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Thursday, February 19, 2009

We can has Fire! and Battery!

Working at home is always useful.

About 4:30, I grabbed the w0rNg battery and took it back to the motorcycle shop, and got a new one. Ironically, the smaller battery cost more — WTF? But now I have it and I’ll be ready to ride as soon as it warms up again.

After returning from the shop, I ran a chain down the chimney and it was clear all the way down. I should have known that by the way the sheet I put in front of the fireplace was getting sucked into the chamber. I brushed off some more of the accumulated crud above the damper, shoved the insert back into place, and Mrs. Fetched let 'er rip. Just in time: Winter #5 is upon us, after a rather ugly line of storms yesterday evening. The insert is burning better now than it has in a long time, nice and clean, and it’s warming up nicely in the living room.

Maybe the storms carried the Vortex of Suck™ away with them.

[Holy moly… post #900!]


  1. And all is right with the world! Remember Far, periods of decline, followed by partial recovery (enjoy it will it lasts), followed by more decline...heh! ha!Don't feel bad, I'm in the same boat! ha! Glad things are look'en up for ya!

    We, just got another foot of snow. We're batting down the hatches as the blizzard rages! ha! Time to take out the ol' Suzuki snowmachine tomorrow and break the trail around the house. Makes a nice little path for the dog and I to walk everyday. Sure helps with the cabin fever! ha!

  2. Hey Yooper!

    I just wish I knew what was giving the chimney fits. There wasn't anything blocking it that I could tell, even though I still can't see daylight up in there. But we'll enjoy some extra warmth!

    Our 50% chance of snow Saturday night has become a 50% chance of rain instead. Oh well. Like I said, winter sucks when there's no snow to play around in.

  3. Hey FAR,
    Winter #5 huh? Gee, Hubby Dearest and I will be heading through Georgia on our way to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the 2nd week of March, for the North American Country Music Association International competition that he entered. He has won awards up here in the NECMO competition which has earned him a spot there in Nationals. Seeing as how this is his last one, I can't say No. He's worked too hard for it. So hey, let me know if it snows 10 feet to a 12 foot Indian, OK? We are seeing short snow storm bursts here right now.

    Glad that you got some things worked out and I am hoping that Big Red gets her head screwed on straight about taking care of herself.

  4. I hope that you'll be keeping warm, Far. We had snow on and off here. I'd love to be using our wood stove but it gives madame some breathing problems.

  5. Hey Mrs. M, that's great! I'm not a big country fan, although Mrs. Fetched is… but I'm trying to figure out why you'd be landing on Planet Georgia to get to Pigeon Forge from MA — flying into Atlanta & renting a car? You might see some snow up that way, probably nothing like you get at home, but right now it just looks like rain here. As for Big V, she'll either do right or she won't. If she wants to, she will.

    Boran, Mrs. Fetched's mom has asthma, so they had to ditch their wood stove years ago. I just which I'd had the presence of mind to ask for it back when.

  6. Silly me, FAR. We made the trip last year and for some reason I could have sworn that one of the many states we traveled through had been Georgia. Ooopss, guess it's a good thing I am not driving. Ha!! We did do some traveling down there and came close to a lot of borders there.

  7. Hey FAR,
    I saw a weather alert about storms in Planet GA and wondered if they would affect the Manor. Well, enjoy winter #5 ... I lost count of ours months ago. We're supposed to get more snow on Friday here ... just what we need to top off the partially melted batch from last week that is now frozen into ice lakelets in the back yard.

    Sounds like Yooper has it worse though, but at least he has a blower! Let's hope that your storms DO blow the vortex of suck off to... I don't know, how about OK or KY? I've had it up to here (and beyond) with their neanderthal Rethugs lately! (Yeah, that means you Coburn and McConnell!)

  8. Mrs. M, I would assume you'd come down I-95, go west on I-40 through NC, then hop off somewhere around Knoxville. Being a geek, I rate Oak Ridge a must-do. ;-) 'Course, if you want to swing by the manor and Mrs. Fetched goes into a cleaning frenzy.

