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More Heat, Less Light

A person eating his seventh bacon-cheeseburger of the week really needn't worry too much about the effects of second-hand smoke.

Someone who rides a motorcycle without a helmet needn't lose sleep about the mediocre growth rate of his 401k.

Someone with a beach house on a barrier island that's not much bigger than a sandbar probably doesn't need to obsess about termites.

These thoughts emerge after watching NBC's coverage last night the SoCal fires (latest report: at least six dead, more than a billion dollars in damage). The fine dispatch by Brian Williams & Co. quickly gave way to a report by Anne Thompson on whether the fires might be caused by global warming. The upshot: Weird weather, droughts, wildfires, etc., will become more common as the planet heats up.

Well, sure. All that seems highly likely [see second item]. But any story twinning the fires with global warming ought to at least make a feeble nod to the fact that more and more people are building homes in wildfire country.

The Post wisely played that fact prominently in one dispatch today:

An inventory by University of Wisconsin researchers found that about two-thirds of new building in Southern California over the past decade was on land susceptible to wildfires, said Mike Davis, a historian at the University of California at Irvine and author of a social history of Los Angeles.

"It gives you some parameters for understanding the current situation," Davis said. "Another way to look at it is you simply drive out the San Gorgonio Pass, where the winds blow over 50 mph over a hundred days a year, and you have new houses standing next to 50-year-old chaparral.

"You might as well be building next to leaking gasoline cans."

Climate change didn't force people to build homes in dangerous places. Climate change didn't inspire the U.S. government to suppress fires for decades in places that have traditionally been prone to brush-clearing wildfires.

That doesn't mean we're not sympathetic to the plight of Californians, or folks in the Deep South who are wondering if they're going to run out of water next year because of the recent drought.

But even more dramatic than climate change has been the demographic and economic changes in the United States -- lots and lots of resource-hungry people living in what used to be the boondocks.


Via email from the Institute for Public Accuracy, we hear this from Thomas Swetnam, director
of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and Dendrochronology at the
University of Arizona:

"Increasing numbers of large
forest fires and total area burned in the western United States are
significantly correlated with warming and drying trends. ... There is a
clear upward trend in the area burned and numbers of large forest fires
in the western U.S., especially since the mid-1980s."

Read more on wildfires at the 60 Minutes site.

Why are there more of these fires? Turns out the forest service is partly to blame with a policy it started 100 years ago. The policy was to put out all fires immediately. "Because we so successfully fought fire and eliminated fire from this ecosystem for a hundred years, because we thought that was the right thing to do, we've allowed a huge buildup of fuel in these woods. So now, when the fires get going, there's a lot more to burn than historically you would've seen in a forest like this," Boatner explains.

"As fires continue to burn, these mega-fires continue to burn, we may see ultimately a majority, maybe more than half of the forest land converting to other forest, other types of ecosystems," Swetnam says.

"Wait a minute. Did you just say that there's a reasonable chance we could lose half of the forests in the West?" Pelley asks.

"Yes, within some decades to a century, as warming continues, and we continue to get large scale fires," Swetnam replies.


The Fall Classic starts tonight and our boodlers are full of memories!

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 24, 2007; 2:56 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Still More Dry Rain: Another Befuddled Autumn
Next: Back to the Garden: Woodstock Meets Wolf Trap


Tee, hee!

Posted by: MaxiSmash | October 24, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

That is so not fair Maxi

Posted by: dr | October 24, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

The more metropolitan areas grow, the more marginal lands they start to use as the good stuff gets used first. You get houses sliding down the hills in Malibu, and the ones going up in smoke in the high desert chapperall. You pays yer money, and you takes yer chances.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 24, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Fire fact: Pioneering wildlife ecologist Aldo Leopold died of a heart attack while fighting a brush fire.

The Hinkley and Cloquet Fires of Minnesota at the turn of the century were very bad.

We have a history of fire in the country, with the Chicago Fire not the "best" of them.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 24, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse


Mike Davis, the historian, would be backed by any number of ecologists (scientists, as opposed to advocates of environmental causes). Coastal California has any number of fire-dependent plants and animals that live with fire-prone plants, including birds.

In Florida, our own fire-dependent bird is the Florida scrub-jay (a distinct species from the one on the Pacific coast). It can't live in tall vegetation. Period. And it eats acorns from scrubby oaks that prosper on remarkably nutrient-free, fire-prone sand dunes.

Central Pennsylvania had barrens with vegetation that apparently operated the same way. Not to mention that the Jersey Pine Barrens catch fire with some regularity. It's something the pond pines expect--their cones release seed after a fire, just as some California pines do.

When Yellowstone National Park burned some years ago, their plant ecologist (a Ph.D. who had grown up in a nearby part of Wyoming) hurried to set up lots of plots that could be compared pre and post-fire. I recall Senator Simpson (from Cody) being upset at the ecologist's enthusiasm over the big scientific opportunity.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 24, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

This same issue came to light in the Shenandoah National Park a few years ago, didn't it?

And why does it seem to me that Thomas Swetman's lab is in need of one of Martooni's fairy doors? Something about the name Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and Dendrochronology, I guess.

Posted by: TBG | October 24, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Aldo Leopold's fatal fire was on his own property.

Post-Leopold, University of Wisconsin ecologist J.T. Curtis got interested in fire and prairie restoration. I think Disney (back in the 1950s) filmed one of Curtis's prescribed fires on a tiny recreated prairie.

One of Curtis's fascinating findings was that sugar maple forests and the lushest prairies tended to occupy sites with very similar soils. He suggested that the prairies occupied sites that had once been forest consisting of maples and other trees that do NOT return after fire. I don't know how his version of things has held up in the years since, but when I read Curtis circa 1972, it was impressive confirmation of Roland Harper's insight from Lake Tsala Apopka in Florida, circa 1910 or so, that sites with natural fire protection (in this case a lake) have different vegetation from areas without such protection. For some reason, this simple truth took quite a while to be taken seriously.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 24, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Just got off the phone with my sister. All extended family are presently safe in San Diego County, but the story is truly in the details. Will try to post later tonight. (Sis didn't know I was taking notes.)

Posted by: Loomis | October 24, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Not only are people building in the urban/wildland interface, they are using flammable materials - cedar shakes for roofing and siding, for example. Not smart at all.

What will be most interesting will be the response of the insurance industry to the SoCal fires. Fire protection is on a continuum of risk. The better the firefighting services, the lower the insurance premiums, and vice versa. Hopefully, one outcome will be that houses in the urban/wildland interface will become prohibitably expensive to insure and thus less likely to be built. That, or taxes will be raised proportionally high to provide the necessary fire protection resources.

Haven't we had this discussion before? I feel like I'm repeating myself.

Posted by: Slyness | October 24, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

With all the extra water, shouldn't we also get more rain, on a planetary level than we do now?

Natty Geo had a great article after the Yellowstone Fire. I paid a great deal of attention to it, and have been nagging mrdr to clean up the deadfall on a regualr basis. I live on 3 acres, 2 of which is Native forest, which has not burned for over 100 years.

It is almost impossible to keep up with at the rate we have camp fires, and fires in the fireplaces. Occasionally we consider heating the house with a wood stove, but you know, each time we do, it starts hurting mr dr's back and shoulders, and hands. Funny that.

Yeah we all need to be a little more informed about building in those lovely locations, like cliffs, and forests.

Posted by: dr | October 24, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I think shingle shakes would have been banned many years ago, but for a long time there was a shingle shake lobby, not to mention a lumber lobby.

A few years ago, an engineer's fire resistant house famously survived a fire that levelled the neighborhood.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 24, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

When I was in Iowa I stopped at the Aldo Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture -- or something like that -- at Iowa State University, and the nice folks there gave me Leopold's "A Sand County Almanac." He was a great writer.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 24, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

*whispering* Leopold? Leopold! Leopold?

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 24, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Shake shingle roofs are banned in San Diego county these days. Since the 1995 Elfin Fire in Carlsbad, CA, shake shingle roofs have not been allowed in San Diego. Any new construction or roof replacements must use tile or composition shingle roof materials. Siding materials must be fire resistant as well and in San Diego are typically stucco.

The conditions on Monday were such that this level of protection was not adequate. Winds were steady at 30 mph and gusting to 80 mph. Humidity was between 1 and 10%. Temperatures were > 90F. And we've been under drought conditions for the past 3 years. Flames were as high as 100 feet in some areas.

Posted by: SanDiegoSteve | October 24, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Home insurance rates in Miami have sky-rocketed since all the recent hurricanes. A friend who lives there and near the bay pays triple or more what I pay. SoCal must be in the same category. But that won't stop the fires or hurricanes or rebuilding.

Joel, you really get around.

Posted by: birdie | October 24, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

SanDiegoSteve, please keep reporting here!

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Hope everyone enjoys the first night of the World Series!

Posted by: birdie | October 24, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, so are you free this weekend? We ended up getting year ending stuff in faster than I thought, and though my posts might not show it, its been a zoo, and I plumb forgot.

Are you free this weekend for the Northern BPH? Perhaps into November. Both Kerric and I are good to go anytime. Since neither of us travel for work, you can base the day on your schedule We are very flexible.

Posted by: dr | October 24, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, what's your email again?

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 24, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

S'nuke, Maggie and 'Sneaks: The best team prevailed in the ALCS. *sniff* Although my beloved Cubs also lost, I must root for the AL champs. I have a hard time favouring teams whose primary colour is purple.

When will city and coulty planners get their act together and place limits on development in high risk habitats? I hardly think it's fair to pay more for homeowner's insurance based on poor planning decisions in places far removed from the heart of Chester County.

Posted by: jack | October 24, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Norman Maclean's posthumous _Young Men and Fire_ (1992) is a non-fiction account of the tragic 1949 Mann Gulch forest fire near Helena, Montana. The fire occurred near the Gates of Mountain, written about by Lewis and Clark. This spot is one of the most heart-breakingly beautiful places in the universe.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 24, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Jack, The Cubs are my favorite National League team after 20 + years in Chicago. The 2004 dilemma was Cubs v. Red Sox.

Do you know the Steve Goodman song The Cub's Fan Last Lament?

He died very early of leukemia.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 24, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

SoC, you can email me at canadianneedles at yahoo dot ca. I can get it to you if you need it.

We are trying to BPH sometime in the next few weeks, though it seems it will have to be a weekend. Or Firday night so long as Kerric and I both make arrangements not to work. He only does Ot Fridays, and I sneak out fairly easily.

Posted by: dr | October 24, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Scc: Actually, it's the Cubs Fan's Last Request.

1st Inning: 3/1 Red Sox. I'm worried.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 24, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Red Deer? I'll look up someplace with good food. I need to be in Calgary very early (6:30 am) on Sunday the 28th, so I could do brunch-to-mid-afternoon on the 27th of Oct. in Red Deer this next weekend, or again Saturday the 3th of Nov. Either way, mid-dayish?

SonofCarl, I would be delighted to pick you up and drive you there and bring you home again, or not, just as you wish. In which quadrant of the city are you?

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I think one reason the Rockies are already in a tough spot is their pitcher is only 13 years old.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 24, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Plus now they're saying he was a physics major at the University of British Columbia.

They have baseball in British Columbia? Isn't that where all the drug cartels are from? Oh, wait, that's someplace else.

4-1 now.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 24, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

While I'm sure there is some scientific basis to the let-them-burn pendulum swing, a lot of old growth forest is being marked for economic devastation in the name of compassionate conservationism.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

He's cute, though, don't you think, Mudgie?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 24, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Maggie O'D.

Now if only he would quit sucking his thumb while pondering his pitches...

Not there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 24, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

You call me "Mudgeie" and then want me to render an opinion on his hotness quotient? He's jailbait, fer cryin' out loud.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 24, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"15 will getcha 20" is something I heard on the Cape when I was 15. It was years before I knew what it meant.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 24, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm torn between the need to grade papers and satisfying a baseball Jones. Think I'll feed that Jones for a while.

Posted by: jack | October 24, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant Moon here tonight that just came up over the ridge. Hard to believe it will get even bigger and brighter the next two nights.

Posted by: bh | October 24, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The wildness of the fires reminds me of this:

The Tiger

William Blake (1757-1827)

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Posted by: bill everything | October 24, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Bill, that is one of my most heartfelt beloved poems. I especially hear the music of "what dread hand and what dread feet." Isn't parallel structure elegant? And isn't poetry the most effective way to express ourselves? Thank you.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

As you debate whether to stay up to watch The Sporting Event to End All Sporting Events, read this:

Just remember that you can sleep in shifts.

Also, seasonal affect disorder sneaks up on us this time of year.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 24, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh my. I do believe I will refer to "mudgie" from now on. Thanks Maggie.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, the line I keep coming back to is:

"Did He who made the lamb make thee"

Posted by: bill everything | October 24, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I'll get you for this, Maggie.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 24, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

SAD doesn't just sneak up on me, it hits like a hammer. However, I have found that I am among the sufferers who benefit from "dawn simulation." Pot lights in the ceiling at Chez Frostbitten north are set on sliding dimmer switches that are very effective in simulating sunrise. Combining that with getting outside into the sun at every opportunity and I do pretty well, for a Finn. (We are a depressive people at our best.)

Local news is reporting some MN firefighters are on their way to CA. As it happens Uncle Frosti from northern MN and Bro Frostinlaw from northern CA both served as sawyers on some big fires in their young and single days. I'm glad both have long since hung up their chainsaws.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 24, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear that wood roofs are banned.

UBC has a gorgeous site in Vancouver, surrounded on three sides by water and the other by a forest buffer.

For those in a Leopoldish mood, the the American Conservation Film Festival November 1-4 is near Sheperdstown, W.Va., adjacent to the Potomac.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 24, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Let me start telling you about the San Diego fire situation vis-a-vis my family by introducing you.

