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Those Subjective Sports

[My story in today's Style section.]

Consternation over Olympic judging quirkiness began intensifying a few days ago after a Chinese gymnast, Cheng Fei, won the bronze medal in women's vault despite crash-landing. She landed on her shins -- a classic Agony-of-Defeat moment. Yet the judges ran the debacle through their algorithms, crunched the numbers, gnawed on the "start value," averaged in her excellent first vault, and came up with a score that put her ahead of the non-crashing American vaulter Alicia Sacramone.

Gymnastics legend Béla Károlyi bellowed, "You can't fall on your face and be rewarded with an Olympic medal, there's no way." But mysteries abounded: Shawn Johnson got stingy marks in most of her routines, and the only explanation seemed to be that the judges didn't like gymnasts built like fire hydrants.

Throughout, we've heard a refrain: "Gymnastics is a subjective sport." One sports blog at Yahoo is providing a running tally of the "real" Olympic medals count by country, with "real" defined as sports that aren't determined by (subjective, biased, insane) judges.

And yet perhaps we should admit that all sports are, at some level, subjective. Even the most hairy-chested athletic endeavors can be vulnerable to ambiguous rules, blown calls and outright fraud.

Let's go to the videotape:

Baseball


It's a sport that prides itself on precision, on the perfect dimensions of the diamond, on the immaculate record-keeping across generations. Yet it's riddled with iffiness.

The home plate umpire, most prominently, calls the balls and strikes. This is an interpretive endeavor that revolves around (1) the umpire's ability to detect, through his face mask, while crouching behind a pudgy, padding-encrusted fellow, the path of a 95 mph fastball; (2) the league's peculiar definition of the "strike zone" ["The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate, the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the knee cap"]; and (3) the umpire's personal opinion about what the strike zone ought to be.

Click here to keep reading.


--

I am pretty sure I own just one. (Do outhouses count?)

--

No way to land a spacecraft. (Via Nasawatch.)

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 21, 2008; 8:20 AM ET
 
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Comments

Hi, Martooni. Hi, Cassandra.

Posted by: daiwanlan | August 21, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Hi daiwanlan! *waving* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 21, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I posted a comment about the advent of instant replay in MLB at the end of the last boodle. It would seem to take a lot of the entertainment element out of the game. OTOH, fans would get their money's worth, as the games may now approach a gazillion hours, including the time it takes to check the replays. Initially, the process was to be overseen from some remote bunker in NYC. I think that MLB relented after protests from the umpire's association, opting instead to install monitors in more convenient locations. I still don't like it.

Posted by: jack | August 21, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Bad Sneakers. Baseball is nothing but delay, bah humbug! Cooperstown, on the other hand, edited and breezy, is a delight.

CP, how generous (but not surprising).

Today one of my good friends takes her youngest to college. I'm tasked with a long visit to entertain the puppy. The puppy is very beautiful, a mix who was thrown into a sewer downtown and lived there for 3 days, howling, until my friend's sil (cop) and partner rescued her. The puppy is very dominant, although extremely bright and very much bonded to her new mama. 3 weeks have gone by, puppy still doesn't have a name, and I suspect the next week will determine whether puppy stays put or goes to the home of an eager officer with lots of dog training experience.

But today, the puppy is mine, and I shall use Yoki's excellent clicker method to teach her some basic commands. We'll play fetch, perhaps I'll even bring her to lunch when she's worn out. She'll be the one in the black mask.

Posted by: dbG | August 21, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Joel writes an article on subjective sports and ignores my soon to be authoritative blog post on what is and isn't a sport.

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2008/08/good-sport.html

I'd have raw umbrage if college students knew what that was.

Besides, EVERYBODY knows basketball is fixed. The home court advantage is huge. They play eighty mostly meaningless games. They swap wins in the playoffs for the first four games and play the last three for real. When is the last time a series didn't go to seven?

I'll stick to respectable sports like horse racing and pro rasslin'.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 21, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

dbg;

As long as the puppy doesn't order fava beans and a nice Chianti, yer good.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 21, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

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


Morning, morning, friends. Good morning, daiwanlan. Good to hear from you. Yes, I am late for the Dawn Patrol, but decided to sleep late. Good for me.

