RW86 - The East/West Perspective

This week, Dan and John talk about

They had rescheduled their show, so this was not their normal day or normal time. John woke up really early today at 6am because his daughter had to go to school.

Winter has come to Seattle and the city has settled into their normal el-niño winter status, which is 55 degrees (13°C) and raining which will last until June.

Draft version
The segments below are drafts that will be incorporated into the rest of the Wiki as time permits.

John’s new sleep schedule (RW86)

There had been some change at the Che Roderick just this week: John has decided to have a fixed bed time! His new motto is:

At midnight you’re done, asleep by one.

He will turn off all his devices at midnight and John will just be done for the day, which is a huge change for him. Normally he pushes the envelope to 3am to 4am. The other day he realized that this life-long lawlessness without any governing rules and walking around with 3 hours of sleep has started to affect the quality of his life. John is looking for a little bit of structure, something he would never had said before! He had bought some blackout curtains and was been thinking about getting an alarm clock in order not having to look at his phone. This is already day 4 and last night he got 4,5 hours of sleep from 1:30am to 6am. If he can be asleep at 1am and get up at 9am except on mornings where he has to get his kid to school, he will get 8 hours of sleep. His body will get used to it and will start to manufacture melatonin in the way that bodies do. There is nothing to do at 3am except BB-stacking. The new schedule also means that he will value the hours between 8pm and 12am a lot more, because he has to pack them full of goodness.

The situation last night was complicated because John had stored up a few Blue Aprons and when you get a couple of them on the back log, it is very difficult to get back on the horse. He threw a few chicken dishes into a Crock-pot and created a new delicious concoction. If this tastes great with chicken and that tastes great with chicken, it probably tastes great together! The problem is that the Crock-pot is not a quick way to cook and therefore he was faced with a Sophie’s choice to either put it on slow-cook, but then it will be done at 5am, or put it on fast-cook, but then it will be done 11:30pm, which he did. He tested it as it was done and it was delicious. John ate another bowl and another bowl. After that he had too much pie before he finally went to bed, which is bad because he diverted the blood that is supposed to create sleepy dreams in his brain to his stomach to digest those Blue Aprons. Doing so will put your dreams in your stomach! John didn’t have very many dreams in the last few years because of this sleep deficit. Most of the dreams he would have been having ended up in somebody else’s dreamcatcher that some dingeling had put up for no good reason.

Dan suggests that John could try to take a very low dose of melatonin while he makes his transition from the 3am guy to the 1am guy. The lower the dose, the better. 1mg or even a bit less is all that you need to take 30 minutes before you want to be tired. John got melatonin lying around from on of the girls who were going in and out over the years. Girls are always taking this thing or that thing, and are experimenting with herbal essences and so on. John has a medicine cabinet full of weird stuff. John just wants his pineal gland to get on the stick and start making some melatonin on its own! This is an unusual phrase, he would never say ”i smell what you are cooking” or ”brother from another mother”, ”I’m picking up what you’re laying down”, because those are not necessary at all, but ”get on the stick” he’ll say. Another thing Dan recommends is magnesium which can be very helpful for the general wellbeing. It relaxes without having a sedative effect. Dan recommends magnesium glycinate, 2 pills of 400mg, about an hour before going to sleep. Dan’s secret weapon however is called Inositol. The best way to take it is as a powder. It does not make you groggy, but it makes you sleep well. It improves brain function in general and they give it to people with social anxiety because it calms you down and makes you feel good. People with severe anxiety and OCD need large quantities of it, but otherwise a few tea spoons in water are enough. It can be taken together with magnesium and melatonin.

John feels like he is tip-toeing into a garden cultivated by Dan. He tip-toes around a cemetery and there is farmer Dan with his hoe and his carefully attended little plants with little signs on them. If you want to take a bath and sleep well you do the Epsom salts. They consist of magnesium that is absorbed through the skin. For example, if you want to take testosterone, you cannot ingest it because it would go right out again. Instead you have to smear it on you as a cream. It only goes in through your skin! John doesn’t like medicine! Until he started to take his bipolar medicine a couple of years ago he would never take anything, even when he got sick. No herbal remedies, no tinctures, not anything! The last thing Dan wanted mention was L-Tryptophan, which is rumored to be the thing that makes you sleepy after a turkey dinner, but it is not true, you would have to eat something like 50 turkeys, which not even John could eat. If you took all that meat off a turkey, could you maybe compress it into one super-dense turkey bar? When they were kids, there existed something called a turkey-loaf from Svansen or Jenny-O. John has never eaten anything by Jenny-O, because he had assumed that this was weight-loss-food (John was thinking of Jenny Craig).

