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Tim Russert

Very sad news here in Washington: Tim Russert died today of a heart attack while taping in a sound booth at the NBC bureau. He was 58.

Here's the story from NBC. Tom Brokaw went on live a few minutes ago and paid tribute to Russert. The news hit the Post just after 3 in the afternoon and we're all shocked and saddened by this.

Here's the bio of Tim from NBC. You can see he won a zillion awards and wrote best-selling books and was, among other things, the most influential journalist in Washington. The gap between Tim and everyone else was such that it's hard to even think of who would be number two on that list.

He was also a fun guy to run into at a party or out on the campaign trail -- friendly, generous, down-to-Earth. He was never the type to look over your shoulder to see if someone more important was coming along.

After every big political debate, the smart viewer would click on NBC to see what Russert would say. Because what he said mattered more than what anyone else said -- even if you disagreed with it. And we'll all have, forever, the memory of Russert and his little white board on election night 2000 as he documented the unfolding narrative of a race too close to call.

I have one image of Russert that for some reason has always stuck in my mind: A winter day in Claremont, NH, downtown, near the old opera house, circa 2000: A man pops out of a non-descript rental car, he's kind of rumpled -- campaign clothes, no tie, heavy winter coat -- and he's moving fast for a big guy. It's Russert, full of eagerness to hear a presidential candidate on the stump. You can see how much he's digging the trail, being away from his desk and the studio, out on the hustings. It's always charming when someone clearly loves what he does for a living. Russert was, of course, a sharp interviewer and analyst, but he was also the quintessential happy journalist. He was having fun at what he surely figured was the best job in the world.

And he died on the job.

A huge loss.

Here's the Post story.


From a profile in 1989 by Lloyd Grove in the Post's Style section:

"Get me a russert," Gary Hart was reputed to have ordered his staff as he prepared for his first presidential campaign in 1984. It was a quote that, once printed in The New Yorker, became inseparable from the legend of Timothy John Russert -- not only strategist and adviser nonpareil, but a noun in the political lexicon. Also a verb, The New Yorker suggested. "To russert," an infinitive, meant not just beating a political foe, but vaporizing him.

As chief of staff to Sen. Moynihan (D-N.Y.), Russert russerted then-Rep. Bruce Caputo, Moynihan's strongest Republican opponent in 1982, by planting stories with reporters that Caputo had been boasting about Vietnam experiences that didn't exist. Caputo, who promptly dropped out of the race, hasn't been heard from since.

"It was one of the most important moments in my life," Russert says, recalling how he and a colleague hunkered down in the New York Public Library, painstakingly examining newspaper clippings to document the contradictions in Caputo's public statements. "It was investigative reporting at its best."

John Buckley, communications director for the National Republican Campaign Committee, recalls another incident from those days, when he worked on a so-called "newsletter" that was really an intelligence-gathering organ for Caputo pollster Arthur Finkelstein. "Only about five people in all of New York knew it," Buckley says. But when he phoned Moynihan's office to ask for fund-raising information, the chief of staff got on the line. "This is Tim Russert. You tell Arthur Finkelstein that if this is the way he does business, I'll see him in jail. Got it?" Click.


From the NYTimes:

Mr. Russert was the one who proposed that the Newseum, the new news museum in Washington, carry a giant copy of the First Amendment on its façade, according to Mr. Williams.


The strange times we live in: I heard the news just after 3, from a shocked colleague in the newsroom. But we hadn't got it confirmed quite yet, and no one had reported the news on any mainstream website -- except, oddly, on the Wikipedia entry on Russert. As of 3:17 p.m. it had already been changed to say that he had died today. I found that creepy -- and it seemed reckless, in that no one knew if Russert's wife and son had even been told the news yet.


Here's Cillizza: What I came away with each time after an appearance with Tim was that he was someone, like me, who loved the political game, who took pleasure in the day-to-day trench warfare of the campaign, who worked his sources to make sure he got the most up to date information to his viewers and who loved hearing from new voices offering fresh perspective on the political process.


From Russert's commencement address in 2005 at American University:

"....Remember that it was your grandparents and parents who defended this country. Who built this country, who brought you to this world and a chance to live the American dream. Will your generation do as much for your children? You know you must. Every generation is tested and given the opportunity to be the greatest generation. And, so too, of the American University graduates of 2005, you were born and educated to be players in this extraordinary blessing called life. Climb the ladder of success and work hard and live in comfort and enjoy yourself--you've earned it. And, that is the American way. But please do this world one small favor. Remember the people struggling alongside you and below you; people who haven't had the same opportunity, the same blessings, the same American University education.

"Eight children today shot dead on the streets of America. Twenty-five percent of 8 th graders never graduating from high school. Thirty-five million adults in our country without a high school education. If we are serious about continuing as the world's premiere economic, military and moral force in the world, we have no choice. We need all of our children continuing, contributing and prospering. We can build more prisons, and we will, and more police on the streets. But, unless we instill in our young the most basic social skills and cultural and moral values, we truly will be a very different society. We must motivate, inspire and yes, insist, our children respect one another. Yes, love thy neighbor as thyself. We must teach our children they are never, never entitled, but they are always, always loved. And, we must do everything in our power to make sure our schools are meaningful, skills are learnable, and jobs are available. No matter what profession you choose, you must try, even the smallest ways, to improve the quality of life of our children. No matter what your political philosophy, reach down from that ladder and see if there isn't some child you can pull up a rung or two. Some are sick, some are lonely, some are uneducated; most have little control over their fate. Give them a hand, give them a chance, give them their dignity. Indeed, no exercise is better for the human heart than reaching down to lift up another person."

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 13, 2008; 3:37 PM ET
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I just heard and popped over to pass the news along. So sad. He was too young.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 13, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Terrible news about Tim Russert. My older daughter's boyfriend's sister's husband works for him as a producer. I'm sure they are all shocked and shattered.

Posted by: slyness | June 13, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Meet The Press was an institution. I'm sure it will survive him, but it definitely won't be the same.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

His death is terribly premature in terms of lifespan and especially in terms of American political journalism.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | June 13, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Russert was money. Same presentation, and smart approach every Sunday, and every chance on the screen.

Great man around town at all the sports games as well.

This election wont be the same without him.

Posted by: RIP Russert | June 13, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Tim Russert for making Buffalonians everywhere proud to call you one of our own. Raising a glass in your honor.

Posted by: BuffaloHasAndAlwaysWillBeTalkinProudAboutTimRussert | June 13, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Tim Russert for making Buffalonians everywhere proud to call you one of our own. Raising a glass in your honor.

Posted by: BuffaloHasAndAlwaysWillBeTalkinProudAboutTimRussert | June 13, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

wow. this really is a shock. the election won't be the same at all. for better or worse, russert has been in the thick of it ever since i can remember.

my heart breaks for his family.

Posted by: nelson | June 13, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Not to belittle his accomplishments, which were many, but Tim Russert was so influential he rated a Darrell Hammond impression. You've gotta be a major figure to be worthy of an SNL impression. Be free, Tim.

Posted by: CowTown | June 13, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Since I don't watch the Sunday programs, I really can't say much about Russert. But I did once see him interview Stephen Colbert in character. Tim was very funny and good natured about himself. You have to respect that.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 13, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Some of us volunteers at St. Ann's give a Christmas party for the older children. Over the years, they have taught us how to do it. For instance, we once had a Santa, a jolly Irishman when he hadn't gone to the Market Inn to brace himself with a four-martini lunch for his chores. When he had had just the one extra sip, his good nature slipped several notches, and he had been seen throwing a present at a child who had not moved smartly enough when his name was called. Two little girls we found sobbing in each others' arms in the hall convinced us we had to do something different.

We worked out a formula we thought the most timid dormouse of a child might find unthreatening. Santa was asleep on the couch when they arrived. They sang "Jingle Bells" very softly at first and then applied the crescendo; by the time of the second "hey," Santa was up and ho-ing. Thomas Noyes, a most civilized and gentle fellow with a taste for the theater, refined the role. He was also very good at batteries and assembly.

Our perennial and heroic hostess, Gertrude Cleary, moved out of her big old picture-book house and into an elegant apartment. She would not give up the franchise. We changed Santas too. Tom Noyes' good heart gave out and we found someone new. Mark Shields, who had been, he said South Weymouth's finest Santa in his youth, took over. He was so sorry for the children he could hardly bring himself to do the interrogatories. They perjured themselves copiously and at the earliest opportunity, hurled themselves on him as if he were a trampoline. There was that melting moment when the toughest, most case-harded, most sent-home-from-school boy fell apart and unleashed a smile that never dimmed. A shy little girl put her hand on his arm and tried to thank him for the doll -- and the love -- he gave her. He wasn't much at batteries and assembly. They didn't care. He was just what they had in mind.

This year a hip operation sidelined him. We prevailed on Tim Russert to be surrogate Santa. We told him it would be just like "Meet the Press," lots of commentary, endless Q and A. He went at it with great gusto, making statements about correct behavior, quizzing them at great length about their lapses. "Did you bite? Did you fight?" He asked over and over. He launched into a homily about respect.

The children began to squirm and fidget, like delegates to a Democratic Convention trapped in a Bill Clinton speech. One of them, Ralph, took me aside. "Is he ever going to give us presents?" he asked. "Ralph," I said, "I promise you."

...And Gertrude's wonderful neighbor, Jeremy Young, came in to play the piano, and we sang "The Twelve Days of Christmas" so you could hear it at the White House, and Robert, whose heart was broken because his mother walked out on him, leapt up and danced. He made his way to Santa, through the paper and the toys and the batteries and said to him, "You should be here all the time."

Posted by: From Mary McGrory's Dec. 24, 1996, column in the Post | June 13, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Zapper coming for that.

Posted by: Achenbach | June 13, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Can't type straight right now.

Posted by: Dec. 24, 1995 (not 1996), column | June 13, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

The comments of semi-literate cretins notwithstanding (LLevario), Russert will be greatly missed. He brought civility and intelligence to the political debate in this country - things that we don't have enough of these days.

