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The weekly Daley: My life so far; an unauthorized autobiography of Ted Cruz

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From page A6 | September 27, 2013 | 62 Comments

The following arrived on my desk in a plain, brown wrapper, and like many previous, similar arrivals, I am bound to share it with you.

Working title: “Exagerrated Agony: The Ted Cruz Story.”

At birth, the doctor’s slap to get me to breathe on my own was a hammer blow from Thor, the Norse god of thunder and lightning. And the lesson I learned was that I was special but that my life would be one of almost insurmountable agony. The long, lonely walk to preschool, with a rock in my shoe  every day, was just the precursor of the long, lonely walk to first and second grade, all uphill both ways. Hurricanes and tornadoes assaulted me on every block, every day, and I suffered from sniffles the likes of which had not been seen since the Black Plague decimated two-thirds of the population of Europe back in the day.

I didn’t have zits in junior high. I had seismic eruptions, one on the back of my neck, the other came and went on my left cheek particularly as the Sadie Hawkins Dance drew near. I used to remind the kids with polio that I too had suffered and so I really did feel their pain. In those days, we had to pass a Constitution Test to graduate from 8th grade. I passed with a 98 and the humiliation was paralyzing. It was as though the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 had happened right under me and swallowed me whole. But I didn’t let it stop me from excelling in everything in high school. Well, not counting the A minus I got from Mr. Hollenberg in Sophomore English. That was worse than the Hindenburg disaster, worse even than the great Chicago Fire.

Several of my aides advised against me running for Head Cheerleader. They said I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have enough experience. I didn’t listen. When the results were announced during Homeroom, “Ted Cruz — Tied with Bonnie Binks for Third Attendant to Head Cheerleader,” I wept openly and unashamedly. I wept as the survivors of the Titanic must have wept for their vanished loved ones. And my left cheek pulsed as though a train were trying to escape from inside my skin. And the lesson I’d learned from Thor’s hammer came back to me and haunted me yet again. But I vowed then and there. “Next year First Attendant and the year after that – Head Cheerleader.”

Unfortunately, the year after that, I would be in my second year of college, and my Head Cheerleader dream would have turned to dust, the dusty, choking dust of my native West Texas — land of my birth, (except for the part where I was born in Canada), but I knew about dusty, choking dust. My off campus apartment at Princeton was like that only worse, worse than a Sahara sandstorm; the Dustbowl was just a dry afternoon. And I remember one night there was a roach on the kitchen counter, and my roommate was sore afraid. I went after it with a rolled up New York Times (I mean Wall Street Journal), but it attacked, and it kept attacking. It was Jurassic Park in a very small space.

Because I was brilliant (except for that A minus from Mr. Hollenberg) I graduated at the top of the class, almost. It was Third Attendant all over again. It was Pearl Harbor and Dunkirk. Actually, a little better than Third Attendant but it wasn’t Head Cheerleader. It was Tse Tse flies and Yellow Fever, malaria and Yaws. But, being brilliant, I got to Harvard Law School and it was there despite all my misfortune, all my suffering, all my disadvantages that I finally made Vice Head Cheerleader, so to speak. Magna Cum Laude. The only thing better is Summa Cum Laude. That is, the only thing better is Head Cheerleader. Sure I was proud but not prideful. If I’d been the Summa top dog, where would I go from there? I reasoned. There’s work to do, cleaning out the Augean Stables, for example. Bending gravity to my will, before breakfast, I thought.

Texas Solicitor General for five years. Practicing law before the Supreme Court, my specialty. Take that old Summa Cum Laude, take that. Then the run for Senator and the stunning, butt-whoopin’ victory over my opponent.

And today. (Tuesday all night and deep into Wednesday morning) I stood before the People’s representatives in the magnificent and august Senate chambers. I stood for approximately 21 hours and talked. I talked about the country, about the hardships many of us, especially including myself, have endured just to get to this station in life. And no, It’s not Head Cheerleader. It’s almost Vice Head Cheerleader, and that means there’s another step forward in this my “Almost Insurmountably Agonizing” life so far.

