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My Campaign Photo Diary

On the road in SW Florida.jpg

Mostly I drive, and listen to the lady in the GPS device, who is constantly saying "Recalculating." I am sure a lot of the candidates are saying the same thing these days.

McCain's campaign defenses.jpg

John McCain's South Carolina Truth Squad headquarters, at the Battery in Charleston. Conservative pundits Barnes and Brooks say McCain must still show he can win over the right wing of the GOP.

Should be Ablog bureau in Charleston.jpg

This is the place I hoped would be my Charleston bureau. Surely the Post could afford some nice digs like this. I took the pic in a pelting, cold rain, out the window of my rental car.

But this is what I got instead.jpg

But this is where they set me up instead!

Fine dining in Jacksonville.jpg

Who says there aren't any good restaurants in Jacksonville!

huckabee at the citadel.jpg

Here's Huck shooting for the under-15 vote at The Citadel.

Jeri hands a button to a motorist.jpg

Jeri hands out Fred buttons in Newberry, S.C.

Thompson bus campaigning in Germany!!.jpg

Fred would have done better had he not tried to campaign in Germany.

Rudy in diner in Sarasota.jpg

Rudy in a diner in Sarasota. The mayor thinks this time he's got a good shot at finishing ahead of Ron Paul, finally.

cute starbucks.jpg

Cutest Starbucks in the South.

[This just in: President Bill uses flamethrower on CNN reporter.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 23, 2008; 7:11 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A Speech by MLK (and one by Obama)
Next: Bill Clinton: "Shame on you"


First! Love the pictures and where you're staying. :-)

Posted by: dbG | January 23, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Well, boss, you certainly captured the true flavor of the Low Country with those photos!

G'morning, everybody. Cassandra, I hope you're feeling better this morning. TBG, sleep in today, you were up waayy too late last night.

Posted by: Slyness | January 23, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe you recycled that pic of Rudy describing his prostate exam.

Also, I didn't think it was OK for you to sleep in Fred Thompson's campaign bus during his Charleston stop. How did you get the Post to allow that?


Posted by: bc | January 23, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Inquiring minds want to know...

Who took that that lovely flyaway-hair-in-the-rearview-mirror shot, Barry?


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle! A 92F difference between here and Tampa today(-26 to Mr. F's 66). For some reason I like to catch and make note of the days we have a 100 degree difference. Probably the same thing that excites me about odometer palindromes.

Wonder how early voters in Tennessee and Florida feel about Fred dropping out.

Shame about Heath Ledger. So young and talented.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 23, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

One other thing, Joel.

I examined that pic of you driving, and based on the evidence I see there (er, like the speedo and the tach), it looks to me like you're tooling along at around 80 mph.

Tempus keeps fugitin' along, and ya gotta keep up with it, don't cha?

I liked this photo essay, Joel.
It's a gift that's going to keep on giving, I think.


Posted by: bc | January 23, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

"Jeri hands out Fred buttons in Newberry, S.C."

I always loved Fred Buttons when he was on those Dean Martin Roasts: "...and Rudy Giuliani, who single-handedly saved America after 9/11, *he* never got a roast..."

It occurred to me after Fred's announcement yesterday that Joel should amend the title of the 1/18 Kit to "Republicans Get Militant, Fred Gets Mad... And Goes Home."

Posted by: byoolin | January 23, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

The boss's photog skills are improving. He musta been takin' lessons from his progeny.

Did Jeri stick him with a pin?

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 23, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Great idea for a kit, Joel. About that cannon, I don't know anything about the subject but the cannon balls seem awfully small for it. Is this some sort of subliminal message about McCain? Have a good day everyone.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | January 23, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, that's a self-took-it, with my right hand holding the camera between the seats. Don't try this at home.

bc, I kept it at 80 and didn't, you know, speed. That's I-75 in SW Florida in the pic -- if you're not going 80 you're a traffic hazard.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 23, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Bad, you're bad.

Byoolin, loved the "never got a roast" reference. Jeez, we're old, aren't we?

And if Rooodeeeeeeee doesn't put that effing finger away, I'm gonna break it off for him.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

*golf clap for Joel's don't-try-this-at-home mad shutterbug skilz*


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Robert Brooks, the chairman of Hooters of America Inc. who made a fortune selling chicken wings served by scantily clad waitresses, was found dead at his home Sunday, officials said. He was 69.

The Horry County coroner's office told the (Myrtle Beach) Sun News that Brooks died from Acute Sexism. "This guy was not a casual sexist, it was a full time job for him, and in the end it cost him his life," said Billy Johnston, the chief coroner.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, speaking on CNN, said that Acute Sexism is usually aggravated by complications arsing from misogyny. "When a misogynist also suffers from massive sexism, its usually a problem," said Dr. Gupta.

Since opening its first store in Clearwater, Fla., in 1983, the chain has expanded across the U.S. and into more than a dozen countries ranging from Taiwan to Venezuela. In a sign of Hooters' impact on local communities, sexual assaults jumped dramatically within a year of opening a franchise in a new town or city.

"Like our Buffalo Wing sauce, we like to spice up these places," Brooks was found of saying. "A little coochie-coochie-cooh never hurt no one."

Meanwhile, a somber mood set over Pensacola, Florida as member's of the "National Thick Necked Goons Club" gathered at the local Hooters, where flags flew at half-mast.

"This man did more for me than any woman ever has or will," explained Jessup E. Lee. "Tonight we'll remember him the way he would of wanted us to, with processed chicken parts and watered down beer - all served by mountains of boobs! Sweet."

Services are set for 11:00 AM Friday at Our Lady of Hotpants Church in Myrtle Beach.

Posted by: Loomis | January 23, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Sneaks, that gun isn't a cannon, its a mortar. Kinda like the differance between a ship and a boat. First link out of the box:

That's it for our history of artilery, lesson, folks. Next up, what constitutes distracted driving charges.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 23, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Nice obit, Loomis. FWIW, Mr. Brooks actually went t*ts-up 7/15/06 due to a heart attack.

(And by 'FWIW', I mean, "Oh, goody, a chance to use the phrase 't*ts-up'!!")

Posted by: byoolin | January 23, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I thought that mortar was the very model Sam von Sham the Hessian tried to use against Bugs...