Posted by: DubTee15 | June 13, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh shut up, LLevario. When we want to hear from asses, we fart and laugh.

I've been following the coverage on MSNBC (shut up, LLevario) and have to say I've never ever until now seen Andrea Mitchell get emotional about anything. She's being a trooper, but you can tell she had a good cry before going on-air.

Posted by: martooni | June 13, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I loved his show. Whether I agreed with him or not, I was always interested in what he had to say. Sundays with him were a tradition I will sorely miss. Condolences to his family. They must be heartbroken. Rest in peace, Tim. And thanks for your contributions.

Posted by: Emily | June 13, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Louis Levario, whoever you are, we now know one thing for sure. You are absolutely positively devoid of class. And you can't even spell commentator correctly.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | June 13, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Horrible news. Shocking doesn't begin to cover it.

Good reporters are hard to find. Great ones are rarer than an honest politician. Great ones with TV presence...

First McKay, now this.

Gonna be a sad weekend.

My thoughts go out to his family at home and the one at NBC.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 13, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

all i can say is, wow, how sad and unexpected.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | June 13, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

The Best there was.

Condolences to his Dad, Wife & son.

Take Care Big Guy

Posted by: Anselmo | June 13, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The Best there was.

Condolences to his Dad, Wife & son.

Take Care Big Guy

Posted by: Anselmo | June 13, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the prompt zapping Joel. You OTOH do have class.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | June 13, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Heartbreaking. Whoever said it was right... the election won't be the same without him. As much as we complained about his attitude toward any one candidate or another, he was the best on TV on election night. He found it so exciting and it rubbed off.

I remember he was a recurring character on Homicide: Life on the Streets. One of the police detectives was named Russert and they had Tim on every once in a while as her cousin. It was a nice touch, I thought, and seemed fun for him to play himself on a fictional show.

Posted by: TBG | June 13, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if NBC will air the show he was taping today. Tough call.

Just caught an interview with one of the journalists (name escapes me) who took part in the taping this morning and he mentioned another journalist saying to him that Tim didn't look well after his return trip from Rome, then... well.

It *is* going to be a strange summer of politics without Russert around. The man knew his stuff and the people he interviewed knew he knew it, even when they tried to pretend otherwise.

Posted by: martooni | June 13, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow, a comment got zapped? Gnarly, just like the wild *old days* of the Achenblog!

Posted by: CowTown | June 13, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

There, but for the grace of God, go I. At least with regard to the corinary stuff, that is. I would never even think of comparing myself in any other way.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | June 13, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Cannot IMAGINE how we will get through this election without him. I hope they have white boards in heaven.

Posted by: Virginia | June 13, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Cannot IMAGINE how we will get through this election without him. I hope they have white boards in heaven.

Posted by: Virginia | June 13, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I didn't always agree with Tim and his political views, I am an independent, but I had great respect for him as a man and as a newsman. He was truly head and shoulders above anyone else in the news business. We will miss his search for the truth missing from today's newsmen and newswomen.

Posted by: greese | June 13, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Our dear Tim Russett was powerhouse of light and wisdom in the news of politics and beyond ... and brough lessons of wise and wiser news for his widest ranges of his audiences from the all walks of life...

He is only gone from our physical world and now he is surrounded by love of the Creator and by loving Angels and Guides ...

... and now he joining in full consciousness with all of the rest of people in the Light who conscious about that in our world as well now ...

Be so blessed beloved Tim Russett for uplifting so many, so close and so far from you during your long and amazing travels over your lifetime...

And Welcome Tim to Love, Bliss and Nirvana ... welcome back into "many mansions of the Father" that are not known yet as much on this world... but will soon for those who choose ...

... You will continue your loving work of Light and Love from invisible realm with billions of already doing that work of Light there ... and also in Oneness with millions so humbly doing it on our the planet too...

And at the same time you now are so free and loved to choose what next will lead you you towards the highest path of you eternal journey ...

LOVE and PEACE is never ending for you dear Tim ... as well as for each of us if we so choose ...

.. YOU are ethernal traveller of the Creator Light as always... and so it is

Posted by: lightworker | June 13, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I met Tim Russert about 10 years ago while he was standing behind me for a flight to Buffalo at Washington National Airport. I said hello to him and he asked me if I was going to Buffalo. I said yes and he said, "Ah, God's country." He will be very much missed. Sunday mornings and "Meet the Press" will never be the same.

Posted by: Andrew Gerst | June 13, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

My condolences to Mr. Russert's family, friends, and fans. He seemed to be very nice man.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 13, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh man, I remember Tim on election night 2000. He was so charming. While everyone else was doing this pretentious high-tech schtick, there was Tim with his little white board explaining it all to us.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 13, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

What do we know of his father? This is my greatest fear.

Posted by: Sad Dad | June 13, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the look behind the TV persona, Joel. There were times when I strongly disagreed with Tim Russert, but, like him, I enjoy the political process. Wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago that Terry McAuliffe talked about his father and Tim's father drinking beer in heaven?

I think he was one of those people who had such fun in his work and his life that he seemed younger than his years. He had a real grin and he grinned a lot. Bravo!

Posted by: DoubleVision | June 13, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Russert was something. May God bless him and his family.

Posted by: jack | June 13, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

As a mother whose son is an investigative reporter who worked for many years for NBC and then most recently for CBS, I must say how saddened I was to hear of Mr. Russert's death. He set a standard for all reporters like my son. I always watched his "Meet the Press," even when I moved out here to California, where the program aired at 6 a.m. He was a good listener and always treated his guests with courtesy and fairness. Yet at the same time, he never wavered from asking questions that probed his guests' ideas and positions. He also exhibited a great sense of humor. The coming election coverage will not quite be the same without Mr. Russert's insights. But most of all, my sympathy goes out to his wife and family. He will be sorely missed.

Posted by: CrazyMary | June 13, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Tim used to attend our church. I can remember my 18 month old daughter spitting cracker crumbs all over his fresh suit on some Sundays. He always laughed and was genuinely friendly.

I'll miss him. My prayers for him and his family.

Posted by: Jack | June 13, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

It iw a sad day - the only one I trusted. His interviews were so wonderful - you came to know that person better because of his questions. Now it is tabloid - yelling, interrupting - the interviewers are more interested in their own agenda than that of the person they are interviewing.

Posted by: Barbara | June 13, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

DoubleVision... good call on the grin.

I think that's one of the reasons I always liked him, even when I disagreed with him. Genuine happy grins (as opposed to "evil" grins, a la Cheney, or "mocking" grins, a la Bush) let you know the grinner is a real person and probably somebody you'd enjoy having some wings and a beer with, regardless of politics.

Posted by: martooni | June 13, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

My main memory of Tim Russert was that he once played himself, as Det. Megan Russert's cousin on "Homicide: Life on the Street." That's a compliment, really: a class act, who didn't take himself too seriously.

Posted by: meganc | June 13, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

What a loss!

He was (I cannot believe i have to use the past tense) a great journalist! He was the only media man who really did not hold back touch questions! Sunday Mornings will never be the same. His role in the media and during the up coming election will be a huge void.

My deepest sympathy to his beloved family.
Life is so fragile and we are so small and helpless.


Posted by: sara | June 13, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

News on CNN is that Tim Russert may not have suffered a heart attack, that it may have been cardiac arrest. Elizabeth Cohen of CNN reported that the NBC (IIRC) website has dropped its announcement regarding the cause of death, pending autopsy results.

I was flipping back and forth between MSNBC and CNN and heard someone interview Barbara Walter about Russert. She said many times Russert worked to the point of exhaustion. Despite the long slog sometimes, all media and pundit folks who are now eulogizing Russert say he loved every minute of his job.

Life doesn't get any better than that.

Posted by: Loomis | June 13, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

sad day for democracy

Posted by: | June 13, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

According to PBS Mr. Russert moved his dad to a managed care facility last week in Buffalo.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 13, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Really hard to believe that someone who obviously loved life so much could die so young.

As others have said, this year's election coverage won't be the same without him.

Posted by: NDGirl | June 13, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Go Boston College Eagles!

Posted by: SA | June 13, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I knew that it was going to hurt me when Pat Moynihan passed, but I guess I was a little more prepared for it.

I only met Tim Russert with a brief handshake at a National Zoo fundraiser, but even that brief moment was enough to have understood what people mean when they say that he always "engaged" whenever he spoke to ANYONE. I got the impression that if I'd run across him a month later, he'd have reminded me that we'd already met, and suggested getting together at a ball game!

Posted by: Bob S. | June 13, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I guess I left out what were supposed to be my final lines:

I wasn't prepared for Russert's death, and find myself a bit more shook up than seems logical, given that I don't know the man or any of his close friends or family. I'm surely going to miss him!

Posted by: Bob S. | June 13, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

simply put, tim russert was great at what he did. when i think of tim and the things he did, i think of "gusto." he embraced life with his curiosity and intellect and we are all the better for it. you could not help but feel his love of life, politics, and his family. it is so hard to accept the loss of someone like this. it was too soon, too soon.

Posted by: indvoter37 | June 13, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I rarely saw "Meet the Press" (I used to watch "This Week in Washington" long ago.). He seemed OK there.

My major memory is of him doing a presidental debate or another. I wasn't thrilled with the questions he asked, didn't see why he had a reputation for asking hard questions, it all seemed to be slo-pitch softball. I know 12 year old girls that'd have hurled harder questions than that.

In short, he was a genial labrador in a situation when the debate really called for an intense border collie to harry them-- politely-- to saying more than airy generalities.

I had seen him be tougher on Meet the Press, so I was really disappointed.

Of course, I completely hated Bush & Co. by that time, and some of the questions I wanted to ask would have been nearly unprintable.

That said, I was completely shocked to read of his death. His family must be in utter shock. My condolences to them.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 13, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I rarely watched Meet the Press, although over the past few years I have seen clips of his conversations with Cheney, Condi, Rummy and the rest. I don't think he--along with the rest of the press--was so hard on those guys. They sat there in the studio spinning tales of mushroom clouds and aluminum centrifuge tubes...and Russ & Co. didn't give them a hard time. We now have our trillion dollar war and the chattering classes which Russ was part of didn't slow its onset one bit. Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite he wasn't.

