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The Roundup Strategy for Modern Life

My friend Rob pointed out some nasty vines growing in my garden and immediately pronounced the cure: "Roundup."

He's from Portland, is very ecologically minded, rides his bike to and from his job as an urban forester, etc. So to have him sanction a toxin brought a tear of gratitude to my eye. I did not mention that I'm going to apply it with an airplane. I'm going to spray the whole yard and kill everything even vaguely green. Not that I'm obsessed with weeds -- I haven't blogged about weeds or grubs for at least a week. But this is the time of year, as I've said many times, when the only sane course of action is to turn one's yard into a sterile wasteland. You want your property to look pretty much like the surface of the planet Mercury.

I'm also thinking of expanding the Roundup Strategy to other realms of daily life. Starting with email. You may have seen the story about how people spend the equivalent of 20 days a year just doing email. Or maybe just deleting spam -- I read the story on the fly, of course, because that's how we live now. [I'm now at BWI with a dying battery, about to jump on a plane to somewhere -- New Hampshire, I think.] And I question the math (20 days??). But still: I spend an inordinant amount of time just killing spam. The article I've linked to offers advice on how to cut down on the size of one's inbox. But no one is willing to admit the truth, which is that the secret to controlling email is to turn off the computer. You have to dare to be unavailable, and unreliable, and electronically aloof, and just a terrible correspondent and all-around Bad Digital Person (BDP).

Otherwise you wind up like these suburbanites who are going crazy. Great story by Annie Gowen: check it out.

"The struggle is: How do you view the world in a deeper, more mystical way when you're living in an environment that sucks you in with more shallow goals -- bigger house, better body, perfect kids?"

I know the answer.

Roundup!!

[I'll be at the GOP debate tonight and if possible will blog, though you should read The Fix if you really want to know what's happening. Some of those candidates definitely deserve aerial spraying.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 5, 2007; 1:12 PM ET
 
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Comments

first?

Posted by: frostbitten | June 5, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

toundup:
The herding together of cattle for inspection, branding, or shipping.
The cattle so herded.
The workers and horses employed in such herding.
A gathering up, as of people under suspicion by the police.
A summary: a news roundup.

As though killing or eliminating weeds has a male aspect to it. I bend over in all cases and pull 'em up by the root, or use that practical forked tool with a long handle to do the same. My conscience about (not) polluting the aquifer is clear, and my waistline gets a bit whittled. As we learned out at the new state park on our two visits in the last several days: we're all downstream, unless you happen to live at the top of Pikes Peak or Mts. Whitney or McKinley, I guess.

Posted by: Loomis | June 5, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I much prefer a flame thrower to Roundup, but will use it if forced.

Read the "Death by Suburbia" article and think it's just another case of just outside the beltway whining.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 5, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, I agree about the article made it to the bottom of page three and then my attention began to drift away. I almost thought the article was a joke, giving up the cleaning crew - THE HORROR - :-). At times my life resembles theirs but no one forces me to live that way, simple common sense tells you when it gets out of hand, or at least for me it does.

Posted by: dmd | June 5, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

WaPo confirms it: Libby gets 30 months. The article notes that this is the first conviction of a major political official in 20 years. That makes it sound like a long time. Let's look at it a different way: Since Eisenhower, we have had 8 distinct poltiical administrations (counting Nixon and Ford as really one, but Kennedy and Johnson as two): 4 Republican, 4 Democratic. Out of those, we have had 3 administrations (that I can immediately recall) that have been seriously marred by illegal actions on the part of administration officials who were convicted of felonies or at least forced to resign under a cloud of threatened prosecution (I'm thinking of you, Tricky Dick). All 3 were Republican administrations. Am I missing something? Am I forgetting some act of overt malfeasance by a Democrat? Statistically, this suggests that service in a Republican administration is equivalent to entering Hogwarts as a Slytherin: it is a fair presumption that your career goal is to commit actions of breathtaking criminaility in order to profit from the abuse of the populace. There is only the question of whether you have been caught at it. Yet.