John’s daughter complaining about wheat bread (RW86)

John discovered a life-hack this morning: His kid had been complaining about the peanutbutter-and-jelly-sandwiches he is sending her to school and it turned out that her objection was about his super-nutty-seedy wheat-bread. Kids don’t know the difference until she went to school and someone else showed her a white-bread sandwich. Now she feels ripped-off just like John did at the time when his mom used to buy three-day-old bread to save money and John didn’t know any better until some rich girl once traded half a wonderbread-sandwich with him. Not only did he fall in love with her, but also with her sandwich. So John made his daughter a grilled-cheese sandwich at 6:30am this morning and put it into those Japanese lunch containers. She will certainly love a room-temperature grilled-cheese sandwich! It might be a life-hack, because there is nothing easier to make than a grilled-cheese sandwich.

The city structure of Houston, Texas (RW86)

Dan had just been to Houston, Texas and it seemed that it had recovered from the recent hurricanes. John had been in Houston before, but has spent a lot more time in Austin. At the center of Houston there is this delightful old town. It is not the center of Downtown Houston, which feels like a very weird Blade Runner post-apocalyptic downtown. The close-in neighborhoods feel like New Orleans. There are wonderful, creative people and there is a lot of action in the central parts of town, but as you get outside of it, you see crazy endless American sprawl. Huston has huge flash-flood ditches and culverts, suggesting that they were really expecting a deluge, but as it turned out it was not enough. There is so much concrete in Huston from all the roads, overpasses and loops. It blew Dan away as he was thinking about it. There is very little vegetation anywhere and everything is under construction. Houston is probably growing faster than Austin and they are already one of the biggest cities in America. John finds their small city blocks unusual. Other Western Cities with a lot of room to spread out have long blocks with plenty of space for high-rises, like in Austin. In downtown Houston however, the blocks are small and with those giant skyscrapers you feel like a mouse in a mouse-maze. It is also the Bible-belt and after 10pm there is zilch happening there and it is completely abandoned. You can drive around and ignore all the traffic lights and spin brodies on the intersections. With no traffic and no cops, you can do whatever you want! Downtown Denver used to be like that. John was there once in the middle of the night in a borrowed jeep and they were brodying.

They banter about Delaware for a while. John thinks they are up to no good and he doesn’t know what happens on that coast.

Long-distance traveling through the US (RW86)

John has a good friend who just moved back to Fairfield, a little town in Iowa where she had grown up and where the Maharishi had built a university. Nobody knows what he is up to! As John was looking at this map trying to figure it out, he realized why he had never been there: There is no reason whatsoever to go there, unless you are chasing the Maharishi. As long-distance travelers we think of a lot of the states from an east-west perspective, because we are always crossing the US east-west. You are very rarely going from Calgary to Louisiana. John might have been across Iowa 400 times, but how many times did he travel north-south? Not very many! People will leave Iowa City and go through Cedar Rapids on your way up to Minneapolis, but going south from Iowa City? There is nothing there! You could drive forever if you went straight down from Fairfield. You would go through Columbia, the college town Missouri, keep driving because there is nothing, and come all the way across Missouri, Arkansas until you eventually get to New Orleans. That right there is a road trip! From Minneapolis down to New Orleans without going through a town with more than 10.000 people. That’s what Harley people probably do!

John’s motorcycle trip from Seattle to Alaska (RW86)

John always wanted to drive up the Hall road. When he was a kid, it was a closed, private pipeline-road from Fairbanks to Barrow, which is a super-duper long 3-day drive. There is no other way to get to Barrow except by airplane. John’s mom was a pretty high ranking employee at Alyeska Pipeline and she had flown the whole road in a helicopter multiple times as part of her job listening to the complaints from all the engineers. She has all those wonderful stories from the helicopter, but John wanted to drive the road. His friend Ben contacted him recently and wanted to drive to Alaska on a sponsored KTM bike and John immediately suggested to drive the Hall road. Ben is a very experienced motorcyclist and life-long gear-head and he expressed immediate reservation, so John read up about it and found one story after another about guys getting airlifted and experienced motorcyclists getting destroyed by the death road. The more John read about it, the more he realized that he is not a good enough motorcycle rider to manage a big undertaking like that.

