Meet the One Guy Who Can Make Donald Trump Uncomfortable

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Yo, check it Republicans, I have found Donald Trump’s kryptonite. You’re welcome, Jeb!

How Did I Miss Peter Pan?

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Thanks to the fine folks at District Trivia and Comcast Sports Net!

If you’re interested in becoming a contestant, you can apply here!

Hillary Feels the Bern

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From this week’s “Daily Ledger” on One America News Network.

Good Night, Habanero Ranch

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My favorite McNugget dipping sauce is being put out to pasture, at least locally. After securing my six free McNuggets from a recent Nationals win, I was told they’d no longer be carrying the deliciously spicy habanero ranch dipping sauce.

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So, if you’re out in the DMV and can score some habanero ranch in the coming days, be sure to say goodbye.

I asked McDonald’s about my habanero ranch reserve and how long I could sit on it. I’ll update if they reply.

RIP, habanero ranch. You’ll be missed.

UPDATE:

Around the same time, film maker and activist Michael Moore confirmed that he is a Cheetos neocon:

UPDATE 2: Caleb Brown shares this appropriate song for remembrance:

D.C. Parking Enforcement Sucks

A story in three pictures.

D.C. Parking enforcement blocks lane by food trucks around noon on 7/28/15. This is on 12th street NW.

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What is beyond the food truck in front of the D.C. Parking enforcement truck? About four parking spaces.

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Thanks, guy in truck # 96 9330.

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Molly Shannon & Free Range Parenting

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This evening I saw this Atlas Obscura item posted on This.cm about people mailing themselves places. I don’t know why, but it got me thinking about fellow St. Dominic’s School graduate Molly Shannon.

I had thought she had snuck herself onto a plane via luggage, which is generally similar to mailing yourself.

And NPR did an interesting item on travel, which featured this Molly Shannon story.

Here’s an excerpt:

OK, parents, I would actually warn you not to let your kids hear this next story, except the thing that the children in this next story accomplish would be impossible for any kids to do today. Basically, they go to the airport, and they try to hop on a plane to go to another city. The comedian Molly Shannon told what happened to Marc Maron on his podcast, WTF, which is a great podcast. They did this in front of a live audience in November, 2011.

Molly Shannon

I hopped a plane when I was 12. We told my dad– me and my friend Anna were like, we’re gonna hop a plane to New York. And he was like– he dared us.

Marc Maron

How old were you?

Molly Shannon

We were like 12.

Marc Maron

Oh, good. That’s good.

Molly Shannon

We went to the airport, and we had ballet outfits on, and we put our hair in buns. And we wanted to look really innocent. And this was, again, when flying was really easy. You didn’t need your ticket to get through. And we told my dad, and we were just like– we saw there were two flights. We were either gonna go to San Francisco or New York, and we thought, oh, let’s go to New York. It’s leaving early.

So we went. We said to the stewardess, we just want to say good bye to my sister. Can we go on the plane? And she was like, sure. And then she let us on, and it was a really empty flight, because it was out of Cleveland, Ohio.

And we sat back there, and then all of a sudden, you just hear, like, vroom. The plane takes off, and we were like– And we had little ballet outfits, and buns. And I was like, hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women. And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

And then the stewardess that had given us permission to go say good bye to my sister came by to ask if we wanted snacks or beverages. And she was like, can I get you ladies something to eat? She looked like she was like, oh, mother [BLEEP].

So we wondered if we were going to get in trouble, but she ended up not telling anyone. And then when we landed in New York City, she was like, bye, ladies. Have a nice trip.

Marc Maron

I just, like, I’m– it’s such an exciting story, but the irresponsibility of all the adults in this story is somehow undermining my appreciation of it. You were 12-year-old girls in ballet outfits, and everybody was sort of like, have a good time! What world was that?

Molly Shannon

It was crazy! It was a crazy world.

Marc Maron

What did you do in New York?

Molly Shannon

Well, again, because I had a crazy childhood, we called my dad, and we were like, we did it! And he was like, oh God! Molly! Oh, jeez, well, try to– so, basically, he couldn’t–

Marc Maron

Try to what?

Molly Shannon

He didn’t know what to do. He said, try to see if you can stay– go find a hotel that you can stay in, and me and Mary– my sister– we’ll come meet you. We’ll drive there.

But basically, we didn’t have that much. We just had our ballet bags and a little bit of cash. So we went to a diner, and we dined and dashed, and we stole things. We were like little con artists.

Marc Maron

Wait, did you actually make it to the city?

Molly Shannon

We made it to the city. I was like, how do you get to Rockefeller Center? Because I had just seen TV specials.

Marc Maron

Nobody said, are you girls lost? Nothing like that?