    IVG, the morning TV "confirms 10 tornadoes touched down" Wednesday. Maybe the vortex will go bother some deserving goplet, but there's plenty of them close by… no need to head for KY or OK.

  9. Hey Far! check this out! Hope Nudge see's it too!

    Thomas Sugrue, native Detroiter, historian and author of "The
    Origins of the Urban Crisis," has spent 20 years in major
    cities in the United Sates and in London. He came to the Free
    Press in the summer of 1998 to talk about the conditions that
    created present-day Detroit, and the implications for
    journalists. These are excerpts from his talk.

    Anyone who has spent time in cities like Detroit in America's
    former industrial heartland can't help but be struck by the
    eerily apocalyptic landscapes that are so common as one passes
    through these places.

    I asked a simple, but very difficult question: "Why?"

    After digging around in the papers of unions and business,
    civil rights organizations, census data, city records and
    countless newspaper articles, I arrived at the conclusion that
    follows: Detroit's woes began, not in the 1960s with the riot,
    not with the election of Coleman Young as mayor, not with the
    rise of international competition and the auto industry's
    globalization, they began amid the steaming prosperity and
    consensus of the 1950s, and in an era about which we have very
    little to go on apart from hoary shibboleths and cliches.


    Three sweeping changes transformed the city. These three
    things, occurring simultaneously and interacting, dramatically
    reshaped the metropolis of Detroit and other metropolises like
    it. First was deindustrialization, the flight of jobs away
    from the city, something that began unnoticed and unheralded
    in the 1950s.

    Next was persistent racial discrimination in labor markets.
    Racial discrimination remained a very persistent problem
    despite decades of civil rights activism and some improvement
    in attitudes and beliefs.

    Finally was intense residential segregation, a division of the
    metropolitan area into two metropolitan areas: one black and
    one white.

    Any one of these forces would have been devastating, but the
    fact that all three of them occurred simultaneously and
    interacted with each other proved to have devastating


    World War II was a great moment of opportunity for
    working-class Detroiters, black and white alike. The city was
    a magnet for workers coming from other parts of the country.
    African-Americans had been pretty much closed out of the
    industries that provided skilled jobs, but that pretty much
    ended during World War II.

    Only 3 percent of auto workers in Detroit were black in 1940.
    By 1945, 15 percent of the city's auto workers were African
    American. Detroit, then, became a magnet for black migrants
    who heard about these great opportunities. But the reality for
    black workers, even in this window of opportunities, was a
    great deal more complicated and harsher and more frustrating
    than those statistics would lead us to believe.


    One of the supreme ironies of post-war Detroit is that, just
    as discrimination was under siege, just as blacks found a
    small window of opportunity in the city's labor market, that
    job base began to fall away.

    First, beginning in the late '40, and especially in the 1950s,
    began a process that has continued right up to the present.
    Jobs began to move out of places like Detroit to low-wage
    regions in other parts of the United States and the world.
    Companies in Detroit began picking up and moving their
    production to rural Indiana and Ohio, increasingly to the
    South and, by the 1970s and beyond, increasingly to the Third
    World -- places where wages and other standards were lower
    than they were in Detroit.

    At the same time, industry in Detroit was changing from
    within. There was introduction of automation, of new,
    labor-saving technology within the factories. The consequence
    was a dramatic decline in the number of manufacturing jobs,
    solid, blue-collar jobs, the jobs that made Detroit the city
    that it was.

