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A Planet of Corn

Here's America's problem: Not enough corn. Never mind that certain entire midwestern states are nothing but cornfields, with some soybeans thrown in for variety. We need to start planting corn in more places, including, possibly, your bathtub. We need you to start growing corn in a pot balanced on your head!

As you know, when I'm not being jocose my one huge obsession journalistically is ... Ag Policy. See my story today. We've got us a situation with corn, with huge environmental ramifications. I'm told something like a third of the corn crop will have to go to ethanol this year unless the EPA waves the 9-billion-gallon congressional mandate on fuel refiners. The Texas governor has asked for a waiver because the high price of feed is threatening the livestock industry. Corn is doing double duty as fuel and food and it's making a lot of guys in cowboy hats very unhappy. Meanwhile if you've got a patch of dirt in conservation and are collecting some rent from the gummint for not growing anything on it, you suddenly might figure, wait, let's grow some of that 7-buck-a-bushel corn.

That Pixar movie, Wall-E, though brilliant by all accounts (my eldest says it's her new favorite movie ever) has it wrong: In the future the planet will not be smothered in the litter of its consumer obsessions. It will be buried in corn stover.

I may even have to stop growing tomatoes. In my yard alone I bet I could raise at least two bushels of corn. One year I actually did have a handsome corn patch. The stalks were tall and tassled, several dozen of them screaming to the world that here, in this patch of Earth, lived a farmer, a man who knows his way around dirt. Sadly a maelstrom came. One by one the stalks took a tumble. They were flattened. I knew the full sorrow of a farmer beset by ill winds.

That was when it was less than two bucks a bushel. Now I'm thinking of a return, big time, to corn. If I plow the lawn and put in corn I may solve the dilemma I whined about yesterday. See, it's all coming together in my head. The answer to all of life's problems: corn. And more corn.


Some random reading:

Via Mike Allen's Playbook, here's an LA Times piece on McCain's divorce etc.

General in Iraq: Obama plan would be hard to pull off.

Part 3 of the Baja Fluffitado Saga.

You're kidding me.


Smart people being vapid: A national emergency? Read this nastygram to Matt Yglesias from some other cat who thinks Mr. Yglesias is guilty of puffery and bloghorrea.

"Yglesias's blog post is so extremely brief and vapid, so without context or insight or passion or concern, that it's just a complete waste of everyone's [effin'] time. Yglesias is only writing it so he can get on to his next post, which will mean just as little as this one, and only written because his employer requires 20 posts/day of semi-intelligent prose that appears to intelligent but which conveys nothing at all."

Here's his response.

What shocks me about all this is the fact that Yglesias apparently posts 20 items a day. Who has that many thoughts? I have about four thoughts a day on a GOOD DAY, and of those, only one, typically, even approaches being something I'd want to share with anyone else. (My bosses in the print newsroom would prefer that I post roughly 0 times a day. They would actively hate my blog if they were to remember that it exists.)

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 11, 2008; 10:40 AM ET
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Just one quibble, I don't think we have an "ag policy" any more than we have a health care "system."

Posted by: frostbitten | July 11, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"Waives the rules". Waving rules is what overagressive homeowner associations do.

Ag is policy-driven in the biggest possible way. Unfortunately, Farm Bills don't make interesting news.

Even if congressional ag policy has bad results, individual Members and committee staffs are almost certainly highly competent, hardworking, and well-intentioned. Wonder what the political scientists make of that.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 11, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Thinking of the back yard, squashes yield abundantly, which helps explain their popularity in countries less affluent than the US. The classic Mexican garden of maize, beans, squash, and tomatoes is a gardening and nutritional marvel.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 11, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

JA- did you talk to the DU spokesman long enough to get a feel for who their members are? Up here they are all farmers, loggers and smalltown business people who rely on farmers and loggers. I just wonder if it is really "farmers" who want out of their conservation contracts or "agri-business," totally different constituencies in my mind.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 11, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

SCC-DU is Ducks Unlimited, mentioned in JA's story in the paper.

DotC-I was stopped at a corner in our county seat yesterday and noticed how a homeowner had converted all but a few grass pathways in his front and back yards to a very high yielding garden. Rhubarb in an attractive row along the front sidewalk, corn, raspberries, strawberries, a couple different types of squash, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, lettuce, beans-and that's just what I could see in a quick look from the 4-way stop.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 11, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Let's see, I've got about 1.125 acre of grass I could convert to corn. Say at a yield of 160 bushels per acre x 7$/b. that's $1400. Minus the anhydrous ammonia (say 200lbs at $600/ton, the neighbours will get used to the stench), the seeds, the round-up/liberty and the various "crop protection" products...I'm rich! I'm living in a toxic pit but I'm rich!

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 11, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Reclaiming front lawns and back yards for victory gardens is an inspired agricultural revanchism, taking it back from the developers, but those agressive homeowner associations may balk at waiving the rules by waving the rules.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

From the tail end of last kit.
OK, folks, those of you who have been strapped into your highchairs waiting for installment III of the Baja saga, here it is:

It is, quite literally, a cliffhanger.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 11, 2008 11:08 AM

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 11, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Reposting, just in case:

OK, folks, those of you who have been strapped into your highchairs waiting for installment III of the Baja saga, here it is:

It is, quite literally, a cliffhanger.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 11, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, I admire that idea very much. My husband was reading about China, about how all the people are migrating from the countryside to the cities, and there was a picture of a Chinese village. Every household was using the available land around to grow food, and there were chickens etc. In my neighborhood a lot of people grow food in the back yard, but nobody has a garden out front.

My next door neighbor grows corn. We have no room for practical crops like that--we are in thrall to the idea of home-grown watermelons. Sadly, we have lost several melons already and have not yet harvested one. We had a torrential rainstorm last week and then a couple of days of intense sunshine, and three of the melons split open, although they were not yet ripe. Boo hoo. We still have about six big ones and another half dozen babies coming along. There's still hope.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 11, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

No, no, no. I refuse to succumb to the challenge. I will not go to the Baja Fluffi III. I refuse . . . aaaarrghh

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 11, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Kb sets me up nicely here. Gardening is full of heartbreak. If we gear up to farming gardening we risk lots. I am not opposed to home gardening, but I gave up long ago to grow flowers. I am happy to buy less but pay more at the farmers' market for those trying to live by doing this.

