Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

A Vast Criminal Enterprise

Once in a while you put down your morning paper and think: My government is just a vast criminal enterprise. It's the Mob, only with taxing authority. [And I wrote this even without seeing the latest bulletin. More here.]

The Monica Goodling story is a guaranteed apoplexy-inducer. Alberto Gonzales will have us believe that it's impossible to supervise every junior employee. But Goodling, as "she who must be obeyed," clearly wore the perfume of the specially favored. My guess is that her ideological agenda (including making sure job applicants didn't care about the spotted owl!) could not have been more obvious had she scripted it in a neon sign jutting on her head. The central irony is that she funneled ideologues and political hacks into non-political civil service jobs -- and so, by definition, they can't be removed through the political appointment process. This is political pollution of the civil service watershed. [I'd work on that metaphor to make it better but I am about to go on vacation and it'll have to do.]

Meanwhile the budget mess borders on fraud. Executives go to jail for cooking the books in the private sector, but in the federal government it's standard operating procedure. Read Jonathan Weisman's story today and see for yourself: the FY '09 budget deficit won't really be $482 billion, because that number doesn't count the housing bail-out just passed by Congress, or the real costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the real costs of Medicare, or the real effects of the torpid economy. The deficit is very likely going to be roughlyas large as the Pentagon budget. Which is very large, equal to what the next 15 countries on the planet spend on their militaries.

Neither Obama nor McCain are willing to admit that these numbers constrain their choices. Both are advocating policies that will cost trillions -- trillions and trillions! -- of dollars over the next decade.

I need a vacation.


Am still reeling from Steinberg's assertion that he blogs 8 times a day. I mean, that's a good fortnight for me.

[Pause to savor pleasure of using the word "fortnight."]

[Remind me to blog someday on the need to restore cubits as commonplace units of measurement.]

Quick, without Googling, these are units of measurement of WHAT:

1. Joule
2. Newton
3. Ampere
4. Candela
5. Mole

Here's the answer.


Via Liz Donovan (at Infomaniac), here's Craig Stoltz (a very smart former Postie -- not sure if the "very smart" and "former" are connected, but could be) on 5 tips for better blogging. [Some very good tips in there. I'm now inspired to post a photo! I'll look for something that evokes the wisdom of the A-blog.]


By Joel Achenbach  |  July 29, 2008; 7:49 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Funny Money
Next: Karl Rove's Playbook


AN old saw is, 'People get the government they deserve'... Apparently, it is true...

Posted by: Dr. O | July 29, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, Joel, gimme something *hard.*

1. Joule = weight of sagging skin hanging from one's (face) cheeks
2. Newton = number of teeny-tiny hard little seeds in cookie filling
3. Ampere = height of the cinched waistline immediately below the bosom of 19th century sack-like dresses, in inches above see level
4. Candela = quantity of light emanating from large Hindu wheel of life
5. Mole = quantity of mysterious brown liquid found in some Taco Bell recipes, measured in grams per hectare.

Sheesh. Pice a cake.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Joule, Newton, Ampere, Candela and Mole... aren't they the starting lineup on dr's favorite curling team?

Reposting from last Kit...

Morning folks! Looking forward to the BPH tonight. I'll be picking up mostlylurking and her sister from their hotel and whisking them into DC this evening. Mudge... hope you can make it. Scotty? Will you be there? Looking forward to reports of your FIL's progress.

Dmon... sorry to hear about your mom, but glad to know you're looking at the upside. If the outcome is inevitable, I hope your family gets that much-needed vacation at the right time for all of you.

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse


The magic 8-ball says "Try Again Later" regarding the BPH, I'll let you know.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Ampere is a unit of electricity, but the rest I couldn't tell you without looking them up. I'll bet yello and omni will know.

I was an English major and that's my excuse for everything.

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, you owe me a new wireless keyboard!

Posted by: Yoki | July 29, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Ooh, Ooh, (*waves hand frantically, all the other students roll eyes*) I was a French major but I know the answers. PLUS I want extra credit for pointing out that "Wikiversity" spelled "Avogadro" incorrectly.

(Well, okay, technically I wasn't sure about "candela"--might have gotten it wrong under actual cheat-proof conditions. Hope that fulfils my honor code obligations.)

Posted by: kbertocci | July 29, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

So give the answers, kber!

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Wow, not only noted the misspelling but corrected it, too. I feel so powerful now!!

Posted by: kbertocci | July 29, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"Quick, without Googling, these are units of measurement of WHAT:"

Wrong, Joel: not a *single one* of the units listed is a measurement of "WHAT".

The WHAT is measured in units of "THE F***?" It can be abbreviated to "WTF?" for convenience.

Posted by: byoolin measures the gov't at a 12 on the WTF? scale., | July 29, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, what exactly *are* the typical units of measurement used by English majors? CP, you, too, might have some inoput here.

Of course, there's all that feet-and-meter business: limbic pentrameters and all that. Then there's different kinds of obscure pome forms, like the chanterelle, the porcini, the shiitake (9 lines, with 5 syllabels, 7 syllabels, 2 syllabelles, repeated three times), the sonnet, the sonnegram, the haiku, the lowku, the middleku, the plutarch, the young lochinvar, the limerick, that old Irish/gaelic favorite the drool (spelled droughlchnemchldghmnc in the Gaelic; a lot of the letters are silent or ellided), and finally the four couplet forms, the oxymoroon, the octoroon, the pantaloon and the spitoon.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Okay, Slyness, but you should probably read the Wikipedia article for more accuracy. My answers are

1. Joule - energy
2. Newton - force
3. Ampere - electricity
4. Candela - light
5. Mole - matter (1 mole is 6.02 x 10^23 molecules or atoms of a given substance)

Posted by: kbertocci | July 29, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

*faxing Yoki new wireless keyboard requisitioned from U.S. Govt., labeled "Safe for Export, Salmonella-Free. Not For Use If Pregnant or Nursing."*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Joel, seriously, I thought you were joking about the spotted owl (really, a SPOTTED OWL?), but the story that you linked to says otherwise.

As far as DOJ, I find the actions (and story about) Hans A. von Spakovsky fascinating reading-as interesting as Goodling. I know McClatchy and Slate covered this story, dunno about the Washington Post.

Our local paper may have covered the layoffs at my husband's workplace last week, but pink slips are still being handed out this week (don't know if that's part of the 300 number printed last week, or of the numbers are rising beyond that which was reported). It's nutso.

And what do we have politically? Two candidates who both acknowledge that the economy is not their strong suit--both making repeated speeches about foreign policy. It would make sense for McCain to pick Romney because of Romney's money knowledge. What do Reps Pawlenty, Bayh, Ridge and Dem Kaine know about national budgets and balancing acts? Dems Portman and Biden may have a slight edge over the other Dem Veep candidate Kaine. Perhaps some Virginians know and would argue otherwise?

Posted by: Loomis | July 29, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I answered them correctly, which means I am. most assuredly, a full-blown, hard core

nerd lady

nerd lady (noun) geekspeak for the feminine form of nerd lord

nerd lord (noun) geekspeak for just what it says. WORD.

Mudge, perfect highjacking of such words to rename those genres beloved of English Major Nerd Lords/Ladies everywhere.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 29, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Is it too soon to go off topic?

Do you think TV can cause autism? I don't think this article proves any points, but if you're wondering about your cell phone, you might want to consider this for the sake of any youngsters you might be in a position to influence. My personal opinion (no surprise) is that even apart from the autism question, kids are better off without tv.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 29, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Many argue that having a governor/former governor on a ticket gives it that extra oomph because of the experience in running a state (some the same size as a lot of countries) as well as the bugeting experience inherent in that.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 29, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

arghhfpblblbltt. Does this link work:

Posted by: omni | July 29, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Gotta be careful with those sweeping generalizations, Karen.

"TV" includes a lot of stuff... 200 channels and a whole lot of them devoted to science, education and black-and-white movies. Like the cereal commercials say, TV can "be part of this nutritious breakfast."

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

With apologies to the person who wrote about Obama as president of The Harvard Law Review and McCain being at the bottom of his class, that doesn't prove Obama was at the top of his class, nor does it prove McCain isn't bright.

"Until the 1970's the editors were picked on the basis of grades, and the president of the Law Review was the student with the highest academic rank. [deletions]

That system came under attack in the 1970's and was replaced by a program in which about half the editors are chosen for their grades and the other half are chosen by fellow students after a special writing competition. The new system, disputed when it began, was meant to help insure that minority students became editors of The Law Review.