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Those are fantastic pictures Joel. And I know exactly what you mean about the speed along those roads. There are few things as exhilarating as being tailgated whilst driving 75.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 23, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Joel has captured photographic evidence that the musical sensation that was "The Partridge Family" has, indeed, fallen on hard times.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 23, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

It was odd to see a Hooters in Ciudad de Panama, a place loaded with super local food--we were returning from Madame Chang's.

And it was fun to see Jacksonville's Riverwalk Hooters again. When I was younger, it was neat to start out at the Downtown YMCA (out of sight back of the bridges), cross the new bridge to the south bank, loop under it, cross back to the north bank, go by Hooters, cross the blue bridge to south bank, follow boardwalk past Chart House to the School Board, then return, crossing the new bridge again.

The riverwalks were kind of controversial when they were built. Some didn't like closing the riverfront street where Hooters is now.

Overcast and a bit humid, but very comfy here today. Palms in the yard are unfurling new leaves.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 23, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

FWIW, that'a a mortar, not a cannon. Mortars were used to launch LARGE balls, not those pipsqueak 8 or 12-pounders. There are some extant photos of big mortars mounted on railroad flatcars during the Civil War. They could be moved quickly to where they might be most effective, usually in siege operations (see, Petersburg).

Posted by: ebtnut | January 23, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm aware, byoolin...

Since opening its first store in Clearwater, Fla., in 1983, Hooters of America Inc. has expanded into 46 states and 19 countries. Hooters has about 61 million annual visitors.

Born on a tobacco farm outside Loris near Myrtle Beach, Brooks graduated from Clemson University with a degree in dairy science. According to a Newsweek article in June 2005, Brooks broke into the food industry with a milkshake formula that was used by restaurant chain Burger King.

In 1966, he founded Eastern Foods Inc., which started off selling nondairy creamer to airlines and now makes dressings and sauces as Naturally Fresh Foods. He continued as chairman of the company that has more than $100 million in sales each year.

He also had a few other businesses, including the White Water Country Club in Fayette County, Ga.; the Super Sports Co., which makes merchandise sold in Hooters restaurants; and, the World Business Center, a land development company in Atlanta.

He owned speedways in Lakeland, Fla.; Jefferson, Ga.; and Hudson, N.C.; and was co-owner of a video production company, Hallbrook Productions, which produces commercials for his ventures.

But he's best known for his Hooters restaurants. In 1984, he and a group of Atlanta investors bought expansion and franchise rights for the Hooters chain. He eventually bought majority control and became chairman. ...

Brooks tried to parlay the restaurant chain's success into an airline in 2003. At its peak, Hooters Air flew to 15 destinations, but the company racked up debt and stopped commercial flights earlier this year. The company now flies charters.

Posted by: Loomis | January 23, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Compared to many places Hooters is positively refined. Whenever we go down to Myrtle Beach I am amazed at the number of establishments that proudly advertise "Exotic Dancing." I initially assumed this meant dancing with exceptionally unusual footwork. But I've heard stories that suggest otherwise.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 23, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Front page alert! *Tidying up the bunker*

Posted by: Slyness | January 23, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I love the way all those young ladies are looking away from Huckabee. As if Hannah Montana had just walked in.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 23, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Oh dear. A horrible realization has suddenly struck me. With Fred out of the race, there shall be no more pictures of Jeri.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 23, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey, here's some neat apparel for your daughters, Joel...or any Achenblogger's daughters...or for any Achenblogger's granddaughters...

Posted by: Loomis | January 23, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Just seeing the words 'hooters_for_the_kiddies' in the link gives me the creeps.

Posted by: byoolin | January 23, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"...and Fred Thompson, who spent all his time before the Presidential Campaign exchanging high-fives with Dennis Kucinich, *he* never got a roast..."

Posted by: Fred Buttons | January 23, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Laughing, Fred. And how about our Mr. Brooks of Hooters fame? Think he ever got a roast?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, a joke about Hooters being a good resturant in Jacksonville is amusing to me.

A joke about sexualizing minors is not, and propagating those sites by linking them here - a relatively high-traffic site - just raises their popularity on the Internet.


Posted by: bc | January 23, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The cons of having a trophy wife:

UNCERTAINTY: Vaguely defined expectations may prove too odd or uncomfortable to confront, and may lead to problems.

FORCED INTIMACY: You may have doubts about her intentions when the only names she calls out during sex are those of dead presidents.

CAPITAL DEPLETION: Outrageous spending binges are par for the course, so when you blow up over the monthly statements, expect a singular defense: trophy wife entitlement.

WHISPERS: "She's only with him for his money;" be ready to hear this from various corners and, to some extent, be ready to believe and accept it.

OF DUBIOUS DEVOTION: You will inevitably age, so what happens if or when you begin to babble and wet yourself? A common stumbling block with such a marriage seems to be the lack of forward-thinking: Will she take care of you when you get older and will you do the same?

Posted by: Loomis | January 23, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

bc writes: Loomis, a joke about Hooters being a good resturant in Jacksonville is amusing to me.

A joke about sexualizing minors is not, and propagating those sites by linking them here - a relatively high-traffic site - just raises their popularity on the Internet.

bc, the sites I linked to show the "merch," but you have failed to read the text accompanying them and the outrage of those who brought this problem or issue to the public's attention.

Funny, I don't find this "Kit"--mostly photos with very little text--very funny at all. I wonder how many other women Boodlers would agree or disagree with me?How good do you think the employment opportunities are at Hooters for a grown woman who is a 32A?

Posted by: Loomis | January 23, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

When you're in love with a beautiful woman, you watch your friends.

(I apologize in advance for the tune cootie.)

Posted by: byoolin and The Medicine Show | January 23, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I swear my younger daughter's dorm room looks JUST LIKE the place the Post put you up in. Except there's snow now.

Posted by: CowTown | January 23, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Well, I like the Kit. Partly I always appreciate anyone with multiple skills. For this reason I admire Joel's ability to write and take pictures, and to string those pictures together with words into a coherent story. This Kit is a nice pictorial representation of one reporter's observations on the campaign trail, given that reporter's possibly quirky outlook and sense of humor.

In this context - pictures telling a sequential story - I get the Hooters joke, as I'm sure Joel intended. The humor lies in the caption: Joel is aware that his regular readers will not think of Hooters as a good restaurant. I disapprove of the chain and its business operational style and have used it for teachable moments with the Boy. However, that doesn't mean I can't find its use in this context funny. That is what makes it funny.