Morning, Mudge, Slyness, Martooni, Scotty, and everyone.*waving*

Talking about baseball, my grandfather loved baseball and I used to watch the games with him on television. Of course, it's more fun to see the actual game live. Here, people used to play baseball in the summer, but I haven't heard of any games lately. Perhaps the hot weather has put an end to that. It is kind of hard to play and watch baseball in hundred degree weather. Girls used to play softball when I was a kid. Don't see much of that now either. I guess if we could nail down the fairness part of any game that's played, we just might be able to do that for other situations.

I had a wonderful time yesterday. And the kids from the summer program got beautiful book bags at the party yesterday. They had cake and ice cream, and book bags with school supplies inside. I couldn't stay for the whole party, but was there for a little while.

And at the Bible study, we had ice cream too. And some of my family joined us. It was nice.

Have a great day, folks. I guess I'll end up at the laundry room today. It is cloudy here, and quite warm, so perhaps rain in the picture? Some of my plants are looking a tad droopy, but some are okay. I hope they live.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 21, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

So the Battle of Hastings is the combination to the fridge, CP? Hehehe, I *know* that one!

Lunch is shaping up to be fabulous, what with Yukon Gold potato salad and rhurbarb sauce and gelato. I shall bring pork barbeque sandwiches with homemade dip (vinegar-based sauce) and cole slaw. There's been a head of cabbage in the fridge for a week and I must make the slaw!

dbG, I'm looking forward to meeting the puppy. I'll make an extra sandwich just for him. Yes, I'll spoil him but just a little bit.

Posted by: slyness | August 21, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

As Bela also bellowed about Sacramone's loss: "It's a REEP-POFF!"

At least Shawn Johnson got her likeness carved in butter in Iowa. But the Iowans carve every conceivable image in butter, don't they? I got a kick out of a spokesman for the Iowa Visitors and Convention saying that Shawn Johnson will now be a reason to visit the city. NOT.

But our longtime friends, the man being my husband's co-worker for a dozen years, moved Monday to West Des Moines, moments after they signed the closing papers on their house. The wife's desire to pack up and get the he11 out of here at the first possible minute was palpable.

Posted by: Loomis | August 21, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Big upset in Olympic baseball, spoiler alert for those who want to wait for this news.

I enjoy the sped up version of Olympic baseball - my attention span is too short for MLB, use to enjoy it but the game just takes too long now.

http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/softball/story/2008/08/21/olympics-softball-gold.html

Posted by: dmd | August 21, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

And a sad sorta on-kit news flash...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nflinsider/2008/08/upshaw_dead_at_63.html?hpid=news-col-blogs

*SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 21, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

And a shocker in softball too, dmd...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/olympics/2008/08/a_stunner_in_softball_the.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 21, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Ooops, same news there, sorry dmd...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 21, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I was trying to be careful so as not to spoil too much but I notice the URL after.

Sad news about Upshaw.

Posted by: dmd | August 21, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Long live the vinegar based sauce! Make mine spicy, please.

Posted by: jack | August 21, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, sounds great!

Here she is (from her last visit here). Note the rhinestone collar :-)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10675524@N08/sets/72157606871276441/

Posted by: dbG | August 21, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

To the contrary, I think there are a number of objective sports: Almost all racing, weightlifting, swimming of the non-synchronized variety, golf, and more.

And while in some sports the referees may get it wrong, there's still a possibility that they are, in fact, literally getting it wrong. In a subjective event like gymnastics, there is no such thing as an objectively incorrect judgment.

More analysis here: http://obviated.blogspot.com/2008/08/things-that-arent-sports.html

Posted by: Mikey | August 21, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Big upset in a very subjective sport: Émilie Heymans wins silver in 10m diving.

The judges finally got over the fact that a 5'7" 140lbs woman is likely to make a slightly bigger splash than a 4'6" 68lbs pixie.
http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 21, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. No time to chat; we're running all day, concluding with a mad dash home to attend my grandson's 6th birthday. Might get to boodle tonight.

Alas, no time to even fax a dish to the imaginary lunch.

And no time for extreme umbrage to surface over certain assertions in a certain kit. ("...a pudgy, padding-encrusted fellow...")

