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Wet Stuff From Sky

This morning wet stuff came from the sky and, after much analysis, I determined it to be the phenomenon historians refer to as rain.

It hasn't rained in August. You could call it a drought, or another harbinger of climate change, or you could call it simply August in Washington, when sometimes it forgets to rain. There are days where you get just that "dry rain," where the precipitation contains no moisture. Instead of the H2O you get just the H3O, which is the form of water that isn't wet. The H30 doesn't pull any of the N2 (molecular nitrogen) out of the atmosphere, only the N3 (tritrogen), which together coats your yard with N3H3O (naugahyde).

And it's been lovely -- the best August weather in memory. A heck of a lot better than the delugional weather in Maine, let me testify. Maine is where all the wet went. But at some point, enough is enough, and that point was about a week ago, when things got so dry the trees became visible stressed, anxious and discombobulated. Pretty soon it'll be Sept. 1, which, as you know, is the official day marking the start of the fall lawn-rejuvenation season, and is thus a national holiday. But we need rain for that, and not fake rain or dry rain or desiccated rain or powdery rain, but wet rain.


The Dems finally got all their messages lined up last night. Bill Clinton's speech was the best he's ever given [Andrew Sullivan says "one of the best," but when did he do better?] -- bang-on point, not too long, passionate, and most of all, making a case for the nominee better than anyone had in the convention to that point. The surprise star was Beau Biden, who we haven't seen the last of. That guy looked like he's ready to step into the Senate as soon as someone dials his number. Joe Biden did fine, even if he had a couple of wobbly moments. The "surprise" appearance by Obama wasn't a surprise at all -- I'm pretty sure it's a quadrannual ritual to make a third-night cameo.

In the paper, read Howie on Katie: And check out the two Susan Biddle photos for how much happier the CBS anchor is when not trapped at the anchor desk.

Sleuth hangin' with the stars: Sounds like fun!

AP parrots A-blog [we're always one step ahead of the wires!].

[more to come...]

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 28, 2008; 7:44 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: More on the Clinton Convention
Next: Turbo Obama [w/ Palin Update]


Jeepers Joel, let's hope that isn't H30 out there. Although I'm not a chemist, I think that would be some kinda funky acid-like stuff. (By which I mean, of course, the stuff what makes your skin slough off not the stuff that makes you see fuzzy bats.)

Even though I am really pleased to see the rain, it has been nice not having to mow the lawn. This is why I traditionally love late August. The lawn is dead so no need to mow. The leaves are still on the trees, so no need to rake. And much of the government is on vacation. So no need to think.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Spot-on Bill.
One of many reasons the man was President in the first place and the only 2-term democrat since Noah was building the Ark.
Evin I feel beter about Obama now...

Posted by: Dmon | August 28, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Delugional: Another fitting addition to the AchenLexicon.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Loved the bit about Katie. Sticking here behind a desk was silly.

And, regarding the AP. Duh, everyone knows that the Achenblog is the genesis of all meaningful analysis. It's like reading the NYT a whole day early.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm wrong, but I am beginning to pick up the subtle suggestion that perhaps, just perhaps, next year's Achenbach Family Vacation will be a roadt rip through the Mojave just to balance things out.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Enjoy your rain today, Washington!

Yep, I'm pumped about this election. There is hope!

Posted by: slyness | August 28, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

And thanks again, Joel, for the Deep Glamour blog link. It took me to this:

Cars. Lotsa lotsa cool cars.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Actually, when mixed with the organic stuff in your yard, N3H3O would make C3N3H3O3, which would make polyurethane, which could be used to coat naugahyde, which would then last longer than forever. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

In honor of rain:

Posted by: DNA Girl | August 28, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

You have discovered oxonium azide. The Nobel is sure to follow.

Posted by: Jumper | August 28, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I know: Let's get a fox to protect the henhouse!

Posted by: Jumper | August 28, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I fell asleep before Biden spoke last night and woke to see Obama gladhanding all over the stage.
"Wait a folderoling minute," thinks I, "he doesn't speak 'till Thursday. OMG I've slept 24 hours and missed his speech!"
You can imagine my relief when I realized that his appearance was just some species of stunt.
How unconventional, I hope Sen Obama keeps this stuff to a minimum, some of us are pretty set in our ways.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 28, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

An international perspective:

"If the Republicans can get their candidate re-elected to the White House after all their failures of the past eight years - after the military misadventures, the geopolitical blunders, the economic mishaps and the mismanagement of natural disasters - America will be perilously close to the point when democracy ceases to perform its most essential function of disciplining political power."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Fuuny, rain. My husband's surgery was two weeks ago Monday, and it poured the Tuesday, the day after the surgery. It's poured mightily since, on and off, for the last two-plus weeks. The last figure I had for the 15 days or so for the rain that has fallen in our yard, as of yesterday, was 5.45 inches. But the skies erupted with gusto yesterday afternoon, with more (we've had lots) of ear-splitting thunder and a torrential downpour. I strongly suspect that there's another inch or more in the rain gauge this morning.

In short, we're soaked and we don't need no Gustav veering this way.

Everything is topsy-turvy. The aquifer has been on the rise. The grass is green everywhere. And long, in the medians and in our yard. It looks and feels like March here thanks to what feels like monsoonal rains--more likely some remnants of Julio, instead of end of August.

The hole in my husband's forearm is about the size of a tennis ball. After 10 days of playing nursemaid, I finally had to revert to lawnsman--and pick up the slack for him since he is restricted to the lightest of activities, and it was more difficult cutting grass that had become long and thick. I am in the very same sitation this morning, grass-wise. Time to rev up the lawnmower to do battle with titanic grass.

Got a bit frosted late yesterday afternoon seeing New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin preening in front of the CNN cameras in Denver. Where's Doug Brinkley when you need him? Nagin should take his butt home and prepare in every way physically possible for what could be major hit to New Orleans and Louisiana, whether Gustav comes his way or ours, or veers to the Florida panhandle. I see on the news that New Orleans will offer no shelters of last resort.

And behind Gustav trails Hanna, which certainly won't hit Montana, but may go into upper Florida or Georgia.

Posted by: Loomis | August 28, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

SCC: the 9:35 is me.

Posted by: slyness | August 28, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I love it, as it never fails to add a half-hour to my commute in the morning.

That H30 turns grass and weeds in all yards to near-zoysia, making for Low Lawn Maintenance Summers (though they have low fire resistance as well).

Joel if your yard has gone to Naugahyde, I suggest you consider becoming a Naugahyde farmer, harvesting it and selling it for high-end custom Smart and Tata interior upgrades. Tuck 'n roll for Mudge, I would think.

Speaking of which...

RD, I've been hankerin' to get to the Peterson Museum next time I'm in L.A.

I've been to a lot of auto museums (my current favorites being Don "Big Daddy" Garlits' in Ocala, FL, not too far south of Joel's hometown, and the Indianapolis Speedway Museum, er, just beyond the front gates of the Speedway. Beg, borrow, or steal your way to the Speedway's basement storage - IMO it's far more interesting than what's on public display upstairs), and I'd totally dig seeing some of those rides. I have a soft spot for Max Balchowsky's Ol' Yaller cars. Max was my kinda guy.