Harvard, like a number of other top law schools, no longer ranks its law students for any purpose including a guide to recruiters."

Kaine? How would choosing a VP as inexperienced in the same areas as oneself be smart?

Posted by: HLSER | July 29, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Don't moles have something to do with avacados?

Advice required.
The appraisal firm responded to my application late yesterday afternoon so I've cut my beer and BBQing short and am back home filling out a questionnaire they emailed me.
Some of you may be aware that one of my problems in communicating is a matter of tone so I wonder how I should reply to the email that begins, "Hi Boko, we recieved etc,etc...." signed with a first name, but followed by a full name, and address. Should I respond Dear Firstname or Dear Ms Lastname?
The questionnaire is a Word document with several spelling and grammar mistakes that is asking for handwritten answers but doesn't allow enough space for the responses I'd like to give in some places and too much room for others.
Is it all right to jigger the spaces between questions to make room?
Should I correct the spelling and grammar mistakes? Is this some sort of cruel test or am I just paranoid?
Sorry to gum up the boodle but your the most qualified to answer my queries.
Oh yeah. My cursive sucks, can I print?

Posted by: Boko999 | July 29, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

See that! I wrote your instead of you're.
I'm doomed.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 29, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Just because my honor is at stake, here are my answers before Googling or back boodling;

1. Energy
2. Force
3. Current
4. Illumination
5. Number of atoms.

I'm a little fuzzy on 4 because we tend to work in foot-candles, which is a little different, but I'm not sure how.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

morning, y'all. i haven't fully back-boodled for the last few days, but just wanted to say thanks for the reasonable weather this past weekend in raleigh. have been out of town three of the last five weekends, but fortunately am done for now. i am sooo tired.

joel, maybe when you leave, you could set up the blog to just go on autopilot and post a brief something or other each day or two so that we don't have a gazillion comments on the last blog. you could do it based on your favorite this or that, your own work, other people's, knock-knock jokes, whatever.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 29, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

This is WAY off topic, but I am wondering if anybody else is experiencing an increase level of incivility and/or aggresison lately. While commuting, I have been physically attacked TWICE in the last month - for things I probably did do, though inadvertently, and though no actual harm was done. So, am I experiencing an increased level of my own incompentence, possibly age induced, the effects of DC weather in late summer, or has the level of aggression been increasing without having been heretofor commented on?

Posted by: JustWondering | July 29, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Moles: They Matter

A Biopsy on the Foundation of the Universe.

Feel free to use that as your next book title JA. Just send me a fruit basket or something. Oh, and send Kbertocci something nice for planting that pun in my head.

Posted by: Kerric | July 29, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

JustWondering... seems everyone is on edge these days. You don't know... maybe the person who attacked you is going through foreclosure or something similar. I haven't had any similar experiences, though.. just talking through my nose.. but what else is new?

Boko... address the note to Ms. So-and-So (if you're sure it's a woman!). Don't appraisers need to fill in little forms by hand? I say print neatly and add an extra sheet for carryover answers.

If you can correct the spelling errors in the document before you print it without making it noticeable, I'd say do it... otherwise it may drive you crazy.

Good luck! Let your Boodleness shine through!

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Boko, do what you gotta do to make yourself look good. No mistakes or typos, please!

Yes, Mudge, there's the novel, which is a *new* prose work, generally long or longer. A novella is a short *new* work. Short stories have little stature. Nonfiction is for people who enjoy facts; hopefully, nonfic also illuminates some small, obscure corner of Truth. Writing on politics, well, that's fiction or fantasy or truth, depending on one's point of view. SciFi is much beloved by nerdlords (Love that neologism, CP!). Fantasy appeals to geeks and teenagers. Romantic literature is for ladies who like fantasy without technology. Bodice-rippers are for vacation reading. Then there's pornography, which is generally graphic, but we won't go there.

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Bodice rippers for the beach? Aren't those racy Harlequins? Slyness, please elucidate the sub-categories of bodice ripper novels.

Maggie O Day call out: would we classify Fr. Andrew Greeley novels as bodice rippers?

Nerdlordish could describe many of the kits and boodles.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 29, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

To wax pedantic:

A joule measures either work which is a force times a distance or energy which is power times a duration. It is equal to a newton-meter or a watt-second or in fundamental units, a kilogram-meter-squared per second-squared (kg*m^2/s^2)

The unit way more common than joule is a kilowatt-hour because that is what the power company charges you for.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Joule: Pendant karat weight
Newton: Direction apples fall
Ampere: Very loud boom box
Candela: Volcanic black hole
Mole: Chocolate chili peppers

Posted by: Malaprop | July 29, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Boko, shipmate, you are being tested. The test is your ability/willingness to follow directions, no matter how inane. I agree completely with what TBG said. Good luck.

JustWondering, you have firsthand experience with a global phenomenon. The decline in politeness and civility will continue until the utter collapse of civilization. Or about 9 months, whichever comes first.

Apologies in advance for missing the BPH. Previous commitments.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 29, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Since your questionnaire is in Word, feel free to edit the form to fit what you want to say. You should also correct the employer's typos.

Posted by: Yoki | July 29, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The very narrow but rather full sub-genre my wife reads is called suspense romance. They are spy or action novels where the hero commits to the heroine rather than loves her and dumps her. No bodices are ripped but everybody gets mutually satisfied, if you know what I mean.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to miss the Weingarten chat today but let me know if the topic of Sally Forth or this blog post of mine in particular comes up:

It's subtitled "Why Gene Weingarten Is An @sshat"

I've done some pre-comments under the usual locations. I want to see if he bites.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, CP, I must admit that I'm not an expert on bodice-rippers, being a Jane Austen fan and all. I like yello's take on suspense romance.

There is fanfiction, which is fiction using someone else's characters. It's never as good as the original, although it can be entertaining.

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Oh my! slyness, the short story form is highly regarded in Canada, England and Ireland. I don't know where you get "little regarded!" If we didn't have short stories, we wouldn't have William Trevor, Mavis Gallant, Carol Shields, Colm Toibin, etc.

Posted by: Yoki | July 29, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Must say that Washington Post reporter Steve Mufson is doing an excellent job reporting from Bakersfield. Is he traveling with McCain, or out there in the oil patch doing some independent reporting?His article on the homepage is one in a series that will be running this week. Most of the turn-of-the-century photos, circa 1900, in the gallery show the derricks of Huntington Beach; two depict Kern County. Mufson certainly catches the dilemma of increasing worldwide demand and dwindling supplies in his article today.

Lest we forget, The Pacific Oil Company was formed back in 1879 by San Franciscans (by way of New York) George Loomis (my Loomis cousin and dry goods merchant), his brother-in-law and Senator Charles Felton (former head of the San Francisco Mint), and Bay Area financier Lloyd Tevis, who held prominent positions in Wells Fargo and Southern Pacific. Interesting story about the underhanded way Tevis came by land holding in the southern San Joaquin Valley, his acquisitions becoming the Kern County Land Company (my best friend's dad, Ray Talcott, worked for KCLC for decades).

Pacific Oil Company was acquired by Standard Oil of California in 1900 and became part of SoCal, prospering under the leadership of Princeton engineer Kevin Kingsbury (another good tale). Because of the Red Line Agreement in the Middle East, SoCal was the first to drill in the area, establishing a well in Bahrain in the 1930s (I think originally an Aussie prospector was hired to find water in the region). Needing a distribution system on the far side of the globe for this Middle East black gold, SoCal merged with Texaco (formerly The Texas Company) to form a new business entity, CalTex, operating under a Blue Line Agreement. Today, the two companies are doing business as ChevronTexaco.

Posted by: Loomis | July 29, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I sometimes use as language measures the word, phrase, sentence, verse, chapter, etc., and sometimes, coffee spoons.

Posted by: Prufrock | July 29, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Paging CP: Will you be able to make the BPH? Some cryogenic rhubarb wants to know.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 29, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if the French electric companies charge by joules consumed?

Posted by: bh | July 29, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Divorce lawyers charge by the jewels kept.

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

A "rhubarb" as a unit of measurement is a "length of superflous text in speaking or writing."

