Very sad news about John McCain. Obviously I have a lot of mixed thoughts about the man, but I think when you don’t know someone yourself, the best way to judge someone is by how others feel about them, and John McCain was liked and respected by a number of people I trust, so I will leave it at that. And he went out in such a horrible way- brain cancer is just awful, awful, awful, and I feel terribly for his family. Rest in peace, John McCain.
I spent the day doing things around the house- picked up some broccoli and cauliflower plants and some lettuce, planted them, the boys helped me do some weeding and stuff, so for a reward, I took them to Five Guys for dinner and Cold Stone Creamery for dessert.
I’ve introduced them to malt vinegar on fries, and Taylor loves it. They had never been to Coldstone and really liked it, too. I did not have ice cream or fries because I am a disgusting fatbody. I am going to have a delicious apple here in a bit, though.
In other news, I saw this on twitter and am now captivated by all things magpie:
Incoming magpie caught on bike helmet GoPro, Central Queensland
Pic: Monique Wurth Newton #straya pic.twitter.com/c9yGOlH3pe
— Australian Kitsch (@OzKitsch) August 24, 2018
I am deep in a magpie swooping wormhole on youtube:
There is also a bird called the Butcherbird which makes me think of Bill the Butcher the way they walk around with large hunks of flesh. And that, my friends, is where my Saturday night went.
so Y’all don’t have a secret chatcave?
Coldstone is the best. Lucky guys!
Sorry to hear about McCain’s passing.
Major Major Major Major
Repost since it’s gonna likely be my last comment on this for now.
Good night BJ.
Definitely my thoughts on this.
Cold Stone Creamery is an Arizona thing (the first one is just up the street from me in Tempe), so it feels apropos in light of today’s news.
Butcher birds make the most godawful “shrrrek” sound over and over, tho’. (Maybe that’s why they’re also called shrikes?)
Magpies, tho they can also be a PITA, are much cooler.
Hadn’t heard that John McCain had died. That is sad news.
Mmmm, 5 Guys. I had a burger and fries from there last night for the first time in over a year. Delicious, but afterwards felt like my blood had turned to Crisco. Even so, worth it.
My nym is sticking from post to post! It’s a Balloon Juice miracle!
Prayers for his family.
I have not been looking forward to McCain’s passing. I didn’t like him, but I am sure he was an American first….and I am just sure Trump is going to say something so uncouth and mean it’s going to shame my country again. I have been imagining this scenario for months. As Kay says, “who raised these people?”
Gin & Tonic
@Luthe: In 30 minutes or less it will be gone. This problem is not a priority, apparently.
John you should also follow @theravenmaster on twitter (Betty Cracker got me onto that one) the keeper of the Ravens at the Tower of London. They are some characters to be sure.
Only for half an hour after your last comment. Then the fields go blank.
Trump must cringe at the accolades about McCain and that makes me smile.
Senator Schumer has proposed renaming the Russell Senate Office Building in honor of McCain. Richard Russell was a big ole southern racist. McCain is far more worthy of this honor but I figure the GOP will oppose it even though Russell wass a Southern Democrat because the modern GOP are assholes.
What’s also weird is that McCain died 9 years to the very day that Senator Ted Kennedy died also of brain cancer. McCain and Kennedy often worked closely together.
For the next few days, I’m going to focus on McCain’s surprising and wonderful thumb down on the ACA repeal vote.
I know of someone else who will be doing the same (when he’s not worrying about the next flipper).
Becasue of course he would:
Magpies are in the same family as crows. Crows and magpies are regarded as the smartest bird species: both are tool users, recognize themselves and are active learners. They’re pretty awesome.
@Mainmata: Terminal 3 at Sky Harbor is going to be renamed for him. (T4 is named for Barry.)
For those of you who have never flown into Sky Harbor, there are (3) terminals: named/numbered 2, 3, and 4. 2 is tiny and is slated to be demolished at some point. So we’ll have McCain and Goldwater terminals.
Took the kid and his cousin to Hersheypark, where they preferred the arcade to rides. In my day, the arcade was a end unto itself; today, it’s a place to win tickets to exchange for prizes. G*mbling, man. It lures all ages.
You think that bird is tough, you haven’t met Vancouver BC’s official ambassador: https://twitter.com/CBCStephenQuinn/status/1030496086132121600
Gin & Tonic
And since it’s an open thread, I’ll proudly point out that my son had his first article published the other day (a monthly more-or-less general-interest magazine, not a scholarly journal.) I don’t think he’s looking at this as a career goal, it was more a by-product of his internship. Not going to provide too many details, sorry.