My sister is Cheryl. Her husband is Jim. This is my sister's second marriage, and there are no children from this second union. My sister's children by her first marriage are Jenny, a paramedic, (and her husband, Tim, and their twins), and Blake (who is married to Megan, who is pregnant with their first child). Tim's sister, I learned today, is also a paramedic, and is married to Cloppy, a nickname that is a truncation of his Germanic last name.

Let's get right to the firefighting. Blake, 26, is a fireman with the Oceanside Fire Department. Tim, 24, is a fireman with the San Diego fire department. I know the station numbers where these two are assigned within their regions, but feel it best not to say. Cloppy is stationed somewhere in San Diego County, I know not where precisely.

Cloppy has been assigned to Ramona the past four days and has been working the worst of the fires, the Witch or Witch Creek fire, some of the time working near the Ramona casino. He has seen some of the most intense flames and worked the hottest parts of that fire. The rest of his story is sketchy. Long story short: he is in the thick of it and has had some very long days and nights.

Tim, a San Diego fireman, was not called to work the first two days of the fire. When he was called to work, he responded, but sat in a parking lot for six hours, idle, before being told that he could go home.

Tim and Jenny and their twins, live with his parents at their Fallbrook home. Fallbrook was completely evacuated several days ago, amd the family went to Tim's sister's and Cloppy's home north of Fallbrook in Temecula. Because Tim was dressed in his turnnouts he was able to cross the police barricade to check on the family's Fallbrook home. Tim's dad, Dick, the NASA licensee airplane de-icer guy, also has fire department affiliation and was able to get past the police line to check on the Fallbrook home as well. Both agreed to leave when the saw the flames approaching. Dick left, but Tim decided to stay behind--his father Dick furious when he learned of the situation. With a fire hose borrowed from his unit, he doused their Fallbrook home with water. Sadly, one home on their block in Fallbrook burned to the ground. The family is still staying in Temucula until the Fallbrook evacuation order is lifted.

Blake's story is more similar to Cloppy's, except that Blake has moved around a lot more, working the front lines in Oceanside, Vista, Fallbrook, Escondido and Rancho Santa Fe. He's worked four days straight, with only two or three hours relief in a 24-hour period. He is deeply exhausted, something very evident in his voice, my sister says.

Cheryl feels his unit has not been managed well, since they haven't been given enough breaks. They are not rotating the fireman out so their basic needs are being taken care of. At one point, Blake had had nothing to eat in 24 hours, nor did he have any sleep. At one point during this period, Blake and his crew were working next to an orange grove, so they stepped into the grove to pick oranges from the trees to have something--anything--to eat. Cheryl has heard stories of better fire crew management, and she feels Blake has worked to the point where he can hardly see what's in front of him anymore.

(Did anyone see Charlie Gibon's interview tonight on ABC with a crew fresh from Tehama County near Sacramento? They were just heading to the Witch blaze to work defensively, not offensively. They were rested, with freshly scubbed faces, in freshly pressed clothes, with not a smudge of ash on them, not soiled by sooty smoke either. What a photo op, what a joke!)

Given the wildly disparate working conditions for Tim and Blake, my sister's anger is evident. "I'm so outraged, I can hardly stand it," she said.

Trying to be helpful, my sister packed a trunkload of food into her car to take to the front lines, not necessarily for her son Blake, she insisted, but for any fireman in straits like Blake. She was stoped at a roadblock by men in military dress and explained her mission of mercy, to no avail. The soldiers were unhelpful. My sister demanded that they call a runner to courier the food to the hungry, exhausted fireman. To no avail. So my sister was turned back and drove home.

All non-essential personnel in the county have been asked to stay home. This means that Jim is not at Qualcomm writing computer code. Cheryl is not at work at Ethan Allan selling home furnishings. She, however, has been asked to come to work tomorrow to staff a phone tree of sorts. Many customers of her Ethan Allan store have called cancelling their furniture orders. If you no longer have a home, what's the point of having new furniture? Cheryl figures the home furnishing business will be flat locally for about two years. After the 2003 Cedar fire, she said business at Ethan Allan slacked off for several months, but the current fires are much worse than the past Cedar blaze.

Some of my sister's coworkers have lost their homes in Escondido. Several went to stay at the Del Mar Hilton, but had to evacuate from there, too.

Megan was a store manager at Starbuck's before she got married and became pregnant. As her pregnancy has progressed, she scaled back her position to barrista. She went to work at her store in Oceanside today, but the store was so full of smoke, that Megan's manager closed the store for the rest of the day. Jenny is raising the young twins, so works one day a week as a paramedic at a major construction site. All construction has been cancelled while the fires roar.

When I called my sister this afternoon, Megan and Megan's mother were at my sis's home. Megan's mother didn't go to work either. When it was thought that the Witch fire might burn all the way to the sea, my sister had to evacuate her home on Monday night. They stayed with Jim's parents in La Mesa that night, but were allowed to return to their Del Mar home on Tuesday. They took pictures of every wall of their home before evacuating.

Sis said that Sunday's nights winds were fierce, almost hurricame force, a constant howl. The winds brought a number of limbs down in their back yard around their swimming pool. They tried to clean them up on Monday morning, but the smoke was so thick and acrid, they couldn't work outdoors for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Today, when I called, eveyone in her house was wearing a surgical mask (I assume without the HEPA filters). Her pool is thick with ash and the coping, or edging around the pool, is covered with a gunky, tarry ash, she said.

The local stations carry news of the fire 24/7. Stores are open, but lightly staffed with only one or two checkers. Fresh produce is nearly depleted at her local grocery store.

Cheryl said the winds are changing and are now coming onshore, while the Santa Ana winds earlier this week were offshore. However, she claimed that the wind shift is causing a funnel effect of sorts, pushing the smoke that had blown out to sea now back inland. It's hard to breathe, she said, her eyes sting, and her chest hurts. The air quality is horrible.

Posted by: Loomis | October 24, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Good call on the balk.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 24, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I caught just a glimpse of the Rockies pitcher before I sat down to boodle, and I thought, "He's 10 - no wonder they're teeing off his pitches." Ha! And yes, he's cute. Canadian too, and a physics major? Be still, my heart.

birdie, you and I are baseball buddies! I'm from near Pittsburgh. I never went to Forbes field, but of course I know of it. Not sure why we didn't go to games - it was a 2 hour drive and maybe we just didn't have the money or time. Or enthusiasm - I wasn't that crazy about baseball as a kid. Grew up listening to Bob Prince. I remember listening to the 7th game of the Series that Pittsburgh was in (1960? 61?). I was in third grade, and my teacher turned the radio on so we could listen - this was way back, when they played during the day, and before the snow flew. They beat the hated Yankees! (Sorry, mo.) And Clemente is my all-time favorite baseball player. What a classy guy - such grace, such power. He was a hottie, too.

So, not a good start for the Rockies tonight, but we'll see how it goes. They were behind by the time I turned the game on, so I'm not the jinx - not tonight, anyway.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 24, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I sorta wish they'd save some of these hits and runs for future games. I am pleasantly surprised, I really wasn't feeling that positive about this game. Maggie, where are you from? I'm guessing Roslindale, W. Roxbury, or South Shore. You got guts girl, calling the shop steward Mudgie!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 24, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge I am counting on your Redskins to rise up this weekend against the fascism and illicit spookery that is Bill Bellichek and the Patriots.

If not, I am on record the Colts will get them on 11/4.

Posted by: bill everything | October 24, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

bill, if you're counting on the Redskins, you're in a world of hurt already.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 24, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers, Good guesses.

I'm frum Summahvulle.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 24, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

This thing's starting to get ugly. May have to switch to Jon Stewart.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 24, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, ok can you send the word for them to at least play dirty, especially w/r/t Moss?

Posted by: bill everything | October 24, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

bill e, at another time I will debate you on the merits of Coach Belichick and the Patriots. For now, let's agree that your choice of the word fascist is way off base.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 24, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Mudgie, my dear! How could you!

It's only 12 to 1. Anything can happen.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 24, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

And it's only the bottom of the fifth.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 24, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks, let me tell you something. You may need to sit down. Have you seen Bellichek with the hood on? George Lucas is not aware of this but Bill Bellichek and Darth Vader? Separated at birth dude.

Posted by: bill everything | October 24, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Once again bc has broken my blogger's block and inspired me. Alas, my youthful sports memories are not as nostalgia tinged as those of fellow boodlers.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Aha Maggie. I knew it had to be one of those towns that produces people with an attitude (I mean that in a good way). So do you think the Sox have this one won, or do I have to stay up til 1 am? I'm feeling kinda sorry for the Rockies, although I seem to remember the Sox getting blown out of game 3 of the ALCS by the Yankees back in 2004, so you never know...

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 24, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, sounds like very uneven management. I guess I know who'll be applying for a transfer after this fire emergency is done.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 24, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, I *suppose* it's possible the Rockies could launch one of their well-known 14- or 15-run late-innings rallies, Maggie.

13-1 now.

bill, I'm sensing some personal hostility toward Bill Belichik.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 24, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers, Have you seen Gone, Baby, Gone? Excellent depiction of Our Town. Summahville is the north side equivalet of Dohtchestah.

So you know where my deep pessimism of Red Sox success comes from.

Posted by: Magg | October 24, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Despite the nerve-wracking tension of the game, I'm going to bed. Can't keep my eyes open.

'Night, Boodle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 24, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

bill, read "The Education of a Coach" by David Halberstam, then we'll discuss Belichick (note the correct spelling).

Good night all, I gotta try to sleep.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 24, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

That pitcher is an engineering grad from the University of British Columbia, whence came my certificate in Mass Appraisal and Adminastration.
It shows the value of education. A diploma in engineering allows you pitch in the World Series while all a 2 year certificate in mass appraisal qualifies you for is a job guessing the yokels weight at the carnival.
Sad really.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 24, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Not yet Maggie, but I hear good things about it. I think Summahvull is a cut above Doachestah. ;-) G'night all.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 24, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I have the same reaction to "Genius" coach Belichick that I had to Nixon and Watergate- Why did he feel the need to cheat if he was going to win anyway? And why did he do it against the guy (Mangini) most likely to catch him? Wilbon says it's just overweaning arrogance. Maybe he's right. The sad part is of course that if they do go on and run the table, detracters will always bring up the cheating thing. Goodell wimped out. He should have taken the Jets win away from them instead of just a chump change fine.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 24, 2007 11:47 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I'm glad I continue to inspire you.

I'm used to being an inspiration, but usually I'm an inspiration for people to warn their children about something.

As far as Belichik goes, Darth Vader wouldn't be caught dead dressed like that.

Thanks for the positive comments on the 10thcircle piece, it was fun to get TBG and Scottynuke involved. They did a great job.

The California fires are a terrible tragedy, and I hope we're (as a country and a species) learning from our human mistakes (though I'm reminded of Walter Miller's 'A Canticle for Leibowitz' for some reason).

Anyway,I'm off to bed.

Goodnight, Boodle.



Posted by: bc | October 25, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I turned away from the blowout to Pushing Daisies. Is anyone else watching that? I really like it - very stylized, whimsical, fantastical - beautiful to look at - yet quirky and funny and weird - great lines, none of which I can remember. Reminds me of Tim Burton a bit.

yellojkt, you get blogger's block? I don't think so! dr and I remarked on your mad blogging skilz when she was here. I theorized that you must blog from work, because when else would you have time?

bc, that was a great ode to baseball. Very good, all of you, great comments too. I should add "my kid almost killed his mom with a baseball" story.

Hope the worst is over in the San Diego area. It must be terrifying. You don't know how hard I am trying to send our rain their way. I emailed my niece, and she's fine. She lives in the middle of San Diego, in an industrial area without much vegetation, she says. The school where she works is closed the rest of the week.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 25, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse

I watched it tonight. It is certainly very fanastical, with one of the dead aunts being dressed as a 20's flapper.

The unusual color backgrounds and the cinematography makes it all feel stagey.

BTW, I loved the wing prothesis on the pigeon myself.

Yes, the narrative-heavy plot is interesting (it reminds me a little of Desperate Housewives in that way) but there's no real analogue to it.

It creates the effect of reading a story out of a children's book, which fits the plotting.

"So you're an one-armed bandit?" (to a...well, one-armed burglar).

"Wrong Windmill. It must happen a lot here." (at N.A.R.M-- national association of retired mills, apparently a farm for windmills).

And what was that narrative line-- "like with all mood stablizers, there was a certain instability of mood at first."

All you need is some singing duets and heavy music and it'd be a Mozart comic opera.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 1:00 AM | Report abuse

bc, I played softball, and never suffered the ailments you did. I do remember seeing a high drive about to ascend on my head, and me running backwards out of the way, only to have it land in my glove (instead of my head). Phew.

However, being a gnome, I was pretty much destined to scrunch down for regular walks instead of swingin' for the fences.

To this day I only have hit ONE home run, and that was a pick-up sandlot game with a short field.

I don't ask for a grand slam, all I ask is to not have a strike zone the size of a gnat.

I did get that Weingarten question about the midgets and the pro pitcher right. It's just impossible to hit the strike zone that accurately lower than what you're used to pitching. I used to flinch from a lot of balls that didn't quite make it into my strike zone (ow).

I actually had a batting average of 0.287 once. My walking average was more like 0.770, sadly.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

here's a representative i'm proud of:

he's technically not my rep, but he does represent the district of my institution/employer.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 25, 2007 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Sidney Blumenthal is channelling Walter Lippmann.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 25, 2007 2:09 AM | Report abuse

I try to blog only before work and after dinner. Every now and then a blog idea strikes me at the office and I will draft or even post from the office, but I try to avoid it. Boodling on company time is a far bigger offense.