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

We have been welcomed with open arms over to the Mighty Appetite. Sounds like Ms. O'Donnel is going to be hitting many of our favorite topics: travel, food, fairs, politics. She knows we meander off topic. Not that we can't Boodle here too, but it's summer. Time for a road trip with our imaginary friends.

Hey dbG:
Thanks for your note! Speaking of road trips....A Mighty Appetite is about to go on the road! In fact, starting next Tuesday, Aug 5, I'll be chronicling my adventures from the Beltway to Seattle, Wash. There will be all kinds of fun bells and whistles, such as an interactive google map (a la "Where's Kim?"), which will keep track of where I am and what the cost of a gallon of milk is in each city I visit. Some of the trip's highlights includes Michigan Elk country, Nat'l Blueberry Festival, Iowa State Fair, post-flood Iowa, a cooking class in Des Moines, pre Dem. convention dining look at Denver, some wild west outposts in wyoming and montana....videos with my handy new flip video cam....
so SURE!!! bring'em on over. in fact, i'd say these few weeks will be appropriate for the Boodlers b/c it will cover all kinds of topics, much like Mister Joel does.
I'm happy to also give y'all a special nod starting next week.
Holler when you can.
All best,

Posted by: dbG | July 29, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Isn't today Joules 29?

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

A dining tour of the west should include Slumgullion Pass, Dead Man's Gulch and the Alfred G Packer Memorial Cafeteria, timed to coincide with the Hannibal Lecter Lecture series.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

CP, I think a Greeley novel would be a cassock-ripper, or possibly a wimple rumpler. (I just love the sound of that one.)

A D.H. Lawrence would be a Dear John Thomas letter.

A Rolvaag novel would be a John Deere litter.

An epistolary novel about a French mustard-growing family would be a Dijon lettre.

A Michael Flattley biography would be titled Lord of the Nerds.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Boko, my thoughts.

1. Use Dear Ms. Lastname.
2. I might correct spelling in a questionnaire, but probably not grammar.
3. I would expand the Word document as required if you're going to print responses. I take it you are delivering it or faxing it? You could just put your answers right onto the Word document, and email them back the completed form?
4. If you are going to handwrite, I think printing is fine as long as neat and legible.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 29, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Ha! Maybe I missed them, but haven't seen any boodlings on Joel's flagship theme: The mafia that is running our gummint.

The Justice Department has been infiltrated. It no longer works as per consitution. This is dangerous for democracy. Plus, we have war crimes, crimes against humanity commited at the highest level.

We need special prosecutors. We need honorable people who will clean up the mess.

We should make things uncomfortable enough for the malefactors that they will seek political asylum in North Korea.

(I promise I won't flame during the BPH).

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 29, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Come to think on it, a Greeley novel might also be habit-deforming.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The ScienceSpouse tells me that he was Alferd G. Packer (note spelling of first name).

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 29, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Alfred adopted the Alferd spelling later in life.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I think taking a road trip with A Mighty Appetite is a great idea. I'd say it's a grand idea, but I wouldn't want to be messing with any copyrighted phrasing.

I agree with Brag that a good housecleaning is in order. Finding the honorable people should be easy... I still believe the country is full of them. We just have to get rid of the dishonorable ones first.

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The GSA cafeteria during the Nixon administration was renamed the Alferd (note spelling) Packer Cafeteria and was said "to serve all humanity." The UC Cafeteria used Alfred.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I like short stories, I was trying to be punny.

Does Kim O'D know what she's letting herself in for?

Alexy, you are completely right. But it *is* possible for new bosses to make life so uncomfortable for wrongly hired folks that they seek other pastures. I won't say greener...we can hope that a new administration will do so.

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Does "The Mighty Appetite" have italics?

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 29, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

slyness, I think so!

She seemed to know about us, I explained a little just in case, she knows we topically wander (sounds like sunscreen, doesn't it) and like to eat! We're the group that has had 2 (count 'em!) annual Pi Days. Seems natural.

Posted by: dbG | July 29, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I see your point, dbG. Well, it will be an adventure, won't it?

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Cookbook "To serve all humanity".

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 29, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

No italics. I asked if they knew Tibor.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Also, Kim had a dream in which she was "...stirring something dressed in a red sarong---" so she too must have an interest in serving humanity.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Inspired the Boodle, made a chicken salad for lunch with a garlic and mustard mayonnaise--pretty good.
Now trying to gather enough energy for a practice nap.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 29, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Okay, who got *eggplant* versus *aubergine* on Wiengarten's chat? Cracked me up.

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

arghhfpblblbltt again.

Does this link work:

The reason I ask is cause of course it works for me....I want to know if it works for everybody/anybody else.

If so, there will be a joke later...

Posted by: omni | July 29, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Sort of trick question because amps and newtons are both measures of force. It always gives me apoplexy when reporters say stuff like "will save a magawatt per year."

My mother has a theory that most problems are caused by people not getting enough sleep. Now she has a theory that the epidemic of ADS is caused by the same. She has extended her observations to other people's babies, suspecting that the babies are subjected to too much noise to sleep deeply. Delta sleep, I think she means. I, wanting to be helpful, suggested the same reason as hypothesis for autism epidemic as well. I'm not too qualified in this area, so will consider it all moot.

Posted by: Jumper | July 29, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Only time for a quick Boodle flyby.
Back to work for the first time in a week, 438 unread messages in my email inbox, 18 messages in my VM, and everyone's got an emergency/sad tale to tell.


Got my nose to the grindstone, forgoing daytime Boodling so I can make tonight's BPH.

Some quick comments:
jack, Jamie Gorelick's a woman. Trust me on this, I spent enough time with her.

I won't bother reposting my comments re. Arbusto Admin/DOJ hiring practices and familiarity with the First Ammendment.

1. Joule = measure of manliness. Been hit in 'em a couple of times, still see stars when I think about it.
2. Newton = 2000 pounds of fresh fig cookies. Yesterday's cookies are and Oldton
3. Amp'ere = A Brit Roadie's description of where to stack the Marshalls.
4. Candela = A bathroom in Winnie and Nelson's former home
5. Mole' = What I'm shouting as our own mo makes her debut at a bullfighter.

Gotta go, kids.
Work, work, work, work.

This might be the fastest Boodling I've ever done.


Posted by: bc | July 29, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Link works for me, omni.

My state recently had a situation where the lawmaker was impeached for using/taking bribes to pass legislation. He got canned. What gave me umbrage is that the crooked legislation REMAINS AS LAW. Arg!

Posted by: Jumper | July 29, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Alexey, and if you read Froomkin's column today, there are more ongoing investigative probes at DOJ (I hinted at one in my 9:55 a.m. post). I think North Korea would be too good for the creeps.:

Two more internal reports are in the works, one about political interference with the Civil Rights Division and the other about the role of politics in the administration's controversial firings of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006.

Posted by: Loomis | July 29, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I wanted to wait till JA is actually on vacation, but ... here goes:

Posted by: omni | July 29, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

If I wasn't totally swamped I would have spent more time on better font, hope you all get a kick out of it...

Posted by: omni | July 29, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the imput folks.
I've answered the questions to my (and I hope their) satisfaction and will now use my best HS drafting hand to print out the responses on blank paper, then cut and paste (real cutting, real pasting!)them to the corrected, adjusted, and printed questionnaire. Then into the scanner and set to well done.
I feel it's ok to have my way with the document they sent because the bottom quarter is taken up with instructions which I feel can be removed, freeing up more space. So, if I'm going to screw with it I feel I should do a bangup job.
I phoned my appraisal instuctor for advice in answering the salary expectations question and he volunteered a recommendation. He knows the owner of the appraisal firm I'm applying to and he is a co-author of one of the textbooks that's used for the appraisal courses. I'll save the name dropping for later.
Thanks again, carry on.
work work work work work

Posted by: Boko999 | July 29, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

CP: Fr. Andrew Greeley? Gak! He's a pot boiling bodice ripper, and a bad writer.

I am expecting to be a tonight's BPH, are you?

Remember, Boodliness is next to Godliness.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 29, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Many apologies to Ms. Gorelick. When I typed the other gender and hit the submit button, something in the back of my mind told me I had it wrong. thanks for the correction, bc.

Posted by: jack | July 29, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Bodliness is next to Godliness, boodliness is next to goodliness.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Maggie O'D,

My assessment 'sactly. Dreck, pure dreck. Said hack Greeley used a thinly veiled incident that involved my Chicago cousins in one novel. So, I read that one.....oh, the HORROR!