Posted by: bc | August 28, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

My lawn has been dead for over a month. it went toes skyward just after my wife paid our illegal immigrant lawn service for the summer in advance. I heard my wife the other night negotiating the fall touch-up work. I asked for a weed, feed, and seed.

While I keep trying to convince my wife that I am perfectly capable of neglecting the lawn on my own, she keeps steering business to the document deficient spouse of one of her (born and bred American)coworkers.

I rationalize the arrangement as my passive-passive civil disobedience thumb nosing at our ridiculous immigration policies.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Did you guys read Milbank's column about the Al-Jazeera fiasco in Golden, Colo.? It is simulataneously funny as well as embarrassing in a "what-the-hell-were-they-all-thinking" way. Three militant biker gangs agree to a temporary truce so they can band together to protest an Al-Jazeera TV crew (comprised most of Americans, as it happens), who want to film Clinton's speech from the confines of a biker bar.

Even Hunter Thompson or Tom Wolfe could make up a story like that.

Padouk, re: the notion that the Clintons want jobs: there has been some scuttlebutt (admittedly as unreliable as most scuttlebutt usually is) that Hillary wouldn't mind being attorney general, or, alternatively, majority leader of the Senate, both of which would require Obama to smile upon her. And as much as Bill likes making money from lectures, I think he'd relish some sort of roving ambassador portfolio. Remember, all the criticism and fretting about Hillary being president was about keeping her husband's fingers out of the administration. I actually think if I was President Obama, I'd make Bill czar of the New orleans recovery, give him a blank check to head south and rebuild the entire gulf coastline and the city itself. He'd eat that up with a spoon-- and be good at it. (And somebody still needs to do it. And what better job could there be than rebuilding what Bush failed to rebuild?)

Some of the still-not-satisfied punditry last night after the speeches concerned the fact-like observation that even though the Dems went after McCain, finally, they STILL pulled their punches, failed to mention Guantanamo and torture, etc., and that a lot of Dems still want more "red meat."

I think the observation is generally correct, and I have over the last few days evolved a theory about what is going on. The theory is predicated on this: Obama and his small circle ran a *very* smart, very intelligently designed and *very* error-free primary campaign (and the proof is, they beat Hillary fair and square, going the caucus route that her people mistakenly overlooked; *and* they raised a ton more money than Hillary, too). So here's the background to the theory: Obama and his people are very, very smart, and know *exactly* what they are doing, even if it isn't apparent to the punditry and the public. They got a lot of flack for "giving two nights [of the convention] to the Clintons" -- but in retrospect, I think that turned out to be a very smart move that no one in the punditry foresaw or understood, *and* Obama made it work for him.

Now comes the theory: why haven't we seen more "red meat," more relentlessw in-your-face fire-and-brimstone about all things Bush? Because the Obama strategy is worried about peaking too early, and firing off its best weapons too soon, and giving the GOP/McCain time to develop counter-strategies. So what I think we're going to see is a slowly gathering and accumulating level of attack -- the "red meat" -- that reaches its crescendo in late October.

The usual wuss-like Dem campaign pattern for the last several elections has ben to reactive defensively to the Rovian GOP storm, allowing the GOP to aggressively set the pace and tone of the campaign. This has obviously been disasterous, and I think Obama has figured out the antidote to the Rovian tactics: simply ignore them, and set your own pace and agenda, and follow it, and don't get drawn into the GOP mind game.

So I think you're going to see a nicely paced build-up into mid-October, during which Obamiden will roll out Guantanamo, torture, Alberto Gonzalez, Harriet Miers, the NSA wiretapping program, lack of armor, Jack Abramoff, incompetent war leadership, corruption of the intelligence community, oil scandals, and most of all, Darth Cheney.

By nautical (surprise) analogy, the situation is this: the Dems have been given a three-decker ship-of-the-line with a broadside of cannon just waiting to be fired, *and* this warship has the weather helm. The pundits and the Dems want this broadside fired in all its pent-up fury ASAP. But that isn't necessarily the smartest thing to do. Much better, and much smarter, to use the weather helm to maneuver in closer, and use the broadside effectively at close range, when it'll do the most damage, rather than open fire at maxdimum range, when the shooting won't be nearly as effective.

I think Obama is gonna ignore enemy fire, close with the enemy, hold fire until he sees the whites of their eyes (mixed metaphor alert), and then let the b@st@rds have it at pistol-shot shot range, and them board 'em.

This isn't something Dems are used to doing, and they've never seen it before.

The trick is patience, patience and good, ice-cold nerves.

This is gonna be VERY exciting if I'm right.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I thought the smartest commentary about Biden's speech last night was from CNN's international correspondent and very colorful (not handsome, but colorful) Brit Michael Ware, who was on CNN this morning.

As Ware pointed out, Biden said Bush did this, but Obama didn't want to do that. Repeat, repeat. If last night's theme and Biden's speech were supposed to have been about foreign policy, Biden's talk came up empty, according to Ware.

Biden didn't outline any Democratic plans or policy positions in terms of national security, didn't mention any specifics about "The Road Ahead" as regards foreign affairs, or discuss possible consequences of any of Obama's proposed plans, such as the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and its effects on the coutry or region (Iran) or the possible outcome of putting additional battalions into Afghanistan. (No San Antonio soldiers have died in Iraq this year, but two have died in Afghanistan, the second very recently.)

I myself having fits about Biden's use of the phrase that "Bush/McCain just don't get it." That phrase comes right out of the Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas hearings, where Biden was one of the men at the time who "just didn't get it."

Biden failed, just failed to bring African-American Angela Wright to the stand to testify and more importantly, support Anita Hill's allegations. Nor did Americans hear anything from Rose Jourdain, nor from Sukari Hardnett, thanks to Joe Biden. Can we trust Biden to really assist Obama in bringing equal pay to women for equal work when he was so clueless about sexual harassment when he chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee? And, according to the May 2008 book, "Rumors of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated," by New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, the EEOC is pretty gutted these days.

Or would you rather talk about Biden's controversial vote for the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005?

Posted by: Loomis | August 28, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Mudge - you may be right about the Clintons in an Obama administration. But part of me wonders why Hillary would abandon the Senate. It seems to me this is where she has most long term potential.

I agree that Obama and his folks are very, very smart. Sure, there have been a few cosmetic missteps, but I think they know what they are doing.

Still, I am extremely concerned that there will always be a lot of people in this country who will never vote for Obama no matter what. And given our screwy electoral system, who knows what will happen

As Joel once so wisely stated,

"Politics isn't left-brained, it's more reptilian than that."

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Sure, sure, Gabby can go after Stealthy, Lanky can go after Wimpy, but the Demmys should get out of the jammies and better have some plans of their own. They better d@mn well explain what and how they're going to change things, rather than just roll out and react to past history. Lanky better put some meat on his lofty idealism.

Posted by: Loomis | August 28, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, you and McCain are intellectual soulmates: still mired in the past, still fighting the last war (or the one before that, or before that), still nursing ancient grudges when the rest of the world has moved on.