I lost my CSA two summers ago, when Farmer Michael F moved/retired to CA....I am not sorry to see the chard and kale go....I cooked so much of it as to be over-charded and kale-inundated.

I do, however, have a sunny southern exposure in the front, that I would plow if need be....however, farming for food is not that easy.

Not raining on the parade here, just speaking from dirty-nail, scare-crows-don't-work experience.


Off to read the Neo-ChittyChittyBangBang Adventures of BC and Mudge....

Posted by: College Parkian | July 11, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I posted a few weeks ago that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was opposed to using corn for the production of ethanol and thought corn yields should be redirected to animal feed. The reason? The Houston Chron has the story, along with a timeline of events (a good overview):

AUSTIN -- Gov. Rick Perry's request for a waiver of federal corn-based ethanol production mandates was prompted by a March meeting he had with East Texas poultry producer Lonnie "Bo" Pilgrim, who six days later gave $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association chaired by Perry.

In the three weeks following that donation, Perry's staff began preparing to submit the renewable fuel standards waiver request to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, according to 596 pages of records obtained from the governor's office by the Houston Chronicle under the Texas Public Information Act.

LL: Background on "Bo" Pilgrim and Pilgrim's Pride:

Posted by: Loomis | July 11, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

As I have mentioned many times, my homeowners association does not allow gardening. Since I do not have a deck, my backyard is completely unused except as a toilet for the neighbors' Golden Retreivers.

With corn yields consevatively estimated at 115 bushels per acre, that prime 1,000 square feet could easily gross me $18.50 for the summer, which is less than what I'm currently paying the undocumented landscaping contractor to mow it every two weeks.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 11, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

here in NW Ohio some farmers are cultivating what used to be the barnyard (lawn).

Posted by: Jamie | July 11, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Phil Gramm's "mental recession" seems to have grown legs on Wall Street. Corn victory gardens -grow your own ethanol - may become a necessity as oil closes in on $150 a barrel (can $200 and $7 gas be far behind?). Then those vacant condos can be converted to multi-storied hydroponic ag production facilities to grow food crops.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 11, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

yep CP, backyard gardening is fun but hardly feeds a family unless someone has the enough knowledge and the time to do the work. I plant stuff that is hard to get by and/or is really easy to do (zucchinis anyone?). In this unsophisticated market one has to grow his/her own filet beans to taste them. You might as well look for a unicorn rump roast as well if you go shopping for snap peas in Ottawa. We'll have pumkin (the good ones, not the Halloween type), tomatillos, heirloom tomatoes, snap peas and filet beans because we grow them, it is simply the only way around here. Cucumbers (if the striped cucumbers beetles leave enough of them), tomatoes, regular beans, beets, zucchinies, etc are fun and easy to grow so we do some as well. Forget about the onions, cauliflower, brauchli, sweet corn, strawberries, carrots etc they are best left to the specialists who will be delighted to sell them to you at the farmer's market.
It's been a wet year so far, the slugs are doing exceedingly well. We do lettuce as well, probably because we like them slugs so much and they need their food too. Yuck.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 11, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I am not a fan of biofuels. Biofuels are an astoundingly inefficient way to convert sunlight into mechanical or electrical power. You spend a whole season growing the crop, then expend energy harvesting it, then the bacteria need to ferment it, which uses up a good chunk of the available chemical energy in the ethanol feedstock. At the end, you have a small fraction of the biomass converted into a hydrocarbon fuel -- albeit, I believe, a hydrocarbon fuel whose chemical energy density is greater than gasoline. The sugars in a plant are only a small fraction of the plant's total mass (all of which is formed through photosynthesis), and the plants cover maybe 50% of the surface in a field. Most of the sunlight falling on a field merely goes to heat, rather than photosynthesis. Cellulosic ethanol would return ethanol from the greater part of the plant, but requires an expenditure of energy by the bacteria or chemical-processing plant to break up the cellulose structure, which is quite tough, resulting in a reduced amount of energy available in the chemical bonds of ethanol at the end. With appropriate research, I could work out the total energy efficiency of biofuels, but that would take time I don't have right now. I suspect that the total energy efficiency of biofuel production really can't be better than perhaps 0.01%. Compare to solar photovoltaics or other solar technologies, which are of order 10% efficient. A field of solar collectors may be aesthetically unattractive, but it is approximately 1000 times more energy-efficient than biofuels. That means that you need to dedicate 1000 times less land area to obtain the same energy. The only real defense for using biofuels is that there are mobile motors off the grid -- aircraft, long-distance trucking -- that require the very high energy density of a chemical fuel. Ships at sea could tolerate solar-electric and the return of wind power (hooray for Curmudgeon!) at the cost of longer transit times. For chemical fuel purposes, electrolytically-produced, or catalytically-produced, hydrogen or synthesized methane are superior fuels that can be produced in electrically-powered plants. Food, on the other hand, is very difficult to synthesize without agriculture. Biofuels are a stopgap measure and ultimately a stupid robbery of energy from the biosphere and from hungry human (and non-human) mouths.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 11, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow, yello, your HOA is even more restrictive than mine! We're allowed vegetable gardens in the backyard, and elsewhere as long as you have kind neighbors who don't turn you in to the HOA Politzei.

The idea of growing corn is tempting, but even my mom, who has an eviable garden patch of dark loamy soil, has given up on it. Between the weather, the insects, the woodchucks and the deer, her yield could have been bought for less than $5 at the local Wegman's.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 11, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm very happy, nay, ecstatic, to see that Laguna Verde was not on the Fluffitado course...

Then again, I haven't read Part IV (A New Hope, perhaps?) yet...

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 11, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey Raysmom!! Welcome back! *waving*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 11, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I can see the letter I'd get from my HOA if I planted corn...We get letters if the bottom of our mailbox post is mossy green.