There will be a strip of 700 yards where you are completely out of control and if you are not good enough, you will go completely ass-over-teakettle, 800 miles from the nearest gas station, let alone hospital. John has been on an out-of-control motorcycle before and he didn’t like it at all. Then he came back to Ben a little chagrinned, told him that it burns him a little bit not being able to drive the Hall road on a motorcycle, because if the hardest version of something presents itself to him, he always wants to do it and he considers himself a failure for not succeeding at the hardest thing. They redirected their plans to Northern BC, the Yukon territories and Nunavik which means that they are just slightly modifying their trip and go to Canada. That is still a pretty good trip! All the crazy North of Canada was part of Manitoba and Nunavik is a new Canadian territory that encompasses the crazy North-of Hudson-Bay arctic region. You can’t get there by road, just like Northern Alaska. At some point along the way they realized it makes no sense to call it Manitoba because it is a universe apart and so they split it off and called it a new thing.

Hair styling (RW86)

For a long time, John bought pomades from the shelf with black people hair products at the drug store. He always found them inexpensive and just as good as anythings else. He also likes the artwork on the cans, for example the horse shampoo Mane 'n Tail or Bag Balm, the stuff that was developed to make cow utters better before girls started using it on their boobs to make them soft like a cow utter. That is the kind of pomade he uses, which is basically just wax and oil. Recently, John got his hair cut by his fancy haircut friend because he had let it go too crazy. Normally he cuts his own hair, but every once in a while you have to go to a professional. Afterwards she up-sold him on some fancy hair stuff, which is part of how they make their living.

When John was in High School, he never used Brylcreem, because it was a bit trucker. You would use it when you wore a duck's ass (short: DA), the kind of pompadour for old truck drivers with an upsweep that makes the back of their hair look like a duck’s ass. It is from back in the old days when people would wear Levi’s with cuffs. John wasn’t a trucker guy and therefore he used Vitalis which he considered a great above. It felt like just alcohol and oil mixed together. Also, John was in high-school when gel first arrived and all those haircuts from the 1980:s are based on that stiff glue. You put that in your hair, and as long as you wouldn’t touch your hair it looked perfect all day and into the night. John was always contrary, so he continued taking Vitalis. He doesn’t say that his hair ever looked good, but he was using it at times when he needed it, like for Junior Prom. He had that same Vitalis bottle with a price tag from Longs Drugs at $1,98 until really recently and it might even be still in his towel closet somewhere.

Going to the doctor (RW86)

Dan remembers that when he was having an ear-ache at a very young age, they would give him a hot-water bottle into his bed. They would also give him some awful-tasting medicine that would knock him out and make him go back to sleep immediately. Later when he was trying whiskey for the first time as a young adult, it reminded him of the medicine they used to give him when he was 3 years old and his mom admitted that they had given him whiskey back then. What parent gives their 3 year old a shot of whiskey at night and sends them back to bed with a hot-water bottle? At one point they had run out of the ear-ache medicine and as they called the doctor, he asked them if they had any whiskey to give their child, because it is about the same thing. Can you imagine this happening in 2017? There are probably still a lot of doctors like that out there.

John was in between doctors for a long time and he was without insurance for a while. When he got back some insurance and wanted to see the doctor again, he found it quite hard to find somebody. He wanted to see an old guy, because he is an old guy and he wanted to see an older guy, someone who still has one of those round flippy mirrors on top of his head with a white coat and a stethoscope around his neck. Then he remembered going to this lady doctor a few years ago who had told him that he needed to go see a head-shrinker because she thought that he was bipolar. She was this no-nonsense doctor who had gone to NYU and John liked the way she talked to him. So even though he wanted an old guy with a mirror, he went back to this lady doctor, because she gives him the doctrine that he liked. He saw her the other day and as he told her why he came back, she insisted that she would never say things like that! Her name is Dr. Enrica Basilico, and he declared that she is his doctor now and she can call bullshit on him as much as she likes, even if she is the one that is bullshit. It is good to have a contentious relationship with your doctor and John can’t imagine it any other way.