And Ware is a moron if he expected Biden's speech to be a foreign policy White Paper. What the heck's the matter with you? It was a convention acceptance speech, not a seminar before the Foreign Policy Council, fer crissakes. Jaysus, Loomis, ya criticize the guy for being long-winded and giving long, discursive answers to horribly difficult questions-- and when he ISN'T longwinded, you criticize him for THAT, too. The fact of the matter is, there is *nothing* that will make you happy, Loomis. Nothing.

Here, this is real simple, let's see if you can wrap your head around it: "If last night's theme and Biden's speech were supposed to have been about foreign policy..." Those are your own words. But last night's speech WASN'T supposed to be about foreign policy. Where did you get the bizarre and outlandish idea that it was? Are you utterly tone-deaf to what a convention speech is supposed to sound like?

Classic straw man argument, Loomis, classic. You (and Ware) set up an entirely false premise and proceed to demolish it.

Anita Hill. Jaysus wept.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Al Jazeera link, 'Mudge.
And they (the dems) can talk about the Justice Dept. and political interference throughout the govt. and after the election they can give Henry Waxman a billion dollars and an office bldg. full of lawyers and staffers and really go after the b@st@rds. And gibbets, don't forget the gibbets.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 28, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Gibbets are at the top of my wish list, too, Boko.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I agree Mudge. And Biden did the right thing by limiting testimony way back when. Nobody could top the credibility of Anita Hill. Not that it mattered any. People voted along strict party lines. That whole thing was a classic political Rorschach test.

And what's with these stupid names? What is this Junior High? All this is just pulling down the Achenblog, once again.

So, let's get back to rain. It seems like lots of people have too much while others have too little. And between the effects of climate change and questionable development things are only going to get worse. So here's a water related question.

One of the approaches to treating sewage is to recycle processed water directly into the drinking supply instead of dumping it into rivers. This is already being done in Singapore and other places. Even given laboratory assurances of the quality of this processed water, lots of people can't get past the ick factor. And I must admit it bothers me a bit too. Unless, that is, I add a bit of grain alcohol to balance things out.

Which, if this invective continues I might start doing more than I should.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Gee, where did people get the idea that yesterday, Wednesday, was supposed to be about foreign policy at the Democratic convention? Don't suppose that the Obama camp or the press (foreign and domestic)had anything to do with it, do you?

From the BBC:


Theme: Foreign policy and security

Senator Joe Biden, chosen by Barack Obama as his running-mate partly on account of his foreign policy experience, is the main speaker.

He has a hard act to follow - former president Bill Clinton,...

I see that George Will and I are on the same page this morning. He's asking for more specifics from the Dems, too. Important since Lanky is a rookie with no executive management experience (and no real foreign policy experience). Will's first graf made me laugh "rhetorical loaves and fishes" from the football field podium tonight.

*faxing blood pressure medication*

Posted by: Loomis | August 28, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

No matter what any of them said, somebody would be criticizing, taking potshots, or whining. If a speaker turned water into wine, someone would snipe, "Yah ... well, what about the loaves and fishes, huh?"

Posted by: KPage | August 28, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

It's gone way beyond guarding the henhouse. They now have foxes designing and building the henhouses with plenty of trap doors for when they get booted off the job. And they are hot dipping a lot of foxes in feathers to stay behind and continue to work from the inside.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The Dems can either coalesce and pull together as a team, or not. Every one of them who has spoken at the convention has a role to play including the Clintons. Ya know if Obama had not won the nomination I would still have been dying to see him as Attorney General. If Biden had not been selected for warm bucket, I would expect him to bloody more noses in the Senate when the new Congress takes their seats. Someone criticized Sen. Clinton for talking about a "Democratic administration" instead of heaping more laurels on Obama. I think she was correct to note the profundity of regime change by name.

Posted by: Jumper | August 28, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Is this stuff too hard for you, Loomis? Because Biden was chosen for his foreign policy expertise (which he was) doesn't mean he was supposed to yammer on about it for an hour and a half.

Thanks for the blood pressure meds. If you keep this crap up, I'm gonna need a lot more of it.

I'm going to go back to ignoring you for a while. Adios.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I agree with that too Mudge.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

George Will throws like a girl.

Posted by: Jumper | August 28, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

In my line of work I'm seeing more and more acceptance of recycled water for irrigation, industrial processes, toilet flushing and other non-potable purposes with a lot of safeguards against cross-connection. It's going to be a while before you're brushing your teeth or mixing your cocktails with it.

A while ago my son read a lesbian-themed Nebula Award winning novel called "Slow River." It was set in just such a water re-processing plant where a lot of bio-tech and micro-biotech was used in the purification stream. After all, our current system uses the great outdoors as the filtering and dilution system. And then in the book people started taking short cuts...

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

RD - talk about ick factor!


i'd need a super duper brita!

Posted by: mo | August 28, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Lindaloo said "I see that George Will and I are on the same page this morning."

That doesn't worry you to be in sync with Will the Reactionary Republican?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 28, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Yello - I think there is a city in California that is experimenting with that "all natural" process. (Not sure there is much lesbianism involved, but you never know.) But you do highlight a great point. People seem to be much more tolerant of "natural" filtration systems than "artificial" ones. I mean, we have no problem drinking some of that cool crisp mountain water when it is but a fluffy cloud away from an ocean full of marine life. But if someone proposed a steam- condensation system to process soiled water folks would have a much harder time.

It really does come down to psychology and taboos.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The same old dribble from down south.

I am enjoying the convention so far,I don't think I will be watching much of the republicans though.

we have been getting heavy rain here in west by god,all night long. It is needed and it may provide enough river water for a paddle trip this weekend.

I am looking forward to the college football kickoff tonight and this weekend. some good games on tap.
Clemson vs Alabama should be fun to watch and don't count UVA out against USC. Then there are the so called "cup cake" games. But remember what Appalachia State did to Michigan last year.

Ahhhhh football that counts.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 28, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to introduce a potentially gaggy topic so close to lunchtime.

I was desperate to change the topic.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Just remember why W. C. Fields said why he doesn't drink water.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Delete or add words until it makes since. In other words, situation normal.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Think the rain'll help the maters? After a slow start I got me a bumper crop of Lemon Boys that are the best ones I've ever tasted. In fact, I am having a bowl full of them lightly seasoned with sea salt.

I figure they are doing well because I fertilize them with nothing but high quality organic bunny....

Oh never mind.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The Yellow Jackets kick off the season against the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State tonight. It's my son's first time on the field as a Division I saxophonist.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

And it made it through the sports mascot exception chute of the Wirty Dird Filter.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

You are wise, Padouk.

Food is what we need: a rousing food discussion. Yoki! CP! Slyness! VL! dbG!! Where are we having virtual lunch today? Since it's rainy and drizzly here, I propose a nice big pot of virtual chili. Who wants to bring the saltines? Bottle of wine (a dry chianti? a Sangria, perhaps?)? Salad? Dessert?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"It's time to drink toilet water" in OC Ca.
Note the insertion of "natural" ponds in the process, no doubt to mimick what happen in nature.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 28, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The Textbook Mafia is a tough opponent. It took me 5 minutes to find this online.

