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Those Dang Double Dippers

Economy's tanking, people are making runs on banks, the FBI is circling IndyMac -- thank God oil has dropped to only, let's see, $134 a barrel. Though I don't talk about personal stuff on this blog or indulge in self-centered angst and ennui, let me note just this one time that all signs indicate that I'm in an inexorable process of downward socioeconomic mobility -- a death spiral -- and will soon be living in some kind of tin-roofed shack on the edge of a murky stream where I'll subsist on whatever I can gig. You know: crawdads. Wild greens. Occasionally I'll pinch a chicken from someone's back yard. Whatever it takes.

Apparently the real secret to getting by now is to be a "double-dipper," in which you retire, then get rehired, and maybe retire again and get rehired again -- in which case you're a triple-dipper. Check out this story from USA Today:

"Olga Martin Steele, 60, earns $252,000 a year as interim chief executive of the Santa Clara Valley Water District in San Jose plus another $180,000 a year in pension benefits from 30-plus years of government service."

[Of course, 400K a year barely covers the mortgage on a cottage in Silicon Valley, but still, how do you get a gig like that?]

There's more:

' The St. Petersburg Times found that Florida has more than 8,000 double-dippers and 121 "triple-dippers" -- workers enjoying two pensions and a salary. '

Somewhere out there, surely, there's a quadruple-dipper.

--

Via Memeorandum I saw this Ross Douthat item on how he's going to patrol comments on his blog:

"From now on, one of the Atlantic's crack interns will be going through the comment threads at the end of every business day, deleting any comments that run afoul of our comments section's terms of service..."

Let the intern do it! Right, like this is what the intern wants to do with his or her summer at The Atlantic -- clean up Ross's comment box. Ross, dude, why don't you let the intern write your blog for a few days while you play comment cop. It's FUN to zap comments. I love the smell of comment fritters in the morning. (Sadly, I almost never get to zap anything here -- everyone's so reasonable!)

--

I agree with MoDo: Let's not have a humorless campaign or a humorless presidency.


[Am off to an interview in Pittsburgh...more later today...]


By Joel Achenbach  |  July 17, 2008; 7:56 AM ET
 
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Comments

First!

Posted by: wiredog | July 17, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Morning Patrol without Mudge is totally different.

Posted by: daiwanlan | July 17, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Double dipping for ex govies is incredibly common. People retire from the civil service and then take a job with a contractor. In a way it is gaming the system, but in a way it is viewed as compensation for the generally poor salaries civil service jobs offer.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 17, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

"...one of the Atlantic's crack interns..."

What zactly have they got those kids doing over at the Atlantic?

Posted by: Raysmom | July 17, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. Let me clarify. What people do is take a contractor job and then return to working for the government as a contractor. So this isn't technically double dipping because you aren't drawing two government pensions. But, in effect it is since the contractor money comes directly from taxes.

There are lots of prohibitions to this, mostly to discourage conflict of interest, but it is still terribly common. I don't know how many times I have attended a "retirement party" for somebody just to see them show up in a month with a different color badge.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 17, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

It happens in the local government sector, also. There are rules for it, in fact: a person drawing a pension can only earn at certain amount before pension benefits are cut. IIRC, the amount is in the neighborhood of $28,000.

One of my former bosses did it right; he retired from the local firefighters system and took a job as a fire chief in a city not too far away, thus entering another pension system. Retiring and going to work for a contractor is also very common.

I checked the box to indicate I'd work if the City called me, when I retired, but I'm not unhappy that they haven't. I've done a little consulting work, and that's enough.

Posted by: slyness | July 17, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, I'm sorry to hear about your day at the ER, was wondering if you had to petition for release under the recent Supreme Court ruling pertaining to detainee rights.

Alexey, glad to hear about your book making the Amazon list, and thanks for that parade. The horse was great, I did manage to spot a few Boodlers in there. Definitely saw TBG, LIT, and I think I saw RD, though he seemed to be avoiding a clear shot on camera. A good friend of mine has an old Ford Galaxie convertible of that vintage, I've spent plenty of time working on that thing. Great summer cruiser, and would make an interesting challenge as a race car. Fortunately it's big enough that a methane distallation system would probably fit onboard rather than in a trailer.

On a related note: yellokjt, I'd be happy to work on an inflight refueling system for the Dawn Patrol, but we're going to need some money for lighweight tanks and a LOT of party balloons to suspend the cows from.... I'll submit a purchase req to the Shop Steward if you'll approve the quotes (Is it in budget? Speaking of which, who's maintaining the budget? TBG? Mudge? LIT?).

Went to a music festival yesterday, saw lots of good new music (OK, some of it not so great), and have a few good stories that I may share later.

I've been to Sideling Hill lots of times; it's a real traveler's Roadside Spectacle, and in my mind not so much a Gateway to the West as an escape hatch from the East Coast.

Joel, you should petition some of the for more Post employees that took some of the ealry retirement packages and see how many are On the Road to Double Dipping...

I know a few from where I work, and one of my good friends now has far more income than ever...

bc

bc

Posted by: bc | July 17, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Oy, please excuse my SCCs this morning.

"former" ("for more" - what was I *thinking*?), "early", and the double "bc."

It's a good thing I remain the Jackson Pollock of the English Language.

Feh.

When am I going to learn to use the "Preview" function?

Sheesh.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 17, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I look forward to someday getting seriously into the single-dipping. I'm not greedy.

I just read the MoDo column that Joel linked. There is a definite damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't quality to Obama coverage. His campaign gets tagged as ludicrously earnest and petty for obsessively analyzing the carbon costs of the convention; but you know what would happen if they ignored the issue, it would be used to impute hypocrisy. In this climate, it's better to be earnestly sober and humorless.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 17, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I've got a miniscule pension, which keeps me in ciggies and bourbon. Can't call writing novels double-dipping. Though last night I went to bed with illusions of double dipping afluence as KINGMAKER made it into Amazon's best seller lists. Alas, it didn't stay in those heights for very long

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 17, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

bc;

Last time I checked the Officers of the Boodle, Raysmom was Comptroller...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

We need for more humorous gimmicks to ridicule Obama for. Otherwise Dowd is out of a job and I don't think she is qualified for anything else. No double dipping for her.