Be good, kids.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 21, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. I think any sport or athletic activity with a referee necessarily has a subjective component. That doesn't mean there is no objective measurement possible. It just admits the reality that, whenever a person has to make a decision based on applying rules to another's actions, the decision will be based on that person's observation of the actions. Usually, the actions are clear enough, and the rules easily enough applied, that the subjective component is negligible. It is the unusual situations that become interesting.

That said, how can someone get a medal when they fall? Interesting.

I am feebly and halfheartedly trying to learn basic fencing refereeing. Right now I can ref the good kids. The younger kids need to know the actual moves, which I can't usually call. The adults move too fast for me. The good teenagers know what moves they made and just want me to make a decision. That I can do, so it works out. However, there are some times when I just don't know who touched first. I was relieved to discover that it isn't just me. The coaches have told me it is perfectly all right to just say "No touch" or even "I don't know. No touch" and move on. I've seen it in fencing tournaments where coaches (that is, actual fencers) are the referees.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 21, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

But Ivansmom, if they gave medals out only to those who do not fall, there never would be any winners in figure skating.

I am pleased that they are looking at the judging in these subjective competitions. It was time to fix it or get rid of it from the games. They still have a ways to go,without a doubt, which is how a faller wins. Sigh.

I will fax a loaf of french bread freshly baked this morning over for lunch, even though I cannot be there, and the loaf of fresh baked french bread from my oven is also virtual.

Posted by: dr | August 21, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

May I come to the imaginary lunch? It would be lovely. I can bring a big bowl of tomatoes.

dr (happy birthday, by the way) I think everyone would be better off if they'd just stop trying to judge figure skating. Have a special category for exhibition events. The restrictions against flashy stuff would be lifted, everyone could clap and say "ooooh" and those who don't like figure skating could shudder and move on.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 21, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Mornin all

I was reading the sports page of another paper and found out what a bizarre 3rd inning it was in Baltimore last night.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp.orioles21aug21,0,1713391.story

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 21, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

This is a fun topic and sure to generate lots of discussion regarding the relative subjectivity of athletic competition, whether aesthetic considerations are even appropriate, and so on. But what really interests me is the final observation Joel makes about how attempting to apply a rigorous scoring system to something with aesthetic elements ultimately fails.

In a way this is a problem I have spent a long time fussing about. Because many moral positions are, in their essence, ones of aesthetics. Yes, you can look to various sacred books and philosophical authorities for guidance, but in the final analysis, to me at least, many moral questions still come down to a gut reaction based on aesthetics. Evil things just seem ugly. (Which is not the same as saying that ugly things are evil! The latter being a common and highly destructive mis-perception.)

So, for example, if some uber-authoritarian government were to attempt to assign a quantitative score to the value of a human being, taking into account contributions to society, resource requirements, and the like, it would be easy to determine who is worthy of oxygen and who is not. This would be much like the score that quantifies a performance on the balance beam.

But, I assert, people would rebel against this. Most (I hope) would find it "morally objectionable." But what they really mean is that they would find it ugly. Just like a score cannot objectively capture the beauty of a performance, a score cannot capture the essential value of a life.

Perhaps too heavy a thought for a kit devoted to sweaty pursuits, but I think these kinds of analogies are what, on some level, make athletics so interesting.

That, and the flashy outfits.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 21, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

That Orion story worries me. Especially given likely problems with the Russians and their Soyuz. It was my understanding that we went with the Orion design because it relied on reliable old-school technology.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 21, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

How many people actually own their own home? I mean, one day I hope to, but in the mean time I am just purchasing it "on time."

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 21, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

RD, I like the idea that the main value of sports is their metaphoric (literary) potential. I sometimes extend that to all of the real world. The value of reality is that it gives us something to write about. (Or more, in my case, something to read about.)

Thanks to everybody with the refrigerator suggestions. Jumper, bc, DMD, (anybody I'm forgetting, sorry)--we are impressed, as I read them to my husband he was inspired and grateful. We will take everything into consideration and explore our options. Thanks again.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 21, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Gosh, you all haven't left much for me to contribute to imaginary lunch. I'll bring some cold beer and lemonade and some cookies to go with the gelato.

Posted by: Yoki | August 21, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, of course you may come to lunch! Your homegrown tomatoes will be divine, I can hardly wait!

Just popped the coleslaw into the fridge. Amazing how messy slaw making is. Now, gotta clean up before I leave for lunch.

Posted by: slyness | August 21, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey Mudge! I wondered if that whole "pudgy " bit would get past you.