A couple of comments mentioned taking notes on a Kindle. As I very rarely write in a book, I'm not sure of the problem. The lack of maps, illustrations, etc. is a problem.

I myself want one to read everything that's available free from Project Gutenberg that I don't want to read on my monitor. I'm pretty sure the big publishers don't particularly want people reading for pleasure for free.

Posted by: Jumper | August 28, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I, personally, have no problem with recycling water what been used through my body. It's what the natural world does, and I'm a nature-loving kind of guy.

Distillation, however, seems like an unlikely way to process soiled water. It takes a huge amount of energy to evaporate water. In principal, you could do the job with a heat pump and a modest influx of energy. Heat the water, collect the steam, condense the steam and recover the heat, and use it to heat the next batch of water, plus a little extra energy to make up for efficiency losses. I have my doubts about this being effective on a large scale, but I am willing to accept the challenge of drinking my words when someone proves me wrong.

You still have the problem of desirability. Distilled water is flavorless and nutrient-free, whereas purified groundwater has dissolved salts. Recovering the salts from the soiled water in order to flavor the processed water seems like it still would be pretty difficult.

Distilled water would be good for watering crops and lawns because it adds no new salts and thus avoids salinization of the soil. Pasteurized waste water also would be good for tending agriculture, for different reasons. It still has the salts (bad) but also has lots of fine organic matter (good!). Some areas, I gather, use sanitized residue from water processing for compost on fields.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 28, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

That's a great article SD! And I love the term "water laundering." (As in hiding where the water came from.)

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

RD - you make a good point about "natural" filtration - what fish don't pee??

Posted by: mo | August 28, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The name calling really must stop. It really is wrong to go after someone based upon's not acceptable behavior from a child, let alone someone who is supposed to know better.

You wouldn't like to be called Lardo, or Bat Wing Arms, or even Gargoyle. Shoot, we don't even call you Witch, or Mind Numbingly Boring.

On top of being just down-right wrong, name calling undermines your position, which is already tenuous at best. (Biden wasn't supposed to talk about foreign affairs. But you know that.)

Posted by: LostInThought | August 28, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Ottawa's pretty nice today, worm and sunny. I picnic along the Rideau Canal could be fun.
Of course it rained all summer here in the Northern rain Forest so we were due some summer-like days. The growth on the trees is spectacular.
I'm having some costoluto genovese maters on a bed of greens topped with feta cheese, olives (green and calamata), pickled garlic and pepperonci peppers. This time, I even remembered about the dressing.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 28, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Excellent article, sd.

"Despite the public's concerns, a few U.S. cities have already started to use recycled wastewater to augment drinking water. In El Paso, indirect potable reuse supplies 40 percent of the city's drinking water; in Fairfax, Va., it supplies 5 percent."

Bottoms up, TBG.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

ScienceTim - you are right. Distillation is a bad technique. I just threw it out there to highlight how irrational we can be with "natural" vice "artificial" processes.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Here's a better topic-changer:

Best finger-pickin' rock guitarist --

Lindsey Buckingham
Mark Knopfler
Sonny Landreth
(Insert name here)

Discuss. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, I'm glad you're finding some intellectual resonance with Ware and Will.

However, the highly anti-Obama bias your comments continue to display does not make for compelling or even intellectually honest argument as far as I'm concerned.

Forgive me if I choose not to address them. It would be wrong to do so, as I have not and will not read them. I just don't have the time for it, frankly.


Posted by: bc | August 28, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, you made me fall off my chair with your 11:02.

I'm up for lunch, but it's partly cloudy and hot here. May I bring my best tuna salad on whole wheat with summer tomato slices instead?

Posted by: slyness | August 28, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of liquids, and in the spirit Mudge's request (Spirit? Get it?) I must report that I am becoming a born-again wine box guy. If you saunter on over to your local Booze R Us superstore, you can see that a lot of quite respectable wineries are now putting their products in boxes. (Actually big plastic bags. But you get the idea.) I like this trend because it seems somewhat more ecologically friendly, given realistic recycling rates for bottles, and allows ready access without the temptation to drain the whole stinkin' bottle in one evening.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I was going to make similar remarks about distillation. Very energy inefficient. Even a heat pump wouldn't do you much good except as a preheat/recool cycle because the temperatures for making steam are too high for most refrigerants.

Most ultrapure water is made with various reverse osmosis and ion bed systems with some UV thrown in for biocide. You still have to put the cleaned impurities somewhere.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Jumper, the 11:02 made me spew coffee. Nicely done.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Whaddaya mean by "finger-pickin'," S-nuke? I'd nominate Prince, but I'm not sure he fits in your subset of great rock guitarists.

Has anyone been hip to the appearance of Dave Bielanko as a guitarist on the Springsteen tour? That boy's hot.

Posted by: KP | August 28, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Not that I've ever drained a whole bottle in one evening. (Well, there was that one time. But I wasn't employed then.)

Still, I hear the wine calling to me in an open bottle to protect it from oxidation. But that's what refrigerators are for.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Sorry. Was trying to post that on Pegoraro's blog! (red face)

Posted by: Jumper | August 28, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

A food topic oh boy!
I am setting up to make a zuchinni parmesian. My mother gave me this ungodly big zuchinni when she was here last. As thick as a baseball bat.We were just talking a minute ago and she said I should of hit the bear over the head with it.I have much yummier plans for it.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 28, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Er ... KP = KPage at 11:41. Is it a rule around here that you're suppose to clear that kind of thing up?

Posted by: KPage | August 28, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Yum, GWE! You're invited to lunch!

Posted by: slyness | August 28, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Starting to get muggy here after a few glorious days for clear skies and coolish but lovely temperatures.

I shall bring some raspberry/cranberry ice cream/sorbet I recently discovered.

As for Foreign Policy, as a foreigner all I can say is anything other than "you are with us or against us" will be a HUGE improvement.

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Also, please no one be offended is I skip any and all luncheon meats - just a little cautious up here these days.

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Food. Good idea. I roasted a thick chuck last night. I think roastbeef sandwich on huge french bread with lettuce tomato arugula and spicy mustard. Maybe some swiss cheese, too. But have you seen the price of arugula?!

Posted by: Jumper | August 28, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

KPage, there are guitarists who primarily use a pick, and there are those who use their fingernails. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

A few days ago I saw Rachel Ray using arugula on her show. I always suspected her of being one of them elitist types. What with that fancy talk of hers and all.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse


1. If a stillsuit is good enough for the Fremen, it's good enough for me.

2. LindaLoo as a sobriquet may be sufficient unto the day.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 28, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday, we got an impromptu downpour from our own municipal thunderstorm, a small but wet one. Florida is never the vivid green of western Oregon or the British Isles in spring, but we're as green as we get.

Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans should be back from Denver by now. He won't be helped by severe uncertainties over hurricane Gustav's path:

...and the newest storm, Hanna, might end up in central Florida.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 28, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

dmd, my offer for a free pastrami stands. big package and a half coming directly for maple leaf 97F plant. I haven't returned it yet.
Would you believe a computer from the store where I bought it called to warn us? Amazing the amount of info that is gathered in our everyday life.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 28, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Shriek my husband has worked in companies that deal with that info - you would be surprised indeed.

Thanks so kind but no!

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I wanna nominate the nameless guy who plays the intro and the long ending to Hotel California on the double-neck guitar in the Eagles Australian tour/Hell Freezes Over II tour.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

SCC A and from

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 28, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse well as Carlos Santana.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

just a point of information - the theme of the night was foreign policy.
from the dem convention website:

Wednesday, August 27 – Securing America’s Future.
Barack Obama offers a new, tough foreign policy that is neither Republican nor Democratic, but is a strong, smart American foreign policy to make our country more secure and advance our interests in the world. Wednesday night’s Convention program will feature the voices of Americans who share Barack’s vision of making America stronger and safer.

the speaker list had lots of foreign policy types. however, biden's speech would have been less effective, as mudge noted, if it had been a white paper. biden had to address a broader range of topics because his speech was an acceptance speech, not a foreign policy speech. different genre.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 28, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Martin Barré, from Jethro Tull

Posted by: PlainTim | August 28, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse


Within the context of the whole schmeer last night, I think a fair exposition of what to expect from a new administration was admirably handled. Rep. Robert Wexler, for example, profoundly expounded on Obama's policy towards Israel. I think you had to listen to every speaker to hear the schmeer - or you can go to the Obama website and the voluminous catalog of policies to find out for yourself. A convention sells the sizzle, and not the steak (or for you vegans, it sells the drizzle and not the arugula).

Posted by: Shiloh | August 28, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Terry Gross just asked a guest if all this wild enthusiasm over Clinton at the convention made it feel like makeup sex.

I love that woman :-)

Posted by: DNA Girl | August 28, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Hi all... back from the beach. We returned late last night after realizing that even though you've paid for a hotel room doesn't mean you have to sleep in it all night. It was worth it just to be able to shower and dress comfortably for the ride home.

Didn't get to watch the convention last night; dropped into bed as soon as I got home, but will watch today on

Took Daughter over to school today to pick up her schedule and locker info. Can't believe she starts high school next week. That means in four more years I won't be a slave to the FCPS schedule.

(I just realized that by the time she graduates, considering I went through FCPS myself, I will have spent 30 years of my life living by that schedule. Wow.)

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm going to say Danny Gatton, even tho' he played with both a pick and his fingers.

Posted by: KPage | August 28, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

SCC: that entire first paragraph. You know what I mean. I was with my kids. At the beach. *blushing*

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I think Bruce Cockburn is finger-pickin' good

Posted by: DNA Girl | August 28, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

DNA Girl, I'm not sure I understand.

Makeup sex with Bill or Hillary?


Posted by: bc | August 28, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

John Oliver delivered the most insightful commentary last night, albeit, a day late.

Posted by: rook | August 28, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

TBG: The concern in your SCC suggests that you have some experience in the matter.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 28, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

And it made it through the Canuckistani guitarist exception chute of the Wirty Dird Filter.

Posted by: DNA Girl | August 28, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

bc: a love fest with bill and his formerly embarrassed lovers in a political sense. An "all is forgiven" moment. "I love this," he said - and an adoring crowd reacted in an orgasmic frenzy, as if he was a rock star.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 28, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Tom Toles seems to agree that the media is saying "it's all about us."

Posted by: Shiloh | August 28, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh, I'm not sure about that.

If manners had proceeded as you suggest, wouldn't Bill have been sound asleep in his seat about 30 seconds into Biden's speech?

And might still be sleeping there now?


Posted by: bc | August 28, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

ick, Shiloh, ick, ick, ick to your 12:31 PM.

Eric Clampton.

All of the Eagles, even Don Henley when he is on drums.

Smoked salmon,( plain & peppered) that's what's for lunch, will bring lemon wedges, dollop of horseradish & rice crackers.

Posted by: Vintage Lady | August 28, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Give some love to the ladies:

Jennifer Battern
Maybelle Carter
Lita Ford
Carol Kaye
Mary Osborne
Bonnie Raitt
Emily Remler

Posted by: omni | August 28, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Shrimp po-boy.

Posted by: rook | August 28, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

then there is this:

Posted by: omni | August 28, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Mudge wouldn't that be Joe Walsh? and wasn't he running for president at some time,so you see it all ties into our political discussion after all.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 28, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Joe Walsh - w/the James Gang; solo; or with the Eagles - great guitarist! Great finger-picker.

Posted by: Dmon | August 28, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

not a finger-picker but i love U2's The Edge - one of the best albums of all time (besides The Eagles Greatest Hits)is The Joshua Tree

Posted by: mo | August 28, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Gunter Grass.
Oops, sorry.
Johnny Winter.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 28, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The Danny Gatton pick is very good, but maybe a little too local?
Another boy who used to done good in the heavy finger catagory was the led zep loafer - James Page...

Posted by: Dmon | August 28, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

My nephew and his guitar playing buddies (all 20 somethings) say Yngwie Malmsteen is the greatest guitarist, but his music give me a headache.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 28, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

and speaking of joe walsh - his daughter lucy walsh is good too... not a guitarist but a decent muscian and pianist - i was surprised she didn't win "rock the cradle" - she did a great version of "the heart of the matter"

Posted by: mo | August 28, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

gives me a headache.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 28, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Dmon ... where you posting from if Danny Gatton's too local? Do they have the internet in Heaven? ::insert winky smiley::

Posted by: KPage | August 28, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

It's the inter-faith-net.
Hendrix and Stevie Ray were a little piqued with me about the Danny comment but, hey! I told 'em - finger picking means using your fingers and face it guys: you're dead. You ain't got no pickin' fingers!
Danny agreed but he didn't say nothin'.

Posted by: Dmon | August 28, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

John Williams playing Barrios-Mangore' is more my speed.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 28, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

a few of my favorite all time albums in no particular order
Abbey Road
Who's Next
Hotel California
Joshua Tree
Eat a Peach
Nothin Fancy
Working Man's Dead

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 28, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

oops forgot
Darkness on the edge of town

Off to work

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 28, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Thinkin' of favorite albums, how about any of these?
Basket of Light
The Smoker You Drink the Player You Get
Dark Side of the Moon
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
Are You Experienced
Court and Spark
The James Gang Rides Again
Sweetheart of the Rodeo
Buffalo Springfield
The Last Waltz

Posted by: Dmon | August 28, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

It's lunch time people. Let's go back to food, or rather wine. I've got a question about wine in boxes for pointy-headed science types. We don't use wine very fast, so we use food-saver vacuum to keep air out between uses. I can see how we wouldn't need to bother if we used boxed wine, but wondered if compounds in the plastic could leach into the wine. Phthalates weren't noticed until a researcher got bad results in a hormone study with mice. "Four months later she finally fingered a suspect. It was the janitor. In the laboratory. With the floor cleaner."
Just makes me a little leery of wine in plastic. Any insights?

