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A Day Without Dance

A guest post by Caitlin Gibson:

With Joel's imminent return and the Manteuffel-Gibson (Manson?) guest-blogging stint drawing to a close, I figured I'd end our week on the same note that Rachel kicked it off: things Joel Hates. Rachel opted for musical theater; I'll go with competitive dance.

I choose this topic because, for some of us, today is a sad day. It is a sad day because last night was the two-hour season finale of Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," which means that all our upcoming Wednesdays and Thursdays are depressingly dance-less. Sans groundbreaking choreography. Absent those ear-splitting shrieks of approval from manic judge Mary Murphy, who rewards particularly outstanding dance numbers with articulate and highly technical observations such as: "THAT was FABULOUS; you're on the hot tamale train tonight, yes, you are, AIEEEEEEEEE." God she's annoying -- until one day you realize you love her, and that is how you know you've reached the point of no return.

This post is something of a confession, really, because two years ago -- when my friend Jen first told me that she was hooked on the show -- I scoffed at it. I immediately identified it as teeny-bopper reality TV. Bleargh. I did this comfortably from a perch way up on my high horse, where I listened to the Stones and read Hemingway and scowled at girls in obscenely short shorts and bought glasses like Tina Fey's. Competitive dance? On Fox? So not my scene.

It took less than a single episode for me to become hopelessly addicted. And like any addict, I was quick to develop an airtight defense of my habit: It's a legitimate competition! The choreographers are brilliant, legendary! Look at what these people can DO with their LEGS! And it's not like I vote or anything -- I know where to draw the line!

That was last year; the beginning. This season, I surrendered completely and took the viewing experience to entirely new levels. I, whose personal contribution to the world of dance is an enthusiastic but technically sub-par rendition of the Running Man (a three-drink minimum at weddings), shouted snooty criticisms and scathing rebukes. I voted for the dancers I loved. I became so enamored with one "lyrical hip-hop" number that I watched it roughly 234,827 times, until I could fake-perform it well enough to pull a muscle while flailing around my living room. A new low.

And now, Season 4 is over.

American Idol is next up again in the Fox mega-reality competition lineup. American Idol, where the contestants can sometimes hang in until the last rounds based on a stunning lack of talent, or because of freakish hair, or because thousands of girly tweens will vote for the hottest guy even if he sounds like a gerbil on helium.

Yeah, I watch that too.

By Marisa Katz  |  August 8, 2008; 10:30 AM ET
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Next: No Medal For Bush


Gerbil on helium? Gotta get the others, unless they're on vacation.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 8, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I feel your pain, Caitlin. SYTYCD is over, as is Next Food Network Star and Design Star. I'm hoping Greatest American Dog doesn't go into hiatus during the Olympics.

Hello, I'm Raysmom and I'm addicted to reality shows.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 8, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I don't watch those ballroom type shows with the washed-up celebs, but my son got me liking the one on MTV where it's average kids that do amazing hip-hop and breakdancing numbers.

That's real talent and a lot of hard work.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

If you have access to Canadian TV, Canadian Idol is ongoing and the Canadian version of SYTYCD is upcoming Fall?

I am dmd - I need a life :-)

Posted by: dmd | August 8, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, re: the figs. (I haven't been feeling the love at our vacation campout place, so I'm putting it here).

Posted by: dbG | August 8, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I was addicted to *Ballroom Bootcamp* when it was on, so I can't talk.

Posted by: dbG | August 8, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Dancing In the Moonlight?

I Could Have Danced All Night?

Dancing in the Dark?

Dancing With Myself?



Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Aren't the Olympics the original reality show? You've got rhythmic gymnastics and ballroom dancing and diving and tons of other non-sports.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I got nuttin on dancing, but this brought tears to my eyes:

Posted by: slyness | August 8, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I've been watching way too much Bravo for a straight man and even know the names of the contestants on Shear Genius.

I confess this safe in the knowledge that WaPo will shortly obliterate this comment forever. They will, right?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I don't have a TV. So the trigger-word dancing takes me back to a long time ago. Then, it took 9 hours to fly from San Francisco to Honolulu in a rumbling DC-7 to end up dancing at the Banyan Court in the venerable Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Posted by: Brag | August 8, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Extracting enjoyment from voyeurism mingled with disdain is a time-honored tradition dating back many centuries. Let's just be glad that with modern Reality Shows neither lions nor gladiators are involved.

At least I don't think they are. Ican't be positive because I tend to avoid most Reality Shows because I start to feel too badly for the participants. But this is more an indictment of my own psyche than anything else. I am certainly not immune to the joy of Spectacles of Questionable Taste, they just have to be sufficiently grand so that my overactive empathy cannot fixate on any one individual.

For example, I am eagerly looking forward to the opening ceremonies of the Chinese Olympics (Official slogan: Look Happy or Die.) Watching opening ceremonies is kinda a tradition around our house, beginning with the Atlanta Olympics way back in ’88. More to the point, the true tradition is making fun of the opening ceremonies. The ultimate expression of which was during the opening ceremonies of the Albertville Winter Olympics. This is the ceremony that featured bizarre avant-garde dancing combined with hordes of French ladies in bubble costumes.

Let's see the Chinese top that.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 8, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Making fun of the Opening Ceremonies is right up there with making fun of the Orange Bowl Halftime Show.

Posted by: TBG | August 8, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

RD I watch the openings as a tradition as well, first memories of the Olympics are from Munich.

Mom was a sports nut and unashamed flag waver - not having an interest in most sports was just not something I could think of.

I remember the round the world singing of Ode to Joy in Nagano.

We have a friends who's child is in Rhythmic Gymnastics - she trains about 15-20 hours a week, what she can do amazes me, and she maintains a straight A average plus in a elite private school. She is definitely an athlete - not to mention an amazing young lady.

Posted by: dmd | August 8, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I too noticed that the ladies on SYTYCD have legs. So do gymnasts, divers and trapeze arteests. O My!

Posted by: Boko999 | August 8, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all! I've never seen "Think you can Dance" or "Dancing with Stars" or any of the other ones (or any reality shows, come to that) but I am very fond of ballroom dancing and respect anyone willing to learn the steps and put themselves out there. Except possibly the truly talentless and deluded. But of course they don't let those folks on TV, do they?

I had an aunt who did ballroom dancing for fun. She paid for lessons by sewing the fancy costumes. Much to the family's surprise she got very good at dancing and it made her feel great. I used to go with her on "guest" nights, and learned steps to many lovely dances. Unfortunately the Boy is the only person with whom I am in regular contact who also knows those dances. He's not yet too old to dance with his mom. I hope that doesn't change when he surpasses me in height (any day now).

RD's encapsulation above was just as pithy on the subject of reality shows as his one in the last Boodle about gardening (and childrearing). My own gardening efforts made particularly resonant: "The point is, the joys of gardening cannot be ceded simply because you end up with nothing but frustration. The risk of abject failure is all part of the joyful process." Just substitute "virtual certainty" for "risk".

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 8, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I gotta tell ya -- I, too, was completely, entirely and inexorably hooked on SYTYCD, and have been since it started.

What distinguishes it from AI (not to be confused with, or perhaps maybe that's wrong, Artificial Intelligence), is that these people can actually *dance*, whereas only one or two of the AI people can actually sing worth a note. Dancing has always mesmerized me, maybe only because I'm not a whole lot coordinated (and wasn't even before my knees went bad). I do appreciate the fine art of all kinds of dancing. Who knew "crump" was a dance?

And then, my dears, those gorgeous male bodies, shirts off and all. *swoon* Or as Mary Murphy might tell it: *SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN*

Or something like that. Yeah, I find her annoying, too. But last night it was nice to see some of the judges actually dancing -- who knew? I do like the work of most of the choreographers -- especially Mia Michaels. She's got an edge to her, even when she's gone off the edge.

It's a high quality show with high quality contestants most of the time. I loved the work of the 4 finalists, especially Katee of the girls. She has enormous talent. And of the guys, man -- they were both fabulous. Either one was terrific in my book. And, yeah, Twitch has a place in my heart. Love the name. And, yeah, I'm old enough to be his grandma. Makes it all the better, eh?

Otherwise, I can't be bothered by so-called "reality" shows. Books are better. Just finally finished the Karla Trilogy by John Le Carre. Man, What A Set of Books! I highly, highly recommend them for reading or re-reading.

Now I'm onto The Wizard and the Crow, written by a Kenyan who was imprisoned by the Kenyan government ages ago for his first book (which I hope to get my hands on soon). He's been living in exile in Irvine, California, where he teaches at UC-Irvine. He's taught at Yale and other exalted places. I wouldn't mind taking a class or many from him. And, okay, I can't give you his name because the book isn't right in front of me and his name is, well, for us, unusual. I'll get his name for you all at another time, k?

Back to work, alas. Gorgeous out hereabouts.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 8, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

TBG - yes, but they just haven't been the same since Anita Bryant retired.

dmd - I vaguely recall the opening of the Munich Olympics as well. (Of course, my memories of those Olympics are swamped by less pleasant events.)

My favorite opening ceremony was '84 Los Angeles. They had a real live flying saucer.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 8, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"Look Happy or Die" - I love it. You don't mind if I quote you, RD? I admit, I probably won't see the opening ceremonies tonight. Ivansdad and the Boy will be performing, so I'll have an evening at home, and I probably won't turn on the TV.

Of course I can. I do know how. I could probably even find the channel if I really wanted to. I'll just be too busy to try.

We have a lot of remotes.

They promised they'd write it all down for me but they never have.

Posted by: Ivansom | August 8, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Quote away Ivansmom- although I can't imagine this is original to me. It just seems to obviously ironic. But it does seem like it would make a cool T-Shirt.

BTW - Did you ever see "Strictly Ballroom"? This movie combines the grace and inherent camp of Ballroom Dancing in a surprisingly moving way. Gotta love them Aussies.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 8, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

AI stands for something other than Artificial Intelligence? I know that, actually, but I have to stop and think a moment each time.

Saw the phrase "Upgrade Bermuda Triangle" today; we've already appropriated it here.

Posted by: dbG | August 8, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Dancing, I don't do much dancing except by myself, the last time I danced with someone it was nice and plenty of fun. I just figure if you say you can't dance,you know you can. Just sway to the music,move your feet and enjoy the feeling.

Some of my solo dances include soltice dance,usually around a fire,a rain dance when rain is needed(also I have danced in the rain a few times). A river dance(no not that one,although there is some irish in me. A moon or star dance,which i will doing this weekend.

Finally, I do a pretty mean chicken dance,usually after winning a scrabble game,my team scoring a touchdown or just when I want to be goofy.

Bock bock boooock!!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 8, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to wade into umbrage infested waters here. What is a sport is a long-running subject of debate in the Boodle and the rest of the real world as well.

I have no doubt that your neighbor's daughter is very athletic and highly competitive. Far more than I have ever been or will be. My boss has a son in gymnastics and that kid works his butt off for trophies and medal and all sorts or rewards. I still don't consider gymnastics a sport.

Real sports involve objective measurements or forms of counting (runs, points, goals) as a way of determining a winner. They do not rely on judges to determine winners (as opposed to enforce rules). Under my Weingartenian bull-headed rubric, NASCAR and darts are sports and diving is a talent show. It's people exhibiting a skill and getting graded on it.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Remember at the end of Time Bandits, when the boy warns his parents not to touch the fragment of "concentrated evil?" And they lock eyes for the briefest moment and instantly stick out their fingers in synchrony and TOUCH IT.

Well don't touch those nasty links in old prior boodles. My virus detection roused itself from its slumber in a twinkling, and warned me of something it described as very bad.

Posted by: Jumper | August 8, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Back in 1984 when I was 22, (Sigh. Remember when 1984 brought to mind thoughts of a distant dystopian future? Double Sigh.) I took a dancing class with my girlfriend. (The things I did for that woman. Triple Sigh.) Although we doubtless made a bizarre pair, a petite redhead with a poorly coordinated Italian, I must admit it was a tremendous amount of fun.

Unfortunately, the last time I danced was with my daughter at the "Father Daughter" dance held some years ago when she was in Brownies. But I still had the moves. And eventually she forgave me.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 8, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I strongly disagree yello.

Posted by: dmd | August 8, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I think the "what's a sport" argument is kinda silly. The universal criteria should be simple. If I have any hope of doing something it, by decree, is not a sport.

But the real point is that gaining proficiency in something like gymnastics requires tremendous talent and an obscene amount of work. They are athletes involved in athletic competition. These people are to be admired and respected regardless of where the activity falls in some pedantic taxonomy of human competition.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 8, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

OMG. That piece on Lopez Lomong that slyness linked to above was incredible. Only choked up two or three times, though. It was written by Tom Boswell, not surprisingly, who can write the pants off just about anybody along the eastern seaboard. Great story that almost tells itself, but Boswell made it even better.

