As you know, I do poorly on the Slate News Quiz most weeks when I take it (timed tests are my bane, and often the news in question is too trivial), so when I do manage to kick it, I like to gloat.
As you know, I do poorly on the Slate News Quiz most weeks when I take it (timed tests are my bane, and often the news in question is too trivial), so when I do manage to kick it, I like to gloat.
I thought this was kind of cool.
The Red Cross sent me an email telling me where my last platelets donation went. I mean, I guess they can’t tell me who got it on account of HIPAA and all, but at least I know where.
Which reminds me. I’d better go eat a big lunch because I’m scheduled to give today, at 5:15. I was supposed to give last Wednesday, but they were backed up that day, so I rescheduled.
I’d better go do my RapidPass — it’s another innovation that saves time after I get to the Red Cross on Bull St. I can answer all those embarrassing questions online. Which is less fun than answering a real person — you can’t ask, “What was that date again?” when they ask whether you’ve accepted money for sex since 1977 — but probably more efficient…
Just got a call from my internist’s office. After my annual physical in January, he said he wanted me to come back in a few weeks and get blood drawn again. I forget why. Last year he did the same, and then it had something to do with creatinine. I think it was that again.
So I went and had it drawn last week.
Moments ago, someone called to say my blood was “normal.” That was the extent of the information provided.
So there. You’ll have to take back all those things you were thinking about me…
Yeah, I know, I know; I should have fixed this on my phone the last time it happened and I complained about it.
But I forgot. Now that I’ve had this fresh incident, I’ve fixed it. I don’t think it will happen again.
Anyway, I’m kind of a zombie today. I woke up twice during the night because of the poison ivy that is aggressively trying to take over my left leg (I’m going to see my allergist this afternoon to talk over strategies for combating it — boots on the ground will not be off the table, far as I’m concerned).
Then this, at 5:52 a.m. What with all the itching, I never dozed back off for any of the precious hour and 23 minutes left until my alarm went off.
Yeah, I shoulda taken care of this sooner. At the same time, I do want to complain on behalf of people who don’t know how to turn off such notifications.
The category of things that I want news sources to wake me up for is very, very narrow. “Tornado bearing down on YOUR house, specifically!” is pretty much it.
The last thing I need to be awakened for is advice on how to get more sleep…
As y’all know, I hate Daylight Savings Time. Hate it.
And the demonic DST gods know that I hate it, and they take it out on me. For instance, in recent years, it has started at randomly chosen, earlier and earlier dates. This enables them to do things like this to me:
On Sunday, my wife, who is from Memphis, flew there to visit her brothers and their families. I needed to get her to the airport by 6 a.m. Which I am more than happy to do. But the DST demons saw that, and immediately decided that would be the night when we lost an hour — because that’s the one weekend I would feel it the most.
Fine. No problem. I can take it as well as dish it out. I went back home from the airport and, after tossing and turning for about an hour and a half, went back to sleep and slept past 11:30. (We had gone to Mass the evening before; it’s not like I was going all heathen or anything.)
Then this morning, at 5:28 a.m. — which in a rational universe (a universe in which everyone understands that noon is at the height of the sun) is actually 4:28 a.m. — my phone goes “DING!” So I pick it up, expecting to be told something important, and I get this:
Really? You had to wake me up to make sure I knew I could have another cup of coffee if I wanted it?
Yeah, I know — I could turn off the notifications for that particular news app. But I turn them on so that I can get timely notification of actual news events. Not so that I can be waked up and told stuff that could most definitely wait until later!
As it happens, I already knew that it was OK to have that second or third cup of coffee. And thanks to this, I needed it today…
There’s a column on The State‘s op-ed page today from an unfamiliar (as in, not a regular) writer: Dick Meyer, chief Washington correspondent for Scripps.
The headline is, “Who’s to blame for Trump’s rise? Everybody.”Well, that’s misleading. In fact, the column only blames Republicans and Democrats. And of course, they richly deserve it. The rest of us — the great plurality of us, according to a recent Gallup Poll — are let off the hook. (I sent Cindi a note this morning complaining about the hed, but then I saw that the hed probably came with the column — The Commercial Appeal, the Scripps paper where I started my career as a copy boy, ran the piece with the very same headline.)