I planted carrots in my flowerbeds. Who can tell the difference? I can't. I still don't know if those green things are carrot plants or weeds. I'll pull them up when I come back from Colombia.

Did you guys read the article about Medellin in the World section? The father of one of my bestest high school friends is in it, talking about flower exports. I'd post his name, but the word filter would probably block me. His name is rather unfortunate, really.

Posted by: a bea c | July 11, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Wind-driven ships... Hah!!!! Nine hundred years old -- and I'm *still* ahead of my time!

I'm thinking about converting my side yard into a vinyard, growing Johannisberg riesling grapes. A nation of winers, indeed.

Maybe a couple of merlot trees, a white zinfindel bush or two.

If I graft a snap bean sprig onto a hops plant, can I grow my own pop-top beer? (Did you know they make Budweiser beer out of rice? What a criminal waste of Rice Krispies.)

And where does one get moo goo gai pan seeds?

I may need to read up some on this whole gardening thing.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 11, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Getting tragically on-topic here for a second: As I've mentioned before, corn is *not* the only possible source for alcohol suppliments for gasoline fuels.

I think that methanol - which has been used for decades to fuel racing cars - might be a reasonable alternative. And it's made from wood, which is typically not a food.

The corn farmers' lobby and PR/marketing teams are quite effective and have played the game to win. As it appears, they have.

To mix meataphors (ahem), we've put all of our gasoline additive eggs in one bushel, and now we have to sleep in it.


Posted by: bc | July 11, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Science Tim says:
"Food, on the other hand, is very difficult to synthesize without agriculture." Hum, what about Soylent Green?
And don't forget the very high energy input that the fertilizer, pesticide and mechanical cultivation represents. One needs about 35000 cubic feet of natural gas to make one ton on ammonia. Combined with the demand of corn it explains the very high price of ammonia these days. Say the rate of application 9high) is 150lbs/acre and the yield (high) is 150 bushels/acre that is 17.5 cubic feet of natural gas per bushel of corn, for the fertilizer alone.

I grew Indian corn and blue corn a few times, for Mrs. denizen's fall decoration. Last couple of time I tried the flipping squirrels broke all the stems by climbing 2-3 of them at the time to check on the ears ripeness. If I grew sweet corn I would have enough raccoons around to start a homebusiness selling Davy Crocket's hats. Life in the exosuburbs is cruel.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 11, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Hi Scotty! Feeling better? *waving back*

Posted by: Raysmom | July 11, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Sorta kinda on-off topic question for Science Tim. Why did our 6-speed, very peppy, Audi A4 rental in Germany get 40 mpg when you can only achieve that mileage in the US with a hybrid or something roughly the size of your average garden tractor? What are the Europeans doing differently in manufacturing their cars and why can't the American auto makers do the same?

Posted by: Raysmom | July 11, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if that homeowners association also bans solar panels on the rooftops. That would take the prize. I have heard of ones that REQUIRE chemical fertilizer and roundup be applied to the lawns, killing and mutating the amphibians & fish downstream. It's obvious: they hate us for our freedom.

Posted by: Jumper | July 11, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed, Raysmom. The back was back to normal just in time to take NukeSpawn to the airport... *SIGH*

*faxin' Ray a Snausage* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 11, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I've been watching the new season of "Weeds" and clearly Nancy is in the wrong market. I'm not sure how well corn would grow in a foil-lined microbus stocked with grow-lights. Any tips, martooni?

My HOA also bans non-wood decks although a few neighbors have been surreptitiously replacing the planking with Trex. We've never been enthusiastic enough to appeal it.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 11, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Stealth food planting! I love it, a bea c. They are selling ornamental sweet potatos around here. Hard to tell they are food, also, unless one just knows Pretty flowers on 'em, too.

Mudge, if you put in barley and hops, you can just BARTER the result for gasoline.

Posted by: Jumper | July 11, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Mudge and bc, LOL.

The problem with corn is that you need a 40-acre field to make the effort of planting and harvesting worthwhile. I'm not gonna bother, not least because I have a half-acre lot.

I'm still working on the vegetable garden thing. This year's veggies went into an area where Mr. T took out a white pine a couple of years ago. I failed to improve the soil appropriately and am getting practically nothing. Next year I'm gonna reclaim the strip on the side that was productive and now is growing grass. What a waste of good soil and sunshine.

Posted by: slyness | July 11, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I didn't do it on purpose. My kid brought me a pack of seeds from school for Mothers Day. I had to plant them. I picked a sunny, vacant spot.

I wish I could fax all of you some blueberries. Picked two gallons this morning. They are very sweet.

Posted by: a bea c | July 11, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

In the face of increased energy cost, our fair city just repealed a by-law banning clotheslines. The next door neighbour is 200ft away, why would he care if I had a clothesline?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 11, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, I really don't know what's the deal with your Audi in Germany vs. here in the U.S. I have my suspicions, but bc is the one who would actually know something. My primary suspicion lies with the choice of gear ratios and the total power of the engine. The U.S. engine probably is overpowered for the speeds that actually are permissible. Other issues relate to things like emission controls, the weight of safety systems -- or maybe I should say "safety" systems, since the U.S. car may have safety measures whose mandates have not kept pace with technology. I don't know the extent to which any of these might actually be the case. These are the areas that I would investigate.

My favorite auto powerplant remains a short-range electric car with all-electric transmission, carrying an onboard range-extending generator system employing a gas turbine that can burn practically any low-residue liquid or compressed-gas fuel, from ethanol or gasoline to pure hydrogen. Energy-efficient and fuel-flexible.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 11, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom asks: "Sorta kinda on-off topic question for Science Tim. Why did our 6-speed, very peppy, Audi A4 rental in Germany get 40 mpg when you can only achieve that mileage in the US with a hybrid or something roughly the size of your average garden tractor? What are the Europeans doing differently in manufacturing their cars and why can't the American auto makers do the same?