I feel bad for anyone who dies before his time and I certainly feel bad for his family. I'm sure he was a great guy.

Posted by: Jay B | June 13, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

What a profound loss Tim's passing is. Not only to his profession, but to democracy.
America lost it's uncle tonight. I can't even pretend to begin to imagine Big Russ may be taking all this. God bless him and the entire Russert family. The nation prays for you during this time of grief.

Posted by: Gary P. | June 13, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

An NBC spokeswoman, Allison Gollust, said in an e-mail message Friday night that Mr. Russert had died of a "sudden heart attack." His internist, Dr. Michael A. Newman, said on MSNBC that an autopsy had found that Mr. Russert had an enlarged heart and significant coronary artery disease.

LL: Makes one wonder what type of medical care Russert was receiving? But if one is asymptomatic...? More reporting to be done here--hopefully for the benefit of many who may be in similar circumstances, knowingly or unknowingly...

Posted by: Loomis | June 13, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Joel, for providing space for us to comment here. I saw Tim more on Nightly News with his analysis than I did at any other time, and I will miss him there so much. I feel like I have lost a friend. Tom Brokaw is about to host an hour show on Tim right now, whcih I will be watching.

Posted by: VintageLady | June 13, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I grieve tonight for Mr. Russert's son, father, and wife. Mr. Russert was the "real thing" . I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Russert in person at a local Uno's happy hour a couple of years ago on a Friday before Mothers Day. Not only did he graciuosly let us interrupt his "happy hour" in order to talk to him and get his autograph, he penned a personal note to each of our mothers so we could give his message to our repective mothers on Mothers Day. My mother was thrilled with the note and it has been on display in her home since that date. He truly was a wonderful loving person.

Posted by: Janet | June 13, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod & Jay B - I guess that's what I don't completely understand about why his death affects me so much. It's fair to say that he wasn't the most confrontational guy in the business, nor was he the hardest-digging investigative reporter pounding the boards.

But I truly believe that he was one of the good ones. One of the really, really good ones. His family, his workplace, his industry, his country, hell, his world... they're all poorer without him.

[NBC's tribute is starting now. I'll be watching.]

Posted by: Bob S. | June 13, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

What a tradgic loss for all.

You know Tim is having great interviews right now up in heaven, and is waiting for Big Russ with open arms.

Posted by: L. Jackson | June 13, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe we have to go through this election without Tim. You know he would have hated to miss this election, it's just not fair.

Why oh why, couldn't it have been Bill O'Reilly instead?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

"Why oh why, couldn't it have been Bill O'Reilly instead?"

Ummm... That's just mean! I'm laughing, but that's just mean!

Posted by: Bob S. | June 13, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Bob Schieffer- reporter/journalist
George Stephanopoulos- political staffer/journalist
Chris Mathews-political staffer/journalist
Tim Russert-lawyer/political staffer/journalist

Posted by: Boko999 | June 13, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Bill Moyers-reporter/political staffer/journalist.
Another great "Bill Moyers Journal" tonight BTW.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 13, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Shocked and still not quite believing the news of Tim Russert's death. Wiki is like breaking news today with details of his autopsy already posted. Would they have done one already? So glad not to be famous.

Glad there's still a slice of last night's rhubarb pie left. Comfort food that, with scorching hot coffee.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 13, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

It is a tragedy that a relatively young man who obviously cared deeply about his family should die.

To be honest, I think that he got so caught up in the world of Washington politics that he did not deserve the reputation for toughness he had. I think there are others who could have used the valuable television real estate he had to probe more deeply. I do think his lack of toughness helped to lead this country to more deaths, more debt, more unhappiness than it had to.

And yet, I don't think that was his intention. I think he wanted to be a good journalist, but just couldn't wrap his mind around the larger truths that would have helped him to gain the perspective that would have let him be great.

And I do think he deserved a chance to grow old with the family he loved.

Posted by: Shelley | June 13, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

It is a tragedy that a relatively young man who obviously cared deeply about his family should die.

To be honest, I think that he got so caught up in the world of Washington politics that he did not deserve the reputation for toughness he had. I think there are others who could have used the valuable television real estate he had to probe more deeply. I do think his lack of toughness helped to lead this country to more deaths, more debt, more unhappiness than it had to.

And yet, I don't think that was his intention. I think he wanted to be a good journalist, but just couldn't wrap his mind around the larger truths that would have helped him to gain the perspective that would have let him be great.

And I do think he deserved a chance to grow old with the family he loved.

Posted by: Shelley | June 13, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

It seems mildly creepy to focus upon it, but apparently an autopsy has already been performed and reported upon. Maybe the idea was to get speculation out of the way quickly. Thrombosis (clot) - critical blood flow blockage - death.

'Nuff said, eh?

Posted by: Bob S. | June 13, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Shelley, oh sweet Shelley - Is it actually your belief that "the valuable television real estate he had" was available for anyone to grab? If ratings space (I'll throw in one of Loomis' new favorite words here) was fungible, then I'm sure that they'd have replaced Russert for someone younger, cuter, and much more obnoxious years ago.

He wasn't just some neutered old hack who was afraid of being edgy. There's a place for angry confrontation, and Sunday morning on NBC ain't it. I LOVE smart, angry confrontation, but not all of the time. Russert is being mourned for many reasons, and many of them are not at all related to his career. But you really shouldn't underestimate how superbly he walked the balance beam at "Meet the Press". There are good reasons that "everyone who was anyone" knew that they had to make an appearance.

Does the phrase, "Get me a Russert!" ring a bell?

Posted by: Bob S. | June 13, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Great rememberance. It is hard to see people so full of life leave early. Loving Buffalo tho, well, must have been an acquired taste. ;-)

Posted by: bill everything | June 13, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I just found myself searching for an antonym for "dense" (in a materials sense, as in oak-vs-pine, or iron-vs-aluminum) and found that I've got nothing. Is there a direct opposite of "density" in the sense of compacted mass?

I ended up settling for "less-dense". Sufficient, but not completely satisfying.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 14, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

At the Robert Plant/Allison Kraus concert tonight, they dedicated their closing number to Tim Russert. What a great gesture.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

yello - Nice! Even just our little thread here today/tonight has made me aware of how widely this man was appreciated, and how surprising that fact is to some other folks who weren't aware of it.

Quite a feller!

Posted by: Bob S. | June 14, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

According to Bob Costas on "The Tonight Show" Tim Russert's dad is 88 years old today.
er. Yesterday.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 14, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Bob S... well said in your 11:30 post.

As for the antonym of dense, I'd offer up thin, ethereal, vapid, vaporous, insubstantial... those are just the first that come to mind. If you need more, just ask. Us pome writer types are known to effortlessly come up with words for other peoples (just not ourselves when we need them).

Posted by: martooni | June 14, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Oh Bob, sweet, tiny, liddle widdle Bobby dumplings, "Get me a Russert" was referring to him as pol not as a journalist. Not that there's all that much wrong with that.
Sorry, I didn't mean to sound insufferably condecsending.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 14, 2008 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Boko, oh my biddly widdle Boko -

My point was that ol' Timbo was not just a defanged wimp who was hanging onto a TV gig because he was "safe". He was, in fact, a guy who engendered respect and no little amount of fear because he had an annoying tendency to do the research and ask the hard questions. But because he was seldom unfair, he HAD to be faced.

Just out of curiosity, what have I done to make you think that I'm so ignorant?

Posted by: Bob S. | June 14, 2008 2:42 AM | Report abuse

For anyone who's not keeping up, and thinks that Tim Russert was just a nice guy:

Gary Hart realized that he needed a smart, hard-nosed shark on his campaign staff, and the first, best example that came to mind was employed by Mario Cuomo -

Said Hart, "Get me a Russert!"

Posted by: Bob S. | June 14, 2008 2:50 AM | Report abuse

Boko - I apologize, the fault is mine. I sometimes get silly and presume that others will assume my own knowledge of the background of the discussion at hand, just as I assume theirs.

Obviously, that won't always be the case. It was I who was being insufferably condescending.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 14, 2008 3:08 AM | Report abuse

I'll happily give everyone a rest from my voice, but make sure that you check out Tom Shales' piece on Mr. Russert:

Peace, y'all!

Posted by: Bob S. | June 14, 2008 3:27 AM | Report abuse

Good news for pet adopters in the DC area again.

Wilbrodog only required one home visit, a phone call to be sure my landlord allowed pets, and I visited twice, and had a follow up. I didn't think it was much of a hassle, other than how difficult it was to get to the shelter by public transit (this was before the NY Ave stop opened). I did appreciate the follow-up a good deal.

However I did hear after I adopted Wilbrodog that the requirements had became more strict and discriminatory in some cases... orders from above. I'm glad to hear that things are flowing in the other
direction. Dogs shouldn't be warehoused if they can get a good home sooner. That said, I'd have said the adoption check did delay Wilbrodog's arrival by around 7 days.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 14, 2008 4:41 AM | Report abuse

Good news for pet adopters in the DC area again.

Wilbrodog only required one home visit, a phone call to be sure my landlord allowed pets, and I visited twice, and had a follow up. I didn't think it was much of a hassle, other than how difficult it was to get to the shelter by public transit (this was before the NY Ave stop opened). I did appreciate the follow-up a good deal.

However I did hear after I adopted Wilbrodog that the requirements had became more strict and discriminatory in some cases... orders from above. I'm glad to hear that things are flowing in the other
direction. Dogs shouldn't be warehoused if they can get a good home sooner. That said, I'd have said the adoption check did delay Wilbrodog's arrival by around 7 days.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 14, 2008 4:41 AM | Report abuse

Coulda sworn I only hit return once. Zap the doublepost!

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 14, 2008 4:59 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, boodle!

