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That Poor, Deprived McCartney Child

Sitting down here in Ybor City -- one of my haunts from the 1970s -- I see in USA Today that Heather Mills is criticizing the skinflint Sir Paul for ponying up a mere $70,000 a year in child support.

"(Beatrice) is obviously meant to travel (economy) class while her father travels (first) class." [It's a shame that USA Today laced the quotes with all the parenthesis -- I'd like to know the Britishisms there.]

Let me suggest, as no doubt the cable TV talkers already have, that Beatrice McCartney will not live a life of deprivation. Just for starters, the $70,000 a year will be in addition to "all nanny and education fees." This little girl's nanny care is going to be so superlative she will literally have, as her nanny, Julie Andrews.

The $70,000 a year is also in addition to ... hang on ... the $48.6 million that Mills will get in the settlement, which I'm guessing will buy a lot of fish and chips even with the dollar doing so poorly against the pound (or the Euro or the yen or the ruble or whatever it is they're using these days).

Basically this kid is going to grow up and discover that she has an allowance of about $1,400 a week. If she sees a puppy she will ask not only for her Mommy to buy it, but also to have it genetically re-engineered so that it has a bunny tail. As for flying Economy class, hello, this girl will go everywhere by private jet. Also I think "My Dad was a Beatle" will get her an ice cream cone or two over the years.


Yesterday I wrote in this space that the Fed shouldn't do anything that cuts the yield on common sense and prudence. But of course that's exactly what happens when the Fed slashes interest rates -- those of us with money socked away in traditional savings accounts will get a lower return. I recognize there's more to the equation than that, but until I understand this better I'm going to applaud what one of McCain's economic advisers said: Let's "ensure that Main Street America does not bail out financial speculators."


My friend Carl Hoffman is on an amazing road trip and is blogging along the way. It's called The Lunatic Express. He explains up front: "I'm off to circumnavigate the globe, traveling as the rest of the world must - on the world's slowest, most crowded, or most dangerous, buses, boats, planes and trains."

The dispatch from Havana captures the non-stop hustling on the streets.

' I spent a night drinking with a Cuban in dreads named Orange and his girlfriend. Well, I bought them drinks - the bill was four months salary for Martha's friend. Orange said there was a better bar around the corner. "Let's go," I said. "You go first and then we'll meet you," they said. "Huh?" I said. "Policia!" they said, eyeing the goons outside the bar. And just to be safe, they said, you better buy the cops a beer. Which I did. '

This is going to be fun to read as Carl goes along, so we'll check back down the road.


On bc's blog, check out RD Padouk on redheads.


Scientists say complexity is an evolutionary inevitability.

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 18, 2008; 8:19 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Bear Stearns Spitzers Itself
Next: Florida: It's a Hoot


'Morning Boodle

Posted by: Boko999 | March 18, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' Boko. McCain's adviser is putting out a sound bite bromide for the voters. But in fact, main street America is going to have to help bail out the big financial institutions because so many of them are dependent on IRA's, stock options, ESOP's, mutual funds, etc. that are all tied to the markets in some way. Defined benefit pension plans are going the way of the dinosaurs (and of course many of them invest in the markets to increase the solvency of the pension fund).

Posted by: ebtnut | March 18, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Great kit Joel, I appreciate the humour as I find people fighting over money, assets and children in divorce nauseating.

The Lunatic Express is wonderful, just one tiny quibble, Lake Ontario is not one frozen sheet of ice, just Toronto harbour - I realize it was poetic liscense but it is hard enough removing the frozen north image up here - especially this year!

Morning all

Posted by: dmd | March 18, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

"The Fed shouldn't do anything that cuts the yield on common sense and prudence."

I don't think anyone would argue with that statement--until you consider the alternative. Allowing a global financial meltdown because preventing it means you have to bail out guys that were taking excessive risk (and profiting from it) would seem to be cutting off your nose to spite your face. I'm not happy about the situation we're in, but we're in it, and we have to make the very best decisions we can for the long run.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 18, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Someone at the end of the last kit commented upon Eugene Robinson's fine column this morning, but it contained one graf I thought was quite excellent:

"I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that when millionaire Wall Street professionals get in trouble after making investments they didn't really understand, they get saved from bankruptcy at the last minute -- whereas first-time homebuyers who get in trouble after signing mortgage documents they didn't really understand are left to fend for themselves."

'Morning, Slyness. I'm flattered that you miss me. As we speak (well, "As we post" doesn't sound right), I am awaiting a call from Comcast. Last night a Comcast rep and I had a very long, lovely and civil chat during which I pointed out to them I placed my first telephone call asking for repair and redress of grievances on January 4, as their own records do indeed agree, and that it took until Jan. 29 for a service person to actually come out. This guy determined that of the four signals coming into the house over the line, two of them were extremely weak. He said Comcast would have to fix the problem "out on the pole," and that it would happen soon (within a week or two). That was January 29. It was (at that point) the evening of March 17, about two and a half months since I first called them to report problems that actually started in Decemeber. I said that, to my recollection, there had been approximately seven phones calls made to them; did they not have a record of them? Yes, they did. The customer account rep (who played fairly irritating rap music while I was on hold) said he would buck the matter to such-and-such a group within Comcast, and that they would contact me this morning.

I earned myself numerous brownie points in heaven for not using the f-bomb word, nor calling them a$4hats, nor morons, nor imbeciles, nor misbegotten spawns of Satan, nor savage, illiterate reptilian monsters whose parentage was highly suspect. I omitted all references to snakes and other crawling vermin. Suggestions on what to do with their many and varied orifices did not cross my lips. I said none of these things. (I may have thought them, but with the carrier wave in the cable being so bad, I doubt they could read my thoughts with any great accuracy. Not that they couldn't guess with a fair amount of precision, of course.)