That poll shows 43 percent of us identifying as independent, 30 percent as Democratic and 26 percent as Republican.
Of course, there are are a lot of folks — such as Republicans, Democrats, the conflict-obsessed media and all those interest groups that fund themselves by goading us all to hate each other — who go out of their way to debunk those numbers. (And indeed, for us in South Carolina especially, it’s hard to imagine that America is only 26 percent Republican.)
Indeed, when you Google “percentage of electorate that is independent,” the first three links you get are headlined something like “The myth of the independent voter.” Basically, those essays break down the group identifying as “independent” and show most as leaning one way or the other, in terms of voting habits. These doubters say as little as 5 percent of us are truly hardcore independent.
That is in turn misleading. Of course independents vote for Democrats and Republicans; most of the time they aren’t offered anything else — and when they are, those “independents” are even more blindly ideological than the Dems and Repubs (say, Libertarians).
And if they vote more often for members of one party or the other, that can often be no more than an accident of geography. For instance, I vote mostly Republican. Why? Because I live in Lexington County. If I want any say at all in local or state government, I have to vote in the Republican primary. In fact, I think I’ve only voted in one Democratic primary since I moved to my current residence in 1997 — and that was the presidential primary in 2004, when there was no Republican alternative. I cast that vote proudly for Joe Lieberman. I knew he was going to get creamed here, and I wanted him to have my vote at least.
You will seldom see, especially out of the partisan cauldron of Washington, anyone giving us independents any respect. When they’re not debunking us, they’re insulting us. They think we fail to pick a side between the two rabid, snarling packs because we are apathetic and don’t bother to be informed. They completely miss the fact that many of us are independent precisely because we do pay attention and do think, and therefore do not buy our opinions prepackaged off a shelf.
But Washington journalists — who like to keep the options down to two extremes, because that makes it easier to cover politics like sports — generally ignore us. Our existence is inconvenient to their simple paradigm. Thus, they refer to Republicans and Democrats as “everybody.”
All of that said, and passionately believed, I wonder if it isn’t in the end true that “everybody” is to blame, including us.
I mean, say we independents do make up 43 percent of the electorate. What have we done to stop these whack jobs in the two parties from making a complete hash of our country’s politics?
Must give us pause.
I was struck by the opening:
Donald Trump is a walking political science course. His meteoric rise is lesson
No. 1 on leadership: Most voters do not listen through their ears. They listen
through their stomachs. If a leader can connect with them on a gut level, their
response is: “Don’t bother me with the details. I trust your instincts.” If a
leader can’t connect on a gut level, he or she can’t show them enough
particulars. They’ll just keep asking, “Can you show me the details one more
Trump’s Republican rivals keep thinking that if they just point out a few
more details about him, voters will drop The Donald and turn to one of them
instead. But you can’t talk voters out of something that they haven’t been
Huh. So, in a way, I’m a lot like Trump supporters, according to Friedman.
Not in the “listen through their stomachs” bit. I’m more likely to use my head. But I’m definitely less about the details.
Over the years, I’ve come to look for someone I trust to make good decisions, whatever comes up. I’m less about what specific proposals the candidate makes. What a candidate actually encounters in office often has little to do with the concerns expressed during the campaign. In fact, the fewer promises, the better — promises can back an officeholder into corners and commit him to courses that are unwise under the circumstances. See “Read my lips; no new taxes.” Bush made the right decision, but the unwise promise not to do so got him into trouble.
I care more about how a candidate’s mind works, along with experience and a good history of having made sound decisions while accumulating that experience.
Since I do that, I still can’t imagine how anyone arrives at thinking Trump is the guy to trust. But I’m with them on caring less about details of proposals…
No, I haven’t heard from him at all. I even asked him for a book recommendation on the Aubrey-Maturin series, and he never responded.
I hope he’s okay.
That sounds alarming, indeed. But come on, y’all know that I frequently fail to post on the weekend, and yesterday I had business in my hometown of Bennettsville and didn’t get back to the office until 4:30 or so — at which time I promptly gave y’all an Open Thread with more topics than ever before.
