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Friendship, Maine

Spent a few days in Friendship. Got a hankering for lobsters and went down to the dock [a different one than pictured here -- more industrial]. About halfway down the dock you come to some buildings where there's a "No Trespassing: Lobstermen Only" sign, which I coveted for my garage/mancave. A helpful fellow sold us a bunch of lobsters, fresh out of the water, for less than what burgers sell for in DC.


There's been lots of rain in Maine, making everything not only verdant but also really green. I love that combination! The rain got a little tedious but when on a road trip you have to maintain the right attitude, which is, "Roll with it."


There's enough quaintness in every direction to scorch your eyeballs.


This is technically over in Topsham, some unpronounceable river, seen from the deck of the Sea Dog Brewing Co.


The market in Friendship. Hard not to drop in at least a couple of times a day.


Mmmmm....Very tempting.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 11, 2008; 4:49 PM ET
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Next: The Tasmanian Megafauna


Hmmmm... So it's true then?
The rain in Maine falls mainly on the plain?
Still, looks pretty, uh, pretty...

Posted by: Dmon | August 11, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I can't bring myself to announce a New Kit when today's Front Page visitors are in evidence...


Joel, Topsham? That's the Androscoggin, of course. Delorme's store was just down the road if you needed a map. Didja need an extra trailer for the L.L. Bean factory store haul? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 11, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Mmmm, fresh lobstah!

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 11, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Joel.

What gorgeous pictures. I think that second one deserves the adjective lush as well. It looks like someplace where, as a given, the streams are full of turtles.

I have always been told that Maine looks a lot like Washington State, and those pics confirm it. (Maybe it's all the rain.) That painfully quaint picture could have been take from my Mom's property on Puget Sound. Of course, Maine seems to have a lot more lobsters. Although Washington State does have more real big slugs. So I guess it all evens out.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 11, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Don't let bc see that last picture. He'll be on the next plane up to Maine.

Posted by: pj | August 11, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

There are times I consider volunteering my mad copy editing skilz...

From the latest Bay Bridge article:

"The truck's tractor had been removed from the water by this afternoon and authorities were awaiting a larger crain to remove the trailer."


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 11, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, looking at those pictures again, I assume bc will have to fly Trans-Treetop Airlines to get there.

Posted by: pj | August 11, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Maine isn't QUITE as bumpy as Washington state, RDP.

'Cept for Katahdin, of course, but it's more like Maine's hickey.


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 11, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Maybe bc could take a trane to get there, Scotty.

Okay, I'll stop now.

Posted by: pj | August 11, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow, just checked out the Sea Dog Brewing Company Website. It's Ale heaven!

Joel, I hope you tried the "Old Gollywobbler Brown Ale." I mean, how could one go wrong?

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 11, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

He could always fly a P-3 into Brunswick, pj... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 11, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I also think these pictures are beautifully composed. I especially like the way the purple flowers come into the foreground in that shot of the bridge.

Although I must admit my disappoint that none of the shots feature either Laptops or Cell Phones.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 11, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Also, 'afore I forget. Joel, once again the dynamic duo of Mantueffel and Gibson did a bang-up job serving as guest hosts. (Although I don't think referring to them as "Manson," as suggested by Ms. Gibson is gonna really catch on. At least I hope not.)

Truly, they have become the Joan Rivers to your Johnny Carson. I mean, circa 1983 when Carson wasn't dead and Rivers was still mostly flesh.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 11, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Lobster & fish chowder. This looks authentic and delicious, too. I suspect the fish stock is key.

Posted by: Jumper | August 11, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I forgot the link!

Posted by: Jumper | August 11, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Ooh! Ooh! I had lobster for dinner last night, so I'm on topic! So it was freshly steamed from the ShopRite instead of in Maine, still delicious and I felt really good afterwards (doing search on vitamins, minerals, etc., contained therein. I must have some deficiency that got satisfied).

This afternoon, I went to the library which always feels good. Came home, read 1 entire book instead of doing something I had to do. Kind of like a vacation at home.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Posted by: dbG | August 11, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Backboodling, enjoying watching Yoki and CP rise to the occasion.

Who would like to do imaginary lunch tomorrow?

I'm thinking, Maine. Rocky beach, Adirondack chairs, fresh lemonade and lobster rolls. . . but that's just my vision. Feel free to chime in with fresh tomatoes or counter with little tables on the widow's walk of a B&B.

Posted by: dbG | August 11, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I love Maine - in the summer, anyway. I always say that Washington state is just like Maine, only the trees and mountains are bigger in WA. And Maine has better lobsters.

dbG, I have to read two whole books before they're due back at the library Saturday.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 11, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Would you like some bumbleberry crumble with that lunch dbG. I would also bring some cinnamon dolce latte.

Posted by: dmd | August 11, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I have fresh blueberries and peaches. What is bumbleberry? That sounds almost as good as cloudberry jam...

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 11, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Maine. . . When I was going to law school in New Hampshah, a bunch of us would drive down the road to just over the bordah and pig out on lobstah (lobstah out on, um, pig??? Nah) -- they were cheap then and simply scrumptious.