P.S.: I think it is funny that I often mistype "Democrat" as "Demoncrat." Perhaps some credulous persons, making a similar typo, think that it is a message from God that they should be Republicans. But, perhaps it is the Devil, playing with them?

Posted by: Tim | June 5, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

'Strange Pilgrims' arrived today. Will read when finished with 'Katherine' Thanks a bea c for the recommend.

Posted by: omni | June 5, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The quote, "The struggle is: How do you view the world in a deeper, more mystical way when you're living in an environment that sucks you in with more shallow goals -- bigger house, better body, perfect kids?" isn't from the Post's writer, Annie Gowen, but the guy she quotes, David Goetz. Be that as it may, I have this question: why in the world would anyone want to be more "mystical"? All the other stuff, sure. But becoming more "mystical"? I suspect the guy meant "spiritual" (especially when you read it in context). But I have a big problem with "mystical." I spent most of my life trying to get away from "mystical," not try to approach it. Mystical is problematic from one end to the other.

And yes, I'm having trouble welling up tears for people in Loudon County having to sell their McMansions. I agree with dmd: common sense ought to tell you when something's out of hand.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 5, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

When I lived in Jacksonville, the neighbor's little woodlot adjacent to my yard was infested with Air Potatoes (really climbing yams with airborne tubers hanging, ready to make more). In turn, the first known Jacksonville infestation of Skunk Vine (from southeast Asia) appeared. The air potatoes provided ready-made scaffolds for the Sewers, which explored the ground by growing absolutely straight runners, which proceeded to climb whenever they encountered something.

My volunteer efforts (partly to keep my own yard safe) involved lots of cutting, some pulling, and gallons of Roundup. More or less innocent grapevines and Virginia creepers were collateral casualties. Since then, the area's been developed as a very nice mini-subdivision and presumably the bad weeds are but a memory.

Portland, Oregon has some nasties:
English ivy (Even the Japanese Garden sponsors ivy pulls)
English holly (pretty, but brother, does it spread!)
Clematis vines (pop up everywhere)
Butterfly bush (will grow in cracks in sidewalks, if given the opportunity)

Then there's the giant something-or-other that popped up at Reed College. Exterminated.

Should I add eastern and midwestern squirrels?

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | June 5, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The employment of common sense requires the ability to distinguish between "common" and "contemptible."

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 5, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"Contemptible Sense" is surely a book MedallionOfFerret would recommend.

Posted by: omni | June 5, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, I took a bike ride this weekend through an area of my neighborhood I hadn't previously seen, and it's just as bad as Loudon County, only packed more tightly. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 5, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

So far all my Google Ads are on topic...

Posted by: omni | June 5, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

frosti, dmd, I'm with you on the folks in "Death by Suburbia." It reminds me of the old "Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I do this." "So stop doing it."

I've made it a point to not pay for lawn service, cleaning service, or a dog walker. As a result, I don't have to pay for a health club membership, either.

Roundup is the only thing I know of to kill poison ivy vines.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 5, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

>Mystical is problematic from one end to the other.

Unless you're a Sufi, man.

"Sufis Rule"
-Danny DeVito in Jewel of the Nile.

:-)

Posted by: Error Flynn | June 5, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"Contemtible Sense", that's the one by Jane Austen, right?

Roundup is good for poison Ivy as well, if repeated multiple times over 3-4 years. That pest is hard to kill.

A new really annoying invader in the North East and Canada is the Garlic Mustard. All the semi-shady areas get choked by this pest and it allows the poison ivy to flourish in its shade. It's easy to kill with roundup though.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | June 5, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Well...um...I'm not a Sufi. I don't even play one on television.

However, "Sufi" spelled backwards is "If us." Think about it. Very mystical.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 5, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Shriek;

I thought that was "Sense and Contemptibility"...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 5, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

And:[At a Sufi celebration] Ralph: "Look at these guys, Colton. No sheep is safe tonight."

Posted by: omni | June 5, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Hi everybody, sorry for the late appearance.