I'd plug my blog where I have given a list of things to mock Barack about but nobody clicks.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | July 17, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Joel... when in Pittsburgh, it is imperative that you visit Primanti Brothers in the Strip District (down on Smallman St.). You'll get the best panini sandwich you've ever had and you can wash it down with an Iron City beer (or a Rolling Rock, if you're not into liquified industrial waste pulled straight from the Monongahela).

And remember to say "yinz" when referring to groups of two or more people.

Oh... and downtown is called "dahntahn".

Just tryin' to be helpful an'at.

Posted by: martooni | July 17, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Jeez, ya miss a day and you're THREE kits behind! Yikes. I may need to take a speed-boodling course to catch up. Wonder how many opportunities for snark I missed. *sigh*

To make matters worse, somebody messed with the clock radio and we overslept by an hour this morning, so I missed muster at the Dawn Patrol. Looks like a couple of you managed to get airborne, though, so that's good that we were covered. I never had a moment's doubt about any of you.

Well, maybe except for bc. I know how easily he gets distracted when there's cows and empty methane tanks lying around: he just can't leave well enough alone.

I'm fine, Cassandra, but thanks for your concern. It's just a mild infection and case of cellulitis in my left shin (in the leg formerly known as The Good Leg). My right leg has been trying (unsuccessfully) to kill me now for four years (three bouts of cellulitis; four staph infections, one of which was MRSA; one morganella infection, and one (the most recent) fungus infection, during which my lower right leg was attempting to grow psychedelic mushrooms just under the surface of the skin. I still want them to amputate it so I can get a pirate pegleg and a parrot. My wife thinks it's a sick joke, and gets this disapproving look on her face whenever I say it.

But I'm not joking. Who needs a leg that has joined the Bacteria-of-the-Month Club and forgets to send in the "no thank you" card every month?

The ER folks actually saw me promptly, took blood samples for the lab, and within an hour had hooked me up to an IV antibiotic (vancomycin, one of my favorites) and the Wound Center doc I needed to see came by at 11:30 in the morning, said, "Yup, that's cellulitis, all right" [which is what I told them at the triage desk; by the fourth time around you tend to know it when you see it]. So it was nice we agreed on a diagnosis. And he said somebody would be back to bandage it up and they'd decide whether to keep me overnight on the IV or give me a couple of prescriptions and cut me loose. That's when the waiting began: noon to 8:45 that night, including at least three pages up to their department.

So here I am back at work, Cassandra, with a prescription for kevlarflaxowaxomycoriboflavin and another one for crushed eye of newt. Just so my Bad Leg doesn't get jealous of all the attention "the good leg" is getting, they smeared a thick white glop on it like it was cream cheese, and bandaged it up. So now my right leg is gently marinating in something that looks like crab dip. Without the Triscuits. I probably should have sprinkled some dill on it.

Carry on.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 17, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Double dipping is gross and unhygenic. Dip and flip if you have a chip too big for one bite.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 17, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod wrote last night:
The DARC variant, if I remember my human genetics class aright, is only found in some Africans-- specifically West Africa, where most African-Americans trace their ancestry to.

From today's San Antonio Express-News, second graf:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/Gene_raises_HIV_risk_for_some_in_Africa.html

The gene variant, called DARC-negative, is found only in those of African descent, and about 90 percent of Africans carry it, the researchers said. Although they stopped short of saying it could help explain the devastating prevalence of HIV in Africa -- where more than two-thirds of the world's HIV and AIDS cases are found -- they estimated it might account for perhaps 11 percent of the disease there. ...

The gene regulates a substance on the surface of red blood cells called the Duffy antigen, discovered a half century ago in a hemophiliac patient named Duffy. People with this particular gene variation don't produce the Duffy antigen, which in recent years has been found to harness immune system proteins called chemokines. DARC stands for Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines.

Posted by: Loomis | July 17, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I will never double or triple dip because like the vast majority of Americans, I am not eligible for a pension. A "pension". How 1950s. Does it come with a metal lunch bucket, too?

Posted by: Josey23 | July 17, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

slyness - thanks for pointing out the income restrictions. I believe we have a similar situation, in theory. However, there are a lot of caveats involving security clearances and critical needs and the like.

The big conundrum is that we are looking at a huge number of senior people retiring in the next few years. Since our demographics look like a big "V", with most of the workforce being either well over 50 or well under 40, we are facing a tremendous drain of experienced people. In order to prevent this, policies are in place to make it financially attractive for such people to remain in the community.

This also means that those few of us who happen to be in the middle demographic will be expected to move into management positions earlier than we might otherwise.

Some of us, though, are resisting this.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 17, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

From the NYT coverage last night, link in previous Boodle:

Dr. Weiss said the red blood cell receptor was similar to another receptor, CCR5, which occurs on the surface of the white blood cells that are H.I.V.'s major target. A small percentage of Europeans have a mutation that prevents the CCR5 receptor from being displayed on the surface of white blood cells, and they are protected against H.I.V.

It is somewhat puzzling that the absence of the two receptors has the opposite effect -- vulnerability to H.I.V. when the red cell receptor is missing, protection from it when the white cell receptor is withdrawn. The researchers offer an explanation that they concede is far from straightforward.

LL: Just to point out--important work in immunology and its complexities has been done and continues to be done here in Alamo City, whether it's in humans or other primates such as African green monkeys, as I noted on the Boodle about a year and a half ago.

*****
The link below is to a very technical and scholarly article from Nov 1997 Journal of Virology about CCR5 genes of African Green Monkeys. In the Acknowledgement section at the end, you will notice Helotes Mayor (Mulch Fire) Jon Allan's name listed first.

http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/reprint/71/11/8642.pdf

Posted by: Loomis | February 28, 2007 4:50 PM
*****

Joel, dangling a clue such as an interview in Pittsburgh holds all kinds of interesting possibilities.