Um...dancing. Yes, I think I've heard of it. My wife tells me I'm not such a bad dancer, but might be better if I moved one or both feet. Apparently I *do* sway pretty well, though. I'm pretty sure I danced with her at our wedding. Which was 26 years ago.

I have two ways of getting my revenge on her, though, when she makes me dance. When we're slow-dancing, I will occasionally sing softly in her ear. It's quite fun to see a grown woman with her face buried in my neck and whose shoulders are shaking like an epileptic from uncontrollable laughter. The other thing I do is I will suddenly "dip" her.

The woman just can't seem to hold it together when we dance, I dunno why.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 8, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom - I saw a few moments of "Greatest American Dog" recently where they were trying to get the canines to cross a narrow bridge over mud. The dogs, sensible creatures that they are, just jumped into the mud.

And I must admit, despite the silliness, (or because of it) the show was entertaining. But it didn't have dancing. What we need is a dancing dog show. Yeah. That'll work.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 8, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

You are more than welcome to. And please remember that there are implicit tags on everything I write. And I can't seem to ever find the smiley key. It's a silly argument in which I have taken a logically indefensible extreme position. Did I say "Weingartian"? I'm sure I did.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

This would be an SCC but it's not my fault. Change the first sentence to read:

And please remember that there are implicit **sarcasm** tags on everything I write.

I see I need to brush up on my ASCII code to get those silly brackets to show.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Just about every decent dictionary I've looked in has a definition of sport that would include those activities yello would like to exclude.

Then I looked up spoilsport and it had his picture

Posted by: omni | August 8, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

OK, I've watched some reality TV, including the very first season of "Survivor," when no one else was watching.

Gotta admit that the men in my family - my brothers, uncles, cousins, etc. - will watch "Project Runway" when we're together and it's TV (and it's not football season).

We like planning and making things, creating, working with our hands, and that show raises competitive dress building to a really entertaining level.

Good stuff.

There's a reality show on the Speed Channel where they give aspiring drivers and crew a chance to build, tune, and race identical cars, and the winner, well, wins.

It's interesting to me, but I don't see how much entertainment there is for most folks in arguments about shock absorber rebound valve settings and tire pressures, much less inside/outside passing manuvers and wet weather racing lines.

More later.

gwe, I'll be howling at the shooting stars this weekend myself.


Posted by: bc | August 8, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Warren Brown makes a prediction I could live with:

Downtown D.C.: Hi Warren, I'm submitting early because I'll be in a meeting. Regarding the punditry and their mockery of Obama on inflating tires and slowing down:

I keep the tires on my '05 S2000 four to five PSi over the recommended. With smart driving, coasting down hills, shutting off the engine at long red lights, and driving no more than 60 on highways, I am consistently getting 31 mpg on a mixed loop. That is 10 mpg over the EPA city estimate for my car! Also, I don't drive to work (Metro) so I only fill up once a month for about 35-40 bucks full tank...

What now Hannity?!

Warren Brown: Ah, those pundits. They should stick to things that don't matter, such as politics. Obama is right on this one. More sensible driving saves fuel. Proper tire inflation saves fuel. Proper vehicle maintenance saves fuel.
But I don't want Hannity to shut up. Lots of natural gas there. Pretty soon, we'll find a way to tap it to power our cars.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I always hated the dippy gyrations that passed for "dancing" in most rocknroll events. I love the music still. I actually approved of the more dancelike disco, but hated the music. The last time I tried to two-step was in 2nd grade. Also, someone please tell me the proper dance for Beethoven's 5th. Can't figure out that one, either. Long ago a friend told me his elder brother was hanging out on a commune, and they had taken up SQUARE DANCING! He wanted me to help him sneer, but I thought it sounded pretty cool. Oddly, that's probably the sort of dance I would most likely take to. But I never have.

Posted by: Jumper | August 8, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper | August 8, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

What firsttimeblogger said goes double for me. I LUV SYTYCD! ! ! I especially love the beginning rounds when the uneducated get their crack at the big time. They're so happy!

Dancin' in the Moonlight is one of the best songs of all time.

"Everybody here is outta site
You can't dance and stay uptight"


Posted by: KPage | August 8, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Is Caitlin Gibson some class of escaped lunatic, mass murderer or other unsavoury type? If not, why the Marissa Katz alias?

Hint to Caitlin (or whoever you are). Don't use your real name and your alias in the same kit. I'm sure Joel never does.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 8, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

RD, you should have watched the rest of the show. They had - YES! - dancing dogs! It was mostly pathetic, but a couple of them were pretty good. I usually don't watch reality TV (although I developed a habit for AI while bonding with my teen-age niece) but I started watching "Greatest American Dog" while staying with my mother after she had total hip replacement and got hooked on it. I love the dogs - most of the people, not so much.

Haven't commented in several months due to complete lack of time but I've been lurking as often as possible and now things seem to be slowing down a bit so I hope I can jump back in, at least once in a while.

Posted by: TLF | August 8, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Grew up set dancing -- little bit o step dancing, too. Miss set dancing but is around DC. More popular are contra lines, like the Virginia Real or Turkey in the Straw line that still appears in some jr. high PE programs.
Glen Echo's Spanish Ballroom is a fine place for dancing, including swing.

Anybody here ever dance at Twist n Shout? Loved that place. Missed two fine dancing gigs the summer due to ribs: (formerly Chick Hall's) Surf Club.

As a former costume seamstress I LOVE Project Runway...but Heidi's Prussian ice queen kiss-kiss is too much for me.

Bc and gwe, count me in for star-struck time too. I think that night sky facsination might be a boodle commonality.

I like, however, that the gearheads cheer the knitters on as do the curling-crazed in turn the gardeners and wood workers and horsie-gals and Havenese and gothics and Army-ten miler aspirants and Sunday school teachers and......

Waves better today; Teen boys hapier to test the mettle and fine it has commenced. Too early for pino grigio but drinking fine unsweetened eye-ced tee.

Posted by: CP in OC | August 8, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Check under "troll (domesticated)" and "@sshole" as well. I need to charge more for my modeling fees.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Never too early for a pino grigio.

I'm doing my (glad I got the kitchen and bathrooms cleaned and mopped before I go to work) dance.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 8, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse! i luuuuuv this program. i fell in love with joshua and khatee from thier first dance til they changed partners. i knew they both were good because it didn't matter who either one danced with they made thier partners look good too!!!

definatley prefer dance programs over any other!

Posted by: nall92 | August 8, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Back in the day when I was a teenager, I joined a square dancing club. Loved it! for one thing, the ratio of girls to boys was very favorable for the boys. I mean there were a lot more girls than boys. (Preferable is probably the word)

Anyway, In square dancing, there are 5 levels of expertise. Starting at level 2, it became apparent to me that the moves the girls had to learn were more complex than the guys, and the moves the guys were required to do required more strength.

Kinda like brains vs brawn.

Ah! But those days are gone. Dancing has since become a hazardous activity - for me and all the others on the floor.

Posted by: DandyLion | August 8, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Hi guys! Thought I'd check back in to say hello. Hope everyone's having a lovely Friday. First off, RD, "Look Happy or Die" = excellent. "Strictly Ballroom" = also excellent. "Dancing With the Stars" = lame, lame, lame, not at ALL the same caliber as SYTCYD, I say from my high horse. (Regarding SYTCYD, Katee and Joshua were stupendous and I adored them both. Unbelievable performers and really stunning athleticism. Also loved Twitch, Will, Mark and Chelsie). And finally, to clear up any "escaped lunatic" confusion here, I am not Marisa Katz; she's our fab Editrix who is kind enough to work the 'puter and post our stuff to Joel's blog. Hope you all have a grand weekend.

Posted by: Caitlin Gibson | August 8, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

RD, I see TLF beat me in telling you that episode did, in fact, include dancing dogs. The competition was to dance in a particular style with your dog. Which most of the contestants had never done before. So it turned into a test of how connected the dog and owner were. This gave me a great deal of insight into my obedience, rally, and agility debacles with Ray.

Part of the reason I love SYTYCD is that the contestants are truly talented, unlike all but the exceptional few on AI. Plus I learn a little bit about dance and how to recognize what makes a performance "good." BTW, my definition of dance is: that activity which no amount of alcohol even makes Raysmom *think* she's good at. Wait--that could probably describe a lot of things. So maybe it's my definition of "sports."

Posted by: Raysmom | August 8, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, I wrote SYTCYD, which would technically be "So You Think Can You Dance." D'oh.

Posted by: Caitlin Gibson | August 8, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

This chat about the general intelligence (or lack of it) of the American public, especially with regard to politics, is quite good.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 8, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid I must concur with yellojkt's absolutist position on the criteria to be designated a sport. I consider it this way: it must be possible to evaluate the performance of an athlete and to make an objective comparison between that athlete's performance today and the performance of another athlete a century ago or a century hence (understanding that "a century" is an arbitrary unit establishing the notion of "quite a while"). I understand, of course, that rules and equipment change, which is why inebriated sports fans still can while away many happy drunken hours arguing about who is a better baseball player, Babe Ruth or Alex Rodriguez. Nevertheless, if baseball had troubled itself to maintain uniform rules and statistics, it is possible to have these arguments with a solid basis in fact. There are lots of human activities that are difficult and that require athleticism, but that doesn't make them sports. Olympic ballet, anyone?

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 8, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks For clearing that up Caitlin. When the cops show up tell them 'nevermind' for me.
Hey Mudge, howcome you never told us about editrixeses? Keeping that to yourself, you old devil?

Posted by: Boko999 | August 8, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes Caitlin,
I think, therefore I can dance

Posted by: DNA Girl | August 8, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

SYTCYD is the Square Dancing Reality Show

Posted by: omni | August 8, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The editrix also speaks Arabic, Hebrew and a little Spanish, if her vita is the same Marisa Katz.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 8, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Language-parser that I am, I agree with the technical definition yello & ScienceTim both have of "sports". However, I wholeheartedly agree with RD's larger point, which is that athletics and athleticism are not restricted to any narrow definition of "sport". I doubt yello or ScienceTim would disagree, and I'm sure you'll tell me if you do. I view the Olympics (in a purely theoretical way, of course, unless the TV is already on) as an exhibition and contest of athletic skill and prowess. Some of it involves activity which might fit a narrow definition of "sport". Some does not.

Where is the Olympic dancing? I know, I know, figure skating. What would be a good summer games analogy? There's synchronized swimming, but let's think outside the box. What sports would benefit from the added viewer punch that dance provides? How about archery? Fencing? the equestrian competitions? The first two already have the advantage of sharp pointy weapons. Horses are a kind of weapon themselves, but with brains (or so I'm told). Add in some choreography, maybe a little unpredictability, and some nice dresses and you'd have a ratings powerhouse.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 8, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Gymnastics Floor, of course. Unfortunately (or not) there is no paring of couples as in Skating.

Posted by: omni | August 8, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I wrote this post hours ago, but got distracted before hitting Submit...

I agree with yello that those activities are not sports; I would call them "athletics." There's a difference, I think, in scoring. A sport seems to have a hard scoring component: get this in here and score these many points.

Any of those activities that is subjective, that is merely rated, I think, should be called "athletics."

They're both equally hard and only the hardest-working and most talented succeed, but I do think there is a distinct difference.

Of course, someone will find an exception and then I'll have to say, "oops." But I'm used to that.

Here's one more question.. why the heck is basketball part of the summer olympics?

Posted by: TBG | August 8, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Aw, c'mon, guys, jeez, you are making this *so* much harder than it has to be. A sport is anything that a guy can:
(a) drink beer while watching
(b) place bets on the outcome
(c) give (male) viewing partner high fives at key momemnts.

(And NO, you canNOT do those things while watching SOYTYCDTHP or whatever the hell it is, no matter what you ladies might think.)

If the sport in question has trim, fit youngish (up to and including the age of 42, in the case of swimmers) babes in tight-fitting costumes, well, criminy, that's just sooooo much the better.

Thank god I'm not 16 years old. That Shawn Johnson would just twist my heart into a pretzel about seven times a day.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 8, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

omni's 2:51 is one of the funniest posts ever.

Posted by: TBG | August 8, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, TBG. Perhaps because basketball doesn't require snow and/or ice? Or perhaps in other countries basketball is played in the summer?

Posted by: Raysmom | August 8, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'll be updating the Wiktionary this weekend. Need to add some pictures to that spoilsport def.

Posted by: omni | August 8, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The boss has granted early dismissal. Later!

Posted by: Raysmom | August 8, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Sword dancing, of course!

Posted by: Jumper | August 8, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I'll be the contrarian and say that the definition of sports is a moving target following the popular consensus (see also: art and music).

I note that the etymology doesn't support a firm definition of sport as strictly competition; my Concise Oxford says "sport" is a shortening of "disport" which as an archaic noun meant "amusement" or "recreation", having evolved in turn from OFr desporter "carry away" and further in turn from L "portare".