Of course, if you have to explain a joke it loses that humorous essence. It is okay not to share a common sense of humor, really. Just don't assume that your righteous indignation is a better response than an involuntary snort of laughter, which has at its heart the same reaction.

The Kit is a forest. Each picture is a tree. The Hooters sign is shrubbery.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

An intersting bit about 100° temp difs. On this day in 1916 the temp in Browning MT was 44°. Nothing unusal about that right...the next day it -56°. A 100° drop in 24 hours. A U.S, and likely world, record for such an event.

Posted by: omni | January 23, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Hooters in Tampa's Channelside recently quit running the weekday lunch trolly shuttle for downtown office workers. Quite a shame since you could keep your primo parking spot, head to any of Channelside's many eateries, and return without adding to downtown traffic over the lunch hour. Too bad the other Channelside merchants would never help pick up the tab.

I wonder if the other Channelside merchants Hooters tried to persuade to join them in funding the shuttle have regrets now?

Posted by: frostbitten | January 23, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

And a happy Bounty Day shout out to Mudge.

Posted by: omni | January 23, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

omni-be still my beating heart! Thanks for that weather tidbit.

What Ivansmom said re: Hooters as humorous photo, teachable moment. etc.

byoolin-I much prefer the military speak Tango Uniform to t*ts up. Though in this context your turn of phrase made me titter, not to be confused with tiggering an outcry.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 23, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

-56°? Feh. I've been dragged naked behind a snowmobile in weather worse than that.

Posted by: byoolin | January 23, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Frosti, I'd never heard Tango Uniform before. I like it.

Posted by: byoolin | January 23, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Morning folks. Got home at 4:30 am. Market upheavals will do wonders for meeting an investment newsletter's deadline. Of course our staff of six is down to two; that helps, too.

Love the pictures. I do notice the bluetooth headset under that flyaway hair.

My family has a dream of setting the GPS for one address and heading hundreds of miles in the other direction. Do you think she'll get tired of saying, "Make a U-turn, if possible" or will she just eventually say, "Dammit! You never listen to me! Forget it! Find the damn address yourself!"?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: TBG | January 23, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I too like the kit, and find the photos/captions amusing.

Last weekend we had to attend an out of town game for the younger child. As a stop at the grandparents was on route we decided to pick them up, requiring two vehicles. I drove the one with the GPS as I was not familiar with the destination, I was aided by the local guidance of my MIL. I could listen simultaneously to the GPS constantly redirecting my route as my MIL shouted out her directions usually just a little too late for me to take that particular left turn. It was an interesting drive, MIL is a wonderful woman, good navigator not so much.

Posted by: dmd | January 23, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

You know, if Joel isn't content to only show off his picture-embedding capabilities, he could also publish a Campaign *Italics* Diary.

Posted by: TBG | January 23, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Well, for the record, I have never been inside a Hooters. I refuse. I simply refuse.

So I can't comment on their food and its quality.

Posted by: Loomis | January 23, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Careful examination of the mortar pictures picture reveals the pile of shells is made with at least two different calibers. If the interlocking bricks are in the 4x8" size I suspect the mortar shell calibers are 13" and 10", may down to 9" for the wee ones. Cast iron is heavy, the 13" thick but hollow shell without the bursting charge should be around 200lbs. For reference a 32-pounder flat-trajectory solid shot, a mighty gun on both sea and land, has a diameter of just 6 1/4".

bc, the WW of the SW is obviously in a combative mode, I think she should be left alone.

Got snow Cowtown? Welcome to the club. I had an interesting experience last night, inhaling a 6x4x4" granit cobblestone with the snowblower. Them shear pins actually work. And my heart restarted.

Wilbrod, I've seen your interesting coyote link last night. There is a special project by Boko's way to trap coyoyes that have developed a taste for shi-tzus and other miniature dogs. The darn things are getting very bold in the 'burbs around here.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | January 23, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I read again the article about the Lake Braddock student calling the Fairfax County schools chief, and this time listened to the audio of his wife's message to the student. Poor lady! She obviously was not having a good day, and was unfortunately setting herself up for an even worse one. Aaahh, well.

Sometimes, if you've nothing good to say...

Posted by: Bob S. | January 23, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Mr. T's big Christmas gift from me was a GPS. We always enjoy bedeviling the rental car ones, especially when there is road construction and we cannot drive the designated route because it's not open.

Amazing how much data they can get into one of those little things.

I'm feeling very pleased with myself this morning. Yesterday I regrouted the floor in Mr. T's shower. There was no problem with the tile, but the grout had broken up, especially along the edge of the wall. I went with the recommendations of the guy at Lowe's, and it looks pretty good, even if I do say so myself.

Posted by: Slyness | January 23, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Disagree, Invansmom. I see the Hooters sign not as a puny bush, but as a universally recognized symbol. Now you have gotten me truly curious about how you use the chain restaurant as a teachable moment for the Boy. What do you convey?

Coturnix [another blogger] claims that the symbol and the reality of Hooters are different from one another, creating the possibility that the actual restaurants are not mysogynistic and demeaning to women. But the problem is that the Hooters symbol is not the logo or the costumes or the restaurants themselves, but the breasts of women. Objectifying women's bodies to create an environment for the dominant male heterosexual gaze, women's breasts themselves become the symbol for the restaurant. It was easy for the chain to establish this connection in a culture where women's bodies are symbolically colonized for the male sexual gaze everywhere you look. But detaching the symbol from the cultural meaning is more complicated then Coturnix suggests when women's breasts/bodies come to represent women themselves.

Posted by: Loomis | January 23, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, you're in good company here. I expect most regular Boodlers have never been inside a Hooters. I know my objections to the business plan and what I see as the exploitation of young women (and the male customers) guarantees I won't be eating there, or even dropping in for a drink. That's why I wouldn't ever call it a good restaurant, and why I find Joel's joke funny. It has nothing to do with the quality of the food.

At one time, I believe, most Hooters restaurants stocked a magnum of Dom Perignon - a high quality champagne. You could order it with chicken wings. Still doesn't make it a good restaurant.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't frequent Hooters because I get embarrassed easily. Nor am I particularly enamored of its business model. If Joel wanted to advocate for Hooters he would have done exactly that. Probably with pictures from the inside.

It truly amazes me that anyone would seriously interpret that picture and the accompanying text as anything other than
an amusingly ironic backhanded indictment of the eatery.