Interesting, that the Express-News has revamped its online operations as of this morning and is now allowing readers or viewers to comment. In the same breath, our S.A. Life humor columnist, in his op-ed this morning, thinks comments apended to news articles are bunk:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/Michael_ORourke_Give_him_the_news_hold_the_insane_comments.html

Posted by: Loomis | July 17, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Are you one of the resisters, RD? I'd ask why, considering that it brings more $$$ but I understand. The problems of managements pretty much always outweigh the benefits of the extra $$$.

Posted by: slyness | July 17, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I think Michelle Obama is the savior of humor in the Obama camp. She kids him a lot about his foibles. She can get away with this because, as his wife, her commitment and love are a given. She can rag on him about his scuffed shoes without inciting a backlash. This is just one of the many ways in which I think this woman is a tremendous asset.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 17, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

slyness - I am resisting because I can. At this point I have enough technical skills (which doubtless comes as a shock to many here) so that the financial incentive to go into management isn't that great. But the day will come, I fear.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 17, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

RD, to what sort of "backlash" would we be referring?

Would it be the classic McCain retort?

Posted by: Dolphin Mikie | July 17, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Ha methane tanks, cows, balloons. Reminds me of a New Year's party.

Saigon, the last minutes of 1967. A roomfull of people. A sea of balloons floating against the ceiling.

Midnight!

Kaboom!

Someone popped a ballon with a cigarette. The damn things were filled with hydrogen. No one was killed but everyone in the room got singed hair.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 17, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

You read Florida newspapers? Then you must surely know that "Starke" in Florida had the dubious distinction of becoming the first place in the U.S.A. U.S.A. to actually burn Beatles records.

The Klu Klux Klan nailed a Beatles record to a large cross and set it on fire. Other Klansmen justified their campaign on the grounds that the Beatles were not really white. Today, The Enemies of God have unlimited Treasury pork to persecute the innocent and help the criminals get away.

Speaking of helping the criminals get away, Philippe Sands ( http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/05/guantanamo200805?printable=true¤tPage=all ) testified before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Hearing on: From the Department of Justice to Guantanamo Bay: Administration Lawyers and Administration Interrogations Rules, Part IV.

The video at C-Span has no audio. The video at judiciary.house.gov has no video.

Since no one usually has any idea what Achenbach is talking about, almost any response is appropriate and his blog at the washingtonpost should post an online video library in H.264 format of all House and Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearings, especially those involving torture. What could be more American than that?

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/07/15/complicity/index.html

Posted by: Singing Senator | July 17, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I sympathize, Padouk. It can be very tough to resist the pull of the Peter Principle. (A primer for those who may need it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 17, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I meant that Michelle sometimes seems to be the only one who can poke fun at Obama without it being used as fodder for his critics. But I might be wrong on this.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 17, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"Oh, it's time for some campaigning"!!!!

http://sendables.jibjab.com/

This one is a stitch. Obama is treated as a tall, smiling elftype riding through fairyland on a unicorn. Hilary & Bill are always the best, tho, what with her frying pan and long memory.

Early impressions of Obama which lead me to believe he would be my candidate were his serious demeanor, his intelligence and decency. All good qualities in my mind. Who needs a "funny guy" for prez? Not me...

Posted by: VintageLady | July 17, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Um, Singing Senator: what the heck are you talking about? The words are correctly spelled, the grammar is reasonably, but your comment does not seem to say something I can interpret. Is that one comment, or three?

Lotsa subtitles on the cited Subcommittee name.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 17, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh yes, the Peter Principle. I am well aware of it and have seen it in action.

The way we deal with poor managers around here is to work around them. You don't invite them to meetings. You work with their deputies and secretaries. You send off one set of reports to ineffective managers while sending off one with problems outlined to their more competent superiors (thus avoiding incompetents from attempting to "solve" such problems). One quickly learns who is competent and who is not, and an informal chain of command is established. I suspect this is common in all large organizations. The true currency of power is respect and trust.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 17, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I meant "grammar is reasonably coherent" or "grammar is reasonable." Oh, the irony.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 17, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Oh what the heck! Here is where you can get the list of attacks on Obama and why they don't work:

http://dowdreport.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-to-attack-barack.html

The best anyone can come up with is that he is too perfect and he eats funny sounding foods.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | July 17, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

RD,
The sparse generation are indeed becoming supervisors at record rates. I'm at a what amounts to a hatchery for assistant field supervisors.

I'd happily ride the skills shortage wave, but sleep-related problems are forcing retirement.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 17, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

From the previous Kit, and that parade:
LIT writes: "Heaven knows what possible use they can get out of the white horse...perhaps something to do with a timing belt?"

I can think of three things offhand.
1. Not so much a timing belt as timing stirrups.
2. Upgraded drum brakes.
3. It's probably a decent source of methane.

I'm not going to suggest anything having to do with glue or a new white interior...

On the employment front, I think that the Western economies are moving further away from the model established during the Industrial Revolution where one gains employment with a company as a young person and remains with that company for their entire career, and moving to a model where indiduals are free agents to move around and to supply work for many companies during their working life.

Large companies do not seem to be interested in retaining employees for a lifetime by offering them suitable benefits suitable for such an arrangements (health and life insurance, retirements, etc.), and they can cut costs further by offering telecommuting or options to work from home (thus transferring the costs of supplying a workers' physical plant to the workers themselves) during the life of the work contracts.

To extend Joel's and others' points, I suspect multiple income streams won't be considered "double dipping" as much as a normal state of affairs for a World of Independent Contractors in our Golden Information Age (featuring Global Warming, aka No Need to Retire to Florida -Florida's Coming to You!).

bc

Posted by: bc | July 17, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

It is generally believed, singing senator, that two of Florida's 67 county seats are named for the same former governor, Madison Starke Perry, just as two counties are named for the same explorer, Hernando DeSoto. This trivia is at least as important as the first Beatle record burning.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 17, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "for such arrangements" or "such an arrangement."