But yeah, there was a lot going on over the weekend in politics, so it seemed weird for me not to be commenting, but I assure you I was attending to duty, for the most part, and am now back aboard, pacing the quarterdeck and scanning the horizon for a suitable prize.
Oh, and as to Bryan’s question:
I’m picking out my beach reading in advance. I’m thinking about starting the Aubrey-Maturin series. (Yeah. I’ve never read those books. Hangs head in shame.)Which three would you recommend starting with, and in which order?
Here’s my response — and I hope others among you will be interested as well, because I’m always glad to have someone else to discuss the books with:
Start from the beginning. They are chronological and sort of like one super-long novel, although O’Brian didn’t intend it when he started out:
So, there you have it. Get busy reading — quick’s the word and sharp’s the action.
I’ll expect a full report upon your return. Before you have your clerk write it out fair, have Stephen look it over — he’s a learned cove.
Hereof nor you nor any of you may fail as you will answer the contrary at your Peril…
This news today…
Cockfighting could be a felony in home of fighting Gamecocks
In a state where the flagship university’s mascot is a fighting gamecock, some legislators are trying to toughen the penalties for cockfighting, something that’s illegal in all 50 states.
But South Carolina is among nine states where the crime is only a misdemeanor, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Legislation considered Wednesday by a Senate panel would make second and subsequent convictions a felony, punishable by up to a $3,000 fine and five years in prison.
Animal-rights activists say cockfighting is cruel, a haven for gambling and drug use and desensitizes children who might watch it to violence. But game fowl breeders contend cockfighting is a centuries-old tradition that’s no more cruel than hunting sports, and that breeding the birds is a source of pride….
… reminded me of a old grainy photo I recently ran across while digitizing family pictures.
It’s not much to look at, not least because of its Polaroid-level quality. My mother was taking pictures around our house (actually, the spacious upstairs part of a duplex) where we lived in Guayaquil, Ecuador, from 1962-65. By the notes she wrote on the backs, she sent them to relatives in the States to show them where we lived.
This shot was apparently sort of an afterthought. It shows a scruffy vacant lot that could be seen, if you looked diagonally across a side street, from the back terraza of the apartment. On the back, she wrote:
This is an ugly vacant lot across from porch “B”. The trash man comes every day & if he has a lot of paper he burns it there.
You can barely see one of the dry mountains in the distance.
Not much to see, but whenever I read about the cockfighting issue in the paper, I think of that lot.
It was the only undeveloped lot within blocks of us, and therefore something of a magnet for my buddy Tony Wessler (an Air Force brat who lived about six blocks away) and me. We lived a fairly adventurous, Huck Finn life outdoors, since there was no television to speak of. There was little of nature there, as the houses didn’t have yards — just courtyards surrounding by walls that were only a yard or so from the houses. Tony and I would cross blocks by running along those walls and, where feasible, climbing from the walls to the flat concrete rooftops and running over the actual houses.
See that house to the left of the vacant lot? We almost got caught on that one. The roof was divided for some reason by a cement wall about three-feet high. Vaulting it, I banged my knee right on the funny bone and collapsed on the roof. The resident heard us and called out, “Who is that?” Fortunately, we managed to get over to the next roof before he caught us.
Anyway, unpaved ground was a rarity, and we liked this bit of it.
One day on that lot, we saw a tight circle of men gathered in excitement around some activity in the dusty middle. These were working-class men, not the sort who lived in this relatively affluent part of town. Maybe one was that trash man my mother mentioned. Others could have been the pushcart vendors who worked our neighborhood, calling out the varieties of bananas and other produce they sold.
We could barely make out what had them so excited, but we caught brief glimpses of the two gamecocks going at it while the men yelled, gesticulated and placed their bets.
We wanted to get a better look, but couldn’t.
I suppose this “desensitized” me as a child, because I don’t look back in horror. And the idea of chickens fighting doesn’t appall me the way, say, dogfighting does. Maybe because I have some empathy for those guys who didn’t have a whole lot of entertainment in their lives. Or maybe because daily, coming down Sunset between home and downtown, I find myself caught behind those miserable, smelly trucks carrying hundreds of filthy-looking white chickens on their way to the slaughter. Talk about desensitizing… giving a chicken a fighting chance seems less cruel by comparison.