“And when people ask me, “Ted how did you do it ? How did you survive the horror of speaking in the Senate chambers for 21 hours or so?” I have an answer.

I’ll remind them of the Bataan Death March. The World War II event that saw Filipino and American GIs slaughtered, maimed, bayoneted and beheaded on that 90 mile Death March to the prisoner of war camp back in ’42. It’s believed several thousands died en route. No food, no water other than the filth they could sip from buffalo wallows along the jungle trails. And those who flagged or faltered were summarily executed.

“It was a lot like that, but also like that, some of the strong survived, and I guess I was the strong and lucky one this time.”

Chris Daley is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. His column appears each Friday.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 62 comments

  • EvelynSeptember 25, 2013 - 5:49 pm

    Chris: You should be ashamed of yourself!!! --- or, as some would prefer: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

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  • Dee#1September 25, 2013 - 6:25 pm

    Here is the authorized rusume. Chris, jealous much?-------------- Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 - May 2008, Cruz was the first Hispanic Solicitor General in Texas, the youngest Solicitor General in the entire country, and had the longest tenure in Texas history. Partner at the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice. Cruz has authored 80+ SCOTUS briefs and presented 40+ oral arguments before The Court Cruz served as a law clerk to Chief JusticeWilliam Rehnquist. Cruz was the first Hispanic ever to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States Described as a 'superb' constitutional lawyer, the man's considerable skills and laser-like focus were on display for all last week when he took oily reptile Eric Holder by the neck and made him answer the $%#*! question. In the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, Cruz assembled a coalition of 31 states in defense of the principle that the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. Cruz presented oral argument for the amici states in the companion case to Heller before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In addition to his victory in Heller, Cruz has successfully defended the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools and the majority of the 2003 Texas redistricting plan. Cruz also successfully defended, in Medellin v. Texas, the State of Texas against an attempt by the International Court of Justice to re-open the criminal convictions of 51 murderers on death row throughout the United States. Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission Domestic Policy Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, where he taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation Ted Cruz is currently junior US Senator from Texas. In order to win the 2012 Republican nomination for the Senate seat vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison, Cruz had to defeat Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst -heavily favored/backed by the DC old-guard GOP- in the Republican primary runoff. In the event, TEA Party favorite Cruz crushed Dewhurst, 57-43%... he then beat Democrat Paul Sadler in the general election by a similar margin, 56-41. Cruz is also endorsed by the Tea Party Movement and the Republican Liberty Caucus. AWARDS: "America's Leading Lawyers for Business," Chambers USA (2009 & 2010) "50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America," National Law Journal (2008) "25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century," Texas Lawyer (2010) "20 Young Hispanic Americans on the Rise," Newsweek (1999) Traphagen Distinguished Alumnus, Harvard Law School On November 14, 2012, Cruz was appointed vice-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He is now spearheading efforts in the Senate to have Obamacare repealed root-and-branch...

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  • Dee#1September 25, 2013 - 6:31 pm

    Resume please. Now please find the accomplishments of the WH resident that doesn't include Chicago politics.

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  • James E.September 25, 2013 - 6:51 pm

    Evelyn, the movie your suggested was wonderful. Thank you.

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  • James E.September 25, 2013 - 6:53 pm

    *** you

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  • cookie65September 27, 2013 - 6:35 am

    Cruz must be a bigger threat to the status quo of ever expanding government corruption and power than I realized. This adolescent swipe is what the left is. Our government has become a behemoth of a corrupt criminal enterprise. The leftists go about defending it by attacking, slandering and besmirching those who pay for it and accusing those who would dare to rein it in of being terrorists. This is number 68 of my top 100 reasons why I hate leftism.

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  • cookie65September 27, 2013 - 6:37 am

    Chris Daley, I am actually embarrassed for you.