But then, I get amazed easily too.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 23, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Changing the theme to politics, let's consider the monkey trap. In certain cultures, monkeys are considered food. To trap the monkey (notice I'm running right past the inevitable moral and viseral objections to eating adorable monkeys) members of some of these monkey-consuming cultures have devised a simple trap. You take a hollow gourd and cut a small slot in the side - just big enough for the monkey to slip its hand in palm open. Then, you slip some bait (say, a tasty nut) into the slot, and leave the gourd where an unsuspecting monkey will find it.

When a monkey comes along and smells the tasty bait in the gourd, it reaches in and grabs the bait. However, the monkey must make a fist to capture the bait, and now his hand cannot leave the gourd. So, he is faced with abandoning his lunch or trying to climb a tree with one hand imprisoned in a gourd.

Apparently, enough monkeys are unclever enough to be taken in by this ruse and are therefore captured and made into a meal.

What's this got to do with politics? Well, the monkey trap is a useful allegory. Republicans like John McCain know that to win the nomination, they must win the approval of "true conservatives," a fiesty and persnickity lot. Unfortunately, in order to accomplish their goal of becoming acceptable to True Conservatives, the Republican Candidates must render themselves repugnant to the Rest of Mankind.

In the past, after winning the nominations, Republicans have put on their "kinder, gentler" faces, hoping that the general voting public wasn't paying attention during the pre-nomination Dance With the Devil. However, it appears that more of the voting publc HAS been paying attention. So, now Republican candidates are faced with a awful dilemna: Abandon the support of the True Conservatives, or obtain True Conservatives support, and face possible rejection by the General Electorate.

Just like a monkey trap.

Posted by: CowTown | January 23, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Also look at the context of Jacksonville and its alleged lack of fine eating. The line reminds me of the line in "Grumpier Old Men" when Walter Matthau informs Sophia Loren that the town doesn't need a fancy Italian restaurant because they already have a Chuck E Cheese.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 23, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Very nice, CowTown.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

In Daytona Beach, a Hooters might look positively classy. The city is unfortunately stuck without much of a tax base, dependence on a few seasonal events (NASCAR and motorcycles, mostly) and considerable urban rot. That's very hard to undo.

Jacksonville had genuinely fine restaurants as far back as 20 years ago, partly because of its banking/insurance industry. Sort of regrettably for the general public, the plushest eating facilities were in private clubs.

(full disclosure: I've never eaten at a Hooters).

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 23, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Sorta like the Democratic candidates that have already received mucho dollars from the telecoms, right? How do you vote or campaign against telecom immunity now?

Posted by: No.9 | January 23, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I will admit to eating in Hooters. The first time it was a friend's idea, and I really had no idea what to expect. Best damn Buffalo Wings I had ever had up to that point. The next two times it was the same Hooters in Rockville on Rockville Pike solely for the wings. And they were still good. They had four spice levels. I ordered the hottest: 'Three Mile Island'. The forth and last time I was on vacation in San Diego and just happened to be walking past a Hooters in the mood for some wings. The worst damn Buffalo Wings I've ever had in my life. Then one day on the way home from work in the mood for some wings I stopped in the Rockville Hooters. They no longer served TMI wings. I walked out and have never been to a Hooters since. Instead I learned how to make the best damn Buffalo Wings in the world. At least according to my taste.

Posted by: omni | January 23, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The more I look at these pictures the more impressed I am. They tell such clever stories in their composition.

The pic of Joel shows the busy hassled journalist on the road, and shows that, like most jobs, there is a lot of drudgery.

The pic of the mortar sitting squat and smug in the middle of the frame juxtaposed with the ridiculously inappropriate projectiles screams out a narrative of inappropriate flashy militarism. For anyone who wishes to see it, that is.

The decrepit house and bus not only stands as a humorous counterpoint to the elegant structure pictured above, but it also radiates beauty. The bus, which really does remind me of The Partridge Family, makes me wonder what mysterious stories it might tell. The same with the house. What lives might it have touched? (Of course, I am a sucker for old stuff.)

Note that in the infamous "Hooters" pic the sign isn't the star of the show. The emphasis is on the skyline. The presence of the sign seems almost as an after thought. An opportunity for an ironic one-liner and nothing else.

I think Joel captured perfectly the contrast between Huckabee and the very young women. And their apparent dis-interest.

Then you have Jeri front and center. the enthusiastic campaign wife smiling and passing out buttons. The very picture of support.

The Thompson in Germany to me, besides just being a wonderful visual joke, makes a comment on how disconnected the guy really was from his campaign.

And finally, what better commentary on the uncontrolled spread of high-end coffee shops than that final image. Although it does look like a nice place to hang out.

Excellent pictures Joel. If this whole "word thing" goes south on you, you might still have a future behind the camera.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 23, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I've been to a Hooters, Puerto Vallarta's to be specific. It was midday. It was stinking hot. They had air conditioning. Nuff said. (hardly) The beer was mighty tasty but it came without the ubiquitous salsa and chips. There was no objectification of women present, not in the artwork on the walls, not in the dress of the servers both male and female. The sign itself is not universally recognized, only the word 'Hooters' might be considered to be.

I like the photo diary. I am a little concerned about the Bluetooth device though. I am most reminded of this:

With the spectacles, the GPS controlling his drive, and the Bluetooth, I fear that underneath that fly away hair, there might be something sinister happening. Two of Five?

