This bear and I could get along just fine

Bear Breaks Into Bakery and Devours Dozens of Pies | TIME

"“He went for the apple and the cherry and left behind the strawberry rhubarb, so he was a picky little guy,” Lehnert said."

What, they don't squeak in California?

The new entry on our book list…

…a John Grisham novel called Gray Mountain, isn't Grisham's best book (IM-very-HO, of course) but it is a compelling view of coal mining in Appalachia, and worth reading (see above re: IMHO) for that alone.

Another slightly-but-not-entirely different view is here, in this morning's (paywalled) New York Times.


Our contribution to the internet's cat culture


Tens of thousands fear deportation as U.S.-Cuba relations thaw - Toledo Blade

“Everybody in Miami right now is shaking like a leaf,” Ybarra said. “People are really worried. The Americans and the Cubans are not in bed together, but they already have the room. It’s happening.”


Hashtag sky

Buy yourself a job

Hillary Clinton Has Already Spent $18.7 Million - NationalJournal.com

"The spending amounts to roughly $230,000 for every day since she declared her candidacy on April 12, an incredible pace at a time when Clinton was not purchasing expensive television ads. Instead, the funds have gone toward building a national political apparatus helmed by campaign manager Robby Mook."

I'm staying for the marching band

In this mosquito festival, women compete to see who is ‘most delicious’ — Outdoors — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

"There’s also a competition to see who can catch the most live insects, as well as a mosquito parade."

Just seems right somehow

The very definition of heresy

Big Green Monster cukes? Rooftop garden thrives at Fenway

"'This is great because although a lot of people love to come to Fenway and eat a hot dog, some people don't want to eat a hot dog, they want to eat something else — maybe a salad or a wrap with vegetables in it,' Bunker said."

A New England summer weekend coming up

Warm days, cool nights, a little rain now and then…

And there's some kind of outdoor shopping event on Main Street tomorrow, which might be pretty amusing.

We don't do Reddit…

The trolls are winning, post-Reddit Pao says

…but if we did we’d quit.

To really be envied

"The English speaking world may be divided into (1) those who neither know nor care what a split infinitive is; (2) those who do not know, but care very much; (3) those who know & condemn; (4) those who know & approve; and (5) those who know & distinguish. Those who neither know nor care are the vast majority, & are a happy folk, to be envied by most of the minority classes."

- Francis George Fowler



The money primaries

Presidential campaign donors hedge bets | Center for Public Integrity

"More than 1,000 donors — including some of the nation’s most prominent political benefactors — are hedging their bets by spreading contributions among multiple White House hopefuls, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of new campaign finance disclosures and interviews with top fundraisers."

Have a heart: Maybe they're fake sick

Probe: Bogus enrollees kept getting 'Obamacare' | Boston Herald

"The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says 11 counterfeit characters that its investigators created last year were automatically re-enrolled by HealthCare.gov, even though most had unresolved documentation issues. In Obama's terms, they got to keep the coverage they had."

On the unbearable tyranny of plastic credit cards

Where Apple leads, payment wristbands ready to tap 'wearables' boom | Reuters

""People want to tell their payment provider how they want to pay and not be told in the traditional way of 'here's your plastic, now get on with it'," said Howard Berg, senior vice president at Gemalto."

People, according to this story, apparently prefer wristbands to credit cards because, says one Ben Wood, an analyst at a company called CCS Insight, one’s wrist is "a very socially accepted place to wear something."


Imagine our relief

Mayor, Pope Francis share deep concern over human trafficking, environment | Boston Herald


But a boost to shotgun sales

Chocolate Chip Mint: it's been the ruin of many a poor girl

Come on in, the water's "clean-ish"

Doughty swimmers dive into Charles River near the Esplanade - Metro - The Boston Globe

"Despite what he described as a 'little bit of a smell' wafting from the water, Jed Breed, 31, was glad to have an opportunity to cool off."

And in other news from Boston, Mayor Martin Walsh said yesterday the last of the snow has now officially melted, leaving quite a mess.

In Texas, they're burying their guns (huh?)

In Texas, a Military Exercise Is Met by Some With Suspicion - The New York Times

"A farmer was rumored to have taken a different approach, by buying 20,000 rounds of ammunition. The superintendent of the school district thought he saw low-flying military cargo planes overhead. "


"'They’re worried that they’re going to come in and take their firearms away,' Ms. Miller said. 'Martial law, basically. I try not to listen to all these conspiracy-theory-type people. All they’re worried about is their beer and their guns.'"

That too. How much fun can one week be?

They knew right where he was until he wasn't

Mexico shows security footage of Guzman moments before he disappeared into tunnel | Reuters

""He changed his shoes, and went to the shower," Rubido said, explaining the footage. "You can't see what he's doing.""


And when we say coupled with we mean coupled with

Filmmaker Joe Gibbons Gets a Year in Prison for a Robbery He Called Performance Art - NYTimes.com

"Mr. Gibbons, a former lecturer in art at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was sentenced on Monday to one year in prison after he pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court in Manhattan to third-degree felony robbery for entering a Capital One Bank in Chinatown this past New Year’s Eve, stealing $1,002 and filming it all on a pocket-size pink and silver video camera. He claimed it was an act of performance art coupled with dire financial straits."

The long way home

This is the most comically hellish design for airplane seating yet

"Yes, it can get worse. Zodiac Aerospace, a French aerospace company, has designed and patented an “Economy Class Cabin Hexagon” that envisions passenger seats in a beehive arrangement, such that you are—from inches away—staring your neighbour in the face.