I had a weird thing happen to me this evening. Was turning around in my kitchen to go to the plastic bag perched on the door handle to tie it up and put it in the trash, when my ankle rolled and I went crashing to the floor. It was one of those falls where you can't do a thing about it as you're falling, falling, falling. I'm bruised, but not bloodied, and the best thing is, none of my knees dislocated. The hardest part of the whole thing was trying to get myself up off the floor. Geez. This is the "not fun" part of getting ancient.

A little boodle sympaki would be ever so appreciated. (Thanks in advance)

Gonna go limping off to mute commercials in the midst of which I hope to see some swimming and gymnastics (unlike my own half gainer on my uneven parallel floor).

See ya in the morning.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 11, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

MMMmmmmmmm. You know you're welcome even without it, dmd, but don't let that stop you!

I'll bring zinnias from my garden mixed with fresh herbs as the greens.

Off to bed now, late, but keep thinking.

Posted by: dbG | August 11, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Joel, you were in Friendship, Maine? *whopping big sigh*

OK, this may take some 'splaining. Among us naval architects and wooden boat enthusiasts (read: obsessive fanatics), Friendhsip, ME, is the home of one THE all-time greatest naval architects who ever lived, a man none of you have ever heard of, Wilbur Morse, designer of a type of boat none of you have ever heard of, the Friendship sloop ( named because of...etc.). To we acolytes of the sacred rag-bagging angelic choir, many, many of us consider that the Friendship sloop is without question the finest, most beautiful sailboat ever created by the hand of man. In short, Joel, it was like you had visited Lourdes, and didn't know it. Or been to Rome and had a Slurpee right outside the Cistine Chapel without realizing where you were. You were at Ground Zero, the most holy of holy locations in the Wooden Boat Pantheon.

Here is a link to the Friendship Sloop Society, and what a Friendship sloop looks like. If you click on the "Ou Sloops" link on the left, and then click on the top link called Friendship Sloop Registry, you will be taken to a list of Friendship sloops. Scroll down to No. 28. This is a 22-footer named "Bounty," designed by Pres Gannet. In about 1970, this boat was being offered for sale in Mamamaroneck, NY. I drove to Mamamaroneck from Philly with my parents to look at her. The owner was asking $4,000, a lot of money for a young guy with his first job in 1970. She was in pretty good shape--and one of the loveliest of her breed. Of course, she was wood, and therefore required all the devotion that requires.

I wanted her, desperately. No boat loan company would remotely loan anybody the money to buy an old antique boat, no matter how much of a classic -- and not to some young kid to boot. So I would need my parents' help to get a loan for her. I already knew a lot about boats, had been in the merchant marine, had piloted my parents' 38-foot houseboat, had been around boats -- and a few sailboats -- all my life. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to own an old original Friendship sloop.

I pined for that boat. In the end, my parents talked me out of it. It wasn't a "sensible" thing to do. It meant a lot of work. It meant a fair amoiunt of money every year. The boat only slept two people (which suited me just fine: I was figuring-- at that time -- on me and Natalie Wood). They came up with every argument known to mankind on why this was a bad idea. In the end, I listened to them.

They were so, so so, so, so wrong. Still, I don't hold a grudge against them for their well-intentioned advice. But I have never forgiven myself. Not ever. Sometimes your parents just don't know sh--.

You will note that in the registry, Bounty was destroyed at some point. I don't know where or when or how. But I've known this for a decade or more, and mourn that boat every day. She was a work of art, and she was nearly mine. Maybe if I'd owned her she'd still be afloat today. I still have four or five photographs I took of her that day in Mamaroneck.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 11, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Bumbleberry is a mixture of berries - and any kind of crumble works for me, was going to suggest strawberry rhubarb, but bumbleberry seemed more appropriate for Maine. I am not a big blueberry fan with would be the obvious choice.

Posted by: dmd | August 11, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

mostly, surely you can bring them and turn pages idly during lunch. You can have the high-backed white wicker rocker if you want.

ftb, oh no! But oh, yes on bruised but not bloodied, and still located. We shall fawn over you at lunch and bring you dark chocolate, good for bruising. :-)

Posted by: dbG | August 11, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

ftb, is the ankle okay? Jeez, I hate it when those things happen. At least you were inside. Last time I did the same, I turned my foot on a rock and fell flat on my face in the street. Cracked a bone in that foot and hobbled for a month. Yes, you have my sympathy and relief!

dbG, can I come to lunch? I'll make hushpuppies, they will go great with lobstah.

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

For those who care, there is an upcoming new Byrne - Eno effort.

Posted by: Jumper | August 11, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

ftb, sounds like a nasty fall - glad to hear no permanent damage - faxing a nice cup of Chai Tea to enjoy while you watch the Olympics.

Good time to remind the women to get a Bone Density.

Posted by: dmd | August 11, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

if "libracation"
sticks like that dreck "staycation"
"truthiness" be damned!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

That sure is a pretty -lookin' boat, Mudge. I notice that there is a page of Friendship sloops for sale. I also notice that not a single one of them lists a suggested price range. If you have to ask...

Posted by: PlainTim | August 11, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Ah Mudge, wooden boats. We were at Mystic Seaport today and and were talking to one of the staff about their work restoring old wooden boats. She said that within 50 years, there won’t be anyone left who can do the work. Saw an incredibly beamy sailboat called a ‘sandbagger,’ it was beautiful.