"The Borg have a singular goal, namely the consumption of technology, rather than wealth or political expansion as most species seek." (quoted from Star

Posted by: dr | January 23, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the head's-up about Bounty Day, omni. Boy, 217 years sure fly by when you're having fun. For a wet, soggy, water-logged old tub, the Bounty sure went up quick when we torched her on the beach. I'm telling ya, we barely had time to get out all the makings for the S'Mores, and you think you had bad buffalo wings at that Hooter's? Man, the wings and ribs we had that night were pretty awful: no way to control the temperature, no time to properly season and marinate the ribs (we didn't know about "Memphis style" and "KC style" BBQ back then, so we were pretty much stuck with "Isle of Wight Hardtack Style," which -- believe me -- ain't no finger-lickin' dee-light when you've been at sea for a couple years. Oh, sure, we had breadfruit up the wazoo -- but we were all mighty darn sick of it by that time. I mean, think about it: breadfruit fries; breadfruit fritters; Outback Bloomin' Breadfruit with roumulade made from poached bilge rats and garnished with seaweed and some kinda jungle vine (we picked up that recipe in Australia, which Capt. Bligh's mentor, Capt. Cook, and I discoverd ["Look, Cap'n," I shouted down from the crow's nest, "there's a bloody great clamshell-shaped opera house on that there bloody continent!" "Mudge," he replies to me, "come on down from there. I think you've got sunstroke on your billibong." And ya know, I did, too. D@mned painful, it was, the next day.]; breadfruit pudding with raisins (don't ask; they weren't really raisins); breadfruit pudding with capers (ditto); breadfruit and tapioca poi (O.M.G.); baked Meyer lemon breadfruit hash browns (don't ask); baked Idaho breadfruit topped with sour cream (don't ask) and bacon bits (really, really don't ask); stewed breadfruit and prunes; breadfruit Danish; coq au breadfruit (don't ask. Don't even think about asking); stewed seagull stew with breadfruit dumplings; clams casino on a bed of nice, crisp Iceberg breadfruit and a dash of tabasco; and to drink we had plenty of lime juice (of course) so we made a variation of a mojito with distilled breadfruit mash, called a mo-blechhh-o. They took some getting used to.

Ah, yes, good times. Good times.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I went to Hooters only a couple of times. The first time out of curiosity with my bro and the second time with a gaggle of soccer teammates. That was nearly 15 years ago. Restaurants are for good food and quiet conversation. About the only thing good with the Hooters logo was the #7 driven by Alan Kulwicki. The driver was a class act. BTW, bc, checkout the story on the COOR circuit in the Feb C/D.

Posted by: jack | January 23, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

My wife and I went to a Hooters once because we'd heard about their buffalo wings. My wife loves buffalo wings. The place smelled like a deep fryer and had a jaundice-yellow lighting theme that induced in us a strange sense of dread. So we left.

However, I can claim no moral superiority to the patrons who frequent Hooters. I must sadly confess that if someone opened a similar restaurant named Fanny's, I'd probably go - out of curiosity, of course.

Posted by: CowTown | January 23, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't figger out why a mortar would be used for harbour defence until I realized a mortar would be dandy for fort flattening should one be held by your enemy on an island in your harbour.
While I'm thinking of a way to work breastworks into the consversation I'll just observe that my buddy's local Hooter's went bust.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, RD. And thanks to Mudge for reminding me it is lunch time; I must be hungry if that list makes my mouth water.

I wonder what those girls are looking at, since it clearly isn't Huckabee? They seem agog with anticipation or excitement at something just outside the frame. Is it Joel? Has his fame spread that far on the campaign trail? Really, what can excite teenage girls that much at a Republican candidate appearance at the Citadel? Also, I'm glad to get the fashion eyewear tip from that photo. I see fashion trends as through a glass darkly, looking at candid crowd shots. Both these girls have essentially the same eyeglass frame.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

What are those girls looking at?

They're teens & pre-teens. They have - to use the words of Dennis Miller - the attention span of a squirrel on a double espresso.

'What aren't they looking at?' might be the better question.

Posted by: byoolin | January 23, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

They must've caught a glimpse of one of the knobs.

Posted by: jack | January 23, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder what those girls are looking at, since it clearly isn't Huckabee? They seem agog with anticipation or excitement at something just outside the frame. Is it Joel? Has his fame spread that far on the campaign trail? Really, what can excite teenage girls that much at a Republican candidate appearance at the Citadel?"

Perhaps I can elucidate:

And be sure to check out the last name of #6. You'll be seeing his wedding announcement on Leno some day.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 23, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Went to a Hooters once - the one in Daytona Beach across from the Speedway, in fact - to stretch our legs and get some "real food" during the Daytona 24 hrs race (the 2008 running is coming up thois very weekend, in fact).

We'd been eating track food and the four dozen Krispy Creme donuts we'd bought hot off the conveyor the morning of the race, and I agreed to go, tired, cold and hungry.

Big mistake. The service was terrible, the food - yes, even those vaunted wings - were lousy, and frankly, the women didn't do anything for me at all.

Haven't been back to any Hooters anywhere in the dozen years since.

And yes, Loomis, I didn't read the captions - I saw the pics and backed away, hands in the air. Want no part of that stuff.


Posted by: bc | January 23, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

If that were my name, k-guy, I'd change it for sure. Regardless of family history, no matter how storied.

Posted by: Slyness | January 23, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Of course, kurosawaguy. How could I forget the scenic pleasures of a room of young men in uniform? Ah, the pitfalls of growing old.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"If that were my name, k-guy, I'd change it for sure. Regardless of family history, no matter how storied."

Why yes... if that were my name I'd change it as well.

Posted by: TBG Buttwell | January 23, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

What Ivansmom said. Sigh.

Posted by: dr | January 23, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse


Don't you know the poor guy has lived his life responding to comments about his name? No wonder he's at the Citadel, looking for a military career.

Posted by: Slyness | January 23, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey, could be worse. His name could be Butkis. Just sayin'.

Posted by: CowTown | January 23, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Man, now I want some wings.

I have been to the Hooters in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. The food was ok,the beer was cold and there were a lot of TV's playing sports. Not much different then any other sport's bars.

I take a lot of pictures driving down the road,sometimes I hang out the window,other I just hang the camera out and sometimes I take them through the windshield.But living on a dirt road has it's drawbacks to clean windshields.Especially when it is dry or we have had snow.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 23, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I went to the Hooters in Baltimore at Harbor Place many, many years ago when it was the only restaurant that had an available table on a hot, long day. Very hungry; very thirsty. I don't remember if the food was any good... probably wasn't or I would have remembered. Like Jack says, though, I do remember who I was with and how much fun we had sitting in the cool shade overlooking the harbor; good friends, good beer.

What I also remember was that the girls were not particularly attractive, although I am most decidedly not their audience. But more important was the awful quality of their "uniforms." Very low-quality knit fabric for the shirts and shorts that looked like once washed they were all saggy and pilled. And they had to wear stockings under their cotton knit shorts. Looked ridiculous to me. I felt sorry for them for having to wear those awful clothes, but not for working there and making an honest living at a hard job. I also remember seeing a number of 32A's.