I normally I have 2-3 blog ideas in advance, but some never get past the brainstorm idea. I really wanted to post a little league team picture, but I couldn't find one. I'm not exaggerating my dreadful youth sports record. I played baseball, soccer, and basketball and sucked at all of them.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2007 5:54 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Boko, thanks for that Blumenthal link re Walter Lippman. Being an unregenerate newspaper geezer, I've always revered Lippman, and I may be one of the few who read that piece all the way to the end. (There's a long paragraph in the middle, on page 2 IIRC, that eviscerates the Post for its poor early Iraq coverage.) And we read "Public Opinion," Lippmann's masterwork, in J-school, which is where I acquired my basic understanding of newspaper objectivity, so out of vogue nowadays. *sigh*

I see the Sox relaxed after I went to bed. I was afraid I'd wake up to a score of 20-1 or something. Boswell pulls no punches this morning:

"So, baseball, how's that new "elongated" playoff format working out for you?

"Commissioner Bud Selig and top executive Bob DuPuy need to do an immediate rethink on their well-intentioned brainchild -- one that turned out to be a Frankenstein in Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday night at Fenway Park. The game's top executives created extra days off in October to generate a more lucrative TV package and produce more prime time exposure, especially mid-week. Instead, they turned Game 1 into Must-Not-See-TV.

"This calamitous contraption needs to die a sudden and private death as soon as possible. Because what happened to the Colorado Rockies was an embarrassment to the institution of the World Series and to the dignity of the game. It would be hard to imagine anything that could be further from "the best interests of the game" than this 13-1 mortification of the Rockies, a team that should have earned nothing but honor -- not a booby prize -- for its exploits over the past five weeks."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 25, 2007 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Shhhh! You'll wake the Boodle!

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

k-guy, I agree that Belichick's taping of the Jets was just plain arrogance (and really stupid). It made me angry because the team is good enough to win without cheating and it made them all look bad. I do think it was interesting to see that the whole team rallied around their coach for the next game and won it big as some sort of tribute to him. There is obviously a bond between coach and players that goes beyond whatever Belichick was guilty of doing. It disturbs me that the Pats have become a team that people love to hate, like the Yankees. They are a great group of diverse players, mostly very articulate and smart and (so far) they keep their noses clean and themselves out of the headlines. (Except for Harrison, which was another really stupid thing and I don't defend it.)

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 25, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

check out the new USPS first class stamps :

They look like knitting

Posted by: omni | October 25, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: omni | October 25, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Time for another quiz: I only had to guess 3 times.

Posted by: omni | October 25, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

8/10 on the quiz, one of which was a pure guess. Come to think of it, both were pretty much guesses.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 25, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

The boodle sure is drowsy.

Posted by: omni | October 25, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I missed the Ohio question about Mr. Ness.

SPOILER, sort of. I adore the meaning of the Pink Panther.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 25, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Omni -- can't you hear the strains of the theme of the Pink Panther inside your brain?

Da da
Da da
Da da, da da, da da
Da, da, da DAAHHH- uh

Posted by: College Parkian | October 25, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

That's because RDP and TBG aren't here with that New Orleans cold-fusion coffee!

Posted by: dbG | October 25, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

9/10. Got caught by the Dirty Harry question.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 25, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

*appearing with carafe of said coffee leftover from the Philly BPH and faxing it around*

Posted by: dbG | October 25, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

10/10. Got lucky guessing the Eliot Ness question, which was so obscure it ought to have been disallowed.

Yes, where is everybody? Maybe hung up in traffic. Yesterday's commute was the worst in 3 years: took 2 hours 20 minutes. Today was also bad: 1 hour 45 minutes. At least I wasn't driving.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 25, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

10/10 on the quiz. I made an educated guess on the Elliot Ness question.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Here's a WaPo headline I don't understand: "Bush Vows to Stay the Course On Cuba." There's a course? Who knew?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 25, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps we'll soon see a headline like: "Bush vows to stay the course on breakfast as most importnat meal of the day."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 25, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Sorry CP, every time I try I Get Smart.

Posted by: omni | October 25, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

10/10 Two guesses fell my way, but I didn't guess the Elliot Ness question. Learned that on some PBS biopic.

Morning boodle. For Californians reassured by W's pledges of help from the federal government let me point out that promised federal $ for the Minneapolis bridge collapse have not been forthcoming and MNDOT will either have to divert funds from other projects (read that every road in the state because the price tag for the bridge is so high) or convince the state legislature that an emergency appropriation is a good idea because they'll pay the money back when the federal money starts flowing.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 25, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

SCC-that paragraph long sentence. As Winston Churchill said "I could have made it shorter, but I didn't have time."

Posted by: frostbitten | October 25, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Omni, omni, Get Smart is nothing like Pink Panther.......(But they are both fine ear worms for this cold morning)
Da, da daaaah, dah
da da daaaah da

da da da
da da da
da da da
da-da-da da dah
da-da-da dah a cascade of dadadadas in the middle with a delayed triplet, I think

Be gentle, I am only the mother of a drummer, not a drummer myself.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 25, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The course is to do whatever the nutball Miamians tell you to do. Get kb or DotC to explain how badly the tempers of Cuban exiles influences South Florida politics.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Mudge! I am with the President on Cuba. We MUST stay the course. I think we should also stay the course on Vermont, as well.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 25, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I know CP, I know. It's inexplicable how it happened, but now it's there and can't be budged.

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

Wilbrod writes at 11:08 p.m.:

Loomis, sounds like very uneven management. I guess I know who'll be applying for a transfer after this fire emergency is done.

My family may kill me for being so revealing...

The situation is different than you may surmise. My Oceanside firefighter nephew--the one pushed to the point of almost total exhaustion on the front lines--is the one most entrenched, particularly in his lifestyle. He got a loan from my sis and her husband to buy a condo near the beach in Oceanside. (My father never ever helped us with housing in our 20s.) My nephew is the expert surfer, having been on swim team in high school and having played water polo--in college as well, IIRC. His ties to the surf will keep him anchored in the area for years, I strongly suspect.

The nephew-in-law, the one who was least utilized during this past week's blazes, is the one who is most unhappy with his job, and when we got together for dinner when I was out there, he already had dreams of applying to the fire department in Anaheim, because of far better working conditions, benefits and pay.

He also wants to buy a home and move out of his parents' home. How difficult it must be to get a start in a place where housing costs are exceptionally high. He is 24 and is married to my niece, who is 29. As we were leaving the pier after dinner several weeks ago, she kidded that she had robbed the cradle. Their twins will be three in January. My niece wanted to be "pretty" in her wedding photos, so the pair didn't marry until the twins were about a year old.

My sister and her spawn are unconventional, and that's putting it mildly. My best friend in Bakersfield tried to console me with the words that "beach people can be strange."

Don't even get me started on my mother's memorial service. That day I had to bite my tongue multiple times, at one time to the point of pain, and resign myself to the fact that I'm an old fogey and a traditionalist.

A thoughtful, fair and balanced article from the Los Angeles Times this morning, titled, "State has been slow to boost firefighting capability." The first three grafs (and yes, I'll be watching Bush's visit there today quite closely):

By Jordan Rau, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 25, 2007

SACRAMENTO -- Although Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration has improved its readiness for big blazes since the last major round of wildfires hit California in 2003, the state still confronted this week's infernos without all the equipment its experts had advised.

A special panel appointed by Schwarzenegger recommended in 2004 that California buy 150 more firetrucks for emergencies. So far only 19 have been ordered. They are scheduled to arrive in time for next year's fire season.

The state has not replaced its Vietnam-era helicopters, although the Blue Ribbon Fire Commission had warned that many were nearing the end of their operational lives and that the availability of replacements "is diminishing and will soon be exhausted.",0,3228515.story?coll=la-home-center

Posted by: Loomis | October 25, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

OK, I googled it, and now Get Smart is gone and the Pink Panther is in...

And here's a pic of it:

Posted by: omni | October 25, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for the update on the federal funding situation in the wake of the Minneapolis bridge collapse. That one-sentence graf you provided says it all.

Posted by: Loomis | October 25, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, folks. It takes these old bones a lot longer to recover from an 18-hour work day than it used to. *meager, slight non-caffeinated Grover waves*

Loomis... your report last night on the fire was riveting. I hope we can get another one tonight or the next time you talk with your sister. It must be nerve-wracking for you to be trying to follow this story. Good luck to all involved.

I got 7/10 on the quiz. The Elliot Ness question was stupid. I can't believe I missed the Pink Panther question, either. And I didn't know from Wyatt Earp. If I had missed the Telly Savalas question, I would have had to turn in my Greek key.

Posted by: TBG | October 25, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I can only hear The Odd Couple theme song..

Da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da...

Do do do do do.... do do do do do doooo dooooo....

Posted by: TBG | October 25, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Loomis-your post last night was indeed riveting. Keep 'em coming.

TBG and Kim might appreciate this, for Greek and Tidewater VA connections.

Nurse Frostsis #2's last name is Espinoza and displayed on her hospital ID. A few days ago an elderly patient asked her to translate a Spanish phrase he heard. When she said she doesn't speak Spanish he said "What, with a name like Espinoza?!" Before she could respond he said, "That's ok. I'm Greek and I don't own a restaurant."

Posted by: frostbitten | October 25, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Frosti... I love it!

Posted by: TBG | October 25, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The Miami Herald headline was: "Bush calls Cuba 'a tropical gulag.'" My husband and I had the same thought: "Finally, he's coming clean about Guantanamo..."

But no...

The older Cubans in Miami have been an important base for Republicans--the party that more closely resembles the Batista regime that they remember with fondness. I'm basically just waiting for all those Cubans to die, because the younger ones have a better grasp on the concept of "liberty" -- you know, how it applies to everybody, not just yourself.

Here's an article reporting on the Elian Gonzalez mess that lists incidents of violence by Cuban radicals:

The list just goes on and on, and it helps explain why politicians are in the habit of tiptoeing around the Cuban question, not dealing with it in a straight-forward, logical way. The financial support of the Cubans for American politicians, combined with the history of violence and intimidation, and supplemented by left-over Cold War anti-Communism -- it all adds up to confusion that is way out of proportion to the size and importance of our nearest Caribbean neighbor.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 25, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Well, hopefully tonight's game won't look like batting practice for the Red Sox. Geesh. I had to stop watching it. But don't count the Rockies out just yet.

Posted by: birdie | October 25, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, yeah family sometimes makes you want to pound your head against the wall. Thanks for the details and the fire. Its always nice when we hear from someone with connections to big news.

I hope your family continues to stay safe.

And to the rest of youse...Cut that out. I'm still on my first coffee. I don't know if I can handle the tune cooties on one coffee.

Posted by: dr | October 25, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

kb pretty much nails it. A lot of the older Cubans were displaced landowners that are convinced they'll get their old homesteads back on Castro is gone and that any recognition of communist legitimacy will affect their claims. The younger generation realize these folks are delusional.

Don't get me started about the political and environmental damage the Fanjul family has reeked on South Florida. They are probably the very loose basis for that new Jimmy Smits series that I can't even watch the commercials for without my blood boiling.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

10/10 just like the gangster quiz. Eliot Ness's time in Cleveland was a mixed bag. He did clean up some corruption but failed to catch the famous "Torso Killer" a serial murderer who decpitated his vics and this cost him a promising future in city politics (Ness, that is. I don't think the Torso Killer would have garnered much support even in Cleveland.)

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 25, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

On the other hand KB, it keeps most Americans out of Cuba and ensures a quality of saltwater flats fishing not seen elsewhere in the Caribbean for us traitorous Canadians.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 25, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

mostlylurking...a P-burgher of sorts! I lived there until I was 18 and went off to college. I was really young too when the Pirates won the World Series in 1960, I think. But remember the hoopla--city was closed down, basically.

Well, the Rockie's incredible run has come to an embarrassing end but they do well as underdogs. We'll see. Remember, the Sox are the second highest paid team under only the Yankees. Where as the Rockies' pay is fifth from the bottom. That's what I don't like--no salary caps and all the best players congregate on a few teams. Those coming up the ranks, like the Rockies, may have one spectacular year then all the best players get taken by the bigger teams for big money.

Not that I have a chip on my shoulder this morning or anything...

Posted by: birdie | October 25, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

birdie, shouldn't that be a "chirp on your shoulder"?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 25, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

omni: I took the quiz, again, and the key won't come up. Something is wrong outside. It's been overcast, rainy and of a seasonable temperature since yeserday. Must be global climate change.

Posted by: jack | October 25, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Hi, everybody.

Ouroboros lives.

yellojkt's item inspired *me* to write a trifle of a follow-up to the Big 10thcircle World Series Baseball item:

I was 10/10 on the quiz FWIW. I had to use some deductive reasoning for the Ness question.

In Get Smart news, I see that Steve Carell will be starring as Maxwell Smart in the latest adaptation of "Get Smart" to the big screen. I can only hope that they remake "The Nude Bomb," seeing as Carell already had his body waxed.


Posted by: bc | October 25, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon,friends. My earlier comments did not take. I will not repeat.
Or maybe it got zapped. I think the cable went out this morning because the television did not work either.

Loomis, I enjoyed reading your family report in Calilfornia.

I also enjoyed the kit, although I did get the impression that perhaps building homes in the California wild is sort of like folks here building their homes on the beach. Not a good idea.

Read this morning that Barry Bonds may be a tad upset about getting fired after giving so much to the game. Barry, you need to come to realize what most of us already know, it's never over.

We've had rain all morning, steady stream. It started last night, and I for one am sooooooooooo happy!

Someone on the morning news called the baseball game last night "humiliating". I did not see it. Is that a correct term?