Cannot make BPH due to some family commitments. Balderdash, however these are not prison or barmy-farm events so I am happy.

Greetings to all, especially Mosltylurking in town for the week.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 29, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. Yes, Joel, I too often feel that our gummint is a vast criminal enterprise. While normally I think of crime as job security to see it so widespread in such positions just makes me sad. And angry. And nervous. Oddly, though, not secure.

Although HLSer is correct in stating that the Harvard Law Review takes both students who write on and students with top grades, I disagree with the implication that being president of the Law Review doesn't mean Obama wasn't among the top of his class. I don't know what rank he had (and don't fool yourself, the students know even if there is no official "rank" for employment purposes) but my experience with Law Review types was that they all, even those who wrote on, are at the top of their class. That writing competition is hard, not just a matter of a nice essay here or there. The choosers aren't just fellow students, they are students already on the Law Review, which is a different animal altogether. Also, you may be sure that everyone on that Law Review is darn smart, even among a school of smart people.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 29, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Back to crime in gummint - Ted Stevens was indicted on seven counts of federal corruption charges, falsely reporting income. Finally. They've been investigating him for over a year.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 29, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

*craftily plotting the best way to ply Maggie O'D with liquor to get her to reveal the secret hiding place of the hastily absconded Kinkade art treasures*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Ted Stevens... as my dad would say, "couldn't happen to a nicer guy."

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

BPH is out for me, as NukeSpouse is on her way home! *happy dances* :-) Enjoy!

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Ivansmom, for that explanation. I still think my original point, that Obama was successful in college and law school, is still a valid point in his favor. I don't want any more C students in the White House. We all know how well that has worked out for us in the last seven years.

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Alexey - I hear rumors that you have written a book? What's it called?

omni - Well done! And funny, I like it.

"To serve all humanity" Sign over Hannibal Lecter's bar and grill?


Posted by: DLD | July 29, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Re. Ted Stevens.

Oh dear, oh, dear.
A Vast Criminal enterprise...?


Posted by: bc | July 29, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Part of the sinister plot of the DOJ packers is that they are counting on liberals if and when they return to power to be too rule abiding to purge the ranks of the unqualified wingnut lackeys that have been put in place. That sense of fair play is the downfall of the good guys every time.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, shoulda refreshed my page, and seen Joel's link at the top...

Ah, well.


Posted by: bc | July 29, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I particularly liked Craig Stoltz's reference to "mental ward haiku."

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Joel posted an Owl to evoke the wisdom of the Achenblog. The Owl, as I'm sure you all know, is the Rice University mascot. Hoot, hoot!

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 29, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

If Weingarten can take retroactive credit for today's Sally Forth, then Joel deserves the nod for today's Doonesbury:

So true it hurts.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Hi boodle! Taking a vacation on a food blog road trip seems like a very boodle thing to do, as does checking with the blogger first. Did I miss a link to Mighty Appetite in my boodle skimming? Is there a secret handshake, or are we to announce our boodleness out in the open?

I feel a migraine coming on and am trying to get enough done that I can have a lie down in a darkened room. We've been going through stuff in the building our nonprofit bought in anticipation of auctioning the contents. Sorting through 50 year old school papers, books, maps etc. is sending me round the headache bend.

Yello-enjoyed your blog post re: Sally Forth and Weingarten.

In a perverse way Monia Goodling strikes a blow against the glass ceiling-has there ever been a higher ranking woman in the federal government so clearly guilty of corruption?

Posted by: frostbitten | July 29, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?Ask Mr Owl

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 29, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Mental ward haiku:
Pills with water from strange hands
Bad voices melt now...

Dunno, that one makes sense enough to me.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

frosti.. was just gonna post a link to the Food Boodle...

Hilarious link to an Onion video.

Hope your migraine goes away quickly. Did you find an old "ditto" machine? Maybe the smell of that purple ink will cure ya.

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Mental ward haiku:

I hate Nurse Ratched.
Hey, want some Juicy Fruit, Chief?
I hate -- oh, no! Zaaaaaaaaappppp.

R.P. McMurphy

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse


Thanks. I noticed that Mr. Weingarten has conspicuously danced all around my blog post if he ever became aware of it. His claim that he inspired today's Sally Forth is so ridiculously ludicrous that I can only hope it is one of his inside Dan/Michael Savage type intentional jests.

I have it on VERY good authority that Weingarten had no influence on that strip. Even if he had, there is no way it could have gotten into print so fast. He's a former asst. managing editor. He should know these things.

I know he is Joel's buddy, but, like Howard W. Campbell, Jr., Gene is becoming what he pretends to be.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

TBG-The old ditto machine was the last thing we listed in the auction! There was even a can of "spirit fluid" next to it. Aaaaah, the memories. Wonderful blue lettered worksheets passed out by the equally wonderful Sister Mary Patrick. I was sorely tempted to open the can and take a direct sniff but who knows what vintage it is and I know I don't have any brain cells to spare.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 29, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Generally, there seems to be a "type" of person who aspires to become a professional politician so that's who you get to choose among when it's election time.
Getting rid of bad government can be likened to digging a hole at the shore-line: it just fills up with the same stuff you're trying to be rid of.

Posted by: Dmon | July 29, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

And another:

Well, hello, Clarice.
Would you like some fava beans
And a nice chianti?

--Emily Dickinson

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

The Cuckoo's Nest reminds me that owls as pictured are frequently used as scarecrows to ward off pests from gardens and fruit trees.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Ivansmom, the Owl is also the mascot of my alma mutter, Temple U., yanno.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

For some reason, I'm picturing this particular Mudgeowl with blue tailfeathers, a red cummerbund, and a sequined thong.

Oh, and 70's-vintage Elton John glasses and a powdered wig.

I don't have the time to Photochop that, unfortunately.


Posted by: bc | July 29, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Is it true that all of Emily Dickinson poems can be sung to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas?"

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 29, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

DLD --You've heard right.
The book is titled KINGMAKER by moi.
It is an espionage thriller. A tale of betrayal inspired by the Arbusto regime.

Shortly, I start heading for the BPH.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 29, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks DLD. If I get one laugh this crazy busy day I'm happy.

I'm on my way to the BPH also, with a slight detour...see you all there soon (~5PM).

Posted by: omni | July 29, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Have a hoot of a good time at the BPH.

Another bird of prey...oy vey. But my mother loved owls and had a collection (of replicas of course). I used to hear live ones late at night when at the "farm" (in the Pennsylvania Blue Ridge mountains) attacking critters for a midnight snack. Oh, the food chain.

Joel, maybe you need to catch a ride on the just announced private outer space jet for inspiration. Waahoo!

Posted by: eidrib | July 29, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Note to self: Snap the pole a bit harder to set the hook.


Posted by: DLD | July 29, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Hoot, Mudge. Hoot hoot.
Y'all have a good time at that BPH tonight.

Where is our anonymous haiku bandit? I miss those little gems.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 29, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

When are you stupid people going to learn?
No repubs. No dems. Only a completely corrupt congress working for nobody but themselves. You people have been hoodwinked for so long that you don't see the truth even when it slaps you in face!
Just like the people of democratic Germany in 1939, you've already lost most of your constitutional rights and protections. The next person to be sent to a Cuban prison in the dead of night might be your kid. When it happens, there won't be anything you can do about it because you sat on your butt as your freedoms were taken away from you. You all deserve what you get because you all asked for it!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Bogie looks worried
"Well, they all turned against me."
Rolls the ball bearings

Posted by: Jumper | July 29, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Dear 3:42,
Oh, we know, all right. See, there are MANY blogs. We post extremely serious stuff on those other ones. We relax and lighten up on this one. Mostly.

Posted by: Jumper | July 29, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: eidrib | July 29, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I wonder how anon would feel if somebody walked into his or her favorite local gathering-place and started throwing accusations of stupidity and gullibility at the regulars?

Posted by: Yoki | July 29, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Anyone see this?

5.4 is a nice hefty quake.

Posted by: nellie | July 29, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Another take on the quake

Posted by: nellie | July 29, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, FYI: There will be a test of "Big Voice" tomorrow 'round the old neighborhood. Just so's ya know, yano. The @#$% speaker is within spittin distance of my cube. It's about the only time I'm glad that I'm hard of hearing.

bc, I feel your email pain. I get that many emails if I take too long to get a cup of coffee.