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 8, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

SofC, that definition you supplied reminds me that back in my days as a roving newspaper scribe and ink-stained wretch covering the American frontier, circa 1810-1900) we had what were then known as "sporting gals," who fit a number of those definitions. However, I sense that this factoid hasn't materially contributed to the discussion at hand.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 8, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I can't see your youtube link from here, but both my daughters used to sword dance, as well as do the other forms of Scottish Highland dance. A tough workout, it was, and very hard on the knees and feet. To round out the whole Scottish thing, my wife (from the clan MacKay of the Outer Hebredies) and I did Scottish Country Dancing. Me in a kilt, NOT a pretty sight.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 8, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

The ancient Greek hetaera were accomplished in dance and music, as well as other entertainments.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 8, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Apparently many cultures have a Sword Dance. I saw some Scottish ones, and a Chinese one. The ones I linked to are first a Japanese sword dance, and second is a Belly Dance sword dance.

Posted by: Jumper | August 8, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The Post's rock critic asked a bunch of Post folk for their five favorite Bob Dylan songs:

I think I will listen to some Dylan this weekend.......

Posted by: pj | August 8, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Actually the first youtube video is Chinese language programming. Japanese sword dancing also exists.

Posted by: Jumper | August 8, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I used to work with a guy that had a rather unseemly crush on Mary Lou Retton. He used to describe in graphic detail the gymnastics he wanted her to perform. None of them fit anybody's definition of sport.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Happy 8.8.08 Boodlers! An auspicious day apparently. Lots of weddings happening and anybody giving birth today will be blessed with a baby with a future of good luck. Or so they say.

Totally off kit but breaking news, John Edwards had an affair. How many of you are surprised by this? I'm more surprised that this is even news.

Posted by: Aloha | August 8, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

It looks like Russia will perform a sword dance on Georgia who has invaded Osetia.

Posted by: Brag | August 8, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama is in town for some R&R but not before he does a public speaking engagement at a park near the airport first. There have been people lining up there from early this morning and he's not scheduled to speak until 12:30 p.m. All I can say is it's gonna be hot and crowded out there! I'll watch it on the news tonight I think.

Posted by: Aloha | August 8, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I think the news is more significant that Edwards has admitted the affair.

Wordpress on the WSJ just gave me an automated message:
"You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down."

Posted by: Jumper | August 8, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The Edwards affair/love-child has been rumored for quite a while. He did release the news on a Friday afternoon the weekend the Olympics start.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Ya know Jumper, I think you're right.

Posted by: Aloha | August 8, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Seven times a day, huh, mudge? Even when I was sixteen, I wasn't THAT "athletic."

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Two bunhead daughters spent seven years at least on point. DotII was recruited twice for Washington Bellet elite corps(she wisely refused). As athletes by any measure, they outpace CPBoy who is without trying much, in the top 100 backstroke swimmers in the area.

When I ran X country (required of all track athletes) at a Div I school, I was only in better shape than either of then endurance-wise. I bow down before such jocks, even if the perform in pink satin and blush-pink tulle.

The Olympics is grand: we have more than one kind of sport in it. Huzzahh!

Now chess or competitive math problems....sorry, those settings are not Olympic material.

Posted by: Cp in OC | August 8, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Before I catch up just want to say I was really busy at work and my that is why my post was so short - I remember the tags yello.

Then I got a scary call that my daughter was ill on a city bus and was being taken to hospital in an ambulance - all is well turns out she had only had a granola bar all day - nothing to dring and was about to pass out. She is home hydrated and fed now and still feeling bad about scaring her friends - moms blood pressure will resort back to normal sometime next month.

And she is still three weeks from officially starting teendom - Help :-)

Posted by: dmd | August 8, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if anyone commented on it being eight/ate/eight today.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 8, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, dmd, glad she's ok.

Horse dancing is called dressage - but it developed when they were used as weapons of a sort, in war. Haven't had a chance yet to figure out the equestrian schedule so I can tape it. For the 2004 Olympics, I got to watch so much of the dressage competition that even I was getting bored.

I have no problem with a broad definition of sport:
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.


PRONUNCIATION: spôrt, sprt
NOUN: 1a. Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. b. A particular form of this activity. 2. An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively. 3. An active pastime; recreation. 4a. Mockery; jest: He made sport of his own looks. b. An object of mockery, jest, or play: treated our interests as sport. c. A joking mood or attitude: She made the remark in sport. 5a. One known for the manner of one's acceptance of rules, especially of a game, or of a difficult situation: a poor sport. b. Informal One who accepts rules or difficult situations well. c. Informal A pleasant companion: was a real sport during the trip. 6. Informal a. A person who lives a jolly, extravagant life. b. A gambler at sporting events. 7. Biology An organism that shows a marked change from the normal type or parent stock, typically as a result of mutation. 8. Maine See summercater. See Regional Note at summercater. 9. Obsolete Amorous dalliance; lovemaking.

Take your pick, sport. And don't forget about sporting dogs.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 8, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Olympics Opening Ceremony was timed to begin at 8:08 on 08/08/08. Auspicious beginning?

Posted by: Shiloh | August 8, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Here's what's so amazing about crazy-eights day (08/08/08): I have not heard any quacks, charlatans, or professional noise-makers claim it to be a date of impending doom (unless you buy their product). Maybe it's the even numbers. Maybe it's all those nice round looping curves. How could an eight or a zero be threatening? But then, how to explain the qualms over 666, another even number composed of even digits with nice loopy characters?

If anyone is going to whip up some numerological hysteria, it ought to be us so we can smirk and taunt the gullible. Any ideas for the "hidden meaning" that "they" don't want you to know for 09/09/09, 10/10/10, 11/11/11, or 12/12/12? After that, we have to look for 12/13/14 or 12/14/16. Hmm, another good one might be 11/13/17 (all prime numbers).

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 8, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

This is an amazing story about the "lost boy" who is carrying the US flag in the opening ceremonies - maybe someone already linked to it:

I have a friend who loves prime numbers. 1/1/11 will be cool, eh?

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 8, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

The number 8 is considered lucky in China. This is why the journalist and author "Jennifer 8 Lee" was given that middle name by her parents.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 8, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

And here's a story about a local rider and horse - I had forgotten about her firefighting connections:

I love the stories - although sometimes I'm shouting at the TV, just show the competition already! Wonder if I can see the Canadian coverage? Too bad I threw out the Sunday paper with the TV schedule, and the paper wasn't delivered today...

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 8, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Woof re sporting dogs, Mostlylurking!

Could somebody give me the time, day, and channel "America's Greatest Dog" is on? I'd like to erhm... scope out my competition.

I've tried canine freestyle dancing, but as I got two left feet, I just kind of dance like Mudge, only with more bounce.

Note: this picture is NOT of me tripping the gnome fanastic.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | August 8, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh wait. I just learned that Jennifer 8. Lee actually gave herself that middle name as a child.

Well. Okay then. That makes a lot more sense.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 8, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Repugs will make great hay out of Edwards' affair, forgetting that their own presidential candidate did the same and left his disabled and disfigured wife for one of the "other women"; the richest one he could find, I suppose.

Posted by: TBG | August 8, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

That other paper's website had something about a large number of weddings on 8/8/08.

ML, I expect that there should be decent equestrian coverage up here. Ian Miller is riding again, as he has in apparently every Olympics since '72.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 8, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't know TBG, Edwards lost big and early. A wise Democrat constituancy maybe?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 8, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

A constituency that can (smell)(spell) trouble.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 8, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Heavy fighting has started in Sout Ossetia with Russians involved and taking casualties, Abkhasia is about to join in the fighting, Putin has wowed to reply hard..

Heavy fighting in South Ossetia

Georgia offers rebels ceasefire

Russia army unit sent to Abkhazia

Posted by: Braguine | August 8, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes, CBC is showing the opening ceremonies now. I loved watching Ian Millar and Big Ben years ago. Eric Lamaze's horse looks very good this year. Not even sure who's on the American show jumping team - I'm not well prepared for the Olympics at all.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 8, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

A co-worker of “S” was in a DD getting coffee this morning, the TV was one and the breaking news story prompted one of the teenage workers to say, “OMG, the Russians invaded Georgia!” “S”’s friend kindly set her straight.

We’ve been taking dancing lessons for the past year and a half. Tango, waltz, swing, and now mambo. “S” was a good sport to do this as his dancing skills were insulted when he was about 14 by a ‘mean girl’ and he never danced again. He’s come a long way and has now agreed to go to the monthly dances our teacher puts on. I can’t seem to watch dancing on TV as the moves are so choreographed that I can barely make out the footwork and I get distracted wondering how the women keep their dresses from falling off (lots of tape I assume).

I must say I am disgusted with Edwards. He admits it happened because he became too full of himself, which is insightful of him, I guess. I feel for his Elizabeth, she’s got enough on her plate without having to deal with a snake. She’s way too good for him.

That was a great article about the Lost Boy. NBC news did a piece on him tonight as well. I suppose I’ll go watch a bit of the opening ceremony. I can’t say I care much about watching the actual games at all, although I would watch the equestrian events if I knew when they were on.

Sorry for the long post and number of different subjects. This is what happens when you can’t boodle from work.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 8, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog, "America's Greatest Dog" is on Wednesday nights at 8 pm on either NBC or CBS, can't remember which as I try not to show any interest in their "activities" for fear my human will think something is "cute" and try it out on me.

Real Beagles don't dance.

Posted by: TLFdog | August 8, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Evening, all.

We made it up the mountain fine, there wasn't a lot of traffic. Work on the road to the cottage has been completed and we are most pleased.

Mr. T is NOT pleased that his NBC signal isn't high def, so we'll be watching the opening ceremonies in analog. Darn.

Posted by: slyness | August 8, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse


Great kits, both of them. In this kit, classic hooked symptoms.

Glad your daughter is okay. You'll be fine, I bet you are a great mom.

Mudge, you make me laugh every time. You and the singing and the big dip while dancing.

I'm hooked on DIY and Home and Garden channel. Sometimes the cooking channel too.

Men always lie about affairs, because that's what an affair is, a big lie. He says his wife has forgiven him. And I suspect some of those doing all the talking just might be engaging in said behavior themselves. If a light was turned on we might say, oh the horror.(smile)

I'm tired. Going to turn in. Night boodle. Sweet dreams.

JA, you can't be enjoying your vacation. The Achenblog has you hostage.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 8, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Ivansdad, perhaps sensing my technological distress, set the TV to record the opening ceremonies. I need do nothing. This is my kind of work.

We will try and make it a point to watch the fencing, assuming it makes it onto the TV schedule. Fencing at that level is awesome and very fast.

dmd, I'm glad your daughter is well. I will use her as a cautionary example. One of our teen fencers (good enough to compete nationally and looking at jr olympics), who spends a lot of daytime in summer by himself, tends to forget to eat regularly. The coach and I have taken him to task, but this story may help.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 8, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Just got home from work and activated the WPo front page video for the Beijing games and the third down video was our beloved Dave Berry giving an interview and 'GASP' he said (check-it-out) "that Curling wasn't a sport!" He has trouble woth a household instrument.

Posted by: bh | August 8, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from work and tuned into the WaPo front page video of the Beijing games and the third down video was an interview with our beloved Dave Berry. And in it he said GASP! (check-it-out) the "Curling wasn't a sport."

Posted by: bh | August 8, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I thought the wirty bird filter apparently had blocked the name D--- B---y. So posted again.

Posted by: bh | August 8, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Dmd - bet you are tired from the adrenalin surge; relief takes a few days to settle down.

LiT - thanks for the the deer-search story with your dear. Reminds me whne at three CPdotI asked, "do we feel love or do we know love?" This when looking at a full and limpid moon.

Thinking of the Pacific Rim people (Daw. RF) as we look across the biggest water toward China this evening.

Love the drummers:2008 men with sticks!!!!!

Was any body else chilled a bit with the soldiers taking the flag from children? I want to be fair but the last time I "saw" Chinese soldiers was the trauma of T-square...

Typing from beach....

Posted by: CP in OC | August 8, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Quick flyby:

I believe that the Olympics started in China today at 8:08 AM (IIRC), because 8 is a lucky number there.

Traditionally a day for weddings all across the Far East too, if memory serves.

More later...


PS Not such a lucky day in South Ossetia, to Alexey's point.

Posted by: bc | August 8, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Fun fact: Albert Speer Jr. helped design the master plan for the Beijing Olymics.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 8, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Good that you're trying to keep control of your human, TLFdog.

I checked my dignity at the door long ago, working with gnomes.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | August 8, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

The commercials are just as good as the opening ceremony!

Posted by: slyness | August 8, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, use the story and add the IV they had to insert to give her some hydration. I asked if she would forget to eat again - answer NO.