Plus, I take mild umbrage with describing Shawn Johnson as looking like a "fireplug." Granted, she lacks the long limbs and torso of a "Classic" gymnast, but her compact athletic figure is not without aesthetic merits.

Besides, didja see her smile after she finished her balance beam routine? Wow.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 21, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Oops. The correct quote was "Fire Hydrant."

I guess that's a little better.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 21, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

scc: I said DMD when I meant DLD. That's not exactly a spelling issue, is it? My brain hasn't adapted to the internet moniker thing. Sorry!

Posted by: kbertocci | August 21, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

dbG, puppy looks like a Bridget to me. She's a darlin'!

Posted by: slyness | August 21, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Given the conditions the US 4x100m sprint teams needed Phelps and Hoff for a relay out there. What a massacre on the baton-strewn track.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 21, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I like your comparison of moral positions and aesthetics, RD. When I discussed the constant presence of the subjective in any effort made by one human to judge another's actions according to a set of rules, I was talking about athletics but thinking about law. It is often easy to know what the law is. Applying it to any given fact situation involving human actions and emotions is more difficult. This is why it is so important that finders of fact (judges or juries) be unbiased and willing to fairly consider all the aspects of the evidence before them.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 21, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

RD, thanks for the insight of the year for me: ethics relies on aesthetics for both rulemaking and rule application. Wow.

Off to the test drive bike run on a bike that lists for about 1800K....apparently, the bike both floats and flexes. I am to write a review. Today, I love my job.

Will swing by for lunch. Hey boodlers, room for everyone as the portions will multiply miraculously to fit the crows...sort of a loaves and fishes phenom, if you pardon the analogy.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 21, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I've been off for a day, and the Boodle has sprinted so far past me that I look like that British lady marathoner who just sat down on the side of the road during the 04 women's marathon. (I should look so trim, however.)

Even though Kbert has already thanked everybody for their helpful remarks about how to RAISE her fridge, I just gotta add some dunnage into the hold on this idea. (Dunnage being a nautical term, after all.)

I think that all of our highly esteemed engineers and physicists are 180 degrees off on this problem. Yes, they point out all the necessary requirements, save one, to be met if one wants to RAISE the fridge off the floor. Just how to levitate such a monstrosity hasn't been discussed.

I suggest leaving the fridge where it is, and cutting a hole in the floor right in front of the door. Then install a hydraulic lift under the hole, with appropriate decorative finishes, controls, etc. Sooo much simpler. You're welcome.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 21, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Did you see Cheng Fei's remarkable Falling Down Routine? Brilliant! I wish I could fall down like that. She looked graceful, her movements fluid and poetic, as she landed on her shins! Definitely bronze medal material. What's everyone complaining about?

Posted by: CowTown | August 21, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Canadian Gold in Show Jumping - Yea!

Posted by: dmd | August 21, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Hickstead, despite being encumbered by rider Éric Lamaze, wins gold for Canada in jumping. Extra oats tonight, woohoo!

(And of course Witch no.1 is at work today and can’t watch the show.)

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 21, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

oops, sorry. I should refresh BEFORE posting.
With all that stuff happening the preparation for tonight's dinner are going slower than expected... We're getting the whole in-law tribe for dinner, that is 20 persons including the one boyfriend.
They are going to get Mudge's Green Beans, Mushrooms and Capers casserole. Better be good, I'll holding him personnally responsible even if I substituted or changed the quantities of half the ingredients.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 21, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey CowTown! *LTNS waves*

I caught a bit of Olympics coverage whilst on the treadmill just now...

The rythmic gymanstics ladies are doing amazing things with Hula-Hoops and jumpropes these days.

Seriously.

One performer started by tying the rope to her foot, then went into a standing vertical split and twirled the rope from the upright leg.

:-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 21, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The kit is like oil today, 3 in One

Posted by: bh | August 21, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

And then you have all the subjective judging even after the very objective events:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/olympics/2008/08/21/rogge.bolt.ap/index.html

*shaking my head @ Rogge*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 21, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I had the same reaction to Rogge's comments Scotty.

Posted by: dmd | August 21, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Don, I don't really see any need for the hydrolics. I'm gonna tell my husband, just make a hole in front of the appliance, then step down into it, make your selection from the refrigerator, and step back out. Now this is some thinking outside the box!