Glad you’re back Joel, sorry our New England weather has been so rainy. We rode through some downpours today getting to Mystic but the sun was out most of the day once we were there. Went aboard the Nautilus sub in Groton, went to the Mystic aquarium and the Seaport, we are exhausted and my brain is stuffed full.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 11, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Seems to be the time of year to take an up-state East Coast vacation... We just got back from Newport (with stops upland enroute) in a one-day whopping drive. Very lovely, but too much in a day.
Rainy. Yes. But lovely too. Cool in the evening and warm in the day - even the rain was the right temp!
BTW: what's a "Front Page Visitor"? Is that some kind of snarky thing to say, or...?

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

Evening all
I was eyeing up that wood next to the barn. Here it is the middle of August and I have yet begun to cut,actually still a good bit left from last year.

Yesterday's party was so great,the rain split north and south and we had a perfect day.Lotsa food,family and the bestest of friends. Who could ask for anything better.

Off in a bit to enjoy tonight's light show,that half moon means viewing might be later. But I didn't enjoy seeing it come up as I was watering the garden.

Look up folks,should be a good night!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 11, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

ftb, can I fax you some Epsom Salt to soak your ankle in? I rolled mine in the parking lot of the town hall two years ago when we went to register to vote after moving here. It was months before it felt right - possibly because I was too busy to care for it properly and ignored it instead. Don’t do as I did. ;-)

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

ftb... sorry about your spill. Hope the ankle feels better quickly. It's tough hobbling about on a sore ankle.

I'm free for imaginary lunch tomorrow. I'll bring the vanilla ice cream to go with the bumbleberry crumble.

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

I think that lunch requires a couple of chilled bottles of Prosecco. Put into a tall, fluted glass a half shot of vodka and two melon-ball scoops of lemon sorbet, fill to top with Prosecco. Oh, to die for.

FTB, sorry about the ankle.

Sneaks, I've been to Mystic a couple of times; I know that sandbagger very well. If my first love is the Friendship sloop, my second is the catboat, of which the sandbagger is an extreme variant of. Have owned two catboats in my life (still got my second, though she's been up on blocks for 10 years), although technically she's sloop-rigged. Just love sloop rigs. A sloop rig on a cat hull is the best of both worlds. Some day maybe I'll get around to finishing her restoration.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 11, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Dr G and I stopped in Mystic on our honeymoon 25 years ago and stayed a couple of days there. We spent a night on the Mystic Clipper. We loved the Seaport and had fun at the planetarium.

We also stayed a night in Mamaroneck, N.Y, on our way home. The next night, my new husband took me into NYC for "dinner and a show."

We ate at McDonalds and saw a movie.

Posted by: TBG | August 11, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Ah love, ain't it wonderful, TBG? Ya do what you can afford at the time, and enjoy it regardless.

Posted by: slyness | August 11, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on
Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on

Sloopy was lookin' good in that friendly town
And my ol' parents, yeah, tried to put my Sloopy down
Sloopy, I listened then, but they had no clue
'Cause you know, Sloopy girl,
I'm still in love with you

And so I sing out
Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on
Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on

Sloopy I see your sails, yeah
When I pass by windmills
And when breezes lift your white dress, yeah
You know it gives me the chills

Sloopy I still see you sailing,
Sailing on the sea
I say don't worry Sloopy, girl
You belong to me

And so I sing out
Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on
Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on
(yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)

Sloopy let us to sundown, girl
Dream along with me
Sloopy, we are home bound, girl
Glide along with me, yeah

Come on Sloopy (come on, come on)
Oh come on Sloopy (come on, come on)
Oh come on Sloopy (come on, come on)
Oh come on Sloopy (come on, come on)

Well it feels so good (come on, come on)
You know it feels so good (come on, come on)
Well shake your sails, shake 'em Sloopy (come on, come on)
Shake 'em, shake 'em, shake 'em yeah (come on, come on)

Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on
(yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)
Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on
(yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)
Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Hi Dmon,

About to leave to pickup a child, but the short answer to your question is this; a front page alert means that the blog is now posted on the WaPo homepage.

Sometimes people cruise by an leave firebomb comments or find that our homey and eccentric conversations here are stupid.

So, tell us more about yourself...welcome and consider staying put.

Off to pick up child.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 11, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

To enlarge upon College Parkian's reply, Dmon, "Front Page Visitor" is a bit snarky, indeed. It refers specifically to those whose reading of the posted Kit consists only of reading the title, which so incenses the visitor that he simply must say something angry. These posts are identifiable from their impression that the blog purports to be only a straight-news reportage, with no sarcasm, satire, nor witticism. Pretty easy to spot. Angry refutations and folks who disagree strongly aren't really FPV's, just folks who TEND TO TYPE IN CAPITAL LETTERS!!!!!!! And, y'know, their ilk. Gotta watch out for those ilk. Big ilk droppings everywhere. Nasty to step on. Worse if you slip.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 11, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Phelps just won his third gold, setting a new world's record by a full second. Nine career, tieing the all-time gold, and with 2 other medals also ties Spitz in all-time medals. USA's Vanderkaay wins the bronze.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 11, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Natalie Coughlin wins the gold, Hoelzer the bronze in 100m backstroke.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 11, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Piersol wins gold, Stevers wins silver for 1-2 finish in 100m men's backstroke, Americans winning four golds in a row in this event. And winning three golds in three races in last ten minutes.