A little ditty here 'bout my old alma mater. No wonder I'm curmudgeon-like.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 29, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Snippet from David Brin:

"Certainly, it seems quite valid to make a distinction between most "liberals"-- who tend to be non-dogmatic, adaptable, and sensitive to nuance -- and the "leftists" who fixate on dogmas, litmus-tests and nonsensical political correctness. The latter are classic romantics and can be as anger-drenched as anyone on the right. Only with one major distinction...the loony lefties do not - and never have - control a major American political party, while the loony right has seized total control over theirs."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Was Sen. Stevens the guy who called ANWR "hell on earth"? It was definitely an Alaskan politician, and seemed kind of harsh as a description of one's own constituency.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 29, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Excellent point, Yoki. I know how well that'd go over in most neighborhood taprooms in Philly.

I'm feeling the onset of chillblains, accompanied by an attack of vapors postprandially. I believe I must go seek medication forthwith.

Later, dudes.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I am not anonymous, I am a free man! (previous was me, too)
Another snippet; Brin:

"And finally... I just learned how much of the world's investment capital is held by pension funds and similar workers' retirement plans. THIRTY TRILLION DOLLARS. That is more than a third of the amount currently invested in available investment equities, including the stock of nearly all corporations. In other words, the workers already own the means of production. Wrap your heads around that one... then discuss why they aren't using that ownership power."

Posted by: Jumper | July 29, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Because corporate management is robbing those pension plans, Jumper?

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

How can they, Jump?

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 29, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

They do use that ownership power.

Retirement and mutual funds are very conservative investors with huge influence. Everytime people make mutual fund choices based on returns, they (in combination with millions of others) are demanding cost containment on salaries and expenses, and demanding the most inexpensive sources of energy be used by businesses.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 29, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I'm missing the BPH, but it's my son's last week at home before going off to freshman orientation. We are having home cooked meals all week. I came home to a fresh baked lasagna last night. I wish he could go off to college every week.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

When a person of Joel's obvious brain power and talent admits to not knowing about business or understanding the intricacies of Fannie/Freddie and GSEs generally, while being able to explain very complex pointy headed science stuff, you have part of your answer about why the workers don't use that ownership power. Cluelessness. It is not ok to be ignorant of pensions, and tax law, and derivatives, and even hog belly futures, any more than it is ok to be totally ignorant of politics, science, things mechanical, doilies, or knitting. I've cringed as I hear people, who are smart enough to know better, rush to adopt "anti speculation" legislation. Remember how everyone raved about Southwest Airlines a few years ago? Every other airline was tanking, and fast, in part because they had not had the foresight to hedge their fuel purchases the way Southwest did. That was speculation, and we all enjoyed the lower air fares it produced. To my great dismay it seems our elected officials for the most part are no more interested in business and things economic, and have little more knowledge or training, than average Americans whose savings are both meager and far more tied to the stock market than they are aware.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 29, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

As for me, it wasn't part of my education, Frostbitten. That should be changed, I agree. Not everybody has parents that are capable of educating them on financial matters beyond "don't get in debt" (if that).

I agree it's not okay to be pig-ignorant of those things, but without a basic grounding, financial jargon IS gobbledygook.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The quake must have been stronger than reported because when I went to the latimes link nellie provided, my computer crashed. Not a big crash, more a shaking that resulted in lost connections on the local network.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

... wish I was going on vacation... where ya go'in J.A.??

Posted by: Miss Toronto | July 29, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

The intelligence of pigs should never be underestimated. Many behaviorists believe the pig to be smarter than the dog and pigs are, without doubt, the "Einsteins" of the farm.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse Proper citation was not made in the prior posting.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Miss T, it's a road trip with the family, we'll be doing more college touring in New England, and might hike a mountain trail or two.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 29, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-it doesn't take a lifetime of education to get reasonably up to speed on general business knowledge. I propose that a year of listening to Marketplace Money from American Public Radio (on Saturday mornings at 10:00 on MPR stations) would be a relatively painless way to learn quite a bit about personal finance, with a lot of how the big picture affects the little guy thrown in. They just finished a very fine series on end-of-life finances complete with some very compelling insights from a woman with a terminal illness.

In the ain't life a hoot category, I would have given my right arm for my parents to teach me about money (they did have a pretty good grip on the basics + a bit more) but they would never talk about it except to say that things cost too much and they didn't have enough. Mr. F and I would gladly open our books to both the Frostkids and share all our expertise, and Mr. F's is considerable, but they are indifferent at best.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 29, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

A thousand pardons-I forgot to mention that text versions of all the stories on Marketplace Money are available on their web site.

Last week is here:

Posted by: frostbitten | July 29, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The trick, Frosti, is for Mr. F to still be around when they get interested. Money is an obsession with my kids' dad, and one reason he and I are no longer married. Younger dottir is frugal and has saved much, older dottir bought a condo right out of college which has not been a unqualified blessing. But they have learned, and both have IRA's.

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Good point slyness. Money is a big part of why Mr. F is #3. Sharing the same values when it comes to making, spending, saving, and sharing is soooo important. Frostson is out on his own, and not one to come to the Parental National Bank, but I fear for Frostdottir. She is the kind of kid who has to learn about ATM fees by spending $30 to withdraw $25 (in 5 different transactions, all from out of network machines).

Posted by: frostbitten | July 29, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

mental ward haiku

Had dreams of cooking
sought to serve humanity
all better now though

We're from the Achenblog, and we're here to help.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 29, 2008 3:53 PM

I thouth this worth sharing from the mighty appetite blog.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Gettin a call from a BPH is kinda like kissing yer sister...

Except when it's bc calling.

Then it's like a big hug from yer bro.


*anxiously awaiting the return of NukeSpouse*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Right you are, Frosti. Mr. T and I don't always see eye-to-eye about money, which is one reason I've never given up my own checking account. It's just too important to me, to control my own money. I have brought him around on the subject of debt. The only debt we now have is the mortgage on the house. With inheritances, we paid cash for the mountain place.

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

The thing that frustrates me is that although the amount of money involved seems mind boggling, it really isn't that overwhelming when looked at as a fraction of our overall national wealth. This means that relatively modest changes in taxation and big-ticket spending could greatly improve things. We're talking just a few percentage points. But this doesn't happen.

But I cannot think of this anymore today or I shall go mad. Besides, tomorrow I fly back to DC and there is still some of my father-in-law's Beer and Clamato to consume tonoght.

The rest of the dependents are staying down at Myrtle Beach with the in-laws for another week. This is a time-honored tradition for us. I preserve precious vacation and have the opportunity to get caught up on Home Improvement Projects without the distraction of other sentient organisms.

Although I enjoy my week at the beach with the family, there is also something relaxing about being home alone blissfully scrapin' paintin' and diggin'.

And for dinner tomorrow night I am thawing out some Kale!

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

tonoght tonoght won't be like any noght...

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

She wouldn't tell me what she did with the Kinkades. That woman is wily, I tell ya, wily.

I guess I'm the first one back from the BPH. Really enjoyed meeting mostly lurking, who had her sister (mls?) in tow. I asked how long they'd been in town. Answer: about 90 minutes. Seems they'd no sooner got in when TBG picked 'em up and brought them to the BPH. Also in attendence: Raysmom, bc, TBG, omni, Brag, PJ, SciTim (I know it wasn't one of the other doppleganger Tims, cuz this one was wearing The Vest With the Pockets and the Tools; also, I am pleased to report he now has a modicum of hair upon his pointy head). (He was also instantly recognizable by his Hawaiian shirt, BTW. Ya don't see a lot of Hawaiian shirts on K Street or in this particular McCormick & Schmick's, I might note.) The evening was notable in part because ml and mls both had their first official, legendary M&S Happy Hour $1.99 cheeseburger platter told (and extolled) about in story, song and epic poem.

Don't know if mo or anyone else turned up after I had to leave. Hope so.

I took two photos with my cellphone, but having mastered this aspect of 21st century technology, I now have no idea what to do with them. They are rattling around inside my little cellphone somewhere, perhaps near the contact list or the text messaging center, I dunno. But I shall duly consult with someone more technologically advanced -- and one-third to one-quarter my age -- who I'm sure will give me guidance (and pitiless contempt) on what to do next.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

No offense, Frostbitten, but I'd rather read a book on actual paper for a basic primer, and to see all the information.