I ain't Science Tim, but I can answer the question to some degree: The European manufacturers - BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Volvo, Ford Europe, Opel, Volkswagen, Fiat, Renault, etc, *have* tried bringing the kinds of cars you're describing here to the US. Unfortunately, Amercians haven't traditionally bought those kinds of cars in large numbers, because they're typically somewhat basic and underpowered compared to domestic manufacturers, and more expensive than alternatives from the Far East.

They're expensive to import to the US, and now, frankly, the Euro companies only see the US as a niche market for frugal products (see Volkswagen), and they won't bring basic decontented cars here anymore because they lost so much money during the 80's, 90's and early 2000s.

Anyone remember the BMW 318ti or the Mercedes C 230 coupe? The Audi Fox? Opels of any sort? The Fiat 128?

All were good mileage vehicles sold here in the US - the BMW and Merc within the past decade - and nobody bought 'em. Dealers were stuck with products no one wanted on their lots and maufacturers lost money on 'em, too.

The Euro manufacturers either got out of the US market or positioned themselves upmarket with cars that are loaded down with more powerful engines, luxury gizmos and automatic transmissions (typically except for high performance models) and sometimes all-wheel drive systems (see Audi) that reduce fuel economy a lot, and are more expensive, so the dealers and manufacturers make more per vehicle on them (since they're not making money on volume).

Once bitten, twice shy.

I have a German sedan with a manual transmission and a smaller engine, and get over 30 MPG city and highway combined, and well up into the 30s on the highway. If you look, Raysmom, you can find those kinds of cars in the US if you are prepared to spend the time to look closely at dealer inventories, but they're kinda rare, like they slipped in by accident. And your typical car salesperson isn't going to lead you to the cheapest, most decontented unit on the lot first, he's going to lead you to the Belchfire V-16 Leviathan where he's got a lot more margin. SoG excepted, of course.

Europe as *way* cooler and more efficient cars than we do here, but the manufacturers believe they can't sell the basic stuff here.

Heck, even Honda's learned that. Your basic Honda Accord sedan in Europe is a completely different car than what they sell here under the same nameplate. They fill it full of luxury stuff and sell it as the Acura TSX. And we pay $10k more for it than we need to...


Posted by: bc | July 11, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

And with 40 acres you need a mule.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 11, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I would add that there are a lot of basic variants of the new BMW 1 series - such as 4 cylinder and diesel versions and hatchbacks - that we're not going to see here for the reasons I stated above.

It'll take a while for the Euro manufacturers to figure out that the American market's changing fast.

Even MINI makes more fuel efficient versions (with smaller engines and maybe even diesels, IIRC) of their products for other world markets, but they're not available here.

But there's hope.

I think the success of Smart might just change things...


Posted by: bc | July 11, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

You could try the same car as I recently bought -- a Honda Fit with manual transmission. It feels very roomy inside, seats four without crowding (5 would make for a very crowded back seat, however). Its flexible interior configuration already has been very useful for me, fitting large amounts of laundry to the laundromat when our dryer was out of commission, carrying things to/from our old house for repair work, and so on. I love it. I have been getting 34 mpg reliably, in mixed driving. The ScienceSpouse says that she did better driving it while I was in Hawaii, so I may be yielding too much to the urge to drive fast.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 11, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, bc, did you get some "deep" inspiration from the second picture of this gallery?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 11, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

That's a great picture, sd.

But no, Mudge and I actually wrote that bit in 2006.



Posted by: bc | July 11, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

In the future we will all be Children of the Corn. Cue scary music...

Posted by: omni | July 11, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

bc and I are nothing if not visionary pioneers, shriek.

Posted by: Curnmudgeon | July 11, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

McMansions into tomorrow's tenements?

Posted by: Jumper | July 11, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse


If it goes like everything else, I doubt seriously if you get the "forty acres" and the "mule". Wishful thinking.

Thanks, bc.

I used to try and have a small garden, and did okay for part of it. Yet living close to the woods, there are all kinds of things that can go wrong, and most of them are of the four-legged variety. I hope we can find an alternative to oil, but not with corn. Maybe something else, something more compact and powerful. Something no one has even considered, and only "we" have it. I know, that's selfish, but it's how I feel. Of course, we would share it.

I haven't had a tomato all summer, and I miss them terribly. I want a tomato so much, I'm willing to eat them before the CDC does it work, and I know the risk. ABC news showed a field of tomatoes being plowed under on their nightly news program, and I cringed. Even the guy that I usually buy tomatoes from every year didn't have any.

I feel so badly for making you guys think that I was trying to put the make on you. I was telling the truth, and somehow I guess it didn't come out right.

Well, time to do some studying.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 11, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

And in stupid criminal news...


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 11, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Here's something you don't see every day:

Stolen Bard Folio Is Retrieved After Brought to D.C. Library

Associated Press
Friday, July 11, 2008; 12:19 PM

LONDON -- A 400-year-old volume of Shakespeare stolen in England a decade ago and valued $30 million has been recovered after a man walked into a library in Washington and asked to have it authenticated.

Police in Durham, northeast England, said Friday they had arrested a 51-year-old man over the theft of the First Folio edition of 1623, which scholars consider one of the most important printed books in the English language.

It was among seven centuries-old books and manuscripts stolen in December 1998 from a display case at the Durham University library in northeast England.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 11, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, you don't need to feel bad. Your friends were inferring something that wasn't there. We trust you to let us know if you have a need we can fill.

Jumper, very interesting article. Thanks for sharing. Charlotte's been working on new urbanism for about a decade now. It certainly seems to be working along the light rail corridor.

I live in a traditional 60's suburban neighborhood, but bus service is available in front of the house and half a block away, so I hope home values will hold up. When I'm too old to care for the ranch house and half acre lot, I'd like to move to a town center development, where I could walk to the store and church, etc. I could get used to doing without a car.

Posted by: slyness | July 11, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Scotty and I are apparently on the same identical wavelength. One of us needs to be deeply concerned.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 11, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

And i think it's him. You all know what a wreckage my brain is.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 11, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

You were just following my lead, 'Mudge...