And before you ask, no, I don’t eat chicken. I’m allergic to it. This horror is the fault of the rest of y’all, he said smugly…
As I’ve said so many times before, 2008 was the dream year for an independent: The most moderate candidate won both parties’ nominations. It was the no-lose election for people like me. Having endorsed both in their respective primaries, we endorsed McCain in the general, but just barely. When Obama won, as expected, I was totally fine with it.
This, of course, is the year from hell — not only for us independents, but for real Republicans and, to a certain extent, Democrats. They, and we, are beset by fascists and socialists, and none of us know what to do about it.
So, what should a thoughtful, serious independent who truly cares about the country, who wants to avert disaster (or at least fight an honorable rear-guard action), do — vote today, or next week?
I voted today, and persuaded my wife to do the same. I’ve contacted my kids — the ones who live in this country — and simply reminded them that unless they’re voting next week, to remember to do so today.
For myself, I just feel like a vote in the GOP primary does more for the country. I can’t affect who comes in first or second, or even third, but I think every vote really counts in terms of which “mainstream” candidate comes in behind Rubio. And that can affect who drops out next, and who survives to contest with Rubio for the real-Republican mantle. In other words, it can affect who is left when there is only one mainstream candidate left, who can then have the votes to overcome the two nightmares, Trump and Cruz.
But I don’t see my vote, and the votes of my family and friends, having much impact on the Democratic outcome. Either Hillary, the last mainstream candidate on that side, wins by a landslide here, or she’s toast. Either the great mass of people in that primary back her, or it’s essentially over. If she fails to win big here — again — then where can she win? Small groups of voters voting one way or the other just can’t affect that contest.
This is a fairly wobbly argument, I realize. I could knock it down myself without much effort. But the same can be said for every other argument I’ve thought of. So after making the argument to my wife, I didn’t bother my kids with it. I know one of them is for Bernie, and another told me he plans to vote next week, to which I said fine and left him alone. Another has voted today, and another plans to do so later today. My daughter in Thailand did not arrange to vote absentee, to my knowledge.
Basically, I just wanted to make sure that if they don’t definitely plan to vote next week, they should remember to do so today. Not that they’d forget, but you know how parents are, even with adult children — dress warmly, eat right, remember to vote…
The thing is, all the likely scenarios for outcomes here in South Carolina are so unsatisfactory in this nightmare year that I’m not inclined to push my own thinking too hard on anyone.
But I’ve laid out for you the course I’ve chosen. What do y’all think? Is it the best, or least bad, course for a true independent in 2016, or is there a better plan?
Or one of them, anyway…
Lately, I’ve become all-too-accustomed to weighing in at over 180 (sometimes well over) on the rare occasions when I do weigh myself — at doctor’s offices, or when I’m at someone else’s home and they happen to have a scale in the bathroom.
That is not my fighting weight, not by a long shot. In fact, when last I was weighed for any sort of ritual combat — when I was on the wrestling team in high school — I was about 132. The year before that, I was in the 115 class — and just as tall as I am now. I was a scrawny kid.
But that was more than 40 years ago, and now that my uncommon genteel figgar has matured, I see my fighting weight as more in the neighborhood of the 160s. In fact, I recently decided — once again — to set my sights on being eligible to wrestle Shute. That, as I’ve mentioned before, is a “Vision Quest” reference. Awesome movie. Anyway, it means weighing in at less than 168.
So I resolved to go back on my paleo diet in the new year, and to keep myself honest, I asked for and received one of those spiffy digital bathroom scales for Christmas.
And this morning, I discovered a wonderful thing: My clothes, which I am always wearing when I step on other people’s scales, weigh a lot.
I weighed myself after showering, shaving and getting dressed — everything, including blazer, sweater, mobile phone, keys, shoes — and as is too often the case, the tally was 180.7.
But just moments before, having stripped to take my shower, I was only 172.4. Which really made those 20 minutes or so I’d just finished on the elliptical seem worthwhile.
Look how far I’ve come already! Just 4.4 more pounds, and Shute is in serious trouble! And I’ve got the whole year to do it in!