    Between 1947 and 1963, a period of unprecedented national
    economic prosperity, Detroit lost 134,000 manufacturing jobs.
    This is not the '70s. This is not when there is any
    competition from Germany and Japan and Korea for automobiles.
    These are jobs that were picking up and moving to other parts
    of the country, or these were jobs that were being replaced by

    Workers who had come to Detroit during World War II, seeking
    opportunities, found their choices seriously constrained. The
    workers who suffered the worst were African Americans, and
    they suffered because of seniority. African Americans, because
    they didn't get their foot into the door until the 1940s, were
    the first to be fired. So, when companies began moving out of
    Detroit, the burden was borne disproportionately by black

    So, in the midst of the 1950s, 15.9 percent of blacks were
    unemployed, but only 6 percent of whites were unemployed, so
    we're talking about black unemployment two and a half times
    the rate of white unemployment.


    The third and, indeed, probably the most pernicious force was
    residential discrimination by race. The city was divided into
    districts by race, divided by invisible lines.

    These invisible lines were drawn in a whole bunch of different
    ways by different groups. The federal government subsidized
    housing development for whites through the Federal Housing
    Administration and Home Owners Loan Corporation. But federal
    policies prohibited making loans to risky properties, and
    risky properties, according to federal standards, meant homes
    in old or homes in racially or ethnically heterogeneous
    neighborhoods. It meant that, if you were a black trying to
    build your own home or trying to get a loan to purchase a
    home, you had many obstacles to face, whereas if you were a
    white it was really quite easy.

    Real estate investors reinforced these invisible racial lines
    by steering black home buyers to certain neighborhoods and
    white home buyers to certain other neighborhoods, and stirring
    up racial anxiety when neighborhoods were along that invisible

    In one west-side neighborhood, in the late 1950s, there were
    more than 50 real estate agents working a several-block area
    trying to persuade panicked whites to sell now and sell fast
    because "they're moving in." Real estate agents even went so
    far as to pay African-American women to walk their children
    through all-white streets to encourage panic among white home

    Also reinforcing these invisible boundaries were the actions
    of ordinary people. There were more than 200 violent racial
    incidents that accompanied the first blacks who moved into
    formerly white neighborhoods in Detroit.

    If you were the first black to move into a formerly all-white
    block, you could expect, certainly, for your house to be
    pelted with rocks and stones. In one case, a tree stump went
    through a window.

    Regularly, vandals would break 20, 30 -- every window in a
    house. Arson was another popular tactic.

    As newspaper reporters, if such an incident were happening
    today, you can be sure that you would be covering it, but
    until 1956, there was not a mention of any of these incidents
    in Detroit's daily newspapers. They were off the radar of the
    major dailies.

    This process of housing discrimination set into motion a chain

    Blacks were poorer than whites and they had to pay more for
    housing. They had a harder time getting loans. Hence, they
    spent more of their income on the purchase of real estate.
    They were, by and large, confined to the oldest houses in the
    city, houses that needed lots of repair work. Many of their
    houses deteriorated as a consequence of them being older, not
    being able to get loans and folks not having all that much
    money in their pockets. City officials looked out onto the
    poor housing stock in poor neighborhoods and said, "we should
    tear this down."

    Moreover, the fact that housing stock was old and in many
    cases deteriorating in black neighborhoods provided seemingly
    irrefutable evidence to whites that blacks were irresponsible.
    "We kept up our property, why aren't they keeping up their

    Finally, this neighborhood deterioration seemed to lenders
    definitive proof that blacks were a poor credit risk and
    justified disinvestment.


    To talk about Detroit's problems beginning in 1967, or
    beginning with the election of Coleman Young, or beginning
    with the globalization of the 1970s is to miss the boat.

    The pattern of workplace discrimination, of the massive loss
    of jobs, of the residential balkanization of the city into
    black and white -- this was already well established by 1967.
    It wasn't Coleman Young that led to the harsh racial divisions
    between blacks and whites in metropolitan Detroit. It was
    there, and had been festering for a long time.

    It wasn't the riot that led to disinvestment from the city of
    Detroit. Disinvestment had been going on very significantly
    for years.

    And it wasn't globalization that led to the loss of jobs. That
    loss of jobs was going on when the auto industry was at its
    very peak.


