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All Gators All The Time


Before anyone objects, let me explain my reasoning for the decision to devote the A-blog for the rest of the month to last night's epochal Gator victory. I just want to do my part as a citizen, as an American, and, most of all, as a Gator.

My ridiculous offspring do not grasp how lucky they are to have Gator blood. This morning I instructed them to walk tall through school, and tell people who and what they are (Gators) and express sincere condolences to others that they can't be the same thing. Pride mixes with compassion. Repeat after me: "I'm glad I'm me and I'm sorry you have to be you."

Tonight we'll do a live-blog of the Tivo version of the big win. I'll get my friend John, who has Tivo, to start the replay of the game at 8:45 EST, which roughly matches the time of last night's kickoff, and we can re-experience the historic event as though it were happening for the first time. If you can't watch the game on Tivo or on a tape, then please join us here on the blog and post comments at what you imagine would be appropriate moments (i.e., dismay when the Buckeyes return the opening kick for a touchdown, elation when the Gators march back for 6 through OSU's tissue-paper defense, derision when the Rock'em Sock'em robot fails for the 19th time to put a dent in the Dodge).

As the blog superintendent let me point out that the following boodle comment, posted by TBG, is not amusing and is grounds for permanent banishment and/or severe ostracization: "Imagine what Joel will be like when Princeton plays for all the marbles in... the marbles championship."

Let us also review my hastily typed notes of the Achenbro's prophecy of yesterday afternoon: "Chris Leak needs to play a mistake free game. Get the ball to Percy Harvin. Defense needs to at least slow down the OSU offense as much as possible." Pretty much spot on.

Now, serious sports talk: I haven't read the coverage yet as I type this, but if I were a sportswriter I'd give props to Chris Leak for being a terrific (and underappreciated) four-year starter who in the biggest game of his life was nothing less than perfect. And the University of Florida athletic bigshots should do the right thing, today, not later, not a week from now, but today, this morning, and announce that Leak's name will be put on the Ring of Honor at Florida Field, joining Spurrier, Smith, Youngblood and Wuerffel.

If I have one regret, it's that the Gators didn't beat Ohio State last night. They beat Oberlin. They beat Mount Holyoke. They beat the Fightin' Thespians of Bennington. That team in the Buckeye uniforms wasn't the Ohio State that ran off 12 straight wins and defeated Michigan on Nov. 18. Homeland Security should conduct a thorough search for the real Ohio State team, which came nowhere near Glendale, Arizona last night.

In fact it was a terrible game, and an indictment of college football's ridiculous bowl/BCS system. For a long time, people have made the point that college football doesn't have a playoff system, and thus too often we are robbed of the chance to see the top two teams compete for the title. Not true this year. OSU and UF were clearly 1 and 2, especially after Michigan flopped in its bowl game. But there's a deeper problem that doesn't get enough attention: A playoff, a real tournament, as we have in college basketball, guarantees that two hot teams playing their best will meet in the final. The Gator basketball team caught fire in March of last year and steamrolled everyone on the way to the six wins in the tournament and the national championship. But in football, Ohio State was out of action for -- can you believe it? -- 50 days. That's crazy. That's an entire offseason in pro hockey. The Gators had an extra two games, tough ones.

My brother said Ohio State played like a bunch of "banquet busters." You know: Guys who, camped at No. 1 in the nation, rewarded themselves with extra trips to the buffet. And so last night only one football team showed up.

[Special announcement: Step right up and be a guest blogger for a day on the Achenblog. Send me an item before next Tuesday, Jan. 16. Funny is good. Observant, wise, quirky, insightful, humane, trenchant -- all good. All topics acceptable. But please keep it short -- no more than 400 words, absolutely max, and shorter than that would be ideal. Send entries to achenbachj@washpost.com and make sure to put something in the subject line like GUEST KIT FOR A-BLOG. Follow up if you haven't gotten an acknowledgment. There will be a prize: A signed, personalized copy of my friend and colleague Marc Fisher's new book. I'll buy a copy and get Marc to sign it. Here's a review.]


[From the boodle last night: 'When I told the Achenbro that no other school had held the title simultaneously in basketball and football, he said, "Well, someone had to do it, and it might as well be me and you."']

[According to this story, 10 schools have won both a basketball and football championship:

Florida
Michigan
Ohio State
Syracuse
Arkansas
Maryland (!)
UCLA
Stanford
Michigan State
California ]

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 9, 2007; 7:22 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Entering Gator Country
Next: Does Global Warming Cause El Nino?

Comments

I have nothing to say about college football, but the phrase "banquet busters" is very funny.

Posted by: Yoki | January 9, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

What, no comments yet?

Posted by: Slyness | January 9, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, it's only Division I football that doesn't have a playoff. DII and DIII both have playoffs, without hurting their academics (judging from the observation that their players, you know, graduate.)

Posted by: Dooley | January 9, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Psst. First line of para 3:
"I'm get my friend John . . ."

That is all.

Posted by: Tom fan | January 9, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I know others will disagree, but I so badly wanted to grab some of those buckeye boys (yes, they are boys), give them a good shaking, and tell them "This is NOT the most important thing that's going to happen in your life!"

Posted by: LostInThought | January 9, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the exclamation point, Joel. Hmph.

As far as lecturing your offspring is concerned, they might take your advice to be proud of their "Gator blood" (ha!) more seriously if you'd have bothered to wash the orange body paint off and put something on over the blue loincloth. Like a Gators toga or something (though the inflatable Gator laurel is a nice touch).

Anyway, I've been an advocate for a BCS playoff system for years, and I don't see why an 8 team playoff wouldn't work. Unless the Terps were the 9th team on a given year.

But you know, then we'd be the 1st seed in the football NIT...

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I'd make some sort of joke connecting OSU's performance and the yesterday's NYC "odor," but I'm busy.

*repeat from last kit*

Good to see you, Raysmom!! *waving*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 9, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the exclamation point, Joel. Hmph.

As far as lecturing your offspring is concerned, they might take your advice to be proud of their "Gator blood" (ha!) more seriously if you'd have bothered to wash the orange body paint off and put something on over the blue loincloth. Like a Gators toga or something (though the inflatable Gator laurel is a nice touch).

Anyway, I've been an advocate for a BCS playoff system for years, and I don't see why an 8 team playoff wouldn't work. Unless the Terps were the 9th team on a given year.

But you know, then we'd be the 1st seed in the football NIT...

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I know others will disagree, but I just wanted to grab some of those boys (they are just boys), give them a really good shaking, and tell them "This is NOT the most important thing that's going to happen in your life!"

Posted by: LostInThought | January 9, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Whoops.
I think a post of mine just got eaten.

I'll wait for an official review from the booth before I replay the down.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Whoops.
I think a post of mine just got eaten.

I'll wait for an official review from the booth before I replay the down.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad it's not just me who's having problems posting comments. Hal? What's going on? Please fix it!

Posted by: Slyness | January 9, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm not too busy to SCC, however...

"and yesterday's NYC 'odor,' " obviously...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 9, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Are you sure your post got eaten, bc?
Or was it simply regurgitated?
(Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Posted by: Tom fan | January 9, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Joel, consider this comment chaos as proof that Florida's holding both National Championships as a sign of the approaching Achenpocalypse.

You may want to notify Hal. Or a priest trained in exorcism.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Poor Hal -- this blog must be the bane of his existence.

Posted by: Tom fan | January 9, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't feel too sorry for Hal, Tom Fan, it's his job and he gets the perks (whatever they are).

Posted by: Slyness | January 9, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

The Useless Tree blog http://uselesstree.typepad.com/useless_tree/ (professor Sam Crane's Taoist blog) hasn't ventured an analysis of the game based on Sun Tze's "The Art of War" yet, and it may be necessary to turn to a military source for a proper analysis. This seems a job for someone at Fort Leavenworth, not Williams College.

I think Master Sun would approve the "banquet buster" theory. The poor kids had celebrated their victory many times over, already. They should have spent Christmas break watching the original "Rocky" and maybe Kurosawa's "Ran", where the brother who should easily have beaten his siblings lost big.

Meanwhile, Florida's been blessed with a cold front so the real Gators are celebrating quietly. Not enough body heat available to be wasted on irrational exuberance.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 9, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Tom fan, I see my stuff being regurgiated, and it does not taste so good the second time around. Bleah.

LIT, I've been a part of teams that have won big, and lost big (one of the teams I've raced with picked up the nickname "Team Bridesmaid" for our habit of being able to beat 60 or 70 other teams but still managing to not take the 1st place trophy.). Those Buckeye players learned a lot about life last night, probably more than the Gators players. They will eventually realize that there are more important things that will happen in their lives, but they're probably going to need to grieve over this for a while. Dreams die hard.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

LostinThought - I understand your point, but you are missing something. There is a special thrill in having your moment in the sun. For realizing that at that particular point in the spacetime continuum and within the limits of a particular well-defined activity, you are the best. (Although the Gators might not phrase it quite that way.)

You crank the music way up loud, and you know that whatever else happens to you, you will have that memory.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen me move that I have no sports moments to call my own. But I was very succesful in High School Debate. (Go ahead. Make the "master" joke. Everybody else did.) And the emotions I remember were just as intense as what I saw in those players.

And that's what it's all about. It isn't the event, it is the feelings that are produced. Deeply human feelings that are nice to revisit every once and a while.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 9, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Interesting, bc - you interpreted LIT's comment as dealing with OSU, and I viewed it as dealing with The Gators.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 9, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

*the smoke was so thick last night that Paul Bunyan could have cut it with an axe*

Sixty-three birds fell dead from the skies on Congress Avenue between 6th and 8th streets in Austin early yesterday morning.

Shirtly thereafter, police and fire officials cordoned off with yellow tape 10 city blocks of Congress Ave. that lead to the Texas state capitol building--as the 80th legistlative session was about to get under way. Hazmat crews were on scene and air quality monitors were quickly set up. People who work in nearby buildings were told to report late to their jobs, restaurants remained closed, and guests in a nearby hotel had to find other accommodations.

A bird autopsy was even rapidly performed on Congress Ave., and no pesticides or harmful chemicals were found. Additional pigeon, sparrow and grackle remains have been sent to Texas A&M University and an animal testing facility in Iowa operated by the Centers for Disease Control.

Meanwhile, back in San Antonio, TWO FRICKIN' WEEKS after the Helotes mulch fire erupted, state and count officials have, with deliberate slowness and ineptitude, moseyed up to the plate:

The property owner Zumwalt turned in his proposal for quelching the fire early yesterday, hours in advance of his 1 p.m. deadline to file paperwork. The state immediately rejected Zumwalt's proposal as an unworkable plan because there was no provision for containing the smoke. The state has hired Oil Mop of Pasadena, Texas to bring the conflagration under control, with the Vidor, Texas fire company as a subcontractor.

The estimated cost to contain the blaze is $1.7 million, but this doesn't account for the cost of running a water main to the site. So probably roughly $2 million. Didn't I mention that the Texas taxpayer will foor the bill? Yesterday, news broke (and it's front page today) that the state of Texas has a $14.3 windfall in its coffers?