Posted by: km2b | August 28, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

We rarely have a wine recorking problem , but recorking instruments are available. The alternative to boxed wines is screw tops; Cinzano Vermouth or Mogen David wines, for example, and a variety of wines available at convenience stores. Real corks are becoming rarer, except in pricey vintage wines, and the faux corks used by many CA vintners can be recorked by hand with a little work.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 28, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I already ate my lunch ... yes, it's that slow here, today.

Danny Gatton -- 88 Elmira Street
Marah -- Let's Cut the Crap
Prince -- Controversy
Drive-by Truckers -- The Dirty South
The Limelighters -- Through Children's Eyes
Ike Reilly -- Salesmen and Racists
James McMurtry -- Childish Things
Josh Ritter -- The Historical Conquests
Nick Lowe -- everything!

Posted by: KPage | August 28, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

That's a reasonable question km2b. I thought about this too when the water bottle questions started. I take solace in the fact that the EPA and European health agencies have agreed that the recent scare was unfounded.

I guess it comes down to who you trust and just how vigilant and/or paranoid you are going to be about things.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm inviting you to virtual lunch at my house tomorrow. Lovely though chili and barbeque are, they seem a little heavy for lunch. Tomorrow's bill of fare:

Watercress and argula salad with lobster won-tons


Asparagus frittata
Potato croquettes

(More Prosecco)

Honeydew melon
Chocolate petit fours

(A sip of Pernod for those who desire it)

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Yoki. I'll be there. Want me to come early and help set the table (and also help open the first bottle of Prosecco)?

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, what a fabulous menu. I'm looking forward to it! What time should we arrive?

Posted by: slyness | August 28, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, come whenever you can. The earlier the better!

TBG, I'm counting on you and dbG as co-hostesses, so you can open the wine (and do some quality control).

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I can't go Yoki, tomorrow is eldest's birthday and we are going to ribfest in town for lunch before the crowds get too large - yes we will have a light supper tomorrow!

The Prosecco sound good though.

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

That's perfectly understandable, dmd. I could send you a piece of fritatta and some cookies to take to the office for lunch on Monday.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Today's entry for "The Internet Really CAN Save Your Life!"


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Bag-in-a-box wine has been around forever, since the early 80's at least around here. The preferred format is 3L (4 bottles) in Canada. Some wines are available in 18L (24bottles)boxes for the bars and restaurant selling by the glass or carafe.
The bag wall is a laminate made-up of at least 3 layers and it can have as much as 5 or 6 layers. The bag is formed by folding a sheet of laminate over and heat sealing on three sides. The spigot is heat-sealed in as well.
In pretty much all cases the layer in contact with the wine/juice/milk/alcoholic drink is low density polyethylene (LDPE) in one of its numerous forms (metallocene, linear, etc). LDPE is the plastic that is used in most food packagings, from milk jugs to margarine tubs. We would know already if LDPE were dangerous as we would be all dead.
The outer layer could be LDPE as well or some other stronger stuff. The interesting part is in the middle. EVOH is almost always used as a permeation membrane in the middle to keep water, alcohol, acids and all flavorous bits where they belong and prevent the ingress of nasty stuff from the fridge's atmosphere. Sometimes, if the product is oxygen sensitive one of the plastic layer will me metallized with a thin layer of aluminium that will prevent the ingress of oxygen.
In its crudest form, a heavy duty single wall 5gallons LDPE bag inside a non-printed fibrebord box, the bag-in-a-box is a very popular way to distribute acid battery. It's known as a cube of acid. Not to be mixed-up with a spot of acid.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 28, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Kpage, I like your taste in music.

I dig the Drive-By-Truckers, saw Danny Gatton a bunch of times while he was still around (and yeah, I have my CD of 88 Elmira St.), and I've seen Nick Lowe enough times to be able to chart his hair colour (ahem) change from brown to white(many of them at the old Bayou).

Been listening to newer rock lately (though not exclusively). Against Me!, Mooney Suzuki, Warlocks, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Kings of Leon, stuff like that. Yes, I went to the VANS Warped Tour last month when it passed through Merriweather (but stayed away from Cobra Starship, FWIW).

And "Darkness on the Edge of Town" is great, but I'm still partial to "Born to Run," which I (and others) consider the best summer album ever.

Ach, gotta take off now, I'm going to the Washington NFL Franchise preseason game, and the friends who are treating me insist on leaving early and tailgating.

Horrible, isn't it?

(look for me on TV during commercial breaks of the DNC coverage. I'll be the guy in the red shirt)

I'll have to watch Obama's acceptance speech on the Internet later. Lookin' forward to it.

Have a good evening, all.


Posted by: bc | August 28, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Off topic.

The boodle uses the expression "faxing [somebody] a [three dimensional object] ..." as an inside joke. Last night, I saw on the TV show "Modern Marvels" serious predictions by presumeably legit. science folks that in about 5 years, we will, indeed, be able to do just that.

Has the boodle known about this faxing real physical stuff (or at least representations thereof) all along, and I'm just now getting the memo? Lawd, I feel like such a dunce.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 28, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I've been trying to see Mark Knopfler live since 1985 when Dire Straits sold out the Fox Theater in Atlanta. I did not get a ticket. A few years back he was scheduled to play Wolf Trap but got into a motorcycle accident and canceled the tour the day before tickets were to go on sale.

I didn't even know that he was at Wolf Trap this year until too late. But weekday nights are a tough drive from MD.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

SCC acid for batteries, between others.

And EVOH isn't extra virgin olive hides but ethylene vinyl alcohol...

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 28, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse


I saw that as well. I KNEW I shoulda nailed that patent down sooner...


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Monday is a holiday in these here parts, Yoki. Just saying, in case you wuz gonna fax any leftovers to us Muricans on that day. (Labor Day.)

After looking at tomorrow's luncheon menu, Yoki, I don't suppose you and Himself would give any serious consideration to adopting a 62-year-old from south of the border, would you? He's housebroken, can do various household chores and honey-dos, and write the occasional poem.

No, I thought not. *sigh* Well, ya never know unless ya ask.

GWE, no, it wasn't Joe Walsh, though you'd think it would be. I have the Australian Tour DVD, and it isn't one of the "regular" Eagles.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

*faxing Scotty a V-8*

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 28, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks SD! Of course, some of the earlier wines I tasted from a box could easily remove rust. But they got better.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse


"Swedish magazine recalled after faulty recipe poisons 4"

Some people follow recipes sooo slavishly. Putting 20 nutmegs in a single cake, come on.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 28, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to be fuel-efficient, Don. Make it a V-4. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Yep RDP, b-i-a-b keeps wine very well, so plonk will remain plonk for the longest time.
It's the cost of packaging and shipping that drives the use of those bags as well. The standard pallet of boxes contains 40% more wine than the same pallet of cases of bottles. If the wineyard is shipping from Australia to new-York it makes a big difference in shipping cost.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 28, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Here's the DNC schedule for today/tonight, Colorado time (2 hours later here in the East)

Sheryl Crow, Tim Kane & Barack Obama are my main picks.