Posted by: jack | June 14, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Sat in a pew at Georgetown during a Jesuit Alumni Club Mass in the 90s with Tim Russert. During the kiss of peace gesture before communion, he shook many hands very heartily. Such a smile: warm, spontaneous, and full.

Very sad about this. His family has my prayers and fondest wishes for comfort in this desolate time.

Posted by: College Parkian | June 14, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

cp: the reference to devil weed as parsley had to do with an old wife's tale that parsley was bad for the heart. Now it's ironic in this context.

Posted by: jack | June 14, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Tim Russert was the best man at my birth. I remember the doctor asking if he would like to slap my behind. His hands weren't as beefy then, but I assure you, they jump-started my breath. During the years that followed, Tim's genial persona figured largely in my childhood memories. I've never seen anyone who could flip a burger while holding a cocktail and carrying on a conversation with such panache. I'll miss you Tim. May the light that has been extinguished be remembered at a beacon of charm and sagacity. May the tinkle of ice cubes in every gin and tonic call to mind Tim's contagious laughter.

Posted by: Tully | June 14, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Just for gp's.

Posted by: jack | June 14, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

A good day to honor a seamstress and a symbol.

From an article on the Web titled "How Betsy Ross Became Famous." I'm going to provide the graf about George Dewwey since I mentioned him yesterday, prompted by a long article in today's paper about how soldiers at our own Fort Sam Houston celebrated Flag Day yesterday, before the weekend.

After the nation's quick victory in the Spanish-American war, flags flew everywhere. Americans raised a one-hundred-twenty- by forty-three-foot flag over Havana in 1899, and when a victorious Admiral George Dewey returned from Manila his ship trailed a banner over five-hundred-feet long. On "Dewey Day" in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1899, historical tableaus staged at a local church included a scene of Betsy making the first flag. On Memorial Day in Philadelphia that same year, people decorated Betsy's grave as well as those of Union and Confederate soldiers.

On to other news:

Our paper reports today that two U.S. senators, Democrats, got special treatment on their mortgages from Countrywide ("friends of Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo")--Kent Conrad of North Dakota and former presidential candidate and rival to Barack Obama, Chriss Dodd of Connecticut. Time for the Democrats to clean house, and that includes the Senate.

Surprise, surprise! Last week Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot queitly filed suit against Henry Zumwalt of Helotes for the mulch fire that burned for three months on his prorperty, starting on Christmas Day 2006. The state is seeking $5.8 million in emergency response costs. On Tuesday, our county will consider whether to join the state in the lawsuit, the country having spent $228,000 on hotel rooms. And the $400 in medical expenses for me and my pooch?

Posted by: Loomis | June 14, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

SCC: typos

Chris Dodd
county, not country

*diving for coffee*

Posted by: Loomis | June 14, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Howdy All!!
Haven't had a chance to boodle in a while,lotsa catching up to do.I always did like "meet the press" Sorry to see such a young man go so early.

As for the Weeds Kit,My yard is "Full" of them,my garden "full",even my driveway is Full of weeds.I guess the wet spring is doing it.I have a couple of leftover flowers pots from last year, Guess what? That's right Full of weeds. But sometimes even weeds are beautiful.In early spring and summer,they actually flowers.And the dandelions with the seeds that float in the air.They are my Favorite.

Well I am working this weekend,so I guess I won't have time to pick any weeds!!!

Yeah, Have a great weekend everyone!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | June 14, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Scc: almost everything......sorry

Posted by: greenwithenvy | June 14, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Is it possible that, in Texas, adding water to a mulch fire would just make it burn longer? Giving water to the thirsty microorganisms that themselves generate so much heat, that those BTUs simply add to the problem? Spontaneous combustion from bacterial action seems to be self-limiting (impossible) but obviously it isn't... perhaps the little boogers release enzymes that keep on heating up the mulch, even after the organisms themselves become toast? Wish I knew.

In lieu of this knowledge, I suggest in the interim all mulch fires be fought with liquid nitrogen; tankersful, if necessary.

Posted by: Jumper | June 14, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

This is interesting. Puts selected blogs on a 2-D axis of news-gossip vs scurrilous-earnest

Posted by: Jumper | June 14, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

My heart goes out to the family of Tim Russert. For Luke, I have a son who is not much younger than you. I have never met your father however my heart is saddened at such a loss of a genuine man. He has been instrumental in my generation not just as a journalist but one of the kindest men that as ever passed my vision as an interviewer or interviewee. I will personally miss him. May you continuously remember his words....Work hard, laugh often and keep your honor. May God Bless you and your mom, Maureen and Big Russ. It is truly a sad day in America to have lost such a wonderful man.

Posted by: Lisa-Woodstock, GA | June 14, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

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

Hello, friends. I was at the barber shop when I heard the news about Tim Russert. I thought to myself, he's too young. It is sad, and my prayers and thoughts go to his family.

It is still "mighty" warm here. I'm getting ready to go out for awhile, but not long. I hope the weekend is going good for everyone here. Will try to check in later.*waving*

Posted by: cassandra s | June 14, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Still in shock over Tim Russert. So sad to see someone who loved life so much go too soon.

Kidless this weekend, as Son of G is in Boston with friends and Daughter is in NYC on a trip with her drama class. Dr G and I had a nice morning at the farmers' market and a few other stops.

It's nice and quiet, but being without the kids for a weekend isn't quite as much as much fun as it was back before they grew into boarders.

Going this evening to a friends house in Mudge's neck o' the woods. We'll give you a wave, Mudge.

Posted by: TBG | June 14, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

At 9:55 last night, Loomis asked "LL: Makes one wonder what type of medical care Russert was receiving? But if one is asymptomatic...? More reporting to be done here--hopefully for the benefit of many who may be in similar circumstances, knowingly or unknowingly..."

I have been in precisely this situation -- coronary artery disease that was asymptomatic. In retrospect, there were subtle hints over the last two-three decades that signaled that my heart was not the mighty machine for which I could have hoped. Due to family relationships, from my mid-teens through my mid-twenties, I was several times examined closely by several of our area's more well-known cardiologists and received extensive ultrasound examination from a well-known practitioner of this technique. Early in 2006, after experiencing a complex of seemingly unrelated symptoms, I got some of the same diagnostic examination. Until we actually did the stress test and the nuclear imaging, the one thing on which everyone agreed was that my heart was perfectly healthy. Then I went to the hospital for an angioplasty and a stent to open a blocked coronary artery. Even the best of care will not catch everything -- the patient has to give a totally accurate history that mentions things that seem irrelevant, the doctor needs to look at things that don't seem to need looking at, and sometimes "unnecessary" tests are needed. The human body is complicated. There may have been malpractice, but more likely there was a patient who pushed himself past the trivial weaknesses of his body. It's what I did when I ran cross-country in high school (not that I was any good at it), it's what I do as a bicyclist, it's what I do to force myself to work without sleep, and it's what I did when I had a heart attack. I was just luckier than Tim Russert, and 14 years younger at the time.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 14, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

And, in somebody not necessarily as atheletic in daily habits as you sound to have been, increasing fatigue, lack of wind, and crankiness may be attributed to being "out of shape."

That may be so, but out-of-shape hearts can be pushed to the max heart rate that much easier.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 14, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

*waving frantically at TBG and family as they zoom by*

We're about to get hit with another big T-storm; weather folks predicting hail and gusts to 50 mph. Sorry to be so inhospitable, TBG, but ya better hang on.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 14, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"increasing fatigue, lack of wind, and crankiness"

No lack of wind here (just had a double-decker taco for dinner), but fatigue and crankiness... hmmm... that sounds an awful lot like what happens after a decade or so of marriage.

Or trying to keep up with Mudge.

Dude... are you really a 6 year old masquerading as a 908 year old? Or have you figured out a method to extract their energy? If so, I got one bouncing off the walls and ceiling here (she just got a new scooter and snuck a bag of M&M's for a snack) and I so wish I could just pick her up and rub her over my head like a balloon to get some of that power.

Kinda like mixing Rogaine with cocaine and stem cells.

Posted by: martooni | June 14, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Who, me? I'm no model of energy, martooni, that's for sure. I huff and puff climbing a flight of stairs.

Some pleasant rain, one big boom directly overhead, then nuthin'.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 14, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, about the same here (a bit west of you, I think).

Posted by: Bob S. | June 14, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

We got it here in the high country around 2:30-3:00. No hail but heavy, heavy rain and some wind. Eight-tenths of an inch in the rain gauge when we got home. I was driving in it and had to focus steadily.

Y'all be careful, y'hear?

Posted by: slyness | June 14, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

But Mudge... you've got kids and grandkids, two houses, a boat -- heck, the boat alone would burn me out just trying to drag the bugger to the shore, let alone regular maintenance -- plus a full time job.

And if that ain't enough to do, you're a culinary king, knower of all things nautical, a literal walking edition of "Strunk & White", and you even use public transportation for God's sake.

You're the Mudginator, man. You could take the Hulk any day.


Posted by: martooni | June 14, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

{* laughin' my butt off here after reading what I just posted because it sounds like I'm proposin' -- which I MOST definitely am not (nothing personal) -- or trying to borrow the boat keys *}

Posted by: martooni | June 14, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I didn't read it that way, although if you had said "You could take me anytime", well that sure could be read the wrong way.

We all know you don't want the boat keys. Not exactly, anyway.

You're praying that in case of a deluge, Mudge will see his way to skippering a chez Martooni rescue.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 14, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of which, have you continued working on your story from your novel writing month?

I always assumed it was set in a place destined to become the new Ohio Bayou, refuge of the West Nile mafia, and filled with magical alligators in preppy shirts.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 14, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse


I'm so very glad that I don't have to make my living beating Tiger Woods at golf!

[He just took the lead, by the way.]