Tackling the fire will begin on Jan. 14 because of all the prep work that must be done, including digging a retention pond. Closer examination of the geology of the area by our local water company indicates the burn site is not over the Edwards Aquifer but the aquifer's transition zone. A surfactant will be used, but details are very sketchy. The burning pile will be divided and conquered by Jan. 24. It is anticipated that the smoke and ash will get much worse before it gets better.

Our local paper's humor columnist, Cary Clack, has taken a comedic whack at the situation:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/columnists/cclack/stories/MYSA010907.1P.clack.1c377bc.html

There will very shortly be a CD available inspired by Mount Burning Mulch. According to Clack, one of the tracks will be "You Left Me for a Fireman and Now My Heart Will Always Burn for You Like That Burning Mountain of Mulch in Helotes that They Can't Put Out." May we add these two others as well?
"When Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Ash Falls in Your Hair"
"You Light Up My Life"
"Douse My Fire"
"The Little Old Fire Extinguishing Company from Pasadena"
...and, of course, any song by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

Posted by: Loomis | January 9, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I am sure for the past 50 days all the Ohio state players have been treated like Kings.They are getting a free education at a good university.

They did something that makes everyone in Ohio happy.They beat Michigan.

Sometimes I judge the Maryland basketball team on not whether they made the NCAA tourney,Just whether they beat the Dukies once or twice

Also didn't the Ohio state basketball team beat the Florida Team earlier this year.

I think they may both meat again in the NCAA tournament.

I enjoyed the game last night,I wanted Ohio st. to win,but it was a fun evening.

But as Lost in thought pointed out,it was just a game,they will all have more important things going on the rest of their lives.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 9, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

>But I was very successful in High School Debate.

Ah, who wouldn't remember that fine spring day when the Public Speaking and Debating Club rocked 'em at the local Catholic girls academy. My two-minute follow-up smoked 'em.

Good times indeed.

Posted by: Error Flynn | January 9, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

What was the most dangerous job at the game last night?

Running onto the field with the team!!!
In both instances I saw some non football player fall and almost get trampled under foot.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 9, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The thing that gets me about football is how long it takes to get through an hour of it. It's like you step into some wierd, warped place where time doesn't flow right. The overstuffed players (because it is just a game) give us a few seconds of action and hard work, then walk back to their huddles, receive their orders, and saunter back into position for the next burst of energy. I have always had more respect for those who play without pads, helmets, scholarships, and all the breaks between plays.

Now rugby... that's a sport!

Posted by: Gomer | January 9, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

RD, I was referring to LIT's 9:07 AM where "buckeye boys" are mentioned specifically.

That's why my post that showed up at 9:37 focused on OSU.

LIT's 9:13 does not mention the buckeyes, and seems equally valid Upon Further Review.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Science article on skin at the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/09/science/09conv.html?ref=science

That moment showed me how much of what we consider our humanity is imbued in our skin. It stayed with me for a long time. Then about 15 years ago, I joined a project studying the natural history of skin color. The topic was so engrossing that I began looking into the larger question of what our skin does and is.

Q. And what have you found?

A. That skin is the most underappreciated of our organs. Unless we're having the sort of problem that brings us to a dermatologist, we take our skin for granted. We never think of it as working very hard for our body or doing valuable things for us socially.

But when you really start thinking about it, it's a factory that produces vitamin D, sweat, hormones, oils, wax, pigments -- substances we need. Skin is a raincoat in that it protects us from water, bugs and noxious chemicals. It's also a billboard which we adorn with powder, tattoos, piercing and scars to give off instant messages about our history, health, values and availability for mating.

On an evolutionary level, there are three remarkable facts about skin. It comes in colors, of course. Compared to other mammals, our skin is relatively hairless. And it's sweaty. In the last few million years, humans became the sweatiest of mammals.

Q. Is that important?

A. Absolutely. It's often said that our large brains are what made it possible for us to evolve from ape to human. But those big brains could never have developed if we didn't have exceptionally sweaty skin.

Posted by: Loomis | January 9, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

bc. You are right. I should have made this a "triple venti" morning.

Replay clearly reveals the term "buckeye boys" in the 9:07 original thus establishing intent. Unfortunately, I missed that and only saw the more ambiguous 9:13 post.

So I blame Hal.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 9, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I thought the first post got eaten, and then decided that it applied to both teams, Buckeye Boys and Gater Boys alike.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 9, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

We had a rugby player on my college football team. He had a tough time adjusting to the hard hits in football (though he did eventually). It turns out that rugby players don't REALLY hit each other very hard; hits are adjusted so that most of the energy is not transferred instantly into the other player. Rugby "hits" tend to be throw-downs, and tend to come from the arms rather than the legs. In football, the energy for hits comes from the legs and momentum--arms are used for controlling the hit. There's nothing quite like being hit by a 300-lb lineman moving at 20 mph. Rugby is definitely a tough sport, but it ain't football.

Posted by: Dooley | January 9, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Totally off topic.

Mudge, yesterday you said that your daughter has enlisted in the US Navy. In all seriousness, and with the utmost of respect and honor due her, I say, "Thank you for your service to our country."

You've got to be bust'n your shirt buttons with pride. I'm getting all verclempt, and I haven't even met her. Congrats, shipmate.

The Boodle may now resume it's Gator orgy.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 9, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I always thought blue and orange were highly attractive colours. They are the colour of winners.

Ask anyone from Edmonton, and they will concur.

Congrats, boss.

And in other sporting news, curling is in division playdowns to be followed shortly by provincial championships, and then the Hearts and the Brier, and then the worlds. In local curling news, the R's team is working really hard to maintain the before Christams lead by losing the last 3 games.

Posted by: dr | January 9, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

When my middle child was small, she used to walk in the house, hear me yelling at the TV, and yell "I know what you're watching!" (football). She was so sure that the reason I didn't play organized football as a child was because my mother didn't look hard enough for a girls' team ("maybe in the next town?"). The thought that girls weren't allowed to play football was totally foreign to her. Her response: "Well that's dumb."
Outta the mouths of babes.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 9, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

My thinking last night was in the lines of the mascots or team names.I know that Gators can't climb trees(buckeyes),so I thought no way those gators can win.

But i think they chewed thier way thru the base,knocked the tree down,they went about consuming the whole blessed thing.You know how gators are when they are eating

"please keep all limbs away from their mouths" or you will be devoured!!!

They totally and completely dominated the entire game.It could have easily been 56-7

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 9, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Seems to me that if you command a nuclear submarine you ought to have the skill and technology to avoid ramming into an oil tanker:

http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/us-submarine-collides-with-japanese-ship/20070109100909990002?ncid=NWS00010000000001

Posted by: Achenbach | January 9, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Good to hear from you, raysmom, and thanks.

I guess everyone will be talking about football for the rest of, well, who knows. Just can't get into it. I'll join you, Slyness on the football. And when I was younger, I did not feel that way. I think that was because of my son. He so loved football.

Mudge, I think it is so neat that your daughter is joining the Navy.

Pat, this morning when I arrived at the lake the sun was just peeping over the horizon. The colors were a muted pale yellow meeting a pale blue, and on the lake there were wisps of mist that looked like white threads floating over the water. As I looked to the north, a v-shaped object appeared in the sky, and it was ducks on their way south. Not stopping to play, but intent on their journey. And it was cold and clear. I thought of the ducks flying south looking out for one another, and instinctively knowing that they had to make this trip south, and getting on with it. And then I thought about our trip in this life, and how we too, must get on with the business of living, and living well, for we did not come to stay, we're passing through much like the ducks. And I thought about time, and how it does go on regardless of where I am or what I am doing. And last, but not least, I thought of the goodness of God, and how through Him that died for all, a love unending and glorious in its mercy and grace. And I shouted in my heart, mind, and body, I do love you, God, I do love you, Sweet Jesus.

Got to go, will check in later.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 9, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Mediterranean Sea doomed, to be replaced by mountain chain:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/09/science/09geo.html?_r=1&8dpc&oref=slogin

Posted by: Achenbach | January 9, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Bring Back Pangaea!!!
Bring Back Pangaea!!!
Bring Back Pangaea!!!

Posted by: byoolin | January 9, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Dooley-

You are entirely correct about the style of tackle used in rugby. A football-type hit is actually an illegal move that could result in a penalty. What I appreciate about rugby compared to football is not the hard hits, but the endurance it takes to play two 45-minute halves where the only rest you get is the minute after somebody gets their clock cleaned and asks the ref for a "minute, sir."

I guess what really gets me about football (not to mention baseball, basketball, other super-pro sports) is the money the players get to play a game. The rest of us have to work all year to earn a teeny fraction of what these guys (beacuse the pro women don't get near what the men do) make when they step on the field. As a public school teacher, my salary is less than what A-Rod makes when he walks up to the plate. He could strike out and he still trumps my pay.

I realize that the kit today is about a college game, where the players are amateurs and don't get paid --urplgh--

I threw up in my mouth a little on that one... excuse me.

Posted by: Gomer | January 9, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Reposting from previous:

Have very little time to boodle these days, so just a quick drive-by this morning.

Joel, great win by the Gators. I almost changed the channel after the first Ohio State touchdown, thinking they would be the author of the blowout. Wow am glad I didn't.

Cassandra, let me add my voice to those asking you to stay. You add a thoughtfulness that would be missed greatly. And believe me you're not the only one who feels they have little to offer to some of the discussions!

TBG, found your card among the detritus in my purse. I'll be in touch.

Martooni, you have to issue humor warnings! I almost snorted yogurt on my screen yesterday thanks to you.

mo, loved your "user" stories, especially the Username phool. Sad to say, I believe I may have created a story or two myself over the years. I shall try to do better. Although Raj at Verizon on-line help who had the typing speed (and accuracy) of a chimpanzee typing with his toes deserved what he got.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 9, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

The skin story is interesting in part because Dr. Nina G. Jablonski, the Penn State anthropologist, seems a perfect successor to Paul Baker, who happily studied human adaptation to high altitude, working in the Andes. His "human ecology" course was probably the best I took as an undergrad, not to mention that I somehow had happened to read a Rene Dubos book on my own just before discovering that it was expected, if not quite required, reading for the class.
http://146.186.95.23/baker.html

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Hal wanted me to think my 11:21 didn't post and almost tricked me into hitting Submit again. Take that Hal!

Posted by: Raysmom | January 9, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Sweaty skin has its disadvantages, however. It makes it quite difficult to find the right body paint when supporting your team. The paint has to be resistant to sweat for at least a few hours, but ideally non-permanant.

Clearly, natural selection in the future will favor a reduction in the amount of sweat produced (at least during the game and post-game parties).

Incidentally, in that NYT article linked by JA I noted the projection for North America had Florida disappearing in 25 million years (but somehow reappearing in 50). No doubt wishful thinking on the part of some Buckeye scientist.

Posted by: SonofCarl | January 9, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the captain got confused by that whole "Do you mean your left or my left?" business.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 9, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I thought the game was not very interesting to watch, because it was so one-sided.

Posted by: LTL-CA | January 9, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

RD, make that "ex-captain."