Everyone gets hired for most jobs based on their appearance in some respects. If I'm dirty and scruffy, who is going to hire me? If I look sour and mean or like I'd rather be somewhere else, who is going to hire me?

And a waiter can always capitalize on something the public likes. When I waited tables in a nice seafood restaurant in New Jersey, I got bigger tips from people who fell in love with what they thought was my southern accent. Go figure.

Posted by: TBG | January 23, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I know a family of Assmann. Very nice people, made of stern stuff. Thankfully they don't make septic tanks.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | January 23, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It's also interesting that when you pass the Hooters in DC near the Verizon Center, it's nearly always completely empty. Is there a time during the day when it's not? I guess it must do a good lunch business.

There are so many good restaurants surrounding it, I'm always puzzled that it's still there.

Also.. The only person I know who goes to Hooters regularly is a family friend... a mentally ill veteran who returned that way from Vietnam where he served as a medic. Sixty years old now and has never live a normal life. What gets him up every day is spending time with his buddies at Hooters down the road.

Posted by: TBG | January 23, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, it could be a LOT worse, believe me-

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 23, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I used to go to him! Very nice guy.

Posted by: TBG | January 23, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that link makes clear that before he retired, the good doctor was an OB\GYN.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 23, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Robert Brooks, of Hooters fame, has a degree in Dairy Science. Where is Gene or Dave when you need them?

Am struggling to recall, but I believe those particular mortars have extremely thick walls. During the Civil War, good metal was hard to come by in the South and the walls were made thick to keep them from bursting. Hence, the nearby balls may be of the proper size. Modern mortars have very thin walls but do not have to contain the blast of a charge of blackpowder. Mortar shells today contain and control the pressure to a great degree.

Also, there are a number of cannon, ball, and mortar displayed on the Battery. There may be no real correlation between these particular ball and mortar.

Posted by: DLD | January 23, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Interesting observation on that mortar, DLD. Thanks for pointing out that things might not always be what they seem.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 23, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Also, to respond a bit to Boko, those kinds of mortars are short-range weapons, and the idea of them is to fire a plunging shot that comes more or less straight down, whereas a conventional ship's cannon like a 24-pounder, fires a more-or-less horizontal shot at an enemy ships's sides or rigging. As such, those (ship-mounted)cannons are size-limited, as it the weight of the cannonball. But a mortar isn't nearly as size-limited; it can be a lot heftier and the cannonball a lot bigger (often big enough to contain gunpowder inside, and thus be explosive, wheareas a regular cannonball generall was not). A huge, plunging mortar cannonball can do a helluva lot of damage coming downward through a ship's unreinforced desk (compared to its sides).

Also, a mortar does not need direct line-of-sight with the ship (or fort) it is firing at; thus it can be behind the hooterworks --um, sorry, I meant breastworks; my mind seems to be elsewhere-- and therefore it is not susceptible to counter-battery fire (except from another mortar) and is better protected.

The reason a mortar's walls (in the old days) were so much thicker is because the thing was firing a much heavier cannonball and firing it more or less vertically; thus it needed significantly more gunpowder to lift the cannonball that high and that far. More gunpowder therefore required massively thicker walls.

There were in fact such things as mortar ships back in the old days, buts such a ship generally only had one or perhaps two mortars, and probably only a few or no conventional cannons. They were fairly specilized ships and were generally used only for fort-bashing and as part of a fleet; they were seldom or never used in ship-to-ship combat and couldn't defend themselves against an enemy on a single-ship basis.

Mortar and cannon technology didn't start to improve much until the Civil War, and most of the major improvements were done at a facilty about 800 feet from where I am sitting at this moment: at the Washington Navy Yard, where friend Don from 270 is laboring in the vineyards.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Civil War Mortar:

Posted by: omni | January 23, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, the mortar question will only be solved by a few test firings.

Posted by: byoolin | January 23, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I see a bunch of guys in uniform I fear for my wallet, my freedom, and my life.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, your bounty story had me laughing, I'm glad I was able to be a part of the inspiration for that.

That's a pretty cool website Æ™Aeragon®; has; feel free to do a little exploring if you so inclined. Be right back.

Posted by: omni | January 23, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

We went last night to a meeting of the San Antonio Historical Society, the first time we attended one of their gatherings. It was held at the Barn Door Restaurant on the far side of town. The drive took more than an hour and we opted to go out of our way to catch the freeway that had four lanes to the downtown, instead of the outer loop freeway so close to us that has two lanes in each direction, where we would been mired in traffic.

The Barn Door was sort of a dump, the food mediocre. This was the restaurant where former Sen. Fred Thompson held his rally when he came through town. Close to the airport, but so old that the tanks for the toilets were mounted at ceiling level with long pull chains.

We went because the meeting was honoring Paula Allen, who writes a Sunday column about the history of San Antonio, taking questions from readers. She answered my question several years ago about the U.S. Camel Corps, prompting me to dig further into the story. She grew up in NYC, attended Smith College and Harvard. Introduced as a Yankee, by the moderator, orginally from Kentucky. I gather that she has been in San Antonio for several decades.

Ed Tijerina, who wrote the advance about the meeting in his Express-News column (and had typed the incorrect phone number for reservations, so it took several calls, including to an ob-gyn clinic and the restaurant itself before I got the contact info so that I could make a reservation), hails from Houston and attended Harvard, graduating in '87. No mention of him being a Yankee, although he decided to attend an Ivy League college.

The speaker was the first official Texas state historian, a professor at LBJ's alma mater in San Marcos. He came from New Jersey to work with James Michener for two years while pursuing his higher education here. He also was introduced as a Yankee.

Interestingly, de la Teja isn't from Texas. He was born in Cuba and raised in New Jersey. He earned both his bachelor's degree in political science and his master's degree in Latin American history from Seton Hall University. Then he came to Texas to earn his doctorate in colonial Latin American history from the University of Texas at Austin, and his love affair with Texas history began.

An instructor recommended de la Teja for a job as a research assistant for novelist James Michener, who was writing Texas at the time. Being bilingual and having an interest in colonial Mexico made de la Teja the perfect candidate. He worked for Michener for more than two years.

"In that time I had to learn a lot of Texas history," de la Teja says. "That led me to write my dissertation on Spanish San Antonio. Before I finished writing it, I got a job as an archivist at the Texas General Land Office. There, I had to deal with Texas history on a day-in, day-out basis, and my fascination with the subject was cemented. I've been doing Texas history ever since."

