position. Playoffs are elimination tournaments. The latter requires a tie breaker, the former does not.

  25. JohnSF says:

    Posting a short reply to a question yesterdays Ukraine comments by

    What are your thoughts on the Monroe Doctrine?

    Hah! Congratulations, you’ve actually encountered a Brit who knows what the Monroe Doctrine is/was. 🙂

    Short version:
    – started off out of reasonable anti-imperialist apprehension
    – was mostly eyerolled at for half a century
    – seemed justified again viz Mad Max in Mexico
    – caused Lord Salisbury to smile in public and fume in private
    – morphed into a mix-up of platitudes, conventional power politics, and blatant quasi-hegemonic arrogance
    – looked really tawdry in American bleatings over the League of Nations
    – is now well past its sell-by date

    And is of limited relevance to Russian behaviour.

    I may post a longer version on this later if I have time (he threatened).

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I hate to say this,

    Don’t know why, people are coming down all over the place on this. It’s all in an attempt to insure the losers in future games don’t feel so bad. Which is pretty silly. Both teams left it all on the field. Both teams deserved to win. But one of them had to lose.

    No matter what the rules said, one team was going to walk out of that stadium feeling like they were walking on the clouds and the other was going to feel absolutely gutted. I feel for the Bills, I really do, but as a Miserian I’m happy with the result.

  27. CSK says:

    Beats me. Another thing that Vance is accomplishing is totally losing the audience for any future books he might care to write.

    I never liked the guy to begin with, even when he was posing as a reasonable human being, but don’t know what he thinks he’s doing here, unless it’s finally letting his inner asshole shine through what used to be a civilized facade.

  28. Bob@Youngstown says:

    RE: your post on fit testing the 3M Aura 1870+ N95 mask:
    Certainly reminds me of fitting with self-contained breathing apparatus (Scott AirPaks and the like).
    Almost regardless of the filter material itself, the weakest link is the quality of the fit. Unfortunately that aspect is controlled by the user.
    That mask costs approximately 5$ per unit, when purchased in quality of 20 or more.

    BTW, the 3M website states that:

    3M industrial and occupational products are intended, labeled, and packaged for sale to trained industrial and occupational customers for workplace use. Unless specifically stated otherwise on the applicable product packaging or literature, these products are not intended, labeled, or packaged for sale to or use by consumers…

  29. Jen says:

    “…and take the country back from the scumbags,…”

    Words fail. What a charmer, what command of the English language! A modern-day Shakespeare.

  30. CSK says:

    Well, he’s just demonstrating his authentic white trash credentials.

  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    None of people I know personally who drink Four Roses Single Barrel, Talisker 10 or Lagavulin 16 have gotten ill.

  32. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I’m putting my faith in vodka martinis.

  33. Kathy says:

    I don’t deserve my luck. I hope to be able to elaborate later.

  34. Jax says:

    Breyer is retiring! Now let’s see what kind of norm-breaking shenanigans Mitch and Company try to get up to.

  35. Scott says:

    @Jax: Using Barrett as the standard for nomination to confirmation, and if Supreme Court term is up in June, then confirmation should be around mid-August.

  36. Jen says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Same holds true for the ones I know who quaff Highland Park 18, Aberlour 12, or Balvenie 21 Port Cask.

    I think this report might be missing a whisky focus. 😉

  37. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Hey, I just said I was wrong!

  38. grumpy realist says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Raising a hand for the Macallan 18. Or Laphroaig, period.

    (Trader Joe’s has a very nice Islay malt as well.)

  39. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Balvennie Doublewood 12 seems effective; if appropriately balanced out with Tariquet XO Armagnac and Taylors 10yr Tawny Port
    Fortified wine = science 🙂

  40. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Kathy: First 8 or 10 years I worked produce warehousing, I worked from 7 to 4 am most of the time. Summer made a break in the dark/dark sequence because I lived far enough North so that it was still light when I went to work and dawn was just breaking as I was going home. The good part of those hours was that I worked almost no overtime. When I switched to swing, I started at 3 pm and worked until 2am most days and until 4 or 5 most of the others.

  41. just nutha says:

    @CSK: I put mine in my formidable misanthropic and antisocial tendencies.

  42. just nutha says:

    @Scott: Completely different situations–that was then; this is now.

  43. Michael Cain says:

    Given up to four rounds of playoff games, at the end of a now 17-game season, and it’s a sport where people are routinely injured, often seriously, adding full quarters seems a big ask (worst case, that’s a whole additional game). If I were representing the players, I’d be coupling such a request with a “no overtime in the regular season, deal with ties.”

  44. JohnSF says:

    My word what a surprise in the Financial Times(probably paywalled):

    “…UK’s big banks are facing a scenario that was far from the vision of Brexit’s architects: their EU rivals could soon be able to lend more cheaply to British corporates than they can.”

    I swear, I want to have carved on my funerary monument:
    “I TOLD you so, you f@cking fools.”

  45. Jen says:

    I’m sensing a theme today.

    New Hampshire’s Executive Council has voted to use $12 million of federal relief funds to purchase 1 million at-home covid rapid test kits, which will be sold at state liquor stores.

    This feels like an incredibly New Hampshire solution.

  46. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    On the rocks or up? Olive or twist?

  47. CSK says:

    Well, at least they know where the shoppers flock. Probably sell half of them to Massachusetts residents, judging by the license plates I see in the Salem store.

  48. Sleeping Dog says:


    Yup, NH R’s Communities and school districts need assistance, the states long term care facilities are drowning and they’re taking $12M to sell these to out of staters.

    On other NH news, the Secessionist amendment was unanimously quashed in the House committee. It awaits action in the Senate.

  49. JohnSF says:

    @just nutha:
    With bitters and twisted, I’d imagine? 🙂

    Personally, I go for Chateau Misanthrope, 1957.