Posted by: Raysmom | January 9, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Florida.

Princeton.

There is a REASON why Joel rides an orange beast.

Posted by: md 20/400 | January 9, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

'Gators in New Jersey? If that isn't evidence of global warming, I don't know what is.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 9, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Joel,
Re: your 11:03. Don't want to get into a spitt'n contest over the submarine / tanker collision, yet. Until all the evidence is collected, and all the truths (and lies) told, and all the who-shot-John's are known, you might want to consider the possibility that the sub was where in the sea lane it was supposed to be, and had nowhere else to go but up onto the rocks, and the tanker was not.

Or, it could be the other way around. Too early to tell. Gotta admit that it doesn't make for good PR, no matter how you slice the salami.

Some day, I'll regale you with my sea story about a submarine/UFO (unknown FLOATING object) collision in the straits of Florida that I investigated.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 9, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

LTL-CA - It only seemed one sided to an impartial viewer. To someone who wanted the Gators to win, and had read about their chances, there was always a constant fear that Ohio would mount a massive comeback and score, like, 37 points after the two-minute warning.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 9, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The skin story is interesting in part because Dr. Nina G. Jablonski, the Penn State anthropologist, seems a perfect successor to Paul Baker, who happily studied human adaptation to high altitude, working in the Andes. His "human ecology" course was probably the best I took as an undergrad, not to mention that I somehow had happened to read a Rene Dubos book on my own just before discovering that it was expected, if not quite required, reading for the class.
http://146.186.95.23/baker.html

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 9, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Yea, Gomer, I think the highest-paid WNBA player makes less than 100K--the rookies make less than I do. Charlotte folded their WNBA team last week because it didn't make enough money, but the entire roster combined barely made the NBA minimum salary. (That was a bummer--the Dooleys attended about 8 games a year in Charlotte--son of D was distraught when he heard the news.)

In that vein, did anyone else see Candice Parker's dunk on CBS last Saturday in the Tennessee-Connecticut game?

Posted by: Dooley | January 9, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Snap decisions better in some situations?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6243787.stm

Posted by: LTL-CA | January 9, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert!!!

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 9, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Plate tectonic article Joel linked to at the NYT:

The collisions gain force; 250 million years from now, the continents will have merged into a new supercontinent that encircles what remains of the Indian Ocean.

"It's more like a big donut or bagel than Pangea," Dr. Scotese noted. In looking for a name, "I tried Bagelea or Donutea but figured that would trivialize the whole experience. A friend suggested Pangea Ultima -- classy, like a fancy car. It implies that it's the last Pangea, which certainly isn't true, but it's the last one I'm going to come up with."

And doesn't Afrasia sound like a new, exotic perfume? And if, in 50 million years, Los Angles will be a breast of San Francisco, what current geographic location will comprise the other breast?

Posted by: Loomis | January 9, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

My bad on my 9:53--Texas announced has a $14.3 billion (B-billion) surplus in its treasury, so what's a measly $2M to put out a fire?

Posted by: Loomis | January 9, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The Mediterranean has been getting smaller for awhile. Up until the early Miocene is was a tropical seaway (The Tethys Seaway) connecting the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Then the eastern end closed up (what's now Afghanistan), and the western end started closing--the Alps are part of that process. In the late Miocene (c. 5 million years ago), during low sea level periods, the Med actually dried up completely--probably several times since then.

Only alluded to in the article is the geologically imminent subduction zone that's going to form on the US Atlantic coast, resulting in an Andes-type volcanic mountain chain that should run right through DC.

Posted by: Dooley | January 9, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I found those NYT animations both disturbing and exhilarating. Disturbing because they highlight how geologically transient is the era in which we live. Exhilarating for pretty much the same reason.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 9, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The Mediterranean has been getting smaller for awhile. Up until the early Miocene is was a tropical seaway (The Tethys Seaway) connecting the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Then the eastern end closed up (what's now Afghanistan), and the western end started closing--the Alps are part of that process. In the late Miocene (c. 5 million years ago), during low sea level periods, the Med actually dried up completely--probably several times since then.

Only alluded to in the article is the geologically imminent subduction zone that's going to form on the US Atlantic coast, resulting in an Andes-type volcanic mountain chain that should run right through DC.

Posted by: Dooley | January 9, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

My bad on my 9:53--Texas announced has a $14.3 billion (B-billion) surplus in its treasury, so what's a measly $2M to put out a fire?

Posted by: Loomis | January 9, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm just glad to see all those Ron Zook recruits perform at crunch time.

I am hoping the fine classes he is recruiting at Illinois can get the Illini up off the canvas, with or without RZ at the helm...

The guy can recruit, no?

Posted by: Jeff | January 9, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me that if we just leave the mulch fire alone, it will be Pangea [sic] Ultima's problem soon enough.

Posted by: byoolin | January 9, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Oops, Moveable Type has been nasty today.

Posted by: Dooley | January 9, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I added this to the blog up top:

Special announcement: Step right up and be a guest blogger for a day on the Achenblog. Send me an item before next Tuesday, Jan. 16. Funny is good. Observant, wise, quirky, insightful, humane, trenchant -- all good. All topics acceptable. But please keep it short -- no more than 400 words, absolutely max, and shorter than that would be ideal. Send entries to achenbachj@washpost.com and make sure to put something in the subject line like GUEST KIT FOR A-BLOG. Follow up if you haven't gotten an acknowledgment. There will be a prize: A signed, personalized copy of my friend and colleague Marc Fisher's new book. I'll buy a copy and get Marc to sign it.

Here's a review:

http://www.newsday.com/features/printedition/ny-bkright5038751jan07,0,937220.story?coll=ny-features-print

Posted by: Achenbach | January 9, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Who remembers Gatorman? I do.

Gatorman walked around the UF campus wearing a hardhat that said "Gatorman" on it. He was a nice guy, though a bit odd. When lonely, he would go down to the lake on campus where Albert the Alligator lived, and ride him.

Picture it: a moonlit night, a man with a hardhat approaches the water's edge, bearing a bag of marshmallows. He tosses a few in the water. All is quiet. Then, sudden activity! The surface is split, the reflected moonlight explodes in fragments with a splash, and Albert, the semi-official mascot of the University, breaches and chomps and scores the marshmallows. Gatorman speaks softly, and every nerve in his body alive, he enters the water, tosses a few marshmallows behind Albert, who turns around, and Gatorman makes his move: with a leap, he is astride the 18-foot-long beast, who although by now experienced with this strange human, still bursts into furious activity and like lightning heads for the deeper water, with Gatorman astride him like a swampy Pecos Bill, a figure out of myth, yet with no witnesses. Far, far away across campus, dorm residents who are studying into the night with their windows open hear a faint "Waaaahooo!"

Posted by: Jumper | January 9, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"I always thought blue and orange were highly attractive colours. They are the colour of winners."

As an alumnus of the only school to beat Florida, whose colors are also orange and blue, I want to congratulate the Gators and express the hope that the SEC will garner more respect from the sportscasters and writers following the pounding of the Overrated State University.

War Eagle

Posted by: drbarb | January 9, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Good luck with the Achenkids, Joel. I say this from sad experience.

As a Southern California graduate and a member of the Trojan Family, I am utterly baffled by the lack of awe evinced by my children of all things USC -- especially football.

How does this happen? Has my ardor -- clearly physiological -- skipped a generation? I see other kids wearing the paraphernalia of their old man's alma mater with pride ... why not mine?

I couldn't ask for better replacements than my kidlets. They're smart, funny, independent, creative; your kids will want to date them some day. But when they roll their eyes at the sight of me geeked up for a Trojan game, I have to wonder: where did I go wrong?

Posted by: otto | January 9, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

My kids think I was just a cloud of vapor before they came on the scene. As they see it, their very existence caused me to morph into a human being. Any mention of otherwise is met with blank stares.

Of course, my dad walked 5 miles to school each day, in the snow, uphill both ways, sharing a pair of shoes with his brother. I'm certain I had a zombie look myself.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 9, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't remember how many years Gatorman attended the University. He had trouble passing some classes, and I guess he wanted to major in "alligators," and the authorities were just not prepared to let him do that.

One night Gatorman is worried. He and his curious adventures with Albert have been covered in the local press,

and the general public have become aware of the gators' curious love of marshmallows. Gatorman, although careful

to never litter, has noticed empty marshmallow bags near the lakeshore. Tonight, Albert will not feed. The

alligator scorns Gatorman's offerings, and seems curiously listless. Gatorman is worried. A frightening idea

has occurred to him. He gathers up the empty bags, goes home, and next day alerts the press. It's extremely

dangerous to risk an alligator swallowing a plastic bag, he says. Do not feed the gators whole bags of

marshmallows!

Ten days go by. Gatorman spends more and more time at the water, worried. Still Albert will take no food. So

sluggish and sapped of energy he seems. Gatorman sees his friend's life slipping away, and finally he acts: To

the University large animal veterinarians he goes. He is convinced that Albert is dying from swallowing a

plastic marshmallow bag, and it's blocking his digestive tract.

Over a period of days, Gatorman haunts the department heads, making his case, and sometimes raising his voice.

Finally he succeeds. An exploratory operation is performed, Gatorman, in a role somewhat like next-of-kin,

observing in the operating room.

Opened, prodded, reamed, examined, and x-rayed, no blockage, bags, or obstructions are found. The surgical team

stitches Albert back together.

And shortly thereafter, Albert died. Not from a misinformed public, not from plastic bags. Albert is done in, in

the end, by Gatorman, whose love for him was too much, whose understanding was not enough, whose heart surely broke.

After that? I never saw Gatorman again.

Posted by: Jumper | January 9, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

As a Buckeye '92, I couldn't agree with you more...those weren't the #1 Buckeyes who showed up last night...and your eloquent argument for a BCS playoff system is a bulls-eye.
You Gators played a terrific game.

Posted by: David from Kansas | January 9, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

http://www.jou.ufl.edu/pubs/onb/S04/remember.htm

Posted by: Gatorman Remembered | January 9, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Have about 8,000 things going on right now, but I'll do some quick drive-by comments.

[Caution: Seinfeld reference approaching. This means you, Loomis] Since *humanity* gets to name Pangea this time, I vote for "Mangea". Though I will accept "Broland" as a backup. Washington DC should be the other one, Linda. Everyone in the world knows that the biggest boobs in the world are right here.

Zook was a great recruiter just like Ron Vanderlinden.

I hope that sub commander had his vehicle insurance all paid up. I wonder what the deductable on a Boomer is?

Ok, I'm out.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

bc... funny you say that about the sub captain's insurance...

I have a friend whose dad was a train engineer. My friend's mom was trying to insure a new car and the insurance agent, after running a quick check on her record said, "Ma'am, according to the state insurance records your husband has killed eleven people!"

It seems that whenever a person is struck by a train, the engineer's name goes on record.

We called his dad "the serial killer" after that.

[Oops... I forgot that I had been banished. Oh well.]

Posted by: TBG | January 9, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Was there a football game last night?