Yeah, I know. But allow me to savor this little victory…
Just to let y’all know I haven’t forgotten about you…
I’m off from work this week, ,which should mean plenty of time for blogging. And indeed, I’ve spent most of the week busy at my laptop.
But rather than writing about the events of the day (and I think you’ll agree with me that these days have been pretty uneventful), I’ve been writing about things that happened 60, 70, 80 and more years ago.
My Mom has been working on family memoirs. Every since her brother Braxton suggested the project, she’s applied herself very industriously, and I am her typist. I thought I would be wrapping up the typing phase today, but Mom just handed me 20 more fairly densely-packed pages, so my goal now is to finish before going back to work Monday.
I’ve been pausing in the typing every few pages to work on scanning in a great trove of family pictures. Eventually, I plan to create a family website for relatives far and near, consisting of my Mom’s work and perhaps other members’ contributions.
This project has had precedence. I’ll get back to blogging more regularly ASAP.
Just to give y’all an extra treat… Most of what I’ve been helping to chronicle deals with things that happened before I was born (and I’ve learned a great deal from it). But on a separate track, we’re in the middle of having family home movies and videos digitized. Below you see me in a low-res image from an 8 mm film. I’m strolling in a park in Charleston in 1956. In those days, you see, a gentleman kept his bow tie on for such activities…
Over the weekend, the NYT finally ran that piece by Richard Fausset, in which he quoted me on the subject of the Confederate flag.
Some people are nationally recognized experts on quantum physics. Others are sought after for what they have to say about macroeconomics. Me, I’m seen as a boffin on South Carolina’s cheesy, nylon, fake Confederate flag.
Hey, it’s something. And if anybody’s got an idea on how to monetize this, my super-power, I’m listening.
Anyway, here’s my bit in the story:
The museum is also full of Confederate battle flags that were used by South Carolinians during the war — unlike the flag that was removed from the State House. That makes the whole issue of honoring the State House flag in the museum particularly absurd to critics like Brad Warthen, a former editorial page editor at The State in Columbia, who now blogs about South Carolina politics.
Mr. Warthen has noted that legislators, years ago, mandated that the flag be made of nylon, rather than cotton, to keep the colors from fading. He ridiculed this as ahistorical and “cheesy.” (One of his old columns began with altered lyrics to the song “Dixie”: “Oh, I wish I was in the land of nylon.”)
Like many here, Mr. Warthen believes that spending millions to display the flag makes little sense in a state that is struggling to find funds for road and infrastructure repairs (much needed after catastrophic flooding in October), educational initiatives and changes to a scandal-plagued Department of Social Services.
“Our state’s spending needs are legion,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter how you feel about the flag. It’s a ridiculous waste of resources.”…
I tweeted about this Sunday morning, and Phillip Bush responded:
— Phillip Bush (@PhillipBush) December 27, 2015
Yeah, it’s pretty cool. This may be my first time in that august publication. I’ve been in the WSJ once or twice, but not, as I recall, in the Gray Lady. It’s nice to be quoted in a paper where they call you “mister.”
But think about it: Donald Trump is in there every day. So, you know…
What’s the news across the nation?
We have got the information
in a way we hope will amuse… you…
We just love to give you our views — La da tee da!
Ladies and Gents, Laugh-In looks at the news!
A new feature, which will appear when I feel like it.
This is a minor one, a subtle one. It doesn’t bother me as much as some others. Still, it just seems… odd.
I saw it in a cutline today in The State, but I don’t mean to pick on my friends there; I see it everywhere…
It said that “The Force Awakens” will be “opening Friday around the country.”
Around the country? Why not across the country? Or even, perhaps, throughout the country?
Say “around the country” and I picture a path that runs through Canada, the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf, Mexico and the Pacific.
“Around the world” makes sense. “Across the world” does not. But ours is a continental country, one that can be seen in its entirety from one side of the planet. One crosses it; one does not bypass it.
Yeah, I know — it’s not a big deal. And it can make sense, thought of a certain way. (You could argue that the film opens here and there all over the country, or around it, as opposed to following a single, straight line across it.) It’s just a peeve of mine, not because it’s necessarily wrong but because, most of the time, it fails to be the best word…
What does Cindi Scoppe do when she’s not producing the best print commentary — nay, the best political journalism — in South Carolina?