What will happen I cannot say. But I am in negotiation with Verizon (speaking of misbegotten spawns of Satan, but what can a mortal do?), which has a major substation approximately two blocks from my house, but who claim they don't service my neighborhood quite yet. I may have to suggest to them we rig up a couple of empty and washed baked bean cans connected with string. I'm sure that will get me a better Internet signal than what Comcast is currently providing.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse


RDP, I can't recommend Buffy strongly enough. It's disguised as a drama. But is really a comedy. The creator is Josh Whedon. Who also gave us Firefly and Serenity. And you've heard many of us rave about that series and movie.

Something no one has mentioned is that besides being a redheaded lesbian, Willow is also a witch. But in a good way.

Posted by: omni | March 18, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that link Joel!

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 18, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Obviously there is something horribly unseemly about fantastically wealthy people carping over huge amounts of money for their offspring. It doesn't just smack of elitism, it pretty much pummels you with this perception.

But there is a interesting underlying question here. How does a parent balance the legitimate desire to please a child with the fear of spoiling?

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 18, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Omni - Yes, Buffy and its sequel are on my list of DVDs to one day watch. Redheaded lesbian witch? Hmm, I may have met her and not realized it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 18, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Just an FYI, I read the above Mills quote in a British publication yesterday and the Britishisms for economy class and first class seats are simply "B class" and "A class," respectively. Honestly, that's all you missed from the original quote.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 18, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Wow -that Lunatic Express blog is amazing. Funny how "Sicko" missed those little details about free Cuban health care. And what a depressing description of poverty. Makes the Heather Mills story even more disturbing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 18, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

If you have too explain the joke, it won't be funny. sigh...

Posted by: omni | March 18, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I can see where Ms. Mills would be upset...

I mean, she only got 20 percent of what she wanted, correct?

*fighting mightily to not roll my little eyes right out of my little haid*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 18, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

How silly of USA Today to make those changes in Heather Mills's quote. I read the original in today's paper and understood what she meant.

Thanks for all the good wishes. After all they have been through, I'm sure Mr. T's cousins are very relieved.

My defined benefit pension comes from returns on investments across the globe, so even that isn't safe from market upheaval. Let's solve this problem and move forward.

Posted by: slyness | March 18, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom is exactly correct.

Here in Philadelphia, a decaying bridge pillar on I-95 was caught in time.

Guess I'll be taking a totally different route into work and thanking my lucky stars.

Posted by: dbG | March 18, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey, RDP, did you catch that slideshow on the link that Joel provided about the 800 doggies? It was entitled: Red-hot redheaded celebrity women", or some such. I hope this link works. No doggies in this litter.


Posted by: Don from I-270 | March 18, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: Scottynuke | March 18, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

You're welcome, guys. Is it really hot in here, or it is just me?

Posted by: Don from I-270 | March 18, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I get your point Don. Are you suggesting that when bc asked me to write that piece I should have refused because there are suffering dogs in the world?

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 18, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I saw that, Scottie!! How embarrassing, poor soul. I think she should be a license by default, what with the damage to building/car, reckless driving charge, and all. Her driving skills are about average for the dc metro area. ;)

So JA is in a historic district of Tampa. I had to google to make sure, interesting cigar story and now a cluby place, fun.

Posted by: VintageLady | March 18, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

If redheads are your thing, you really should see Samantha Eggar in "The Collector" with Terence Stamp.

For moi, there will never be anyone with red hair but Maureen O'Hara as Esmeralda opposite Charles Laughton in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", innumerable John Wayne flicks(some of them even pretty good), "Miracle on 34th Street", etc. Great beauty, real class, acting talent, and durability with a career that spanned over 60 years.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 18, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I did a YouTube search on redheaded belly dancers. Apperently there aren't any. All the links prvided were for flamenco fusion belly dancing. Which is kind of stupid (IMO). I'm mean the fusion style dance. It's more flamenco the belly dance. Oh well. I guess I'll just watch a Shakira 'Hips Don't Lie' video instead.

Posted by: omni | March 18, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

*&%$#@&% Having a great deal of trouble with the Refresh function today. Anybody else?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm really worried about this recession/depression thing, you all. The thing is, most of us reading this blog are either gainfully employed, or have a nest egg somewhere. Personally, left to my own devices, I'd hide said nest egg under the mattress, but fortunately husband has more sense than I do.

Posted by: VintageLady | March 18, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I've been having trouble for about a week and a half. And not just the here, but everywhere.

Posted by: omni | March 18, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Is Bertooch still on for tomorrow night? I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, last I heard from kb, she's still on for Wed.

And heck, I'm still in for it one way or another. [Take that any way you want, too.]


PS It ain't easy being the Jackson Pollock of the English Language; sometimes I feel more like Norm Crosby.

Posted by: bc | March 18, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

RE my 10:58: "she should get" instead of "she should be"....makes a bit of a difference, all things considered.

Posted by: VintageLady | March 18, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I think we should assemble a VintageLady Escort Committee so she can attend the BPH in safety.

I nominate bc.


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 18, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Blood pounding red-headedness: Franka Potente in Run Lola Run

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 18, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Well, you are just too too kind, Scottie, and I just KNOW bc loves for you to volunteer his services, but ya see, tomorrow night is egg noodle night here, so can't possibly miss that.

Posted by: VintageLady | March 18, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Passed over for egg noodles...

*crying in my Diet Pepsi*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 18, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Director/screenwriter Anthony Minghella has died at 54; no cause given yet. He directed "The English Patient" and wrote the screenplay for "The Talented Mister Ripley," and produced "Michael Clayton."
Too bad; the guy was good.

Is Franke Potente really a redhead? (Which is fine by me; I'm just asking). She was a brunette and a blond in "The Bourne Identity/Conundrum/Whatever" series (until that nasty Clive Owen killed her, that dirty dog) (not that I hold a grudge or anything).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

RD, your redheaded prose was just grand. Sometimes I wonder if the hair dye that is so popular here and in the UK, which looks sort of maroon, is just a bad mistake that nobody wanted to take responsibily for, everybody kept on using and now is accepted as the standard to aspire to, in other words, maroonheaded.

Posted by: VintageLady | March 18, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Only her hairdresser knows for sure, 'Mudge.