The Boy and I had a lovely time at the Inaugural Ball. Although distressed by the discomfort of a cummerbund, he liked his tux well enough to suggest he should buy one (after he stops growing so quickly, maybe). Although he had a ticket for the big ballroom and dinner with me, after one long look he opted for the kids' ball. It had its own DJ and dance floor, kid-friendly food, one of those giant inflatable things (it is a big ballroom), and lots of girls. It also had its own cameraman, who took video of the action which was shown on the big screens downstairs. By all accounts, including air time, the Boy was again a dancin' fool. Times have changed - the ball began with the boys all out dancing while the girls hugged the perimeter and watched. They were all out there soon enough, though.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 9, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I was ready to accept your guest kit challenge, then I realized what the prize was. Talk about no soap, radio.

I am hereby telling you I will do a guest kit only if you swear NEVER to send me that book in any form.

However, if you were serious about prizes... a written limerick in Weingarten's handwriting and signature would result in heavy competition, I suspect.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 9, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

'Morning, boodle, or rather, as Weingarten used to say (god rest his soul), good afternoon. Believe it or not, I have been working ALL MORNING until just a few minutes ago. Working hard. On your tax dollars. Doing actual work, briefing new employee, writing truly scathing memo, fixing stuff. Haven't even't had lunch yet. Probably doesn't exactly make up for the past four months when I've been underemployed, overpaid, and just diddling around. But what can I say. At least I'm admitting being one of those nameless, faceless, useless Washington bureaucrats you guys in the boonies complain about. (Rightfully so, IMHO).

Anyway, I've just now caught up. Loomis, your 9:23 has plucked at the strongs of my heart, so much so that, well, I think I feel a l'il ol' country&western song coming on, and it goes (pace, Blues Image)

a little somethin'

like this:

Sixty-three birds fell dead on Congress Avenue
Fell outa the sky in Austin, and here's what they did construe:
"We're callin' every fireman to drive to San Antone
Put out that smokin' mulch pile, it's a HAZMAT zone."

But no one heard them fallin', no one came at all
'Cause they were too busy watchin' that old Gator football
As a storm was blowin' out on the peaceful sea
Sixty-three dead birds are now just history

Die, birdies, die from your mystery flu
Be amazed at how far away composted smoke can kill you
Die, birdies, die from your strange disease
CDC autopsies won't reveal what knocked you from your trees

{Repeat first two verses}

{Refrain}

Die, birdies, die from your mystery flu
Be amazed at how far away compost smoke can kill you

-------------

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week. Don't try the stuffed partridges, though.

Don, with all due respect, I wouldn't thank my daughter just yet for her service to our country until we find out if she makes it through boot camp (my wife says "no"; I say, "maybe"). If anyone could make a submarine hit an oil tanker, it's my daughter. And she'd blame it all on her brother, in a New York second.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 9, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

SCC: strings of my heart

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 9, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Can't load the NYT, are those animations like these animations?
http://www.uky.edu/AS/Geology/webdogs/plates/reconstructions.html

Posted by: Jumper | January 9, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey something white is falling from the sky here.

Funny it was just 75 two days ago

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 9, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

At least you didn't say "stings of my heart", Mudge.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow Jumper. I could not get the java ones to work but ODSN (or is it OSDN)were pretty cool, fast but cool. It was like watching a global trainwreck. Are these moving forward up to now or do they work back to now? Its so fast its hard to tell.

Posted by: dr | January 9, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Joel,

I tried to get my kids to wear their Gator shirts to school, but they were having none of it. Well, they're only 5 and 3, so one day they'll realize how lucky they are to be Gators.

UF and GHS grad (not in that order).

Posted by: Hogtowner | January 9, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, hopefully your daughter won't try to use the cell phone, apply makeup, drink a cup of coffee, eat an Egg Mc Muffin and read the newspaper while driving the sub.

Oh, and yell at the sailors in the back who are fighting again.

Captian yells: "Don't make me stop this sub!"

Now that I think about it, you could hit an oil tanker during the morning commute through the Strait of Hormuz, driving like that.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Cal Ripken was just elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I will making the truck up to Cooperstown next summer and if anyone wants to go,there will always be enough room.

I did hear an "O" during last night's National Anthem

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 9, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

ODSN:Ocean Drilling Stratigraphic Network

Posted by: omni | January 9, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I think it's pretty sly to announce the contest for a guest kit like it's a big happy occasion, trying to distract the boodle from the bad news that "guest kit" means you're going away. I, for one, did not fall for it.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 9, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

greenwithenvy, that's a pleasant non-surprise. Can't think of any player that ever deserved to be enshrined in Cooperstown more than Cal.

I'm thinking that could be a helluva road trip.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

FYI, there's a very funny (but informative!!) video on how to cough or sneeze in public, called "Why Don't We Do It on Our Sleeves?" at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8574515984097771637&q=ben+lounsbury

(The original site with blog and other infor, also very good, is at http://www.coughsafe.com/media.html

Yes, they really DO want you to cough onto your sleeve. There's a hilarious part where a panel of three "experts" rate a bunch of people using various cough/sneeze techniques, and then they rate them like figure skaters, 9.5, 10, 4.5, etc., along with funny commentary.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 9, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

When will it become socially acceptable to cough down our shirts, Mudge? Sleeves are okay, but still not the most hygenic method, even if you practically cough up it.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 9, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

off-topic, but important:

Interesting NYTimes article about happiness:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/07/magazine/07happiness.t.html?ei=5087%0A&em=&en=cb8e2e72da22c9f4&ex=1168491600&pagewanted=print

and here's the website, with enough questionnaires to keep you busy until the spring equinox:

http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/

Posted by: kbertocci | January 9, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Dave of Coonties wondered what Sun Tzu might say about the Gator victory. I have a post on it here:
http://uselesstree.typepad.com/useless_tree/2007/01/the_tao_of_gato.html
Hail the Gators!

Posted by: Sam Crane | January 9, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Dave of Coonties wondered what Sun Tzu might say about the Gator victory. I have a post on it here:
http://uselesstree.typepad.com/useless_tree/2007/01/the_tao_of_gato.html
Hail the Gators!

Posted by: Sam Cran | January 9, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Gator fans better savor the moment because FSU's hiring of Jimbo Fisher means UF's days in the limelight are numbered. As the co-preeminent program in the state of Florida (Miami is the other), FSU is poised to continue its domination of the Gators over the next few years. The past 5-6 years has seen that domination eroded as bad coaching decisions have spoiled what is otherwise a powerhouse program. While last night's victory was impressive and deserved, UF fans know full well that the only reason they even played the game was because FSU has been fielding terrible teams the past few years (though even then the Noles almost eked out a victory against the Gators). Things are changing, however, and the Gators will soon be relegated to being the 3rd best team in the state of Florida, a position they know very well.

GO NOLES!!!!

P.S. Spurrier was 5-8-1 against FSU and 0-2 against Miami (the only 2 teams in the country that he had a losing record against)

Posted by: Todd | January 9, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Jimbo?

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 9, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Jumbo Fish? Extra-value meal? What???

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 9, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

When I worked at McDonalds we were taught to sneeze on our shoes. But we were young and limber.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 9, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Jimbo Fisher (born October 9, 1965, Clarksburg, West Virginia) is an American college football coach and former player who was the NCAA Division III National Player of the Year as a senior . He has served as the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at LSU since 2000.

Based on his success as the offensive coordinator at LSU, Fisher is often mentioned with regard to head coach openings at other universities. In December, 2006, he expressed interest in the vacant position at NC State.[3] Fisher was recently hired as the offensive coordinator at Florida State University.

Posted by: omni | January 9, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, Wilbrod, I think the keys here are to sneeze on our *own* sleves and *down our own* shirts.

Remember, good hygene is not an excuse to get a little Overly Friendly with someone else's outerwear, no matter how tempting or dire the situation.

Try to get permission, or at least a "come hither" look, folks, tricky as that might be, between Realization of Impending Sneeze and Arrival of Sneeze before involving another person in your semi-involuntary expulsion.

Also, consider issues of bladder control before involving a friend in Active Control and Handling Of Oexpulsion (ACHOO) procedures.

Snif.

You can thank me for this PSA later.

Next: Making sure that friends don't get Evil Spirits up their nose during ACHOO activities (hint: it is permissible to stick two fingers up the sneezer's nose before, during, and after ACHOO. Or more, depending on the nose.).

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge,
I'll take your bet on your daughter, and give you this point spread: she completes not only boot camp, but entire enlistment with commendations and three service ribbons, makes at least E-4, earns at least one award as her commands' sailor-of-the-quarter, and is offered OCS.

And I still salute her.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 9, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

dr, wish I could help, but I just had to go to Java and download all their newest junk. The answer is, you move your mouse from left to right to see the past to present, backwards if to look backwards.

I think a bigger point I'd like to make to everyone, is to use the word "animation" in your search query (google or whatever) and you come up with some real neat science stuff. I about break my brain when I try "hyperspace animation" (the multiple-dimension math people, don'tcha know..) Think I'll try "topology animation" now...

Posted by: Jumper | January 9, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

You know you're really sick when you have a whole day to Boodle with impugnity and don't. Maybe it's one of those psychological things -- like the "thrill" is gone or something. In any case, hope you all had your shots 'cause this is one mean bug going around. It even laughed at my four-alarm fried greens which, I'm pained to say, have proved my theory of "fire in, fire out" beyond a shadow of doubt.

Which reminds me -- always wash your hands thoroughly BEFORE going to the bathroom if you've been cutting up Hungarian hot peppers. Kinda gives a new meaning to "a little dab'll do ya".

So... all I need to do now is work "bean soup" into this post and maybe a mention of methane.

So why don't they call methane "laughing gas", anyway? Nitrous oxide can be fun and all, but methane comes with its own chorus and sound effects.

Bean soup... bean soup... hmm...

Joel makes writing these kits seem so easy.

Okay... so tell me bean soup connoisseurs of the Boodle, does "Bean-O" really make bean soup less explosive?

(*he shoots and SCORES!... bean soup AND a methane reference in one sentence*)

(*hearing muttering about "cherry picking"*)

oh wait!

If I were to substitute "dingleberry" for "cherry", it would be like a trifecta or something.

btw... you can all thank the folks at TheraFlu and Robitussin for this post. I'm a little "experienced", if ya know what I mean, but the combination of those two makes you absolutely loopy.

I go pass out now.

:-)

Posted by: martooni | January 9, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

So Gator refers to college football.... And it's probably a Florida school.... About the same time Nietsche declared God dead, people began filling their Sundays watching players toss the pigskin. Me, I'd rather watch a movie or take a bike ride. But then again, I'm the guy who didn't know who Dale Erhardt (sp?) was when he died.

Posted by: Dave | January 9, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Say hello to the little animals for me martooni.

"Watch the little butterfly flutter by."

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 9, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Jumper... I just Googled "hyperspace animation" and all I can say is "trippy"...

and "thank you"... my over-the-counter meds buzz has now has a multi-demential aspect thing going on.