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 25, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

jack... if you're using Safari (at least on a Mac; not sure about Windoze) the answers won't come up. You'll have to use Firefox, like I do.

Microsoft seems to ensure that very few of their MSN pages will work in Safari. Stupid move, if you ask me.

Posted by: TBG | October 25, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Cassandra, "humiliating" would be pretty accurate. Rockies got whipped 13-1.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 25, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

omni, I love the knit stamps! They look like Scandihoovian sweaters. I'm sure there's a name for that style of knitting, but I don't know what it is.

RD brought sunshine! Huzzah!

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 25, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

African-Americans don't believe they're going to get that forty acres and a mule now or ever. The forty acres has become beach property and we all know that "aint going to happen", and the mule, who wants it. Of course, I'm sure most of would take the money for the property at today's value, but then again, we just might be getting the shaft in that, with hurricanes and all that. The mule still doesn't look good.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 25, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

It's a good thing scores in the World Series aren't cumulative or the Rockies wouldn't have a chance.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

8/10. Missed the Wyatt Earp and Angie Dickinson questions. *withdrawing into the Cone of Silence to refine my quiz taking skills*

Posted by: jack | October 25, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

mostly...the artist is Nancy Stahl: she says she was inspired by traditional Norwegian sweaters and knitted Christmas stockings

Posted by: omni | October 25, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

It seems I have killed the boodle. Oh, the horror! I will depart. Have to pick the g-girl up from school. And there is always the math and reading to do. Hope everyone is getting rain that need it, and sunshine for those that don't.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 25, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

9/10 on the quiz. I missed one because I misread the question (which one is NOT).

The knit stamps' style is stranded knitting - also saw it called Norwegian Knitting. Fair Isle is a subset. Stranded knitting is where two colors of yarn are used, with the color not showing being carried along the back. Apparently it was developed to produce a double thickness of fabric with the same number of stitches for one thickness - this style comes from very cold parts of the world. And if that isn't enough:

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 25, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, omni! We cross-posted. I'll check out that link.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 25, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. "The mule still doesn't look good" - very funny! Yep, we'll all get our 40 acres where there is no water, or hurricanes, or years of dry brush, or some such non-insurable impediment.

I think Minnesota should just wait to replace that bridge, and S.Cal. should wait to rebuild, until the promised federal funds arrived. After all, that's pretty much what New Orleans has done.

Oh, wait.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 25, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt: you aren't kidding! I really hope you all get to see what they are capable of regarding hitting and pitching. Maybe it was first night jitters or 8 days off. Or...gasp...the Sox are just out-classing them. Money talks, anyone?

It's very quiet here in CO today.


Posted by: birdie | October 25, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra 'forty acres and a mule'?

One of the people said that in the Slave Narrative documentary I saw last weekend (or was it the one before). Can you tell me about the phrase. Hearing it twice so closely makes me very curious about its origins.

Good catch on the stamp design, mostly. I think we're influencing the masses into seeing things right.

Next we'll have Mudge knitting on the bus.

Posted by: dr | October 25, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Here's a Wiki entry on it dr:

Posted by: omni | October 25, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

And more:

According to that it wasn't promised to all freed slave, just 40,000 who lived near the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida

Posted by: omni | October 25, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Did ya'll know there are wild burros living in many places in the high desert? After the gold and silver rush in the late 1900's the miners let them all go and they adjusted to their surroundings. They're really cute. A town called Oatman in Arizona lets them walk through the town and they of course get handouts. They'll eat anything. Cassandra, mules and burros were the work horses during the mining booms. They are vey tough animals.

Posted by: birdie | October 25, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Not that the info on the burros will help the 40 acres and a mule situation. Just interesting.

Posted by: birdie | October 25, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Reconstruction of the South was pretty much a failure, except from the perspective of supporters of the former Confederacy. I guess you could argue that the Confederacy operated more effectively after the Civil War than during it. Quick, bring in historian Eric Foner.

Here's Nature's editorial on James Watson's retirement.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 25, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Yes, birdie... Son of G and I were surprised (and a little delighted) to see "Caution: Burros next 10 miles" signs on the road from Williams, Az, to the Grand Canyon. That's even stranger than the Watch for Moose signs you see in Canada, if you ask me.

Sounds like you and I did a lot of the same trip. We went from the Grand Canyon to Lake Havasu (via the old Route 66 road through Peach Springs, Az) before heading back up to Vegas to fly home. We stayed long enough to see the London Bridge. We spent that night in Kingman, Az.

Posted by: TBG | October 25, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Mudge -- among my spam emails today was this:

confirm your Tiffany bracelet today.

I thought of you and your general gallant self.

Posted by: College Tiffanian | October 25, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

CP... you get Tiffany bracelet offers... I get r.e.p.l.i.c.a watch offers. You must be the real thing.

Posted by: TBG | October 25, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It never occurred to me to google it. You'd think after all this time...

Posted by: dr | October 25, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I love this quote: "I don't think after something like this you're ever not different," the middle-school teacher said. "I had two days to think about: What are the most important things in my house? And they all fit in my car. I realize now how much junk I have."

Posted by: omni | October 25, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Why, thank you, CP. *blushing*

Speaking of Spam, I've been getting a lot of spam claiming to want to give me a $500 gift card for this or that or the other company. Anybody know what these are about? I delte them without opening, of course.

Also got an e-mail today warning about a new, highly dangerous computer virus with the subject line "Invitation" and an Olympic torch that destroys your hard drive. Supposed to be VERY bad. Anybody else hear about it?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 25, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm horribly behind, as usual, but just had to lead off by asking 'Mudge if he's seen today's Brewster Rockit...


*tired-from-a-long-public-meeting-and-subsequent-Game-1-enjoyment Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 25, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

dr, the story when you google. Spike Lee's production company is called "forty acres and a mule" also.

Since Congress has failed to hear our claims, maybe we would have more success at the UN, perhaps under the human rights category. You think?

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 25, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Omni, your point, please?

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 25, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The free offers is just the latest phishing scam. People can't help picking up empty wallets off the street that don't belong to them. The rule of thumb is nobody gives anybody anything for free by e-mail. And that includes advice about viruses. If a virus warning comes from anywhere other than a service you subscribe to, it's a trojan horse trying to give you a virus.

Even direct marketing scammers say they're a scam:

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I could see Native Americans protesting about all the treaties the US government has broken as well.

I wonder what the country would look like if all of those treaties were suddenly honored and land given back.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I could even see a successful attorney justifying the 40 acres and a mule promise as void since the land in question was NOT the government's to give at that time and may never have been (see pending lawsuits concerning forcible relocation and resettlement of native peoples).

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey yello, that's a coincidence. The URL you linked to was written by a DM guy named Hershel Lewis--and as it ahppens, I once took a seminar with this guy way back when I was a catalog writer/DM writer at BOAT/U.S. (previous century). He's excellent--probably the top guy in his field. Taught me a lot about catalog writing. Best tip: NEVER use the word "product" to describe your ... product. Call it what it is.

And he also has a weird "second life." Not only is he a major DM guru -- he also produced (and even acted in) a bunch of Hollywood slasher movies: Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, etc.

But still the best writing coach I ever had.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 25, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I suppose with that thinking, the one where you state the land wasn't theirs to give away anyway, one could say the Palestinians have right to the land they now fight about, since war brought that about. And we won't even go there about the American Indian.

I suppose acts instituted by settlements in war have no value. If one lives by this premise, oh, wouldn't a lot of people have to move?

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 25, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"Buy this fine bovine product!" -- beef jerky in a catalog.

Uh, yeah, great tip there Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

9/10 on the quiz... :-)

And what, the Sox were supposed to stop swinging at good pitches and swing at all those ball fours?

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 25, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

And that provison wasn't even a contract made by the government. It was a field order by a general to seize land to give to freed slaves.

It looks like where you live was covered under that order.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I suppose it all comes under the heading of "might". The party that has the force and power to take what they want, and then make a law to justify that want. All wars regardless of their reasonings are based on someone wanting something, and instead of asking, they take it. Or if they ask, and get a refusal, they take it anyway.

Men see, men want, men take. Details supplied later.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 25, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I live in North Carolina, Wilbrod. I think the contract was for South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Doesn't matter anyway. The guy that rescinded the contract came from North Carolina. The President they impeached.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 25, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, my point is I didn't really know anything about '40 acres and a mule'. I thought it was a government promise to all slaves. Something along the lines of the Homestead Act signed into law by President Lincoln in 1862. Your post about led to dr asking about it which led me to searching for info which led me to learning something I didn't know.

Posted by: omni | October 25, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

How would you know if was a good tip or not, Wilbrod, since you got it exactly backwards?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 25, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I just saw current San Diego Fire Chief Tracy Jarman on CNN, putting a positive spin on the news. It made me search out material on her, when I found the following about former San Diego fire chief, Jeff Bowman, who spills the beans...from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Bowman misses his old job more than ever now that a new round of wildfires has hit the county. At 55, he seems restless spending his days tending his vineyard, fielding calls from the media and playing with his dogs.

Bowman resigned because the city would not give him the additional personnel and equipment he said he needed after the Cedar fire, which killed 15 people and destroyed 2,300 homes in 2003.

Bowman had asked for $100 million to build and staff 22 fire stations, which would have cost $40 million a year to operate. The city responded by building one temporary station in Mission Valley.

Although Bowman agrees additional manpower wouldn't have prevented the current fires, he said the firefighters wouldn't have sat idle.

"They could have helped clear out areas in front of the fire, and you could have staged them in surrounding areas" to extinguish fireballs that travel a mile or more and spark additional blazes, Bowman said. "If they didn't need more firefighters, why are they sending so many here?"

Bowman said he tries not to be hypercritical or to second-guess decision-makers, but his frustration is great.

Bowman said some Fire Department officials have called and asked for advice. He'd like to be more involved, but a former fire chief can't just show up uninvited and start giving directions. ...

He said he's not criticizing Mayor Jerry Sanders or San Diego's current fire chief, Tracy Jarman, whom he picked as his replacement. But he also said the people in charge fell short.

He said he's seen too many "talking heads patting themselves on the back" at the news briefings he watches from his living-room sofa.

"They've done a good job in some areas, but they could have done more," Bowman said. "And then I see (Gov. Arnold) Schwarzenegger up there saying everything is hunky-dory. It's not."

Bowman, who was critical of authorities after the 2003 wildfires, was San Diego's fire chief for four years. He took over in 2002 after resigning as Anaheim's fire chief, a position he held for 15 years.

Posted by: Loomis | October 25, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

My bad, omni. I thought you meant something else. Sorry.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 25, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Time to go. I know many of you don't exactly like talking about race, and its impact in America, yet I think we need to talk. I know I sound like a broken record so much of the time, but just feel some things need to be said. Some of the stuff goes out in space, and maybe that's good, but I believe it is better to meet the demon head on instead of dodging and pretending. I'm not trying to make anyone uncomfortable, just want open discussion. And if I offend, I know how to say, I am sorry, and don't mind saying it. It's a learning experience for me, and I hope for you too. Perhaps you have all the answers. I certainly do not.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 25, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

No worries Cassandra, I realize you can be sensitive to these things, and with every right, after re-reading what I wrote I realized I left somethings out that would have made my post clearer. And I don't think you sound like a broken record. It's the status quo that's broken (or maybe I should say it isn't broken, but needs to be).

Posted by: omni | October 25, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Just illustrating vividly how the use of "product" can be a bad idea, Mudge.

Is your new brand of laxative working yet?

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Because Mudge didn't think that was clear enough:


xxxxxxthis fine product of philly xxxxxxxxxxx

Nutured in Philadelphia, the city of publishers, this seaworthy editor comes outrigged with knowledge in diverse arcane disciplines, centuries of experience, and a carefully crafted temper.

Simply place paperwork, e-mail, and coffee in his lap to watch this Curmudgeon(tm) work! You'll never want another editor again.*

*No refunds or returns allowed.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Darn, that was supposed to be a strikethrough. Oh well.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod... you forgot "perky."

Posted by: TBG | October 25, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

K-guy re: your 11:15.

I'm not so sure about that - he might have got a lot of support from those that think there is no constitutional right to bear arms.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 25, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Should that first word have been "nurtured" or "neutered"? Worst of all, you made no mention of the blue bottom.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'm one of the minority who is okay with reparations. I once calculated the price of 40 acres and a mule, 5% interest since 1865, and came up with a figure that's about twice the Savings and Loan bailout. Or maybe, double that. Somewhere around that figure. (You can tell I'm not in a math mood now, or else I'd do the figures again, and I'm not gonna!)

So, sure, we could do that. I'm not even going to compare the cost to an obvious current thing.

But who's going to be Secretary of "Just How African Are You?" I suppose a committee could be formed and come up with guidelines. Which the current Supreme Court would keep nullifying. Sigh.

Posted by: Jumper | October 25, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Heck, Cassandra, I'll see your "race", and raise you "religion" and "gender".

Many (most?) people fear that which is different and unknown, and that fear can manifest itself in some pretty unpleasant defensive mechanisms.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 25, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

SoC, I don't think one can build a constituency among the Venus de Milo vote, I mean, how are you going to have a show of hands? Besides, the Torso Killer removed not only the heads of his victims, but their genitals as well and post mortem exams showed the decapitations to be the cause of death in many cases. Yeah, I know, too much information!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 25, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes TBG, very similar trip but we drove from CO. Also went to Bullhead City and Laughlin, Nevada. Okay to visit...not to live there!

Go ahead and gloat Scottynuke. Let's see what happens tonight (said with fingers crossed).