I’d like to know what happened just after that GoPro photo of the magpie. Looks like it could have been ugly.
A couple of scrub jays have arrived in the yard and have been shrieking at the cats when we go out in the morning.
I wonder if Trump has the self awareness to realize the line to piss on his grave will be long. Beer sales in the neighborhood will skyrocket.
RIP, John McCain.
@lamh36: He’s such a depressingly predictable asshole. I hope McCain’s daughter slams him for this but I suspect she’s understandably distracted.
Mai Naem mobile
@suzanne: I did not know that. They really should name one of the terminals after Carl Hayden or Ernest McFarland(CAP water) or even Bruce Babbitt(AHCCCS AZ’s medicaid) who all did more for the state than McCain and at least as much as Goldwater did.
Ella in New Mexico
Didn’t agree with probably 50-75% of John McCain’s political stands. But Goddamn it he was a hero, in every sense of the word. i will miss that man. And so will our country..
As I said in one of the threads below, I am very proud of our Democratic ex-presidents, world-class gents one and all. And to look at that putrid thing that occupies the White House is cataclysmically infuriating.
@Mai Naem mobile: Carl Hayden at least has a high school named for him. And the road. I think there’s quite a few things named for Bruce Babbitt up in Flagstaff, which is where he’s from.
Ah Australia – where most of the wildlife is trying to kill you. I’ve been swooped by magpies many times and I think I’d have been more afraid if I’d ever seen the look on intent in the magpie’s eyes before. What a picture.
I came cross this feature story about an American fan of durians on CNN’s site. Asians (not including me, alas) have been just as keen on durians for centuries. Is it just me, or is there a notion that a thing isn’t validated until there’s a white person who’s into it?
As it’s an open thread, I’ll announce that I bought a new (to me car) and did all the things they say you aren’t supposed to do. Yes, I bought gap insurance. Yes, I paid for a 36 month warranty. Yes, I paid for the undercoating/rust protection, what have you. It’s a 2014 Forester that looks brand new and is the limited edition so it has all leather upholstery and a panoramic moon roof drives like a luxury sedan. As I did the test drive I openly admitted to the salesperson that I was twitterpated. It was still a deal and they gave me a better interest rate than my bank, so it all evened out in the end. I think. I don’t care, I love it.
Durian – Come for the taste, don’t stay for the smell.
@Platonailedit: How can you have one without the other? Eat with your nose plugged?
Major Major Major Major
It’s… not just you.
@debit: That’s the bite.
@debit: Congratulations! That’s exciting. Having nice wheels is a very real joy every day that you drive.
“Twitterpated” — a charming word; I haven’t seen it used since I last saw Bambi.
If you’re happy with the car at whatever you paid for it, then no, it wasn’t a twitterpated choice.
@suzanne: Thanks! My 2001 Forester was on the way out, which at 235,000 miles wasn’t surprising. And it’s Minnesota, I need all wheel drive and decent clearance. I was going to go for an older model, which was much less, but this one was so pretty and nice that I had to go all in.
@hueyplong: I will also focus on that vote because, among other reasons, my brother now finds himself with cancer that has metastasized to his brain and this is a truly horrible thing, but it would be even more horrible if he did not have Medicaid because of the ACA. McCain did the right thing, but he still stands behind Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and in my brother’s case, Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania.
How do you know it didn’t?
@Amir Khalid: Yes, Bambi, exactly!
They’re all incredibly nasty people:
This is easy for normal people- visit a children’s hospital? That should be a gimmee.
Not these people. They can’t manage to pull even that off with any class or generosity or kindness- they have to make it about themselves. They never get any better at it, either. They’ve now been in this job for several years and they still can’t perform the most basic public functions of the office.
@Ruckus: To be honest, it probably had. Just the finishing touch I needed after a week of non healthy (but delicious) food choices when I was in New York.
Have a buddy who says he doesn’t want to piss on shitgibbon’s grave. He wants to drop trow and crap on it. But he figures there won’t be a square inch not already covered by other “fans” with the same idea.
Sorry about your brother.
Mai Naem mobile
@suzanne: Arizona wouldn’t be Arizona without Hayden . If you’re going to give Goldwater a damned terminal Hayden deserves more.
Magpies get very stroppy when breeding, which is from now until October depending on how far north they are.
Aside from being vicious little buggers, they are probably one of the most melodious songbirds. I’m listening to one outside right now. They also stand their ground when you come across them and look at you very intently as though they are sizing you up. Which they probably are.
I’d always understood that butcher birds, the ones with the crazy eyes, were so named because they grab fledglings from other birds nests, take them back to their own nest and dismember them for their own chicks.