She bakes cakes.
Not just a cake here or there. She bakes a lot of cakes. And not your yellow cake out of the Duncan Hines box. She bakes, from scratch, such things as “Cookie Dough Brownie Cake” and “Caramel Almond Torte” and “Orange Cheesecake” and “Apple Sharlotka” and “Pistachio Baklava Cake” and on and on.
And she does it all at once.
Several score of her closest friends were reminded of this over the weekend at her 8th annual Advent cake party. She served 25 cakes in all.
She took off all of last week to complete the task, even though that meant doing the whole week’s editorial pages ahead of time. What of that? Those cakes weren’t going to bake themselves.
Cindi… needs this outlet. What’s more, she deserves it. She works long hours at the paper doing the work of eight people. Then she takes home mind-numbing documents such as legislative bills and academic studies and reads every word of them on nights and weekends.
Someone out there who knows this about her may object, “But she’s diabetic.” True, and I think that may have something to do with the… intensity… of her cake fixation. But there was never a diabetic who more assiduously kept track of her condition or addressed it more readily. More than once, I’ve seen her hike up her skirt and give herself a shot of insulin in the thigh because there was a slice of cake before her that needed eating. (Once, she did this in the governor’s office over lunch. I thought Mark Sanford was going to fall out of his chair.) Cindi’s just a very matter-of-fact person who deals with things, eats her cake and moves on.
I asked her for some stats — how much sugar, for instance. She said she had no idea, but she did offer, “I want to say around 25 pounds of butter.”
She sent me all the recipes. I count, let’s see, 99 eggs, plus the yolks of two others. One recipe, chocolate mousse cake plus chocolate buttercream frosting, called for eight eggs.
Needless to say, I wasn’t eating any of this, or even coming into contact with it. Nothing is more deadly to me than dairy products and eggs. But I took a plateful home, since my wife couldn’t make it to the party. She appreciated it.
And no, I’m not talking about Hugh McColl, or even yours truly, who was considered to have done fairly well in the wider world until I got laid off. (You doubt my celebrity in the place of my birth? Consider that I was once invited to address the Rotary at Bennettsville’s now-defunct Farron’s Restaurant — which was not defunct at the time. Of course, the invitation did come from my uncle.)
No, I’m talking about Aziz Ansari, whose celebrity now exceeds Hugh’s, and even mine.
The above moment in the pilot of “Parks and Recreation” was a sort of milestone for our hometown. It was, I believe, the first time a recurring character on a prime-time network show said to the world, “I am from Bennettsville, South Carolina.” The fact that he followed it up with “I am what you might call a redneck” hardly takes away from that proud declaration. We Marlboro Countians have a great appreciation for irony.
The irony goes deeper, however, than the assertion that the Indian-American is from Bennettsville and not, as Amy Poehler’s character had guessed, a Libyan.
The fact is that Aziz — since he’s a homeboy, I feel free to call him “Aziz” — has greater claim to Bennettsville than I do. Sure, I was born there (while he was born in faraway Columbia), but only because my mother went home to have me while my father, a newly minted Naval officer, was attending a school in San Diego. I grew up thinking of it as home because it was the place I returned to each summer to visit my uncle and grandparents between new postings to places where I would live for a year or so and never return to.
The one time I lived in Bennettsville almost year-round was the 1967-68 school year, when I was in the 9th grade at (also now defunct) Bennettsville High School. So if you walk down Main Street, you may not be able to find anyone who knows me, although you may run into an older person who will remember me as the boy who yelled right out at the preacher in church, completely cracking up the congregation, in the middle of an otherwise stultifyingly boring sermon in 1957. No, I’m not making this up. I have it on good authority that when my name comes up in B’ville, if it does come up, the conversation inevitably moves to the yelling-in-church incident. I’m quite the local legend for that. It probably surprised no one that I became a writer of opinion; I am after all The Boy Who Didn’t Know When to Shut Up.