His talk was about two rather obscure San Antonio historical figures--an Apache renamed Hinojosa, who was betrothed to a young woman Gamez, 30 years his junior, whose family had moved from Texas' first capial near Louisiana.

We felt like teenagers in the room, compared to the age of the crowd. We were paired with Marie Hudson Loomis, divorced, who came by herself. She told of her sister, a physician, who lived in San Francisco and wrinkled her nose at the mention of the City by the Bay. She told me that Loomis is a Greek name, at which point I burst out laughing.

Really, for the $44 we were out, I wished that we had stayed home.

Posted by: Loomis | January 23, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Samuelson's column today is an eye-opener. Imagine a conservative economist like him worrying that "capitalism has run amok."

Joke: How many conservative economists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Answer: None, the darkness will make the bulb change itself.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Posted by: CowTown | January 23, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh, what the he11, in for a penny, in for a pound.

There was for a while an attempt to build and use a compromise ship's cannon that had some of the features of a mortar, namely larger cannonballs and higher elevation of the shot. This was a short-barreled gun called a "carronade," and we devout readers of Hornblower and Lucky Jack Aubrey are well familiar with them. Whereas the largest ship's cannon was generally a 24-pounder, carronades fired 32-pound cannonballs, really very effective at close-in broadsides but useless against a ship firing 24-pounders from a distance. Therefore, good tactics and seamanship came into play: the idea was to get inside your enemy's range close enough to use the carronades before he could harm you, them pound the he11 out of him from a hundred yards away. (The enemy's objective, meanwhile, was to stay a mile or so away, and use his long guns to pound the he11 out of you and your measely short-range carronades.) A lot of frigates during the War of 1812 era often used a mixture of "long guns" and carronades-- like anything else something of a compromise with its own risks and rewards.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

You may all now return to your kvetching about H00ters.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Omni beat me to it but, yeah Civil war era mortars were very different than what we mean by mortar today. The 17 000lbs mortar/support assembly shown in the picture could lob a 13" diameter 200lbs shell loaded with black powder and equipped with an adjustable time-to-detonation fuse every 15-20 minutes or so. Must have been interesting to follow the rainbow trajectory of the shell with its lit fuse coming toward you.
As Mudge pointed out at the start of the war both sides were shooting solid balls, grapes and canisters from smoothbore cannon at each other but by the end of the war the Union in particular had switched to rifled guns and bursting charges. They were still shooting grapes and canisters at the poor schmucks of course, but from more efficient rifled guns. Joy.
The bursting charges and rifled guns brought the demise of the 2000 year old masonry fortification concept as well and the start of the reinforced concrete era.
As I said earlier there is two calibers of shells in the pile, consistant with 13" coastal defense mortar and mobile 8,9 or 10" mortar. At least they all appear to be mortar rounds! In Quebec's Citadelle you can see piles of 4" cannon balls piled along 8" mortars. Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | January 23, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I briefly thought Mudge was describing a "carrotonade", a weapon useful against herds of rabbits and packs of horses.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The weapon of choice against a herd of rabbits, Ivansmom, is a lagomorphtar.

The weapon of choice for horses is a starter's pistol. (Who could shot a horse? Not me.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Thanks, Ivansmom, I needed that laugh.

Posted by: bia | January 23, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Remember when Horry Hornblower cadged a motorboat?
That may have been kedged a mortarboat.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I am perhaps loathe to bring this up, but back in the old days of iron cannonballs, right before a battle sailors had an unusual job to do. Because the iron cannonballs had been sitting around for months or even years in salty damp environments, they rusted on the surface, and since rust expands, the diameters of the cannonballs got too big to fit into the cannons. And even if they did fit, uneven rusting meant the cannonballs flew lopsided, and were unreliable. Therefore, before a battle, sailors had to haul their balls up on deck and file them down and chip them off to remove the rust, and (if there was time) polish their balls.

I shall defer my own personal reminisinces of said activity for a later date.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to some pics of a bomb ketch model.

The mortars were placed near the bow where the foremast would normally be and on or near the centerline of the ship so that the considerable downward recoil force would be absorbed by the keel. These things were lousy sailors (in part because of the great weight of the mortars and also the absence of the third mast) and could not be used for their primary purpose unless anchored in place. Nonetheless, they were very effective in that limited role, as the Danish found out when the Brits bombarded Copenhagen in 1807. After three days of shelling in which the British Navy fired 14,000 rounds and rockets and killed over 2,000 civilians and destroyed about a third of the city, previously neutral Denmark surrendered and the British took her 50-ship navy to keep it out of the hands of Napoleon's forces. Pre-emptive war ain't a new idea.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 23, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I think I know where and when the March BPH will be...


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Good one 'Mudge.

Posted by: jack | January 23, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Excellent idea, Scotty. In the meantime, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that some *%$@@&$# moron doesn't try to name the thing George Bush Park or some such. That'd make me go bat--- crazy and start rooting for the Yankees.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The Marion Berry Municipal Stadium?

Don't worry Mudge it will be named for a good corporate citizen that has paid a few millions to have its name on the marquee.

Hooters Stadium?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | January 23, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Mudge's 2:54 puts me in mind of this article about Lenny Kravitz, courtesy of Ms. Liz Kelly's Celebritology:

Posted by: byoolin | January 23, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Mudge's eloquent 2:54 is what gave rise to the modern usage.

Posted by: dr | January 23, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, Mudge, by March Li'l Danny Snider may have the re-animated corpse of George Allen coaching his football team. He seems to have tried everything else.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 23, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes dr, those sailors yielding the chipping hammer too enthusiastically were labelled ball-breakers.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | January 23, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I believe I've mentioned here before that there are a few Greek families around these parts named Loomis.

So we could be related, still!

Posted by: TBG | January 23, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse


Don't go underestimating the Animatronics folks over at Six Flags...


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Wicktionary says "mortar" comes from a word that means "mortar." OH, reallly?

Posted by: Jumper | January 23, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Byoolin, that darn Lenny Kravitz link showing that EWA underwear model reminded me of how I looked back in my merchant marine days...only I wasn't quite as tall...and not quite as "cut"...and not quite as good-looking, and not quite...oh, never mind.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Good cootie, Jumper. I've always liked their version of "Sylvia's Mother."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Further research suggests that mortar is derived from the mortar of pestle fame. The weapon resembles the shape of a mortar for grinding, the same mortar that is used to grind homemade cement, and also the same mortar that held for pestle-grinding the various powdery components of gunpowder.