I have been learning about IRAs and such from that PBS blonde who does the Young, Fabulous, and Broke stuff. That was helpful, but I still tapped my ex (who loves talking about money) for concrete help on how to set one up, and then talked to my advisor at the bank after that.

My goal in being financially savvy is knowing how to run a business, pay taxes, and make good investments. I suppose being able to understand how financial rulings could hurt my checkbook is good too.

All I know is that I've been steadily losing money in my IRA this year, after an initial 10% spike. I'm told to stay put and throw good money after bad, 100 years from now it'll be zillions of dollars. I dunno.

So yeah, I feel pig-ignorant. I'm too worried about grabbing a good share of my meals to really go out and learn about who slops my trough and how the mechanism works, exactly, and why I never get as much as the pig next to me.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I think it was Voltaire who said "tend to your own trough," or maybe that was about gardens.

The next pig is probably more intelligent, as previously advised and meant as no slight to dogs.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod.. you're not "throwing good money after bad." You're "buying low and selling high."

If you're still putting money into that IRA--the same amount at regular intervals--you're now buying more shares at cheaper prices. When the share prices rise (and they will eventually), you're portfolio will be worth more.

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

If I have any success at all with money, it's because the Yness fortune is invested with a firm I trust. I have known three generations of the family who owns/runs the firm, and they have done well so far.

One has to take the long view, Wilbrod. My 457 account lost a third of its value after 9/11 but rebounded nicely. It's down some but I'm not particularly worried about it.

Was it Shiloh who noted that pension funds own the mutual fund market? Even in today's climate, mine did well enough to grant a 2.15 percent increase to retirees this year. It's solvent, too.

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Cost averaging is elementary.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

So right, slyness. The clue is "don't panic." The 9/11 selloff was a buying opportunity. I took it and recovered nicely.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

What a day!

Got a call this afternoon from one of my good friend's oldest daughters--her husband had an older, black, female lab follow him home. The dog was in the pool doing laps right then, but they wanted to know what to do next. No id on her collar.

I took her to my vet, not chipped. My friend's SIL was late leaving for a business trip, I told him to go, we'd work it out. Her daughter, the first-time, working mother of a toddler, isn't a dog person, although we all agreed there was no way this very nice, well-trained and well-mannered lab was going to any shelter.

So my friend was going to spend the night there, the dog would stay there, and we'd regroup tomorrow. Possibly the dog would come here while we searched because she proved to be dog friendly at the vet's.

We walked and walked, nothing looked familiar to the dog. Daughter had called the shelters and the police station (Yardley), and we finally drove to the next closest one. They sent an officer out, he made a few calls to other stations, and . . . produced the dog's family. Who drove up tearfully, their young daughter having insisted all afternoon that the cleaners stole their dog when they picked up the clothes.

How often do you get to witness the best of all possible endings? Especially when the little lost lab was named Lucie, just like my last lab.

Posted by: dbG | July 29, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow, dbG, that outcome was worth all the trouble, wasn't it?

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

A great happy ending story dbG, but it raises some questions. Is the husband of your good friend's oldest daughter in the dry cleaning business and why did he, the son-in-law married to your good friends oldest daughter, suddenly take off on a business trip after the dog "followed him home?" Is the SIL a dog person? There are so many unanswered questions about a questionalble experience, happy ending notwithstanding, especially the intuitive little girl who knew it was the cleaners who took the dog.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 29, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like another great BPH. We pulled some of my MIL's cha gio out of the freezer and fried them up. Truly the best eggrolls in the universe.

I'm the guy that knows all the rules for sound money management but I don't follow any of them. I haven't even balanced my checkbook in over a year.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Chimp rights, bestiality, and infanticide go together like bananas and hammocks in some minds, apparently.

This kind of thinking was popularized around 1936-1945. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

yello-balancing a checkbook is so 20th century. I update online right after I check in with the boodle, sometimes even before.

Wilbrod-set and forget that IRA for a while. (Just for a while, you can err in the other direction too by not paying attention.) As others have said this is a buying opportunity.

Slyness-I think keeping at least some finances separate saves a lot of relationships.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 29, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Gossip ain't all bad.

Say, did you hear the one about...?

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Just found a cool web site that scores the "walkability" of neighborhoods. Check your address at

Our NoVA address earned a 5 out of 100, we improved to a 28 when we moved to Tampa, and both are deemed car dependent. Our St. Paul place scored 97!

Posted by: frostbitten | July 29, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Can't hold out for the night shift. Long day tomorrow and it's going to start early.

G'night Wilbrod. Toodles boodle, sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 29, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Scottynuke, I'm glad you're getting used to being hugged, even virtually. Re. your sister - c'mon, man, a gentleman never kisses and tells.

Had a very nice time with everyone at the BPH, as always. Glad to see mostlylurking and mostlysister in person.

I meant to ask Alexey if he had any copies of his book with him - I'm sure some folks would have liked to have a look at it.

Have a good night, all.


Posted by: bc | July 29, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

my place of residence scored 72 on the walkability scale, just making it into the "very walkable" category.

today's earthquake didn't feel all that strong in west l.a., although we certainly did feel it. just a little good ole california shakin'.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 29, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear you're OK, L.A. lurker.


Posted by: bc | July 30, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

It sounds like a great BPH. Mostly and mostlysis, have a wonderful vacation. See everything, and then tell us all about it.(I need to live vicariously) Please tell me someone can get the photo of SciTim off Mudges phone.

JA, in case I miss you, happy vacation/college tours/hikes. Take time for a campfire too. And stop to see the stars.

I'm going to bed since I was up with the dawn patrol eastern time.

Posted by: dr | July 30, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Montreal je t'aime
wish McGill had called my name,
to morrow in Maine

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

My current neighborhood scored 22/100 for walkability, even though here I often walk to the grocery store and sometimes to the Chinese carry-out. My previous neighborhood scored a marginally superior 26/100, even though the only meaningful place that we ever walked were the neighborhood schools.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 30, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

SciTim, where I live scores 49 out of 100 for walkability. I guess as I theoretically could walk to Canada, that has to be a plus.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 30, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

You wouldn't believe the crap I've been through to get that razzlefrackin questionaire attached to an email and sent off.
I am Boko, tenacious but tired.

Panhandling's not so bad, is it?
Good night, nurtz.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 30, 2008 3:17 AM | Report abuse

My neighborhood scored a 35; I agree the library is at least a mile too far, but having the nearest movie theatre count seems irrelevant today.

Shiloh, you've sussed it all out. My friend's SIL *is* a dog person. I'm sure this was the only way he'd get his wife to accept a dog into the house and I'm going to make sure she knows he's moonlighting as a dry cleaner. :-)

Posted by: dbG | July 30, 2008 3:34 AM | Report abuse

Almost forgot. Slyness, totally worth it.

Having volunteered in lab rescue, I truly feared her family had abandoned her.

Posted by: dbG | July 30, 2008 3:37 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. What's up? I'm up and moving, and that is a so good sign. I've had the coffee, and I'm cooking. Today is Bible study day, and we're taking the kids to the Chinese restaurant(?). I have a lot on tap for today, so decided to start early.

I think it is wonderful that people can invest, save, and do all that good stuff with money, and I'm so ignorant of those ways, but I suspect having the money to do that would be the starter, correct? I've never possessed those kinds of resources. I worked, but being single parent, never had anything left over. I belonged to that group called the "working poor".

I saw on the WashPost front page that the House issued an apology to African-Americans for slavery. It was not in the headlines. One would have thought the news shouted from the housetops. It is great news, and considering the time frame, none too soon. Now there is an effort underway for the Senate to do this also. Some fear that an apology will open the door to repariation(?). I don't know if that will be the case or not, but it certainly is the right thing to do. And not just apologize, but move from that point with meanful dialogue and action.

I'm baking chicken, and it smells so good. I seasoned it, and let it marinate overnight. I'm cooking it this morning because I won't have time later on.

It's really, really, hot here, and according to the weather person, that's not going to change anytime soon. Have a great day, folks. Please check on the elderly.

People are going through all kinds of changes now, and so much of it not good. I'm constantly asked to pray for folks, and I do. I pray for you guys here, and others. Please pray for all.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 30, 2008 6:00 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Glad to see Cassandra up and leading the Dawn Patrol this morning. But I have a question: what are Boko and dbG doing up at that hour? Don't you guys ever sleep?