Dan feeling old (RW86)

Dan finds it fascinating that he is now up at an age where people who he always thought must be older than him are now all of a sudden the same age or even younger. Dan was at this meeting in Houston with one of the agencies who sell podcast ads and work with sponsors. There were 8-12 people in there and most of them were in their early 20s. That’s normal! Not that long ago everybody was older than him, and now he was the old guy in the room. It is weird! But the receptionist was like 60 years old. Dan succeeded in his business as much as he’d hoped to.

John working with much younger musicians (RW86)

The drummer of The Long Winters, Nabil Ayers, runs a record label in New York City now and you can’t just get him out here any time. John knows a lot of great drummers in town, but they are all total pains in the ass. Recently they recorded a track with a young drummer named Jay Clancy who is also a guitar player and a singer. He fronts the band Sloucher (Facebook!), a great Seattle band with a really cool album. Jay was creative, good at the drums and fun to have around. John let him play the guitar on one of the parts and he played the guitar well. At some point, John asked him about his age and he was 25. When John was 25, Jay was 1 year old! He wasn’t a nerd and he wasn’t that annoying, he could hang and he didn’t millennium John at all, but he was just sitting on the couch like any other musician. When John thinks about himself at 25, he would have been useless in that situation. He would have sat on the couch and just made everybody uncomfortable. It takes all kinds! When you meet 25-year-olds in business or in the world while you are older, they are by definition the competent and good ones, because they have made it to a point where they are meeting you! You are not meeting the dummies, of which John was one. You will just look at the dumb 25-year-olds when they are walking by on the sidewalk, but the talented ones are already up there with the guys in their 40s. They got some hustle, they are smart, and they got themselves patched together already.

John wasn’t even visibly a human being until he was about 30. Prior to that, he was just like ”Who threw this old pile of seafood into a set of clothes and cast a dirty spell on it so it could walk around?” There are so many dumbass 25-year olds around, they pave the earth a mile thick! Still, most people are pretty competent. 25 years used to be a full-grown person and there are still 25-year olds with kids in elementary school. The only thing John wishes somebody would have told him when he was 25 is that he was a tragic case and this wasn’t the end. Just because you are a dumbass now doesn’t mean you won’t figure it out along the way and it won't be fine. You are just wondering why there are other successful 25-year olds, but you are not one of them. The guy who started SnapChat is 25, although he and his dad are probably jerks. The only person John had to compare himself to was Kurt Cobain and even though he was so much more successful than John was, he was on his way to cratering. When he cratered he made them all sad and nobody was wishing to commit suicide at that age. Nowadays people are not even trying to be Rock stars anymore, but they are trying to develop a stupid app and be rich. Dan interjects that those days are pretty much over and it is not as easy anymore and John calls it a gross time in human history.

Stepping back from the news (RW86)

John has been very happy and very successful in pulling way way back from everything the Internet is supposedly providing us. He still looks things up and he does podcasts, but he has taken a huge step back from all social media that played such a huge role for him during the last 10 years. Every inch of that big step has improved the quality of his life! Looking at it more than once a day puts you in a death spiral! Dan agrees and extends this from social media to email: Many people have their email-app open the whole day while they are working at their computer. Something about social media makes you feel that you are going to miss out. It doesn’t seem that long ago when you got your news by turning on your TV at 6pm and watching the news. Afterwards, the TV went off again half of the time. In the morning you would read the newspaper while you were having your coffee. Those were the opportunities to hear what was going on in the world and people wouldn’t know what had happened until late. Is it so much better now when you can find out about everything immediately? Yes, it is good if it has a dramatic effect on your life, like when a tornado or a tidal wave is coming your way, but if something else happens in the world, does it really matter if you are hearing about it when it happens or if you are hearing about it at 6pm? John isn’t sure if it is even nice to hear about it at all! The last year of Twitter that he really enjoyed was the year before the 2016 US presidential election. He had come to feel that Twitter was a news channel and he was really engaging with this hive-mind examination of the news. Before other people had even heard of something, he had already read 30 hot-takes on it. Those hot-takes were generally good and not hectoring, lectury, or shrill. Twitter was useful as a news channel, but the last election ruined everything.

Gun regulations (RW86)

John is a gun-owner who thinks that guns are cool, but he still believes that guns should be regulated. Gun-ownership should have as much regulation on it than motorcycle ownership, which is not that onerous. You can’t just get on a motorcycle and drive it across people’s lawns. You have to have a license, you have to have insurance and you have to pass a test. Nobody got a problem with that except crazy libertarians who think there shouldn’t be any regulation at all. There should be a license for guns, you should probably have insurance and you should probably have a class and take a test. Anybody in this country who thinks that that is an unreasonable amount of regulation on guns is just not thinking properly about it.