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  • cookie65September 27, 2013 - 7:32 am

    Here is a speech given by Ted Cruz's father, a Cuban immigrant. (9 min). He, like his son delivers this without a teleprompter. It is very interesting and educational for those who aren't enlightened beyond the ability to learn. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0Ym4Xt0T6fM&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Ffeature%3Dplayer_detailpage%26v%3D0Ym4Xt0T6fM%3D&app=desktop

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  • Paddy O'furnitureSeptember 27, 2013 - 8:34 am

    Daley, you are a sorry excuse for a journalist. Your pettiness and banality is rivaled only by The Groaner. Indeed, you should be ashamed, but since you likely are not, I'll be ashamed of you in your stead.

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  • Placerville NativeSeptember 27, 2013 - 8:35 am

    Congratulations Mr Daley! You hold a job where you are paid generate political swill. Good for you!

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  • 1036-FrankSeptember 27, 2013 - 9:21 am

    First of all this insults the veterans who survived and gave their lives fighting the horrors of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. They were heroes and fought on until their supplies ran out and their commanders gave up. To compare this in a childish way to a Senator's attempt to block a vote for socialized redistribution govt. welfare care that is an unwanted nightmare and something that 60% of citizens oppose is a further disgrace. I guess he thinks his President Bummer is a role model here without asking the nearly 70% of people who disapprove of his actions. He should try writing a biography of him, although of his early life and travel and residency and visa and school records, they are not available and are being withheld for fear of what might be found. He might want to start by finding his relatives from Kenya illegally in this country. The places he is very popular are among the Muslim radical groups and The Brotherhood and those groups opposed to this country and our allies. He is their hero as he has increased their power, provided support and arms, and helped wreck their countries former stability and overthrow their leaders. He can barely gather groups of college students now in this country to hear his blather and threats about his pyramid scheme govt. welfare care that six out of ten don't want. There is your comparison and as usual, there isn't any.

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  • EllenSeptember 28, 2013 - 8:31 am

    I actually loved this; thanks Chris. Can't wait for the next installment of "Insurmountable Agony...."... Is the online version different than print, as the working title differs slightly.

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  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 28, 2013 - 8:50 am

    Chris, thank you for choosing the Bataan Death March analogy for your final choice over . . . say . . . Auschwitz concentration camp or Buchenwald concentration camp or Dachau. Save those big ones for the ACA death panels and contraceptive abortion.

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  • cookie65September 28, 2013 - 10:04 am

    Come on Phil, what would it take for you to realize the being a citizen of America, waking up everyday with more freedom, opportunity and prosperity than 99% of all humans in history could have ever dreamed of is practically identical to the Bataan death march. You really need to get your metaphors straight. No wonder you didn't get the meaning of hope and change and the importance of fundamentally transforming America. If not for obamacare we would have had a bathtub shortage due to the people stealing them to brave 90 miles of open ocean in order to get to Cuba.

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  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 28, 2013 - 10:22 am

    Metaphors schmetaphors! Analogy as simile. . . . whatever . . . So I forfeit merit pay raise.

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  • James E.September 28, 2013 - 10:28 am

    Cookie, reference sites to bolster one's argument. You note rightist sites. I do not accept them, just as you wouldn't accept leftist sites if I were to reference them. I find rightist sites to be biased, just as you see leftist sites as biased. So each to their own, but we shouldn't expect them to justify our argument.

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  • cookie65September 28, 2013 - 10:43 am

    James, take your pick on this site's political persuasion. What is the purpose of police departments purchasing military grade war machines? http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/09/dallas_county_now_has_its_very.php

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  • James E.September 28, 2013 - 10:49 am

    Cookie, without looking at your site it's because they can. Federal government has provided the equipment or the money and police departments have long seen themselves as citizen soldiers. Notice their wearing of military insignia -- four star police chiefs, etc. What police department doesn't want a couple of tanks, especially if they don't have to pay for them.

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  • James E.September 28, 2013 - 10:53 am

    Then, when there is a riot on Main Street they can move the main gun full down and let loose a couple of canister rounds. Riot over.

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  • James E.September 28, 2013 - 11:10 am

    The canister round is a tank/artillery round that is filled with ball bearings. You do not want to be in front of the main gun/artillery piece when it goes off.