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 18, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

refresh is kind of slow but the main problem is that I keep crashing iexploder on the achenblog page. M$ exploder blames abode the flasher but I'm not buying it entirely even though I solve the problem by deinstalling the Flasher on the old machine. This new machine don't let me install or desinstall anything, for the moment. A few weeks of constant whining should change that.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 18, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I have never heard/read a full Obama speech until a few minutes age.

I like Obama.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 18, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

A cautionary tale to beware foxy old ladies:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, cassandra.. great speech. Should open up a lot of discussion, don't you think?

Maybe the elephant in the room has been recognized.

Posted by: TBG | March 18, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Since everything has its niche, including plants, Canada thistle is taking advantage of a longer growing season in Yellowstone. I thought that the only animal to eat thistle was Eeyore.

Posted by: jack | March 18, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse


It should prompt us to do what has been needed and avoided at all cost. The cost being a stronger and better nation. A more unified nation, and a nation committed to moving forward. I know it involves hard work and much patience, but it is the right way. I'm tired of being angry. And I'm sure my fellow Americans(white) are tired of feeling angry and guilty to some extent. I am so ready to move on. Let the talks begin.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 18, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Well I'll be...

Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are the Kettle states.


Posted by: omni | March 18, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Good morning. It is rain rain rain here, but we needed it.

I somehow think McCartney's offspring is not clamoring for $70,000 a year in child support. Depending on her age, I bet she'd settle for an ice cream cone and some cool toys or electronics. Sounds like Mom wants (a) money and (b) status. I hope someone acts as a counterweight to that, otherwise that poor child will be spoiled for life. I mean "spoiled" in the sense of poor values and perspective.

Our rabbit is named Beatrice, too. She doesn't get $70,00 a year, but we give her some very nice hay along with a daily baby carrot as a treat.

Very nice, RD writing about redheads, and it is a lovely venue, bc.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 18, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm scared. Our clueless IT guy has just asked me to bring down my laptop so he can show me how to log in to the court system remotely - he refused to set this up for a year because he didn't know how, then had people from another agency come in to do the initial work. This is the same guy who came up to manually reset the clock on a computer five days after the time change, set it to EST instead of central daylight, changed a bunch of internal settings in the process, and finally set it back to an hour off and told the user just to live with it. I really hate to let him near this computer. If I disappear you'll know why.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 18, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

jack.. I may be wrong, but I believe Canada Thistle is actually illegal in some areas because it's so invasive.

This is the stuff I learn from watching my husband's favorite TV show: the RFD channel's AgPhd.

Hmmm... I wonder if FiOS has the RFD channel. (We're having it installed on Saturday.)

Posted by: TBG | March 18, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

RD, sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I had to plumb the depths of VBA script, of which I know just enough to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out.

I was just offering up some, ah, colorfull visual enhancements to your wonderfull prose. Since that photo piece is a popup, I didn't know how to link to it, except by going back to the place that I found it, ie the dog story.

I know, I know, once you have to explain the joke, the humor is spritzered.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | March 18, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

In the process of perusing that article, I learned that bears go for gophers. I didn't think bears were that quick until I considered the size of their paws. Ursus' niche, among other things, includes excavating. Perhaps I can find a kindly bear to aid my meager gradening skills.

Posted by: jack | March 18, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Error would have been happy to enlist the local ursines in the WoG.


Error in '08!!!!

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 18, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The Clive Owen character was killed in the first Bourne flick, "The Bourne Identity"- shotgunned in the field by the farmhouse. Franke Potenta died early in the second flick "The Bourne Supremacy" (though I always thought that the sequel should simply be called "Bourne Again") when she was shot by Karl Urban (and him such a nice boy in those Ring movies, too! Who'd a' thunk?) causing their land rover to go off a bridge and into the riverin India.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 18, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Gotcha Don - no problem.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 18, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

That I have a pop-up blocker has led to confusion on more than one occasion.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 18, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Don - I finally found the slideshow. Gorbachev's granddaughter is especially striking. I apologize again for misinterpreting your post. I thought you were being snarky, which would have been entirely out of character. Entirely my mistake.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 18, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The early Ludlum novels were quite good escapist literature and certainly make intertaining movies. The books he wrote and published since his death aren't up to his living standard though. So that is a warning for you clever writers of the boodle; don't sully your reputation by publishing after your death.
Death, on the other hand, would certainly improve my writing.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 18, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - simple answer to your internet problem - Clearwire! It's fabulous, never drops and I can take it anywhere Clearwire provides service. And best part is, no crappy customer service.

Posted by: Aloha | March 18, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Should always read the kit first. That makes it £16 635 (say $33 700) a day for H. Mills' four years marriage. Not a bad gig for a 40 years old model I'd say.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 18, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Regarding that evolutionary complexity bit. That's a tricky one to interpret. Hard core Darwinism says random variations should result in the best fit for an environment - nothing, per se, about complexity. Folks in this field seem to be very strident about this so as to suppress the notion that there is some magical force behind evolution resulting in a mystical march from simple organisms to the ultimate in creation - us. Stephen Gould used to be especially hostile to this whole "ladder of evolution" formalism.

That said, in an environment in which multiple solutions are possible, I can sure see random fluctuations leading to greater complexity. This is all linked to entropy, chaos, and information theory in a way I only vaguely understand.

So I think it is entirely reasonable that evolution will naturally lead to greater complexity - assuming the environment will let it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 18, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse


every time the opposition digs up another 'guiltbyassociation lemon' to toss at Obama, he makes sweet lemonade of it.

Ever since last summer when I took myself to the library and checked out his "Dreams From My Father", & read it, I have liked him. Even as a law student author, his honesty, decency and intelligence spoke to me in that book.

The opposition will continue to lob lemons in his direction, but for those of us who have decided to vote for him and his "hope" the lemons will hold no sway.

Posted by: VintageLady | March 18, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Forgot that was Clive Owen with the eyeglasses and sniper rifle, done in by Bourne's borrowed shotgun.

It was funny that my mom, raised on Manhattan's East 70th Street, recognized the address used in the third Bourne movie as that of the Sokol hall just back of where she grew up. The hall's still there.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 18, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to read that item shortly, RD.