John McCain’s saving grace was that you could tell that he regretted inflicting Sarah Palin on the world. That and his Vietnam service. Not much else I’m afraid, especially when you consider how he cheated on his first wife and dumped her.
That is unbelievably nauseating.
@debit: You deserve it. Congratulations!
I’m so sorry.
He’d better wear his wellies.
@Mai Naem mobile: Agree totally. I’m just saying that Hayden didn’t get nothing. Hell, I just drove down Hayden today.
I would also like more things named for Rose Mofford.
Best of luck to your brother.
The machine they treated me in was also used for tumors of the brain and other locations. The X-rays can be focused extremely fine so that they don’t have to affect nearly as much good tissue. I can attest, it works pretty damn good.
@Barbara: I am so sorry. Really wish I could think of something else to say, but all that comes to me is how awful it must be. So sorry.
Really it’s a tough choice. All the food that is supposed to be good for you tastes like paste with sawdust in it and all the stuff that is supposed to do you in is delicious. Ice cream, cookies, fried stuff, all that is good is bad. Kale. OK right there that says it all.
Only speak good of the dead.
John McCain is dead. Good.
I’d rather drop trou and crap on his face while he’s still alive and freaked out by the germs. Crapping on his grave will just make the grass grow, and I want it to be as repulsive and dead as the man rotting below.
Steve in the ATL
@suzanne: as if i needed one more reason not to fly to Phoenix!
That’s perfect. It is what I’ve been trying, and failing, to say. Thank you for finding and sharing that.
And now, to bed. Sleep peacefully and in comfort, my fellow jackals.
To me, it comes from privilege. It comes from him never having had to learn how to be polite. How to put himself second and NOT say something. He’s special. Other people have to observe these norms, but not the extraordinary geniuses of Trumpworld- they can just blurt out anything, anywhere without regard for anyone else- that’s how special they are.
The privilege aspect of this sickness they have is under-explored. The particular, specific environment that created it. Too much focus on nature and not enough on nurture.
The kitties have a new box to play in, which means that I am hearing mysterious scratching and scraping noises, interspersed with wild runs through the house.
Major Major Major Major
@B.B.A.: for future reference, a perhaps better wording is “about the dead one should say nothing but good…”
Girl, I like your style!
You’d have company, this guy would be onboard with that. He, what’s that word, oh yes, FUCKING hates the shitgibbon. I’ve known him now for 45 yrs, this is actually mild for him. But he is 72 yrs old.
On our long drives through the SAfrican countryside, we would see the barbed wire fences festooned with corpses of various varmints. I accepted that was why butcherbirds were called that – because their meat was hanging up for later sale.
@Ruckus: A nutritionist once told me that food companies spend millions or more perfecting the holy trinity of fat, salt and sweet. We know it’s bad for us, but we can’t resist it. Case in point: get between me and a bucket of caramel and cheese popcorn and I will cut you.
@Steve in the ATL: Actually, Sky Harbor Airport is one of the best airports in the country, IMHO. It all goes to hell once you leave the airport, though.
The word is fucken.
Hat tip to Vicente Fox.
I spent my night sitting by a fire with a school friend who has just been told she’s clear of cancer after the discovery of a malignant melanoma on her arm last year (we are both 38). She’s been through multiple surgeries to remove the tumor and affected lymph nodes, followed by a clinical chemo trial that absolutely fucked with her pancreas (she is a type 1 diabetic).
She talked about John McCain and how she never understood the rhetoric around “battling” cancer until she had it herself. She said “if HE is stopping treatment after everything else he’s been through, he must be very close to the end.” And here we are.
They’re actually at their worst with children’s events. Probably see them as very small suckers. Easy to roll over.
Conway nailed that back and forth there at the children’s hospital, wouldn’t you say? Because everything’s a competition and an opportunity for a jab at the enemy.
Mai Naem mobile
@debit: I have friends who bought a new forester about 3 years ago and they love the car. I see people with new used cars and the temporary tags say the cars are 03,05 just pre 07 and I dont get it. What’s the point of buying a 10+ year used car? They dont look like people buying it for their teenagers first car.
nym stick test
nym stick test with checkbox checked
Steve in the ATL
@suzanne: then I’m guessing you’ve never had to rent a car there. Or had your flight delayed because the tarmac was melting.
@Mai Naem mobile:
Same reason I bought a 9 yr old van in 2006. I needed a van for my business and it was what I wanted to pay and worked. I was talking to a friend at work yesterday about this and we discussed the price of cars. Here in the land of sun and little rain, cars don’t rust for a long time so the price stays up there even when they have 150,000 or more miles on them. Most anything that barely runs goes for a minimum of $3000-$4000. When that van was 18 yrs old it decided to pass on and I had to replace it. I looked at used cars but anything with less than 150,000 miles on it was 5 figures. If you don’t have that or don’t want/can’t spend more you buy a 10 yr old car with a lot of miles on it.