Oh the irony, indeed.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 17, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Just had a conversation with Dr G about a friend who is thinking of leaving his gummint job to become a contractor.

He is not setting up contracts before he leaves, but as Dr G says, "he's got the contacts...... Well... until *they* all leave, too."

Our friend hasn't been in his gov't job long enough to "double dip" but the salary he'll make will most certainly double. Does that count?

See... that's the flaw in Republicans' claim to have "cut government." Yeah... they turned government workers into contractors--and then doubled or tripled the amount they pay for the same work.

Posted by: TBG | July 17, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, with Ashcroft, Jeffords and Lott gone from the US Senate, the last "singing senator" is Larry ("wide stance") Craig. Another curious bit of trivia.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 17, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Double dipping, and the occasional triple dipping, was customary in the military organization I worked in. My brother observed the same phenomena in another service, so I suspect it was generalized. It's because the officers have their first occasion to retire after 25 years of service, that is 25 years after they enrolled in Military college at the age of 18 or 19. So those 42-43 years old guys are offered a decent pension while they still have 20-25 years of work life in front of them. Many have skills that are sought after by either the civilian side of the military organization or the contractors working for DND. I have seen a couple of guys leaving work Friday in uniform and coming back Monday in civvies to sit at the same desk. I have worked with a triple dipper, a charming Brit who came from the Royal Navy. He did his 25 in the RN/RCN, retired and came back immediately as a civilian to retire 22-23 years later at the age of 65. He then came back a few weeks later as an employee of a contractor. And so the old O-class of submarines provided him with about 40 years of employment.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 17, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

My stars, there's a big difference between a $28,000 little dipper and a $180,000 big dipper.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 17, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

That's military procurement for ya, Shiloh... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I saw a tremendous amount of that down at Pax River, too, Shriek. It was a revolving door.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 17, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Just read the Borowitz report, and I actually think the last joke is funny.

sosume!

Posted by: omni | July 17, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I think the Boodle is taking its after-lunch nap. I like to picture all the Boodle lying curled up on their little blankets (all except omni, who is over in the corner snickering at something) while the teacher, a hark-haired, dark-eyed 24-year-old beauty recently graduated from Penn State sits at her desk leafing through *Madamoiselle* magazine. (Some of us have a crush on her. Guess who.) (Hey, I can dream, can't I?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 17, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Finally, I can show you something of which I have been "aware" for some time: http://epoxi.umd.edu/

Initial tiny steps toward the eventual effort to detect an "earth" on which we don't happen to be living at the time. Similar in concept to the Galileo detect-life-on-Earth experiment of 18 years ago, but different in that it models the problem of characterizing a planet from which you don't have the benefit of resolution to differentiate the living parts from the not-living parts.

Any appearance that I might have actually worked on this is purely unsubstantiated rumor and should not be used by wingnuts and other crazy people to chase after me with their harsh words, their sticks, and their stones (which could hurt me).

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 17, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Sssh, Tim. We have to use our nap-time voice.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 17, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

*sleepin' off my fish taco and guac 'n' chips*

Posted by: Raysmom | July 17, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm a known nap-time insommiac. To link space projects and double dipping puclic servant this opinion made me laugh:

It's a Station, Not a Ship
By Jeff Volosin
Wednesday, July 16, 2008; 4:00 PM
"Michael Benson's article in Sunday's Outlook section was more science fiction than science. Benson argues that the aimlessly orbiting International Space Station (ISS) doesn't serve much of a purpose -- and that we should retrofit it to fly somewhere more interesting. I pictured Jean-Luc Picard piloting the ISS on a fantastic voyage through the solar system, searching out alien beings on Europa and Titan. And I wondered whether, with some "minor modification," my family's sedan might be adapted to fly to Europe."
Jeff Volosin is a NASA contractor and former NASA engineer.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/16/AR2008071602238.html

Posted by: shriejing denizen | July 17, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm a known nap-time insommiac. To link space projects and double dipping puclic servant this opinion made me laugh:

It's a Station, Not a Ship
By Jeff Volosin
Wednesday, July 16, 2008; 4:00 PM
"Michael Benson's article in Sunday's Outlook section was more science fiction than science. Benson argues that the aimlessly orbiting International Space Station (ISS) doesn't serve much of a purpose -- and that we should retrofit it to fly somewhere more interesting. I pictured Jean-Luc Picard piloting the ISS on a fantastic voyage through the solar system, searching out alien beings on Europa and Titan. And I wondered whether, with some "minor modification," my family's sedan might be adapted to fly to Europe."
Jeff Volosin is a NASA contractor and former NASA engineer.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/16/AR2008071602238.html

Posted by: shriejing denizen | July 17, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

[*bc, waking up]

SciTim, thanks for your EPOXI update - last we heard from you on this was June.

I actually had seen that movie (I'm glued to the EPOXI site) - very very cool.

And still an excellent re-use of the Deep Impact stealth bomber.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 17, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Ooops. Sorry.

Very cool widget Science Tim.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 17, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

If 'Mudge's fantasy girl is the teacher, I am the brisk head mistress in tweeds and sensible shoes. And I say, clapping my hands, "Up and at 'em, children! We'll have no molly-coddling. There are pictures to be painted, blocks to be stacked, stories to be read, swings to be swung and slides to be slid. So roll up your mats and lets get moving."

Posted by: Yoki | July 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

*offstage whisper* Did she say Molly-cuddling? I din't know Molly was Miss Bailey's first name.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 17, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Miz Yoki. *grumble grumble*

Posted by: Entire Boodle, in unison, but sullenly | July 17, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I have been known to find ladies in tweeds and sensible shoes quite enticing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 17, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

sd, thanks for posting that link to the ISS proposal from Sunday's Outlook - I've been meaning to get to it since reading that this past weekend.