But I cannot help but think that with complexity comes higher entropic potential.

Look at your teenager's rooms if you want evidence.

Simplicty and order to complexity, specialized fuctions, and higher functionality, but then there's a Shark-Jumping/Tipping Point to disorder and eventually, entropy.

I'm gonna party like it's 1999, personally.
Let me read that article first, though.


Posted by: bc | March 18, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Great, a funny chat poll for all of us without any segregation. Haven't had one of those in a while. Not so great, I got to the chat late and was unable submit a comment that I got the answers exactly right. Not that it would have made into the chat. I never do get posted.

Did no one get the joke I told about the kettle states?

Posted by: omni | March 18, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

RD, the Red Queen's observation that "in this place it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place" has been appreciated by biologists for years. The cycad conference I enjoyed in January really drove this home. This ancient group of plants will never do a lot of the things flowering plants have (no big trees, no bamboos, no water lilies, probably no parasites), but within their constraints, cycads keep up with pollinators, herbivores, competing plants, drought--all the usual stuff. Around the Caribbean, Zamia cycads thrive in tropical forests that presumably are to competition among plants what Manhattan is to competition among financial institutions (but without a Fed to forestall bankruptcies). These zamias are sophisticated modern plants thriving in biologically competitive environments. Their morphology may be similar to those of fossils, but important details of poisonous chemicals, odors to lure pollinators, treatment of pollinators, distributing seed, and so forth must be highly effective, otherwise there'd be something else occupying the same bits of habitat.

Still, I wonder how the big seeds of Zamia pseudoparasitica manage to get established up in trees. This Zamia an epiphyte, growing among orchids, bromeliads, and ferns!

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 18, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Ooops, you're right, K-guy. Good catch. The Bourne flicks tend to run together in my mind.

Thanks for the tip, Aloha, except that I have no clue what "Clearwire" is; never heard of it before (I know Foxfire, vaguely). How do I get it to come over the Comcast cable in my house?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Nevermind, Aloha; I Googled it and am reading about it. You like it, huh?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Drat! They don't service beautiful downtown Waldorf.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm back. The remote access now apparently functions - it only took three tries, two calls to someone else and one fix he forgot initially. Progress.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 18, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - yup, I love Clearwire. Ever since I dumped TimeWarner cable for them I've never had my service dropped nor have I had any problems with customer service. I didn't even have to wait for someone to come out between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on a weekday to start up my service - they just sent the equipment and instructions and I did it myself (an amazing feat if you know me). Best thing was, when I moved, I just unplugged at the old place, and replugged at the new. No new start up fees. Woo hoo! I hope they service your area too.

Posted by: Aloha | March 18, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Omni-No, sorry, didn't get the joke. All I could think of was the old line about pots and kettles, but that didn't seem to apply. Guess you'll have to 'splain it to some of us slow types.

Posted by: ebtnut | March 18, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Dave -you are the second person today to mention The Red Queen. Isn't there a book by that title about the importance of predators to evolution? Something about how if we don't keep changing the germs will get us. It's on my "Books To Read Before I Die" list. Not to be confused with my "Books to Read When I am Dead" list. That latter is heavy into that latter Ludlum books.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 18, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

What about Astoria?

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 18, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut, think of the USPS state abbreviations for Massachusets and Pennsylvania.

Posted by: omni | March 18, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Or Statler, for that matter?

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 18, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Not a book RD:

Posted by: omni | March 18, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Ma and Pa!

But what about Me?

Posted by: TBG | March 18, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

WaPo deck, currently up: "Under boutigue or concierge plans, doctors shrink practice, require patients to pay annual retainer." Spellcheck, anyone?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Caught some of the Nats-Tigers spring training game a little while ago. Highlights:

a) Lastings Milledge smacking a Jeremy Bonderman fastball into the cheap seats (grass) of left center field.

b) Dmitri (Twinkle Toes) Young's adroitly avoiding the faux pas of stepping on the Detroit first baseman's head during an awkward groundout.


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 18, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

RDP, I'm glad that you finally got to take a gander at that bevy of beauties. Now can you see why I'd much rather be there than trying to figure out cr@p like: Set rst = db.OpenRecordset(strTableQueryName3, dbOpenDynaset, dbReadOnly)

While my mind was on it's mini-vacation in redheadland, it occurred to me that the bodacious babes of the boodle would look every bit as good if they were similarly madeup and photgraphed. If we had a scrapbook of the wonderful women of the boodle, I'll bet we'd be the envy of the blogoshere.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | March 18, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Watch out, I think Don wants something. He is buttering the boodle beauties.

Posted by: nellie | March 18, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

FYI, Bodacious Boodle Babe is available as a Boodle handle. (Though I had to pull rank on bc to keep him from using it. You *do* know what the "b" in bc stands for, don't you? Uh-huh.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

A light introduction to the concept can be found in that lay biology classic, "A Natural History of Sex," RD.

As for complexity, I sometimes wonder if that is strictly true when it comes to parasitism.
The maxim of "use it or lose it" tends to be true for parasites, but they tend to develop complex life stages according to the environmental needs.

I suppose if you're counting segmentation, a tapeworm is more complex than a crustacean, despite lacking a significant nervous system, limbs, etc.

However, redundancy IS an evolutionary maxim; it allows evolution to proceed without impairing essential functions.

The obvious difficulty in changing a wheel while a car is still moving applies in general to life.

A pre-lobster can afford to specialize frontal claws for eating and fighting without losing locomotion because of the other legs, because there are already backup wheels, so to speak.

The maxim of nature is basically once you get something specialized, you can't really undo it. Too many lug nuts and all.

Also, once "subprograms" are set up, they take on their own directions and functions and the rest of the body becomes reliant on those functions.

Thus, with the stiff running-type toes and claws of dogs and bears, you can't expect them to go backwards and restore flexibility-- that's more likely to lead to the animal being crippled than to give them awesome wriggly toes. Even the dewclaw can't be undone.