Not much to comment on re: the WaPo home page, other than to say this is the first time I've really, truly despised a Dana Milbank column. This new meme that Obama is "presumptuous" makes me see red. First the contention is he's too inexperienced to be president, and needs to demonstrate to the American people he is presidential material. So he goes off and starts acting presidential LIKE HE'SUPPOSED TO -- and what does he get for it? He's "arrogant." He's "presumptuous." Who does he think he is? And it's bad enough to hear this bullsh-- from the GOP Conserv Rightwing -- but to hear the same crap from Milbank?

And the worse part of it is, the more these folks talk about Obama being "presumptuous," only one thing keeps echoing inside my head: the ugly phrase "uppity N-word." Because to me that's what it boils down to. He's uppity and doesn't know his place. Well, that not only makes me see red, it throws me well into the infrared spectrum. Milbank thinks Obama's presumptuous? Milbank can kiss my you-know-what. (I searched in vain for some sign of sarcasm or satire in Milbank's column, but couldn't find any. Did I miss something? In any event, even if Milbank had his tongue in his cheek, other have not. So screw 'em.)

OK, gotta run, got a lot to do today. Carry on.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 30, 2008 6:16 AM | Report abuse


My dad said yesterday, racisim is very much alive and working its evil. Obama brings that out of people, through no fault of his, but theirs. I know I haven't said this here, and I don't like thinking it one bit, but many of us are holding our breath. America is my home, my country, and I love it, but my head is not in the sand when it comes to the evil that can prevail here or the results that take place once that evil is allowed to run rampant.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 30, 2008 6:26 AM | Report abuse

I love that walkability site, and the concept in general. My current address scores 42, "car dependent" but I actually can walk to the beach, the movies, the library, church, WalMart and the mall. Of course, as Steven Wright says, "Anyplace is walking distance if you have the time." I almost never DO walk to any of those places (I do take my bike sometimes, though.) I have seriously considered giving up my car and it may happen yet.

Our most recent Key West address scored 95: "Walkers' paradise." That's accurate.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 30, 2008 6:30 AM | Report abuse

My neighborhood is a 28. There is really only a liquor store and a pizza place within walking distance. While there are plenty of things shown on the map, They all require navigating sidewalkless major roads.

That said, the neighborhood itself is excellent for recreational walking, which is what I am going to do right now.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Daily Show had a feature where they sent a black reporter to Del Boca Vista Phase 3 and got some elderly Floridians to say some very politically incorrect things. Remember, these are the people that voted for Buchanan on accident. Obama better hope they vote for him on purpose.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, everybody. I see the dawn patrol is up and at 'em early today.

I'm not even gonna look at the walkability site. My neighborhood was developed in the early 60's, which means that it is totally car-dependent. At least we have multiple entrances/exits. There used to be a small shopping center within walking distance, but since Harris Teeter and Eckerd's closed their stores, there isn't anything else to visit. We do have bus service, and it's not terribly far to shopping, a mile or so.

My ambition is to move to an urban condo when I'm ready not to drive anymore, close to church. Dunno if that will work, since Mr. T isn't into multifamily housing and loves his yard. I plan to be sensible about giving up my driver's license.

What prompts those plans is the experience of coming down the mountain Sunday afternoon behind a Lexus SUV driven by a white-haired older woman who went 40 mph and rode her brakes the entire 8 miles. There's no place to pass till the road construction is complete. ARRRGH!

Posted by: slyness | July 30, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

A wiggle of my tail and a waggle of my wings in morning salute to the Boodlers. Heading at treetop level to check on the war kennels.

Enjoyed the BPH!

Have a great days, Boodlers!.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 30, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I own one of those teeny tiny chips that you use to download stuff from your phone. My phone is an LG brand. If this works, we can connect at lunch tomorrow and do the dump. (Well, *that* didn't come out right.)

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 30, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

g'morning boodle. Thanks to Mudge I'll skip Milbank and continue to enjoy the morning a bit longer.

Despite posting the link I too have a few quibbles with walkability scores, it depends on what you're looking for. Our Tampa neighborhood did not have a grocery store, but it had a "corner store" where you could get necessities in a pinch and a great sandwich for lunch. The library was within walking distance. The elementary school was close enough to walk-if parents would allow kids to do it. They need a walking school bus
Kids had no trouble finding their way to the 2 rec centers or their adjacent parks. and Sunday morning the sidewalks would fill with people walking to church. Never felt deprived by not being able to walk to shop for clothes (which I hate anyway) or to see a movie (which we do perhaps once a year).

Posted by: frostbitten | July 30, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.

My neighborhood's walkability score is 32. Like Yello, it's a big neighborhood with 3 big circles around 3 lakes, so it is wonderful for walking or running for exercise. Once out of the 'hood, though, no sidewalks to anywhere.

dbG - I loved that lost lab story!

I'm glad everyone had a good time at the BPH. I wish I could have met mostly, but I am looking forward to the BPHpalooza in October.

Have a great day, folks.

Posted by: Kim | July 30, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

A miserable 8/100 for walkability, and yet everything in town is within 1 mile (or less).
However, there's not much in town except two local convenience stores, the post office and the town hall/library/firestation combo, plus the 71 other homes in the town. There are also two good fishing or canoe sites and a hunting preserve (members only) within walking distance. The library is pretty much unknown outside of town because it was created by book donations from townspeople and discards from other libraries. The fire department is all volunteer and town hall is only open 4 hours a day. Almost everybody in town walks somewhere every day, many to the post office because there's no mail delivery in town (all residences are too close to the PO). Sure, everything else is car dependent, but for local walkability I'd score the town at 85/100.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

BPH was great as usual. So good to see everyone and meet Alexey, mostly and mostlysis.

My neighborhood's a 34, but like yello's and Kim's, it has great recreational paths that I use every day. And walking to errands doesn't seem to be for me, anyway. The last time I walked the grocery store (a half mile away) to pick up "a few things" I ended up with three bags full that just about made my arms fall off by the time I got home.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 30, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, almost forgot the 3 churches in town - all within walking distance. And that reminds me of a humorous story from my (Jesuit) college days:

Every small Southern town has 3 churches, Baptist, Methodist and Episcopalian, and each has a role in the town. The Episcopalians own everything, the Methodists run everything and the Baptists keep everything stirred up.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Morning all...

The joy of NukeSpouse's safe return is tempered by two things -- a not-very-hopeful holding pattern for my FIL in the hospital, and a particularly painful flare-up of what is very likely diverticulitis for me. Not much sleep last night. *SIGH*

Scored a 57 on the walkability scale, but it IS a kludgy setup:
a) it ignores HILLS (of which there are many steep ones herabouts)
b) it doesn't recognize the C&O Canal as a national parks, instead pointing out a cross-county ski tour place miles away.

*a-careful-shrug-and-very-slow-and-delibertate-Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 30, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

63 is my walkability score, which should be modified somewhat to reflect that the campus dominates the neighborhood and not really in a traditionally funky and glorious college-row way.

And, we are inundated by chain food shops that feed students whose parents buy them meal card access. Amazing! I keep wondering who has such money to spend thusly.

Besides, standing in the cafeteria line should be a formative experience... ;)

Posted by: College Parkian | July 30, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

SCC galore: national park, cross-country, whatever else I missed.

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 30, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

My walk score is 78. The lists showed things I wasn't even aware of, and missed about as many that I am.

Posted by: omni | July 30, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I haven't bothered to look at the walkability of my neighborhood. Walkability, alas, is for those with working legs. My wife walks 2 miles every morning.

Ditto bicycle-riding. Used to love riding my bike when I was a kid, and up into my teens -- 16 or 17 or so. But bike-riding, like walking, requires cooperation from body parts with whom I am not on good terms.

I am looking forward to the possibility of a pegleg with a built-in Segway capacity. Now *that* would be really cool.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 30, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse


If you didn't like Milbank today, you'll hate Dowd.

She also takes a bit of the Barack acting like he's already been elected but doesn't quite know what he is doing route since he forgot to bring trinkets for the heads of state he visited. But he does have an aide whose job is to buy his daughters tchotckes.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | July 30, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

A cautionary welcome from the MA blog:

Boodlers, it's nice to see you all in this space but please don't scare the Mighty Appetite natives. They need to be broken in slowly.