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  • James E.September 28, 2013 - 11:22 am

    Senator Cruz: Was it the Sermon on the Mount, or was it an appeal for donations? Please advise your answer and please show your work (as in Math).

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  • James E.September 28, 2013 - 11:37 am

    Actually it's not a tank, more an armored SUV. No main gun but it has a firing position on top, probably mounts a .50 cal machine gun. When our police/sheriff departments gets an Abrams tank, then watch out EDC.

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  • James E.September 28, 2013 - 11:39 am

    OK, as it appears I'm alone in the room I'm going to depart for a bit. Be back later.

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  • Dee#1September 28, 2013 - 12:28 pm

    Maybe the shutdown is a good thing considering how many servants the WH has.-----http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-28/shutdown-nears-as-u-s-republicans-plot-against-obamacare.html

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  • cookie65September 29, 2013 - 6:45 am

    Here is what revisionist history looks like. Mr. Daley could use this piece as a launch pad to pen some adolescent swipes at Winston Churchill. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2013/09/neville_chamberlain_was_right_to_cede_czechoslovakia_to_adolf_hitler_seventy.single.html

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  • JEDSeptember 29, 2013 - 10:28 pm

    I quite enjoyed your satire on Cruz. Maybe those that didn't would prefer reading Dr. Seuss? They are child-like in their rants and cannot comprehend facts. The bogeyman under their bed isn't the President or his healthcare plan which will help so many. They are their worst enemy.

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  • The Crafty LadySeptember 30, 2013 - 8:35 am

    Everyone who is angry at Daley, you do realize that Ted Cruz ACTUALLY compared his 21 hour speech to the Bataan Death March, right? http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/ted-cruz-compares-his-21-hour-speech-to-baatan-death-march

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  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 30, 2013 - 9:02 am

    The Crafty Lady, regarding my September 28, 2013 - 8:50 am ~~~ I offer an apology to Chris(begrudgingly) . . . . damn! . . .

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  • Dee#1September 30, 2013 - 9:57 am

    Longhofer, just because you don't like sites that have a different philosophy then you does not make them wrong. If what they publish is incorrect, prove it.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 10:08 am

    Dee#1, darn it. Just wrote an extensive answer to your request and it disappeared. So here is my second effort: No. And please provide your last name so I can address you with it.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 10:14 am

    No, No, No, and you can't make me.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 10:16 am

    Rather than me proving them wrong, how about you proving them right.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 10:27 am

    Will the president cave? He has in the past, but I hope he has learned his lesson: Simply, if you give in to blackmailers, they will come back again and again so the only approach is no, no, and no.

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  • Dee#1September 30, 2013 - 10:58 am

    Longhofer, I have no need to prove you are wrong. And I do not play by your rules.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 11:12 am

    Oh Dee#1, you are so aggressive, but so easy.

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  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 30, 2013 - 11:48 am

    At the moment I'm visioning a Dee#1 VS James Mysterio Longhofer smack down. Venue?

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 12:04 pm

    Phil, no, it's over. A clean pin.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 12:06 pm

    Phil, the right fight for me is with my wife. She declares we need a new floor lamp. Oh, but would it be so easy. I have now viewed over 1,000 styles of floor lamps and it continues.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 12:08 pm

    Not germane to floor lamps, but we are about 12 hours from the Obamacare exchanges. Senator Cruz had better hurry.

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  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 30, 2013 - 12:14 pm

    James, victory by surrender. Let her pick the lamp. "Yes, Dear" always wins.

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  • Dee#1September 30, 2013 - 12:17 pm

    Phil-when Longhofer is incoherent, I just ignore him.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 12:25 pm

    Dee#1 always ignores when she is defeated. And, as she ignores there is no reason to continue any chat with her -- after all, how can one chat with someone who ignores? Dee# continues to be easy, so very easy. And, on that note, I now depart for my lovely (not) veggy/fruit lunch. Later.

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  • Dee#1September 30, 2013 - 12:51 pm

    Phil, have you ever noticed how, like Obama, when ever he says something, he thinks that makes it so. He is delusional.