Posted by: Vintage Lady | August 28, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The Al Gore Rhythms Band may do a few warm up numbers.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 28, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Don from I-270 - there are these "3D printers" that create complex shapes by piling up layers of stuff.

I have seen them demonstrated. They are pretty cool. I guess you could hook one to a fax machine. Yet, I fear we are quite some time from being able to synthesize something truly impressive. Like a lovely Shiraz.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

In training meetings this week, but lurking.

Yoki -- lunch sounds delightful. Count me in. i will bring a small pan of lemon bars, light on the sugar, but long on the tart pulp.

LiT -- howdy and take care with all those tools around.

Don and Scotty, the proof of concept technology you speak of is sometimes called a Santa Claus Machine:

I worked on documenting this project a few years ago. Read this early, early piece in Wired Magazine from 1994:

What will happen sooner than a fax will be a solid object photocopier. So, Yoki could "fax" us dinner, but we would not get the asparagus in aspic mold to enjoy, actually. BUT, we would get a perfect replica of the shape and texture and density. I suppose we could select the color. The technology to be unveiled in 2009 or so would be like an extruder machine, burping out shapes we select remotely.

is that clear as goop? RD, help me out here. And very much like the Thingmaker machines we played with. Creepy Crawlers, etc.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

The guy who has been playing with The Eagles recently is a local guy names Steuart Smith. He's an outstanding player. I saw him a couple of times backing up Shawn Colvin and he played in a one-time group with Rodney Crowell that I saw at the Birchmere. It was one of the first shows at the new Birchmere and it was damn loud. But it was a fun show.

Posted by: pj | August 28, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

That is so cool, CP. The thing itself, and the fact that you've been in the know about it.

All kinds of applications for such technology, not limited to industrial-type stuff. Imagine the possibilities for artistic collaboration.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

That is if you count Joe Walsh as one of the "regular" Eagles. His ego clashing with Don Henley had to have been part of their very long hiatus. I saw the He11 Freezes Over Tour and there was some sort of most-favored-nation clause that let Walsh play as many solo/James Gang songs as Henley did.

Glen Frey got the short end of that stick since he only played half as many. That still comes to nearly a dozen songs in a 30-song playlist that aren't full band recordings.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

SSC: ...named Steuart Smith.


Posted by: pj | August 28, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, the sheer joy of helping sci and eng types with their documents means that I learn so much. Here is an OPEN SOURCE project, that aims to GIVE AWAY stuff, by making it possible make stuff with the machine:

Take that corporate World with your hegemonic stronghold on intellectual property and knowledge and other important stuff THAT WANTS TO BE FREE.

Pardon, my philosophy of gift economies are best, shows here.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

CP never ceases to knock my socks off, so to speak, with her superior brainpower.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 28, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Tis a huge layer of knowledge, Don/270, not deep, not deep. Again, borrowed from my NerdLord colleagues (victims, perhaps).

Off by bike for errands. Route One is a parking lot because the New Jersey/New York students are arriving by SUV to move it. The number of NJ/NY students staggers. But, oh my, the huge tuition dollars they provide make many around town happy.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

dmd -- it appears that I am sharing my birthday with your eldest tomorrow. I'm truly hono(u)red -- really. Some friends are taking me out to dinner at a little French bistro in the area (in upper NW for the DC crowd). It's supposed to rain, though, probably like it's been doing today. So even though I'm going to be getting my hair done in the morning, where they do their best to straighten it out -- I *know* that by the time dinner rolls around, my hair will be back to its usual curly self, filling whatever space is available. Well, whatever. One's hair is what it is, after all. Just happy to have some, eh?

Looking forward to Obama's acceptance speech tonight. I've know someone (kinda high up) who's there. We just traded emails and he's really excited about it all. And, Mudge, he's even older (*gasp*) than we are. Go figure.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 28, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The RepRap project will be of interest to Rossum's Universal Robots (R.U.R., Karel Capek).

Posted by: Shiloh | August 28, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Well have a great day ftb, I have a sister with curls - her hair has been straight once in her life for a few hours :-).

We are out with friends for dinner - Obama's speech is later correct 10:00 ish?

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I can't do a thing with my hair either.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Yes, dmd, 10 p.m. DST.

Btween the 'limpics and this convention, they're playing havoc with my sleep.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh, goody, I'll be home in time to watch Obama. Weeks ago I bought tickets to see a local comic tonight. The show's at 7:30 and it was a sellout so they added a second one at 9:30. That means I'll get to watch! I was quietly bummed that I'd have to watch the rerun.

Posted by: slyness | August 28, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, dmd. Well, Mudge, at least you can catch up on your sleep next week when the RNC has it's "do" -- although it's a question whether you will sleep *during* or *instead of*. Me, I'd rather keep my food down. Gonna catch up on my reading.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 28, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Gonna miss the Obama Coronation (I do hope it is as snazzy as Napoleon's, with him putting the crown on himself and all) as well as all televised professional sporting events.

I have tickets to see Martha Davis and the Motels at Ramshead.


Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

These RepRaps that CP referred to are facinating machines. I don't know whether to speak to it in my Captain Piccard voice and ask it for: "Tea, earl-gray, HOT", or shoot it as the villinous replicator of Stargate SG-1 fame.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 28, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I am off on a 4 day weekend, I offer this amusing look at Male Grocery Shopping - wish list.

The writer forgot phones in the cart to call home and verify, brands, sizes etc. I personally have received many such calls and giggled recently as I listened to a man call home, we spoke after and I laughed when I said I get those same calls.

On the bright side lots of men doing the grocery shopping - Yea!

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I *like* grocery shopping; my wife hates it...but she seldom lets me shop. She says I buy things.

Women. Go figure.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I've been getting a bothersome pop-up called Antivirus 2009. It looks like a microsoft thingie, but not quite.

It is urging me to instal. Has anyone run into this?

Posted by: Brag | August 28, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Brag--its a faux security virus. Your machine is probably already infected. I had one called AntiSpyCheck just last week--cost me $30 in special software and three hours to get rid of it. Don't touch it. And if you can't get rid of it, you may have to consult one of these links:

I had to buy a copy of Spyhunter to get rid of the one I had.

A colleague has reported scuttlebutt that Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has cancelled all appointments and appearances for tomorrow. So there's the first leak. It'll be all over the networks in a few hours. Even if it's a ruse.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

So is McCain gonna let the info "leak" tonight to take the spotlight off Obama?

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse


Many thanks!

Posted by: Brag | August 28, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

oppenheimer radio is someone else

Posted by: unome | August 28, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Brag: When the pop-up happens again (it will) in windows, open the task manager (alt+control+dele) and see what it's really called. Then, go to the start menu and search for the file name; find the parent directory and dump it (the parent directory) in the trash. You may not get all of it, but you'll probably get enough of it to make it cease and desist.
Good hunting!

Posted by: Dmon | August 28, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Grocery shopping is why Mr. F#3 is also Mr. F the Final. He does all the grocery shopping and in far better fashion than I could ever imagine. On my own, I'm just a bear with refrigeration.