Posted by: birdie | October 25, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

It would be just like Indian Casino eligibility. Everybody would all of a sudden be 1/16 African.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

This comment is aimed at most people that believe climate change is our worst crisis and the subset that believe a current administration caused this to occur. Climate change is on a geologic time scale. During the interglacial warming period (where we are now) there will be fluctuations in glaciers. Ultimately, the earth was headed away from an Ice Age and should be, if not ice free, mostly ice free. Then the earth will cool again.

It would be kind of funny to see what kind of news reports would be generated if a 1000ft wall of ice was approaching a Northern city, like Fairbanks. "Global cooling is caused by the government, they are not producing enough CO2"

If the science is decided, why do we need to keep studying it?

What is the ideal climate?

Posted by: Parnum | October 25, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Recent climate and sea level changes are getting outside the envelope of what's happened over the past several thousand years, roughly since the beginnings of the first civilizations (perhaps in Iran, if recent archaeological reports pan out). The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere right now is extraordinary. And a report in the newly-issued Science indicates that climate is simply to complex to be modelled accurately--a gentle on the climate system can cause big changes (news story at New Scientist).

More entertainingly, it seems some European Neandertals were red-haired. Just what you'd expect in a cold, gloomy northern climate.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 25, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm feeling a need to procrastinate, so I'll give my answers to Parnum's questions.

1) Science is never decided. We develop a working hypothesis based on the best available evidence and go from there. The fact that we never (and never can) know everything is not an argument for ignoring the evidence that we have. (I really wish elementary science education were more about how the scientific process works and less about "these are the facts of how the world works." The general public really doesn't seem to get it.)

2) Who knows what the ideal climate is, in the abstract. It would make sense to think of the ideal climate for humans as what we're used to. That's what we've developed our population centers, food production, and living habits around. When the climate changes, those things get disrupted. So if we notice the climate changing, it makes sense to think about how we're going to adapt to those changes and, if possible, slow them down so we have time to adapt.

And yeah, much as I dislike the current administration and agree that they've delayed our adaptation to/mitigation of climate change, I have found myself arguing against people whose arguments move from weird weather to climate change to evil Bush's fault. It's very strange for me to find myself defending Bush...

Posted by: bia | October 25, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The "Just how Injun" are you discussions can be convoluted, intricate, complex, controversial and sometimes quite ugly. The icing on this uncomfortable situation sometimes ends with the bizarre requirement for paper documentation.

By the way, did you know that with documentation, a (tribal, first nation, indian, native American) person can attend Dartmouth on a full ride?

I know several relatives who considered this but they do not have documentation of any kind.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 25, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

TBG and Yellojkt, market research indicated that emphasizing these characteristics might hurt sales.

However they're pleased by the high approval from certain customers and certainly plan to continue offering perkiness and blue bottoms in that edition.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

All this talk of blue! Can we not specify that special shade of Tiffany blue, that is robin's egg exactly?

Enjoy the evening; I feel a cold coming on. Hot coffee with cream and a half-shot of Jameson's shall be the ticket. I will enjoy a few episodes of the PBS series _Rosemary and Thyme_, since papers are graded and I find myself redundant in the homework angel role.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 25, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Dave-- humans and neanderthals aren't unique in having red hair. The Orangutan certainly is famous for being the redhead in the great ape family. They are not pale skinned, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Robin's egg blue is certainly attractive. I have a fancy for turquoise blue myself, though, There's no blue quite as bright.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey Martooni, if you're out there -- driving home yesterday, I heard the "long-haired leaping gnome" song on the radio, and my ears pricked right up. Hey, I know a long-haired leaping gnome! They're singing about him on the radio!

Posted by: bia | October 25, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I meant to ask earlier, but I heard on the news, and I could have this wrong, that the administration changed the report from the CDC about climate change and health or global warming and health. So how does one change science, and I'm assuming this report was based on science?

Thanks, omni and all that commented on my earlier remarks.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 25, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I toured an old turquoise mine on my trip--found some, too. I know, stop talking about my trip!

Bought a beautiful turquoise / silver bracelet in Pagosa, CO on the trip back. So pretty.

I have been in the most boring project meeting all afternoon. Data collection type project. Aggghhhhh! Paleeze be over soon!

Posted by: birdie | October 25, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, you suppress findings and put in some lies or "could be..." language instead.

This administration wouldn't know science if it bit them.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for making my point. I agree with you, that we need to keep looking at data, that part is not negotiable, and keep learning and analyzing. That is why we know the earth is round. Also why we know the earth revolves around the sun.

Right now most Western governments, and some scientists picked by those governments beleive it is our 5% contribution to the total CO2 that is the "tipping point" for global warming. Other, equally qualified, scientists believe that our small contribution is not the cause but and indicator of warming. I do not know, but I want to keep studying it.

And on the climate, an Inuit would tell you a different ideal climate than a Malaysian, or an Emirati. proving that we can adapt to just about any climate this earth throws at the human race. Species have become extinct, and they will do so in the future if they do not adapt.
Humans will adapt.

The same way that a 1000ft tall glacial ice pack moving at 2 feet per year will take 2500 years to get here if it a mile away. This is the kind of time we have to adapt.

Posted by: Parnum | October 25, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Parnum, what about 50 or 100 years? Enough time to prepare? What if you don't have the money or the technology, let alone the political clout to get something done?

This is the dilemma facing Venice.

Our Modern Atlantis.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Off topic/back-boodling:

I belong to a cult THAT brainwashes its members.

[Actually, not really. But I do happen to be visiting my parents in Oz right now, which is not totally unrelated.]

Posted by: Dreamer/Tom fan | October 25, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh, pleeese. This makes me hopping mad. It is precisely like the creationists saying "evolution is just a *theory.*" With no understanding of the way in which a theory in science differs from a random thought with a loose causality-fallacy in an ignoramus. When those smugly-wrong small-minded pre-programmed ignorami do their homework and actually, for real, open their minds enough to acknowledge the difference, *then* I'll debate them. Until then, it is breath and blood-pressure I can ill-afford to lose and raise.

I'm all for being cordial to new Boodlers with something to contribute, but when the pig-ignorant come on in, I don't feel any obligation to indulge them in their stupidity.

I feel better now!

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I think you should examine your own texts posted here before you resume your accusations.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Three of a kind beats worse hands. I'm off.

SonofCarl, if you are online, please email me at to discuss the now... Calgary BPH.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Hi, guys. A quick check-in. Been a tough couple of days. My wife spun out the Miata yesterday and crunched up the right front suspension when she hit the curb (she's OK, but hates herself). My dad had to go into the emergency room last night, but couldn't reach us for some reason. But he did get us a 4 this morning to take him back home, so it was up to Frederick. The driver's side wiper quit just as we got to town, and I couldn't do anything about it until we got him home and got a wrench. By then it was already rush hour and as I'm sure you know, today was miserable everywhere, including I-270. They finally let my mom out of the hospital late today after being in for a week with one of those "superbug" ailments. She still has to stay in the care unit at the retirement facility for a while till she gets her appetite and some strength back. Caught a few winks after getting home, but had to take my wife to the surgeon for a pre-op consult on gall bladder surgery. OK, time to settle in and catch some of the Rox-Sox game. Be careful out there!

Posted by: ebtnut | October 25, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Man, ebtnut, you need a drink.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 25, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

And some food to help that drink slowly soak in and linger... also, a very comfortable chair in which he cannot move from for the next 4 hours. Baseball sounds perfect, too.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer! Tomfan! Achenfan! We've missed you. Hope all is well.

Are things really upside down there?

Posted by: TBG | October 25, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

But ebtnut, how is the Miata?

Sorry for the rain of troubles coming down on you, but if it's any consolation the two times I've had to have my Miata in the body shop were both for things that happened in the garage.

I'm all for continued study of climate change, just not for waiting for the studies to be completed before we take action to reduce our impact on our fragile home.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 25, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Dreamer! We've been wondering where you were. How's Oz?

ebtnut, hope things start going better for you. Glad your wife's ok, and your folks.

OK, Rockies, that's more like it.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 25, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Is it really an hour since someone commented here? The Red Sox are 2/1 in the bottom of the 5th. Does No One Care???

(Or is there something wrong with my refresh?)

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 25, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut --

Just dropped in after a couple of days and saw that your wife was facing gall bladder surgery. Have had same, it was easy, and the result was wonderful. No more pain.

Posted by: Nellie | October 25, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Bah. Throw strikes.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 25, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

But did they do the Funky Chicken?

This is interesting, but I have some questions about the design, and how long the tube test took.

Again, dogs often outdo apes on mimicking humans (selectively). After trying to bite a cup for over 15 minutes and repeated demonstrations on how to hook a cup handle around a fang... Wilbrodog did do it!

But even though he was used to me teaching him, it was far from instanteous for him to do it how I wanted, because it wasn't easy for him to find the handle with his mouth.

Chimpanzees are in fact capable of learning tool use from their mothers in the wild.

The above study on object manipulation was carried out wil sanctuary chimpanzees who will perform less well than chimps raised with humans on comparable tasks. Perhaps they also missed out on a normal chimp culture and teaching dynamic? (Many sanctuary apes were brutally orphaned).

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Geez, ebtnut, I hope life stops coming at you fast for a little while. Hope it all smooths out.

bia - your 6:01 was nicely put. It is strange to defend Bush. I can't really bring myself to defend him about anything, but sometimes some of the partisan blah blah just gets to be too much.

Yoki - I was backboodling too fast to really understand what you were talking about, but I do have to express my admiration for pig-ignorant as a pejorative term. I can see all kinds of lovely uses for it.

Posted by: Kim | October 25, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Hi Dreamer, nice to see you back in the Boodle. I hope you're having a good time with your family down in Oz.

ebtnut, I'm sorry to hear about your week, and I hope your wife is feeling better soon.

It's somewhat amusing to me to have a debate about who's responsible for Global Warming (Ha, I almost wrote "Worming" there). Seems to me that it's there, whoever or whatever is repsonsible for it

Well, then. #8 Va Tech had #2 BC down 10-0 at home with two minutes to play, and BC's scored two TDs to win (including recovering an onside kick after the first TD). Pretty cool. And I'm not just saying that because of Boston College's initials.


Posted by: bc | October 25, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

There is no single person, or single culture, bc.

By the way, we've learned about hobbits, now we're learning australopiths might be as irritable as those trolls living under bridges.

Amazing especially since A. Afarenis "Lucy" has a skeleton this complete:

No foot bones have been found, which is probably why the debate whether they climbed or not rages on.

Incidentally, "Lucy" is a boy at last guess.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh bc, you beat me to the punch. That was quite a fantastic finish. Looks like all of Boston teams are on a roll.

Hmmm let's see Red Sox in the world series, Patriots 7-0 and scoring like 50 points a game. BC #2 and 8-0, Celtics get KG, Ray Allen and are favored in the east.
Life is good in the sports world in New England.

Still raining in west by god, a couple plus inches so far, YeeHa!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 25, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

This is an interesting solution to the problems of hearing speech with an hearing aid.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, it's science Thursday all right. I'll get off the Boodle Hog now.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff got testy today with the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune on the subject of adequate air assets to fight the California fires:

Chertoff said 25 to 30 of the aircraft were ready to fight fires Monday and Tuesday, but that the "flying conditions did not allow effective use of retardant."

"Maybe you think the National Guard doesn't understand its business," Chertoff told the editorial board.

"In the end, the purpose of unified command is to let professional firefighters - not Cabinet secretaries and not newspaper editors - make the judgment about whether it is efficacious to put air assets up," the secretary

However, AP has issued a story about 90 minutes ago that critically examines the issue of 24 idle water-dropping helicopters and two idle massive cargo planes.

The C-130 saga is a much different story.

More than a decade ago, Congress ordered replacement of the aging removable tanks for the military planes because of safety concerns and worries that they wouldn't fit with new-model aircraft. California's firefighting C-130 unit is one of four the Pentagon has positioned across the country to respond to fire disasters.

New tanks were designed, but they failed to fit into the latest C-130s. Designers were ordered back to the drawing board. Republican Rep. Elton Gallegly said Congress was assured the new tanks would be ready by 2003.

Four years later, the U.S. Forest Service and Air Force have yet to approve the revised design. Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Paula Kurtz said "technical and design difficulties" have delayed the program.

Rohrabacher and Gallegly are angered by the delay, which has left no C-130s capable of fighting fires on the West Coast. The last of the older-model C-130s with an original tank was retired by the California National Guard last year.

"It's an absolute tragedy, an unacceptable tragedy," Gallegly said.

The situation meant that rather than deploying C-130s from inside the state, Schwarzenegger was forced to ask Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to call in the six remaining older C-130s from other states as far away as North Carolina.

None of them began fighting the fires until Wednesday afternoon.

Posted by: Loomis | October 25, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

mostlylurking, top of the ninth...come on Rockies. So nerve-wracking I can hardly watch. The Sox have awesome pitchers. But at least the Rockies aren't getting humiliated...yet! Only Matt Holliday has really played well offensively.

Posted by: birdie | October 26, 2007 12:06 AM | Report abuse

One more out to go and the Sox win. Oh well. :-(

Posted by: birdie | October 26, 2007 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Sox win but now at least the game comes to Colorado. Good night!

Posted by: birdie | October 26, 2007 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Ruh roh - I meant the *Rockies* should throw strikes, not...ah, well.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 26, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Loomis: Gov't screwing up a seemingly simple task, like replacing or upgrading fire-fighting aircraft. Sounds familiar!

Congress had this hearing about the COAST GUARD boats which were supposed to be upgraded to meet new Homeland Security etc. needs. They gave job, no suprise, to this PRIVATE Company, & Congressmen were grilling the Head Honchos.

The questioning showed once again how jaw droppingly INcompetent & F*cked Up has been the results of "Privatization" of our Government.