Piersol sets new world's second as well. And he had a bad start.

6 medals in three races, three world's records.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 11, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Alas, Joel kitted out on me as I was writing something lengthy about women's gymnastics. Check end of past kit.

Summary: short women ARE more prone to arthritis and general injury, gymnastics be forded. Two medical references on exercise and growth included.

Prevention of injury at the elite level may be unavoidable as long as children are generally heavier and taller than in generations past, but screening at the junior level could at least remove the youngsters at highest risk of injury.

As Mudge says, the Olympics isn't the problem. I do disagree that bigger gymnasts could do gymnastics safely; even with improved floors there is still the longer reaction time and inertia factor that makes larger gymnasts much more likely to take a misstep or to be hurt by such.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 11, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

nice photos Joel... we're still waiting for your beachie photos from Oz... what happened to those ones? you promised, rocks and lots of them.

Posted by: Miss Toronto | August 11, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

A little pome via 3QD (hey, where is that blog roll?)

Jim Culleny

A short-haired yellow mutt
standing at the side of the road
wearing a day-glo
orange scarf around his neck
so as not to get whacked
steps boldly out as I approach
as if to test for interspecies respect.

I slow and stop, roll my window down,
and bark, "Cool scarf."

He looks me in the eye
turns on his heel
lifts his leg to pee on a wheel
then trots up the hill to his house
for a little water and chow
wondering where his day went,
then circles the rug twice
looking for that sweet spot
drops and dreams
and barks in his sleep
thanking me for my

Posted by: frostbitten | August 11, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

"but screening at the junior level could at least remove the youngsters at highest risk of injury."

Except that we live in the real world. Who is going to do this "screening"? Where do they get their legal authority to do said screening? Will they have police powers? Can they get court orders? How are you gonna stop a determined parent and a determined coach who disagree (rightly or wrongly) with this "screening"?

And I haven't heard a more ominous phrase than "remove the youngsters at highest risk." Who is going to do this here "removing"? How ya gonna do it? Who is gonna do it? How are you going to determine "highest risk"? I wanna see the day when someone has the "authority" to step in and tell one 11-year-old that she has to stop training because "we think she's at higher risk" than Sally, who is two inches shorter.

All this discussion of medical and anatomical "facts" doesn't mean a damned thing. This is a free country, and no one has any legal standing whatsoever to intervene in any way with this stuff. And they sure as hell aren't going to go along with any such pie-in-the-sky idealistic stuff like this in China or Russia or wherever.

Yes, Wilbrod, clay or grass tennis courts would be very nice on the knees. But there are a gazillion concrete ones in existence already. And right or wrong, no one is ever going to change that. It just isn't going to happen in a million years.

What are you gonna do about the gazillion concrete basketball courts in every city and town and driveway in America? Pass a law that children and young adults can only play on wood floors? That concrete is henceforth banned? Try telling that to some inner city school district that they have to tear up and destroy their outdoor concrete courts because they are hurting children's knees.

All the facts and all the medical research do not mean a single darned thing. They can be right as rain--and they are utterly useless, at least in terms of providing guidance for public (and private) policy.

Nobody is gonna screen somebody's 11-year-old daughter and convince her high-intensity parents to stop sending her to gymnastics class. Or ballet. Or basketball camp. Or anything.

We cannot make the world totally risk-free and child-proof. Even if we had the means, we don't have the right to enforce it. There has to be some balance and some common sense.

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

With 50 minutes rest, Phelps wins the semi-final butterfly, setting a new world's record. He trailed during the first two laps, then blew past the Japanese guy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 11, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Ah, to buy fresh lobstah in the evening, have 'em cooked and eat 'em right there on the docks...

Those were the days.
I wonder why that practice is less common now - some sort of liability, perhaps?

Haven't been to Maine in a few years (more like a decade, now that I think about it), this is the time of year to go, of course.

And don't forget those Blueberries for Sal.

pj, those old Chevies are nice (yes, I knew what they were by sight), but I s'pect they might be a mite rusty underneath. Still, they look quite tempting as Joel points out. That verdant green/white convertible in the middle looks like it could be a diamond in the rough. [Sorry for that mashup metaphor]

I wonder how far it is from Friendship to Mianus?

Going to have to sit out on the deck for a little while this evening, watch the shooting stars and ponder that for a bit.

Salut', ya'all.


Posted by: bc | August 12, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, the Little People's Association requires medical clearance in order to play sports. Most school sports teams do.

And gazillions of concrete courts may exist, but so do gazillions of fields. Think about it. Concrete basketball courts are fine for playing pick-up games, nothing wrong with that. Still, I've never seen a school hold an actual intermural game on outdoors concrete courts. There is a competition standard.

By screening, I mean examination to preclude cartilage or other growth disorders, scoloisis, etc.

Otherwise, the medical screening standards should be the same for any other sport in the USA.

As for the idealistic nonsense, well, USA has consistently fielded more elite athletes to the Olympics and has hauled in lots of medals.

Maybe we're doing something right by requiring our athletes to play AT WILL and having basic medical fitness in order to play sports.