Molly Shannon

No. Nothing. So we did try to go to hotels, and my dad would call and ask, could they just stay there until we get there? And none of the hotels wanted to be responsible. So he was like, all right. You’ve gotta come home. And he was like, but I’m not paying for it, so try to hop on one on the way back. So we tried to hop on many planes, but the flights were all so crowded. So we ended up having to have him pay for it, and he made us pay it all back with our babysitting money. The end.

Marc Maron

So that was the big punishment?

Molly Shannon

Yeah, that was– there was no punishment.

Marc Maron

Well, no, I know. I mean, clearly.

Molly Shannon

He loved that kind of stuff. Like I said, he was wild.

Marc Maron

I love the– the sort of strange, nostalgic excitement you have for– for this borderline child abuse.

Ira Glass

Molly Shannon, talking to Marc Maron on the WTF podcast, which I recommend, and which you can find on iTunes or through an internet search. We spoke with the other girl in that story, who has not talked to Molly Shannon in a while, didn’t know that she was telling that story publicly, who confirmed all the crazy details in the story. She says they held hands and prayed while the plane took off.

Growing up in Shaker, I also had parents who would let me do crazy-by-today’s-standards things. Like walking home from school, or biking all over Cleveland. (In first grade I biked about a mile to my new classmate Liam’s house, and his mom was surprised my mom let me.)

The Shannon story is just pure, unadulterated awesome. And while we think it wouldn’t happen nowadays, it has — though it has to be much less common.

I often wonder what the world will be like when my children are 12. And I worry.

How to Co-Exist With Coyotes

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The email posted (in full) below is perhaps the best email I have ever read.

A few observations:

What citizen wants to be told they have to co-exist (time to update the bumper sticker!) with a dangerous wild animal?

There is a bear on the loose in McLean, Virginia this week.  If the Fairfax County Animal Control Services bureau sent out an email with the subject line “How to Co-Exist With Bears” the fine people of McLean would revolt. Tell us your plan for neutralizing the threat, or if killing them is too cumbersome/costly, at least tell us your plan for getting them out of here and into the Shenandoah Valley. (But seriously, D.C., stop trying to give us your rats.)

Whoever wrote this email is either a troll or a genius: “At this time we are recommending the use of humane “hazing techniques” designed to re-instill the fear of people for the coyotes.”

HAZING? It’s a problematic buzzword! You can’t support hazing can you? Now we’re supposed to haze coyotes? If one memory is ingrained in my brain from college, is that hazing does instill a fear of people, usually active members of the fraternity you’re pledging. (Just kidding, TKE! I was not ever hazed ever by anyone. Promise!)

Let’s jump ahead to the methods of hazing the City of Los Angeles suggests:

  • Yelling and waving your arms while approaching the coyote
  • Noisemakers: Voice, whistles, air horns, bells, “shaker” cans full of marbles or pennies, pots, lid or pie pans banged together
  • Projectiles: sticks, small rocks, cans, tennis balls or rubber balls
  • Other: hoses, water guns with vinegar water, spray bottles with vinegar water, pepper spray or bear repellent

The yelling and screaming part is standard fare, and reads like a Mike Birbiglia skit. However, the part about noisemakers is pure gold. I still have a lifeguard whistle somewhere in my closet.  If you’ve forgotten what one of these sounds like, don’t Google it. I’ll put it this way: they’re not your run of the mill freshman orientation rape whistles — they will make your ears bleed.

Air Horns? Really? This email pretty much just deputized any Angeleno to walk around town with an air horn like they use in Billboard Top 40 songs.

“What seems to be the problem, officer?”

“Oh, my coyote self-defense air horn? Yeah, I had to use that to scare off a coyote and then he ran away.”

Anyone who has a dog knows that a leash, a poop bag and treats are a bit of a hassle to carry around in addition to the keys, wallet, and cell phone. So, it’s heartening to see a government agency suggesting you carry an air horn, bells, tin cans full of noisy things, or a pot/pan and (presumably) a spatula as well.

Some entrepreneur needs to invent a keychain coyote deterrent tin can. This is America. Make it happen. Or maybe even an air horn that you can wear around your neck like a LifeAlert. Nevermind! The email kindly informs “you can purchase small air horn ‘necklaces.'” Because that’s where I want an ear-drum shattering air horn, on a necklace. Near my face.

The email links to a Canadian ecology webpage that suggests home-made coyote deterrents, but nobody thought to check the link to see if it still works. It doesn’t, but it did three years ago. The suggestions are helpful: Tie five or six cans to a string and carry it behind you like you just got married while walking your dog! Dogs love noises like that.

Or, put 40 pennies in a pop can, duct tape the mouth of the can shut, and perhaps fashion a necklace to facilitate easy carrying of a penny can around your neck. Coyotes hate that shit.