The panda has a "sixth" thumb which is actually a wrist bone that has grown and moved out of the wrist. Gould's "The Panda's Thumb" is a good book discussing this. It's not an efficient thumb, but it does to help hold bamboo in place while eating. It works, and it may lead to further specialization. Or not, if pandas go extinct.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 18, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The Times transcript of Obama's speech on race. An excellent one, and the closing contrasts strongly with /la fille de/ McCartney's problems.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 18, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Buttered Boodle Beauty might not be a great handle, but what a name for a new heirloom tomato!!!


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 18, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Mmmm... somehow I see that as a heirloom butternut squash, Scotty.

The kind of plant that just will take a garden and transform it into a jungle of digression and lots of food for thought.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 18, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

A new heirloom tomato...


Posted by: Gomer | March 18, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Kind of like an old baby, or a new fossil?

Posted by: Gomer | March 18, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Also, kind of like an oxymaroon.

Posted by: omni | March 18, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The Red Queen was born in an early 1970s paper by Van Valen. The late John Maynard Smith published a lot on this hypothesis, and Matt Ridley (2003) wrote "The Red Queen: sex and the evolution of human nature".

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 18, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

An Oxymaroon is Billy Mays' next infomercial...


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 18, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Wilbrod. I just read Obama's speech. Jeez, I'm glad I didn't hear him deliver it. Just reading it I choked up about three times...and that was before I got to that ending. Major verklemptitude. I haven't felt like that since '68.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's see (I can't believe I spent any time actually thinking about this):

As you get older there comes a time when some people (and maybe even yourself) start to think of you as a fossil. Wouldn't that be a new fossil?

Then as you get older still and become feeble and you need someone to take care of you, just like a baby needs care: Wouldn't that be an old baby.

Gah, I should just go home already.

Posted by: omni | March 18, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"They bought me a box of tin soldiers,
I threw all the Generals away,
I smashed up the Sergents and Majors,
Now I play with my Privates all day."

-said to be Cary Grant's favorite poem.

Posted by: K:LOTD | March 18, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Hot diggity: McCain made a major faux pas in a speech today: he claimed al Qaeda was infiltrating Iran with the help of Iranians. Then Joe Liberman whispered in his ear that McCain had got it wrong. Seems the Iranians are Shia and hate al Qaeda, which is Sunni.

So the famously knowledge defense expert running on the GOP ticket can't tell one side from another-- and like his predeccessor continues to fixate on al Qaeda to the exclusion of, oh...the truth. One would think that being able to tell the players without a scorecard over there might be handy for a presidential candidate to know. (Not that it stopped the incumbents for a moment.)


Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I tried to post this before with links, and it was held for review. So, trying it one link at a time.

I just watched Obama's speech on youtube. Wow. I think this is a speech we're going to be remembering for a long time.

part 1:

Posted by: bia | March 18, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

part 2:

Posted by: bia | March 18, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

part 3:

Posted by: bia | March 18, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

part 4:

Posted by: bia | March 18, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I heartily agree, bia. It will be especially noted after he gets elected.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

After reading the transcript all I can say is "Obama gets it."

Posted by: frostbitten | March 18, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

This was the speech I was waiting for him to make; I can see he took the time to write it and make sure it was right.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 18, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I've often wondered where all the orators and statesmen went. Bill Clinton was a good speaker and a smart man, but not really inspiring. His successor can't seem to put two words together without tripping over them. Obama actually sounds like he at least helps write his own stuff and the speeches seem to flow out of him and into the audience like fire. And maybe I'm missing it, but I haven't heard him devolve into nasty mudslinging or pandering yet, which is more than I can say for the other two candidates. And what he said about the white working and middle classes and how they resent being lumped in with the white elite hit the nail on the head. Just a few more months to go; I hope he doesn't get torpedoed or swift-boated.

Posted by: Gomer | March 18, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Running for the bus--'Night, all.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 18, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Wait, Curmudgeon, I just got here---

Oh well, I guess you'll see this in the a.m. unless Comcast gets its *** together before then...

I haven't been boodling because I've been out in the Real World, exploring DC yesterday and today. I am looking forward to seeing everybody who can make it to McCormick & Schmick's tomorrow evening (Wednesday) -- that's the M&S on K Street, near the Farragut North Metro station, right?

I feel like a local. But I'm clueless enough that any of this information could be wrong--TBG is going to help me make sure I get to the right place at the right time. Somebody who actually knows the facts, please post same for the benefit of newbies and lurkers who might want to attend--because everyone is certainly welcome.

Now, I'm going to watch the Obama speech. Thank you, bia!

Posted by: kbertocci | March 18, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Zowza, that's it! I'm voting for Obama.

Posted by: slyness | March 18, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

BTW this morning a headline in the WaPo was: "Crisis of Confidence in Markets."

Now the current headlines I see at yahoo news are:

"Obama makes speech." "Stocks soar, Dow rises 420 points." Yeah, those will be nice headlines for tomorrow's paper.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 18, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Cross-posted on the bc/RD redhead comments:

I was watching a British sketch comedy show and one running gag involved a rather drunken red-headed lady giving a speech at her wedding reception. She remarked that the 27 other men she had been intimate with before meeting her husband had been unusually scrupulous about using condoms. She finally figured out that it was because none wanted to ever risk having ginger babies.

Also, don't forget my paean to redheads:

Posted by: yellojkt | March 18, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The McCormick & Schmicks is at 1652 K St., NW, kbertocci. I'm planning on being there. (Don't let that scare anyone away, though.)

Arthur C. Clarke died today:

Posted by: pj | March 18, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I am very jealous of the Boodlers who get to meet kbert tomorrow. I hope you all have a marvelous time.

Posted by: Yoki | March 18, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Here in London the Independent had a very detailed summary of the Bear Stearns meltdown. It seems one of the big BS investors was a British maverick financier that had made his fortune riding the coat tails of George Soros's currency speculating. He's not so rich after today.

In The Sun, the Page 3 Girl was a blond that went out and posed on the beach but had forgotten to take out her hair curlers or put on a bikini top. The financial crisis got covered somewhere on page 12 or so after an article about footballers building houses bugger than the zoning laws allow.