Posted by: Bob S. | June 14, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Bob and martooni, are you both still out there? If so, and to anyone else that may have an opinion, a construction question: the 3/4 ply for the shower floor is cut and fitted and ready to take a drain fitting that is designed for a fiberglas pan/shower enclosure. It has a rubber gasket and a paper gasket that would mate with the top of the pan and the lock nut, respectively. I have considered gluing the plastic flange on the drain to the plywood w/epoxy and using the paper gasket as intended. OTOH, the drain may flex enough over time to cause the epoxy to fail. Thus, I'm tending toward using the gaskets as originally intended since the joint will be covered with a polymer fortified grout, and treated with grout sealant, FWTW. Any advice?

Posted by: jack | June 14, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I think I've missed something along the way. I take it that you're not actually using a standard glass shower pan - what's actually covering the plywood?

Posted by: Bob S. | June 14, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Wilbrod, I recently blew the dust off those files and forwarded them to my sister -- she's one heck of an illustrator -- to get that project moving again. I'm not sure if I'm going to flesh it out to make it more "novelly" or distill it down to be more "kids' bookish" -- it needs lots of editing either way (and finished, too) -- but I definitely want her to illustrate it.

All I need is a nice big fat advance from a publisher, which I'm sure will happen just as soon as I get struck by lightning, win the lottery and convince Mrs. M to have a second child (or at least practice making one).

Posted by: martooni | June 14, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

jack - At any rate, I agree that you probably shouldn't epoxy the flange directly to the plywood. Better to use the gaskets, I think.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 14, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Re: Tiger

Bob, never seen anything like it. Unfreakinbelievable.

Posted by: bill everything | June 14, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

jack... I'm thinking you should follow the destructions that came with the unit (if any), but if they're missing or nonsensical or written in Chinese...

The drain connection will act as an anchor for the shower base (as well as the sides being screwed into the framing). It should not move around at all, but just in case, use a liberal (as in thick) coat of clear silicone bath/kitchen caulking around all contact/connection points as you assemble the bugger and you should be fine.

And remember.... most leaks don't come from the drain, but from bad or damaged caulking between tub/base and surround/tile or improperly installed fixtures -- caulk the crap out of those, especially behind and around the escutcheons.

As long as the drain pipe is securely fastened (don't know if it's cemented in or if this is coming up through wood framing) -- if properly secured, the drain should be the least of your worries and will keep the tub/shower base from shifting around.

Posted by: martooni | June 14, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Sounds nice, and yes, you should finish the story, even in rawest unprintable form.

I know a published writer who was a true hippy and a roadie back in the summer of love. His book "The Sign of the Fool" is supposed to be reprinted this summer, I'll buy a copy.

I already know why people can't remember the 70's (pot, Nixon, Agent Orange), but I don't know what there was to remember. It seems like a historical snapshot back when things weren't computerized and you could own 10 drivers' licenses in false names.

His biographical update is interesting.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 14, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh, today his wife was saying that he says always write it raw, never stop until it's done...THEN worry about editing.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 14, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

The opening act for Plant/Krauss last night was a new singer named Sharon Little. Here's a video of her:

I figure some boodlers might appreciate her bluesy style.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

If you're not using a styrofoam base it will flex over time not to mention that glueing disimilar materials in an enviroment with temperature fluxuations isn't a good idea. I think a silicone caulking would be a better bet than epoxy.

Bob. Sorry about the my tone last night. I was chiding you for the way you addressed Shelley. The next time I insinuate that someone is being insufferably condescending I'll be sure to add the :-b

Posted by: Boko999 | June 14, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

BTW. Grout is not an adhesive it's strictly used as a filler.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 14, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm laughin' my butt off again, Wilbrod...

*My* wife (not that we're officially married [or ever will be]) says "Quit p**sing around on that computer and get yer ass out to the shop and make some dang fairy doors!"

She and 6 year old Little Bean know just how easily I get distracted. It's like living with two Border Collies who graduated from Camp Weownyerbutt and majored in towel-snapping.

Shiny? Ooooo! Shiny!


"Doctor Who" on SciFi? Shiny!


"Radio plays that forgotten song...
Doo-do-doo-dee-doo..." Shiny!


Boodle? Shiny!


Kit? "Michael... you are a git" and SHINY!


Beer? Mmmmmmmm... beer... very... shiny...


"P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney"... hmmm... Are sharks in a 12-step program *really* our friends? SHINY!


OK OK OK... but it's after midnight now and the neighbors will call the cops if I start running saws at this time of night.


Now what the heck was that one for?

Mrs. M.: I can't keep track of all the dumb things you do.

Posted by: martooni | June 15, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I've been watching news reports of the terrible flooding down in the States and I'm astounded to see people and kids swimming and wading though the water like it's a day at the beach. Don't they have any idea what could be in that stuff? You wouldn't catch me in it unless I was wearing hip-waders and a hazmat suit.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 15, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Boko - Your point last night about my lack of graciousness was well taken. I could (and should) have found a better way to make my point.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 15, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

I didn't think putting a shower stall on plywood is a good idea and my down and dirty research confirms it. It should go on mortar or a styrofoam base like a tile floor installation to prevent flexing when walked on.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 15, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Okey dokey Smokey, er, I mean Bob.:-)

Lookit the time! G'Night.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 15, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

boko... you must learn to embrace virulent microbes and toxic waste. Remember... what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Of course, if it does happen to kill you, the kids playing in that water will start a game of "Poke the Corpse with a Stick".

It's kinda like playing "Pooh Sticks", but without a bridge or A.A. Milne to put Things in Capital Letters that Shouldn't. And the only thing floating by would be a body to be poked at. With a stick. And the kids saying "man... that smells like... umm..."

Kinda like the Hudson.

(living in a region where a river actually caught fire [google cleveland, river, flaming] and our trout often have more than two heads, I can make stupid jokes like this with impunity)

Posted by: martooni | June 15, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

'tooni - I'm with you! I've mentioned that running behind the DDT fogging trucks was a favorite pastime of my youth, and I won't mention some of the foul waters that were used for recreation.

Hasn't done me ahhas iuhyw hs. Urk, urk!!

Posted by: Bob S. | June 15, 2008 2:28 AM | Report abuse

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

Happy Father's Day, to all the gents here at the Achenblog, including the writer, and creator, Joel Achenbach. I hope your day is fantastic, and each one of you enjoys it to the max.

Good morning, friends. I'm up so early, but woke up and could not go back to sleep. I fix my dad's card, and said my prayers, now I'm on the computer. By the time I should be getting ready for church, I'll probably be so sleepy I can hardly stand it.

My grandsons are here, but I have not seen them yet. They're with my daughter. I know they stayed with her last night so they don't have to get up and go to Sunday school. They like to stay up late on Saturday night, and sleep late on Sunday morning,like most young people I suppose. I was asleep right after the sun went down. Probably the reason I'm up now.

So what do you guys do on Father's Day? Enjoy your presents or cook on the grill? Do some folks still give those awful ties? I've never known what to get my dad for Father's Day. Still don't. I have a card that I've written a message inside, and I put some money in the card. Not much, because I don't have much, but sharing what I have. It is awkward, and hurts like the dickens. A part of me wants to run away, and pretend today is just another day. I guess you can tell my relationship with my father isn't the greatest. Yesterday was his birthday. He turned 81 years old. I called him and wished him a happy birthday. The last time I went to visit him, he threw me out the house. He got upset because my opinion differed from his, and, God forbid, I had the nerve to express that opinion. So I've kept my distance, but still call. I should be use to him throwing me out because he's done it so often, but it never goes down easy. It always makes me feel bad. He might not remember it, who knows. If he knew I was telling how old he is, he would probably hit the roof. I don't think he believes that he's getting older.

Martooni, Mudge, Scotty, enjoy your day, and all the guys here. Slyness, what are the babies doing? Morning, everyone.*waving*

Well time to go. I think I'll try and find some coffee. I feel full this morning,like I've eaten too much, and that isn't the case. Have a great day, folks. It's suppose to be cooler here, and we're in line for some rain, which is badly needed.

Remember to smile guys when you get that tie. In the case of Father's Day, it is definitely the thought behind the gift. I hope my father remembers that when he reads the card.

Posted by: cassandra s | June 15, 2008 3:48 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like a tempestous man, Cassandra. You might be right he isn't remembering stuff too clearly. That said, sometimes people vent opinions just to have somebody hear them, rather than get into a debate.

In other words, I can't argue much with my dad either.

Also, arguments don't really do him any good because he usually only talks about his opinions on politics and such when he's steamed at the nonsense being said on TV. So not a good time to discuss the merits of different ideologies then, no.

He has been Republican for a long time. I mean, he has a picture of himself holding up a "I LIKE IKE" sign nearly as big as he is.

However recently he has registered Democrat, and he voted for Obama in the caucuses.

I did ask him what made him shift. He said his growing discontent went back to Reagan (the deficit, remember?), as he developed the strong feeling that the Republicans in charge didn't give a damn about the country. Interesting, because so many Republicans seem to consider the Reagan years somehow the epitome of greatness.

Cassandra, I'd say give him an experience or memory, rather than a gift, although I admit some experiences are better than others.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 15, 2008 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Thanks for the well wishes, Cassandra. You even beat Little Bean to the first Happy Fathers Day greeting for me today.

I expect I'll spend most of today between the couch and the workshop. L.Bean and Mrs. M are going to be at the flea market for the better part of the day, so I'm free to do man stuff in peace without any raised eyebrows or comments from my female overlords.

At some point today I have to track down my Dad, who's on a job in Argentina. Still waiting to hear back from my brother (who's on another jobsite in Peru). And I definitely need to track down my Grandpa, who's become harder and harder to find since Grandma passed. He's an old-school jazz player and he kinda went "back to school", so to speak. Without a stern Polish woman at home to keep his Italian butt in line (or in the doghouse), just finding him can be a bit of a challenge. But what the heck... the guy is 82 and squeezing more out of life than I am at 40. More power to him!

Peace out and Happy F-Day to all you F-ers... ;-)

Posted by: martooni | June 15, 2008 5:56 AM | Report abuse

Morning folks. Happy Fathers Day. Power's out here; apparently a tree on a line somewhere. ETA is 11:45 for it returning. I'm using my iPhone to boodle. Without TV or radio I needed to check for the morning's news.