All I care is that she is OK. We watched most of the opening ceremonies as she loves Asian culture but it went on too long for her attention span lost her two thirds of the way through the athletes marching in.

Posted by: dmd | August 8, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I was remiss in not wishing dmd a good night’s sleep after the trials of today. Glad your daughter is okay. Mine aged me terribly when they were younger, now they’re mostly fun.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 8, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I like your take on Edwards.

I'll also believe he does love his wife (and yes that he's a low-down snake).

Mo Udall's book "Too Funny to be President" incidentally mentions presidental campaigns are high-stress, and can produce uncharacteristic behaviors. I think rampant sex between campaign staffers was mentioned, just in passing.

As I recall Joel's crack about the Republicans allowing a mormon onstage for "diversity"... hey, the Democrats had the Mormon candidate FIRST-- 20 years ago.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 8, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Anybody wanna watch Obama talking at Keehi Lagoon in Honolulu? He's here on vacation.

Posted by: Aloha | August 8, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

This is a better feed.

Posted by: Aloha | August 8, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Taking a break from the ceremony to expound (and wish I could POUND) on Edwards. And to think I was solidly behind him in two elections. I should give thanks (to somebody--anybody) that I never sent him money.

People who cheat -- what are they thinking??? And, yeah, I know -- thinking isn't what's on their minds, the brain being somewhere far below their heads. I am really, really p i $ $ ed off at him! And I feel for Elizabeth.

BTW, I find it tedious that of all the time ostensibly devoted to the opening ceremony, 99% of it appears to be devoted to commercials. So happy someone invented the *mute* button, eh?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 8, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

edwards is an idiot. and his story still doesn't add up. why would he be having a rendez-vous with an ex-girlfriend in the middle of the night in a hotel in beverly hills? yeah right. i bet he is the father of her child. jerk.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 8, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm very disappointed in Edwards. There are some things you just shouldn't do. He knew better, too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 8, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

What bothers me most about the Edwards scandal is that apparently neither he nor Elizabeth thought it might be a problem with his run for president. Really? They didn't think someone might find out, or that it might make people feel differently about him as a candidate? At least they should have been prepared with better answers - as in, tell the truth. Sheesh.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 8, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, I had the same thoughts. I feel for Elizabeth Edwards and hope that he is being truthful about not being the father. Turning your back on your child is something I find intolerable.

Posted by: dmd | August 8, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I am a slacker boodler. Just can't catch up so I'll jump in here. Please forgive anything that appears really stupid. And thanks to the boodler who posted the link to the discussion of voter stupidity.

Life is returning to what passes for normal here. The dott's car, on closer examination, does not seem so bad and is very likely going to be ready to drive in 3-4 weeks.

Am starting to feel a bit depressed that I am never, ever surprised to find out someone has cheated on a spouse. Famous or family, nothing could be more depressingly familiar. The really jaded part of me says this was not the first time for Edwards, but I hope I'm wrong-and that it is also the last. That he crossed the line with someone who did video work for his campaign reminds me of my favorite line from Moonstruck "don't sh!t where you eat."

Time to call it a night, big robotics weekend with demos at a local fair.
Toodles boodle, sleep well.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 8, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

the national enquirer reporters caught edwards visiting rielle and child at night in the beverly hills hilton in july. edwards is not telling the truth.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 8, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

p.s. not that i'm a fan of the national enquirer, but the details of location and place have been confirmed. they are enough to know that it wasn't over in 2006.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 8, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

L.A., you're probably right. Since he's not running for office, I don't care. Glad this came out before Obama picked him for VP or something. For me, it's not the affair so much - these things happen all too often. But the lying, probably even now - not good
I agree with David Bonior, who sounds really ticked off...

The WaPo has a link to the Olympics TV schedule, which is as good as I've seen, so far:
The NBC Olympics website has something by date and sport, but it's kind of hard to figure out...

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 8, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, here is the CBC site for you, they will have their schedule - they also have life streaming on site for certain events but that might be blocked in the US.

Posted by: dmd | August 8, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

My Dad and his brother would have been 81 today. I'm sure they're doing a birthday dance for all of the angels. I still dance the same way my sister taught me when I was about 12. I'd like to see competitive slam dancing with the stars.

Posted by: jack | August 8, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

mostly, what pisses me off is that he almost certainly was doing this while he was running for president. and he could have brought down the entire democratic presidential run if he had won the nomination or made it onto the ticket as veep. so yeah, he's not running now, but he could have been, so i'm very angry at him.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 9, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Ok, late shifters, put on yer dancin' shoes...

Posted by: jack | August 9, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I go back to the principles of the Constitution, to put ambitious and vainglorious men in tension with each other so that they best serve their ambition by serving the public need. We don't elect saints or moral exemplars, we elect flawed human beings, and the genius of our political structure is that it works to put (some of) their flaws to work for us.

I'd like it if public figures could keep their pants on, and it does tell us something about their individual character when they turn up with their pants off. However, disqualification from serving in a public office should take something more significant than the mere fact of being sexually unfaithful. Everyone is prone to temptation, and our public habit of idolizing wealth and fame helps to send a lot of temptation their way. We can and should expect a lot from ourselves and others -- but our expectations should include a demand from our ourselves that we extend some understanding towards others for the crime of being complicated, contradictory, imperfect creatures. If I were a wealthy and famous guy, I expect that opportunity would walk by rather often. I think I could resist 99 temptations out of 100 -- but if you send 1000 temptations my way, the odds are pretty good that I'll succumb to at least one of those temptations. It is easier to be moral when there is no opportunity or incentive towards immorality.

Posted by: PlainTim | August 9, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, lal. I saw the news conference at which a reporter asked him to comment on the allegations. He looked like he'd been hit with a 2x4 and stammered his way through a response. He said, to paraphrase, that the tabloid allegations weren't believable. His body language wasn't convincing. Now he has to live with it.

Posted by: jack | August 9, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

...and the kids all dance and shake their bones , and the politicians throwing stones saying "Ashes, ashes, all fall down...ashes, ashes, all fall down...

Posted by: jack | August 9, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

We were on the road tonight, but my wife caught some of the Opening Ceremony on the bar tv were we stopped for dinner. We are now in Henderson, NC. I channel flipped to find some wrap-up, but all we can find is Jay Leno interviewing ScarJo. Sacrifices, sacrifices.

I did set both DVRs for the Olympics so I will have to catch it later in the week.

Edwards is disobeying the rule of holes. He should stop digging. The kid has no father listed on the birth certificate, the mom is living large, and he is sneaking around to see her. There are more shoes to drop here.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

another clear crisp night here,stopped to view the stars and saw 4 shooting stars in about a 15 min span,i hope the weather and sky conditions stay like this the next 3 days.

Also there were 2 raccoons on my porch when I got home,hope they weren't into the tomatoes,I kicked one as he tried to get off the porch. I guess he now knows who the master is( yeah they are probably up in their tree laughing at me now).

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 9, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, dmd. I don't get the Bold channel, though, where it seems like a lot of the equestrian events are winding up. I'll track them down - like I said, in 2004, I watched more Olympic equestrian stuff than I had in my life - usually all that was shown on American TV was the finals of the show jumping.

Tim, that's the thing - in this day and age, a politician has to know that secret affairs, visits to prostitutes, gay liaisons or whatever are going to become public. So, better to admit to it, or say it's no one's business - trying to cover it up, or paying someone to keep quiet, will not work. Edwards made the decision to run for president knowing he had a big skeleton in his closet - that's not fair to his campaign workers, to his supporters, to the other Democratic candidates. I was hoping this wasn't true - and I'm astounded that Elizabeth didn't tell him his political days were over - but she had a lot to deal with and probably wasn't thinking rationally.

No one's perfect, but when you run for president you at least should be careful, don't you think? Or be honest - that's all. Here's some of what Bonior said:
"Former Michigan congressman David E. Bonior, who managed Edwards's White House campaign, said Edwards had "betrayed" those who believed in him and is finished in politics. "Thousands of friends of the senator's and his supporters have put their faith and confidence in him and he's let them down," Bonior said in a statement, adding: "You can't lie in politics and expect to have people's confidence."

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 9, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

I've caught parts of the opening ceremonies - why are bagpipes playing during some of it? And how was the order of the countries decided? Did they put all the names in a hat? Too many commercials on NBC, for sure - I taped most of it on CBC so Mr Ml can see it if he wants to when he gets back in town...but I missed the beginning, so had to tape that from NBC.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 9, 2008 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Leaving beach soon. Waiting for coffee shop to open. Been lovely.

Sorry that Elizabeth Edwards does not have her privacy...children, too.

Need a cattle prod to rouse sleeping boys. They packed the car last night. I should have had them sleep in the car, too.

Morning to all; Over and out;Want to be over the Bay Bridge before the press of humanity.

Posted by: cp in oc | August 9, 2008 5:41 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

I'd say the Chinese did quite an impressive job with the opening ceremonies last night -- at least the "artistic" part. That giant roll-up LCD screen blew my mind. And the cast of thousands perfectly synchronized... wow! 2008 drummers... 2008 Tai-Chi masters... the little girl flying through the air while flying a kite... the "pool" of moving blocks. They weren't kidding when they described it as "live cinema".

I missed the US team's arrival, though. Fell asleep sometime after Vanuatu made their entrance.

Time to check on the percolator... I haven't heard a perk from the kitchen in a few minutes, so I either have coffee or the ancient percosaurus has died.

Peace out... :-)

Posted by: martooni | August 9, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

I read that the countries were announced in the order of the number of strokes in the Chinese character representing their countries name. It's the closest to alphabetical order there is in a pictographic language. And traditionally, the host country goes last.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all!

I am so glad that in my teenhood and 20s & 30s dancing was so popular. Sock hops, proms, cotillions, big dance weekends in college, and beyond because clubs and private parties still had dance floors and big bands way back then.

Enjoyed last night's opening ceremony, but then I always do. Must go back to watch USA athletes march in, fell asleep too soon.

About John Edwards. I echo the disappointment and disgust many of you all express. Please, please, Elizabeth, do not demean yourself by going on TV with a I forgive John, I stand by my man" humiliation. He's an embarrassment now, let him take the responsibility, you just take care of yourself and your family.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 9, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle!

Has Dick Chenney taken over the WaPo editorial desk?

After reading this piece of expansionist propaganda my UMBRAGE level went into high boil.

Besides being a Neocon and BIG OIL puppet, Saakashvili revealed himself as a madman.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | August 9, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Watched the Opening Ceremonies with my daughters and one of their cousins. Interesting walk through Chinese history, high marks for artistic merit (thanks for that tip on Speer, Jr., yello) Explained the meaning of "Taikonauts" and the the giant globe at the center (the one with people running around it) changing from a lantern to the Earth to the Moon to Mars (the Chinese space program's plan in a nutshell).

Lots of exclamations; "Wow!" "That's amazing."

I threw in some comments like "The Great Wall is made of *people*!" "I wonder when we'll get to the tanks."

We were all impressed.
As was everyone in that stadium, I'm sure.
One way or another.


Posted by: bc | August 9, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

For anyone that cares, I have expanded my tirade on what is and isn't a sport on my own blog. Just in case these comments ever disappear.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Meant to add to my previous:

Went out and watched the Perseid meteors last night, too, gwe.

Saw a couple, even in my new light-rich environment... (grumble).

It's good to kick back on the deck with my feet up after midnight, watching everything turn slowly around the North Star, nursing a port and pondering Everything. And Nothing.

Are we ephemeral, beautiful, living shooting stars, streaking through the cosmos and our lives? Perhaps. Hopefully we leave a little of that beauty in someone's eye and something solid in our wake. Something for someone to pick up later and look at, and maybe learn from. Or at least appreciate.

Heck, we could probably say the same thing about the Planet Earth billions of years from now, when the spacefaring Tempel-1 Sea Monkeys or the Intelligent Cockroaches are doing archeological digs.

Hopefully they're not doing research for Volume MCMXLIVII of Jared Diamond's "Collapse," and digging through a horifically fouled nest that eventually overcame the inhabitants, but writing a spiritual text about a discarded planetary chrysalis for an evolved life form, who moved on to the next plane of existence.

A timeless existence of spiritual, emotional, and intllectual freedom; seperate from the bonds of physical life.
[Please don't call it Web 3.0, OK?]

Personally, I'm not ready for that evolutional step myself yet. I consider good food, good wine, and warm embraces essential to *my* existence now. And now's all I've got for the moment.


Posted by: bc | August 9, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The radio interview on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation with WaPo's retiring executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. is available online.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 9, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Morning Boodle!

dmd, I am so glad your girl is OK, hope your heart rate returns to normal soon.

All I can say is that it is just plain foolish to take two long haul flights and cross a continent twice and stay awake for the same amount of time, all for the sake of one two-hour meeting. I do not at all recommend this as a way of conducting business. However, the meeting was fabulous and exciting and brought new opportunities.