I understand as a parent of daughters, you believe in full participation. I agree, that'd be a perfect world, if I could play basketball at under 5 feet along with everybody else and not be made fun of or get an elbow in my face.

After all if I got the skills and can shoot, why shouldn't I play?

Realistically, I don't care if a gymnast is over-tall at age 11 if she can do the skills required for competition.

But she shouldn't be allowed (or due to parents, MADE) to do so if she's already dealing with injury, or is already struggling because of other issues that increase her risk of injury (like a friggin' ear infection throwing her balance off).

I said nothing about being too tall. (Although if you're tall enough to risk conking yourself on the uneven bars, that's an easy "NO".)

You can be ANY height and still have skeletal disorders or other problems that make high-impact sports inadvisible. It's just that smaller people have a higher risk of such issues, and they are who do gymnastics.

It's like saying that basketball players shouldn't be screened for growth hormone excesses.

Anybody remember Gheorge Muresan? He was tall due to growth hormone excess due to a pituitary tumor. It gave him the height to play basketball but could have killed him if they hadn't found and treated it. He got that treatment HERE in the USA, not back in Russia.

His promising career was derailed by injuries related to his pituitary issues, not basketball issues.

Same situation happened for Sun Ming Ming, 7 feet 6 and who could slam dunk a basketball without ever leaving the ground. He needed the same surgery to save his life. He wound up playing minor league basketball instead of in the NBA.

We do some things right in addressing athletes' health issues. In those two men's cases, basketball was the way for their health issues to be recognized and their surgeries funded.

What is SO wrong about that? I'm saying that some of the so-called injury rates in gymnastics are related to undiagnosed skeletal issues, not gymnastics itself, and these young girls would develop the problems no matter what sport they played.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 12, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

...back to school...

ed and white/blue suede shoes
I'm Uncle Sam /how do you do?
Gimme five/I'm still alive
Ain't no luck/I learned to duck
Check my pulse/it don't change
Stay seventy two/come shine or rain
Wave the flag/pop the bag
Rock the boat/skin the goat

Wave that flag
Wave it wide and high
Done come and gone
My oh my

I'm Uncle Sam /that's who I am
Been hidin' out/in a rock and roll band
Shake the hand that shook the hand
Of P.T. Barnum/and Charlie Chan
Shine your shoes/light your fuse
Can you use/them ol' U.S. Blues?
I'll drink your health/share your wealth
Run your life/steal your wife
Wave that flag
Wave it wide and high
Summertime done
Come and gone
My oh my
Back to back/chicken shack
Son of a gun/better change your act
We're all confused/what's to lose?
You can call this song/the United States Blues
Wave that flag
Wave it wide and high
Summertime done come and gone
My oh My
Summertime done come and gone
My oh My

Posted by: jack | August 12, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Ilk droppings = ilk mud (as dog droppings = dog mud?)
Is that right?

Posted by: Dmon | August 12, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Your dog leaves mud? Mine leaves stinking mounds of poo. Still, if you are speaking euphemistically -- why then, yes, ilk mud must be exactly what I mean!

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

some of my favorite childhood summer vacation memories occurred on louds island, which is close to friendship. the lobsterman who lived on the island (in the summer) also doubled as the ferryman. you could go down to his house at the dock any night and buy fresh catch. my cousins still have places there and go each summer.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 12, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning you all!

Joel, we visited Camden, Maine a few years ago in September and it was so quaint, so charming, I didn't want to leave. In my view September is the perfect month for traveling, b/c most folks are back to work and back to school and it is safe for we dodders to get out on the road. While there we had a small cruise on a scooner, Six masted, does that sound right? There were a couple dozen of us aboard all slickered up for winds and weather, lovely.

Later in the week we went on to the White Mountains in NH, and sure enough, while riding in the sooty old cogwheel train up the mountain, we got mooned by a hiker, am told that is the tradition.

How glorious New England is in the fall, clear and sharp, not so much the soft, blurred colors of our south.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 12, 2008 6:17 AM | Report abuse

SCC: schooner. hooked on phonetics. :-(

Posted by: VintageLady | August 12, 2008 6:24 AM | Report abuse

ftb, so sorry to hear of your fall--I've had more than my share of stupid stumbles and tumbles and am always grateful when I can walk away. May your bruises heal quickly. And consider doing some exercises to strengthen your getting up from the floor muscles--that situation won't get better by itself, but muscles respond pretty quickly if you give them some workout time.

From yesterday's gymnastics discussion:
CP paraphrasing Mudge says " an Olympic ban would do little practical good without an overhaul of the youth competition culture generally." and I would just like to point out (briefly, because I have to run out the door very soon) that it was the Olympics that created the youth competition culture in girls gymnastics. When I was a kid nobody took gymnastics. The nearest we had was "ballet-tap-acrobatics" and that acrobatics class was just cartwheels, rolls and handsprings for the advanced.

Gotta go!

Posted by: kbertocci | August 12, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

G'morning all. Autumn is in the air, it's a cool 62 this morning. A wonderful temperature for a walk, which I'll take in a few minutes.

Kber, when I was a kid, there were a few intermural sports for girls and that was it. I suppose we can thank Title VII for creating sports opportunities for our daughters. Mr. T's niece plays competitive softball and has been a swimmer since she was a preschooler. My girls and I are not athletic but the Geekdottir played church league basketball and loved it.