  50. Stormy Dragon says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Meanwhile, one of the things on my bucket list is to spend a winter in a place far enough north that there’s polar twilight, because I’m curious what not seeing the sun for several weeks is like.

  51. CSK says:

    I like olives. Fruit is an important part of one’s diet.

  52. Beth says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Oddly enough, none of the people I know that drank Four Loko in the last year got sick either.

    I mean, it tastes like jet fuel and medicine, soooooo.

    Yeah, life’s gotten a little weird around here.

  53. Mister Bluster says:

    Night Shift

    When I drove the Sleepytown Yellow Cab at night it was 6pm to 6am. For those years I was a day sleeper. There were several weeks around the Winter Solstice that I never saw the sun. Even my one “day” off was Thursday night.
    I did develop good night vision. There were four law enforcement agencies that patrolled my turf at the time. State Police, County Sheriff, City cops and Campus Police. After running the streets post midnight for a time I could identify all of them from at least a block away. The marked cars were easy as they all had rollers on top. The unmarked weren’t really fooling anyone. There were a few local police cars that had taken a beating during the anti-draft, anti-war riots on campus and in town that lasted for weeks in May of 1970 when the University finally shut down before the end of the Spring Quarter. I started hacking just a few months later. Apparently the city couldn’t afford to replace them right away so when I saw a missing hubcap or a wrinkled fender or primer on a trunk lid it was a good bet to be the screws.

  54. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Between May and October, the rain season in Mexico City, it’s not uncommon to not see the Sun for days due to the overcast skies.

    I remember one time we were walking nearby for lunch, when a faint yellowish shaft of light showed briefly. I wondered for a moment what that could be, before I realized there was a small break in the clouds allowing a little sunshine through.

  55. Kathy says:


    That tracks with Kathy’s first law* of football: when a team loses the game as the result of one play, they really lost due to many results of many plays.

    I think statistically the team that wins the coin toss wins 52% of the time or so under current rules, as opposed to a far higher percentage under the old rules. It’s close to even to be almost fair.

    @Michael Cain:

    Yes and no. Yes if it were for every overtime game, not only in the playoffs. And no if the league did away with regular season overtime (which I don’t see happening).

    *I don’t have “only one rule,” but I do have many Laws. And they are all first laws of something. It sounds more important. For instance, Kathy’s first law of football: a consistent place kicker is worth twice their weight in gold.

  56. dazedandconfused says:


    Saw a sportscaster point out that in regular season games the coin flips have been a slight bit over 50% favoring the winner, but in the playoffs the coin flips have been 11-0 for the winner.

    May have something to do with generally the superior QBs being in the playoffs.

  57. Just nutha says:

    @CSK: Neat.

  58. Just nutha says:

    @JohnSF: Bwa ha ha ha ha:-D

  59. Stormy Dragon says:


    Don’t all coin flips favor the winner? That’s what makes them the winner…

  60. Mu Yixiao says:

    Sitting in a private room in the cardiac ward with wires taped to my chest, waiting for them to shove tubes into my arteries tomorrow. Weeee!

    On the bright side:. The nurses are cute. 😀

  61. Mister Bluster says:

    Spotify to Pull Neil Young’s Music After Artist’s Objections to Joe Rogan
    Damn near 50 years ago my best friend John and I would sit on his front porch. We would drink Grain Belt beer as he strummed his guitar and we would sing Old Man take a look at my life I’m a lot you were…twenty four and so much more………..
    A few months later John put the wrong end of a .22 rifle in his mouth and blew the back of his head off.
    It took a long time for me to stop being angry with John for doing that but I still cry when I hear that song.

  62. JohnSF says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    I have a lot of memories that relate to Neil Young songs, for reasons good and bad.
    Good on the old curmudgeon for telling Spotify to shove it.

  63. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Mr. B, being angry w/your friend is understandable.

    Something that I’ve noticed about Neil Young, is that he’s been playing the same two guitars for about 50 years. A Gibson Les Paul, that originally was gold and he painted it black and a Martin D-45. Both look like they’ve had good use for a long time.

  64. Mu Yixiao says:

    Oops. Used the wrong email last time.

    So… Sitting in the hospital with wires taped to my chest*, waiting for them to shove tubes and gizmos up my arm tomorrow. Weeee!

    I’ve been poked, prodded, and interrogated for the last nine hours. Some seriously cute nurses though

    * I’d rather not talk about how much hair has been ripped out today.

  65. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: What’s going on!? (And good luck whatever it is!)

  66. Kathy says:


    May have something to do with generally the superior QBs being in the playoffs.

    That, and a greater incentive to score a TD and not go home in disgrace. Whereas in the regular season a tie is half a game, so the pressure to score six points isn’t as great.

    Them too, generally superior defenses make the playoffs. So…

  67. Mu Yixiao says:


    At work today, tightness in the chest, pulse @ 110 (while sitting down), shortness of breath, and dizziness. Went to the company RN to get my BP and she called 911. Not a heart attack (or maybe only a baby one) but enough that they’re concerned.

  68. EddieInCA says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    At work today, tightness in the chest, pulse @ 110 (while sitting down), shortness of breath, and dizziness.

    That sounds like me, all the time….

    All kidding aside, I hope it’s nothing serious, and hope you feel better very, very soon. Cute nurses always help.

  69. EddieInCA says:

    @EddieInCA: @Mu Yixiao:

    Last week my Fitbit congratulated me for being in my “cardio zone” for 150 minutes straight….

    Great!!!! Except, for the previous three hours, I’d been sitting at my desk going over budgets, cost reports, casting notes, and approving payroll.

    I got cardio in while sitting at my desk doing nothing. I’m sure that’s not the way it’s supposed to work, but hey, I got my cardio in.