Posted by: Kim O'Donnel | July 30, 2008 12:04 AM

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, when you get your Segway you can drill a hole in the deck into which you slot your peg-leg for stability and purchase.

Posted by: Yoki | July 30, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Peg-leg operated Segway? Very intriguing idea. Like a rolling pirate. Perhaps you could get a skull and crossbones painted on one of those triangular safety flags.

There are also those hand cranked recumbent cycles. Try valet parking one of those at M&S.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

CP says, "standing in the cafeteria line should be a formative experience... ;)".

My collegiate formative experience varied considerably from that norm. I don't know how other service academies did this, but mine made the plebes serve the upperclass seated at tables. The plebes then had to stand at a formal parade-rest at the foot of the table, solemly watching the upperclass eat. Guess that's why I've never worked as a waiter, even when times were tough.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Oops, the 10:14 was me.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 30, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

College cafeterias themselves resemble food courts nowadays. My son's meal plan includes ten meals a week in the cafeterias. That was one of the least restrictive plans they offer freshman. We figure breakfast isn't in his day, so it includes some spending credits for other venues for snacks and late nights. I guess in future years we'll get him ones with more discretionary income.

He had an internship this year at APL that he had to get to by one and his last class ended at 11. Rather than force him to eat the school food, we gave him a credit card and told him to pick up something on the way each day. From the monthly statements we could tell where he'd been eating. He tended to hit Boardwalk Fries and Qdoba on days they ran specials.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, can you use your legs if you don't put a whole lot of stress on them all at once? The problem with a cool hand-cranked recumbent cycle is that arms are not nearly as strong and tough as legs without a LOT of work. You might well exacerbate your heart problems with such a workout, or worse. However, there are performance recumbent tricycles. Fast and efficient. You need to pedal, but the nice thing about wheeled vehicles is that you can coast in between spates of pedaling. Because it's a trike, you don't need to have your legs available to support you when you stop, and you don't have the high-power jolt required to get started -- you can ease into it. They are far from cheap -- a new Greenspeed can set you back $2-3K. If you are remotely interested, you should contact Larry Black, owner of Mt. Airy Cycles and College Park Cycles. Larry specializes in adapting bicycles (and their ilk) for the differently-abled, at cost, which is why College Park cycles always gets my first look whenever I go shopping for a new bike or bike equipment. He helped out a friend of mine with profound difficulties and managed to get him onto a good bike with several major adaptations, at no extra cost.

Mt. Airy Bicycles:

Posted by: BicycleTim | July 30, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

So when does Joel actually hang up the Gone Fishin' sign? And have people already snuck over to that chow blog leaving me here to pick up the glasses and load the dishwasher. And someone took all the doilies I've been using to wipe the lipstick off the wine glasses. Are they in protective custody like the Kindaides?

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Beretta gun factory involved in illegal activity which causes the death of eight innocent passersby:

Police, in a pre-lunch raid, arrested gun factory management and workers. They are charged with abetting illegal activities, specifically by recording illegal street racing activities on the highway in front of the factory. Recording such illegal activities provides a show case for the racers and spectators, making it impossible for them to be law abiding citizens. Charges for privacy violations are also being considered. Police are looking for the security firm that installed the cameras, stating that "it is our job to spy on the citizens."

A spokesman for the Brady Bunch anti-gun group cites the factory's presence and its security cameras as a key element in encouraging dangerous and deadly activity in the area.

Meanwhile, DC's mayor and lawmakers are pointing to this as another example of their law abiding citizens being influenced, by the proximity of nefarious gun sources, into becoming crazed gun owners, willing to protect themselves against the criminal element that rules the city.


Posted by: DLD | July 30, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Work, work, work, work.

A PegWay - hmm, wouldn't a simple adapation to an electric scooter work?

As long as it had a quick release or binding for the pegleg so you could hop off, it could be done simply and cheaply.

Not as cool as a full-on PegWay adaptation of the Segway, but wouldn't cost as much as a motorcycle or used car, either.

I suppose the Green PegWay would simply be a Razor-like push-scooter with the PegWay quick-release binding...



Posted by: bc | July 30, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

There's nothing in the article that DLD cites that says anything about any of the other charges in DLD's 10:59. The Beretta factory has security cameras that caught the race. That's it. No raids, no accusations against the factory or its workers. "Brady Bunch" is an overtly derisive term used to belittle the Brady Campaign to prevent Gun Violence, which my family has been motivated to support since my father was shot with a cheap and readily-available Saturday Night Special. This kind of street racing is generally understood to change location; there is no indication that this is a regular location used for this purpose, which would have made it easier for police to prevent it, and there is no suggestion that factory workers intentionally record this racing for any purpose. This event occurred in Prince George's county and has nothing to do with DC or its mayor. Perhaps I am not understanding, but this appears to be an attempted satire of the supposed excesses of anti-handgun activists, or maybe just a straight-ahead character assassination.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 30, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Seems to me that if it's a gun factory, they'd be negligent if they *didn't* have security cameras.

A showcase for doing something illegal...wasn't that the specatator part of the equation? Breaking the law on film isn't the brightest thing to do.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 30, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Does the Blog Dog Joel rides to and from work have a name?

If not, we must take advantage that Joel is having his nice vacation and give the monster a name. By the time Joel returns, all arguments will be settled and the Blog Dog's name firmly established.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 30, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Umbrage meter clicking into red zone, Tim?

I think DLD is using satire to reflect the Orwellian "Big Brother is watching you" mindset of nervous vigilantes. Our national preoccupation with terrorism and the use of anti-terrorist cameras to snare unsuspecting lawbreakers is just another consequence of the Brave New World. The case instant may do more to curtail street racing than any police patrols. On the other hand, camera paranoia may simply change the racing venue more often. And SCOTUS has recently ruled on the right to bear arms - a limited decision and one that I disagree with on the basis of the "well armed militia" preface.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Okay, couple 'O tings...
1st: I KNEW that I shoulda bought that 1.2mil house on 3 acres five years ago with that 2percent A.R.M. Dang! Instead, here I am in my 250k handyman special (which I can afford, only 'cause I didn't expect to be bailed out by the guvment). Did I say Dang?
2nd: Tim Kane for VP? Whaaaat? He hasn't even had time to be a governor...
Okay, 1 more thing. I just found out that I have a "disrupted" tendon in my ankle (that's med=speak for "tear"). I think I'll "disrupt" the coupons from today's food section now.

Posted by: Dmon | July 30, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Nobody was posting anything here, so I went and posted on the Mighty Appetite blog.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 30, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The long grey line, Don?

Mudge, what can I say? Philadelphian with Dublin work hours.

I can't believe we tracked mud into Kim's kitchen already! :-)

Posted by: dbG | July 30, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

College Park Bicycles, the down county Larry Black operation enjoys my biz since 1983. Seconding BikeTim's motion on this. Larry is a prophet and a bit unusual but this force works for good in all biker customer cases.

Will be seeing them soon about a size-up bike for CPBoy. When will that boy-cub stop growing?

Posted by: College parkian | July 30, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I have posted a new kit, fyi.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 30, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

It's called either the blogosaurus or the blogalumphagus. And there are two different ones. The purple Wapo Mag version and the orange online edition.

Discussed at length back in March:

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Once again, refresh catches me out.

DLD, I have to echo what *Tim's saying here: I don't think I understand your 10:59.

LIT, the risk of getting caught, the betting on the results and bragging rights are all part of the allure of street racing. Illegal and stupid as it is, there are social aspects to it and even a community with all of the attendant pros and cons to human group social dynamics... pecking orders, politics, cliques, etc.

Having said that, if a private security camera bothers you, consider the fact that our local governments are installing cameras at darn near every stoplight and that your OnStar, GPS/Nav system, cell phone, office access cards, credit/debit/ and ATM cards, and even your PC browsers leave data in various systems that a well-motivated and well-funded government *could* collect, store and retrieve.

The re-authorization of FISA has kept a big can of worms wide open.

A Big Brother can of worms, that is.

I think the key word here is trust.
Trust between government and citizens and business.

At one point, the three knew little about each other and there was a reasonable level of trust between the three. Now, we all know a lot about each other, and have come to realize there are many reasons for levels of distrust.

Dang it *Tim -- after your monologue last night about cynicism, ya got me doing it.


Posted by: bc | July 30, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company