The big news is that I'm getting a dishwasher today! I know that durable goods don't turn everybody's crank, but I love them. Sort of like SYTYCT (nod to being on-kit).

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Stayed up way too late to see the entire Opening Ceremony. The thing was undoubtedly impressive, but not what I would call inspiring. It didn't leave you feeling excited and happy as much as overwhelmed and just a wee bit intimidated. Which was, perhaps, the intent.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 9, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Neither John or Elizebeth Edwards gave a damn if John's little escapade cost the party the election or ruined his putative presidency. I have the same amount of sympathy for her I have for Hillary Clinton. None.

Jeff Geenfield confessed that although many in the media knew of the rumors swirling around about Edward's they gave him the 'Kennedy Treatment.' He said Edwards had to make it public because he could no longer contain the story.
Greenfield didn't mention the National Enquirer story and neither have ABC nor NBC this morning.
The wankertude is overpowering.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 9, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Oops CBS not NBC. I can't bring in NBC so for all I know NBC is all Enquirer all the time. Somebody better check that out.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 9, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

YYIPPPPPEEEE! Picked the first three 'maters off my plants last evening when I got home, and had them for dinner. My wife got some steamed Old Bay'd snow crabs legs on sale at Safeway for $5.99/pound, and some cole slaw. What a great summer dinner.

Just watched the end of the USA-Czech women's b-ball game; we notched a 40-point win.

My feelings about the Edwards thing are a bit conflicted, between anger and utter mystification. Just what the HELL could he have been thinking? The ultimate numbnuts insult was to have tried to run for pres. this year, knowing there was all that stuff in his past. I don't blame Bonior for being really pissed at him.

Yoki, congrats on the new dishwasher. Sorry you had to fly all that way for a simple meeting (but glad it went well).

OK, gotta a lot of errands to run.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 9, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I,too, am conflicted about the whole sorry Edwards mess. Having been on the receiving end of a cheatin' ex, I can say that one of the worst aspects of it was the humiliation of having others know about it - and if I can feel that way about a few people in a small town, I can't imagine what its like to have the whole world not only know about it but feel entitled to discuss and dissect it to pieces. Just because that's the nature of the world today for public figures doesn't lessen my sympathy for the poor wife (or husband as the case may be) who's going to have to deal with this all the rest of their days.

On the other hand, in this particular case, what on earth was Elizabeth Edwards thinking when she encouraged her husband to make another run for the presidency? She has always struck me as an intelligent, insightful, compassionate person (truth be known, I supported Edwards for a time solely on the basis of who his wife is!). She HAD to have known that this could never have been kept private for any great length of time. And while I, personally, do not believe an extramarital affair automatically disqualifies you from public office, there's still a whole lot of people who do. Most especially your political enemies who will NEVER let it go. Would I have ever willingly put myself thru all that? No. No. Never. My husband would have become the world's most private ex-politico alive.

Sorry for the long rant. The sun is shining and the glories of the garden are calling. BTW, we have lots of tomatoes, which are mostly still green and which will ripen almost certainly at the same time which means I'll have to, ya know, DO something with them.

Posted by: TLF | August 9, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Dag, Bernie Mac is dead at 50.

A darn shame.
I noticed he'd been admitted to the hospital earlier this week in "serious" condition due to complications from pneumonia, and remembered he'd been ill a few years ago, but I didn't expect this.

Very sad, he still had a lot to give, IMO.


Posted by: bc | August 9, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I was out berry picking last night so all I saw were bits of the opening ceremonies. By the time I was free the CBC coverage was long done and I was reduced to watching NBC. (Sorry folks) Then we swtiched over to CBC where they were running live, and where the events were underway.

You could say I watched this morning last night.

For the first time ever, I am ahead of myself.

Posted by: dr | August 9, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I managed to stay awake just long enough to see the US team walk into the stadium - the flag bearer was a young man from my area, one of the Sudan's "Lost Boys". Pretty impressive that they chose him - a statement of hope and politics rolled into one.

I was also soooo impressed to see our own Dear Leader yawning and looking at his watch halfway thru the ceremonies. Words fail me.

Posted by: TLF | August 9, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

TLF. The president looked more animated while examining the buttocks of a female beach vollyball player.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 9, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The MIL and FIL of the US volleyball coach were attacked in Beijing. The coach's FIL was killed. The assailant, a Chinese man, lept to his death off a tower.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 9, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Boko, he also looked much more animated while conversing with Putin - I have to assume they were either discussing said female beach volleyball players or sharing their souls and not invasions of sovereign nations. Mr. F thinks Putin was offering him a job since he has experience in that area.

Posted by: TLF | August 9, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

NukeSpouse and I had a chance to watch some of the Opening Ceremonies and were suitably impressed.

When they turned the lights out while the drummers were using the lighted drumsticks, I looked at the tableau and said, "Ooooh, look at all the dancing chromosomes!"

I am such a dork. A tangentially on-kit dork at that.


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Nice to have you back TLF. I could echo most of your sentiments re: Edwards, having been on the receiving end as well. Obviously, being in the public eye and cheered by thousands does something crazy to one’s judgement. Although I still have great sympathy for Elizabeth Edwards, I do wonder what she was thinking when John ran for president again. It’s the bold faced lying that gets to me. And call me cynical, but his statement sounds like just what you’d want someone to say in that situation, so I’m not buying it.

When the camera went to our president last night, jacket off, slouched in his seat, I wanted to jump through the TV and throttle him! I’ll say no more for fear of the secret police showing up at my door.

Just made pickles with four of the countless cukes we have picked. Next year I am planting ONE cucumber seed. The sun is trying to break out here, if it does the grass will grow over the house before nightfall. I’d love to see the meteor showers but we have hardly had a clear night here all summer so I’m not hopeful. I’m trying to get some chores done but keep getting distracted by the phone and a bunch of silly little side jobs. Ugh.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 9, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like a random senseless act over in Beijing...

And it took me DAYS to remember we used to call the place Peking.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Bad on this side of the Chesapeake. ScottyN: one of my dots thought that the menu item was spelled

Peeking Duck

I don't think she ever heard Peking for the capital of China once in her life.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 9, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

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

Good afternoon, friends. Just got back in from a church meeting, and I've been invited to a baby shower. I think I'm going to be a "no show" for the shower.

My friend at the nursing home died yesterday. He was really sick. I'm going to miss him. He was also my dad's friend too.

bc, I saw that too, about Bernie Mac. I did not think his condition was that serious when I first read about him in the hospital.

I need to eat, and take my medications. It is one great day here. No humidity, and the sun is so bright. Just a great day to be outside. Well, I need to get started, have a lot to do. Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 9, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Hi everyone! Guess who we saw at the Farmers' Market today?

Posted by: TBG | August 9, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

If everyone "feels sorry" for the wronged spouse then perhaps civilized standards and simple kindness require good people to receive the news and then say no more about it. And not keep churning over private matters of the heart that do not concern them in the least. If hypocrisy is the issue, then perhaps that guy from Nazareth had a comment about throwing stones that people ought to ponder.

Posted by: Jumper | August 9, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Well said Jumper.

I good question is do we really want politicians who have never erred, never learned from mistakes, do not understand the pain caused by errors. Or worse yet believe themselves incapable of making an incorrect decision.

I would rather have an experienced person, capable of admitting wrong doing and learning from the experience.

If we prevent all from running for office who may have been indiscreet at some point in their life, we will be left with a precious few and I would wager we wouldn't want many of them.

Posted by: dmd | August 9, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

afternoon all
Just got thru a 5 hour babysitting stint and i am wore out,now I need to clean the house for tomorrow's party. I really just want to take a nap. Didn't see the ceremony and still don't have TV yet.I guess I will be visiting my friends alot the next few weeks.

Nice day here in west by god, maybe a little evening fishing later. Have a good day all

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 9, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Awww, TBG -- what a cute looking fella (and, um, tasty, too, I'll bet).

I just skimmed over some Swedish newspapers online and found a story that Paul Newman (Mr. Gorgeous Blue Eyes himself) has only a couple of weeks to live. Seems, according to the story, he checked himself out of the hospital so that he could die at home. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. It appears to be lung cancer. I recall all those earlier films of his when most actors/actresses were smokers. Too bad, if it's true. He really was a tremendous actor. Joanne Woodward's no slouch herself.

I also wished to throttle "little boy" last night when he and Laura looked so completely bored at all that was happening. He's such a jerk. I honestly don't know what she sees in him (oh, perhaps $$$$$$).

That be all.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 9, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Just slipping in for a moment to tell BC that his 8:58 am was beautiful, just beautiful.

In fact, I have copied and saved it. Never did that before with boodle content, so I'm starting now.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 9, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Ditto on the 8:58

Posted by: Jumper | August 9, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, VintageLady, you just made me blush.

Thank you.


Posted by: bc | August 9, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

OK, bear with me while I try to explain the train of thought that led to this post...

I clicked a link on a Google page that said "George Orwell Blogs from the Grave," which led me to an article that said, basically, that someone is posting Orwell's writings as a blog. That article mentioned a blog that consists of Samuel Pepys Diary as a blog; it's been online since sometime in 2003 at ...

OK.. that was cool. Then I remembered someone on the Boodle mentioning that they hadn't gotten around to reading Pepys Diary... was it dr? Anyway.. I knew it was recently, so I Googled "Achenblog pepys" and got a few hits, but not what I was looking for...

THEN.. I clicked the "similar pages" link that took me to this fabulous Kit from 2006, a year after the Boodle was born. This brought be back to the idea that all of our Boodles may be gone, but at least some of them are immortalized in Joel's Kits. This one is a real keeper; enjoy...

Posted by: TBG | August 9, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Big ideas about the evanescence of human life at midnight? Well thunk, sir. Well thunk.

Pass me some of what you're drinking, bc.

So sorry to hear about Bernie Mac. He had sacroidosis which is an autoimmune disease that can affect the lungs. Even in remission... if any autoimmune disease can be truly said to be in remission, the damage is done, just that much less fight in the lungs.

As bc said, he had a lot yet left to give. I'm enjoying the Olympics so far, especially the Canadian coverage, eh? It's nice to have an alternative to watching NBC for the Olympics.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 9, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

A true classic, TBG, thanks for the reminder. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

personal behavior is a reflection of character and judgment, so yes, if you were or are a major contender for the highest office(s) in this country, lapses and failures are relevant and should be reported and discussed. not ad nauseam, but at least until the facts of the matter are established.

being fairly cynical, i don't think it's necessarily true that edwards told his wife about the affair in 2006. maybe he did. maybe he didn't. maybe he told her later. i assume that presently, after the you-know-what hit the fan, they both consulted with professionals and drafted their statements according to what they wanted to do (and/or were counseled to do) at this particular moment, not necessarily according to a desire to tell the truth.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 9, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

It’s turned into a beautiful day, now that it’s more than half over. Scotty, so glad you said “Peking” as I’ve been going nuts trying to remember that also. And that was a great old Kit, I know I was at least lurking then but I don’t remember it at all! Maybe there’s a theme here with my faulty memory.

I’m trying to get up the courage to check the garden. I’m afraid I’ll find 20 more cucumbers and be forced to make more pickles. I’m hoping for green beans and tomatoes. Wish me luck.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 9, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

My novice brother and his family, regarding okra, thought they should make sure to pick it once a day. They discovered that if one is one inch long in the morning, the following morning it will be perhaps five or seven inches long. And not tender. So they have accomodated to okra picking several times a day.

No one believes the growth rate until they experience it. I shouldn't doubt a keen observer could literally see the pods growing.

Posted by: Jumper | August 9, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

That's great, TBG. The way links get you to faraway, unexpected yet familiar places is a wonder, isn't it? I remember being amazed by that when I first started wandering the Web.

Squash grows quickly too - and bamboo. I swear I've seen it grow a foot in one day. I was out whacking more bamboo just now. I have squash blossoms but no fruit yet - and one very deep blue morning glory - huzzah! Note - the morning glories bloom all day here due to the not-so-much-light situation. Looks like there are lots of moonflower buds - hope there is enough heat and light left so they can mature and bloom. Cool and rainy here today...not very summery.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 9, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

MostlyLurking! You, THE morning glory-moonflower standard bearer! We shall close our eyes and wish very tightly that you have enough heat and sun to grow a marvelous moonflower. RD will witness to the selene beauties of such a bloom.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 9, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

RIP, Clancy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 9, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

One less thing to worry about.
"No-nose Bicycle Saddles Improve Penile Sensation And Erectile Function In Bicycling Police Officers"

Posted by: Boko999 | August 9, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

With all the garden prowless of most boodlers,I bet we could one heck of a veggie stew!! I opted for a nap instead of finishing the cleaning. Now just putting up badmitton net and croquet. Still clear and nice here,heading out for dinner then may check out tonight's light show. Heck who needs a TV!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 9, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Mudge.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 9, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Boko-without that link I would never have known that Rigiscan is a registered trade name. Who'd a thunk?