Joel, make sure you look around the GOP debate facility for Fred Thompson operatives.

As I understand it, Thompson's not going to be there to participate, but his presence will be felt like the alien starships hanging over the cities of earth in "Independence Day" or "Childhood's End". The candidates will go about their business in the shadow of Fred overhead.

bc

Posted by: bc | June 5, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"Death by Suburbia" applies to me to some extent. I suffered back muscle spasms from finally creating a little patio in the back yard. I've installed too many interesting plants in the yard (including two satake palms from the Ryukus in the patio). Plus, I've just removed an unruly jasmine bush from the overhang near the front door and converting the area to its highest and best use, as a porch. Unfortunately, that involves moving great heaps of leaves and sand, then lots of pavers. Now to figure out where to put the sasanquas and soft, cuddly, harmless yuccas (reallly--Yucca filamentosa).

Meanwhile, the grass came out of hibernation with Friday's four inches of rain. It will be mowed every four days for the next month or so.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | June 5, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Sufi Sales? Didn't he have a TV show once?

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 5, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

A weed is defined as a plant growing where a human didn't give it permission. I'm amused at how many of my wild plants are available in expensive seed packets and nurseries (and how many of the more expensive ones are "weeds" somewhere else on the continent)

I wear thick leather gloves to pull up raspberry canes, blackberry canes, and multiflora roses. I allow them free rein everywhere but the front yard, but I still feel guilty about yanking them up from where they wanted to grow when I enjoy the better-placed ones (i.e., the ones I won't walk into) so much.

There's a poison ivy vine in the woods that's thicker than most of the tree trunks and waving from the top of a very tall poplar (I hope that menacing image doesn't give RD nightmares!). I assume that's where all the new growth comes from every year (with an assist from hungry birds). I hunt down and pull up the baby vines in the yard while wearing old plastic bags. Very persistent stuff, though.

Round-up. *shudder* No Way. I have frogs!

(and the weeds say, "Can't we all just get along?")

Posted by: sevenswans | June 5, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

One solution to the weed problem is what I would call the Karl Rove approach: refer to them as "ornamental grasses." Problem solved.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 5, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Looked up 'Karl Rove' in my botanical handbook, Mudge, and it's another name for 'turd blossom.' (Don't ask me to spell it backward.)

Posted by: Audentes | June 5, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

How much is enough? Mo Udall ran for president talking about 'limits'. That was vaguely the mainstream of the Dem party in the 70's. It seems like maybe if we had pushed a few limits back then, things would not be so bad now. I tend to think of the Lost in America (Albert Brook's movie) syndrome. It is hard to make those big lifestyle changes. Head out and 'touch Indians'? Woodstock to stock options. A Gilded Generation, above all else?

Roundup aside (they sell it in huge jugs here, for ranchers), nature is not doing so well. Most of the Joshua Tree forests are burned off. There have been fires everywhere. The Pines are dying from bug infestations. The Spruce beetle finished the old Spruce off ten years ago. The Aspen are dying. No one knows quite why. Maybe they are depressed, about the Pines and the Spruce? Roundup? Barely kills the Russian Thistle, which seems to thrive along with myriad 'foreign' plant intruders.

The National Parks are kind of a mess. Too many people, no real money to keep them up. There's a sense kids don't care so much about nature, it's not enough... I guess if you want a book for summer reading, maybe Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey.

Maybe the next campaign will move in this direction. It's hard to reconcile the Bush macho, the Bush elitism, and the Bush indifference to the environment, with anything 'spiritual'.

Posted by: George Sears | June 5, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Audentes, Turd Blossom spelled backwards is the name of a common Gaelic Bryphyta, Moss O'Lbdrut.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 5, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

The education issue is old as anything else we have to deal with in this world. Mudge, you're right about it being a state responsibility, but in my neck of the woods, the feds intervened in the school issue along with some other things because of racism. Southerners(white) refused to give up their last rope on slavery, and insisted on holding out to the last man. I suspect it was more to keep peace than to really do the system any good. The "No Child Left Behind" campaign seemed to lack money and organization. It was just one more noose around teachers and administrations neck. They already have the animosity and anger of parents, the feds are just the icing on the cake.