On to the day!

Posted by: slyness | August 12, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Bonjour la Boodle (or is it le Boodle?)

Special French greeting pour ma chere Cassandra.

Vroom, vroom. trying not to lag too far behind the dawn patrol. No one watching my six. Aaaarrggg.

Posted by: Brag | August 12, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Goodmorning Boodlers! Got up at 4:00 am this morning and dragged Ms Lion and one of the cubs out back to watch the shooting stars. For the first time in our lives, Ms Lion and I drank hot coffee and te together as we shared the chilly August morning. Perfect. Wife and son made a dozen wishes.

Posted by: DandyLion | August 12, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. I'm arriving late, but can't stay long. I have to get ready for a funeral this morning.

The pictures are just beautiful. I've always wanted to go to Maine. And I don't know why, but looking at the pictures I can see why. The pictures look like post cards with all that greenery. It looks peaceful and calm, and so inviting. I think my blood pressure probably went down a notch just looking at the pictures. Great, JA.

ftb, I'm sorry about your fall. I hope you don't put too much pressure on the ankle. I have a bad ankle, got mine from trying to play basketball with kids when I was in school. Since yesterday I've been limping and wearing bedroom shoes, and I don't really know the cause.

Morning, Slyness, Scotty, Martooni, and Mudge. Morning to all. *waving*

The weather here is cool also, Slyness. It probably will not stay that way. It was pretty warm yesterday, but bright and sunny. Just a beautiful day to be outside.

Have a wonderful day, folks. Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 12, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Csssandra - I agree. Those pics really are beautiful.

I hope people have been paying attention to what's happening in Georgia (the one without the peaches.) This is a brutally complex situation whose roots, unfortunately, lie in the intense nationalism and blood hatreds characteristic of the region.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 12, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. There is a powerful celestial object projecting intense radiation on us this morning. It's supposed to be covered by clouds later this pm but for now it's pretty bad out there. I don't know if the grass will survive this 24 hours drought.

And who needs frikking copy editors?
"The injury-depleted U.S. men's gymnastics team won a most improbable bronze medal Tuesday, but not until they put coaches, relatives, supporters and themselves through an emotional ringer."
And "ringer" is repeated in the lede to the article on the front page as well. Sheesh.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 12, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. SD, Maybe this was a professional snuck in to act emotional?

Maybe not.

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

g'morning all. Cool and rainy here this morning. The clouds did in my plans for a little sky watching last night but we needed the moisture. Even my impatiens in very deep shade were a little wilted yesterday afternoon. I don't think I'd had to give them a drink from the watering can since they were planted.

ftb-I hope you're feeling better already. I would like to know how you managed to fall in private. The last 3 military social functions Mr. F and I have attended I've managed to trip and fall on my way into the party-witnessed by a crowd. I really must practice wearing grown up shoes.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 12, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

If they were put through a "ringer" it was probably in Mianus.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 12, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' ftb an Ace bandage, an ice pack, a a 55-gallon drum of Advil and a bumbleberry coffee cake* :-)

'Mudge, a boat and Natalie Wood? I'm sure that sounded good at the time, but...

*not-too-terrible-Tuesday Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 12, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

According to me Mum I got my arm stuck in the ringer when I was little. The safety didn't pop the thing open and she had to get the next door neighbour to pry it apart with a crowbar. I don't remember the incident but from the way Mun told it emotions were running high.
I hope the writer was using the word 'ringer' in this sense as it's to early to contemplate running things through ringers in the other. Emotional or not.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 12, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

SCC: ftb, I thought I added some get well wishes to my post last night, and was horrified to see that they did not post.

Please accept them now, and apologies for whatever shortcomings - and there is a long, long list - I may exhibit in the future.

Fie upon me.


Posted by: bc | August 12, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the pictures are beautiful. Not just the subject matter but also the composition; very impressive. I'm using the second one as my desktop background. Notify the lawyers, go ahead.

Maine memories: the summer before my senior year in college, my roommate, Judy, had a big red Cadillac convertible. One Saturday on a whim we put our two bicycles in the back seat (did I say, it was a BIG car) and headed up the road to Maine. Think Thelma and Louise, without the drama. We found a nice little town, rode our bikes around for a couple of hours, and drove home. On the way back it started to rain, but because of the bikes we couldn't put the top up. We just had to drive fast and dodge the raindrops. That was a great day.

I learned something, too: don't try to take out your contact lenses in a convertible going 55 miles an hour down the highway. (What was I thinking?!)

Posted by: kbertocci | August 12, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Which reminds me.
Does anyone know where the expression, "quicker than a short sh!t through a long Swede" comes from?

Posted by: Boo999 | August 12, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I'm back from the walk. I saw a deer, actually the back end of a deer running away from me. The neighborhood dogs saw it too and were barking as I passed. When I got home, I opened a couple of windows to let the cool air in. Amazing, the difference between this August and last August. There is so much to be grateful for.

Posted by: slyness | August 12, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Wow, we made a pretty poor showing at the Dawn Patrol muster this morning; and we left poor Brag up their without a wingman or any cover whatsoever. Hope no Fokkers jumped him. (No, don't touch it.)