I particularly like the part where the guy said he bought it in Cuba. *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 11, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Where did celebrities graduate:

I only knew the answer to one. The rest were complete guesses. 2/12. dag

Posted by: omni | July 11, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

6/10 on the quiz. 50% isn't bad for raw guesses.

Posted by: Kerric | July 11, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

5/12, with many (un)informed guesses...

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 11, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

10/12 on the celebrity alma mater quiz. And I prefer to call guesses successful use of the process of elimination.

One celebrity that didn't make the quiz is fellow Yellow Jacket Jeff Foxworthy, BSEE '79.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 11, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Yikes! 9/12. Missed Danson, Schwimmer and Funt. Knew six or seven of the nine, so two or three good guesses. Shatner was an easy guess. Think about it. Click and Clack often talk about their alma mater (mock disparagingly). Gandolfini was an educated guess, by location.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 11, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Ignore the self-congratulatory stuttering.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 11, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I just read some of the story about Jesse Jackson, and the comments he made, and now I'm wondering, what is the world was he doing on Fox news? And as much as he has had interaction with the media, doesn't he know one cannot say that stuff with a mike in front of you. He shouldn't have said that, and then to say it into an open mike, sheesh, sounds like something Mr. Bush might do.

I don't watch Fox news. I have blood pressure issues, serious ones, and the folks at Fox news have total disregard for truth. Why add Fox to the list of issues I have. They can spin so that one does not recognize it at all. You have to wonder if they're getting their news from the same source as the other news stations.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 11, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

3/12 and I knew 2 of them, Shatner and Woods. I won't buy lottery tickets today, 1/10 on the pure guesses is way below the expected probability.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 11, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping I'd run into you Slyness. Do you have on the top of your head info on the long term effects of repeated borderline heat exhaustion? Seems my brain is on sputter mode lately. And the price of ice is up! I did just call Herrin Bros. for ice prices. $1.29 for 7 lbs. if I drive there myself... I hate extra driving but that's pretty attractive.
This person's blog is back up and running, and still fending off Lewis Guignard...

Posted by: Jumper | July 11, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

8/12, other than Click and Clack they were all guesses to some degree.

Off to read that Atlantic piece. Will it add to my smugness over choosing downtown digs in St. Paul? I hope so. Smugness is such a good antidote to second guessing one's real estate purchases.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 11, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I threw away my EMT text, it was 27 years old and obsolete, but I checked and see that the symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, tiredness, muscle cramps, dizziness, headaches, nausea or vomiting, and fainting. If you stop sweating, call 911 immediately. That would be heat stroke, and it IS an emergency.

Glad to see she's back, I'll check out the blog.

5/12 on the quiz with many guesses. I did know Shatner went to McGill...

Posted by: slyness | July 11, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

58 minutes. *sigh*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 11, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Just discovered I have 92 hours of leave time built up -- 11 1/2 days. All dressed up and no place to go.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 11, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. XcienceTim is absolutely right about the high energy cost of producing biofuels from cultivated crops like corn. Nobody paid much attention to that until recently, when economics has farmers choosing cars over cattle (and people).

Oklahoma already has lots of oil & natural gas but learned out lesson in the '80s when the price of oil went down, I think, into negative numbers. We're trying hard to keep our identity as an energy state (hey, it's something we know) but diversify. In addition to wind, of which we have way too much, state and business leaders have jumped on the biofuels wagon. However, they're hoping to capitalize on switchgrass and other "weed" crops which don't require the intensive efforts for cultivation. The problem, of course, is that it currently isn't really feasible to make fuel from switchgrass. We have a couple of little-known but outstanding agricultural research institutions here which are busy trying to solve that problem.

I know I couldn't grow corn. I can barely grow tomatoes. I'll keep trying because every year I am marginally more successful than the last. This year I even have actual green beans!

I really enjoyed seeing all the new folks comment in the last Boodle.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 11, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse


I'm sure they would love to have you back in Fluffitado. Maybe even pick up a few bucks doing lawn work.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 11, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, it sounds as if it has been that kind of day. A day where one is counting down the minutes and the seconds. And at each count they seem to get longer and longer. TGIF!

Raysmom, glad to hear from you.

And I've just finished some corn. Ironic, we were talking about corn, and my daughter shows up with a dozen ears. Now all I have to do is clean it, and get the corn silk out. This may give my age away, but I remember when I was a kid we used the corn silk for the doll's hair. The homemade doll. Isn't life grand? We agonize over stuff in this world, and it just not worth it. There are some things just too special and important to give up for the misery that the world offers. Have a great weekend, my friends.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 11, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Wishing the Boodle a happy weekend, I will be signing books tomorrow at the Gaithersburg Borders Bookstore between 1 - 3 PM (534 N. Frederick Ave)


Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 11, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I mentioned $7/bushel corn prices to Mrs. M (just after I spent $2 in gas mowing the back yard) and she's now seriously considering converting our back yard into a small corn field.

bc... My old Renault Le Car (I'm actively looking to get another one) got about 40mpg, and that was with several vacuum leaks I was never able to track down. No power whatsoever, the steering was squirrelly as all get out, but a great car nonetheless... was like the Energizer Bunny... just kept going and going and going.

Posted by: martooni | July 11, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

8/12 on the celebrity alma mater quiz. Let me toot the horn of my own (and Wheezy's) alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis (Harvard of the Midwest, according to our T-shirts). Three prominent alums of whom I can immediately think are Mike Peters, the cartoonist of Mother Goose & Grimm and editorial cartoonist; Jim Meddick. cartoonist of Monty (originally Robotman; Meddick graduated a year or two before me); and Harold Ramis, of Ghostbusters, Animal House, etc. fame. And, oh yeah, the school has enshrined for history's sake the speed bumps in front of the administration building, which were designed by physics Nobel Laureate Arthur Holly Compton when he was Chancellor. It turns out that he designed them well and it is a bad idea to try to cross them at 50 mph.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 11, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Moartooni, when you talk about the old R5 the same memory pops into my head. Circa 1978 I was a passenger in a fairly new R5, one of those with the rag top skylight, the rag was off as it was a hot summer day. The driver was a freshly arrived Frenchwomen with a hot temper. Back in her old country nobody has guns in the cars I guess so spirited verbal interactions with fellow drivers are the norm rather than the exception. At any rate she was a quick, impulsive, impolite and hard to predict driver. At one point a guy got p-offed, honked and gave her the one finger salute. Her reply was to pop up through the skylight and shout at the guy to go beat his monkey with a handful of thumbtacks. Not very classy, but quite funny.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 11, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

My once in a life time on topic comment: I heard Science Friday radio program on my way home. The two wonderful guests were Barbara Ellis and Rosalind Creasy, talking about convert (is it a right word?)into veggie garden. How exciting. They even talked about start with a tomato plant (no, it is not too late yet; it is the beginning of summer.)