Y'all have a good day. Give your dad a hug if you can. It'll make you both feel good.

Posted by: TBG | June 15, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Happy Fathers Day to the A-blog dads. If all dads were so insightful, smart, and just plain good people our world would be much better off.

In Minneapolis this morning taking Mr. F to the airport for his return to Tampa.

If it's not too late to address the fiberglass shower issue, I say follow the instructions! 3/4" plywood is an adequate subfloor, but if the shower comes with styrofoam, or suggests using foam or even roofing felt between the pan and the subfloor do it. Worst case- without foam to support the shower floor where the floor is flat and the shower must have some slope toward the drain, rigid fiberglass will crack long before its time. With the less expensive flexible kind you'll feel flexing into the voids every time you step into the shower and will never be happy with all your hard work.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 15, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there.

Posted by: rainforest | June 15, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all, and happy Father's Day to those so honored. I don't know what my kids have in store for their dad and stepdad. I did get wind of gifts being purchased. We will leave the high country in time to be home for the college world series game at 7 p.m.

After yesterday's rain it's a lovely morning in the mountains. I'm out on the porch with my laptop because Mr. T and second dottir are still asleep. I'm trying to be quiet!

My kids pretty much missed out on grandfathers. My dad died before they were born, and their other grandfather lived in Texas and was only seen a couple of times a year. Mr. T has been a good role model for them, which they needed because of their ups and downs with their dad. Fortunately, his wife has elicited great improvements and they get along pretty well now. So there is much to be thankful for.

Posted by: slyness | June 15, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for all of the suggestions, but I'm still undecided regarding the drain installation. I'm building the shower from scratch, have framed the walls and fabricated framing to support the shower floor (3/4 ply, supported by 2x4's set perpendicularly and diagonally that dead end into a separate box to hold the drain: imagine a box in the middle of the floor,centered in a X and a cross made of 2x4, pitched appropriately, 1/2" to zero.) The latter is sitting upon the existing floor, and has a joist running roughly through the center of the shower that dead ends on the interior header between the first and second floor, and another on the right side of the shower that is part of the exterior header between the first and second floors. The floor is 37"x41", and I don't think that it's going to flex excessively. The plywood is cut into trapezoid shapes that I plan to seal with silicone caulk at the joints. It's going to be covered with 1/4" cement board that will be tiled. The tile will cover the pan and go up the wall to eight feet. I'm covering the rest of the wall, another 18 inches, and the ceiling with green board that will get a coat of paint. A heat-a-vent light will provide the obvious for the stall. There isn't a prefab part in any of the framing. I've dry fitted everything and it fits. Any suggestions? In the process of writing, I've nearly convinced myself that using the gaskets as they were intended if I had a fiberglas pan is the best alternative. I remain open to suggestions and wish all of the boodle Dads a joyous day.

Posted by: jack | June 15, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Cannot help, Jack, however, I expect you will boodle through and enjoy many fine showers.

Happy Father's day to all. I hope that you enjoy your mashed clay trays, additional ties, pencil holders, and what-have-you. Here is a gift certificate to the hardware store for the drill (bandsaw, etc, of your dreams.)

Bearer gets the good stuff. Smile when you exchange the goods.
Happy Dad Day.


Posted by: College Parkian | June 15, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Happy Father's Day - if the tie fits, wear it. No ties for Ivansdad this year. The Boy and I suggested that perhaps this Father's Day he should get a new riding mower/tractor. Ours technically works but has been out of commission since last fall. We got it for Father's Day when the Boy was about two - that's TEN years (shouting in amazement). We'll see.

Slyness said "college world series". This gives me the slim opening I need to shout out that the Rice Owls are once again in the College World Series this year. Go Owls! Hoot hoot.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 15, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Happy Father's Day everyone!

TBG - hope you get power back. We had a very brief interruption. Just enough to muck up all the clocks.

Had a luxurious breakfast at McDonald's and got some nice cards and a lovely bottle 'o Cabernet Sauvignon. But I think the festivities have pretty much peaked now.

Lots to do today, but that's how I like it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 15, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning All
Happy Fathers day to all you boodling dads!!

It's a cooler,dryer day here in west by god,we had another round of Heavy thunderstorms last night.I have 1 more day of work,then 2 glorious days to spend off with friends.I am sure something involving the river will be in order.

Wildlife Report: The frogs were in all their glory on my commute home,jumping and hopping all over the place,I hope I didn't squish any of them.I walked out to my garden this morning and came across a newly born fawn,so small and delicate.It just makes you feel good about life again.

Well back to doing a little work,before I have to go to work.

I hope all you Dads have a wonderful day!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | June 15, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey, slyness! Enjoy the weather. It's already hot here in the bottom lands. Salutations of the Day to Mr. slyness.

Belated congratulations to the Little Bean on the occasion of her graduation.

Posted by: jack | June 15, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Happy Father's Day, all you dads. My haul so far today: a digital, remote meat thermometer for the grill, and a pair of new boat shoes (that don't fit), from my wife. The kids are still asleep (and not likely to give me anything anyway). Oldest daughter and her family have gone to Ocean City, leaving us to puppy-sit their dog, but the upshot is I won't be seeing any of them today, nor going out for crabs or ribs, alas. Youngest son, the chef, has told my wife he will cook something for dinner, but that has at best a 50-50 chance of happening.

Yes, martooni, I have a second (i.e. "vacation") house, which I never wanted, had to build mostly myself, still don't want, and can't get rid of. So instead of having one house I don't want to maintain, I have two. I don't want to maintain. (It was all my wife's idea.) And yes, I have a boat up on blocks I cannot afford to launch, which has a 140-gallon fuel tank, and gas at the marina costs $5.50 a gallon; you do the math. Frightening, no? And I cannot afford to retire until I'm 67, six more years of gummint drudgery. So do not envy me my allegedly lavish lifestyle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 15, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Happy Fathers' Day to the Boodle men to whom it applies.

#1 has convocated with her BA! Many gowns, hoods, mortarboards and tassels have been donned and doffed, maces brandished (I'm trying to work out whether I could have a small sideline in mace brandishing?), champagne toasts drunk, photographs taken and festive meals et. All the grand'rents pushed off this morning, and I'm madly doing laundry to be ready to head east for work next week. Any chance of a Toronto BPH Wednesday or Thursday evening?

Posted by: Yoki | June 15, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Happy Father's Day to all Dads out there. Very sad about Tim Russert and hard to believe. I'm thinking about his family and colleagues and wishing them healing from the loss.

It has been crazy busy here. Friday night we saw Boz Skaggs at the local tent theater. He and his band were amazing. They nearly took the top off the tent a few times. The technical perfection of the band reminded me of Steely Dan, just perfectly executed changes in tempo and mid-song riffs. If you are familiar with Skaggs, and he performs somewhere near you, he's well worth seeing.

Spent part of yesterday in the yard pulling out an old and scraggly rhodendron and the rest at #2's cleaning and running errands. "S" couldn't stand that her kitchen sink drain was so slow so he undid the trap thingy and found, among other things, five straws clogging the pipe. He informed her that she did not have a disposal and therefore should refrain from letting anything slip down (duh!). He is an excellent second father to my girls, tho' we don't really think of it that way (I secretly do).

Last night I made creme puffs as they are "S"'s favorite dessert. That took til midnight. Today his son and wife are coming for dinner. I am going to try the barbeque and hoisin sauce baste on the steaks that Mudge mentioned. It's raining here so it will be cook out, eat in. The grass and flowers really need the moisture so I'm not too unhappy with the weather. Hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | June 15, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Martooni, I am really reely not trying to put a damper on your dreams, but just a heads' up from my days in the publishing business. Do not on any account send in a manuscript to *any* reputable publisher with illustrations already done. *No* publisher will take it unless it is a picture book that you drew or painted yourself. *All* publishers will want to commission an illustrator on their own account once they've accepted the manuscript as a piece of writing.

If you want your sister to illustrate, you can let the publisher know and she can send her portfolio, but that's as far as any of them will go. Or you can have one copy of the 'script with her pictures because you like it, but don't fool yourself that a publisher will accept it.

Sorry. Resume your activities.

Posted by: Yoki | June 15, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Merry Father's Day to all the Dads.
Congrats to Bean and Yoki's #1.
Kudos to Buddy999 who had a robin chick land on his head this morning and didn't snap at it.
A big 'Awww, poor baby' to me what has to go back outside and finish cutting the razzlefrackin' grass.

Posted by: Bokko999 | June 15, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to #1 and to you, Yoki.

Posted by: jack | June 15, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

You have my deepest sympathies re: the grasscutting, Boko.

Congrats to Yoki and Yoki's No. 1.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 15, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Congrats on the graduate, Yoki! Yeah, mace brandishing should be a good sideline. How about we team up, I'll do it on this side of the border, you do it on the other side? I can see both of us getting stinkin' rich 'cause we'd be gooood.

Happy Father's Day, Jack! Hope the shower install goes well.

Hehehe, Ivansmom, so Rice is playing in Omaha? So is Carolina, natch. Guess who we'll be rooting for!

Posted by: slyness | June 15, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, email me about this week - perhaps we can have a barbeque here - you can get a ride with dmdspouse from TO.

Posted by: dmd | June 15, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I know that this subject bores many folks to tears, but:

The US Open (golf) coverage is starting. I'm old enough to have watched Palmer & Nicklaus & Trevino & lots of other great guys, but it didn't mean a heck of a lot to me (emotionally) at the time. But by the time Tiger Woods hit the scene, I was getting a little older, and had played (very poorly) enough rounds of golf myself to get it.

What happened yesterday was pretty compelling stuff. There's a reason that Tiger Woods covered ad nauseum. He's really that impressive.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 15, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "There's a reason that Tiger Woods IS covered [in the media] ad nauseum..."

Posted by: Bob S. | June 15, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Further SCC: the spelling is, of course, "ad nauseam". Sheesh!