By the way, I meant to give you some encouragement a while back, when you mentioned that you are still running. Slow running is the best exercise there is, second only to fast running. And for most of us, fast running is not a viable choice, so hang in there. Run, walk, whatever you can. Anything is MUCH better than nothing. And improvement is pretty much inevitable, so long as you don't quit.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 21, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I was leaving the raising of the fridge as an "exercise" for the reader. ☻

DLD

Posted by: DLD | August 21, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

You've got to excuse Rogge. You know how emotional and passionate those Swiss are. The guy probably shakes his wife's hand after a particularly memorable bout of conjugal exercise.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 21, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I just want to know, can Usain Bolt catch a football? Remember Renaldo Neiahmiah the great hurdler from maryland and his stint in the NFL?

And I guess the only team he could play for would be the Chargers.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 21, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

or Ron Brown

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 21, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

shrieking

Your one-ten comment made me laugh.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 21, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

If true, this is incredibly odd and hinky and stuff...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26326998/?GT1=43001

:-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 21, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Is lunch about to begin? I see French provencal printed table lines, a Van Gogh=escue bouquet of sunflowers, and straw gold Vouvray pétillant chilling in the creek. We are eating outdoors in this sylvan glade.

I cleaned up from my bike ride and have changed into a linen a-line shift in light pistachio green. Yoki, I cannot bear the hose but for you am wearing stacked heel-bone peep toe pumps. Oh my goodness look how nice and fresh everyone looks....here they come.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 21, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

scc again, "hydraulics" -- now that actually is a spelling issue. Sigh.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 21, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I have dressed for lunch as well, cream peep toe, stiletto slingbacks with a summer skirt and jacket.

I really hope it is a sit down lunch as my heels dig into the ground, they are new and are killing me.

Can I have a nice cold Cosmo? :-)

Posted by: dmd | August 21, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

dmd, here is your Cosmo. You can slip the shoes off when we sit down....me too.

ALERT from Celib chat today, and I quote:

//Liz Kelly: I believe registration for blog commenting is actually coming down the pike this fall, so stay tuned.//

HOPE NOT.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 21, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Ladies, I'm sorry I don't own heels any more, but I'm wearing my finest gladiator sandals in bronze, my favorite stretchy blue tee with embroidery and a pair of comfy but attractive knit slacks. Pearls, of course, they look so nice with the tee.

I love the idea of sylvan shade. Plenty of light, but no glare. And wonderful company!

Posted by: slyness | August 21, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

CP, do I hear sounds coming from the black helicopters warming up? WaPo.com is thinking: "OK We'll give 'em links AND italics, but only if they give us their SSN's and their Swiss bank account numbers." Bwah ha ha ha ...

Kbert, thanks for the encouragement. I'm up to 2.2 miles jogging without stopping and 3.5 miles jogging/walking. I've got some really really good friends dragging me around the track, kicking and screaming. Such good friends they are.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 21, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Slyness,
At first, I thought you were bc, but I am thinking you are wearing something a bit more dainty, as in Grecian sandals. Love the bronze finish.

Don/270 -- I guess that the Robot giveth and the Robot taketh, but concerning the black helicopters I though that you and RD could join dark forces and make us a no-fly zone.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 21, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I too am ready for lunch. I gave up hose in summer long ago, but have a nice professional skirt, blouse and linen overshirt with heeled sandals (dress for the job you want, not the job you have). I'll open some prosecco and white wine.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 21, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, CP, I'll have to think about that for a little while. I actually did purchase a pair of sandals in bronze this summer. I looked, looked, looked and finally found a pair of Clarks that are yes, I suppose you'd call them Grecian in design. I know better than to look at a brick and mortar store, so I checked Ye Olde Internet.

Travelsmith didn't have them in my size (5.5 M). Neither did the Clarks site, Shoes.com, or Norm Thompson. Can you guess where I found them?

Amazon. For five dollars less than anybody else. And free shipping.

Posted by: slyness | August 21, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, you look lovely. You can fill my class with prosecco. Look how nice Don/270 looks. (Isn't the flat front khaki style the right choice?)