Posted by: daiwanlan | July 11, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, we're feeling somewhat smug as well that we chose a 1960s neighbourhood 10 minutes from downtown rather than a new neighbourhood further out. I must confess that if it had been solely my druthers we might have ended up with a long commute. Here's to joint decision making.

Your honourary citizenship is in the mail after the little mix-up. Ixnay on the ecessionsay lanpay.

For the record, the border is the 49th parallel. 54-40 was the desired border west of the Divide.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 11, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute - khaki goes with everything, no? Why else would such a thing exist? Of course, I think everything goes with blue jeans, so you don't want to ask me for fashion advice.

I was taking a class this week. One of the other people was from Iowa, and he knows about corn. He was mentioning how it robs the soil of nutrients, so remember to rotate your crops, and bury some fish or something. yellojkt, your HOA is downright un-American for banning gardening. Are flowers ok? Do they draw the line at daylillies? Is it ok to just cement over the lawn? The reason I bought a house was so I could plant what I wanted to.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 11, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

In Kenya a number of white owned weath farms were taken over, the land given or sold to small local landholders who switched to curn. That proved to be an economic disaster.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 11, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, we had another rain storm this afternoon, but if you look outside now, you can't tell it. The sun is shining bright and not too many clouds in the sky.

The g-girl was here, but decided to go with mommy and the sisters. I haven't heard from the grandsons since they left. I will try to reach them later. It is quiet and peaceful here. I think I'm going to watch some television, and probably just nod off. I'm kind of sleepy.

Ivansmom, love the one-liner. I laughed out loud. I know my neighbors think I've gone daffy over here. I love that commercial they used to play for Planters. The one that says sometimes you feel like a nut, sometime you don't.

The lady from the story this morning called the rescue squad again today. This time they left her home.

Well, before I know it, Monday will be here and I'll be back at the Center. I've seen a couple of the kids this week, and they hugged me. It was so nice to see them.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 11, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Cassandra. I have really enjoyed your posts over the last few days, including that story of the sick woman. You are absolutely right - as a matter of policy, not to mention simple human kindness, it would make more sense to treat her than to have her call the EMTs every week. Especially when they leave her at home.

I am hoping that tonight will be a nice quiet evening. The rabbit has a new big cage in which she can stretch out and (we hope) from which she cannot escape. I think I hear Monty Python in the other room. Later, Boodlers.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 11, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks bc and Tim for answering my question about the great-mileage-great-power German car. Silly me for posing the question then bailing for an afternoon of doctor appointments!

The funny thing is, if this particular car were available here, I'd buy it in a heartbeat (assuming I could afford the sucker, that is). It had tremendous acceleration and fabulous handling. On tight turns, you could just feel it hugging the road. And, to top it off, it looked good. Which is more than I can say for many of the fuel efficient cars available in the states.

Raysdad has had similar experience in the UK driving a Mercedes. Nice size car (fit 4 adults and their luggage), looked good, handled great, and got in the 40s in mpg.

Oh well. Until I find something like that here, I'll content myself with driving my mid-size SUV as little as possible (less than 7K miles last year).

Thanks again, guys.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 11, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the correction, SofC. All I remembered was "54-40 or Fight." I got knocked on the head during the fight, and forgot who won. Earlier during the convention that year, I had suggested an alternate slogan, "Oregon, Schmoregon, let's go steal land from Mexico instead." I wake up with a splitting headache three days later, and next thing I know we got an 80-gun British ship-of-the-line, the Collingwood off the mouth of the Columbia River, commanded by my old nemisis, George Seymour (Rear Admiral). He had with him that clown Capt. John Gordon in the 50-gun HMS America (kinda an ironic name for a Brit third-rater, no?) (third rate is a size category, not a disparagement of her worth). Prime Minister Pitt gave Polk a way out, which he gladly took. "Mudge," he sez to me, "you tangled with them Limey fellers before a couple a times. You want another piece of this thing?" "Hell, no, yer Presidentship," I sez to him. "Good," he sez, "I got a job for ye anyway. Ol' Zack Taylor -- remember him? -- is leading an army down into Mexico, and I need me some eys and ears down there keeping tabs on things. Will you go?"

So, painted into a corner like that, I had no choice, now, did I? So anyway, that's how I got out of the Oregon mess -- and got into a worse one down in ol Meh-hee-co, doin' some scouting work for this colonel in the engineering corps, a Virginia feller named Bob Lee. Wanted me to go take a look at some fort called Chapultepec. And boy, did I learn the meaning of "Montezuma's Revenge"
on that trip, lemme tell ya.

But that's another story for another day.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 11, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh lor', Mudge, I hope tomorrow is the day for that story!

I'm glad you got some rain this afternoon, Cassandra. None here, but that's okay, we've had almost 2 inches this week. We can wait a few more days for some more.

Posted by: slyness | July 11, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh rough night at work. You just can't please everyone all the time.