8-]

Posted by: martooni | January 9, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"multi-demential" - nice, martooni.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey, somebody take the keys to the submarine away from martooni.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 9, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Don... we actually have a copy of the Beatles "Yellow Submarine" book somewhere around here and me and Little Bean were just trying to decide on a story to read...

talk about serendipity.

And bc... believe it or not, I did that on purpose. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | January 9, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

So ... football. Look, Joel, the Gators' mighty win over OSU was further evidence that the Big 10 is the most overrated conference. Michigan? Whined about being excluded and was eviscerated by USC. OSU? Invincible, and then, you know.

For some reason the myth of huge, tough, overpowering Big 10 teams lingers, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Whenever they play teams with great speed they get exposed as the lumbering heirs of paleo-football they are.

Posted by: butting in | January 9, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

dang Martooni
It almost seems worth getting the flu....enjoy your fun

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 9, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I knew that it was intentional, martooni. Just letting you know I appreciated it.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I read somewhere that the OSU players are missing, at minimum, the first 4 days of classes. Good way to jumpstart the semester.
I didn't even stay up to watch the entire game. After the two first drives of the second half it was clear the OSU hadn't shown up at all. I think they got spooked more than they let on about the media going on about Florida's speed and they psyched themselves out. They need to have a playoff after the regular season; I would've like to see USC match up against the Gators, see Leak try to pass with SC's linebakers in his face. They would've still won, probably, but they wouldn't have scored 41 points.
When did Maryland win the football national championship? Big Terp fan, but I don't remember they're football program being at that kind of elite level, although they have been better lately. More of a basketball, Juan Dixon, Steve Blake, et al, fan.

Posted by: Tangent | January 9, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Tangent, I think you need to go back to the Eisenhower administration to find those MD football championships. Still, it's better than nothing.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 9, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Todd. Florida has a winning record against Free Shoes University. The rest of your post simply confirms that.

Posted by: Hogtowner | January 9, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

1953 the Terps won it all,or shared the championship....I think

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 9, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks guys. bc: true, it is better than nothing, but another one would sure be nice; that was so, like, last century.

Posted by: Tangent | January 9, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I'll scare up a Von Drehle "Triangle" signed book if you or anyone else would prefer.

Kbertocci, I'm not going anywhere. Just want to keep things lively here. How many times can I post a blog item about beans and the hardscrabble childhood, etc.?

FYI just got back from the Hill, interesting stuff going on, will try to blog it at some point this week.

Sam Crane, thanks so much for the Sun Tzu link:

http://uselesstree.typepad.com/useless_tree/2007/01/the_tao_of_gato.html

But my question is: What would Clausewitz say?

Posted by: Achenbach | January 9, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I am all for a playoff in Div I football. Then maybe Florida would have had a chance to play the ONLY undefeated team this year (and as the only undefeated team they should be the national champs), Boise State, who also wears orange and blue. I think. I am colorblind so it is hard to tell sometimes.

Posted by: lurkgineer | January 9, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

they wear blue and orange and play their home games on a blue field.

I am just chock full of useless sports info.

I am off to dinner,I recently got a new job and have been waiting for someone to take me out to dinner to celebrate.

no offers yet,so I am off to the new seafood place in town

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 9, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Ohio State looked like Notre Dame out there - sad, sad, sad.

Posted by: Jayhawk77 | January 9, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Colbert and O'Reilly are going to do appearances on each others' shows...

http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/01/09/tv.oreillyvscolbert.ap/index.html

Art imitates life imitating art imitating... ouch. Talk about multi-demential.

Posted by: martooni | January 9, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"Not going anywhere"?--that's good--this is a good time to be in DC with credentials. The first 100 hours--I heard Nancy Pelosi on the radio today and she sounded like a force to be reckoned with. I wouldn't want to be G.W. Bush right now.

===

We be close to our limit on the beans, but I never get tired of hearing (reading/thinking about) your swimming pool story (have you even told that here-- I have to check the archives). I'd say the hard-scrabble childhood vehicle still has some miles left on it.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 9, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Carl von Clausewitz, as mentioned by JA, is indeed a key authority for guidance of such matters. Clausewitz spent time as a player/coach, was offensive coordinator for the Brandenburg "Fighting Teutons", and went on to a successful career as head coach of the War Academy "Spiked Helmets". He is, of course, most famous for having reported to have said that football is an extension of university education by other means.

In Clausewitz' day, he assessed "friction" as being an important aspect of football. Undoubtedly, friction would now be a critical factor in the selection and positioning of players, particularly defensive linemen, were it not for the development of lycra. This development has allowed for the minimization of friction to sub-critical levels for at least the next 5-10 years.

Posted by: SonofCarl | January 9, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

As a kid who grew up in the shadow of Ohio State, loves the Scarlet and Gray, has watched every football game they have played for 10+ years (only missed the games when I was stationed overseas) ... last night was pretty tough. I honestly couldn't sleep very well. That strange sack at the end of the first quarter elicited a laugh ... it had become laughable. My buddy Chris said, "Dude, I think we went into alternate universe."

Good game Gators. Very well deserved. I think the coaching was superior. Have to give props to Chris Leak as well, and hopefully Gator Nation will finally give the man his due.

A playoff would be nice. It does seem that the 2006 Buckeyes didn't have a 50 day shelf life lasting pas the New Year. For my two cents, even better would be a blogger playoff, seeing Achenbach roast those flabby dangling participle types like Malkin, Postrel, and DeLong!

Posted by: Kane | January 9, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Sigh...I manage to actually check in to the boodle in the evening and find that it appears to be dead.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 9, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Kane!

Posted by: Tom fan | January 9, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, it's just taking a gatorade break as everybody eats dinner or commutes home.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 9, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Its not really dead, its just sleeping a little. Things will pick up a little shortly after everyone has had their pease porridge and beans.

Posted by: dr | January 9, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

In fairness to Ohio State, Michigan and the Big 10, couldn't we schedule some bowl games in Duluth, Sheboygan and Kalamazoo?

Posted by: David P. McKnight | January 9, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom - All of us who stayed up until 12:30 to watch the game are now taking a little nap. And some of us snore.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 9, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not dead yet... in fact, I feel like dancing!"

well... not really, but monty python quotes always seem to be helpful when things get too quiet.

Now... everyone, after me:

"Always look on the bright side of life..."

Back when I was married to the Ex-Mrs. Martooni (not to be confused with the much nicer and tolerant Mrs. Martooni), the Ex worked on the "death wing" of a nursing home. They officially called it "extended care", but nobody (patient-wise) ever got out of there alive.

In any case, one day we decided to go to lunch so I dropped by to pick her up. As I walked down the main corridor of that wing -- I will burn in Hell for this, I know, but maybe it was the contact buzz from all the morphine in the air -- I started calling out "bring out yer dead" (not very loudly, but loudly enough).

I think the morbidity of the whole place just got the better of me. But really... the scene was just crying out for some levity.

Needless to say, we started meeting for lunch at the restaurant after that.

Posted by: martooni | January 9, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I just read on Wonkette that WaPo hosted (or is hosting) a blogger's do, with a lawyer to give them advice, tonight at 6. Wonder if Joel went? The Wonkettes are a little po'd that they weren't invited, it seems.

Posted by: Wheezy | January 9, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Folks might take a little longer to eat their dinners. Hard scrapple takes a lot of chewing.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 9, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Pelosi wasn't kidding about getting stuff done.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/09/house.agenda/index.html

This quote had me laughing:

"To make it part of a 100-hour show shamefully trivializes an issue of life or death," said Rep. Peter King, R-New York, top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee told AP.

If it really is an issue of life or death, why the heck couldn't the Party Formerly Known As Being In Charge resolve this in the last 100 days? It's not like they had other pressing business that would be more important than a life or death issue...

sheesh.

btw... I hear that straw is a very good investment vehicle right now. Projected straw sales in the D.C. area are at an all time high. In other news, makers of straw men are reporting a significant upsurge in orders. Toto unavailable for commment.

Posted by: martooni | January 9, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who remembers the early Andy Griffith routine "What it was, was football!"?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

SCC: meant to add in there that this bill was in regards to the bipartisan 9/11 commission's recommendations which have been ignored for so long.

Posted by: martooni | January 9, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

*flashback to IT user horror stories*

I was monitoring the phones this afternoon, and picked up a call...

"I can't log on to your Web site."

What part of the Web site?

"The Web site, I forgot my password. Can you help me reset it?"

(for those who don't know where I work, we don't have anything to do with passwords)

Which part of the Web site are you trying to log on to?

"The careers area."

(I check the careers page.)

Did you try the "Password Help" page?

"Yes, and it didn't work."

(At the bottom of the Help page is a clear link to "Contact us if you need more help.")

There's a link at the bottom of the page where you can get the number for the people who can reset your password.

"I don't see it."

The number you need to call is...
______________________________

*SIGH*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 9, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Breaking News: The University of Florida is considering starting some academic programs in the near future. Stay tuned.

Posted by: parma jean | January 9, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Go Gators...but as far as SEC vs Big 10 is concerned...Big 10 still has the advantage.

UF 41 OSU 14
Wisconsin (B10 #3) 17 Arkansas (SEC #2)14
Penn State (B10 #4) 20 Tenn (SEC #4) 10

LSU (SEC #3) stomps ND
Auburn (10-2) struggles to beat Neb (9-5)
Bama gets beat by...Oklahoma State?
Kentucky squeaks by Clemson
USC beats Houston...big whoop

1 and 2 vs the Big 10 and 5-3 in bowls overall doesn't spell domination to me. SEC fans ought to keep some things in perspective...but GO GATORS!

Posted by: Willy in P'cola | January 9, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Go Gators...but as far as SEC vs Big 10 is concerned...Big 10 still has the advantage.

UF 41 OSU 14
Wisconsin (B10 #3) 17 Arkansas (SEC #2)14
Penn State (B10 #4) 20 Tenn (SEC #4) 10

LSU (SEC #3) stomps ND
Auburn (10-2) struggles to beat Neb (9-5)
Bama gets beat by...Oklahoma State?
Kentucky squeaks by Clemson
USC beats Houston...big whoop

1 and 2 vs the Big 10 and 5-3 in bowls overall doesn't spell domination to me. SEC fans ought to keep some things in perspective...but GO GATORS!

Posted by: Willy in P'cola | January 9, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Okay... it's past 8:45, almost 9:00.

Doesn't that mean that Ohio State is kicking FSU's butt in the Achenbach Tivo replay?

And what happens if the Tivo breaks down? Is that like when Superman flew around the world so fast that he spun it (and time) backwards? If it happens right now, does that mean Ohio wins and Lois can be saved?

Whatever the case, enjoy your replay. I'm fast-forwarding to bed so I can be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (or chinned, in my case) for my return to Programming Land, where nothing works like it's supposed to and it's always YOUR fault.

Posted by: martooni | January 9, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

That coughing thing was very funny. Did it inspire this poem cited today on Wonkette?


Ode to a Lung Fluke

Sometimes I hate to go to work
knowing that is where you lurk
with you horrible disease
that no coughing will appease.
What is it that effects your lung?
What is it that is in there clung?
A fluke, maybe, that makes you gasp?
Or do you just prefer a rasp
to any other horrid sound.
Think you it the most profound?