The great thing about being in Britain all week has been following the Macca/Heather settlement from close-up. The consensus is that Heather had a fool for a client. Our tour guide one day said, "That Heather Mills is getting 50 million dollars for sleeping with Paul McCartney! I would have done it for five quid."

Gotta love that British reserve.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 18, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, I remember that entry well... I admit you introduced me to a book I had never heard of and new rhyming slang for psychological impotence.

I heard there may be a major ruling on the Second amendment.

My dad said, even in the wild west where law was thin, people still had to check their guns before entering bars, courts, and other places.

That's not the same as gun ownership bans, though.

The 2nd amendment says "well-regulated milita", which certainly implies that reasonable regulations on use of weaponry are allowed.

It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 18, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I am very jealous of the special kb BPH but my plane doesn't get into Dulles until late afternoon and my family would be very suspicious if I suggested dinner at M&S happy hour in downtown DC instead of taking them and our luggage home first.

I'll have to catch her some other time.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 18, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Bia, thanks for posting that. I think that Obama just got elected today.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | March 18, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Sad news about Clarke.

"Oh, my God, it's full of stars!"

Posted by: byoolin | March 18, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I fondly remember eating many a fried grouper sandwich at Carmine's in Ybor City in the mid-80s before YC went upscale. Back then the only reason to go to Eighth Street after dark was for the drag show or to eat the Spanish food at the Columbia (where I proposed to my wife).

The urban rumor was always that certain mob related real estate speculators were keeping values down until they could come in and buy it all up in one fell swoop. I have never been to Ybor City on a Friday night since it got Inner Harboured. I hear its just wall to wall partiers.

I'm not even sure where to go to get a good deviled crab anymore.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 18, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Having just read the text of his speech, I am in the tank for Obama. Stirring words.

And I just saw the notice about Clarke. I had known he was very ill recently. He was a giant.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 18, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Me too, Yoki! Wish I could be there. I hope there's pictures!

I hope his speech stemmed the tide of anger against Obama and his pastor. It was a certainly a wonderful, compelling speech. Watching it made me marvel, once again, at just what we've been stuck with for the last 7 years.

Posted by: Kim | March 18, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

pj, you are my BPH role model, and I am very happy that you are coming.

yellojkt, you are my blogging hero, and I am sorry you won't be there.

Everybody else, be there in person or in spirit, I'll report as much as I can for the benefit of those who can't make it to the event.

Meanwhile, my hike report is up on Read Think Live--more pictures will be posted once I get home--somehow my rental computer can't deal with "rotate counterclockwise" so some of the pictures can't be uploaded yet. (Maybe I'll figure out how to use Photobucket to do it later tonight.) I didn't have very many or very good pictures, anyway. And the experience was largely non-verbal, so it didn't translate especially well into narrative form. So, with lowered expectations, you are welcome to check it out here:

Posted by: kbertocci | March 18, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Open the pod bay doors, HAL... Arthur's coming home. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 18, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

When we were in Tampa a few years ago, we had a fabulous tour of Ybor City's state park museum, which included La Casita, a cigar worker's home.

The tour was given by a docent who had actually been raised in one in that very neighborhood--a very lovely woman who told wonderful stories of her childhood. Real firsthand experience and a memory we'll never forget.

Yoki... Kim.. and others... you will all be there at the BPH with us in spirit, you know.

Posted by: TBG | March 18, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow, kbert... even having seen your pictures and heard about your trip firsthand, your blog really tells the story.

Ya done good!

Hope Phase II of the vacation is going well. I was so happy to be part of the Transition Phase.

See you tomorrow!

Posted by: TBG | March 18, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

yello-Ybor is not completely "Inner Harbored." It got so popular, and raucus, on weekends that streets once open only to pedestrians were reopened to cars a couple years ago. I think the best way to see Ybor is during the county appraiser's annual run for shelter, which Joel just missed as it was on March 7. The 5k is always held on a Friday night with free beer in Ybor's Centennial Park after.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 18, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Happy belated birthday kbert - being a total wuss I am completely amazed at your bravery.

Posted by: dmd | March 18, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci, it's great that you went hiking in Shenandoah National Park. We went camping there many times when I was growing up, just slightly further south from where you started. It's a lovely place and your pics show that.

Posted by: pj | March 18, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

This in about the second amendment issue:

The lawsuit was brought when a security guard was denied a home permit for his handgun for personal protection.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 18, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

On, kit, the Times of London reports the judge doesn't think well of Ms. Mills:

Posted by: slyness | March 18, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Funny that the Brits say a marriage broke down and we say it broke up.

Posted by: TBG | March 18, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Happy belated birthday, kb. Your post and the pictures were great. Enjoy the balance of your break.

Posted by: jack | March 18, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Icebergs break up.
Cars break down.

So, was the marriage getting glacial or mechanical before its demise?

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 18, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Florida's panthers almost disappeared during the 20th century. News story at New Scientist, and the scientist's own version, here:

I was impressed by the text of Obama's speech. The loudest dissent I've noticed is by Thomas Sowell.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 18, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

this is just a drive-by, so apologies in advance if someone has already commented on this:

all i can say is o.m.g.!!! the republican "i'm-the-foreign-policy-experienced guy" cannot even get the basics of the iraq siituation right????? i'm sorry, but don't give me any i was tired and misspoke nonsense. anyone with a basic level of understanding knows that al qaeda aligns with sunis, not iran (which supports the shiites, of course)!!!!

that concludes my rant for the week. please forgive the liberal use of punctuation marks.

p.s. i also wish i could go to the bph to meet kbert!!!

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 19, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

bc, you're right. You've got fed relatives or something?

Looks like the stock market is happy.

Posted by: rainforest | March 19, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

I looked that Sowell guy up. He's so libertarian, he makes Ron Paul look like Hillary Clinton. He's a denier of racism, sexism, etc. in American business. (For that, I must conclude that he is using whitewashed figures from businesses to arrive at his conclusions, rather than actually surveying workers about their own experiences, lest he hear things that conflict with his beliefs.)