And money is certainly an important issue because teachers don't make any money. Most of them have to rent apartments together and share the rent in my area. And one is certainly not going to get good people if the money sucks. Teaching is still very much a job of dedication, the money isn't the ticket, not in my state. I always wanted to be a teacher, and after trying so hard, I found out the hearing-impairment would not allow me to do that. One must be careful of the answers to the children's question. I think teachers and teaching is a great profession, one of the best, and applaud all teachers.

Posted by: Cassandra S | June 5, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Moss O'Lbdrut is really hard to get rid of. I'm not entirely sure if Roundup will stop its spread. I've heard its sort of tentacley.

George S what area do you live in? Interested in your information about Aspens dying. I know that our trees are under stress some, but they are a shallow rooted tree, and we've been pretty short of rain. They are also under some stress from caterpillars, but that is cyclical. They always seem to come back from the root here, so it seems there is always some around.

I'm thinking seriously of using chickweed for a salad. Surely eating the stuff will get it under sonctrol in the gravel areas?

Posted by: dr | June 5, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-good point about "mystical," and I'm not sure I would want all those Loudonites getting all spiritual either. For instance, the mega-church style of spirituality freaks me out.

Added to my list of things that make me go "hmmm." The adult entertainment industry is a euphemism for pron, and gaming for gambling, right? So why do some churches call themselves "Family Worship Centers?"

Posted by: frostbitten | June 5, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Sevenswans, you are quite right. The image of such a menacing vine of poison ivy would fill me with dread. The only thing more nightmarish would be if after encountering such a vine I were to suddenly realize that I had forgotten to get dressed.

I think everyone can agree that would be a very scary sight indeed.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 5, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

And to control my yard I am seriously considering this approach:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/05/us/05goats.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

I think the time has come for free-range goats to regain their rightful place in society.

Besides, I hear that with mint jelly they ain't half bad.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 5, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Back when I was finishing my degree in North Carolina, I drove to Washington for a job interview. Using back roads, I happened to pass through Prince Edward County, where the public schools had been closed for five years specifically so black students couldn't go to school. The state and county supported "private" schools for whites only.

Supporters of integration apparently failed to chip in to provide an equivalent setup for blacks.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | June 5, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

RD, I had a persistent ex-b that was very urban-centric (a Y.A.M. - Yet Another Musician), and although he bravely complied with my love of camping while we were dating, he inevitably managed to get a case of poison ivy no matter how careful he tried to be. Like you, I think he was allergic to the smallest breath of the sap floating in the air, since no one else we camped with was ever affected by the Green Menace Of The Woods.

I told him about that vine after I moved out here. Never had any problem with him wanting to come visit after that. . .

Posted by: sevenswans | June 5, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

In the ridge and valley of Pennsylvania (and I assume Md. and Virginia), poison ivy thrives on limestone soils of the valleys, but is absent from the huckleberry-laden oak woods on the ridges.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | June 5, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

We don't seem to have much poison ivy up here in my neck of west by god. Not much undergrowth of any kind. It is a thick heavily wooded oak forrest. Whatever usually grows is eaten by the large unhunted deer population. Including most of the weeds,flowers, grass etc....

Posted by: greenwithenvy | June 5, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Interesting intersection of kit and real life. The county training for city and township noxious weed officers is scheduled for the 20th. Unfortunately I will be out of town and will have to appoint a deputy or get an excused absence.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 5, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The other option to weeds is complete surrender. I am slowly yielding the backyard, or at least some portions of it. The contrast makes me feel like the meticulous front lawn is fake ... like some kind of liposuction plastic surgery that we should be ashamed of. Next thing you know I'll be "that" neighbor who is dragging down home values on the street due to 3-foot grass ...

The suburbia article was eye-catching, well-written, but also kind of silly. Three plus hours on the road? Four???