I have a couple of thoughts about it:

1. Is the ISS structure - as assembled - capable of taking the kinds of loads necessary for thrusts required for injections to interplanetary orbits? [Sounds dirty, but I'm serious. Mostly.]

2. Is the ISS shielded properly for safe long-duration interplanetary travel? Earth's magnetic fields extend several thousand miles into space (even on the sunward side) and offers a degree of protection to the ISS from strong solar radiation in it's current 200+ mile-high orbit, even though it's far less than what we have at ground level (inverse-sqaure laws and stuff).

In order to make the ISS a safe interplanetary ship, I suspect it'll need a lot of radiation shielding and some addition structure for power units, even low thrust ion engines...

Gotta run to a meeting now, more later.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 17, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh, jeez. bc's thinking of ways to boost the power on the ISS. Bovines, run for your lives.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 17, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

oh my goodness. I did today's online wapo four star sudoku having to make two guesses. no mistakes, wow

Posted by: omni | July 17, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

zactly Mudge, I see a pit stop at the methane lakes of Titan in the ISS future.

Posted by: sshrieking denizen | July 17, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

You folks are making this ISS thing so much more difficult than it has to be.

From watching that epic television series SPACE: 1999 I know that all you gots to do is explode some radioactive waste and you are on an adventure ride to inhabited planets full of wildly attractive space aliens with British accents.

Man, it's times like this that I really miss Error Flynn.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 17, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

bc don't forget that we would need to increase the rigidity of the ISS to prevent the modular flex issue found after converting it to an IPSS and forcing prolonged acceleration periods upon it.

Posted by: Kerric | July 17, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

(1) Sending the ISS someplace else: sure, why not? You can get anywhere with even minuscule thrust, so long as there's no friction and you can push as long as you need to do so. It may take a few decades, but there's no technical problem with sending the ISS someplace else. Oh, and you need solar power. The solar panels produce about 3-4 times more power than strictly necessary, but you'll run out of your margin not far past Mars.

(2) Radiation shielding: the radiation shielding is just fine, so long as there are no people on board. Shielding people is a challenge.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 17, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

the unoffical chain of command of working with known competent people. that's an m.o. with which i am very familiar, rd.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 17, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Talking about spacecraft, some spacey history:


On This day in U.S. Naval history:

1975 - Docking in space of the U.S. Apollo (Apollo 18) and Soviet Soyuz (Soyuz 19) space craft. This was the first manned space flight conducted jointly by the 2 nations. Former naval aviator Vance D. Brand was the Apollo Command Module Pilot. The Apollo craft was in space for 9 days and 7.5 hours. Recovery was by USS New Orleans (LPH-11).

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 17, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

If I bring up children's lit as a subject would that give everybody whiplash after this thread about space travel? (The kit was about personal economics or something?)--oh, yeah, but that was before the nap...

Anyway, the New Yorker redeemed itself somewhat after the cover cartoon debacle by publishing this story--children's literature in a historical context. E.B. White, I heart him.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/21/080721fa_fact_lepore?printable=true

I got all choked up reading about how kids were first admitted to libraries, how they would sign the big black book to be allowed to borrow materials.

And I vehemently agree with Katherine White that "young adult" literature is mostly a waste of paper and ink:

"It has always seemed to us that boys and girls who are worth their salt begin at twelve or thirteen to read, with a brilliant indiscrimination, every book they can lay their hands on. In the welter, they manage to read some good ones. A girl of twelve may take up Jane Austen, a boy Dickens; and you wonder how writers of juveniles have the brass to compete in this field, blithely announcing their works as 'suitable for the child of twelve to fourteen.' Their implication is that everything else is distinctly unsuitable. Well, who knows? Suitability isn't so simple." -- Katherine White

Lots of interesting information and ideas in this article.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 17, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

After my restorative, supervised boodlenap, I can contribute shielding ideas.

I wear a tin-lined tea cozy on my head. This gives me adecuate shielding and blocks alien voices--well, most of the time.

Brag

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 17, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Nothing like Salgari, with his Sandokan The Tiger of Malasia series, to get boys to start reading like crazy. Unfortunately, difficult to find in this country.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 17, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Brag... if tinfoil is your style, you should have started coming to BPHs a long time ago...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/42627063@N00/sets/72157594150868748/

Posted by: TBG | July 17, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

An interview in Pittsburgh? I'd have been willing to sit for one, Joel, but your people didn't call mine. Of course, my expertise on the subject of double-dipping is in the 'tortilla-chips-and-salsa' sense of the word, and I'm not sure what I'd bring to the table in that discussion.

(Certainly not tortilla chips and salsa, having eaten all of those earlier. I hereby second Martooni's suggestion of Primanti's as a very fine alternative.)

Posted by: byoolin | July 17, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

How about bringing a box o' wine to the table, byoolin?

Posted by: TBG | July 17, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, byoolin, my first thought when I read, // "interview in Pittsburgh .... " //

was: Job interview????

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 17, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

TBG,
I had forgotten all about Boodle photographer Kilgore Trout. One of my earliest sock puppets. They grow up so fast and never call. Sniff.

I can't believe that set has over 300 views. I wish some of my real photos were that popular.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 17, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Ah, back in the boodle again -- with the caveat that I'm am fast asleep as I'm typing this. Had my annual physical this morning (well, it's been two years in actuality), which meant that I had to fast so that the various dracula tests would be true. Had to file a couple of things at the Copyright Office (which cannot yet be filed online, alas) and in the cab on the way back to where I had left my car, the cabbie was good enough to share his fondness for crazed right-wing talk radio. If I had eaten breakfast, I know I would have tossed it in his back seat. Unbelievable (and, indeed, exceptionally whiny) dreck! Truly outer-worldly cr@p. At least I could listen to a delectable Brandenburg Concerto (doesn't matter which one) on my way back to the office.

But now I've eaten (Chinese at a lunch meeting) and my metabolism seems to have disappeared entirely. Gonna trundle home soon.

Sorry to hear about your medical adventures, Mudge. Hope your leg is better soon.