Your well-regulated militia is going to be fine despite having to take a test about guns and they are probably even fine with having insurance. They are afraid that the government is going to know how many guns they have and that Jack-booted FBI-agents are going to come to their house and take all their secret guns. You are a dingeling if you think that! Everybody including the government already knows you have guns because you are an asshole out there in the world and everybody assumes you have guns. If John wouldn't tell everybody that he has guns, people wouldn’t know about it because he is a peaceful hippie. They are all squired away and if you break into his house, he is not going to shoot you! He has an umbrella stand full of swords that you have to get past. Long before he will open his gun safe, he will have chopped you into little sausage pieces, except that one time when that guy came into his house, stole all his stuff and John didn’t even wake up. Other than that, he will get you with a sword!

Following the news on Twitter (RW86)

Why does John need to know about the mass-shooting in Las Vegas at all, other than for the shared experience of Americans living through a tragedy together? There is nothing in that story that helps John prepare to be better situated in case there will be a mass shooting around him. Knowing about it does not make him feel better. How does it help him to know that the shooter had these bump stocks and that he stood up in a hotel apparently for no reason at all and shot over 50 people? Everybody’s hot take doesn’t matter, nor does the fact that it is in the news over and over again. John was as addicted as anybody and was googling ”Vegas shooter” every hour for about a week because he wanted to hear them say that they have found his manifesto or that he had an accomplice or something. He wanted to see some video tape where he would say ”Look at me, mom!” It was like that plane that just flew forever into the Indian Ocean and nobody ever knew what happened to it. For a week, everybody was googling what happened to that spooky fucking plane, but does it help? Do you sleep better at night? Does it make you a better parent? It is a better use of your time at the water cooler when you talk about the latest episode of Will & Grace you saw, than it is to have the Las Vegas shooter to be the thing you are talking about, let alone the war in Syria or what Trump is going to do about North Korea. John is already not going to vote for Trump again, he just hopes Trump doesn’t bomb North Korea or maybe it is one of those weird things where Trump bombs North Korea and problem solved? Then all of the North Koreans peacefully become South Koreans and there will be a difficult 10-year assimilation period like it was with East Germany and then they start making IKEAs up there and it turns out that Trump was a genius.

Either way, John does not have any authority, we already blew it! Not knowing the news has improved his quality of life! When important things happen like Harvey Weinstein, then you do have to soak it up and read a certain number of hot takes, but you do not have to read every one! There was a Time magazine in the doctors office yesterday and John read all the articles about Harvey Weinstein in it. Time is not where he would go for hard-hitting analysis, but there were 3 or 4 articles that absolutely covered the breadth of the sexual assault allegations around Harvey Weinstein. It was good reporting and the tone was correct, because those articles were all written by women. This news found its way to John and he knew he had a responsibility to acquire the sphere of knowledge around those 40 years of events and digest it. A week later, John read a synopsis in a news digest, which was basically all that any of us need. Had he been on Twitter, he would have spent those entire 5 days reading 8000 hot takes, 7500 of which were written by people he doesn’t know or admire and who only were in his timeline because they had been retweeted by someone he follows for a reason he can’t remember. It would have just been a week-long cascade of people recapitulating outrage.

Any thoughtful person knows that the experience people had with Harvey Weinstein is, if not universal, then at least widespread among women and not just in show business. It became very visible because Angelina Jolie was part of the conversation. How many oil company executives treat their female employees worse than this? How many politicians do? A lot of them! The people who work as assistants of oil company executives or politicians don’t have the ability to even get it on the front pages like Angelina Jolie and it took 40 years even for Hollywood stars to be listened to. What John does not need is 700 people on Twitter saying the same thing in their own words with their own brittle notion of themselves as social pundits. Punditry, just like graphic art, is a thing that everybody thinks they are good at, but being a good graphic artist is a talent and a set of trained skills. Somehow we all think these days that our first thought on things belongs on the editorial page. John just can’t bear it anymore. It used to be that Most People weren’t on Twitter, but now they are everywhere and John doesn’t want to listen to Most People. He never did! He doesn’t even care if they agree with him or not, he just doesn’t want to hear their version, because either it will be obvious or he can get a better version somewhere else from somebody who knows what they are talking about and knows how to talk.