Posted by: Jumper | January 23, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Murphy's law, aintit. All this talk of mortars, and cannons, and ships and balls, and whatnot. But my boss has been swooping all over my desk today with his hair on fire over one dang thing or another. Sheese. Carry on, shipmates, as you were.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 23, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse


Sir Richard is still forging ahead.

Good show, old chap.


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Listening to the great Tony Williams, and just had to share:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Tonight, I and my little Webelos Cub Scouts are going to build a trebuchet for their Engineer's merit badge. Gotta keep these guys on the right path, yaknow. Weapons of mass distruction to entertain the wee ones. "Fire in the hole!!!"

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 23, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Crikey! Can't someone come back to the topics at hand? We've got things to discuss, like: Does Reverend Huckabee really look like Kevin Spacey? Will Jeri Thompson appear on Oprah or Ellen once the election is over? Is the Floridian Starbucks in Joel's photo REALLY the cutest in the South? And, where IS "Bergen's" anyway?

Posted by: CowTown | January 23, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

That's all well and good, S'nuke, but what will this new Virginmobile run on? I mean, is it biofuel? Common rail diesel? Gas electric hybrid? Plug in? What about 0-60 time? Mileage city versus suborbital? Does it come in other colors than silver? What's its crash test rating? Details, details, we want details!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 23, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey.. someone mentioned a BPH in March. We need one in January. How's about next Thursday, Jan 31?

Y'all game?

Posted by: TBG | January 23, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Bergen's is in Newberry, S.C.

This is the buzz of the newsroom, fyi:

It's really worth watching the video if you have time.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 23, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

.... And after that, Mudge kept his achin' billabong covered with a thong.

Loomis: TBG is correct. Waiting on tables takes a certain sales skill.

Here's a book by a multimillionaire business tycoon who went a few rounds with Trump (who she calls a bully) and won.

The title comes from the days when she was waiting tables and felt customers preferred the big-built lady over her. Her mom actually said (according to the book) "If you don't have big breasts, then put on pigtails and be as sweet as you can be." Pretty soon she was siphoning off steady customers.

As for Hooters, never been. My brother went once on the insistence of his friend's WIFE who was curious about the chain. When they arrived and sat around a while, she was looking about and then said... "you know, this IS really sexist after all." "Yeah, we know, we did tell you..." My brother said the food was medicore and overpriced at that place as well.

However it'd be a funny old world if we were made all alike. There are people out there who breathe flame at the idea of restaurants serving MEAT. And others who wouldn't set foot in a vegetarian restaurant if they were starving to death.

Heck, there are people who want to stop the export of horses for slaughter as horsemeat now they've shut down the last horse slaughterhouse in the US, never mind that what happens after a horse dies is hardly of concern to the horse anymore.

A friend's daughter works at a Hooters. It won't be forever; she is capable of more, but it pays the bills for now.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 23, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Interesting video, Joel. Let me ask, do you agree with the lead sentence of the CNN report, that BC became "visibly upset"? Because I wouldn't characterize him that way at all. He made his points (without getting into the merits of the argument), and I don't think he ever raised his voice or his emotion level at all.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Wilbrod, I think I rubbed some breadfruit salve on it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 23, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

President Bill has not made any faux pas in this particular instance.

Posted by: Jumper | January 23, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

sadly, i've been to hooter's about half a dozen times... i work in a very male dominated industry (i've been the only female on the team for the last 5 years over three different jobs)... so i get roped into going to hooter's for lunches and going-away parties. good wings!

the outfits are horrendous - they have to wear suntan pantyhose under skimpy cheap cheap shorts and white scrunch socks and white sneakers! just does NOT look comfy or attractive! THANK GOODNESS that the last two times we went to the chinatown hooter's the service was soooo bad, the food was uneatable and the waitresses were so rude (and not very attractive) that the guys decided that they are no longer going to torture me with dragging me to HOOTER'S! and for that, i am thankful...

Posted by: mo | January 23, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- not wanting to jinx anything but I might be able to show up at a Thurs. Jan 31 BPH.

Posted by: College Parkian | January 23, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know pedophiles are such big tippers.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I watched the video carefully, and I saw him shaking his head around 2:30 and 2:50, but the only hint I might have had that the reporter asked him a question he didn't like happens around 3:33, he seems serious suddenly, even tense and then he is quick to answer with a slightly chastising tone. You see him wave his hand as to say "stop all that", then wags a finger near the end of the tape.

In between the inital tension and thought and the end-game tail wag, he actually cracks a smile and takes a more jocular tone on a phrase. That's actually probably more telling of his tension that he felt he had to break his serious tone at that moment.

Of course, I may have absolutely missed the key moment when Clinton is supposed to have gotten upset, for whatever that's worth.

Generally I had the impression that from the start, Clinton was enjoying the Q&As to come and thinking on his feet verbally no matter what might come.

For most lawyers debate is a sport, and Clinton fits that mold. When you debate, you don't get rude, impolite, or loud-- but you deiver your points with appropriate expression and inflection. That seems to be what has happened.

Granted, when I saw the tape of Hillary "breaking down" and "crying" I was like what, she just looks surprised and maybe a little choked up. Her emotional level was certainly appropriate throughout.

I did not know that politicans were supposed to have their emotional expression chip removed when they started campaigning.

(Look at how well staying cool worked out for Dukakis, right?)

Too many people tend to impose a simplistic psychology of people they feel strongly about-- love, hate, or whatever, without actually knowing them well.

That's the only thing I can think of that's raising this kind of flap on his "emotional" response. I mean, without knowing the actual content other than what everybody is claiming was said.

It just seems day and night to me, reading the comments. When did everybody on the Internet become a spin doctor?

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 23, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: College Parkian | January 23, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"When did everybody on the Internet become a spin doctor?"

This certainly qualifies as comment of the week. I do love it. Thank you.

Posted by: Jumper | January 23, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey, guys, there's a new kit and I tried to be first and the WaPo in all it's, um, whatever, didn't post my post and, really, on top of my weird thyroid stuff, this is really, really, much too much, and I'm just beside myself. Oh, wait, my glasses are dirty and I'm seeing double.

Geez. WaPo won't let me be first. I'm sooo bereft. *sob*

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