I forget NAME? of the Private Contractor Co., but when they returned the Boats to the Coast Guard, they were totally UNUSABLE! So the Coast Guard is WORSE OFF than before,

To cheer up, I like to watch sci fi movies like "The Postman", "Waterworld", "12 Monkeys";"28 Days Later"; etc. The general scenarios they imagine, seem less & less like "sci fi", & more like real possible futures!

"World War Z: The Zombie Wars" is AWESOME! About how the World would REALLY deal with an immediate GLOBAL survival crisis, in this case a vicious Pandemic Virus, which turns people into violent psychotic Zombies.

It's written like it's the actual diaries of ordinary people, like some Soldiers trying to deal with the worsening Crisis.
Even if you aren't usually a sci fi fan, it is a brilliant novel.

But we needn't worry our little heads, we have a BRILLIANT leader in the White House, and...

"The Future's so bright, I gotta wear shades" ... against the Radioactivity in the Atmosphere!

Posted by: AtomicWarBaby | October 26, 2007 4:08 AM | Report abuse

Morning Boodle,
Dana Priest of the WaPo was at Harvard yesterday picking up some journalism tchotchke.
And my beloved red-headed vixen gave the keynote speech.

*Waiting for the Grover waves*

Posted by: Mo MoDo | October 26, 2007 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Dana Priest was at Harvard last night picking up a journalism tchtochke.

And the best red-headed NYT columnist gave the keynote speech.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | October 26, 2007 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Dana Priest was at Harvard last night. She got awarded the third annual David Nyhan Prize for Political Journalism for something to do with secret CIA prisons. Surely not us.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2007 6:24 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. TGIF.

Good Eugene Robinson column this morning, on the general testiness and "male menopause" of the Republicans in Congress.

AtomicWarBaby, the shipyard that screwed up the 8 Coast Guard ships in the "Deepwater" modernization project was Bollinger Shipyard near New Orleans. But the actual screwups were the prime contractors, Lockheed-Martin and Northrup Grumman, which formed a joint venture team to manage the program. They're the ones who *really* screwed up [q.v. Steve Kroft's 60 Minutes report]. Normally, the military performs construction oversight itself over the civilian contractors. In this case, though, the CG "farmed out" the oversight to Lockheed and Northrup. Big mistake privatizing oversight.

Which reminds me that I hate the Lockheed ads they are running, which end with the tag line, "We never forget who we're working for." The answer, of course, is "our stockholders," though that isn't the implication one is meant to draw from the ads.

I imagine Scotty, Maggie, et al. have a spring in their steps this morning over the Sox win. Congrats.

I don't get the WaPo's continued use (misuse) of "alleged" in reporting about the Israeli strike on the Syrian plant.: "Syria Clears Alleged Site of Israeli Attack," etc. The site isn't alleged; it's undisputed. The "alleged" part only has to do with whether what they bombed was a nuke plant or not. To a lesser extent, I suppose it is possible to continue to pretend the Israelis didn't do the attack, in which case it might be an "alleged Israeli attack." The word "alleged" is properly applied only to what kind of building it was (and to the allegations that North Korea was helping them build ...whatever it was). Somebody over there needs to go back to J-school for an alleged refresher.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 6:24 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: delacelo | October 26, 2007 6:42 AM | Report abuse

In our zeal to engorge the MIC as quickly as possible, the gummint has been sub-contracting out a lot of review and oversight. I saw this a lot in construction when I had government clients at all levels Baltimore County had a fiasco when, instead of staffing up, they hired a firm to oversee a huge school renovation program. Complete disaster and millions wasted.

All this subcontracting of core responsibilities does is put one more snout at the table. Who watches the watchman, besides Alan Moore?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2007 6:47 AM | Report abuse

In honor of our Neighbors to the North, here is today's Married to the Sea comic...

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2007 7:23 AM | Report abuse

TBG very funny!! I read about the Economist latest rankings of the best countries to do business. One of the areas that caused the US to slide downward was what was considered the growing protectionism.

Posted by: dmd | October 26, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Morning Boodle
Oh thank you thank you thank you Mo MoDo. You keep doin' what you do so well and keep us apprised of the Goddess's every move.

I saw a film called "Shawn of The Dead", along the lines of the book AtomicWarBaby described. Some allege it is a horror movie, some purport it to be a comedy, but I prefer to consider it a documentory. I might as well, my disbelief has been well and truly suspended.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 26, 2007 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Rime Alert! Frosty and foggy here. Very white.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 26, 2007 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning,friends. Ebtnut, your life does sound as if it is moving at a pace that hard to keep up with. I hope things slow down for you, and all goes well.

Yoki, as you say.

Dreamer, it is good to hear from you. I've inquired as to your whereabouts, but never got an answer. I hope all is good with you and family.

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

On GMA this morning, the host(young guy, can't think of his name) had a flat out argument with a police chief about an incident that happened in Missouri. An African-American pregnant woman was stopped because the police thought her car was stolen. She is an elementary school principal, and had her two children in the back of the car. The police officers made her get out of the car, and forced her to the ground on her stomach, even though she told them she was pregnant. When they realized that she was indeed pregnant, they tried to cover up the situation in word and action, but all of it was caught on tape. This police chief was trying his best to justify the officers action. After all this, they discover they have the wrong person. Yet they still try to justify their actions.

So I guess there is no wrong when it comes to some things. You think?

And the Maytag company is out of business. Their rival, Whirpool, bought them out. I think Maytag made the best washing machines, but the company had a nasty attitude. I call their home office once, and asked if they could mail me information on one of their products, and they were not pleasant on the phone, and sent me one little piece of paper and it was torn and not what I asked for.

The good news this morning, it is still raining. Duke Power tells us not to get happy, that most of the water is just drain off, meaning it is not time to remove the restrictions. I'm loving it anyway. The g-girl and I got wet this morning while walking down the street and waiting for the bus. Fun, fun.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 26, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

*Grover-like pinkie movements as I crawl to the cafeteria for more coffee*

Two late nights in a row... Somebody please tell me why I earn sick days if I never use them?

And yes, I'm smilin'... birdie, it's gonna be another very interesting sports weekend, I'm sure.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 26, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

On the road again. New York state, somewhere in the hills. Gotta pound out some copy.

Check out this little item on Arnold from Von Drehle, in Time:,8599,1675343,00.html

Posted by: Achenbach | October 26, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I just have to say that my favorite part of last night's game was the Papelbon pick of Holliday off first base.

And Boston College players should be thanking the football gods for their win last night.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 26, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, check out the comments on this blog post. Ouch.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 26, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm only through the first 24 comments and my eyes are bugging out in disbelief. One guy is quoting Jack Nicholson from "A Few Good Men" entirely unironically. This is why I've never done much with my PopSocketry blog. Satire is too hard to do because the wingnuts keep moving the goalposts on what counts as crazy.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

"Arnie, you're doin' a heckofa job, there"

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 26, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I got into a shouting match with a conservative humor blogger because I called a joke about fragging Sean Beauchamp (the semi-discredited TNR mil-blogger) tasteless.

I'm staying in the Boodle from now on where it's nice and safe.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | October 26, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I read that Calvan blog, and whew, that was something awful. Every comment called him a bad word. Some of the comments were so filled with hate one could feel the heat while reading them.

Does this guy still have job?

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 26, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

A pat on the head for everybody in the Boodle for being so nice and kind, careing and sensitive. If we got as snarky with Joel as the blogers he referenced in his 8:23 am post, his hair really would fly away.

This must be because we understand our own frailties, and know that we all just have different sets of them. (Or something. I never did take any philosophy courses in school.)

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 26, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

First, an SCC from my post last night: "It's somewhat amusing to me to have a debate about who's responsible for Global Warming (Ha, I almost wrote "Worming" there). Seems to me that it's a fact, and whoever or whatever is repsonsible for it (e.g. natural processes, unnatural processes, or a combination] matters far less than how we humans respond to it. I'd rather figure out what is causing the issues, how big they are, and a plan for how to address them.

As far as humans affecting natural processes and the moral questions regarding whether or not humans should seek to intentionally change them to our benefit, I think it's about 10,000 years worth of agriculture too late to worry about that. The questions in my mind are: do we know what the problems are, and do we have the tools to fix them?

But, that's just me.
I'm a guy, and I think I can figure out how to fix darn near anything, including this planet.
I just need the right tools.

[Please note that I didn't mention the Bush Administration in that last sentence.]"


Posted by: bc | October 26, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

The comments on that blog all had the same flavor to them, like they had been sent there to comment.

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

A new Pew report indicates that Americans have become very protectionist, just as much of the rest of the world is becoming more receptive to "globalization".

Gosh, the next Administration might render NAFTA ineffective by demanding that everyone and everything crossing the borders be opened up for inspection. How about unloading every truck crossing the border and opening every box? Partly dismantling every assembled-in-Canada car?

mmmm. It's kind of gloomy outside. Need to consume caffeine.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 26, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

A well-deserved "ouch," as far as I can see.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 26, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I think what I find amusing about those comments is the irony that they are probably the same people who are proud of their believe in democracy, and the concept of spreading democracy.

I have never understood peoples anger at the press (tabloids excepted). Reporters are not ment to be PR agents.

Posted by: dmd | October 26, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

To judge from that journalist's blog, I guess the "mainstream media" is already the scapegoat for losing Iraq. Can a big Republican victory be far behind?

mmmmm. Still not fully awake.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 26, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Scotty there was an article a while ago up here about the anti-NAFTA rhetoric coming from the Democratic side, that author put it down to attempts to appease voters.

What is promised and what is realistic to do are not always the same :-). From this side of the border I find it amusing that there is always critism if our politicians either get too close or are too negative about the US government, don't believe I have ever heard critism of US politicians being too Anti-Canadian (those that are aware we exist that is).

The comments from Hillary surprise me, perhaps she forgets what State she represents and how badly parts of her state have been affected by a decrease in visits by Canadians or fear by Canadians at crossing the border.

Posted by: dmd | October 26, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Those folks were really mean, and didn't mind being that way.

Can the media really be blamed for the war in Iraq?

There is nothing good about war, nothing at all. I could be wrong about that, maybe I just don't see it. Perhaps it is hid from me. Maybe I'm not equipped to understand things of that nature. There could be some lack in me. I know I don't like it.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 26, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, dmd, that "ouch" was echoing Joel's review of the blogosphere kerfuffle over the Iraq reporter.

Having been on both sides of situations such as what's described, I think the reporter really forgot where he was and why the rules are so important.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 26, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

And it looks like there is arson behind the fires in California, with some help from nature.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 26, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

When a pack of wingnuts are unleashed they are as swift and destructive as piranhas. Some of the comments and related posts started fisking the guy's resume and older stories to make him look like a liar and fabricator. This swift boat phenomenon is astoundingly precise.

I did find the comments in the middle deliberately confusing Knight Ridder with Knight Rider pretty funny.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps flying squads of civic minded burglars should be organized to swoop down on threatened houses and empty them before they're destroyed. You could buy the stuff back from them at their regular return of ten cents on the dollar and everyone would be happy.
Heck, if you paid them you wouldn't have the difficulty of finding civic minded thieves and wouldn't need to feel too guilty if the odd one got incinerated.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 26, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

No problem Scotty, my comments were more directed at the general attitude of some people towards the press than the specific situation.

Posted by: dmd | October 26, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Can't wait for a response from underfunded local fire departments in Southern California? Fed up with bureaucratic state arm wrestling and federal foot dragging when the flames of a raging inferno may be lapping near your million-dollar McMansion in Southern California?

The solution is easy, hire a private firefighting company--the story as told in a fascinating feature story in today's Los Angeles Times business section, titled "Another way the rich are different: 'concierge-level' fire protection: When Southland clients' multimillion-dollar homes were threatened, insurer AIG dispatched crews with fire retardant.",1,4295538.story?coll=la-headlines-business&ctrack=4&cset=true

Others say that it's just another way for the wealthy to buy their way around cash-strapped, understaffed public services. Firefighters across the region have complained this week that they simply did not have enough trucks, helicopters and airplanes.

"What we have is a dangerous confluence of events: underfunded states, increasingly inefficient disaster response, a loss of faith in the public sphere . . . and a growing part of the economy that sees disaster as a promising new market," said Naomi Klein, whose new book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," looks at, among other things, the response to Hurricane Katrina.

Klein said AIG offers a glimpse into the future of what she calls "disaster apartheid," in which the affluent are better equipped for emergencies.

News fatigue on the California fires. Just the briefest mention of the California fires as I hopped around stations on TV this morning. Yet the big San Diego fires are hardly over and done with this morning--the Witch and Poomacha fires only 30 percent contained, the Harris fire on the border only 20 percent contained.

The San Diego Union-Tribune is providing the full transcript of Chertoff's remarks this morning:

One D.C. lawmaker is calling for hearings into the bungled fire response, from Thursday's Orange County Register:

Some legislators accused federal fire officials and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of making a slow-footed response followed by fast dancing and photo ops.

Schwarzenegger called the criticism "a bunch of nonsense."

But one federal legislator was poised to call for congressional hearings.

"We'll wait until the smoke clears until I start raising h@11," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach. "We need to put people under oath to find out whether a lack of an aerial capacity in any way affected the magnitude of damage."

Throughout the five-day inferno, example after example was found of aircraft delayed by weather or by bureaucratic policy or just plain lack of preparation.

Posted by: Loomis | October 26, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't get past the first 6 comments so I'll take my fellow boodlers' assessments on the tone and value of later comments. However, on reading the blog entry my first response was "what an arrogant nut" and I do know what Knight-Ridder was. It strikes me that security folks are usually a reflection of the organization they serve. Seems to me that journalist and soldier were more alike than different.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 26, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled Wilson is free!