Vintage Lady, I don't think your schooner was a six-master. Only 10 of them were ever built, and the last one, the Wyoming, sank in 1924. our boat was either the four-masted "Mary Todd" out of Bar Harbor (though she might have been sailing out of Camden, say for the annual Schooner Festival), which has a white hull, of the three-masted "Victory Chimes," which has a black hull with a white topsides above the deck/scupper line (OK, top two or three feet, for you lubbers). Both beautiful ships. I once took a week-long cruise in the schooner "Bill of Rights" out of Newport, RI; a day or two out, we ran across the schooner "Shenendoah," and kept company with her for a couple days. One day we raced her to Nantucket harbor, beating her to the Brant Point lighthouse by about a hundred yards. That was quite a day, I'll say. (At anchor at night, both ships had to have passengers stanging watch to repel borders. For real. Both schooners had traditions of sending boarding parties aboard the other ship and doing pranks like TP-ing the wheel, etc. I had the midnight-2 a.m. watch.

Both schooners also each had a small black powder cannon aboard, and one day in Narragansett Bay the crew loaded the cannon with powder and a tennis ball for a projectile, and had target practice, which was really cool. The tennis ball would fly out of the cannon and about 50 or 100 yards into flight the seems would rip, and the tennis ball would go thwap thwap thwap for another 50 yards or so before dropping into the water. They also had a flintlock pistol aboard, which passengers took turns getting to fire. When we came upon the Shenendoah (now headquartered out of the Black Dog restuarant/store in Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard) one of the passengers adopted talk-like-a-pirate accent and suggested that we "fire a Slazenger across her bows." We didn't.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 12, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

SCC: about 9 typos in that post.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 12, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Long day yesterday. Left home at 9:30 a.m., got home from the Med Center at 8:30 p.m. I no sooner got my husband settled and cooked him a light dinner of scrambled eggs and toast, than I had to return to a pharmacy within the Med Center to pick up prescriptions needed last night, so I didn't get home until 10:30 p.m.

Putting up my feet for an hour in Friendship, Maine seems like a lovely mental escapist vacation. Think I'll take the fantasy for a few moments today and run with it.

Posted by: Loomis | August 12, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

My 8:41 AM post would make more sense if I made it clear that I had my arm jammed in a washing machine ringer, not one of these:

Slang. a. a racehorse, athlete, or the like entered in a competition under false representation as to identity or ability.

Australian. a highly skilled sheep shearer.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 12, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Mary Todd is also the name of a bright yellow day lily. Good performer at moderate height, with rather fat and wide a wide hooped skirt of antebellum times.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 12, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Awww, you guys are so sweet. Thanks so much for all your sympaki. As it turns out (hmm, strange phrase, considering what happened), the ankle is fine (and I was much more concerned about my knees, anyway) and the body hurt much, much more last night than it does now.

So, the chocolate (especially), the chai tea (especially) and all the other goodies you all faxed to me (especially) must have done the trick. Thanks again, ever so much.

I went to bed before the men's gymnastics went on -- much too tired to stay up way past my bedtime again. Saw this morning that they got bronze. But I did catch the swimming. Such fun to watch.

Gonna get the ever creaking body to work. And may you do the same (creaking or not, and, well, working or not).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 12, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Boko999 - That was the basis of my joke about the emotional ringer. What they meant to say is an emotional Wringer.

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

Veering completely off-topic (but possibly in danger of Repeat Boodling), I always assumed this was the case:

From Ellen Nakashima's article for the Washington Post:
"Several Internet and broadband companies have acknowledged using targeted-advertising technology without explicitly informing customers, according to letters released yesterday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

And Google, the leading online advertiser, stated that it has begun using Internet tracking technology that enables it to more precisely follow Web-surfing behavior across affiliated sites."

Here's more from the article that might raise a few Boodler's eyebrows:

"In their letters, Broadband providers Knology and Cable One acknowledged that they recently ran tests using deep-packet-inspection technology provided by NebuAd to see whether it could help them serve up more relevant ads, but their customers were not explicitly alerted to the test. Cable One is owned by The Washington Post Co.

Both companies said that no personally identifiable information was used and that they have ended the trials. Cable One has no plans to adopt the technology, spokeswoman Melany Stroupe said. 'However, if we do,' she said, 'we want people to be able to opt in.'"

I think I could develop something to correlate registration with that kind of info pretty quickly.

Consider that using the Internet is like using public highways these days. Your movements can be tracked in all sorts of ways, and even though you're in your car or in your browser, remember that what you're doing in either case may not be as private as you think.


Posted by: bc | August 12, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Wright you are, RD.
I didn't read further than SD's post before boodling and so missed your and frosti's reply. Plus, you're wright about wringer. My bad, I'm overrought.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 12, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I didn't want to pile on to that copy editor omission by adding they screwed up "the men's team...they...." It should have been "the men's" But after ringer/wringer, what the hell.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 12, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Someone posted Hang on sloopy for Mr. Mudge last night. Cute. Brought back fond memories of football games at Ohio State. Thanks.
Go Buckeyes!

Posted by: DNA Girl | August 12, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they use a  hite House type riter.

Posted by: omni | August 12, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

SCC use => used

And preview helped me not at all.