Posted by: frostbitten | August 9, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Great, now soon we won't have to worry that bike cops aren't sufficiently virile enough on the job, Boko.

Now this story about electric rubber is quite interesting.

Virile bike cops with spandex TV cameras can't be far off now.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 9, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

So krump to the crunk
dancing like a hurricane
You Think You Can Dance

Posted by: omni | August 9, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

So crank your leg up
Spray all the oaks around town
You Think You Can Pee..


Posted by: Wilbrodog | August 9, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

re:TBG 3:28 - thank you TBG

Re: my 2:51 - thanks to DandyLion for the inspiration (@ 2:07)

and let me not forget Caitlin's typo, thank you to

(this has got to be the weirdestly worded post ever)

OK, back to season 2 of "Witchblade"

Posted by: omni | August 9, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

TBG, that was a lyrical link. SoC, even as a repeat, its one of the finest things ever written. bc, same same.

Plus, I will now have to read the Pepys blog daily.

Posted by: dr | August 9, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I kiltit, hopefully dr will resuscitate it

(walk by Boodling)

Posted by: omni | August 9, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey everybody. The elder dottir came to the mountains so we have had a busy, happy day. We've run hither and yon and spent money, how much better can it be? The high of the day was 72, it was 56 when I got up and is currently 66.

The best purchase is a set of chairs to replace the ones at the kitchen table which don't fit. The Chair Doc had them at Mast General Store for a price I could afford so I snapped them up. We pick them up in the morning.

Sooo, off to ablutions and bed. G'night all.

Posted by: slyness | August 9, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Thank you, TBG, for posting the link to the Boodle Kit. That was great, and bc's explication of the history and future of the Boodle was as prescient, I think, as anything I've read. When Western Civilization collapses we'll know what to blame.

TLF, just put some of those tomatoes in a brown sack and send them on to me. You too, Mudge. I'm an official Boodle tomato judge, y'know, along with TBG. I'll even allow you to skip the accompanying foodstuffs if you send it posthaste. Actually between my aunt and the farmer's market I have a surfeit of tomatoes (tomati? why not?). It will be real work to eat them all, but I'm a hard worker.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 9, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

TBG, thanks for posting that old Kit of Joel's, that was a good one.

For those who may want to read the whole "Happy Anniversary, Boodling, and the End of Man" blog item Joel quotes from (he was a relative HTML newbie at that point), here it is:

And Ivansmom, for you, some more detail on the future of Western Civilization and the Internet, in the form of FutureSpam:


Posted by: bc | August 9, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I was in the Drum Tower when I visited China last year. It was a short walk from the hotel where we stayed. It's kind of chilling to have been someplace where that sort of incident occurred. Here is a picture of the drum tower and some description.

I have additional pictures of the inside of the tower with the drums that I haven't posted as well of video of the period costumed drummers that perform every hour.

The tower is about four stories tall and anyone jumping from it would have no hope of surviving.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, bc. It is all too believable (except for anyone preferring Roger Moore as James Bond, you made that up). I won't be heading to the Sun anytime soon, as I think the doctor from the future will need a lawyer to help in his financial ventures.

It has been a long day. Beatrice the Rabbit and I are going to frolic for a while, and then bedtime. Buenos gnocchis, vaya con queso, Boodle, and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 9, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Not as brillant sky tonight,but I saw lucky number 8 meteors in about an hour. I could also see lightning,just lighting up the sky. When I checked radar the closest storm was at least 150 miles away. Just before I left, a screech owl was nearby.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 10, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Herbie Popnecker. It is an odd experience to literally not think of something for over 40 years; not one single time did this cross my mind since the last moment I put the last comic book down. Until I stumbled upon it tonight.

That was one odd comic book.

Posted by: Jumper | August 10, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse


Humanity never fails to disappoint...

Then again, I can turn to the Boodle and remember there is hope.

*RIP-Clancy-who-is-now-sharing-happy-silly-human-stories-with-Murphy-and-everyone-have-a-wonderful-Sunday Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2008 5:05 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Scotty, it's the weekend, and you and I don't seem to know that. I've been up for some time, but had a hard time trying to get here. Every time I opted for the Achenblog, I got a white page.

Well, it is to be a busy day at church. We have the celebration of the revival coming up this week, so Sunday is the big day for getting everything started. Being up so early means that by middle day, someone is going to be so sleepy.

Slyness, Martooni, Mudge, it's the weekend, get some rest. Morning to all.*waving*

I'm going to read a little bit. And then jump in the tub. I'm almost tempted to go back to bed, but I know that isn't such a great idea.

If you get a chance read Robinson's op-ed on Edwards. He says that if Elizabeth has forgiven him, then maybe the guy isn't all that bad. Ah, women, what would you guys do without us?

Have a great day, folks. Try to give God some of your time. And get some rest.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 10, 2008 5:24 AM | Report abuse

Habit is a terrible taskmaster, cassandra... :-) *HUGS*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2008 5:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all!

Casandra says it all, women = forgive. So does Don Henley "Forgiveness, forgiveness, even if...even if you don't love me any more".

TBG, being fairly new to the boodle, I had not read that kit, outstanding! Thanks.

Husband and I watched the USA vs Japan women's volley ball game last night. My first time watching that sport. Ha ha, in my volley ball days, I wore more clothes, but those women were just lovely, in addition to being strong athletes.

It's time to get ready for church, will save all the above links for this afternoon.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 10, 2008 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Weekend, shmeekend, Cassandra... I'm up at 6am no matter what (and without an alarm clock, either). The time from 6am to 7:30am is my golden quiet time. Everybody else is still in bed so I'm free to drink my coffee, watch/read the news, Boodle, figure out my production schedule for the day, etc. in absolute peace and quiet.

Speaking of coffee... the percolator just finished doing its thing. Time for a big cup of wake-up.

Peace out... :-)

Posted by: martooni | August 10, 2008 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all! A reader of my blog linked to a NYT column calling for the elimination of women's (really little girls') gymnastics because it is child abuse.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 10, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Goodmorning! Garden report: Mrs Lion picked the first 2 tomatoes yesterday, one red, one gold. Yum! My deck tomatoes aren't doing so well though, nice stalks, nice flowers, no tomatoes. Maybe too hot, maybe not enough bees. I put a potted butterfly bush next to the potted tomato plants, and to my amazement, butterflies and bees were buzzing around it within minutes.

Cucumbers are doing well enough. I pickle them by first buying a jar of dills from the store. then I replentish the jar of juice after eating the pickles by cutting up my garden grown cucumbers into it. Add a dash of vinegar and top it off with tap water. Put in fridge and 2 days later, fresh pickles.

Zucchinis? 3 plants =1 zucchini. Almost skunked. There is 1 zucchini plant still alive, no flowers. I'm going to go out to the garden and kick it . WWJD?

Posted by: DandyLion | August 10, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

g'morning boodle! Big day ahead with a robotics demo/recruiting trip to the fair just to our north. Mr. F and dott are back in St. Paul. She should be working full time at finding a job (don't worry, I'll send out the hell freezing over warning if this comes to fruition). He is promising to have a wall built and bamboo floor installed by Thursday-not a stretch.

S'nuke-Murphy and Clancy-just the sound of their names makes you think they'll bump into each other.

Was switching back and forth between CBC and NBC coverage of the Olympics last night. The CBC has far better "local color" coverage. I missed her name, but the CBC had a young Chinese Canadian woman touring Beijing. I'll see if I can find the clip of her drinking a beer in some public square, basically waving the can in front of soliders, to show that the society isn't repressive in some ways that really count. I'm sure there are some who took umbrage to this, who think we should be all "bad China, bad, bad China" all the time, but I found it both funny and refreshing.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 10, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Morning greetings to da Boodle!

I am still bummed by some of the coverage given by U.S. media on the Caucasus kerfaffle. BBC clearly shows the massive artillery bombardment that opened the failed Georgian offensive.

Is Saakashvili a lunatic? Or...

When you sit next to the sleeping bear don't poke him with a stick. Against all common sense, instead of developing good relations, Mr. Saakashvili has been provoking his northern neighbor ever since he assumed power.

It is difficult to understand why anyone would be so reckless with one's country's security. The only explanation that comes to mind: IT'S THE OIL, STUPID!

When we look at who Mr. Saakashvili is, how he came into power and where he comes from the picture becomes clearer.

Educated in the U.S. and I believe an American citizen, Mr. Saakashvili came to power supported by Rumsfelt's Pentagon and has been promoting Vice President Chenney's oil pipe agenda (NABUKO pipeline) and aggressively trying to undermine Russia's security and economic interests on its southern border. In short, Mr. Saakashvili has been acting like an agent of a foreign power and not the head of state working for the benefit of his people.

Mr. Saakashvili would make an excellent villain in a geopolitical thriller.

Enjoy your Sunday everyone!

Posted by: Braguine | August 10, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Here is the blog for Sook Yun Lee, a VJ and actress. She is Chinese Canadian and was asked to give her impression of China, a place she had never visited.

I like her piece yesterday as well.

After a nice start to yesterday the rains moved in mid afternoon - this morning I woke up and noticed a measuring cup I had forgotten outside has a 1 2/3 ounces of water in it. Not an accurate rain gauge but om my it poured last night.

Michael Phelps look great winning his first event.

Posted by: dmd | August 10, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Ivansmom, engineering/IT folks like me are the ones who started the whole mess in the first place, so go ahead and enjoy your day in the Sun (kidding, just kidding).

gwe, saw about a half-dozen Perseids in 40 minutes, even in the light-polluted area I live. Still haven't been able to catch a colorful bolide yet this year, but we've still got a week or so left, don't we? Besides, peak is Tuesday night, IIRC.

Have a good day, all.


Posted by: bc | August 10, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

As expected, Maureen Dowd ripped into Edwards for his affair. I did some NYT archive searching and documented the bad blood between Edwards and Dowd going back to December of 2002.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | August 10, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

When I was in China last year, I saw small groups of military/police drilling everywhere. I imagine it is much more obvious now.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 10, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

SCC cups not ouces of rain

Posted by: dmd | August 10, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Not to boodlehog, but I ran across AchenBuddy Dave Barry reporting from Beijing.

I swear he's not making it up.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 10, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Saw this in Book World today:

"7 P.M. George Pelecanos reads from and signs The Turnaround, his new urban noir set on the streets of D.C., at Politics and Prose Bookstore, 202-364-1919. He will also read on Thursday, Aug. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at Borders Books-Baileys Crossroads, 703-998-0404."

Dag, can't make the one at P&P, but might be able to hit the one at Borders.


Posted by: bc | August 10, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all.

CP, I'm glad you came home yesterday, given the headline on Wapo homepage about a wreck on the BayBridge. Yeouch, not a good thing, especially on an August Sunday.

No rain in the high country, but it was 60 degrees when I got up this morning.

Mr. T is installing a drain in the driveway, which involves cutting a hole in the railroad ties that hold the driveway in place. Elder dottir wants to have a picnic for lunch, which means she'll have to get up and help fix it before we go.

Posted by: slyness | August 10, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Good Mornin all
Today is the day of my family and friends meteor shower party.So far weather looks ok,maybe a tstorm later but so far so good,just putting the finishing touches on the cleaning.

Congrats on Micheal Phelps and his world record in the 400 IM. Just wondering if he can get 8 golds. I don't know I still like Mark Spitz and his awesome run at the 72 games. Maybe if they tie it would be cool. Spitz was the man when I was a kid.Everyone got interested in swimming after that performance.

We hope to break a few records at the river today ourselves.Like the innertube float,or most fish caught on 1 worm. When are they going to make rock skipping an Olympic sport?

Have a Great Sunday everyone!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 10, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

bc... I see that the reading at Politics and Prose is Tuesday night.

Posted by: TBG | August 10, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle.
Sook yin Lee can be heard as the host of CBC's Saturday afternoon radio show "Definitely Not The Opera" and seen (I'm not kidding) in the movie "ShortBus."
She has an incredible sense of humour and is a real blast.

Speaking of blasts, 40ish years ago the propane depot in my home town of Maple, On exploded knocking down a good portion of it. Instead of relocating the depot further north ,out from populated areas, it was moved south to then vacant land closer to Toronto. Well, since then Toronto's growth has been explosive and the depot is now surrounded by suburban sprawl. Guess what else is still explosive.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 10, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I was just about to post this link when I saw Boko's post. This one has Youtube links to video.

Heard about this story when I saw the crawl on the bottom of the olympic coverage.

Scary stuff - hope all turns out OK and the emergency crews stay safe.

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

Yes, I hope things are quickly brought under control in Haute Maine.