Ok, now here's an alert and a request to the boodle: Having been inspired and fascinated by our boodle's regular book lists and conversations, I started tinkering with a website idea. The aim is to have a place where you can keep track of the books you, and your friends, are reading. The site is live (http://www.bookometry.com), but just a non-functional prototype at this stage. If you guys want to make suggestions while my partner and I develop the PHP/SQL code, I would really appreciate your advice! Send any thoughts to tijoka (@) cox.net. Thanks!

Posted by: Kane | June 5, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The other option to weeds is complete surrender. I am slowly yielding the backyard, or at least some portions of it. The contrast makes me feel like the meticulous front lawn is fake ... like some kind of liposuction plastic surgery that we should be ashamed of. Next thing you know I'll be "that" neighbor who is dragging down home values on the street due to 3-foot grass ...

The suburbia article was eye-catching, well-written, but also kind of silly. Three plus hours on the road? Four???

Ok, now here's an alert and a request to the boodle: Having been inspired and fascinated by our boodle's regular book lists and conversations, I started tinkering with a website idea. The aim is to have a place where you can keep track of the books you, and your friends, are reading. The site is live (http://www.bookometry.com), but just a non-functional prototype at this stage. If you guys want to make suggestions while my partner and I develop the PHP/SQL code, I would really appreciate your advice! Send any thoughts to tijoka (@) cox.net. Thanks!

Posted by: Kane | June 5, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Dave, they(all children, African-Americans included) have to go to school now, but nowhere is it stressed that the education has to be of quality or quantity.

When looking at it closely, not much has changed.

Posted by: Cassandra S | June 5, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Kane-the garden world has a name for your back yard, a "quilted lawn." I did the same in my back yard in NoVA, while maintaining a perfect greensward in front for Mr. F. He didn't even notice how the flower beds and mixed herbaceous borders encroached on the lawn, nor did the HOA. By the time we sold the modest, and by then wildly over-priced house, I could "mow" the entire front in 15 minutes with a string trimmer.

Shout out to CP. Need some garden guidance. Blue has turned out to be my undoing, and now I have no idea how to make it better. Help!

Posted by: frostbitten | June 5, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I came off the crutches way early...

Good friends, the irrefutability of music stands on all...Imagine the falsetto syncopation arpeggiation with a thundering bass, and some Kick-A keyboard whiddlin - my eyebrow is punctured from a nasty knuckle last night from a man I won't use the racist term against although I'm sure it applies to this assailant...like a cistern my brow was opened and poured blood directly into my right eye...We Hibernians quadruple-teamed this guy and kept his name out of the newspaper. Pulp, pile-driven, the wiseguy got a wrinkled five dollar bill in his shirt pocket. Ask my younger 6'5" 230 lbs brother about the extent of the revenge wounds. My brow is still dripping. We should have only left that guy a two-dollar bill. Or a couple nickels on his eyes. And a kiss on his lips.

Posted by: Simon D | June 5, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

At my old house I was a Roundup queen because of the weeds that insisted on messing with groundcover I had planted. Oh how I battled with those nasty things. At a house previous to that, I had a lot of poison ivy and used tons of Roundup there too. Now I'm more of a Weed be Gone person and I have lowered my standards to some extent because I realize that unless I want to spray like crazy or spend the summer on my knees pulling them out by hand, I am never going to win. Our lawn has a lot of violets, technically a weed, but the flowers in May are pretty so I don't try too hard to get rid of them. I feel better when I don't use too many harmful chemicals but that doesn't mean I wouldn't pile them on if the weeds got out of hand.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | June 5, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, believe it or not, the very last school district in the entire nation to get out from under federally mandated and court-supervised busing for integration purposes was the Prince George's County school system right here adjacent to DC; it's where boodler CP lives and works (tho she's at U of Md.), and it's the county just north of where I live. I was editor of the newspaper in the PG county seat when that happened several years ago and wrote a lot about it. If my memory serves, the court order started in 1972 and lasted more than a quarter of a century.