Haven't really backboodled, as I think that would take more energy that I can rustle up at the moment.

Au revoir.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | July 17, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I always thought the frames you wore that day were particularly atractive, TBG.

Posted by: dr | July 17, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

TBG

No wonder the Boodle finds me normal.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 17, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

But this is my most popular photo ever:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/42627063@N00/37234117/

2641 views. Can't quite figure out why.

Posted by: Kilgore Trout | July 17, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Interestaing article, kb. "

the librarians would shush you, carping about how the "young fry" read nothing but "the trashy": Scott, Cooper, and Dickens (one century's garbage being, as ever, another century's Great Books). "

This line from the article leads me to wonder which books of the past 100 years are going to be classics. Ok make that the last 50 years.

Posted by: dr | July 17, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, it took a while but the Boodle has put me in better spirits. I think they are trying to lay me off at work. But they won't come out and say so. I assume if they stop paying me, assign me a desk in the basement, and tell me to kill cockroaches that will pretty much be it. Then at least, at last, I will be free. To tell the truth about it all.

I had somehow missed the part where you all wear hats just like mine.

I agree with Tim. Little tiny plasma jets could place the Space Station anywhere, given time. I suggest lunar orbit.

Posted by: Jumper | July 17, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

As opposed to my most viewed picture on my real account with 595 views:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/1871893156/

Which finally surpassed the cutest niece in the world who had 396 views:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/36699359/

And rounding out the top three with 266 views, I have to provide the mandatory military aircraft warning:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/72259569/

Posted by: yellojkt | July 17, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

My neighbors been sitting on her front steps all week about dinner time putting down at least a bottle of wine. Admittedly it has more to do with her being a stock broker than Irish, but her kids are in private school, she drives a gas guzzler, and just finished an addition on her house.

Of all people she should have seen this coming.

If theses double/triple-dippers keep themselves rocking without the aid of a chair, then more power to them. Maybe I'm young and naive but pinching a chicken sounds fun, stinky fun. And collards and catfish ain't a bad combo. The only problem I see is mosquitoes. Meantime, I go to work and know I have to wait for my billion dollar inheritance to come through.

Hey, you can always take your last $5.00 and go to Starbucks without worrying about crowds.

Posted by: lh | July 17, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, kbertocci, for the E.B. White story.

Posted by: Jumper | July 17, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey, anybody seen/heard from CP today?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 17, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Does having to deal with one's own Body Odor add anything to this dialogue?

Posted by: La Grange | July 17, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Brag... didn't you get the memo about who's "normal" around here? I'm still laughing over that one... so's my family.

Jumper... just make sure you keep track of your red stapler. But seriously... hope it all works out. It sounds trite, but it's true about windows closing and doors opening. You'll be fine, I'm sure. More than fine... it'll be great.

yello... I'm amazed at the Googling skills that led me to those pictures. I couldn't remember who'd taken them or who'd posted them or when they'd been taken.

Posted by: TBG | July 17, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

We saw this author on The Daily Show last night and I found it hard to believe the title of his book was really "How to Be Happy Everyday: By the Happiest Man in America" by, J. P. Gus Godsey.

The title on the cover of the book actually has "Everyday" written incorrectly as one word? Yes, indeedy. Apparently no copy editors at that publishing house.

There are many clues on what a stupid book this is, but if you're looking for a good explanation, click on the name of the publisher in this link and see what book is listed second...

http://books.google.com/books?id=Psxpx5xyv4YC

Posted by: TBG | July 17, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean I can't wear my everyday clothes every day?

Posted by: Shiloh | July 17, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Self-culture?

That's a worse euphemism than self-love.

I'm glad you found them, TBG. I had forgotten they even existed. I also found a trove of Boodle-Simpsons that I had stashed away a part of my extortion-financed retirement plan.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 17, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

TBG beat me to the red stapler joke, but good luck Jumper. I've probably spent the better part of my working life on the "ax list" (both short and long versions) so I feel your pain.

Hot and muggy as all get out here, which simply kills me. I know I complained about working in my freezing shop over the winter, but at least then you could add more layers of clothing. When it's like this, you can only take so much off before you start endangering body parts or risk having the cops called on you by the neighbors.

Posted by: martooni | July 17, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how much those Boodle Simpsons look like the real people, yello.

Posted by: TBG | July 17, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Kerric, re. your 3:01 PM:

Er, that's what I meant by my #1.

And SciTim, you're funny.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 17, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

to kbertocci:

I'm a librarian and I LOVE young adult lit. Have you read The Book Thief? Probably the best book I've ever read.

Posted by: maria | July 17, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

hello from Medellin!

I'm in the process of editing some interesting video from today's metro drive. I'll post the link later.

Posted by: a bea c | July 17, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

The entrepreneurial publisher:

http://morgan-james-publishing.com/default.aspx

Somehow I just don't think this is a company I'd prefer to deal with. Like TBG, I want a decent editor looking at my work, so I don't embarrass myself.

Posted by: slyness | July 17, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Hi a bea c! Hope you're having a great trip! Are the kids having fun?

Posted by: TBG | July 17, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Went to the Colbert Show site to see his take on the New Yorker cover and saw the Rush performance as well. They do TV once every 30 years and they had to play the one Rush song I despise.

He's the new Tom Sawyer? WTF does that mean? Don't answer, I don't want to know.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 17, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Good to know that you arrived safely, a bea c. Hope you're having a good time; will look forward to your link.

Posted by: slyness | July 17, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Mudge

I am happy that you're doing okay. Yes, I was worried about you, and didn't know until this morning that you were in the emergency room. I think all emergency rooms are slow. Take care of yourself, and I will keep you in prayer.

Jumper, I hope things work out okay for you. A lot of people are going through some tough times now, and I know that doesn't make you feel any better, but I'm pulling for you, and the folks here are too.

Hello, a bea c. Enjoying yourself. And hello, Yoki. Good to read you again.