Posted by: Bob S. | June 15, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Bee-yoo-ti-ful sunshiney day here for Father's Day. The kiddo went back home yesterday - hopefully he'll call later. In addition to the sunshine, Mr Ml got to buy himself a new weedwhacker today, to replace the one he found on big trash day 15 years ago.

Hope y'all are having a good day.

Posted by: mostlylurking | June 15, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Is the nauseum near the vomitorium?

Posted by: Boko999 | June 15, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Mudge, I know I can always come to you for some sympathy. You're a mensch.

People still use mace? I thought tasers were all the rage. There's lots of rage about them up here.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 15, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I use mace! It's good in savory cookies, and I've even been known to sneak a bit into chili or spaghetti sauce.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 15, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Don't tase me.

The vomitorium means "the exit."

I'm busy reviewing some ancient history.

Posted by: Jumper | June 15, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I just did a quick scan, but I'm pretty sure I'll be reading it.

The Army CMH is quite a resource, isn't it?

Posted by: Bob S. | June 15, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Jack. Another cherished misconception trampled.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 15, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Jumper, Jack.
I got you all mixed up identity wise.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 15, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

ml, my folks are up in your neck of the woods visiting my cousin and his family. when i called to say happy father's day, they said how good the weather was. they were on their way to a ferry ride and the beach.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | June 15, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm laughing here - A buddy of mine just stopped by to drop off some paperwork for me. I was pulling my dinner off of the stove. (He's a fella from the northeast section of the U.S. - that becomes relevant shortly.)

I'd pan-fried some chicken with onions & garlic & stuff, and was putting it on the plate with some grits, some greens (a mix of mustard & collards & spinach), and a mish-mash of tomatoes, corn, okra, and black-eye peas.

He eyeballed that mix and said, "I usually forget it, but you really ARE a southern boy, aren't you?"

Sometimes it come out, y'all!

Posted by: Bob S. | June 15, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, by the way - Ho hum. After blowing up on the first couple of holes today (double-bogie, bogie), Tiger Woods just shot the birdie which put him back in the lead.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 15, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Bob S.-just got back from the twin cities and just tuned in to the Open. Just saw highlights from yesterday's action myself, but some golfers don't have a career highlight reel as exciting as that single round from Tiger.

I have golfed a bit, also poorly. But Ma Frostbitten, who has never played a round of golf in her life if you don't count Putt Putt, does not miss watching Tiger in a tournament. I hope the PGA has a plan for the post-Tiger world.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 15, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

SCC-remove a few justs and add variety as you wish. Sheesh.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 15, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Bob S., sounds like a good dinner for one to me, so post that greens recipe sometime.

I happen to like greens-- if it has green leaves and isn't too bitter or toxic, I eat it (and they are great with spinach)... but my parents were northerners and collards and mustard green are like exotic vegetables, never eaten. I wonder if they can be grown in the North?

Yoki, thanks for the publishing tip. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking the thinking behind that is that no editor wants to do two separate contracts for the same book. If the book is accepted, it's so much easier to negotiate illustrations separately and get the bidding done?

I have never done that kind of publishing, but I know editors get a ton of submissions to sort through and it's a PITA to do any extra work in deciding the matter because in that time, they probably could be going through a dozen or more submissions.

So I'm inclined to agree-- don't jump the gun there, finish the book, and then get any deals worked out later on.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 15, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

To boodle-piglet (not a full boodle-hog)... Slyness, your reference to your personal Mr. T makes me wonder if he likes to shout "I PITY THE FOOL."

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 15, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

The problem with boodle piglets is that they come not singly, but in litters.

Father's day speech.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 15, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

That darn McClatchy is at it again.
I've linked to the first of a 5 part series.
"America's prison for terrorists often held the wrong men"

I love the first comment:
actual journalism, how quaint.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 15, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Nope, Wilbrod, shouting isn't his style. Nor gold chains.

Thank heavens for Google. I had to look up your reference.

Posted by: slyness | June 15, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm probably speaking to soon, but it sure looks good for Rocco at the Open.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

Posted by: Bob S. | June 15, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Bob S.-Did you see that?!!!!!

Posted by: frostbitten | June 15, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

OH. MY. Ummm... GOODNESS!!

That Tiger fella's a hard one to keep down, ain't he?

Posted by: Bob S. | June 15, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Gotta tell ya'... I feel very fortunate to be watching the wondrous things that Tiger Woods has been doing and continues to do in the game of golf.

But I really like Rocco. It sure isn't going to hurt my feelings if he pulls it off in the playoff.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 15, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

What a TV night. The Open going to an extra round,the Tony awards, NBA finals. I'll never get myself ready for the work week at this rate.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 15, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

You nautical types might want to check your PBS schedule. There's a program on about Don (?) and his solo sail around the world during a race in 1968.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 15, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Rocco just showed a lot of class with his comments.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 15, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Bob S., that sounds like a great meal. I don't often cook greens but I'm very big on the vegetable mishmash and the chicken, grits etc are right on. We just finished slow oven-cooked brisket with fried potatoes and onions (done separately), salad and fresh cantaloupe from an old gentleman down Eufala, OK way who grows the best cantaloupe I've ever had. Someday he'll quit hauling stuff up here to the farmers' market (soon is my guess if gas prices enter the stratosphere) and our culinary life will be the poorer.

I am too tired to make coherent sentences for long. I wish all Boodlers a happy evening and a good start to the coming week.

The Boy liked "Wrinkle in Time" well enough that we're just getting to the good part of "A Wind in the Door". I love this reading to your kid thing; I can re-read all my favorites.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 15, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

First off, sincere apologies to bc for the delay in passing along his "I'm alive and well despite lack of Internet" comments.

Second off, why do routers and modems continue to happily blink their idiot lights when they're actually arguing a blue streak? Took me 20 minutes to get them on speaking terms this morning. Perhaps they were jealous I devoted some attention to getting another window A/C installed at ChezNuke. *RME*

Third off, congrats to the Yokispawn! *faxing Yoki a mace to brandish, although that'll fare better @ work than with the spawn, methinks* :-)

Fourth off, my Father's Day present will arrive Thursday on a JetBlue flight from Boston... *happy dances*

Fifth off, doncha hate tension headaches that WAKE YOU UP at midnight??? How can you be tense when yer sleeping??? *RME again*

*Back-to-the-grind-hopefully-with-enough-caffeine Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 16, 2008 4:51 AM | Report abuse

Hi Scotty. I can relate to your fifth off. I ask the same question as well.

Congrats to Yoki and Yoki's # 1.

Posted by: rainforest | June 16, 2008 5:04 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. 'Morning, Scotty. Sounds like you had a bad night: a midnight tension headache? *faxing a couple Tylenol* Glad you're getting a visit from Nukespawn.

Didn't see much on the front page worth commenting upon this morning. I generally don't follow golf, but you guys make it sound like it was pretty exciting last night.

My wife watched the Tony awards last night. I think it says a lot that the revival of a 60-year-old musical won seven awards. My wife was rooting for "South Pacific"; she's Mary Martin's fourth cousin (so fifth cousin to J.R. Ewing).

On Saturday at an antique store I ran across two paperbacks Alistair McLean novels, harking back to our discussion aboiut him, and bought "Fear Is the Key," and "The Secret Ways." Also bought the video of "Grosse Pointe Blank," which I'd never seen. Watched it last night; Cusack's sister Joan almost stole the show out from under him.

OK, on to the day! Cassandra, you up yet?

Rainforest, always nice to see you up at this hour.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 16, 2008 5:37 AM | Report abuse

Good morning--I hope everybody had a wonderful Fathers Day weekend. The NYTimes Magazine cover was about families striving to achieve Total Equality betwen husband and wife. It was good but I kept thinking, there really is room for specialization. In particular, it may not be so important for Dad to vacuum and change diapers as it is for him to do what Mom absolutely cannot do--but I couldn't fully articulate what I was thinking. Fortunately, Jeanne Marie Laskas did a good job of expressing my opinion in yesterday's WaPo magazine.

The Times:

The Post:

Posted by: kbertocci | June 16, 2008 6:24 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Mudge, I'm right here. I'm getting ready for the Vacation Bible School this week. I will be teaching an adult class. My grandsons are here, and we went out yesterday. Of course, the g-girl was in the mix. She thinks it's all about her. They laughed and cut up, but it was all good. My grandsons are big guys. Like their grandmother, they need more exercise.

I'm getting ready to hit the water. We start early.

Morning Scotty, Martooni, Slyness, and all.*waving*
We're suppose to get cooler weather tomorrow, and maybe some rain. We need both. The rain has been spotty, so the gardens are in danger of burning up.

Have a great one, folks. I know, I know, it is Monday, but it can also be the beginning of something good. Congrats, Yoki. Got to go, the water calls.

Posted by: cassandra s | June 16, 2008 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Second thoughts: I shouldn't have said "absolutely" -- single moms can and do produce daughters with good self-esteem who are capable of having healthy relationships with men. I should have said, It may be less important for Dad to do 50% of the diaper changing and vacuuming than it is for him to do what he does best and is most important to the kids. Again, Jeanne Marie does a much better job of saying what I mean. (Thanks, JML)

Posted by: kbertocci | June 16, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

I bill myself as the only straight man in America that watches the Tonys instead of the NBA finals every year, which can't possibly be true.

There was a very mixed bag of shows nominated. One of the edgier shows was a rock musical with an African American cast. The winner was 'In The Heights' which seems to be a very Latin flavored hip-hop production.

My wife and I could not keep our eyes from rolling during the 'Xanadu' number, which might have been the goal.

Whoopi Goldberg hosted and she did a bunch of bits where she inserted herself into the cast of different shows like 'Phantom of the Opera'. Very clever.

We had seen a tour company of South Pacific years ago with the late Robert Goulet in it. Of the shows last night, my wife wants to see 'Gypsy' with Patti Lupone who gave one of the best acceptance speeches.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 16, 2008 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Great article thank you for pointing it out khbertocci. I just sent it off to my husband at work - as the husband in that story reminds me of him and my dad.