Separately, does anyone else get hives when sports commentators say a team is "X games over/under .500," when by the rules of math it has to be X/2 instead? :-)

I mean, in a league where it's win or lose, a team would be AT .500 if it had lost/won just half of the "games," right?

Hmmm... Maybe I need to switch to decaf.


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

shiny sky showers
eelectrical elements
moonlit flyby kiss

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

Another case of the Bush administration politicizing government decisions? (A long AP article by Larry Margasak began on the front page here today--can't find a link on our local paper's website nor can I access the same article printed by the Austin-American Statesman):

First two grafs:

Evaluations for biolab site weren't heeded

Washington -- The Homeland Security Department swept aside evaluations by experts and named low-rated Mississippi--home to powerful U.S. lawmakers with sway over the agency--as a finalist last year for a $451 million national laboratory to study some of the world's most virulent biological threats, according to internal documents obtained by the Associated Press.

Misissippi's lawmakers include the Democratic chairman of the department's oversight committee in the House and senior Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is expected to build the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility at one of the five sites.

The most interesting person I met Thursday night before the evening NBAF hearing at the nearby Radisson Hotel (site of a number of after-hours World Savings gatherings) was Bill Felber, executive editor of the Manhattan, Kansas newspaper, the Manhattan Mercury. Felber actually approached me and my husband and struck up a conversation by asking some questions while my husband and I were examining an aerial map.

Felber is visiting all meeting sites for the second round of the NBAF hearings and reporting on them. I don't know why--community boosterism and a sense of where their city stands in comparison to the five others (Plum Island is also on the list), curiosity, family vacation? I do know his young son ran into the large room momentarily in his swim trunks.

Felber explained to me, since I had questions for him, that there is such organized opposition to the project in North Carolina that the chamber of commerce-type honchos didn't even bother to show up. In Manhattan, Kansas, it was about 2/3 for and 1/3 against. The Flora, Mississippi hearing was a lovefest for bringing the lab to town, as was San Antonio, with only several individuals at each meeting opposed to the lab. Felber asked me why. It was interesting to see that the man who is coordinating the effort to bring the lab to San Antonio schmoozing for quite some time with site selection committee members at happy hour in the Radisson bar area. Former mayor Henry Cisneros spoke shortly before I did.

For Felber, it's now on to the next site selection meetings for Plum Island, New York, and Athens, Georgia.

Here's Felber's reporting about Thursday's second NBAF meeting in San Antonio.

Posted by: Loomis | August 10, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

if anyone wants a sensible account of what's going on in the russia-georgia situation, see trenin and lieven under the "postglobal" tab on the home page.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 10, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmmm... Just saw both President Bushes AND Henry Kissinger watching the U.S./China basketball match.

China's en fuego at the moment, the Yanks are clanking... Tied at 29, oops, rebound dunk by Bosh, 31-29 U.S.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

stones skip on water
heard a prophet did that once
ripples 'round the world

Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

U.S. players are shooting well from the field (easy when it's mostly dunks) but the foul line is proving to be much tougher.

Yao is superb, as usual.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

49 - 37, U.S. leads at halftime.

Kobe did NOT like that traveling call. *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

1st ripe Roma yesterday, 2 more tomorrow. Looks like it's going to rain soon, as I sit here waiting for a process to finish so I can start another.

Posted by: dbG | August 10, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

74-48 U.S., end of 3rd qtr.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

TBG, you may note that my quote from Book World also mentions an appearance at the Bailey's Crossroads Borders on Thursday the 14th. I didn't write it that way, I just quoted it.

I'd rather go to P&P on Tuesday, but that one's out for me.


Posted by: bc | August 10, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Re. this morning's Toronto propane fire.
The very nice BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expansion Vapour Explosion) of a storage tank or tank car at 01:50 of the first viseo shows the two-step process quite well. The second link has a better view of the small stuff. They are BLEVEs too but they are coming from smaller tanks. There will be metal scattered around that plant...

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 10, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

There may be a mini-boodle at the Border's at Bailey's XRoads on Thursday night. Anyone care to join us?

Posted by: TBG | August 10, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow, shrieking... thanks for posting those links. That was FAST. YouTube rules.

Posted by: TBG | August 10, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I have a question... we're now watching the rowing in China, but I've been puttering around the house and missing a lot of the commentary...

Is the sky overcast? Is it rainy... or is that the Chinese air pollution?

Posted by: TBG | August 10, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- mini boodle sounds like mini poodle....

Posted by: College Parkian | August 10, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

It was raining yesterday in Beijing, some of the later events were cancelled.

Posted by: dmd | August 10, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- folding laundry and WONDERing the same thing about sky...I bet it is BOTH, as in marine inversion of clouds -- like a lid -- but with SOx and NOx and particulates mixed in.

I can well imagine that athletes need inhalers, even if not asthmatic....I would grumble, grumble about this, if competing. Athletes, due to deep breathing and developed lung capacity, get higher doses of crap in their lungs....irritants trip off immune responses in nearly everyone. But kiss of breath-death for asthmatics.

In our future, everyone will be asthmatic, I fear.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 10, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Read this Keck School of Medicine USC study on the link between ozone doses by zip code and SoCal young athletes:

I worked on revising this study for lay audiences, including Congress, about the dose-incident driver (likely) of asthma in young athletes not necessarily predisposed to suffer asthma.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 10, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I will say that the fabulous United Airlines commercial with the sea creatures playing Rhapsody in Blue has led me to make a purchase... straight to iTunes to buy a copy of the song.

Thanks, United!

Posted by: TBG | August 10, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting to see NBC wear many hats--including PR. In its coverage of the Olympics Friday night for the opening ceremonies, NBC mentioned the opposition to the Olympic torch relay in Tibet, Sudan, and Paris, France.

Yet, not a peep out of NBC about the opposition to the Olympic torch relay when the relay passed through San Francisco--there's video of the San Francisco protest rally on YouTube. And Matt Lauer, holding a mic for Friday evening's coverage, traditionally brings us news (as well as other morning show lifestyle and celebrity junkola).

NBC Olympic coverage is certainly whitewashed by its blatant omission of this Bay Area protest. And where were the big media outlets when the John Edwards infidelity story was unfolding at the National Enquirer and in the blogosphere?

Posted by: Loomis | August 10, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

'Linda Loomis, an area resident who has spoken against the NBAF at previous meetings, decried the apparent lack of concern from the broader community, a lack she blamed on public ignorance. "You have a highly uneducated and illiterate population (in San Antonio)," she said. "To put it here is environmental racism."'

You tell 'em Linda.
You have to admire their commitment to higher uneducation though.
Oh yeah, Texas.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 10, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Incredible footage of the BLEVEs, shriek, thanks for posting. Impressive events, BLEVEs. Any idea of the cause yet? No speculation or anything in the US press, yet.

Posted by: slyness | August 10, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I think the highly uneducated go through a process called "dumbing down."

The uneducation process requires many hours of listening to talk radio, spending lab time in redneck saloons and learning mislocution from a certain resident of Crawford, TX, a well known center of higher uneducation.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 10, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I watched a good portion of the fire department press conference - would not speculate on a possible cause and would only state that the team is in place to investigate.

Story told was that a driver was filling his truck and noticed either smoke or a gas and left to inform someone. Driver got away and made it to hospital with minor injuries. So far no reports of any major injuries and last I heard one person unaccounted for - incredible that there was so few injuries.

Posted by: dmd | August 10, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Boodle. Only time for a quick, drive-by posting. I've been cooking my brains out all morning, just finished prepping a squash/eggplant/tomatoe parmigsan casserole to go in the over lat or. Am also going to make not one but TWO beer-butt roasted chickens on the grill this afternoon, one to eat tonight and one to take with us when we go on vacation. I've got some bottles of beer in the fridge, but no cans. So when I went to the liquor store to buy two single cans, I asked the guy behind the counter if he had this specific type in single cans. He was from India, and said no, he didn't have that type in single cans. I asked what kind he had in cans. He said he had bottles; why didn't I just buy two bottles? I said I needed it for cooking. He looked at me strangley, and said, well, you can just pour it from the bottle, yes? I laughed, and said, no, I'm making two beer-butt chickens. Now he was mystified. The other guy behind the counter laughed and explained to him that uou put the open beer can up the chicken's a--. Now the Indian had a *really* strange look on his face. I'm sure he was thinking these Americans were sure a *very* weird people.

OK, gotta run--we're going swimming in the neighbor's pool before I do the beer-butt thang on the grill.

Glad you came home yesterday, CP--big fatal accident on the Bay Bridge today.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 10, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

TBG - I have never really forgiven the Gershwin estate for selling the rights to Rhapsody in Blue to United. But that seems to be the way it goes in a consumer society.

As to the commercial itself, I'm not sure, yet, quite how I feel about it. On the one hand I admire it's visual complexity. It's kinda like Terry Gilliam on more drugs. On the other hand there is a certain grotesqueness to it all (those poor froggies) that I find unnerving.

Especially, you know, after they have shown it a billion times.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 10, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Ah, narcissism... *shaking my head*

Seems the folks in England DO know a face!

As do the folks in Germany, eh Sneaks? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

What a yucky rainy day it looks to be in Beijing. I feel sorry for those female bicyclists out riding in the rain. Especially that poor Korean woman who ended up in that nasty ditch.

Far better to be sitting here comfortably sipping wine and snacking on cheese whilst watching those world-class athletes do all the work

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 10, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

We need to send some coffee to the home page copy desk...

"Race Now in Holding Pattern

Strategists say what's ahead will be important in determining Nov. outcome than anything to date."


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

RD -- fax me some 'maters, when you have a chance.
Mudge -- that accident makes my system for driving on the bridge a bit weak now. I tell myself: you will make it. Look at the STRONG Jersey walls. Any minor to middling accident and you will carom back off the J-wall into the lane. You will not end up in the water....etc." Sheesh. NOW, what do I say to myself other than the "chance of this happening to you, now, is very low." RINSE, REPEAT?

I am afraid of two things, in a phobic-sort of way. 1) Cats. Really. Don't hate. Don't fax me your cat, either. 2) Dark water and drowning.

About the dark water and drowning: I had a near drowning experience in Lake Minnetonka at age five. I remember this very clearly, including the bobbing up and down into alternately, the surface of green-yellow sun patches on water and the soft mud of the lake bottom. But, here is the ringer. When I was 18 and guarding at Bass Lake in the High Sierra at a boy scout camp, a rescue with a panicked BIG BOY SCOUT went very bad. He kept climbing on top of my shoulders to get air, pushing me down into the black ooze. I was in ooze up to my high thighs. Managed to get through this and arm-lock carry him to shore. Adrenaline is amazing. But, left with a feeling of great trepidation about dark and deep water.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 10, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

CP.. my feelings about the bridge exactly! The accident last year that showed a tractor-trailer jammed up against the jersey wall proved to me (at the time I guess) that the wall was strong enough to take anything I could give it.

Now what?

When I am driving over the bridge, fingers gripping the wheel to whiteness, brain addled and eyes straight ahead, the word "plunge" is expunged from my vocabulary.

Again... now what?

Posted by: TBG | August 10, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

RD, I'm with you. But I'm getting increasingly annoyed with barely enough time to breathe of actual Olympic sporting and 99.9999% &%@#^%!$ commercials! Grumps me out, really.

Okay, back to it. . . .


Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 10, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

O.K., Boko and Shiloh, you're making me laugh this afternoon, a good thing, since my husband will be involved in surgery most of tomorrow.

Here's a picture of Bill Felber, whom I met Thursday night, executive editor of the Manhattan (Kansas) Mercury newspaper. The staff is in alphabetical order, so you have to scroll to the F's.

I had read Felber's reporting about Mississippi early Friday morning, which made me laugh, too--his description of Flora, Mississippi's three "fine dining" establishments--only two of which Felber could name. I went to find Felber's reporting this morning about Flora and found instead the link to the San Antonio coverage. I never expected some of youse guys to actually read the darn thing!

Felber shared with me that he thought the Oak Room of the Radisson, the site of Thursday's meeting in San Antonio, to be really glitzy, compared to some other venues, a school cafeteria--if I recall correctly, in other states where the second round of NBAF meetings have very recently been held.

As the AP reporting pointed out in the fifth graf of the article, nine sites rejected as finalists earned higher scores than Flora, Mississippi: two other sites in San Antonio and College Station, all in Texas; Leavenworth, Kan.; another site in Athens, Ga.; the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., Madison, Wis., Beltsville, Md., and Lawrence Livermore Labs' Site 300 just southwest of our old hometown of Tracy, Calif., off South Corral Hollow Rd. (and not too far from our former home in southwest Tracy).