I hear you cough up god knows what.
It makes me sick right to the gut.
Then see you in the dining hall
spit a large phlegmatic ball
into an unconcealed rag
which you display as if to brag,
"look what I expectorate!
Perhaps I'll fling it on your plate!"
It fairly makes me want to puke.
Please extricate that god damn fluke!

I wonder at your mental state
when you can't articulate
even simply to say "hi"
as a coworker walks by.
You scare me, to be plain and clear.
Some day I expect to hear
Your name broadcast to all the land
because you snacked on someone's hand,
or liked your food prepared the best
when freshly torn from human chest.

Or maybe you will gain your fame
by practicing your rifle's aim
on old coworkers who may have said
something about your unclear head,
meaning only to sympathize
with your constant running eyes
and a nose that does the same
I did not mean your mind lame!

When you finally do crack
Please don't lay it on my back
or take out any undo stress
on one who every sneeze did bless.
That constant clearing of you throat,
I know there was an antidote.
Annoying was the only word,
that I ever overheard,
used in reference to you
but never from my lips it flew.
I was always well aware
from the nature of your stare,
that you might pull out a gun
and then kill me just for fun.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 9, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

SCC: The grammar/spelling errors are the author's, not mine, although they could be, given my egregious comma splice yesterday.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 9, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Property owner Zumwalt (of the mulch fire mess) had a *lawyer* on his property today, so there were zero statements to the press by noontime. By late evening, a TV station was reporting that Zumwalt and lawyer were (temporarily, thank goodness) thinking of issuing a restraining order so that Oil Mop of Houston couldn't come on the property and start to put out the mulch fire, but Zumwalt and lawyer changed their minds. Also being reported that the state will charge back to Zumwalt the $1.7 million bill for the cleanup.

Rnady Beamer, local talking head-anchorman on our NBC affiliate, said that the smoke from the mulch blaze continues to smell like a giant barbecue pit in the surrounding neighborhood.

My husband, in his ovesized chair, burst out laughing, an uproarious laugh that emanated from his belly. "I wish!" he exclaimed.

"So, what do you think it smells like?" I asked.

"It smells more like a burning gymnasium of dirty gym clothes or a burning dirty sock pit," he replied.

Speaking of schools, there are two near the mulch fire, as I have Boodled. On Monday, the elementary school had twice the normal absentee rate, the high school brought in a second school nurse. TV news tonight also reports that the local Northside Independent School District is currently considering transferring the 4,000 students in the nearby high school and elementary school to other schools when Oil Mop really begins its fire extinguishing efforts beginning Sunday. These kids probably went back to school after the break for Christmas and New Years and have been back in school near this fire--for what, six days now?

Posted by: Loomis | January 9, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Yet another SCC: (Where ARE those italics?)_ I'm sorry; I forgot to include the source:

http://aportablesnack.blogspot.com/2007/01/work-songs-and-poems.html

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 9, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Hi Tom Fan. Good to check in on you guys.

Posted by: Kane | January 9, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

A new play to open in London--unfortunate that its equivalent is not being staged stateside:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/08/theater/08blai.html

The resulting play, scheduled to run from April 19 through May 19, has still to be put together, but it already has a flamboyant name: "Called to Account: The Indictment of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair for the Crime of Aggression Against Iraq -- A Hearing." The production's timing is not accidental: May 2 will be the 10th anniversary of Mr. Blair's election and, soon afterward, he is widely expected to leave 10 Downing Street. Speculation about his political afterlife has also inspired a satirical play, "The Trial of Tony Blair," which will be broadcast on television in Britain on Jan. 15.

The Tricycle's purpose, though, is not to put the British prime minister on trial. Rather, more like an American grand jury, "Called to Account" will examine whether there is sufficient evidence to indict him on the charge of aggression.

"We are not starting from the premise that Blair is guilty, but from the premise that the whole thing needs to be aired," Nicolas Kent, the Tricycle's artistic director, said in a telephone interview from London. "There is very strong anger in this country that the democratic process was circumvented. Since the Iraq issue has not been aired in Parliament, why not in the theater?" ...

A typical Tricycle audience would almost certainly vote to indict Mr. Blair, but Mr. Kent said he hopes for serious examination of three areas: the legality of the Iraqi invasion in the eyes of the United Nations; evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction; and the advice given to Mr. Blair by his attorney general that an invasion would be legal.

Posted by: Loomis | January 9, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Aaaakkkk! What's worse than a Gator with a winning record? A: A Gator who thinks he's really that good.

OK, OK, so maybe their team IS good this year. But as a grad of that other venerable state of Florida school, it will take me awhile to admit that OK, maybe it wasn't luck that they beat Ohio State. Of course, it WAS just luck they beat my team this year ;-)

Bad enough I have to listen to that from all my Gator friends for a year, but now I have to listen to "we're #1" too. Aaaakkk...a little too much to handle! :-)

Posted by: chrishpl | January 9, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, Wilbrod, that Fisher book on the history of early rock 'n' roll 'n' radio looked pretty good to me (and I'd heard about it earlier).

In the meantime, it's time for my beauty sleep. 'Night, boodle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 9, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

The boodle....
May it rest in peace.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 9, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

My take on Fisher's book **from the review** is that it's more about modern radio, which I don't listen to except total devotion to Prairie HC, On The Media, Ian Masters on Pacifica, and classical music, which are all non-commercial. It didn't seem from the review that it deals very much with "Another tale well calculated to keep you in...Suspense", script by Eric Ambler no less, or Our Miss Brooks, or Johnny Dollar, or the *proper* version of Gunsmoke, or Fibber McGee, or Bob & Ray, or the Mutual game of the day with Dizzy Dean, or Arthur Godfrey, or the other classics that were highlights of vacations with my parents in the maroon '51 Chevy with the beginnings of tail fins. If someone can get his hands on the book, I'd appreciate hearing if that sort of stuff is emphasized, in which case I'd get it.... up to 400 words, eh?

Posted by: LTL-CA | January 9, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I thought from the review that Fisher was talking about the evolution of radio MUSIC stations, not the programs -- the serials and weekly variety shows that were all so many people had as "entertainment" back in the 30-40-50s.

Posted by: nellie | January 9, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

"Deafness and the riddle of identity"

http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=j1kwykr398gz88fxgrdp8tj6n7wldcny

Posted by: LTL-CA | January 10, 2007 1:09 AM | Report abuse

"An auto repair shop in which mechanics and owners could not distinguish a wreck from a finely tuned car would soon go out of business. A hospital where doctors, nurses, and administrators were unable to recognize a healthy human being would present a grave menace to the public health. A ship whose captain and crew lacked navigation skills and were ignorant of their destination would spell doom for the cargo and passengers entrusted to their care.

"Yet at universities and colleges throughout the land, parents and students pay large sums of money for -- and federal and state governments contribute sizeable tax exemptions to support -- liberal education, despite administrators and faculty lacking a coherent idea about what constitutes an educated human being. To be sure, American higher education, or rather a part of it, is today the envy of the world, producing and maintaining research scientists of the highest caliber. But liberal education is another matter. Indeed, many professors in the humanities and social sciences proudly promulgate in their scholarship and courses doctrines that mock the very idea of a standard or measure defining an educated person and so legitimate the compassless curriculum over which they preside. In these circumstances, why should we not conclude that universities are betraying their mission?"

Actually, we know well how to recognize a top university -- whether there is a Winning Football Team that uses the university's name.

http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/4884276.html

Posted by: LTL-CA | January 10, 2007 1:19 AM | Report abuse

LTL-What?! I didn't have enough on my plate figuring out how to pay for said child's education, now I've got to worry about whether what I'm paying for is worth a dime? Aaargh!! This wasn't in the parenthood brochure!


Posted by: LostInThought | January 10, 2007 2:15 AM | Report abuse

re: Butterflies - Panic disorder

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/08/AR2007010801131.html


I don't know if this had already been discussed (and you know how I hate to make light of serious issues :!), but two different folks (one is a friend of mine and sort friend of a friend of hers and has known her since Mt. Holyoke, and the other is sort of a friend of hers and a friend of a friend of mine and works with her occasionally to this day. Got it?) assures me that the problem isn't all in Kara Baskin's head. In fact (I'm told), there are plenty of days when she shouldn't leave the house, because she's genuinely capable of being unpleasantly controlling, without commensurate competence.

Don't use me as a reliable source, 'cuz I've got no direct knowledge here. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they ain't after ya!

Posted by: Bob S. | January 10, 2007 3:05 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. So cold here, and just think a few days ago we were all out without sweaters or coats. Now we're hugging the coats and sweaters as if our very lives depend on them. I went out last night, to a church conference, and it was cold outside, and in the church. Needless to say, that conference did not last long.

Want to walk this morning, if I can brave the cold. I need to do this, but dread it. Not good.

Have much on the to do list today. It's Bible study day. Two of them. Will try to check in later tonight.

Morning, Mudge, Slyness, and all.*waving*

As for the guest kits, JA, can't the prize be something else? Not familiar with the person you're giving away, although I've heard him mentioned here numerous times. I'm sure you can agree, writing is hard work, although you sir, make it look really easy. Just thinking you might get some interesting work if the honey were different. Of course, that could be the best honey.

Have a great day folks. I have to be out in the cold, but will make lots of coffee, and wrap up. The topic of discussion in Bible study: That God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

I went to the hospital yesterday to visit some friends, and that place was full, every room. Many here have the flu or flu like symptoms.

And our local paper is getting a flux of letters to the editor about the sentencing of the preacher. One woman wrote that she would love to know what he preached about that Sunday morning after killing his wife, stuffing her body in the trunk of her car, and telling his members she was home sick. And so would I love to know the answer to that question. Most of the letters complain of the sentence, and its shortness. I think a lot of folks were unhappy with the outcome.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 10, 2007 6:04 AM | Report abuse

From our story today on Bush's "surge" (escalation) plan:

'As described by participants in the administration review, some staff members on the National Security Council became enamored of the idea of sending more troops to Iraq in part because it was not a key feature of Baker-Hamilton.'

So is there an element here of spite? Of thumbing the nose at Jim Baker and co.?

Posted by: Achenbach | January 10, 2007 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Even on its own terms the "surge" is unlikely to work because it's not much of a surge:

'Those who favored a "surge," such as Kagan and McCain, were looking for a sizable force that would turn the tide in Baghdad. But the Joint Chiefs made clear they could muster 20,000 at best -- not for long, and not all at once.'

So we'll tune in tonight to see what the president has to say about this.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/09/AR2007010901872_2.html

Posted by: Achenbach | January 10, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

>So we'll tune in tonight to see what the president has to say about this.

I'm afraid I'll have to get it through the MSM "filter". Can't afford to throw things at the TV. First thing he should do is say "Shinseki had it right. Sorry 'bout that."

Posted by: Error Flynn | January 10, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I've always had the impression that this administration has its own agenda... and not just in a power-mongering way. I mean like a bunch of frat guys drinking beer and figuring out how to stick it to the dean.

Unfortunately, the dean seems to be us. And they've done a really good job, too.