But Aziz actually grew up there, and attended Marlboro Academy, which (irony again) is where most of the white kids went after BHS was finally completely integrated at the start of the 1970s. (When I was there I had black classmates in homeroom and P.E., but we were then under the “Freedom of Choice” system in which everyone declared which school they wanted to go to each year, and only the very bravest African-Americans dared to say that they wanted to go to the “white” school — something I didn’t really appreciate at the time; I actually thought the school was integrated.)
So his Bennettsville credentials may be more solid than mine, but at least I can say I was a Green Gremlin (possibly the quirkiest, coolest school mascot ever), and he was not.
Anyway, have any of y’all seen his new show on Netflix, “Master of None?” It’s pretty funny. Not something you want to turn on until after the kids have gone to bed, but funny. Check it out and we’ll discuss it here…
The story on the front page of The State about flood-related traffic jams seemed a bit out of sync to me (although I understand plenty of others continue to have trouble), because I read it right after my easiest crossing of the river since the floods.
Opening Jarvis Klapman really made a huge difference. I left the house worried that I was going to be late because I had less than an hour to get downtown… and it was a breeze. I couldn’t believe how well things were flowing on Sunset, until I saw the reason why — cars whizzing overhead on the Jarvis Klapman overpass.
You really don’t appreciate a simple thing like having a 15-20-minute commute until you lose it for a few days. And I would never have thought that closing Jarvis Klapman — which is never particularly crowded — would turn Gervais, Meeting, Sunset, Knox Abbott and Blossom into parking lots at rush hour.
So I’m happy.
How are y’all’s traffic situations going?
Y’all know of my unrequited love for Starbucks. “Unrequited” because in order for it to be requited, Starbucks would need to advertise here on my blog. I can hardly think of a better fit, given all the free product placement I’ve already provided over the years.
But now I have a different proposition: Please, Starbucks, let me run your local Twitter feed.
I’m referring here in particular to the Starbucks in the Vista, at Gervais and Lincoln. I follow the store on Twitter, and it has not posted a thing since 2012. Sept. 4, 2012, to be precise. And that one was merely a reTweet.
I realized this because I went to the Twitter feed to find out whether the store was open today — which, ya know, would have been a really handy bit of info to post on Twitter.
Fortunately, the phone number was included on the feed, so I called them, the way people did in the 20th century, and found out that no, they are not open, on account of the water problem.
I have a proposition: Let me take over your Twitter feed, and I will post at LEAST daily, on the average, in return for the following considerations:
That’s it. I think you’ll find that this would be far more cost-effective for you than using a significant portion of an FTE to get this job done. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a barista who would be as good at Twitter as I am. I am, after all, one of the Twitterati. I mean, I teach people how to Tweet and everything.
Think about it, @SbuxGervais. This is a sweet deal I’m offering here.
I thought these were pretty cool images shared by the National Weather service yesterday evening, which I just saw. Here’s the caption info:
Drone images of the Lake Murray Dam Spillway. These floodgates have not been used since 1969. Photos courtesy of Ebben M Aley.
Technically, have those floodgates ever been used? Wasn’t the dam rebuilt a few years back? Of course, maybe the floodgate part is original equipment; I don’t know.
Finally, I can see the thing that caused the flooding in my area.
Here’s hoping letting off that pressure did the trick, and the dam remains strong.
Speaking of which, in my household we got to contemplating this passage in The State this morning:
SCE&G operates the lake originally built for hydropower 85 years ago but now a major source of recreation and drinking water for the Columbia area….
Which raises the question — are those good enough reasons to have those millions of tons of water poised over us? Couldn’t we get drinking water some other way?
Needless to say, you and your recreation seem kinda low priorities to me at the moment.
I went down to check the river this morning (8:53 a.m.), and the water had receded to about where it was Sunday evening. The Quail Hollow pool was now visible, although full of filthy river water, and garbage bins that had been floating on Monday were on dry land. Well, not dry land, but merely soggy land.
I apologize for the dimness of the pool and surrounding area. There was this strange yellow thing in the sky that was too bright to look straight at, giving off an intense radiation that caused a backlighting problem.
Anyway, things are looking up in Quail Hollow.
Meanwhile, I’m working from home today. The twins are here because their school is out, and I just didn’t want to spend the day on the other side of the river from them and J. I don’t think there will be further trouble, but who knows. The edges of the road into our subdivision doesn’t look too great…