NOTE:It is critical to use a variety of different hazing tools so the coyotes don’t get used to a single device, sound, or action.

In case your local coyote is a real dick, be sure to wear the air horn necklace and the penny can necklace.

Great suggestions so far. What’s next?

Keep the cover on the spa and keep the gate to the pool closed.

Literally everyone I know in Los Angeles has a “spa.” Is a spa like a hot tub? I always thought spas were indoors, but I am a rube from Ohio — what do I know? And these days, I hear pools are big in California.

Generally coyotes are reclusive and like to hide in brush or thickets. Thinning or clearing the undergrowth removes hiding places.

One thing that grows like crazy during a drought is grass. Make sure you don’t let that grass get too high, Angelinos! Brush is a real problem these days.

The coyote may run away, but then stop after a distance and look at you. It is important to continue to go after the coyote until he completely leaves the area.

If you’re a true American, you better charge after that coyote until he is somebody else’s problem*. (*=Unless you live on the border of town near woods or something.)

When walking your dog, make sure to follow this advice:

[Use] sticks or other objects to throw towards (but not at) the coyote

We wouldn’t want to harm the coyote or provoke it with stick throwing — we know sticks, like stones, may break our bones — but be sure run directly at it so it knows you mean business. But since words will never hurt us, be sure to yell “Go Away Coyote!” unless the coyote doesn’t speak English. My Spanish is rusty, but I think it’s something along the lines of “¡Márchese el coyote!”

All of this silliness reminds me of a famous inside-the-beltway fight between Don Young (R-AK) and George Miller (D-CA). The long and short of it was that wolves were killing dogs in Alaska, and Alaska allowed aerial hunting of wolves. Miller thought this was tragic, and his spox decried Young’s attempts to scuttle Miller’s efforts by saying:

“Americans love dogs, but they detest the cruel treatment of wolves. Alaska’s aerial hunting program is a blatant effort to skirt federal law. Fortunately, Mr. Young’s letters are helping us build overwhelming bipartisan support for Miller’s PAW Act.”

Perhaps call it the “How to Co-Exist with Wolves Act.” As for me, I side with Young and the President Thomas J. Whitmore approach: Kill them. Kill the bastards.

Full email:

How to Co-Exist with Coyotes
TIPS from Los Angeles Animal Services

Dear Angelenos,

Some neighborhoods feel they are seeing more coyote visitors this year.If accurate it may be reflective of the drought, but I’m starting to think that either people are making it easier for them to get food or the coyotes may have simply adapted to urban living and lost the fear of people. At this time we are recommending the use of humane “hazing techniques” designed to re-instill the fear of people for the coyotes.

I’d like to offer you a few tips and suggestions to keep your two and four-legged family members safe.

Four Quick Tips:

1.Do not feed Wildlife, even indirectly. 

·If you feed your companion animals outdoors, give them ten or fifteen minutes to eat and then remove the food bowls.Partially eaten food or even odiferous empty food bowls attract hungry wildlife.

·Keep trash cans tightly closed with tamper proof tops.

·Empty water containers such as outside water for companion animals or children’s pools. Keep the cover on the spa and keep the gate to the pool closed.

2.Supervise your pets and small children when outside. 

3.Remove unnecessary undergrowth that creates hiding places. 

·Generally coyotes are reclusive and like to hide in brush or thickets. Thinning or clearing the undergrowth removes hiding places.

4.Safely haze without harming them, instilling their natural fear of Humans.

·Coyotes who have adapted to urban living may realize there are few real threats and may approach people or visit yards when people are present. Safe and humane hazing can re-instill the fear of people.

·NOTE:It is critical to use a variety of different hazing tools so the coyotes don’t get used to a single device, sound, or action.

Methods of Hazing

Using a variety of different hazing tools is critical so that coyotes don’t get used to redundant or single stimulus devices, sounds, and actions. Here are a few methods of hazing that I found on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) website.

·Yelling and waving your arms while approaching the coyote

·Noisemakers: Voice, whistles, air horns, bells, “shaker” cans full of marbles or pennies, pots, lid or pie pans banged together

·Projectiles: sticks, small rocks, cans, tennis balls or rubber balls

·Other: hoses, water guns with vinegar water, spray bottles with vinegar water, pepper spray or bear repellent

“Go Away Coyote!”

The simplest method of hazing a coyote involves being loud and large. Stand tall, wave your arms, and yell at the coyote, approaching him if necessary, until he runs away. If a coyote has not been hazed before, he may not immediately run away when you yell at him. If this happens, walk towards the coyote and increase the intensity of your hazing.