On my way to work,I saw the local carnival will be in town this week.Brings back great memories of going to the volunteer firefighters carnivals of my home town.Riding the rides,eating all the carny food and trying to win my girl the stuffed toy she just wanted so bad. Some of those carny games are just rigged so tough that you keep spending and spending the hard earned paperboy money. Anyway just thought I would throw that in.It is carnival season,go visit the one in your town and enjoy all the fun.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 11, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

This is a good take on why Jesse Jackson said what he did:

Hope everyone has a good weekend. I'll be enjoying some 60s music tomorrow night at Chateau Ste Michelle - also known as "Hippiefest" - also known as I get to see Jack Bruce (Cream) - at least that is the hope. It's been beautiful weather here all week.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 11, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Since I got home from work I've fed the window boxes and hydrangeas, taken a walk with "S," taken in a pair of capri pants, baked my special high fiber diet muffins, done two loads of laundry and lifted weights. Now if I can just clean the bathroom, I'll be done for tonight. This is to free up tomorrow for an early trip for the yearly 'chest pressing' and then down to play cleaning lady for #2. There's a Cape League baseball game near her house tomorrow night so we'll have some dinner somewhere and take in the game. I better remember to bring the bug spray.

We planted corn again. Last year's was inedible (must have been a bad variety). I don't know if we'll harvest any or if the wildlife will get it all. The bunnies have already eaten all the peapods I planted and they're working on the green beans. I think we'll have to fence the garden next year.

I wish we'd start working harder on alternate energy sources like wind and solar that are simple and cheap. I'm not up on the feasibility of hydrogen fuel and similar things but there must be some alternative that doesn't just create more problems.

Mostly, we're going up to visit with "S"'s daughter in a few weeks. She lives close to the Woodstock Museum and performance center whose name I've forgotten. We're going to see a doo-wop show that Saturday night after we tour the museum. I think I remember seeing Jack Bruce's name as someone who is or has already performed there as well. Have a good time.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 11, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, with that kind of drainage, I'd consider wild rice and rice in the drowned parts... just saying. Many asian farmers actually raise freshwater carp or tilipia in their rice paddies, too. Except that they'd be feeding off a zillion mosquitoes...

Okay. Corn it is.

Garden looks good, we have a patrol dog busy offending noses of herbivores, 5 feet fence, lots of dogs that often go loose in the 'hood. We do have a spinach shortage, we will be planting a new shift of spinach. And seem to have more tomato plants than we remember planting-- seems some actually grew from seed?

As College Parkian says, you can't feed a family on a garden unless you're planning on a large farm, but you sure can cut grocery bills by a little in summer and eat better too.

A man should be allowed to plant a truck garden on his own property, homeowners' organizations notwithstanding. Environmental concerns are a different issue, but I never heard of lawns being a protected environment....

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 11, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Temporarily one of the later-evening west-coast boodlers. What time is it there? Late? Ha!

The G family is in Berkeley. We spent three nights in San Francisco, one each in Calistoga and Sunnyvale. Two nights here and then Sunday we will return home.

Today was spent visiting Son of G's Mecca... Silicon Valley. A stop at the Apple HQ (the Company store had WWDC 08 t-shirts marked waaay down), the Computer Museum and the parking lot of Google. We also had Double Doubles at the In-N-Out Burger in Mountain View, capping our California Experience for the day.

Tomorrow we take the Dr G Childhood Tour of Oakland. Today we saw the mall that worked at during one summer in high school; now it's home to a church, a dance studio and a dialysis clinic. Not exactly the same kind of mall it was in 1964.

Have a great weekend all! Sorry I haven't backboodled... if there are any greetings, salutations, sympathies or tsk-tsks in order, please consider them offered.

Posted by: TBG | July 11, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Good article about slumming in the 'burbs. One side effect of a bedroom community is that nobody's home much of the day and people keep to themselves. I have personally seen a single-home home in Fairfax county that had 14 illegal immigrant men living together in one home.

Think of the burglary opportunities of illegal immigrants who lack bank accounts, etc.

Secondly, think of the opportunities for various human trafficking rings to exist in a "quiet community" where not all houses are lived in, and people don't know each other.
It's not surprising that 'burbs may become slums if they become cheap places to live and where they can rent under the radar. Human nature is what it is.

That said, last I checked, urban renewal was far from 100% in D.C. I've seen horrible neighborhoods just blocks from the affluent areas. The same exists in NYC... busy areas cheek to cheek with sinister warehouse areas where nobody goes.

There are still advantages to suburbs, namely less rodent and cockroach infestations; less lead from old pipes, etc. So I suspect certain areas, poorly thought out, will become the "wrong side of the tracks" while others thrive as usual. Hopefully, developers will take heed and plan better.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 11, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Life is now cheaper in America... and not in a good way.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 11, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey, TBG! You can wave to my kiddo - he's somewhere in Oakland, not far from the IKEA. Watch out for bike riders.

Hippiefest is at Bethel Woods Aug 3, Sneaks. Looks like a great venue. It's funny, I always pictured Woodstock as being in western New York state. I realized only a few years ago how close it is to NYC. Not sure why, other than never having travelled in NY state much, other than a friend's relatives' home in western NY, where we were the weekend of Woodstock.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 11, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mostly! We passed two IKEAs today... one in Oakland. I was wondering if that was your kiddo's store. I did wave, just in case!

Have fun at Hippiefest. Sounds like a groovy time.

Posted by: TBG | July 11, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, folks. Hi cassandra, TBG, gwe, and everyone else.

I have a few quick comments, then off to bed.

I haven't worn pleated pants in years.

Haven't driven an R5 LeCar in years either, but I have driven a Renault R5 Turbo in the not-too-distant past, which is the Le Car From H@ll. Le Car chassis, with the 4 cyl DOHC turbo engine mounted amidships driving the rear wheels (under big rear fender blisters), race car style. In fact, it was a homologation special production run to allow Renault to race them in the FIA World Rally Championship Group B in the 80s.

Bad @ss little car; twitchy, but a lot of fun if you have good reactions and hand-eye coordination. Oh, and probably does not get 40 MPG under any circumstances, either.

I haven't worn pleated pants in years, but that's just me. It's the 21st century, y'know?

I'm planning on heading over to Alexey's book signing, hopefully I'll see another boodler or two there...

G'night, all.