Time for bed. The legs are so sore. Kick ball and running after a ball is not something old people should do. I'm paying dearly. I saw the g-girl today, and she was busy as ever. I've missed her something awful. I haven't talked to my grandsons, but my daughter saw them, and they're okay. They don't answer the phone. I guess I'm on the list again.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 17, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful Full Orange Moon rising in the east. I will make sure I start to howl as soon as I get back into Wild Wonderful West By God later tonight.

Werewolves of London

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 17, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Maria, thanks for checking in (...little librarian humor there)

I will be sure to look for The Book Thief--I'm always happy to get a book recommendation, especially such an enthusiastic one.

Hope to see you around the Achenblog in the future!

Posted by: kbertocci | July 17, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I think you're being a little unfair to the happy guy. The cover of his book dies appear to put a space between the every and the day, so it's only the website that has idiots. At least, provable idiots.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 17, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

PlainTim... click on the thumbnail of the cover and you'll see the real cover, blown up bigger. No space. In fact, there's more space between the R and the Y than between the Y and the D.

I actually noticed it last night when he showed the cover of the book on The Daily Show. That's why I Googled to find the actual cover image.

Posted by: TBG | July 17, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

gwe,
Be careful, he'll rip your lung out, Jim.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 17, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Also check out the copyright page. The upper-and-lower-case typing confirms it...

http://books.google.com/books?id=Psxpx5xyv4YC&printsec=copyright&source=gbs_toc_s&cad=1

Posted by: TBG | July 17, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Two other JA books I recommend are THe Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukyama and Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Staples. Both are excellent and young teens love them.

There are lots of great YA books that adults love.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 17, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, hang in there. Speak up if you have to. It may be your only chance.

I've been having to defend myself from a lousy, fairly new, boss. Finally garnered the strength and went to his boss...the second highest person in the whole 4500 plus org and he is now working on the "perfect" job for me (not a 100% but reassuring nonetheless) and was taken aback by what I had to say, diplomatically of course, about the whole situation. I was so proud of myself.

The effing boss jerk......grumble...grumble.... sh73%^@%$

Posted by: eidrib | July 17, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

"dies appear"? "DOES appear"!

I am a big fan of "A Long Way From Chicago" and "A Year Down Yonder." And, of course, "Holes." All marketed as YA books. It's a stupid market designation, but it provides a way to promote good books that otherwise might get no notice.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 17, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Joel, enjoy the three rivers! I grew up very near the Allegheny.

Mudge, sounds like the stuff thay put on burns..thick, white and creamy. Ewwwww.

Hope you mend soon!

Posted by: eirdrib | July 17, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow, eirdrib... that was a gutsy move, going above the jerk-boss' head. Could have backfired big time.

Let us know what kind of dream job comes out of it. Yay you!

Posted by: TBG | July 17, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, I got permission first from the EBJ. He isn't stupid and knows I am respected. But thanks!

Posted by: eidrib | July 17, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

SCC: EJB

Posted by: eidrib | July 17, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Also want to thank Maria for the title -- have young adult/or rather "good reader" grandchildren, reading above their grade level, so I like picking up good titles.

Posted by: nellie | July 17, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci, many thanks for the link to the NY children's lit story. That was great, and I never would have seen it.

Posted by: nellie | July 17, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I must tell you all: I smell bad!

Posted by: La Grange | July 17, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes, thanks, kb! I had no idea that children were barred from libraries at one time, even the Carnegie libraries, which I love. EB White is one of my favorites, and his wife was something too! There was a book that came out a few years ago of her correspondence with a southern woman, about gardening. Really wonderful.

Oh yes, our TBG is so normal! Hahahahaha!!! Oh, relatively speaking - yes, I see now.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 17, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Great literature isn't about how marriage sucks, unless it is VERY well done.
That alone leaves out a lot of "adult lit" and includes most of YA and children's literature right there.

Obama seems to be pretty funny for a politican to me. I do agree with Vintage Lady-- his ability to speak about difficult subjects seriously is key.

That's difficult to sound-bite. That aside, MoDo has never been a great humorist, even when she knows her subject well.

The comics will just have to expand their boundaries and skills a bit more, but they'll stay in business.

They have had it way too easy those last 10 years. W and his cronies are unfortunately way too easy to make fun of... and we make fun of them because we'd cry otherwise.
And let's face it, Monicagate was a barrel of lewd laughs.



Posted by: Wilbrod | July 17, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Alexey, I'm ashamed to say that I've never heard much less read "The Tiger of Malaysia." I had to google the title. It said the book was only being translated into English recently, which means it might not be in Malay yet.

Wiki has it that "I Pirati della Malesia" was written in 1896. I'm assuming "Malesia" is Italian for Malaysia and it's the present translation. I wonder what name Emilio Salgari had used for Malaysia because Malaysia wasn't formed until 1963 when Sabah and Sarawak (British North Borneo) joined The Federation of Malaya. During the period when the book was written, the country was known as British Malaya.

Posted by: rainforest | July 18, 2008 3:13 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. C'mon, let's go, let's get 'em flying. No more lollygagging around. TGIF, and all that.

Well, it's a rare day when I wake up and see *this* much potential for flaming umbrage on the WaPo front page.

Let us count backward:

4) That idiot who writes the "Right Matters" column has called out E.J. Dionne by name, because EJ said our economic mess is/was caused by Conserv. economic policies. Said moron begs to differ. The only phrase that comes to mind is: Bite me.

3) and 2) A second-place tie: K-Hammer's column on Obama's alleged self-love (no, I haven't read it; one of you guys will have to do that; I'd just go down in flames); and Gerson's column titled "Save Us From the Environmentalists." Haven't read that one, either, but already my hair is on fire. And I don't have a lot of hair to begin with.

1) This one won't mean much to many of you, but the story of [my] Maryland State Police under former GOP Gov. Bobby Erlich were spying on anti-war and anti-death penalty folks. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/17/AR2008071701287.html?hpid=moreheadlines What is worse, the head of the MSP at the time is/was a local So. Md. former legislator, Tim Hutchins, widely regarded (back in the day) as a moderate and reasonable guy who had a lot of bipartisan support. Article claims he didn't know about it.