…The patent states that, “by increasing the number of passenger seats in the space, the amount of space available for each passenger is diminished.”"

You just can't get anywhere without a good accountant these days

Ted Cruz gets to keep $51,100 in excess contributions with one small accounting maneuver | OpenSecrets Blog

"Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will get to keep $51,100 in excess contributions to his presidential campaign from 19 donors by attributing the money to the donors’ spouses, the campaign said in a letter to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday."

Don't eat

'How many sick kids does it take for us to act?' - Helena Bottemiller Evich - POLITICO
"According to a POLITICO investigation, the Obama administration and Congress have all but squandered an opportunity to give the anemic Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for the safety of 80 percent of the nation’s food supply, a level of oversight the public long assumed it already had."

That Iran deal has now officially become a campaign issue

Iran deal's success may rest with Hillary - Michael Crowley - POLITICO

"During their 2008 battle for the Democratic nomination, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton argued bitterly about Iran. When Obama said he would meet with Iran’s leader without preconditions, Clinton called him “reckless and naïve.” After Clinton threatened to destroy Tehran if it used nuclear weapons against Israel, Obama likened her to George W. Bush."

No WAY can you pass this up

Walked the soles right off my shoes

Oh well, they were a couple of years old. And I’ve been walking seven miles a day for the last month. Last couple of months, actually. 

Apparently, that’s not free. 

Yep, they're taking over all right

Fascinating maps show where and why men die early and women survive - The Washington Post

"Depending on the location and the age group, some places have a lot more women than men, and vice versa -- as a fascinating series of maps by Dadaviz's Jishai Evers shows."

The national median age is about 37 years. 

One of these days we'll have to discuss the definition of the word, "extreme"

Hillary Clinton: Here's how I'd run the economy - CSMonitor.com

"For instance, she talked about the need to confront Wall Street, as Sanders does, but she did not use his harsh language or endorse some of his more extreme proposals, such as breaking up big banks."


The good old days

It's gonna be a really, really fun year

Chocolate Chip Mint: Just Say No

For all you bikers and biking fans out there

Taming The Bicycle by Mark Twain

"Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live"

But squat is not nothing, is it?

The 7-year-old government loan program that has never made a loan

"“Frankly, they didn’t do squat. They really didn’t do squat,” said William B. Shear, the director of Financial Markets and Community Investment for the GAO, who has written multiple reports on SBA’s preparation for disasters. “They really dropped the ball.”"


Some guys are just easily stunned

Bernie Sanders’ Senate colleagues stunned by his ascent - Manu Raju and Burgess Everett - POLITICO

"“People,” he added, “should not underestimate me.”"

Give ‘em hell, Bernie.

It's "Big Water" now?

How Big Water is trying to stop the National Park Service from cleaning up plastic bottles that are fouling the parks - The Washington Post

"In recent weeks, the industry has turned to legislative maneuvering to stop the restrictions on water sales, finding an ally on Capitol Hill to add a last-minute amendment to the government appropriations bill the House passed last week. The measure prohibits the Park Service from using taxpayer money to eliminate disposable plastic bottles in parks."

“Big Water” sounds sort of, I don’t know, non-oily.

Oh no! We think we understand this!

Guard: We Need Apache Helicopters to Defeat Gay Marriage

"See, the National Guard is completely funded by the federal government for the sole purpose of waging war against the federal government. If that sounds crazy, consider that we are also fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan by providing billions of dollars to Pakistan, which, in turn, funds the Taliban."

But maybe not.


The evening balloon

How about the Donald vs. Bernie?

Adriana Cohen: The Donald is Trump-ing the ’16 prez field | Boston Herald

"Since his attention-grabbing presidential announcement last month, Donald Trump is surging in the polls, dominating media coverage and drawing huge crowds when he speaks."

Now that would be fun. Better, it’d clear the air.

There'll always be an England (and a Scotland)

James McElvar of Rewind Collapses Mid-Flight : People.com

"In addition to his regular outfit, the singer put on six t-shirts, five sweater, three pairs of jeans, two pairs of sweatpants, two jackets and two hats. "

Whales in space?

See an Unprecedented Close-Up of Pluto’s Surface | TIME

"NASA unveiled new images of Pluto on Friday, revealing in unprecedented detail the craggy and mysterious features on the distant dwarf planet’s surface."

The numbers guys weigh in

Jeb Bush Was Right: Americans Need To Work Longer Hours | FiveThirtyEight

"Jeb Bush’s claim Wednesday that Americans “need to work longer hours” may have been bad politics, but he got the economics pretty much right."

What'll get deep-fried next?

Summer kicks into high gear with county fairs - Toledo Blade

"Somewhere in the region, you’ll find the animal shows, drag races, rodeos, car shows, concerts, tractor pulls, carnival rides, crop competitions, milk shakes and funnel cakes. That can mean only one thing: the county fair."


…we reached dangerously high levels of fun: Following an epic bicycle ride happening on the West coast; banging away at the NYTimes crossword puzzle app; alternately reading and listening to a recent Grisham novel; generally enjoying being out and about on in nearly flawless July weather. And watermelon.

The biking continues (and concludes) today. We’re well stocked with puzzles and with books. It’s beginning to look like a fine weekend.

The Donald is on a roll

Donald Trump Defiantly Rallies a New ‘Silent Majority’ in a Visit to Arizona - The New York Times

"“I think his delivery on some of his points could use a little finesse,” he said, “but that’s also what I like most about him.”"