John’s political enemy running for city council again (RW86)

When John was running for city council in 2015, his primary opponent was Tim Burges, the sitting president of the council. He was the oldest guy in the council and a former police officer who was pretty respected in the city except that he was not sufficiently liberal for Seattle. In any other city council in any other city in the country he would be the furthest left guy that anybody had heard of, but in Seattle he was the stand-in for commercial development and kowtowing to the Downtown business interests. John was running to the left of him. Then there was yet another guy John Grant who ran to the left of them both, because he was a long time housing advocate and housing was the big issue in that election as it kind of still is in 2017. He had no plan for any other aspect of the city and no understanding of any city-wide system, but he had really good bonafides on housing and he was a relentless advocate. At political events John Grant would give this stump speech, which is how you play politics these days: You give your same speech over and over and you stick to your party line. John extemporized his speeches depending on what he was thinking about at the moment, which was bad politics to do. ”Hey everybody, I’m a guy who is running for office and here is what I think”, while John Grant was just hammering away on his five points. Tim Burges didn’t really have to do anything. He would just get up and run down the list of things he had done on the city council. He was the one who passed the law that made it safe for babies and he passed the law that made money possible and all John Grant could say was that he hadn’t done enough for renters and John would ask the audience if they wouldn’t like somebody who was groovier? The people of Seattle were not sure if that was what they wanted.

John came out of the election process really disliking John Grant, who in John's estimation is not a very likable person. John didn’t like the way he behaved either. He had obviously been coached by people who had run a lot of political campaigns and they were telling him that he needed to go after John Roderick and nail him. He started campaigning negatively against John, which was rude, but which is also a version of politics. Tim Burges wasn’t doing it and John wasn’t doing it either. John said that both those guys were good, but they should still pick him, because he is super-better! One time in a crucial moment he really caught John unawares. They had a couple of behind-the-scenes conversations where John Grant would propose to join forces in order to get Tim Burges, but then he would get up on the stand and rip John to shreds. John’s dad was a life-long politician and he had several political grudges, some of them lasted 50 years. Somebody in some democratic party caucus had voted some way on some legislation that John’s dad perceived to be against his platform and that guy Herb Leg was forever on his shit-list! Herb didn’t have any grudge against John’s dad at all and would even send him Christmas cards. John wasn’t against John Grant, he just didn’t like him and wanted him to lose. He lost to Tim Burges 75:25. He beat John in the primary, but ended up losing, and John was like ”Muhahaha, you get what you deserve, punk!”

John Grant ran again this year for the same seat and it just burned John. He didn’t like that guy and didn’t want him to win, because he is not honest. He is a leftist, which are John’s principles, but he doesn’t think that a dishonest leftist is a better choice than somebody with integrity, whatever their political believes. In the primary he was way behind and the other candidate was ahead of him and he was running this diligent, but losing race. The election is coming up and two days ago he got the endorsement of the Seattle Times. The candidate he is running against has all the unions backed up behind her and she had what was considered kind of a shoe-in, but the Seattle Times eventually endorsed John Grant. John is not sure what The Stranger is going to do. They didn’t endorse John Grant in the primary which doesn’t mean they won’t flip around, but John was seething! The Seattle Times can not elect a candidate anymore, because they are a very establishment-newspaper and this town is for the most part anti-establishment. The Stranger does still have the ability to endorse a candidate and tens of thousands of people in the city just vote a straight Stranger ticket and copy the Stranger’s election endorsements onto their ballot. John had to confront the fact that it is possible that John Grant might actually get elected to the city council and he was walking around chewing on nails for a couple of days, because he was a political enemy. Then he realized that they share a political understanding. If he actually accomplishes his stated goals of making effective change in Seattle’s housing situation, it would be a net good and John hopes for that. He had to bitterly accept that if John Grant was elected, it won’t be bad for Seattle. John’s dad surely spun in his grave that John didn’t water his political grudge.

John subscribed to the newspaper again recently, which is the ultimate old-man move. It is waiting on his front porch every morning, just like in the old times. John wishes there were still classified ads, because he would sit and read about the used lawn mower for sale. Now that John is reading the newspaper and his political enemies are succeeding, he feels more and more that he will just go down into the basement and work on his train set.

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