Notice he starts off with an implied link between Obama with Nixon in Watergate, even though:

1) no crime has been committed, merely the imprudent exercise of free speech.
2) This was not done at the request or instigation or any kind of known encouragement by Obama.

It's easy to predict the column will just go downhill from there once he starts off with a negative, hyperbolic analogy. He also argues stubbornly that Obama must have known and is denying it.

Not a substantive criticism. Just that "he's hiding something."

As Cassandra has said many times, race is a big issue, and it gets discussed-- far more among blacks than among whites, IMO.

One reason why blacks get concerned about HIV, for instance, is that a lot of black women who have never done anything BUT heterosexual sex have acquired AIDS and are dying of it at surprisingly high rates.

That doesn't square with what they may hear on TV about gays and drug users getting AIDS. Heck, there's not ENOUGH education about how HIV is transmitted.

I remember telling a woman my age, already a mother, how HIV is transmitted. The difference in our knowledge was not black and white, but rather that she had been schooled in D.C. while I was schooled in the Fairfax county schools.
Only miles apart, yet light-years apart in education level.

Obama is right about that. I saw it as soon as I was working in D.C. as a teen, with other teens. One girl wanted to be a lawyer when she couldn't write with correct punctuation and grammar. It was clearly because nobody had ever taught her how.

What Obama said today was fact.

Education equality hasn't been established everywhere, and to worsen it, the parents of kids affected by this often lack the tools to help their students succeed educationally in spite of poor schools.

I know many black people who made it to professional degrees and notable careers. They all benefitted from parents who were involved, who cared, who were ready to have their children get what they could not have, including making sure their schooling was better.

For kids who are in the foster system, and a lot of them are black, the situation is even worse emotionally and academically. They are too often victims of bullying and exploition.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 19, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Oh, that Heather Mills! I never did like her. Why doesn't Paul listen to me?

I had forgotten that Anthony Minghella directed Truly, Madly, Deeply - one of my favorite movies.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 19, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

ok, i've calmed down and back-boodled enough to see mudge commented on mccain. i read news as a wind down in the evenings. except sometimes it stresses me out.

great obama speech. thanks for posting the links, bia.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 19, 2008 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Wait - Are there more than two kinds of voters? Lately, I've been lead to understand that the world consists of lesbo-hating negrians and negro-hating lesbians. Are there other options?!?

Posted by: Bob S. | March 19, 2008 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Dogs, Bob S. Dogs are always the overlooked option.

Wilbrodog '08. I'll keep your fire hydrants watered!

Posted by: Wilbrodog | March 19, 2008 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Aahh - that's a better option!!


Posted by: Bob S. | March 19, 2008 2:45 AM | Report abuse

You know, I wish I could bring myself to give a crap about what Clinton's and Obama's wild-eyed supporters think about whatever ill-considered idiocy was most recently uttered by another one of their loose-lipped supporters. But I can't.

I wholeheartedly believe that they are both honorable (albeit flawed and almost inconceivably ambitious) folks, looking to help out by taking on a thankless position, and caught up in a truly insane job interview process.

I hope that they are both overly blessed by whatever goodness is available.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 19, 2008 3:06 AM | Report abuse

True. Many supporters are intemperate in their remarks.

I think the concern on both sides is that due to mudslinging, their respective images become damaged by the time they are ready to take the nomination and make the case for the Democratic Party.

Maybe it's a good thing this process is protracted, in the sense they are prepared to deal whatever McCain etc. may throw at them. Maybe it isn't.

I personally incline to the latter opinion but I have the sense that it may well be decided by May, pretty much.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 19, 2008 3:21 AM | Report abuse

It's WAY past my bedtime, but I gotta let a couple of (occasional) proofreaders know that I know that they know that I know:

'... led to believe that ...'


Posted by: Bob S. | March 19, 2008 4:11 AM | Report abuse

His job completed
A. 'Chuck' Clarke left the mountain
Should we be worried?

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 19, 2008 4:56 AM | Report abuse

'morning boodle. Pretty good effort by Mr. Obama yesterday. At least he's trying.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 19, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

'morning boodle. Pretty good effort by Mr. Obama yesterday. At least he's trying.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 19, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm up earlier than Cassandra? This worries me. Are you okay, Cassandra?

Loss of the Boodle last night was an unhappy event. I'm glad we're baaacckk.

Good morning all. Five years in Iraq, and what have we accomplished? Oh, and there's a financial meltdown that may destroy the Fed and life as we know it.

Sometimes I wish I didn't read the paper.

Hey, pictures from the BPH! I wanna see pictures!

Posted by: slyness | March 19, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' Shriek...

Mornin' Shriek...

DNA Girl, we should ALWAYS be worried when we lose a great thinker and communicator. *SIGH*

*10-hours-'til-BPH-and-counting Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 19, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Never fear, Slyness, pictures will be had by the bushel... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 19, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Finally able to access this site. I wanted to post last night to say how impressed I was with Obama's speech. I read it while at work yesterday and had goose bumps. I'd like to hope that undecideds will hear it or read it and realize what an extraordinary person Obama is and vote for him. But I fear people will still be caught up in pettyness. It's juicier to talk about Heather Mills or the latest revelations about Paterson and the McGreeveys. Ugh.

Kbert, great post about your hike. I am very impressed that you did it at all, never mind alone. I love day hiking but the thought of staying overnight in the woods makes me cringe. Kudos to you and a happy belated birthday too. I am jealous that you get to go to a BPH. As someone else said, someone please take pictures.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 19, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Am BPH-bound today, which I can hardly believe. I will get to shake KB's hand and hope some of that moxie rubs off.

Bird riot today and the air is so soft that despite the chill and pewter sky, sap is bubbling and gurgling and percolating.

Spring. Again. Wow. A miracle.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 19, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

"That Poor, Deprived McCartney Child" will probably never lack anything except a suitably good upbringing. I fear she might end up being another Christina Onassis unless both her parents take steps to stop this from happening. Let's hope they both care enough to at least (1)not outsource too much of her upbringing and (2)not over-indulge her. At the end of the day adequate self asteem and dicipline are more useful than endless wealth.