Posted by: TBG | January 10, 2007 7:45 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge had it right a few days ago. We're talking reinforcements, nothing else.

*checking and rechecking the now years-old expiration date on my Individual Ready Reserve requirement*

*SIGHHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 10, 2007 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how many people will be taking notes during the president's speech this evening?

bc

Posted by: bc | January 10, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Rule of thumb when interpreting the actions of important people. If they are advocating something that seems completely stupid, odds are there is a hidden agenda.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 10, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

RDP;

Odds can be wrong too, yanno.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 10, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I honestly think we put too much emphasis on getting our offspring into an "upper tier" college or university. It seems to me that what is most important is finding a good fit to the student. I think my college served me well not because it is a good school, (which it is) but because I had an irrational attachment to the place. Find a school that your kid is just crazy about, even if it is HogsHead U, (home of the fighting Lungfish) and he or she will do just fine.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 10, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke - Absolutely. Sometimes stupid is as stupid does. My point is just that if you step back and think about what else might motivate a given action besides mental deficiency, you can sometimes glean some valuable insights.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 10, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

As a proud member of the GatorNation I can find no better way to express my pleasure at watching a nearly perfect performance then to say: "It's Great to be a Florida Gator".

Posted by: F G Levine | January 10, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Loomis,
The Tricycle theater in London has been doing fresh-from-the-news political plays for a while, usually with great reviews and happy audiences. Working up an indictment for the Prime Minister is pretty much par for the course for them.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 10, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

*the smoke here is VERY bad this morning. hubby said that it is like having your head in the fireplace*

I mentioned briefly last night how the local schools were impacted by the mulch fire. One of our paper's metro columnists, Ken Rodriguez, took it one step further and went to the high school campus, poked around, asking questions, and came up with the following report titled "Fighting fire with--cough, wheeze--a pile of incompetence." He calls out that 450 students of the 3,240 students at O'Connor High School (named after former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor) are asthmatic, 87 of whom carry inhalers:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA011007.01B.Rodriguez.2f36891.html

Rodgriguez also points out in mid-article, "Then came the word from the Metropolitan Health District. The fire posed no health risk. Then, as Helotes resdients coughed and choked, the health district reversed its assessment."

Recall that I went to the press briefing at about sunset on Sunday. The three air monitoring tests that weekend showed, in lump sum, that there was a moderate health risk. I read and dissected the report and mentioned on the Achenblog that one of the air monitoring stations reported much higher, unhealthful readings. The press zigged with Metro Health's assessment; I zagged after reading the report thoroughly. That said, I really do appreciate the Achenblog.

Tonight, as regards President Bush's big prime time television address about his plan to escalate troops in Iraq. It's that or attend a library presentation showcasing five Texas writers. One of them is Lawrence Wright who wrote the 2006 "The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11" about al Qaeda and its origins. Wright's book is up against Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran's book about the Green Zone in Baghgdad for the 2006 National Book Award in nonfiction. I'll be heading downtown to hear more from an author, who conducted more than 500 interviews for his book, about the real enemy.

http://www.amazon.com/Looming-Tower-Al-Qaeda-Road-11/dp/037541486X/sr=1-1/qid=1168440449/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-6291875-2990513?ie=UTF8&s=books

Posted by: Loomis | January 10, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

*the smoke here is VERY bad this morning. hubby said that it is like having your head in the fireplace*

I mentioned briefly last night how the local schools were impacted by the mulch fire. One of our paper's metro columnists, Ken Rodriguez, took it one step further and went to the high school campus, poked around, asking questions, and came up with the following report titled "Fighting fire with--cough, wheeze--a pile of incompetence." He calls out that 450 students of the 3,240 students at O'Connor High School (named after former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor) are asthmatic, 87 of whom carry inhalers:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA011007.01B.Rodriguez.2f36891.html

Rodgriguez also points out in mid-article, "Then came the word from the Metropolitan Health District. The fire posed no health risk. Then, as Helotes resdients coughed and choked, the health district reversed its assessment."

Recall that I went to the press briefing at about sunset on Sunday. The three air monitoring tests that weekend showed, in lump sum, that there was a moderate health risk. I read and dissected the report and mentioned on the Achenblog that one of the air monitoring stations reported much higher, unhealthful readings. The press zigged with Metro Health's assessment; I zagged after reading the report thoroughly. That said, I really do appreciate the Achenblog.

Tonight, as regards President Bush's big prime time television address about his plan to escalate troops in Iraq. It's that or attend a library presentation showcasing five Texas writers. One of them is Lawrence Wright who wrote the 2006 "The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11" about al Qaeda and its origins. Wright's book is up against Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran's book about the Green Zone in Baghgdad for the 2006 National Book Award in nonfiction. I'll be heading downtown to hear more from an author, who conducted more than 500 interviews for his book, about the real enemy.

http://www.amazon.com/Looming-Tower-Al-Qaeda-Road-11/dp/037541486X/sr=1-1/qid=1168440449/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-6291875-2990513?ie=UTF8&s=books

Posted by: Loomis | January 10, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

*emerging from the shadows, again*

Good morning , all. We've been so busy that I: 1) didn't realize that bowl games were still in progress past 1 Jan.; 2) that the BCS would be between OSU and UF; 3)after having the ahha moments of 1 and 2 and reading about the BCS match, that OSU would come out so flat; and finally, 4)that the Orange held both the football and basketball championships simultaneously. The latter must be ancient history from the Schwartswalder or the Dolph Schayes era, in any case, I would hope that the world was more peaceful during that particular year.

Given the news about "the surge", I can't help but think that Fearless Leader must be talking to his imaginary advisors such that his legacy is more polish than road apples.

Posted by: jack | January 10, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Joel,
I got two different error messages that what I had written wasn't posting and voila--there they are! Please disregard my email, but you may want to check in with Hal the Schemer.

Posted by: Loomis | January 10, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.
I'm running late and haven't had time to read today's posts but I just wanted to jump in to share some great news. I don't think James Brown is really dead.
CNN reports that James Brown still hasn't been buried. The story is no one had arranged a burial and now with questions raised about who is the official next of kin of the gentleman in question remains above ground.
I don't buy it for a second, every time I've seen Brown perform half the show was him collapsing from the exertion of singing a couple of songs then miraculously leaping up, screaming WOW, and dropping to the floor in a heap only to resurrect himself again and again and again and....

Posted by: Boko999 | January 10, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

SCC ...about who is the official next of kin, the gentleman in question remains above ground.

Always ignore the spell/grammar check.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 10, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Loomis... if 450 students of the 3,240 in that school are asthmatic, that's like what? 1 out of 7?

Is Texas a magnet for asthmatics or is there something in the water?

I don't have statistics handy, but that seems like an abnormally high percentage. Maybe you have a story within a story to explore here.

Posted by: martooni | January 10, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Is Bush really going to talk to the nation about adding more troops to the Iraq mess?

I think maybe the "Bush Pilot"is partying too hard these days,still celebrating the New Year.

Whoever put that link up.....thank you.....I am still laughing about weeks later

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 10, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

As noted by Linda the boodle has been flaky in the past couple of days. I got those error messages too a couple of days ago.

In the spirit of All Gators All the Time I read this good article on the Gators last night:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/10/sports/ncaafootball/10florida.html?ref=sports

As a concerned neigbour this is what I expect from the GWB Iraq speech tonight:
He will explain the necessity of reinforcing the troops, or the possibility or bringing some home, by detailing his new strategy. The strategy will recognize the current sectarian partition of the government and of the society. The strategy and it's implementation will be mostly aimed at minimizing US losses while keeping the troops in contact with the population. It will include measures to engage the population in the project of Iraq reconstruction and de-emphasize the kill-all-the-insurgents bits. The plan will have realistic milestones, both in what is achieved and when it is achieved. One of the goal would be to help Iraqis define, over years, not month, what exactly do they want as a country. The strategy will involve having open diplomatic relations with Iraq's neighbours, even the unsavoury ones. The issue of the continuing exodus of Sunnis from Iraq and from Shiite sectors of Iraq will be tackled. The new strategy will be reality-based and embraced by experienced military thinkers.
I think I am setting myself for a big disappointment here.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | January 10, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Having major Movable Type issues--tried to post something three times, MT ate 'em all.

Grrrrrrrr.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 10, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Notice to All College Republicans! Do you want to support the President's initiatives in the War Against Terror (without actually joining the military)? DO YOUR PART! Show your support for Our Troops and Our President by drinking SURGE (tm)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surge
You can even add SURGE to your "other" favorite beverages for the taste of Victory! Step up and SURGE!

Posted by: CowTown | January 10, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Mudge - they may show up. I think all traffic is being routed through Ganymede.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 10, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about screwing up the link. Here it is again http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surge

Posted by: CowTown | January 10, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The starting point is that the US has effectively decided to withdraw. Problem: how does one do this while also giving the Iraqi govt a fighting chance to (re)start to take control (or arguably more importantly, be seen by others in the region as having given a fighting chance)? Hence the surge.

Posted by: SonofCarl | January 10, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

>Having major Movable Type issues

Maybe it's just decided to take the name "Movable Type" seriously, and has moved the posts to the teleprompter used for the President's speech.

Posted by: Error Flynn | January 10, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

nothing to add, really...

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/ganymede_vg.gif

Posted by: omni | January 10, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Before getting on with my day, I just want to point out the juxtapositions, er, flip-flops, in these two pieces of writing:

The opening grafs of Tom Friedman's op-ed in the NYT today:

Colstrip, Montana

All environmentalists have their favorite "green" energy source that they think will break our addiction to oil and slow down climate change. I've come out to Montana to see mine. It's called coal.

Yes, yes, I know, you thought I was going to say corn ethanol or switch grass or soybean diesel. Well, one day they all might reach a scale that can get us off oil. But the cheap, available fuel that China, India and America all have in abundance today -- and are all going to burn for the next decade -- is coal. So unless we can burn coal in a cleaner way, you can kiss the climate goodbye -- we'll all be wearing bikinis and shorts in Manhattan in January.

Grafs from page 132 of Janet Wallach's book, "Desert Queen, The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia":

Now Britain's interest in the region [before the outbreak of WWI] had become even greater. Its [Britain's] unrivaled navy delivered goods around the world and brought home three quarters of England's food supply. To maintain its superiority, in 1911 the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, had ordered a major change, switching the nation's battleships from coal-burning engines to oil. Far superior to the traditional ships, these new oil-burning vessels could travel faster, cover a greater range, and be refueled at sea; what's more, their crews would not be exhausted by having to refuel, and would require less manpower.

Britain had been the world's leading provider of coal, but she had no oil of her own. In 1912, Churchill signed an agreement for a major share in the Anglo-Persian [does this company become the Anglo-Iranian?] Oil Company, with its oil wells in southern Persia and refineries at Abadan, close to Basrah. It was essential for Britain to protect the area, yet with Ottoman Empire so weakened, the region was highly vulnerable, particularly susceptible to German-sponsored attack.
***

Too, Maureen Dowd has a very funny, yet very serious, op-ed about Bush's planned surge of troops in Iraq, in her op-ed today at the NYT, based loosely on and titled the same as Victoria Wohl's book, "Love Among the Ruins."

http://books.google.com/books?id=jRRSgYWWRj8C&dq=book+Love+among+the+ruins&psp=1&ie=ISO-8859-1

Posted by: Loomis | January 10, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the Moveable Type problems. You know Paul Bremer is now in charge of Moveable Type.