@Steve in the ATL: I live in Phoenix. I have had more flights delayed due to extreme heat than I have hairs on my head. And I’ve rented plenty of cars there.
We have good airport food, fast security lines, good parking garages, and clean restrooms. Much more than I can say for JFK, LAX, DFW, ATL, O’Hare, etc etc etc. DIA comes closest.
Necessitates at least one H&J linky.
My friend doesn’t speak a word of Spanglish. And we are both old so we go old school, fucking.
I do realize that Mr. Fox is far better at this than I am but I knows what I knows.
@Steve in the ATL: My husband’s flight out of Phoenix was canceled due to the haboob.
@Kay: It creeps me out whenever this lecherous thug is anywhere near kids.
@suzanne: Denver International’s ticketing and security area is a disaster. It literally takes three hours to get through it. The only time I’ve ever seen worse was the Boise airport right after 9/11, when they’d instituted far slower security procedures but they only had one or two metal detectors working for the whole airport.
If you’re not actually originating there, the place is great (though tight connections can be hairy if you have to travel between the far ends of two different terminals).
Lot’s of birds feast on nestlings. I’ve watched a great-tailed grackle raid a blue jay nest for that purpose. And it came back ’til it got them all, even as a team of jays tried to repel it.
We don’t have butcher birds around here, but I’ve read that they are named for their behavior of spiking prey on thorns or fences for safe keeping.
@Kay: JFC. KellyAnne has children about this age! Do I even want to know how she treats her children at home? Should I just call DC Child Protective Services now?
@Amir Khalid: A notion. Honey, that’s world history.
@Barbara: Ah, man. That sucks. I’m sorry.
I have empathy for the McCains. But I can’t sidestep the fact that they were & are, a group of awful people to folks who weren’t like them. May the Senator’s passage, in time, provide only the best of bittersweet memories for his family. May their grief be comforted and may their sorrow soften their hearts towards others.
Major Major Major Major
@Matt McIrvin: I grew up in Denver and have flown through there a lot. There have been periods of very bad lines, but I don’t think they’re in one right now. I guess I haven’t been in a year or so.
@Matt McIrvin: Whenever I’ve flown out of DIA, I’ve never had more than an hour wait. PHX is much faster, at every terminal. And processing through customs is also much better there than at most other international airports.
@suzanne: I get through fairly speedy at both PSC and SEA. And I’m being a bit of a homer but I really enjoy Sea-Tac. Exept International Customs can be a fracking pain.
Odd. It just decided to post. That’s annoying. The housemate had his big documentary re-enactment debut last night. Kind of a big deal since he was playing the lead, that Frank dude who lead the escape from Alcatraz. Can’t recall the name because I’m terrible, but he spent a lot of nights in the waters off of Alcatraz island and the SF bay, up to his neck in water. And my trainer slipped me 3lbs of figs so I figured before I ruined my cutting diet any more by eating a lb of figs a day, I should make a tart. So I whipped this little puppy up. Fig, plum & goat cheese tart on a graham cracker crust. There is also a very satisfied Odoriki.
@Matt McIrvin: I dislike the Denver airport. It takes a long time to get through and things like coffee shops are far apart. It reminds me of Dulles in the level of inefficiency.
@Mai Naem mobile:
They work at Walmart or the like,their credit sucks, so they buy from small used car lots that offer on-site financing at exhorbitant rates. They’re also probably paying high insurance premiums because of credit ratings.
This is how it is at that income level.
See also : Payday Loan businesses.
You can generally identify the income level of an area by the number of these car lots and the payday loan stores.
@Yutsano: SeaTac is pretty good in terms of getting through security and wayfinding. I processed through customs once there and it wasn’t too bad. But the food stinks. PHX has a specific initiative to bring well-regarded local restaurants into the airport so you don’t have to eat fast food if you’re stuck waiting. That is a serious plus for me.
Its been 15 years since I flew in and out of that airport on business, but my memories are of the trains to the terminals and the long ass drive to the main highway.
Also too, the herd of tumbleweeds that overtook my car and passed on.
@Steve in the ATL:
You couldn’t figure out how to get on the bus that says “Car Rental” and takes you to the centralized car rental facility? That was WAY easier than any other airport I’ve ever been to.
They didn’t seem to have any huge problems at Denver when I flew out of there last month, but I think I got to cut the line in my airport wheelchair.