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 26, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Knight-Ridder comes from the merger of two companies in 1974. The names come from the surnames of the founders of each. Ridder is Dutch and Belgian for knight.

Posted by: omni | October 26, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I spotted a story on AIG's efforts to protect customers' houses a few weeks ago. Their program makes considerable sense, especially in places like San Diego County where fire services are chronically underfunded. It would be interesting to see the homeowners' association for some affluent enclave setting up a group insurance/protection program with AIG or some similar outfit.

This news blurb explains the latest theory on why leaves turn color in the fall. The pigments protect the leaves while valuable nutrients are being evacuated.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 26, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Looks like some relatively small fish in the military/industrial complex pool are being caught for corruption:
"Top Point Blank Armor Officials Indicted",13319,154813,00.html?

The criminal issue seems to be over the old stock price manipulation trick, not failure of the product.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 26, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

frostbitten, your 9:46 makes an interesting comparison. I never thought of it that way.

Time to go. Have a good day all.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 26, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

DotC, on a recent visit to Philly, my husband and I took one of the carriage tours of the downtown historic properties. One of the things pointed out on the buildings was the cast iron insignia, telling the fire department which house was covered by fire insurance - which ment the fire department would receive compensation for putting out the fire. After all this time seems not much has changed.

Just noticed an article in the Toronto paper about the Fire departments union agreement. I read the article not sure why there was a fuss 9% over 3 years. The article states a First Class firemen makes about 73,500 a year. Then I read the comments, if it were up to those people the state of the fire department would also be underfunded, it is also glaringly apparent many people have no idea what fire department does.

I must say I find the idea of private fire fighters really icky.

Posted by: dmd | October 26, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Those wealthy folks in California who would be willing to pay extra insurance for fire protection most likely keep their money in tax-sheltered investments to keep the state from getting it.

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Our all volunteer fire department works really hard to stay on top of all the requirements to bring it to a level that reduces insurance costs for everyone in the service area. Though legally a city department we don't have much of a tax base to support it (99 people, 50% of the land is not taxable because it's tribal). We have an interesting situation when we go to the surrounding townships we serve looking for an increase in their fire protection fees. The summer people with fancy lakefront property usually support increases because their tax increases are more than offset by lowered insurance costs. They can't vote here though. Except for the "elite," or the relatively few with mortages that require it, local folks don't carry insurance so they don't see a benefit to the increased fee-until their home is on fire or they need an ambulance.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 26, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

omni, I read once that Reuters is also a derivation of Ritter. The story I heard was the Reuters made its name delivering the business news by a kind of pony express between the UK and the continent faster than the official news.

In other etymology news, I had heard the ancient story of the "Amazons" and how they cut off their breasts so as to not interfere with their archery. What I was told the other day by a classics prof friend was that the word "a-mazon" itself meant "no breast".

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 26, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

SofC-I've often felt a double mastectomy would improve my golf game.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 26, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

In a classic case of bad timing, Fred Thompson is heading to San Diego County to ask for campaign contributions. From Sam Stein (about whom I'll say more in a moment) at yesterday's Huffington Post:

Former senator Fred Thompson is slated to visit southern California early next week. But it's not to aid the recovery of a region ravaged by out-of-control wildfires. Instead, Thompson will be collecting cash for his presidential campaign at a series of high-end fundraisers.

The awkward timing of the campaign events is, of course, no fault of Thompson's. Invitations went out well before the fires started raging. But an aide to the senator acknowledged that the fundraiser schedule, though tenuous, remains as planned -- including one event set for Monday in Rancho Sante Fe, where hundreds have been forced to evacuate from their homes.

You can read the rest of Sam's story at the link I provided and how the rest of the presidential field of candidates is responding to the SoVCal conflagrations.

The top story at the link is a rebuttal of sorts to the firestorm directed at remarks made by California Lt. Gov John Garamendi and California Sen. Barbara Boxer about the lack of National Guard assets to fight the California blazes. The San Antonio Express-News had the nastiest political cartoon this morning, with a definite Republican slant, drawn by a cartoonist at an Arizona paper, indirectly targeting these two Califonia politicians.

San Stein, in his first post in the link, lists some facts about the Guard equipment under debate, also noting that former criticisms about lack of Guard support, because of the Iraq War, have also occurred post-Katrina, as well as after the more recent Kansas tornado. Democratic presidential hopeful Chris Dodd also is quoted in Stein's reporting or blogging.

Garamendi's been on my radar a lot longer than Schwarzenegger. Garamendi's long-held family ranch, Touch the Earth Ranch, is in Mokelumne (ma-call-a-me) Hill, not far from West Point where I taught and just south of Jackson, where I lived at that time, along the 49er highway in the Sierra foothills southeast of Sacramento. Garamendi's roots are Basque-Californian, while Schwarzeneggers are Graz, Austria. If it were a contest about who know's Califonia best, I'd bet on Garamendi any day of the week, despite his Harvard degree.

Feature story about the ranch and photos at this link:

Posted by: Loomis | October 26, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, that is absolutely splendid. Its about time they did what was clearly right.

Posted by: dr | October 26, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

For those who are fans, there's this rather extraordinary Caroline See review ( ) of a new biography of Hunter Thompson, with a couple of really unusual paragraphs (for a book review):

"Full disclosure: I [Caroline See] know some of the people in this book. Also, since Hunter Thompson shot himself through the throat in his own house with a .45, leaving his son to find the body and the unholy mess it must have made, I must also disclose that my paternal grandmother shot her own head off with a shotgun, leaving my father to find the body. I have a strong bias against people who blow their heads off in the house. It's a mean thing to do, maybe the meanest thing you can do in a family, and you'd better have a pretty good reason -- or, at least, be an amazing writer -- to justify that kind of action."

Don't find that kind of stuff coming from Michael Dirda. (The other weird graf was the lede, which I think I partly have to disagree with, but don't want to get nitpicky about it.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Don't do it, Frosti. Your beach volleyball game would suffer.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I think so too, dr.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 26, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Hi guys. Thanks for the kind words yesterday. Things look a little better today--Mom is feeling a bit better just being out of the horse-pistol. The docs think my dad's problem was too much Motrin after have 3 teeth pulled a few days ago. Don't quite know the extend of the Miata damage yet. I had it towed intially to the dealer, and their preliminary estimate was approaching $2K. Relocated it to another shop, and am awiating a final cost verdict. Hopefully, it will go down the road in a straight line when done; otherwise it might be time (sob!) to look for a replacement.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 26, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

SCC: having

Posted by: ebtnut | October 26, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Nice set of mazons?
Somehow I'm reminded of the King of Swamp Castle.
But would he settle for a half tract of more swamp?

Posted by: Boko999 | October 26, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Frosti, I have investigated all possible surgical options for my game, to no avail.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 26, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse


Good to hear there's forward progress.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 26, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Which is why I find it hard to take beach volleyball seriously as a sport, Mudge. (I am such a hypocrite, having often opined that men's basketball would be greatly improved by skimpier uniforms, or at least shorts that are actually short.)

I am no judge of the era See describes in her lede; I didn't learn to read until the mid '60s. But, I'd be interested in your nit-picking.

ebt-glad your peeps are on the mend. My thoughts are with you on the car.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 26, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Surely I'm not the only person who thinks the whole campaign fundraising thing is just one big waste of money. Then I wonder what the economic impact is for sign makers, television commercial producers, caterers, etc. Is this another case of a few people at the very top making tons of money, or do those contributions trickle down to the little folks? If we had true campaign finance reform would any real workers get hurt, or just expensive useless people?

Posted by: frostbitten | October 26, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Prayer?! "You cannot petition the Lord with prayer!" Morrison screamed, and that sounded about right. Prayer!? I had not prayed in years. And then it wasn't for ME. But I did pray recently. Rain.

A long slow drizzle that wouldn't run off right away; that would soak slowly into the ground and last a long, long time. About a week.

And here it is.

Posted by: Jumper | October 26, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut, today is Angam Day in the Republic of Nauru. The Nauruan word angam means: "jubilation", "celebration", "to have triumphed over all hardships" or "to have reached a set goal" or "coming home".

Good luck on things continuing to look up.

Posted by: omni | October 26, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

TGIF, boodlers! Grades are in, the quarter has turned, and life is good. It makes me want to...sing!

Posted by: jack | October 26, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Some things just need to be in a different post.
The nephew in the Navy finds this amusing, as do I.

Posted by: Jumper | October 26, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper | October 26, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Carolyn See can write!

Posted by: nellie | October 26, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Silly thing I did today... Cracking an egg and thinking about tossing the shells down the garbage disposal and what did I do? Cracked the egg over the disposal instead of the bowl.

What really surprises me is that it wasn't the last egg in the carton.

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes, she can, Nellie. Always thought so.

Frosti, my nit with the first paragraph is I think See is (more ore less accurately) describing the attitudes of the era immediately preceding the stoned, zoned-out late 60s. Many of Thompson's antics took place during an era that was rapidly changing--and all the macho stuff See was describing was dying quickly. There wasn't anything "macho" about the hippies, druggies and peaceniks of the late 60s and 70s.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

TBG, you may need to get checked for a brain tumor.

(Just kidding.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"There wasn't anything "macho" about the hippies, druggies and peaceniks of the late 60s and 70s."
Curmudgeon, I went through adolescence with hippies, druggies and peaceniks of the late 60s and 70s: I knew hippies, druggies and peaceniks of the late 60s and 70s; hippies, druggies and peaceniks of the late 60s and 70s were friends of mine. We rode motorcycles without helmets. We ingested substances purchased from total strangers. We taunted armed police. We made our mothers cry, man! And you say that's not macho?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 26, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Great, great line from pundit Gail Collins, quoted in Kurtz's column: "Yet the leaders of the Values Voters keep waiting for one of the top-tier [GOP] candidates to change -- a strategy that any woman who's had an unsatisfactory boyfriend could warn them is never going to pan out."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Kguy, what it really was was feminist.

(Just ignore me, I've had too much coffee)

Posted by: dr | October 26, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that's what I'm saying, K-guy. While the behavior you describe is accurate, what See was describing was the Hemingway-esque behavior, including the gun culture. The 70s hippies were NEVER remotely into the gun culture. But here;s what See wrote: "It was a time in America when many men were he-men and proud of it: The really masculine ones fought wars, scaled mountains, built bridges. The mid-list guys found bars where they could beat each other up, drove 100 miles an hour through hairpin turns, laboriously dragged their couches out onto the front lawn, where they could set them on fire. Those were men's adventures; adventurous women tested their mettle by hooking up with abusive men and finding out just how much abuse they could take."

The hippy/druggie culture, for all else it may have been, didn't fight wars or beat each other up in bars, etc. Everybody was too stoned and "too cool" for that.

I'm not saying one or the other was "better"--just that they were pretty different.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

In the late 80s, we visited Fort Lauderdale to see a tour of "Miss Saigon". The beach hotel we were staying at was hosting a women's beach volleyball tourney. I had to swear for days that I knew nothing about it when I made the reservations. I'm not sure my wife believes me even now.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I think 'macho is a relative term.

One man's 'macho' may be another man's stupid.

And I'd venture to guess that one man's macho would be just about *any* woman's stupid.

This certainly holds true for me.
I haven't met a woman yet who does not occasionally hold me in High Stupidity over some Manly Manuver I've pulled or was planning to pull.

kguy: "We ingested substances purchased from total strangers," reminds me that I need to go to the grocery store.


Posted by: bc | October 26, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of shopping, 59 SD's until the reindeer taqke their magic dust.

Posted by: jack | October 26, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

taqke: kind of like toke.

Posted by: jack | October 26, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, I agree that the reporter sounded like an arrogant undersized prick to me from his self-reporting. He tried to make himself the story, and he succeeded. For this he should complain?

Lesson: when you report the news, don't report on your personal pi**ng contests with guys who are paid to do their jobs.

There's a not-so-fine line between gonzo journalism (where you rhapsodize about Con Orgullo tequila as you type) and bragging about what a macho idiot you are /con orgullo/.

Frostbitten, I agree that the reporter sounded like an arrogant undersized prick to me from his self-reporting. He tried to make himself the story, and he succeeded. For this he should complain?

Lesson: when you report the news, don't report on your personal pi**ng contests with guys who are paid to do their jobs.

There's a not-so-fine line between gonzo journalism (where you rhapsodize about Con Orgullo tequila as you type) and bragging about what a macho idiot you are /con orgullo/.

And Don from I-270... of course we would never give Joel that kind of blowback. That's something we let the French do.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 26, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

yello... I'm still laughing about your line about about the highest-paid baseball player.

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"How'd he make himself small, man. And, how'd he, like, how'd he get the reindeer off the ground, man?"

"Oh, well, man, he had some magic dust, man."

"Some magic dust?"

"Yeah, magic dust, y'know? He used ta give a little bit to da reindeer, a little bit to Santa Claus, a little bit more for Santa Claus, a little bit more..."

"And this would get the reindeer off, man?"

"Aw, got 'em off, man?!? Are you kidding, man? They flew all da way around da world, man!"


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 26, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

By Dina ElBoghdady
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 26, 2007; 12:34 PM

Countrywide Financial, the nation's largest mortgage lender, reported that it lost $1.2 billion in the third quarter, its first such loss in 25 years.

And who sits (or sat, having resigned Wednesday) on the Countrywide board of directors? None other than our own (former Clinton administration official, and attendee and speaker at the hearing for the National Biological and Agro-Defense Facility that I attended last month downtown)...


Cisneros earned compensation worth $358,966 at Countrywide last year and $110,721 at Live Nation, according to company filings.