Posted by: omni | August 12, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. After too many 100 degree days (a week in the nineties was a relief) we have rejoiced in more than a day of rain. It is expected to move out today but was oh! so refreshing. The cloud cover began Thursday, so no meteor showers for us, but the real showers were a fair trade.

Thank you, Joel, for the splendid pictures. I breify visited Maine and always wanted to spend more time there. Once again, you allow me to improve my experience through vicarious living.

Firsttimeblogger, I'm glad to hear your ankle is better. For all you women Boodlers of a certain age, or getting there, the June 2 New Yorker had a "Shouts and Murmurs" by Jenny Allen called "Awake". It is based on the tendency to wake up mid-night caused by hormonal changes as we age. I read it last night (I'm behind) and dissolved in helpless laughter about halfway through. I shared it with the fencing coach last night and am taking it in to work.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 12, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes, Ivansmom, nocturnia. I take soy to overcome that particular syndrome. It works most nights, except when I eat half a (small) watermelon at supper. Then I have to get up regardless.

Posted by: slyness | August 12, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I've been to Maine once in my life. About twenty years ago. Camping in Acadia.

I've had fresh lobster once in my life. Also, about twenty years ago.

Time for a quiz?

I suspect a lot of us will do well...

Posted by: omni | August 12, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The garden in the second photo has a bright purple plant. Probably purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), once a popular garden plant, now a bad invader of wetlands.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 12, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Looking forward to imaginary lunch today; I promise not to whine about my PC being sick! It will be fixed or reformatted within a few days, but it leaves me with only my work laptop.

Everything everyone is bringing sounds wonderful, including the Prosecco! I'll pick up some Jersey tomatoes on my way home from the gym at noon.

I was kicking myself for overplanting those raised beds, and while they're still overplanted, it's a relief to know other, wiser, gardeners are sharing the same green tomato glut I have. Oh! Fried green tomatoes today too?

Posted by: dbG | August 12, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Well, Ivansmom, I find that Tylenol PM has become my best friend. Gets me completely through the night with nary a hangover in the morning and I dream and everything. And if I have to get up to P, then I just fall asleep again (sometimes om my way back to bed, but at least I'm not in my car (unless I'm dreaming that I'm driving my car, and then things get really weird)).

I'm just glad that the power surges (hot flashes in translation) are over -- mine weren't particularly awful anyway, though.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 12, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

11/13 on the quiz. Can't believe I blew the "ten million year" line. Also missed the "I am a sick man" line.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 12, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Olympic sports . . . my friend Wayne Greene, on the editorial staff of the Tulsa World, has a blog there. Here's his 8/12 comment:

A friend pointed out yesterday that part of the magic of the Olympic games are their ability to make us care about sports we don't care about.

There's a reason why football and basketball are called "revenue sports" by NCAA colleges. It's because they can't get enough people to care about the other ones to make a profit off of them.

But put the five-rings of the Olympics logo on the screen and suddenly millions of Americans are watching archery. Women's archery.

With the exception of two weeks out of every four years, we could care less about archery, or short-track ice skating or a whole bunch of other sports.

But put it in a context of world domination and cultural superiority, and we suddenly care about volleyball, and track and field and swimming relay races.

Maybe we should make trigonometry and physics Olympics sports.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 12, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 12, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Green -- and many other commentators -- miss the point, Ivansmom. No, we don't really care about sports like archery, or track, or bobsled, or whatever. What we *do* care about are the *people,* and to some lesser extent, about the drama and the competition. We become invested in their back stories, their hardships, the things they have to overcome, yadda, yadda yadda. We don't give a rat's patoot about volleyball, any more than we give a rat's patoot about ball room dancing, or amateurs trying to become singers, or who is going to be the next interior design star on the Home Makeover channel, or who is going to beat Bobbie Flay's smug a-- on Iron Chef.

We are interested in *people,* and the drama of competition, and to some extent on national price and accomplishment. The actual venue hardly matters. No one cares who rides a bike fastest through the #@*&^%$ countryside. If they had speed-knitting we'd all be riveted to the TV.

Every writer, every storyteller knows this. Or ought to.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 12, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

DoC. I thought that was loosestrife too. I've been yanking it out of the ditch in front of my place all summer. The rotten stuff really likes the wet season we're having up here. I'm also in a life and death struggle with the evil Queen Anne's Lace.
That said, the tree in the second photo looks like the perfect place for a nice nap. Knap?

Posted by: Boko999 | August 12, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

From the story of how USA whupped Venzuela:

"The IOC voted softball off the 2012 program for London, and many feel the decision was partly a backlash against the Americans’ supremacy since softball was added to the games in 1996."

Ya think? My sister was a champion softball player, but quit years before it was made an olympic sport... something I always wished she had been able to try out for. She SWEATED to make herself good, made some memorable catches. She was MVP a few times and went to the Nationals.

Everytime I saw one of those multi-state games (regionals, nationals, whatnot)... I noticed one thing. California always cleaned everybody else's clocks. They're able to practice and play year-around, and they apparently farm the best of the best for the state teams.

So I do have empathy for how the other countries must feel, but that's softball. You need to find the talent and train it up, and make sure the team works together well under an excellent coach. And I mean EXCELLENT coaching is a must. My sister's old coach was simply the best out there.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 12, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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