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  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 30, 2013 - 1:03 pm

    Dee, "truth by proclamation" is the mainstay of leftist tactics and strategy. Another tactic is to flee the scene and pretend to be otherwise occupied - as in cucumber sandwiches - yuck!

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 1:46 pm

    Phil, really? I'm not allowed a lunch break? As for Dee#1 she is never going to win an argument with me. I've had 60 years experience arguing with my wife, from our junior high school years (why have they changed this to middle school?) to our dotage. Again, Phil, I'm disappointed that you would think I'm hiding from Dee#1. As you may recall, she started it with her demand that I prove rightest site references wrong. When I asked her to do the same with leftist sites, she said she didn't play by my rules, yet she wants me to play by her rules. Typical.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    Dee#1, and don't you know it is disrespectful to call someone by their last name when you hide your own? Typical. Also, I suspect Dee bulldozes her own husband and therefore thinks she can do it to other men. Not going to happen Dee. Give the respect that you demand.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    OK, Phil, does it appear I'm hiding?

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  • R.J. CarterSeptember 30, 2013 - 1:52 pm

    According to sources, no government entities that are self sustaining will be affected by the government shutdown...Only government entities that are not self sustaining and require White house funding to stay up and running will be shutdown....Meaning, MSNBC goes of the air at midnight...

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  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 30, 2013 - 1:55 pm

    James, it did indeed appear that you were hiding behind your wife's "needs".

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 1:57 pm

    Phil, exactly what needs would that be?

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  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 30, 2013 - 1:58 pm

    . . . after all floor lamps and cucumber sandwiches tend to erode one's . . . uh . . . masculinity . . . just because you say you don't eat quiche doesn't mean you can put a whooping on DEE#1.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 2:12 pm

    Phil, your sister recommended the cucumbers. And, yes, men are not manly when they talk about floor lamps?? Strange criteria for being not manly, as in all men who have floor lamps in their homes and discuss the types with their wives not manly?? Dee#1 put the whooping on herself and well deserved. My wife's needs??? Come on Phil, you have to do better if you are going to defend Dee#1. Which I know is tough, and impossible among rational individuals. I know your last name. What is Dee#1's last name. I want to disrespect her by using it.

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  • R.J. CarterSeptember 30, 2013 - 2:19 pm

    I think the last time I saw a floor lamp was in an I Love Lucy rerun....

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    R.J., I know, but they are still around. How you doing?

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 2:27 pm

    I remember watching I Love Lucy when they were original episodes. Oh, I know, it's not manly to watch I Love Lucy, but give me some slack -- I was only 15.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 2:29 pm

    Phil, I propose we agree to disagree regarding Dee#1, and return to our stable relationship. I really do not want to argue manly with you -- it leads nowhere.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 2:42 pm

    Evelyn, that was an excellent film. And, wow, didn't it work for the truck driver! A film that everyone should watch unless they are: Male, 130lbs, Female, 105lbs.

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  • James E.September 30, 2013 - 3:05 pm

    All, my MAC just blew up. On my wife's MAC -- lucky, it's newer. OK, I'm off to buy a new MAC. Not sure how old mine was. Four-five years? Well, this will help the gross national product. Later.

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  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 30, 2013 - 3:19 pm

    . . . oh right . . . the old "my MAC just blew up" is a weak substitute for "the dog ate my homework". Dee#1, you win. . . . floor lamps, cucumber sandwiches . . . MAC attack . . . never ending liberal gibberish

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  • R.J. CarterSeptember 30, 2013 - 3:28 pm

    I'm doing good James, thanks for asking...Just got back home from the Pacific Coast Fog-Fest...Two days of fun, shucked oysters & martinis on the beach...

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  • Dee#1September 30, 2013 - 7:38 pm

    Longhofer, of course I know I am disrespectful. And frankly, I do not give a flying hoot if you respect me. As far as I am concerned the respect os a sexist has no value. Phil you are so funny. You goaded him into four attacks that mean nothing. He is truely delusional.

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  • spectatorOctober 01, 2013 - 6:25 am

    children at play

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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