    We focus on changing the attitudes and motivations of
    individual workers, rather than challenging larger
    discriminatory practices.

    We have a policy mismatch, a gap between the reality that I
    have described and the policy recommendations to try to
    address those problems.

    The premise of welfare reform is to put welfare recipients to
    work. The problem is that the areas with the greatest job
    growth in the metropolitan area tend to be the farthest away
    from where the poorest folk live, in the outer suburbs largely
    inaccessible by public transportation. So there's a gap
    between the reality of jobs and job loss and a policy

    Another major one,is downtown revitalization and tourism:
    "Build casinos and they will come. You need to deal with the
    deeply rooted problems I've described: job flight, racial
    segregation, discrimination.

    We need to think about providing poor people with access to
    secure, well-paying jobs, wherever those jobs might be.

    We need to begin thinking more creatively than we have with
    the real problem of racial division in our city and in our
    nation. Conversations on race are not enough. We need to deal
    with the reality of economic and residential division.

    Content ? copyright 1998 Detroit Free Press. All rights

    Report to moderator Logged

    "[For] 40 years I've been failing at getting RRR (reduce, reuse, recycle) stuff into common parlance... Forty years of, mostly, failure. Do I stop trying? No. Do I have hope? No. So, I must be an idiot? Yes, it appears so. Why bother? Dunno." ---SouthLeftCoast, 10 Dec 08, latoc

    Sr. Member

    Posts: 447

    Re: Goodbye Detroit, Crazy Video
    « Reply #48 on: Today at 11:41:08 AM »

  10. Interesting, Yooper. When the programmers at work are trying to track down a problem, they're always looking for the "root cause" — simply the real problem. Fix that and the problem is solved. Patch around a symptom, and the problem only seems to go away, and only for a little while. Sugrue has identified the root cause of Detroit's malaise.

  11. You bet, Far. I'm taking some heat for not addressing the racial issue (as you pointed out at the time), however, I did not want anything to taint the message (whether relevant or not) that I was delievering at that time...

    The series has been well recepted, except from my "backwoods" grammer problem...

    I'm going on another "photo shoot" along with perhaps 5 or 6 others (so far), that'll include a couple of other writters. We're gonna do something of a caravan or "convoy".

    It'll very likely happen Sunday the 29th of March. I'm thinking of making the site of the '67 "riot" at 12th Street and Clairmount and the old Sojourner neighborhood at Nevada and Fenelon, the site of the '43 riot, stops. We'd sure like you with us, if you could manage to make it...

    Thanks, yooper

  12. Perhaps, "distract" is a better word than "taint".......

  13. You get your plane ticket, and I'll cover everything else! If I can't pick you up at the airport, rest assured someone will be there with at "FAR" sign. You'll be whisped over to my Mother's at Milan (near Ann Arbor), where you'll have your own quarters in her home,(your own bed and bath)and access to her vehicles in case you want to do some exploring on you're own or whatever. You'll enjoy the fantastic meals my Mother makes and the fine conversation at the table. (Heh! get to know me better and check with my Mother to see if I've been bullshit'en ya! ha!ha!) Red carpet, all the way!

    Really, this Detroit thing is turning out to be everthing I thought it would and more. It seems the whole world is watching, this idea of deindustrialization isn't setting too good with some people...

    I think, perhaps, it's best coming from those "born" in the area, who have a "stake", in what happens here. It's truly a perspective that cannot come from anyone else....

    I hope you'll think about it, Far...

    Sincerely, yooper

  14. Hm. I'll definitely give it some thought, Yooper… sounds enticing! You know I was also thinking about coming up that way this summer to see my relatives in the SW part, and if I could get two weeks off I was hoping to get a few days Up North.

  15. Hey Far! You bet! I'd love to give you the grand tour of the farm and walk you through the "old house".

    There's no tell'en what it'll look like a 100 years from now, but we'll definitely get "glimpses" of what it looked like 100 years ago!


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