The one annoying thing was that I somehow got something on my hands that led TSA to think I had been playing with bomb-making materials, so they then had to swab me and all of my stuff. Argh.
Still not as bad as when Phoenix TSA decided to search my entire bag because my 2.5-ounce bottle of hand lotion was NOT in a Ziploc baggie. ?
Congratulations! The calculus I’ve always heard is that if you got the car you wanted at a price you can afford, you got a good deal.
Did you get the financing through Subaru/Chase? I was surprised that I got a better interest rate from them than I did through my credit union. I was pretty pleased by how easy it was to pay online. Don’t forget your password, though — if you mistype it twice, you get locked out and have to talk to a representative to get it unlocked.
@Mnemosyne: SLC TSA took my entire backpack apart once because I had a bundle of notecards in there.
There is now a commuter train that takes you to downtown Denver straight from the airport. It was very cool.
While am admittedly not much of an airport aficionado, the food choices at SEA were the best I’ve seen at a U.S. airport. Have to include that is seen, not sampled.
Undoubtedly it was the terminal I was in at PHX earlier this summer; the food offerings ranged from a high of “meh” down to “there exist people who would voluntarily put that in their mouth?” And a note to the places seen there which have open kitchens: clean them once in a while.
@NotMax: Were you in T4? That’s the one with the better food.
Steve in the ATL
@Mnemosyne: the issue is not finding the bus to the car rental terminal. The issue is that there is a bus and the bus ride is really long.
I rent a lot of cars at a lot of airports, and sky harbor sucks big time in this regard, which is very important to business travelers.
@Steve in the ATL:
I’m guessing you’ve never rented a car at ORD or LAX then. Both of those places suck WAY worse. Phoenix’s car rental was efficient and quick when I was there and bus went by every 5 minutes.
Don’t remember which terminal it was. Boarding passes long gone. All I can say is that had to trek to find someplace at which to get coffee where the floors and counters were not noticeably a mosaic of grime and grease.
“May the Senator’s passage, in time, provide only the best of bittersweet memories for his family. May their grief be comforted and may their sorrow soften their hearts towards others.”
I am stealing this. It’s a true Irish prayer.
Also it’s been a while since I rented at LAX but they used to upgrade the cars an entire level (or two) there. Like Steve in ATL I used to rent a lot of cars, Hertz once told me I was in the top 5% of their renters for the number of cars that I rented a year. But renting a mid level and getting a very small KIA pos that smelled like a smoke testing lab and was labeled no smoking at LAX was about the limit.
I never had much of a problem at ORD.
A lot of the places I rented were either major airports or out of the way places. Most of the majors were OK, some of the small ones were quite good. I’ve tried, with some success to forget all the traveling.
@suzanne: Not sure when you were there last, but they’ve done the local restaurant initiative also. Had a delightful American style Chinese meal there. But it does vary by terminal. And how much you like sushi, cause I swear there’s like five different sushiya in there.
Malt vinegar is the proper accompaniment for fries. End of story.
Five Guys makes burgers that are almost as good as I can grill at home. The only place I’ve been that makes a better burger than I can grill at home is Duffy’s Tavern in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island. (Alas, AMI isn’t the place to be these days, what with the red tide and fish washing up on the beaches. Hopefully this season is an outlier.)
@Mnemosyne: It’s actually through Spire Credit Union. I had a check from my bank, with the intent of using them for convenience, but I couldn’t pass on the lower interest rate the dealership offered. Which then made things awkward with my banker, since I had jumped all over them when they were slow to get the loan approved.
@Litlebritdifrnt: I’m reminded of a most excellent book that I mistakenly thought was fiction, even though I kept reading it and thinking that it seemed to be a memoir. H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. I am a space cadet. Even so, I loved this book. Realized it was a memoir after all, because she was referencing real people in it, some of whom wrote excellent books themselves. And I don’t really think much about birds at all, but it seems I’m gearing up for it. Bird appreciation, that is.
I’m a bit biased against Sky Harbor, since—connecting there on red-eyes east or afternoon flights west—I’m usually there at oh-you-wanted-to-eat-fuck-you o’clock. Which is surprisingly early, as it happens.
@Mainmata: It’s an Australian magpie, no relation to crows/ravens. They can be dangerous if you don’t know how to deal with them.
My mother has been feeding scraps to a family of magpies for about 25 years, they come and talk to her in the morning. About 15 years ago, while bringing out scraps, one of the juveniles swooped her. The rest of the family caught the troublemaker held it down on the lawn and beat it with their wings… Don’t bite the hand that feeds.