The coyote may run away, but then stop after a distance and look at you. It is important to continue to go after the coyote until he completely leaves the area.  You may need to use different tactics, such as noisemakers, stomping your feet, or spraying the coyote with a hose to get him to leave.

Dog-Walking Tools

There are several tools that you can carry with you while walking your dog that can be used to repel coyotes.  These include:

·Homemade noisemakers

·Whistle or small air horn (you can purchase small air horn “necklaces”)

·Squirt guns

·Pepper spray

·Sticks or other objects to throw towards (but not at) the coyote

In Your Yard

Remember, keeping pets and pet food inside is the best way to keep coyotes out of your yard.  If you do encounter coyotes, all of the above methods can be used in your yard at home.  First, try the “Go away coyote!” method (yell and wave your arms as you approach the coyote).  Here are some additional methods you can also use:

·Squirt the coyote with your garden hose

·Spray the coyote with vinegar water

·Bang pots and pans together

Important things to remember

NEVER run away from a coyote! The coyote may not leave at first, but if you approach him closer and/or increase the intensity of your hazing, he will run away. If the coyote runs away a short distance and then stops and looks at you, continue hazing until he leaves the area entirely.

After you have successfully hazed a coyote, he or she may return. Continue to haze the coyote as you did before; it usually takes only one or two times to haze a coyote away for good.

If you continue to experience unusual Wildlife behaviors, please contact the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (http://www.dfg.ca.gov). For more information regarding how to co-exist with our local Wildlife, search on or call our LA Animal Services NON EMERGENCY Wildlife phone line 323-225-WILD (9453). For any urgent animal related EMERGENCY calls (injured, orphaned (alone >24 hours), distressed, or sick animals) call your local shelter at 888-452-7381 and follow the prompts. For any Human life threatening situations call 9-1-1.

Enjoy the rest of your summer,

Brenda F. Barnette
General Manager
Los Angeles Animal Services

That’s What Roosters Do…

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Apparently owning a rooster in Moreland Hills, Ohio that crows in the morning is not allowed.

h/t Mom for sending me the local police blotter from Cleveland.com.

The Facebook Diet

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A month ago, I heard about Facebook Lite. It seemed pretty awesome, given how cumbersome having Facebook on your mobile device has become.

The app most people have is huge, takes up a not insignificant amount of data and RAM, and at least for me — it interferes with the ability of my wifi-first Republic Wireless phone to make phone calls. And we haven’t even gotten to the double down monstrosity that is Facebook messenger.

God, that thing is terrible. Why can’t we just send messages from the app like we used to? ::crickets:: Oh, right — the ability to make phone calls and video calls from Facebook. Something everybody wanted. Or not.

I began my Facebook diet by deleting Messenger. The horror! I couldn’t instantly respond to my friends with text, audio, video, or stickers!

I got over it quickly.

A few days later, I had enough with the Facebook app and the silly requirement that I send messages from Messenger. So, last week, I deleted Facebook entirely from my phone.

Did I miss it? Sure, a little. But the thought of reinstalling it and Messenger made me mad, so gradually it faded into nothingness. Until I remembered my failed attempt to use a proxy to pretend I was in a third-world country to download Facebook Lite.

Surely, some evil genius had found a way to get the .apk file — they did. I downloaded it, and it is awesome. Think of it like if Facebook stopped caring about marketing and advertising — their core business — and designed an app for that senior citizen phone the “Jitterbug.”

Facebook Lite is Facebook without, as Miller beer used to kid, the GHT. It, as Zuck himself notes, is less than 1 MB in size. And it can do pretty much everything you’d want it to.

If you want to give it a try (disclosure: by downloading you are doing so at your own risk) do so here. If you’re sick of the Twitter app for your phone, I’d recommend Echofon Pro.

Tony LaRussa & Yes

Monowi / Wikimedia Commons

With the news of the death of Yes co-founder Chris Squire, I’m reminded of a story from 2004.

Back then, I was living in Saint Louis, and for two years I lived in a complex called the Chase Park Plaza. It was part-apartments, part-hotel, with a movie theater and lots of dining options. It was a very nice place to live.

At the time, then St. Louis Cardinals baseball coach Tony LaRussa lived out the season in the hotel side, along with some other coaches.

A bar manager I befriended, Sarah, told me this story one night as I stopped in for a drink.

Sarah pulls into the garage, and parks. She sees this red sports car with the door open and loud music blasting out of it. She walks slowly to the entrance to the hotel and the music stops. The driver gets out of the car, it having been turned off.

She stops and gawks, as it is none other than Tony LaRussa. He looks at her, takes off his sunglasses, and says: “What? You don’t like Yes?”

I can’t say that I am a big follower of Progressive Rock, but Yes put out some great stuff. And Tony LaRussa was a fan.