The case is called Vaughns et al. v. School Board of Prince George's County; Vaughns was a parent and one of the plaintiffs. He and a group of other black parents and the local NAACP brought the lawsuit, and when it all ended about 1998 or so, the court dismissed the case after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the plaintiffs and the county. There was a ceremony for this, which I covered. I found out during the course of this that one of principals behind the suit was a school teacher named John Williams. He was a very quiet, shy, unprepossessing man, a behind-the-scenes guy, but he was the major force behind this. By the time the lawsuit ended he was in his 70s and retired. But he came to the ceremony. When it was all over, I followed him out into the corridor in the courthouse and asked to interview him. He agreed, and we went across the street to a little coffee shop, and I bought us a cup of coffee and a slice of cherry pie and slowly got him to tell me the story of how it all began years earlier. I felt like I was interviewing Rosa Parks, and in a way I was. It was one of the highlights of my career. Best piece of cherry pie I ever had.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 5, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget to tune into the GOP debate at 7 on CNN. I'm in the media filing center here in New Hampshire and feel on the verge of espousing some conventional wisdom. But will repress the urge.

Posted by: Achenbach | June 5, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Kane, take a look at www.librarything.com which already does what you were discussing. Maybe all the Boodlers should sign up for Librarything accounts and share our book lists that way.

Posted by: a bea c | June 5, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

If conventional wisdom will get us out of sick fantasyland I'm up for a dose.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 5, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, boy! Joel's about to get hisself spun unmercifully!

Hilarity ensues tonight at 9 when the Reporter With the Fly-Away Hair Gets a Briefing From Ann Coulter on Why George Bush Is the Greatest President Since Jesus. Or Moses. Or One of Them.

See

--Mitt Romney explain why he's named after a baseball glove!

--Tom Tancredo explain why all Mexicans need to be cleared out of Mexico

--Rudy Giuliani explain how he wants to build a line of fortifications up and down the seaboards and along the Mexican and Canadian borders to be ready to repel al Qaeda when they come to get us! Then, west of the Appalachians and east of the Rockies there will be a second line of forts, kind of like the Maginot and Hindenberg Lines, that we Muricans can fall back to incase the alQaedianians get a foothold on the beaches of Rehobeth and Coney Island, and start to head inland, those wily b@st@rds.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 5, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Joel, maybe six months from now I may be interested in a presidential debate. Too early now, and the weather will be much worse then. It's a beautiful evening here, calling for a good book and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc on the deck.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 5, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing new in the article about suburbia, and I don't feel sorry for people who overspend and overschedule.

Why do kids need $1000 in portable electronics to feel like they belong? Because their parents need a gigantic empty house and a gas-guzzling empty SUV to feel like they belong.

Posted by: a bea c | June 5, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Big, scary storm blowing in, here at Saint Anselm College...Major metaphor possibilities.

Posted by: Achenbach | June 5, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

bea put it in a nutshell - a succinct diagnosis of consumerism.

Posted by: Shiloh | June 5, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Joel.. You're outta luck. I think all those emails are Roundup Ready.

Posted by: TBG | June 5, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, thanks so much for enlightening me. I know there is still much to be done, and it will be done by people like the principal you talked to, and people that still believe in themselves and justice.

I don't think I can look at the debates. I can't keep up, too many people talking and they all seem to be saying the same things in one form or another.

Does fly-away hair help in these situations? I'm pretty sure it would be a stand out among a bunch of bald guys, but does it really inspire or is it more in the realm of arm candy? Off to bed, my meds are not working.

Posted by: Cassandra S | June 5, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

You know another problem with those educational "standards" is that schools are judged not only on how well their kids do on the tests, but how much they improve each year.

After a few years, it's become impossible for some schools to do much better than they already are; some are scoring about as high as you can get.

So what are they doing? They are stressing out their kids to try to get them to score in the "advanced" category or get perfect scores.

Posted by: TBG | June 5, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

New kit!!!

Posted by: frostbitten | June 5, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

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