Posted by: bc | July 11, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Back from the Weird Al show. Quality demented family entertainment. Had some M&S $1.95 happy hour appetizers before the show. My son said, "It seems like you've done this before."

Posted by: yellojkt | July 11, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Carnival recall
love games rides toys cash free fall
yeah, gwe'll have a ball!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we know you wear pleated gladiator kilts instead, bc. You've said so quite often.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 11, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

hahaha--just read your post first, Wilbrod.

Posted by: eidrib | July 12, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse

I disagree. I hate corn. I mean, it tastes great, but the corn in Minnesota coupled with the over 10,000 lakes makes the humidity ten times worse. Corn is the devil-humidity-weed. Speaking of the devil, I was driving through deep southern Minnesota (this was right before Iowa) and I went through a small town called Manchester. It had one building. Above the door it said, "Hell." Which is apt because really, Minnesota in the summer is hell.

Posted by: Sara | July 12, 2008 3:05 AM | Report abuse

I don't dislike corns, but corns dislike me. One cob of corn will give me gastric pain. Actually, half cob of corn will do the job. So, I won't be planting corn anytime soon. Over a year ago, one can buy 5 ears of corn for $2.00 from the road-side stall seller. Not sure about now.

Posted by: rainforest | July 12, 2008 4:46 AM | Report abuse

Hi rainforest. Off to swim meet. Remembering that SC's dot did not like such early mornings. Me, neither. However, sally forth, etc.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 12, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

SD's dot. Make that SD's dot. Coffee is ready I do not yet have the critical dose inside.

Enjoy your Saturday: write poems, knit, garden...enjoy something.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 12, 2008 6:36 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' CP another cuppa joe* :-)

I had some roasted tomato/chipotle/corn salsa last night, does that count?

A yard fulla chores awaits, not to mention a trip to the local Big Box O'Electronics store to have a certain satellite radio device removed from my soon-to-be-turned-in leased Civic... Gonna miss that little 40+ mpg sweetheart. *SIGH*

*fully-energized-and-ready-to-rumble Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 12, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle,

Glad to hear TBC Gang seem to have avoided the Bay Bridge gridlock.

This comes from the article on Obama's withdrawal plan:
While Anderson and his troops have a positive attitude, several commanders who looked at the Obama plan told ABC News, on background, that there was "no way" it could work logistically.

It appears our generals are inept at developing plans. Having witnessed the army's performance going into Iraq (unable to plan beyong 15 days) what else is new?

Another great achievement of the Pentagon-Bushies axis of evil is exposing for the whole world to see how incompetent our generals are.

This afternoon I'm leaving the generals in peace and will talk about spying.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 12, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Tony Snow, former White house mouthpiece, dies of colon cancer. This is a nsty one that cc.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 12, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Here is an interesting report on what's really going on in Afghanistan:


Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 12, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, morning, friends. I'm going to fall off the list of the Dawn Patrol since I can't seem to get here before eight or nine. Just really, really, tired last night after finishing the corn. There was corn silk everywhere. I like to do a double cut off the cob, and that took some time, plus my knife was dull as all get out.

I read Colbert King this morning, and must say I had to laugh at some of it. Of course, he's right on the money in his assessment of the whole situation. I'm still puzzled as to why Jesse Jackson was on Fox. It was an unkind remark Rev. Jackson made, and he should apologize. In King's editorial, Jackson's son did apologize and distanced himself from that remark. According to King, Jackson's remark was fodder for the late night comics, and I suspect they had a good time in doing that.

I'm thinking how one might want the attention of the camera and media, and at some point one might want to hide from these same folks. They can be cruel and deadly. Think about the celebrities, how they preen and prance in front of a camera, and then as age takes vengence, they can't help but want to hide. Of course, the camera might want to hide from them too.

Time to find the water. I have a meeting this morning. A friend of mine is here to visit her ailing father, a classmate, and I'm looking forward to seeing her at some point today. I hope we can have a nice visit.

I hope everyone's weekend is going fantastic.

Slyness, Mudge, Scotty, Martooni, I know it is the weekend, but we need you, up, up, and good morning to all.*waving*

God is good.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 12, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Sad to hear about Tony. He really put up a good fight.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 12, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Cassandra, I've been up since 7; and my wife has already treated me to a gourmet breakfast at Chik-Fil-A (our usual Saturday routine). Now off to pack up the pickup and make a run to the River House to do a little work, then return to get ready to cook dinner for some friends.

*faxing good luck wishes to Penelope's Hellespontsman*

Later, gators.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 12, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Got my lawn maintenance chores out of the way yesterday -- mowed my own lawn and my mother-in-law's, too -- so I'm free to do what I want, though with very sore legs.

Shriek... I may have dated your French friend's twin, although she was English. I love willful women with attitude (which explains Mrs. M). ;-) The "pound your monkey with a fistful of thumbtacks" retort is a keeper. I just may get to use that today as I navigate through all the road construction around here.

Sad news regarding Tony Snow. I couldn't stand him and often threw things at the TV when he was on, but that's because he was doing his job -- and did it well.

Off to sawdust land now...

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | July 12, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Wilbrod, I was specific about *pants* in my 11:31 last night. Don't go putting gladiator kilts in my mouth, please.

Tony Snow - I hope he rests in peace.

Growing up in MD, I've had fresh corn all my life. Couldn't even consider a summer crab feast without sweet corn. And beer.

And the DC area - well, there's some humidity around here, that's for sure. When the August air is viscous - almost hot bathwater in suspension - you can drive around and actually smell the mold.

Have a good day, all.

More later.


Posted by: bc | July 12, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

G'morning all, and happy weekend. Lovely Saturday in the Carolinas. Mr. T has trimmed ligustrum and I assisted in raking and bagging the debris. The bushes look good, obviously the contract with the organic yard folks is producing the desired results.

I'm off to Costco shortly; I don't like to make that run on Saturday but we're almost out of orange juice, my bad. My favorite baby boy twins are coming to supper and bringing their mother and grandmother, so I have to prepare.

Posted by: slyness | July 12, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

New kit

Posted by: Boko999 | July 12, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

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