In September, the San Antonio Express-News noted that Cisneros had sold 5,000 shares of Countrywide for $200,462 (about $40 a share) in May and quoted him saying he was holding onto the rest of his stock to show his "support for the company." Countrywide shares closed at about $16.50 Thursday.

Posted by: Loomis | October 26, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

bc, isn't it just STRANGE that women wouldn't get a guy who has mancrushes on perfect strangers and fanastizes about running around planes in skimpy gladiator outfits?

I think G.K. Chesterton said something about wives laughing at husbands and vice versa, that the more you love and know somebody the more you realize they're utter fools (and so are you).

I suspect this might be true. I once caught my dad chuckling at something minor my mom said. He said "I have to laugh, how else would I have stayed married this long?"

You'll just have to go for truth in advertising, namely that you have permanent brain damage as a result of excess masculization of the brain, and that you can't help it.

(Well, maybe you COULD help yourself and put a little more on when you go off fighting imaginary lions in the arena).

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 26, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, now *here's* how NOT to hold a press conference:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I predict a new Kit soon, since I'm finally caught up and posting. Soon will be time to go buy wine, get the plants in (almost froze last night!), go to a fencing tournament, and top off the night with a Halloween party. AND I worked today.

Didn't read the mean comment string. Life is short. Hi, Dreamer! and yes, finally someone did the right thing and let Genarlow Wilson out of prison.

Hey, did anyone else see the story about how FEMA called a press conference but had its employees pose as fake reporters to ask easy questions? After the White House scolded them, they said they were sorry, just trying to get out information and used poor judgment. Heckuva job indeed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 26, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Naturally Mudge got there first, AND with a link. Well done.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 26, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - that is flippin' unbelievable. Do you think they felt silly playing pretend?

There is all day long beach volleyball during the East Coast Surfing Championship in Va. Beach every fall and the hubby (and now my son) nonchalantly ride their bikes down both days "to watch the surfers" but I'm on to them.

Posted by: Kim | October 26, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Re: the FEMA non-press conference--Pogo, where are you when we really need you!?

Posted by: ebtnut | October 26, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod: "(Well, maybe you COULD help yourself and put a little more on when you go off fighting imaginary lions in the arena)."

Um, a little more olive oil or a little less clothing?

I'm a fool? Er, I can find plenty of supporting evidence for that proposition. Some of it right here in the Boodle.

And Lewis Hamilton is *not* perfect. He made a big mistake that cost him the F1 World Championship this year, and he has a bit of a gap between his top front teeth. Let's call him "practically perfect."

Going back to that link Joel posted with the fantastic array of comments to a very odd story for a second: is it some sort of co-incidence that Vivian Aplin-Brownlee's obituary ran in the WaPo today? Ms. Aplin-Brownlee was the first to raise questions about a certain Janet Cooke's stories about an 8-year old heroin addict named Jimmy...

Methinks there could be...


Posted by: bc | October 26, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Making up administration pressers that look and feel just like the real thing? Nothing hard about that. G.B. Trudeau's been doing it all week in Doonesbury. But it is nice to know that the fun loving guys and gals over at FEMA have time enough on their hands to have a little role playing on a rainy Friday afternoon. Must be a slow week.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 26, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

As a suitable companion piece to those rather ugly comments by those Bobby Caina Calvin bloggers Joel linked to at 8:23 this morning, here's yet another charming suite of comments, this time in response to Darth Cheney falling asleep in yesterday cabinet meeting. Enjoy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

bc... I'm glad you posted that link to Aplin-Brownlee's obituary. I was going to share that this morning. She seemed like quite a woman--who died way too young.

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

bc, regarding fools, takes one to know one. Ah, the stories I'm wise enough NOT to relate on the boodle...

As for clothing vs oil, your choice.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 26, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the ol' clock on the wall, I wouldn't be surprised if some of you sleep-deprived Red Sox fans have already begun heading for the door on this rainy Friday afternoon, to go home and get some shut-eye. Sleep well, Scotty, Maggie, and mostly. (You're gonna be up late Sunday night and your butts draggin' again on Monday morning.)

bc, what's the over/under on the Redskins/Patriots game? Under a hundred? Methinks not. And Vegas wants 16 or 17 pointys on the spread. Sheesh.

The one I'm worried about is the Green Bay/Denver game.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Meh. As a certified GawkerMedia commenter, those commenters are pretty lame. Making fun of Darth Cheney is shooting fish in a barrel with dynamite.

What made the Calvin feeding frenzy such a trainwreck was the extreme viciousness completely out of proportion to the offense. Based on Cheney's treatment of Plame, etc., and his status as an elected official, you could argue that any attack on him wouldn't be beyond the pale.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Discover covers some interesting stuff on race-

"Whether out in polite society or answering the questions of nosy psychologists, most people insist to the utmost that they're not racist. But when those same psychologists test people's subconscious feelings, they find a much different story. More than 80 percent of white people show some measurable prejudice against black people, for instance.

About 7 percent of white people, though, actually show a distinct lack of racism on probing psychological tests, ...

Read the rest here-How Not to be Racist

Posted by: frostbitten | October 26, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: daroucnacn | October 26, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I never understood what those idiotic posts such as the 5:12 p.m. and the 6:42 a.m. were supposed to be about. Anybody got a clue?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Running for the bus. Everybody have a good weekend.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: drontr | October 26, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Boko999 | October 26, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I thought maybe it was someone's cat, or maybe it's a monkey.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 26, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

With a little creativity I set about trying to find some known unknowns. I discovered there are things going on out there that just blow my mind. Such as that Reuters has a Second Life publication, and report on matters such as this:

Posted by: Jumper | October 26, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Jumper... we were just watching last night's The Office again via the Tivo. I love the lines...

Dwight: "Second Life is not a game. It is a multi-user virtual environment. It doesn't have points or scores; it doesn't have winners or losers."

Jim: "Oh, it has losers."

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

After reading that article, Jim's line sounds all the more true.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 26, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ropasb | October 26, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: colositpasl | October 26, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Good one, TBG.

That's some weird junk. Some sort of beta spambot program someone's testing?

Posted by: Jumper | October 26, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you beat me to the faux FEMA press conference story by a mile...well, a coupla hours. I first got wind of it about six minutes into Brain William's NBC News tonight. This is truly the funniest--as well as most disgusting story--associated with the California fires. Just when you thought Brownie couldn't be topped...that said, I still think Brownie takes the cake.

Here's a link to NBC's coverage--both print as well as video:

Posted by: Loomis | October 26, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

We should have The Mistress of Anagrams, Wilbrod, cast her mystic gaze upon those mysterious runes.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 26, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I just saw the Brian Williams coverage a few minutes ago, Linda. And I was impressed by the piece on the woman photographer and the 12 firefighters who got into those survival suits. I saw the "Stonehenge" photo the other day (yesterday?) and thought wow, this may be a Pulitzer here.

This is what irritates the he11 out of me about the WaPo home page: the lead (and only) photo up at the minute is a clip shot from Steve Carrell's movie, which the critics doesn't like. I don't think the lede photo should EVER be a movie promo, much less of a non-spectacular, non-acclaimed, ordinary every day movie. What was all this crap about the Internet being a visual medium? Ya got astronauts doing spcewalks, Wilson getting out of jail, the faux FEMA thing, as major stories and what do you have for art? Steve Carrell. (And I like Steve Carrell, but that's not the point.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 26, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

The WaPo needs a page like this one at the NYT

If one already exists I sure can't find it.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 26, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, all I'm coming up with is

Lil Liar Elle by Cosi Slot Pal for that last one.

And "Cord Nero" by "Bo Rasp" (Well, I guess it could be "Dr. No Core" by "Bo Raps", or "Orc Or Den?" By "Sob Rap" instead.)

If they be anagrams, they must be anagrams of racehorse names.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 26, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, frosti, I agree. WaPo isn't so great at breaking news, either. I had to check to find out about Wilson's release this morning. Thank goodness someone in Georgia came to their senses - the decision was 4 to 3, though - yikes.

frostbitten, that was an interesting link to the article on racism. I had heard about the test because some of the research was done at the UW in Seattle, and it's been discussed in the local media. I took the test - pretty weird - I was all fumbly-fingered and didn't get it at first. I came out as "little to no preference for white Americans to African Americans" - or however they phrase it. Not sure I have a rosy outlook on life, particularly - maybe it's just that I'm as skeptical of white folks as anyone else! Actually, I never heard my parents complain about or badmouth anyone, as groups of people or individuals. And of course, they both read and were open to new experiences and cultures, and passed that on to all of us kids. Thank goodness.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 26, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I would also question whether they graded by age.
Old people are progressively bitter and negative, as we know :-P.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 26, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey, hey!

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 26, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

One of my bosses was at last night's game, he was very hoarse today. Another of my bosses is sure the Sox will sweep the series. I'd prefer they win it at home, assuming they win it at all. But all the late nights are a drag. Remember when they played at least some of the WS games in the daytime?

Ebtnut, I meant to add my good wishes to you and your family and for your Miata's recovery. I do miss mine. We intend to buy another one when "S" retires in a few years and we don't need two cars that can drive in snow.

I was very pleased to hear that they set Genarlow Wilson free. What a travesty that whole thing was.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 26, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful picture of the moon in today's local paper:
Sunny today, but cold and windy. There was frost on my car today (I worked from home so I didn't have to scrape it off.) First time this fall. I've got to backboodle and read the link that DotC posted about why leaves turn color. The Asian pear is particularly colorful this year - has some brilliant dark reds. Usually it's soft yellow tinged with pink.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 26, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

mostly- One of the first tests I took at Harvard's Project Implicit
was about racial bias. I'll never know if that test was a good measure of my bias, or lack thereof. One of the pictures I had to sort was of Denzel Washington. Denzel!! I've had a mad crush on him ever since he was in St. Elsewhere (when men's shorts were still short BTW).

Posted by: frostbitten | October 26, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

It's Cosmo's moon!

Thanks for that beautiful picture, mostly... and for reminding me of the fall we stumbled upon an Asian Pear orchard on Route 11 near Natural Bridge, Virginia...

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the moon, I forgot to mention the sundogs I saw on either side of the sun last night not too long before it set. It's a very cool sight and I hadn't seen them since I was in Alaska over three years ago.

Also, my granddaughters' school made the local fox station briefly tonight. It seems all the kids from the combined elementary and middle school formed a big "Go Red Sox" on the soccer field and it was shown on TV and on their website. One granddaughter was part of the G, the other was part of the R. They were the best letters. I'm so proud!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 26, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, that's a fascinating story. The rogue avatar's real world Comic Book Guy clone:

>Slatkin described Leatherwood as 6'-4", weighing 325 lbs, with a black T-shirt, black shorts, long hair and a goatee.

So the height was surprising at least.

Loomis, no word from you yet on the new documents on the Templars released from the Vatican?

re: mystery posts. Well, "colositpasl" was the Aztec god of the lower intestine, and "ropasb" is a medication for treatment of thong chafing, I think.

Either that or those are the code words ordering all the Achenblog agents into action.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 26, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

there was a really spectacular harvest moon here as well. pretty orange, too, with help from the smoke in the atmosphere no doubt. very stunning.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 26, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Joel's front page story on the Woodstock Museum:
Let the culture wars begin!

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 26, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

"They were the best letters."

Grandmothers are the best.

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers, I think a sun dog was what I saw the other day. It was early morning, sun behind cirrus clouds. I figured there was a name for it, but didn't know what it was.

Son of Carl, so that's where everyone went!

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 26, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Nobody told me anything about the sun having dogs! I had to dig up the info myself. Thanks a lot, I was all excited for a minute. Humans. Sheesh.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 26, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Now all you gotta do is hook those babies up to generators, and you have surprisingly green offices, all from the beads of honest sweat...

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 26, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Co... coff... coffeeeeeeeeee...

*setting up the IV drip*

Yep, it was a rough couple of days at work, I tellya. I think I fell asleep at about 7:30 last night.

And yes, 'Mudge, I heard about that FEMA debacle... A former FEMA public affairs person and I marveled at their stupididity. Whatever happened to, "Admiral Johnson, we've got questions coming in via e-mail -- here's one from Reuters."

*shaking-my-head-sadly-at-that-circus-while-continuing-to-inhale-caffeine Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 27, 2007 5:39 AM | Report abuse

Band competition today and the event is in Cumberland. Report time is 7 am. Awards ceremony is at 6 pm. Gonna be a long day. Time to go shower.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2007 5:48 AM | Report abuse

Great article on Bethel Woods Museum. They are just trying to jump on the summer pavilion tour circuit and have an attached center to get people to stop by on non-show nights. Red Rocks in Denver does the same thing. It's a tourist site in its own right.

The Hippie Museum link is GOP mudsling genius because it links two issues in the voter's mind, drug use and frivolous spending. Look for lots of campaign material featuring Hillary in those striped pants and giant owl goggle glasses.

The Republican Dirty Tricks squad always fines a subliminal hook to tar their opponents with, Al the Liar, Kerry the French Flip Flopper, and now Hillary the Hippie. I don't agree with the characterization, but the brilliance of the scheme is that I don't have to. As long as it resonates with a small segment it will be amplified until it becomes the defining image.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2007 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle.
My mommy wouldn't let me hitch hike to Woodstock because she was didn't want me to leave the country unsupervised so 4 of us hitched to Montreal to see Blue Cheer only to find that it was James Last and his orchestra playing at Place de Nations.
James Last!!!.
I got drunk for the first time on Gordon's Gin chased with a chocolate ice cream cone and vomited all over Montreal's lovely subway system.
Most unhippy experience of my life.
The most important lesson of the sixties is double check the act at the venue before you go.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 27, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Ya!! Alice's Restaurant is playing on CBC1.
And a interview w/ Arlo.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 27, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

How 'bout those Wizards, eh?

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New Kit!

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