I'm going to post a new kit in roughly 20 minutes, if not sooner, or later. This is not a prediction, it's a forecast.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 10, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Thank you omni. Granted, one does need to squint to see the repeaters.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 10, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all.

Martooni- There's something in the air, not the water, down here in TX, and that is an extremely high level of incidence for asthma.

What will we hear from Bush tonight? Anything his handlers tell him to say to keep diverting attention from the truths and realities of the Iraq situation. Fearless Leader has already given up on winning anything within the bounds of his term as president. Hence the switch to talk of his legacy and how history will view him. The responsibility will fall to the next guy, who will serve only one term, as amnesiac Americans will vote him out because of poor handling of the war he didn't start but has to finish. Make sense? Just wait and see...

Posted by: Gomer | January 10, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Linda - I think Friedman's dead on right about coal.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 10, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Actually, the asthma rate is surprisingly *not* that high...the CDC says about 11% of Americans have been diagnosed with asthma at one time or another. The school number is about 14% - higher, sure, but not all that much.
That said, that one in ten of us occasionally find ourselves unable to breathe is pretty scary on its own.

Posted by: byoolin | January 10, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

CDC link:
http://209.217.72.34/HDAA/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=136

Posted by: byoolin | January 10, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Gomer and Loomis, a noate about the asthma count. My community, Sherwood Park, has a really high rate of asthma is school children. For years they ascribed it to the oil refineries right next door, and to the north. Studies were done, and the result was that Sherwood Park, with one of the highest home ownership per capita rates in the country, is too clean. In order to build an immunity, you need to be exposed to germs, and people in upscale land, are not. And FYI, the Capilano area of the city, sitting on top of the refineries has a normal rate of asthma and is a more normal mixed housing area of the city, owned rented etc.

So my question, how upscale is the neighbourhood?

Posted by: dr | January 10, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

DR-

Good point about immunities. It squares with the reason behind the polio epidemic of last century, caused by inprovements in sewage and hygiene. People were no longer exposed to the relatively benign poilovirus regularly, as we had been for thousands of years before. When they were hit with polio, they had no immunity and got the proverbial smackdown. All because we now live in sanitary conditions... go figure.

Posted by: Gomer | January 10, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Gomer, just very briefly checked out what you say about polio and sanitary conditions. And yes, it does seem that polio became a problem when sanitation provided everyone with clean water. So why is polio still a problem in India *because* of poor sanitation? I don't get it.

Posted by: Wheezy | January 10, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy-
Polio became a problem in the modern world because of of sanitation, but through the March of Dimes' campaign, was eradicated. This erdication spread throughout the globe until, like smallpox, the disease was considered to be gone and done with. India didn't follow through with the necessary (and cheap) vaccinations. Like smallpox, polio has returned. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...

I work at a middle school and it galls me how hard the school district has to work each year to get people to vaccinate their kids. Some folks just don't believe in it, I guess.

Posted by: Gomer | January 10, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

my all-gators-all-the-time comment:

What kind of parents name their son "Urban"--?! What's his middle name?

possibilities:
Cowboy, Renewal, Legend, Development, Landscape, Outfitters, League, Planning

Sorry, cheap shot, nothing serious to contribute, gator-wise.

This comment was timed to appear after the forecasted "new kit" so if anybody reads it, it's not my fault.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 10, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Lemme see if I can get Paul *&%$# Bremer to post this fragment of my larger post:

Joel, on my behalf would you please toss a giant spitball from your cubby to Paul Farhi's cubby (he sits right near you, IIRC) for his lame story on the word "surge," which completely omits use of the standard, clear, classic word "reinforcements." [It was so lame I'm not even gonna link to it.] Farhi refers to several classic reference books on military terminolgy--and never once quotes from them; he merely notes they don't contain the word "surge." C'mon, Paul, do your homework.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 10, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

There's Blight and Sprawl to consider as well.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 10, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure I was just too wrapped up in being a kid, but I don't remember a single kid from those days having asthma until I was in high school. Now the CDC (and Loomis' stats from the school in her neck of the wood) are reporting such high numbers.

I wonder if it's just better diagnostics? Or do parents panic after their kids are naturally out of breath from running? Or is it a conspiracy born of the medical-pharma-industrial-insurance complex?

I *so* want a tin-foil hat, btw.

I know asthma is very serious -- have a friend who nearly died one night because he forgot to bring his inhaler. Just seems to me that the increase in asthma coincides with the increase in ADHD and Ritalin prescriptions (not to mention the popularity of "everyone wins" soccer vs. "real" football/futball where it takes all day to score a goal and everyone goes home with injuries).

Posted by: martooni | January 10, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

OK, let's see if I can sneak the next part in:

Padouk, I agree with you 100% about choice of college. It's given that something like 50 percent of all college students flunk out by the end of sophomore year, and also given that in freshman and sophomore year the vast majority of kids just take English 101 and History 101 and Math 101, etc. (the basic core stuff, in other words), which tends to be EXTREMELY standardized from one school to another. (Everyone has a copy of that damned unreadable "Economics" by Paul Samuelson from Ec 101, and we all have those damned 1,000-page Norton Readers from Eng. 101, and we all have Janson's tome on art history, etc.) All that being so, I could never see the sense in spending the megabucks on college for those first two years, when you don't know whether your kid's going to make it or not. That being so, I always though it made sense just to pay for the kid to go to Podunk community college down the road, and if the kid shows some maturity, gets reasonable grades, and isn't going to drink himself/herself into oblivion, THEN the kid can tranmsfer to a better school that costs more money. But no one can convince me that paying $25,000 a year for English 101 makes any economic sense over paying $2,000 for English 101 at Podunk, nor that the Big Name schools teach it any better than Podunk does.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 10, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

That is correct.

They say to themselves, the disease hasn't been seen in these parts for a coon's age, and precious Johnny is so very delicate and special that he is going to have an adverse reaction to any vaccine and will get encephylitis and autism and cancer and we are such superbly wonderful and responsible parents that we will not risk our beloved and exceptionally bright child's health (did we mention that Johnny is in the gifted class and plays professional soccer, even though he is only 3 years old?) the way those trashy Yokis do theirs because we love our kids more than they love theirs and we also give them more opportunities for advancement in the world and their clothes are nicer too.

In other words, the non-vaccinating crowd are counting on enough of us unenlightened parents vaccinating our kids that their golden offspring are not at risk. Riding on our coat-tails.

Hahaha! What they don't realize is that healthy vaccinated kids can shed virus and be fine, but Johnny? Hmmm.

Posted by: Yoki | January 10, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Which newspapers publish Garrison Keillor's weekly column? I read it in the Chicago Tribune. Here's this week's contribution on the (very) cool stylistic way to read an actual newspaper.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0701100038jan10,1,6758053.column?coll=chi-opinionfront-hed

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 10, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, your comment is valid. The kids who have asthma now are pretty tame compared to what I saw in my youth. I have a family of cousins who but for 2 out of 8 had some variation on a themem of asthma. We didn't call it asthma unless they regularly turned blue after being somewhere that triggered it, which as a group of 13 very adventurous kids, was pretty much every day. Ask our moms first? Not a chance. Anybody who was just breathing hard, didn't hardly count.

It was real though, just not as severe, and you see a whole lot more of that now. Be it medicine or whatever, I'm glad its less, because we are not 13 anymore we are 12.

Posted by: dr | January 10, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you on the college thing, 'Mudge...

But I'd say the value/dollar is virtually the same into the upper level courses, at least from the liberal arts perspective.

No offense to anyone who went to Princeton, btw.

Engineering, Computer Science, Physics... now those I could see a difference at the higher levels. The more famous schools have the money to provide the equipment and experts that most schools can't. But then many of those experts don't actually teach -- they come out of the cupboard for a lecture or two and then get back to their work. Is it worth $25K/year for your kid to get a lecture or two from a famous expert only to have the remainder of lectures delivered by his/her understudy or a graduate assistant?

Even so, many of the smaller (and even larger) more affordable schools offer excellent programs in those fields that are highly rated. I know that my local Uni (Youngstown State) has one of the best engineering schools in the country, but M.I.T. gets all the accolades. Not that M.I.T. (or Princeton) doesn't deserve the praise, but it's not who taught you or where, it's what you've learned and what you do with that learning that counts.

Posted by: martooni | January 10, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon & Padouk-

You've got the right idea about college. Not all 18-year-olds are ready to leave home and do the college thing, and the local CC is the best choice for those. My brother flunked out of UT-Austin for that very reason. He did well at NOVA, though. As a teacher, I am supposed to believe that every student should go to college, get a degree, and have a wonderful, high-paying job. No Child Left Behind, right?

What a load of crap. With most of the schools getting rid of vocational programs so that we can usher every kid into college, it is no small wonder that our skilled laborers must now come from other countries. Also no surprise that a Bachelor's degree is like yesteryear's high school diploma. So many have one that its worth has gone waaaaay down. Now you need a Master's for many entry-level jobs.

Posted by: Gomer | January 10, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

New kit.

Posted by: dr | January 10, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon & Padouk-

You've got the right idea about college. Not all 18-year-olds are ready to leave home and do the college thing, and the local CC is the best choice for those. My brother flunked out of UT-Austin for that very reason. He did well at NOVA, though. As a teacher, I am supposed to believe that every student should go to college, get a degree, and have a wonderful, high-paying job. No Child Left Behind, right?

What a load of crap. With most of the schools getting rid of vocational programs so that we can usher every kid into college, it is no small wonder that our skilled laborers must now come from other countries. Also no surprise that a Bachelor's degree is like yesteryear's high school diploma. So many have one that its worth has gone waaaaay down. Now you need a Master's for many entry-level jobs.

Posted by: Gomer | January 10, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon & Padouk-

You've got the right idea about college. Not all 18-year-olds are ready to leave home and do the college thing, and the local CC is the best choice for those. My brother flunked out of UT-Austin for that very reason. He did well at NOVA, though. As a teacher, I am supposed to believe that every student should go to college, get a degree, and have a wonderful, high-paying job. No Child Left Behind, right?

What a load of crap. With most of the schools getting rid of vocational programs so that we can usher every kid into college, it is no small wonder that our skilled laborers must now come from other countries. Also no surprise that a Bachelor's degree is like yesteryear's high school diploma. So many have one that its worth has gone waaaaay down. Now you need a Master's for many entry-level jobs.

Posted by: Gomer | January 10, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Gomer... I wish I had taken the "vocational" path -- would probably be making much better bucks and doing something I enjoy instead of slinging code and having to explain to people that you must first click on the "Start" menu to get to "End Session".

Posted by: martooni | January 10, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: ejltd zkbgcrj | January 17, 2007 1:45 AM | Report abuse

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