Posted by: dmd | June 16, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Happy Monday, everybody! Cassandra, don't work too hard at Vacation Bible School. Ours is this week also, but I didn't volunteer. It's just for the kids.

Looking forward to cooler temperatures later in the week. I have to check and see if the big water main break has been repaired so I can water my few poor veggies. They look so yellow.

Last night the TV here was on the baseball game. Mr. T was happy with the outcome. Ivansmom, how about you?

Posted by: slyness | June 16, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

good Monday all! Busy day after a busy weekend. I didn't have to cook the spaghetti for 360 guest finally but I was the barman at the spaghetti fundraiser. 5 two-fours of beer, 35 bottles of wine, 10 dozens of pop cans and about a million water bottles (it was hot) later I was seriously pooped. I know what my second career will not be now, although I was congratulated on the job I did. It was my first day serving the stuff but all the time I spent on the other side of the bar almost counts as experience, right?

I see that boko posted after 17:00 last night, so his house wasn't warshed off in the historic Rideau Canal by the downpour we had just before dinner yesterday. We got like 2" of rain mixed with some hailstones in about an hour, it was coming down seriously. Today is supposed to be calmer although another storm is possible at the end of the day. We don't really need more water.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | June 16, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Bob S, frosti, I see I wasn't alone being glued to the television watching golf. This is not normal behavior for me nor for Raysdad, but we both watched Friday, Saturday and last night. Nothing against Tiger, but I really was pulling for Rocco. Such a class act, as demonstrated by his comments after. I can't find the exact quote, but basically he said that he sees no benefit in hoping the other guy will fail.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 16, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

g'morning boodle!

A Monday treat via 3QD-

Blue under Blue
Jim Culleny

We were sitting on a bench under blue
under the bush of a willow admiring her garden when
I saw an Indigo Bunting but didn't know it when I did.

Look, I said,
a bluebird on the wall!

No, the fabulous near-turquoise of it,
its deep and tiny beyond-blueness makes it
an Indigo Bunting, she said, if it's
anything at all.

It hopped, mysterious as one of the angels some say exist
and took off fluttering more beautifully than
the idea of fluttering

fluttering for real

took off into wisteria
like the idea of flying
(cubed at least).

Who thought that up, the flying?
-not to mention the wisteria,
I said. Truth is

that's what we were both feeling
just then, seeing an Indigo Bunting
so blue under blue under willow
from our bench.

Crazy week ahead then I'm off to Tampa on Sunday for the last trip. Furniture will be picked up and the house readied for the renters. They are more than eager to move from their current rental in the outer burbs to a mere 5 miles from his office. Would $5 gas sell Chez Frostbitten South? Bet it would.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 16, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I went home and back to bed because allergies attacked me something fierce. Blurry vision and a complete inability to concentrate. Was completely unaware of Metro problems, didn't seem to affect Bethesda to Cleveland Park commute.

Vision is back to normal, but still can't seem to concentrate. And this, without any meds at all. Just too many damned naps...

Posted by: omni | June 16, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

We watched the US open at our house - just more the norm for us than a special occasion. Last night before Tiger's last putt my husband asked if I thought he would sink the putt - I said yes - he is so good you expect nothing less. I watched (on TV) his miraculous shot at the Canadian Open many years ago - since then I have just marvelled at his talent and his focus.

Secretly pulling for Rocco though - we are the same age - he would be the oldest US Open winner (according to NBC yesterday) hard to cheer against that, and he seems like a very likeable person who would be fun to play a round of golf with.

Posted by: dmd | June 16, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Daughter saw Tony-award-winning Best Musical "In the Heights" on Saturday and said it was great! Then her class had an actors' workshop on Sunday morning with one of the actors in the show.

Despite pouring rain, the drama class weekend in NYC was a rousing success.

Don't know when our power came on yesterday as we left the house around 8:30 for breakfast and then decided to spend the day in Annapolis. We had a great time. Even took the trolley tour, which taught me stuff I never knew about Maryland history and the town of Annapolis. My mom grew up there, but moved to DC in 1942, so my History of Annapolis is limited pretty much to the 1920s and '30s.

Now I'm dealing with a strange summer problem.. my house is too cold! Seems when the power came back on yesterday it must have blown the probably-25-year-old thermostat; when I got up this morning, the temperature in the house was hovering right above 60°F.

Can I replace the thermostat myself? Judging from the fact that you can buy them off the rack at Wal-Mart, I'm assuming I can.

Any advice, folks?

Posted by: TBG | June 16, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Hi all, I'm back in the office and online for the moment. Internet and cable is pretty much out at the house, and likely to remain that way for a few more days.

Oy, I gots some serious Backboodling to do...

Had a good Father's Day, attended to by my daughers and a celebratory dinner at my Mom's house grilled steak and shrimp, asparagus with garlic, olive oil (natch) and lemon, layer salad, and fresh rolls, with a dessert of fresh nectarines, apricot, and cherries, over a sour cream jello (with crazins, cherry halves, and raspberries mixed in it) and sliced watermelon on the side. Good strong coffee and a few sips of homemade limoncella afterwards (for the digestion, you understand).

Yoki & Scottynuke, glad to hear of the good news on your fronts

I'll probably have to leave in the afternoon to attend to some personal business.

More later, actually have work to do.

Happy Belated Father's Day to the rest of you fathers out there, and good luck to both Rocco and Tiger on the playoff later today. Don't know who I'm pulling for there, but it should be good.

shrieking denizen and jack (and Mudge, and anyone else who cares) please note my prediction from Friday the 13 re. the LeMans 24 hours:

"The (Peugeot) 908 turbodiesels are super-fast, but seem to be somewhat fragile. 7-time LeMans winner Tom Kristensen's driving for Audi, teamed with speedy Scot Allan McNish and Dindo Capello - a *very* experienced team and the guys to watch in the last 6 hours, IMO. In order to finish first, first ya gotta finish, eh?"

Make that Tom Kristensen fellow now an 8-time LeMans winner.

Yes, I *am* that good.


Posted by: bc | June 16, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

We have successfully replaced a thermostat before TBG - if we can do it I am pretty sure anyone could.

Posted by: dmd | June 16, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

TBG, re, your thermostat: Yes, it is possible for you or a handy friend to replace a thermostat. Almost always, you do not have to match the thermostat brand with the A/C brand.

Where it gets tricky, however, is that there are usually 5 wires that connect the thermostat. (On heat pumps, anyway.) Making sure that, say, the brown wire connects to what it is supposed to connect to can take some serious savvy. I speak from experience on that. Also, I'm not convinced that your thermostat is necessarily the culprit in this case.

It is not likely that you would break anything if it isn't wired right. More than likely, it won't work, and then you have to call in a tech. rep. anyway. Good luck.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | June 16, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I heard and read many tributes to Tim Russert over the weekend, but this morning something Joe Krebs on NBC4 said touched me like nothing else did. He told about having had a heart attack a few years ago and the kind personal note that Russert sent him. He said he then realized that he had been the same age (58) as Russert when he had his heart attack. He said "I wonder why I lived and he did not."

Posted by: Raysmom | June 16, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Jack, I vote for using gaskets rather than glue. What if you have to disassemble this puppy in the future? (Heaven forfend)

Posted by: Don from I-270 | June 16, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

As dmd points out, changing a t-stat's pretty easy; it helps if you understand basic home electrics.


Posted by: bc | June 16, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to #1 Yoki! *throwing hat in the air*
TBG, what Don said. I suggest you install a programmable one. They do save money by letting the temp go down/up when you are not in the house. You can program a cooler nights during the winter as well. Mine has been keeping up to date with weekdays and weekend day for nearly 10 years now, on maybe 4 sets of 2 AA batteries.

Yep bc. You don't even have to have the fastest car to win the race either. My man's team (Villeneuve& al) were 1 sec faster per lap on average yet came second becouse they spent 10 minutes more in the pits (42 vs 32 minutes). Strategy IS important in those long races.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | June 16, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

SCC of the worst one: because

I note that many car owners would be happy to have 32 minutes of maintenance per 24 hours running time. Especially the owners of cars of the British or Italian persuasion. Everyone knows that Fiat stands for Fix It Again Tony, right?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | June 16, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

sd, I've planned out and executed several long distance race wins (12 hours or more) with cars that were signifcantly slower [intentionally or not] than the competition.

I like winning races by outhinking just as much as winning by outdriving (and I've done both).


Posted by: bc | June 16, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

An article about clever DC commuters who conduct "airport business" to be able to use the free Dulles Access Road...

To explain... when Dulles was built, a limited-access road was built (you can get on, but you can't get off until you reach the airport) from the Beltway to the airport. When I was learning to drive, the Dulles Access Road was so empty, that's where we went to learn highway driving.

But the development out near the airport was so prolific, in 1984, a highway that surrounds the access road was built as a toll road. The Dulles Toll Road is congested and expensive to drive every day. Folks used to loop through the airport, but laws were changed to require you to be on "airport business" to legally use the free Access Road.

So... a stop at the lone gas station for a cup of coffee or a pack of gum is "airport business." Make sure you get a receipt and you can use the Access Road *and* I-66 inside the Beltway, which is usually limited to car pools of 2 or more people during rush hour.

Posted by: TBG | June 16, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I read that article and have mixed feelings. While not particularly appreciative of the bending of the rules, I'm not sure how they could enforce them otherwise without seriously inconveniencing those with *legitimate* business at the airport. Unless the Access Road is being overloaded as a result, I think they should leave it alone. Of course, with this publicity from the Post, the practice could become much more widely adopted.

Of course, I'm such a goody-goody that I hesitate to use it after dropping someone at Dulles, 'cuz I have no *proof* on hand.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 16, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

brain still out of 8:57 today refers to my 8:40 of Friday.

At this rate I'll never catch up

Posted by: omni | June 16, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Hope you're feeling better, omni. So after not sleeping, it sounds like your body is trying to catch up, no?

At any rate... take care of yourself!

Posted by: TBG | June 16, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: TBG | June 16, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

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