OK, that's enough umbrage for one morning. Carry on.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 5:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh, what the heck. Let's throw in the Number 5 position the lead story about the Air Force generals wanting $16 million for whatever those comfort pods were supposed to accomplish.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 5:55 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, you all! Am I the first one up and at 'em? Krauthammer is particularly sour this morning; goodness gracious the man should run for prez himself, nobody else pleases him, that's for sure. The WashPo editorial on the olympics is a must read, tho. I hadn't planned on going, but many will go, including Bush. Dunno whether he should or not, what do others think, I'd like to know.

Posted by: VintageLady | July 18, 2008 6:08 AM | Report abuse

oops, didn't see you up there, 'mudge, hope your leg is better soon.

Posted by: VintageLady | July 18, 2008 6:11 AM | Report abuse

I'll have to don the haz-mat suit and take one for the team right after my jog. Gerson's last column admitted that global warming, er, climate change, er, euphemism to be determined, was real.

Obviously his handlers got his shock collar back on and he is having to make amends.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 18, 2008 6:19 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, morning, friends. Mudge, that phrase, "bite me" is a favorite of mine, and I know it is not pretty, but it does say it all. I had to laugh when I read your comments this morning, and I need to laugh. I hope you're feeling better.

I'm running late, overslept this morning because I couldn't go back to sleep last night. At four o'clock I was wide awake, but getting sleepy, and it was too late to sleep. I will pay for this today.

Scotty, Slyness, Martooni, where are you?Good morning all.*waving*

I, for one, am glad it is Friday. I need the break. When I get home, I may just get in the bed. Have a good day, folks. It is still quite hot here. At the Center it is Fear Factor Friday. The kids get to do something really crazy. Yesterday they did art, and boy, was that a mess. Today they're doing something with whipped cream. The director has something in mind.

I've found the water, now if I can just drag to it.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 18, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm back. Here goes:

Gerson - In order to save the polar bears, environmentalists have to work with conservatives who don't believe in global warming even though liberals advocate racist euthanasia policies.

Chuckie K as the official hit team ground-work layer floats ninety-nine trial balloons attacking that young buck Saint Obama mostly along the lines that his policies are hypocritical and anti-American. Throw enough against the wall and something is bound to stick.

Excuse me, I need to get out of the suit and into the decontamination chamber before the ooze melts through the Tyvex.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 18, 2008 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Did MoDo write about how humorless Obama's vanguard is too? I'll go back to check.

The ability to speak about difficult subjects is nothing compared to the ability to do something about them.

The ability to laugh at oneself, priceless.

Posted by: CC | July 18, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

"But he does not want the "take" on him to become that he's so tightly wrapped, overcalculated and circumspect that he can't even allow anyone to make jokes about him, and that his supporters are so evangelical and eager for a champion to rescue America that their response to any razzing is a sanctimonious: Don't mess with our messiah!"

I don't think she was trying to be funny.

Posted by: CC | July 18, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle
To me, the big story is the opening of an interests section in Tehran.
The engine on my Spad is ticking over and warmed up for the Dawn Patrol. Have a good one, everyone.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 18, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and happy Friday, all. I'm a bit late because I had to take Mr. T to work. I will pick him up at 2 p.m. to go to a birthday party for my niece and nephew, who are celebrating their eighth birthday today.

On the way, I was a bumpersticker that cracked me up:

FRODO FAILED
BUSH HAS THE RING

Posted by: slyness | July 18, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Morning everyone. Looks like half the office is taking the day off on account of the heat.

Lots of interesting things happening in Iran.

Hey Mudge, at least Ramesh Ponnuru (The "Right Matters" dude) is acknowledging that there really is an economic mess. On my trip, where I rubbed shoulders with an alarming number of self-described "red meat conservatives" the consensus is that the economy is just peachy. It's just that the liberal press is distorting reality. Just like they do with Iraq and Global Warming.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 18, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

SCC: I SAW a bumpersticker

jeez.

Posted by: slyness | July 18, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Before I backBoodle, just let me say I'm glad I caught the repeat of the Colbert Report w/Rush...

Funny! *L*

Particularly a couple of Colbert's questions to the band:

"You've been around for 30 years, but you're still not in the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame. Will your next album title be 'That's Bu****it?' "

*TGIF-but-somewhat-bittersweet-as-I-bid-farewell-to-my-trusty-Civic Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 18, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I shudna backBoodled...

yello saw Rush on Colbert LIVE???

*putting on my "Exit Stage Left" at top volume and hiding under the corner of my desk*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 18, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, look away...

"Ashcroft Defends Interrogation"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/17/AR2008071701203.html?hpid=topnews

*SIGHHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 18, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Hard to type; lurking here, ribs better but muscle spasms when I sit....blech! But this too shall pass.

CPBOY seeing Rush on Sat. live outdoors SANS me....cannot sit that long.

Take care, all. 'tis Friday.

Seconding KB's and MOD's books ideas. I also like Frances Temple's books

The Ramsey Scallop AND

The Beduin's Gazelle.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 18, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

"Can't quite figure out why." -yellojkt


I'll give you a clue in two words: "Gothic Lolita"

Now give me a hard one,,,sheesh

oops, poor choice of words there...

Posted by: omni | July 18, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Never saw Rush live. Just on my little MacBook.

Yeah, Dowd thinks Obamaniacs need to lighten up. She's right.

omni, If anyone could figure it out, I knew you could. Gothic Lolita is nowhere as prurient as it sounds. It couldn't be.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 18, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

That's it. Just "Mornin'".

Nothing cheeky or clever to contribute, so I'm just gonna go about my business.

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | July 18, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: dbG | July 18, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

894sRn fgadioghrg nuiowrhg489gsd gnsdjig djshgjdksh gjkdshgjksd gsdgds

Posted by: flow1800 | July 21, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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