Slyness, the more I see the pearls, yes, they are perfect. I will get mine out of the drawer and wear them. Silly that they are deep in the underwear drawer in a velvet box. I think they have been there since 1985 or so. Silly not to enjoy them.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 21, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

College Parkian, since school starts soon (today, for us, hee hee) I'll take that "fill my class" as wishful thinking or a Freudian slip. That might make for a fun lecture hour. By all means break out the pearls. And yes, flat-front khakis are the way to go.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 21, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, bc as in I read 'gladiator,' which is nearly his trademark image here in boodle-land. I do like the Grecian sandal look, in metallic especially. Slyness, we both have teeny feet! I am aging into a six these days because of wideness or comfort or both. I can always buy European 5.5 shoes but shoes sized elsewhere are too narrow.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 21, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Everyone looks so nice. And that cool breeze makes for a lovely afternoon. Is there any pinot grigio? I'd love a glass. Full, please, and I may have a second in a little while. Since I'm not driving, it will be okay.

Yes, CP, do get the pearls out and enjoy them. They need to be worn, it's good for them. I go back and forth between the single strand which is 24 inches and the five-strand freshwater which is a choker. Classic.

Posted by: slyness | August 21, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, we begin school on Monday, as in k-12. This year's college schedule is after Labor Day, which NEVER HAPPENS! So, I am amazed at my great good fortune for a week to work more on house projects.

I am one week away from functioning rain barrels. The gutter-guy is coming on Thursday next, to connect them to the barrels. I made brick stands -- mortared, sort of -- filled with pea gravel to rest the barrels on. Next year, i plan to water my plants out of captured rain water. Am thinking about washing my hair in said water, too.

And, see that smart looking man in uniform over there? He is our designated driver.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 21, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I really like freshwater pearls. I imagine a necklace with them and Yogo sapphires.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 21, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Uniform? *looking down*

Well, I guess you can call dress slacks and comfortable driving shoes a uniform if'n ya want. Smart-looking, not so much...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 21, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I am thinking of getting rain barrels as well, at least one for the backyard. Had I had it earlier this year I could have supplied Slyness with a great deal of the water she required for her gardens.

Posted by: dmd | August 21, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Careful, CP. You and I both could fritter away our patrimony on jewels like that. Oooh, it would be so lovely.

Yes, it's getting to be annoying about how many shoe styles start with size 6. I can get away with a 6 in sneakers but not much else.

Posted by: slyness | August 21, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

We all look lovely, and the weather is perfect for this picnic. Do you like that I brought linen and crystal and silver? We can't sit on the ground at our age!

Posted by: Yoki | August 21, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Love what you did Yoki. Enjoy the repast. I am off to drive three excellent musicians to a used equipment store. May we find the amps desired at a lad's price.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 21, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Since my cooking is not up to boodle standards, I shall bring a few muscians to play softly in the background, I think a cellist, a violin player and a a guitar might even throw in a sax.

Posted by: dmd | August 21, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Sally Jenkins doens't think much of Rogge, either...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/21/AR2008082101863.html?hpid=artslot

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 21, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

My husband made a few scathing comments about Rogge during the opening ceremonies, my husband did not like that Rogge read his speech. His thinking was the guy had four years to prepare - he should not have need cue cards.

Rogge speech was to say the least stiff and lacking any emotion - which I think explains a lot.

Posted by: dmd | August 21, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I missed lunch, folks. Had a busy day and actually attended a *meeting,* which is mostly unheard of in TBG-land. Ran the meeting, in fact, so you know things must be going crazy. I guess I can only take so much idiocy before I gather folks together to tell them how to do things properly.

:-)

I'm hoping I'm not too late to catch up with a few stragglers from lunch. A Cosmo sounds just wonderful right now. I didn't dress up, though. You'll just have to take me as I am.

Oh there! CP and dmd are still over there. Yoo hoo! Its me! I'm on my way!

Posted by: TBG | August 21, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

One very cold, Cosmo coming up for TBG. I have been revising and revising the same documents for days now, I am ready for a jug of Cosmo's.

Posted by: dmd | August 21, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

After lunch, you should get TBG to proof the documents for you, dmd. You know how you can look and look and look, then print and spot at least three typos? Drives me crazy when I do that. I'm glad to have professionals among my friends who will save me.

Posted by: slyness | August 21, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

New micro-kit posted...

Posted by: Achenbach | August 21, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: Moose | August 21, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

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