Posted by: Marina | March 19, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

So at the beginning of the day endless wealth is more useful? What about the afternoon . . . got to eat lunch, y'know! :-)

Sorry. Up since 1:30, bouncing off walls again.

Posted by: dbG | March 19, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Hi dbg -- can the labbies help you settle down: long romp or nap with both.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 19, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I find this endlessly entertaining. It is an interactive list of the relative frequency of the top 5000 surnames in America. (This is NYT so registration may be required.) It also shows trends, so you can see how your surname is doing.

I, alas, am not on the list.

Posted by: RD PAdouk | March 19, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Hi RDP, fun to try. Only one of four grandparents appeared on that, and at 990 to boot.

Try this one BabyNameWizard!

One dot's name peaked in the 1880s; the other did also but surged in the 2000s.

CPBoy's name peaked but only slightly in the 1950s.

I tried Obama's names, too.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 19, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Sowell is indeed an odd bird. After posting, I poked around and discovered his notion that southern blacks suffered from having picked up "white southern redneck" culture. On the other hand, my grandparents from Roanoke, Virginia prospered in Pennsylvania at a time when blacks from the same region didn't have that kind of opportunity.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 19, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

CP - that is very fun. (Here's the direct hyperlink)

I see my son's name peaked about the year we named him. And my daughter's name is, like, so 1980s.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 19, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

RD, a neighbor's daughter is expecting a baby any day now. This chart put her off the three names they have been practicing. Apparently, the horror of two many others named similarly has paralyzed her.

Since CPDot2's name is not that typical, and she has suffered little visible harm, that name is now a contender but not without anxiety.

The 80s were great, so good for you on RDPDot. Boolya, I think is the way to say it.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 19, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

No, CP, I'm actually in work at this point. Maybe some caffeine would settle me right down (What's the line in *You've Got Mail?* "Patricia makes caffeine nervous.")

Sorry it wasn't as funny as it seemed at the moment of typing. Marina, my apologies.

Posted by: dbG | March 19, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Good link RD, my name is not listed (which seeing as the spelling was changed is not a surprise, same for my mom's maiden name).

My paternal grandmother shows up in the mid 3000's. Forgot my maternal grandmother, I will try her as it is possibly as common as my other grandmother.

My children's last name is pretty popular.

Now for first names.

This is fun on a cold, grey, rainy morning.

Posted by: dmd | March 19, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Too busy/lazy to back boodle this a.m., but caught a 1980's reference here at the bottom of the boodle and just had to offer up a tune cootie:

"Stukas Over Disneyland" by The Dickies.

(crosses fingers to see if that band's name survives the wirty dord filter)

Posted by: martooni | March 19, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Joe Fox: "I like Patricia. I *love* Patricia. Patricia makes COFFEE nervous."

Posted by: omni | March 19, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

7 of 9. No not ST:TNG, but time for another quiz:

Posted by: omni | March 19, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

My brother, sister and I have names that peaked in the 60's. When we were born. Last name not in there. Mother's maiden name comes in at 5th.

Posted by: omni | March 19, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

New kit!!

Posted by: frostbitten | March 19, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Apparently I'm also too busy/lazy to do any "work" this morning either.

I think I'm still recovering from being abducted by leprechauns Monday. I don't think they violated me (checks under kilt, no blue ribbon), but I now know the secret behind the fuel they use to power their rainbow generators -- they're into bio-fuels big-time, lots of grain and hops and yeast. But it's a two-fuel deal. The darker 80 proof fuel goes in first, then you dump in the hoppy bubbly stuff laced with green food coloring.

Grimace. Wipe lips on sleeve. Repeat.

After that, you sit back and wait for the rainbow. (I saw several, but they tell me I missed a few)

btw... "Abducted by Leprechauns" is available as a new book title, just in case any writers are hanging around.

Peace out... :-)

Posted by: martooni | March 19, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

6/9 on the quiz. Need to brush up on rats, dung and other interesting things...


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 19, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Yes: R.I.P. Arthur C. Clark.

Last night I watched Chris Matthews and then Keith Olberman, which I rarely, rarely do, to get some of the Obama reaction. It was really incredible. Matthews pointed out that even the Right Wing liked the speech, quoting both Pat Buchanan (egads!) and the National Review online as both praising it. (Gerson's column this morning is both seriously wrong-headed and also reprehensible.) As for Thomas Sowell, he has no appreciable following and his opinion is just a speck of dust in the wind at this point.

The other thing about the speech is that it is the first of three back-to-back: tonight he's giving a major speech on Iraq (this being the "anniversary" of the war), and tomorrow night a major speech on Iraq and the economy. I know some of you guys object to too many (or any) sports analogies, but this is like getting a hat trick or hitting the trifect or batting fior the cycle. If Obama can pull off three major speechs, all of the same quality as last night, in three nights, you are looking at the next president opf the United States. If he hits the trifecta, Hillary doesn't stand a chance. It is my belief Obama is doing this specifically to challenge Hillary in Pennsylvania. The buzz is that Hillwary will win Pa. by a comfortable margin. I think Obama's strategy is, rather than go to Penna. and battle her head-to-head, he is going to "win the country" with these three speeches, and then let the country tell Pennsylvanians who the best candidate is. It is a fairly unconventional and high-risk strategy, but if he brings it off, it will be something none of us has ever seen in politics before.

The other thing I think about the speech is that Obama didn't just open up the issue of race for general discussion; I think he also completely removed it as an issue in this campaign: he totally took it off the table and made it a non-issue. If I'm right, that is truly remarkable.

And of course John McCain just semi-spitzered himself yesterday with the al Qaeda quote (or more properly, he Bush-whacked himself).

Between Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech and McCain's gaffe, I think historians are going to mark March 18 as *the* pivotal day in the 2008 campaign.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 19, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Wow, cool man, big thanks!

Posted by: qaedpoggag | May 1, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

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