Interesting story, Tracy. Early last year, the Tracy City Council voted down locating NBAF there by a vote of 3-1. My former coworker and one-time editor at the Tahoe Tribune, Jim Gold, is now managing editor at the Stockton Record, which did this reporting more than a year ago.:

Tracy votes down controversial bio lab
But city agrees to back increase in testing explosives
By Jake Armstrong - Record Staff Writer
Stockton Record,
Thursday, February 08, 2007

TRACY - The Tracy City Council voted late Tuesday night to oppose the University of California's bid to locate a federal laboratory that would research incurable diseases on a high-explosives test range southwest of the city.

The 3-1 vote came after months of the public - and even a few council members - prodding the body to take a stand on the controversial research lab proposal, called the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility. Vice Mayor Suzanne Tucker cast the lone opposing vote.

In a twist of irony, moments later, the council by the same margin voted to support an increase in the amount of explosives used in tests on the range known as Site 300, a 7,000-acre parcel owned by the U.S. Department of Energy and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The Tracy story resulted in a court case, because Tucker, the only one who voted for putting the lab in Tracy, sent e-mails to Lawrence Livermore Lab from her personal computer, and the Tracy Press wanted to obtain those e-mails. Tucker claimed she was both acting and communicating as a private citizen and the e-mails should remain private; my former hometown newspaper claimed otherwise. I'm uncertain of the verdict in the case once it went to Sacramento's appeals court.

Two grafs of this law story from Lodi's newspaper, Lodi in northern San Joaquin County:

If the Tracy Press loses the case, officials could use personal e-mail to keep public business hidden, if they were so inclined, Press lawyers say.

Either way, the case would set a precedent and be cited in upcoming cases regarding the text messages and e-mails of public officials.

Posted by: Loomis | August 10, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Loomis: Here's a broader look at the subject from one of your fellow Texans.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 10, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow, me too! Freaky.

I paint nightmares thus;
Water rushes thunderous
Mean-clawed felines hiss.
Rivers grab me for their prey;
Prowling cats drive me from shores.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | August 10, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Shaft has died...

Posted by: TBG | August 10, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Ailurophobes have included Genghis Khan, Hitler, Mussolini and Napoleon.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 10, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Ailurophobes have included Genghis Khan, Hitler, Mussolini and Napoleon.

Posted by: Shilohcat | August 10, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize Isaac Hayes co-wrote Hold On, I'm Coming and Soul Man.

I share the fear of bridges - I hated the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and avoid the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (which means taking a ferry across deep, dark water but somehow is less terrifying to me). I had a colleague from PA who freaked out about the floating bridges we have here. I think she envisioned them moving across the lake or something. We tried to allay her fears, but honestly, it was a windy November day when I avoid those bridges, too...

I love kitties but dogs can be intimidating to me - they can sense the fear.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 10, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow, were they ailurophobes before or after they met you, Shilohcat?

Posted by: Wilbrodog | August 10, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Sad about Isaac Hayes. And he was only 65, which Mudge and I (and so many others) are inching inexorably towards. . . .

I just emailed the article in the Travel section about the certified happiness of Danes to a Danish friend of mine. I think she'll enjoy it, and, well, even be *happy* about it.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 10, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

A firefighter was killed battling the propane blaze in TO. Too sad.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 10, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. Too much to do, too little time, too much stuff. The Boy went to a church-camp reunion Evensong and cookout sans parents this evening (we're no fools) and we had a lovely dinner without him. Now he must be retrieved. According to Ivansdad WOW (world of warcraft) is talking about what is apparently the European Dr. Pepper slogan: "What's the worst that can happen?" I wonder if that's working for them. Seems to me less than convincing, but perhaps the European mindset differs.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 10, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

TBG, Richard Roundtree played Shaft in the movies[ Isaac Hayes wrote and sang the theme. Can you dig it?

A shame about Isaac Hayes. I dig his music and it sounds like he was getting ready to start recording again.

And I always enjoyed his portrayal of Chef, too (I was always a litte perplexed about how that whole South Park thing went down). "Hello, children!"


Posted by: bc | August 10, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Ahh... yes.. you're right, bc. Sorry for the mixup. And yes... I can dig it.

Posted by: TBG | August 10, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I heard a great story about how "Hold On, I'm Coming" got its start. Hayes and his songwriting partner, David Porter, had been working songs one day and things weren't going well. So they took a break. Porter was in the bathroom and Hayes got impatient and yelled at Porter that they needed to get back to work. Porter, from the can, yelled back "Hold on, I'm coming" and he thought that sounded pretty good. I think he was right.

Posted by: pj | August 10, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

But you know that guy Shaft was a bad mothe--

Posted by: TBG | August 10, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks boko and dmd for the ID on Suk Yin Lee. To my mind, reason enough to watch the Olympics on Canuckistani TV.

Does anyone else feel that women's gymnastics should just give up on the music for floor exercies? It seems pointless when every routine is tumbling run, set up for a run, tumbling run, roll around on the floor a couple times, big tumbling run, jazz hands.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 10, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Apropos of my earlier (3:57) link, it was noteworthy that comment on the Bay Bridge accident mostly related to the inconvenience to beachgoers.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 10, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we need to set more sports to music. Make running backs run to Nickelback. Play Vangelis over all the track and field events. Go into Yakkity Sax every time a baseball player gets a hit. Pipe Celine Dion into the natatoriums. It's a whole new paradigm.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 10, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Isaac Hayes was a Scientologist and had no problems with the "offend everybody" ethos of South Park until the Tom Cruise episode. Then all of a sudden they were beyond the pale.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 10, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

This is pretty sad, too, in a more trivial way...,,20217965,00.html

Posted by: TBG | August 10, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

CBC replays Kitajima's swim showing why it was so great. NBC goes on and on about where Hanson went wrong. I know he's a homeboy but it seems a bit strained to concentrate on the guy who came in 4th.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 10, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

wow, that toronto propane explosion video is scary.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 10, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

But, yellojkt, wouldn't setting sports to music make them not sports, by your definition?

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 10, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Shhhh. The gymnastics lovers will catch on to the sarcasm embedded in my modest proposal.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 10, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I just talked to my folks, who just returned to Georgia after a trip to Tennessee. They say that the Russian invasion isn't that big a deal.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 10, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Oops, never mind.

Posted by: Bob-S. | August 10, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Since the wages of a life well-lived are death, just as surely as are the wages of sin, I suggest that you eat ripe watermelon whenever the opportunity presents itself, and inflict random acts of kindness upon strangers whenever possible. Trust me, you'll like it.

Posted by: BobS. | August 10, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse


Shut your mouth!

I'm talkin' 'bout Shaft...

Right on!

[bc grabs a glass of wine and heads for the deck, snorting]

Posted by: bc | August 10, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I like Rick. Everybody like Rick. But Neil Diamond will kick his butt any time they are both appearing in town at the same time. Eventually, Neil will retire (HAHAHA. OK, OK, that was funny. What I meant was: Eventually Neil will DIE), and then maybe Rick will be able to accumulate the massive following that he so surely deserves.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 10, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Bob S.,
I'm in Atlanta right now and those Russians have no chance of figuring out the I-75/285 interchange in Cobb County. Atlanta will never be taken again.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 11, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

A lotta smoke about genetics today:

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 11, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

It's quiet, early morning dark outside kind of quiet. I couldn't sleep, made the coffee, ah that first cup tastes like an old friend. Simple pleasures. Husband is a Starbucks fan, for economy's sake we buy the beans from Costco. The pot has the little grinder on the top, load the beans, put in the little paper filter, fill up the water vessel and turn the whole thing on. The smell alone is delicious, right start for the day. Well, English Breakfast Tea is nice, too. :-)

Wake up, everybody!

Posted by: VintageLady | August 11, 2008 4:22 AM | Report abuse

Rick Springfield's alive???? :-)

Shame about Issac Hayes. Even though I knew the "real" music, my first thought was, "You b@st@rds, you killed Chef!"

I see "Dark Knight" is still #1 at the box office, and it's no puzzle as to why. Ledger was simply astounding. If you haven't seen it, get thee to a theater-ee.

The Russians might never take Atlanta, but they're sure in position to take Tblisi... :-(((((

Hope the Bay Bridge is something approaching normal this morning.

*off-to-work-a-little-early-and-hoping-it's-a-quiet-week-for-all Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 11, 2008 4:54 AM | Report abuse

Nothing like taking off before dawn and straffing the enemy at first light. Yahoooo!

Posted by: Brag | August 11, 2008 5:20 AM | Report abuse

Those teases at NBC make you stay up until midnight to see Michael Phelps get his medal. Here are the things you won't hear at the Olympics:

My faorite: “If you ever needed proof that rhythmic gymnastics is a real sport, there it is.”

Posted by: yellojkt | August 11, 2008 6:07 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Happy to see Vintage Ladt and yello already up, and Brag not only airborne but taking it to the enemy already. Yes, those dawn strafing runs shooting up the bad guys' airfields at this hour are quite satisfying. Then back to HQ behind Arras or Charlevoux for a big breakfast served by a smiling French country girl, a nap, and then the noon briefing for the big sector sweep down around Chemin des Dames. Ahhhh, the memories, the memories...

Watch the women's gymnastics (one almost says "girls"; a couple of those cute Chinese women were 12 years old, I swear, especially Deng Linlin). Felt sorry for He Kexin, who fell off the uneven bars. The American girls were having a tough night, too, with injuries, falls, and out-of-bounds steps on the floor exercises. Still say Shawn Johnson is one heart-breakin' cutey-pie. Felt really bad for Sam Peszak as well as her mother in the stands, who didn't know she was injured.

I *do* wanna see "Dark Night," but somebody told me tickets were 14 bucks. Can that be right? Sheesh.

OK, gotta get this crate taxiing down the runway. Later, mes amis.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 11, 2008 6:23 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, that's what I get for flying without running lights... *SIGH*


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 11, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Goood morning, dawn patrol!

Yello, your 12:08 made me snort. Been there, done that for sure!

About ten days ago, elder dottir purchased a used dining room set and I volunteered to go get it. A trip uptown, no big deal. But she left her wallet at my house when she brought me the check so I took it to her at work, which involved a trip down I-77 to I-485. Nothing quite like the heart flutters one gets on the flyover bridge with the vehicle stability sensor beeping...I was glad to get home.

Posted by: slyness | August 11, 2008 7:07 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, you and the "mes amis", I love it. I love French, and cannot speak it for the life of me, but love to "hear" others that can. Morning, Vintage Lady, I haven't had the cup yet.

Slyness, Scotty, Martooni, morning all.*waving*

It is sad about Hayes. I love his music too.

There was someone ringing my doorbell at three o'clock this morning. I peeped out, but did not open the door. Did not recognize the person. I went back to bed, but have not been back to sleep. I have no idea who this person was, but he had a lot of hair.

Loomis, hope everything turns out well for your husband, and you too.

Have a great day, folks, despite the fact it is MONDAY. Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 11, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

My wife and I were very seasoned at the Atlanta-Charlotte run, but this time coming through I-85 through Spartanburg and Greenville, we didn't recognize any of the exits. Our theory is that some picked up the whole highway and moved it out of the way.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 11, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

That link was hilarious, yello.

Now, on a serious note:

Now, I don't know Timothy Shriver, the columnist, and I haven't seen the movie, but I do have a 40 year intellectually disabled son, and this column speaks for him and for his peers. Here in Virginia we have asked the state legislature to change the name mental retardation to intellectually disability on state departments/programs and documents pertaining to that particular disability. We do it primarily for those individuals who are self advocates, mildly disabled, who would like to have the dignity of explaining their disability to all without the stigma of the label "retard". Actually, I must say here, we do it for all the intellectually disabled who cannot speak for themselves, as well. Current motto for this campaign is "we're not retarded any more!" This doesn't change the disability, but it does give the ID community an easier identity, so to speak.

Hope you read the piece...

Posted by: VintageLady | August 11, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Good piece VL, thank you for linking to this. Our measure of ourselves might be how we treat the most vulnerable among us.

We are all one

car (bike, skating, fall in the tub) accident
brain tumor
illness like stroke, meningitis, or other brain disorder

way from being intellectually disabled ourselves.

TBG -- only one off-the-bridge-into-the-water even since in 1952. Hope this helps. I can tell you that you must never, never, never, never read Joyce Carol Oates' book

Black Water

Posted by: College Parkian | August 11, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

New kit

Posted by: CP | August 11, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

VL = thanks for pointing out that article.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 11, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... having blood drawn this morning so I can't drink my morning tea until we're through (the lab doesn't open until 8:30). I think I'll need a full infusion of Starbucks coffee after.

VintageLady... thanks for posting that article. My kids' school has a large program for ID kids and while most are not mainstreamed into the classes, they are certainly mainstreamed into the school environment. I think it's good for all the students as they become friends and learn about each other.

And I've noticed that the "regular" kids (is there such a thing?) feel very protective of the ID kids in their community.

Posted by: TBG | August 11, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

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