Too too busy sanding the drywall joints I taped and mudded last weekend in the hip urban loft. Will be painting tonight while Obama speaks. Bill Clinton's speech was spot on. I was hoping he'd say something along "I was a young president so I know what it takes, and he's got it." Darned if he didn't. Frostdottir says I should be a pundit-but I think she was making an age crack, like it's easy to know history and see parallels with today if you've lived through most of recorded time.

Loomis, lighten up.

Hope to check in later. Will we be live commenting tonight?

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, I will be in live-comment mode tonight. Done with back-to-school night rituals for the moments so I can be a citizen and watch the convention.

I loved Nancy Pelosi's shimmery-blue portrait collar jacket. We have come a long way from the stupid blue power suit and red bow thingie at the neck, haven't we ladies. I was trying to see more of Michelle Obama's turquoise knit shift with fabric rosettes. She can sure pull off a shift with her lovely toned arms and self-poise.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, I think the key is to refuse the crown thrice, but be told he MUST. You know, if we're going the Shakespearean route.

Actually I suspect there will be a cutting of the Gordian knot involved.

What time does the DNC major speeches start anyhow? I keep missing 'em, although I caught Biden's speech. Very nice.

That aside, we have a lot of wet stuff on the ground. Somebody just left it lying around, maybe they lost it?


Sand swirls around my toes
Rocks bathe their flyaway moss
Calm gushes in my heart.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 28, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Here are ten conventioneer silly hats, courtesy of the Detroit Free Press pages:

Michelle Obama is wearing many clothes by Chicago designer Maria Pinto. Here is a lovely lavender sheath dress by MP on MO, on Newsweek:

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod -- you sure look a lot like the masked haiku fly-by guy (gal but guy rhymes).

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

omg cp - those flip flops were HIlarious!

Posted by: mo | August 28, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

i think we have a lot of boodler bdays this time of year - i seem to remember 'mudge and snuke having a bday around this time... mine is on tues...

ftb - i have the untameable curly hair syndrome as well... word of advice - do NOT get it chemically straightened... it'll kill your hair and will just grow back out curly anyway...

Posted by: mo | August 28, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

mo, I saw the McCain version of those flip-flogs advertised - it frightened me.

Posted by: dmd | August 28, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could stay up and watch Obama, but I have an unusually early professional obligation tomorrow. As many of you know, the technical term is O'Dark-Thirty.

And I am tired, tired, tired as it is. I am looking forward, though, to all the thoughtful comments sure to come.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 28, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

dmd - THAT sounds like a horror movie! "the flipflops from hell!"

Posted by: mo | August 28, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Just got time to check back in. Thanks for the answers to my question, it looks like box wine is OK.
Answer to "who do you trust?" The boodle, of course.

Posted by: km2b | August 28, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

the colour purple
regal redolent reclaimed
favours Obama

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Its a nice theory that you can have a glass from a boxed wine and leave the rest for another time. I have found the evenings we open a box of wine are directly related the the evenings I don't remember.

I have no idea how may glasses are in the things.

Posted by: dr | August 28, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Not that I am a lush or anything. I just have a low tolerance.

Yeah that's it.

Posted by: dr | August 28, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, you reminded me of a Robin Williams golden oldie:

Red sand between my toes
Summer vacation
In outer space

(That was a Martian haiku.)

mo, my b'day is Wed. :-)

I do a large percentage of the grocery shopping in the NukeAbode, and only rarely do I need to call home...

'Cuz NukeSpouse is right there in the bakery if I have a question. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I'll be in live mode with ya, Frosti and CP (if I don't accidentally nod off).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh, DR, DR. Where were you when I was in college?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I'll be here, too. Should we be on the lookout for Charlize Theron and her Big Blue Bow?

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- am waiting for a saucer hat or Elizabethan ruff on somebody, anybody......secretly, i covet Robin Givhan's berth.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

DR, me too, very whoozy after light spritz of fire water of any type. This is our princess-and-the-pea delicacy operating. Although on the outside, you and I can

bale hay
brand calves
hoe a row
heave hoe stones or unsatisfactory persons

you know, we prairie gals are now strangers to hard work.

Redheads metabolize lots of drugs differently, so perhaps alcohol too.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I took a look at those hats, and I think it was picture 5 that made me wonder if he was any relation to Bjork. Maybe she'll make an appearance in her Flamingo getup.

Posted by: omni | August 28, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

NO strangers, DR, to hard work, right? But you knew that.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

We discovered Monday night that watching on C-SPAN is a delight. No blathering commentary... just the convention.

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I hope Kim is watching Tim Kaine right now. Woo hoo!

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

>They better d@mn well explain what and >how they're going to change things, >rather than just roll out and react to >past history.

Loomis, when have you done anything but roll out and react to past history?

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

Stevie Wonder has a boodle too!

Posted by: Achenbach | August 28, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Just once, for like 10 seconds, I want to have as much style as Stevie or any of the seven or eight snappy dudes to his left.

Posted by: Achenbach | August 28, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Just learned from MSNBC that Joe Biden's wife Jill is from Willow Grove, Pa., which is about four miles away from where I graduated from high school, in Hatboro, and maybe only 15 or 20 miles from dbG and omni territory.. The school district where Willow Grove is -- Upper Moreland Township -- was always our arch-rival football team we played every Thanksgiving Day/homecoming game.

Redskins loosing badly to Jaguars, 17-3. Saw bc in the stands, drinking copiously. He was the one wearing the red shirt.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Gore made a recycling joke!

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Gore quoted Thomas Edison on solar energy -- OBVIOUSLY cribbing from my recent Pennsylvania story. I will seek a speechwriting royalty.

Posted by: Achenbach | August 28, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Gore's making a pretty good speech.

Joel, you gonna stick around for the live boodle during the O speech?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

So the Republicans are thinking of postponing their convention. How's that gonna work? Doesn't St Paul have anything else scheduled afterward?

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Was the crowd just doing the Tastes Great! Less Filling! bit?

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

What are they saying? I can't make it out but it does sound like that, TBG.

Posted by: Aloha | August 28, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I see, they're doing the wave...

Posted by: Aloha | August 28, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

BTW, today is the third anniversary of Katrina. This might be a good time for Obama to mention that.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Interesting how a hurricane might impact the presidential race. Some sort of karmic payback? Gore was good, he’s not the most dynamic speaker but I guess I’m spoiled now. Just watched a clip on Slate of snippets of Obama’s 2004 convention speech. Damn he’s good!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 28, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Floyd Little?

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden's talking again. Not being judgemental, just saying...

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 28, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

That backdrop kinda looks like Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Posted by: Aloha | August 28, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Aloha, good point, not so much neo-Classical as neo-Vegas. Maybe Obama will jump the whole thing on a motorcycle?

Posted by: Achenbach | August 28, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

That lady from Long Island was great!
Y'all better vote for Obama or else she'll punch the carp outta ya.

Posted by: DNA Girl | August 28, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Next up: Stanley Morgan!

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I liked all the home-grown speakers.

Health insurance could be my one-issue vote. Nothing sends ordinary people into poverty faster than ill health and crappy or invisible health insurance.

Barney Smith, YES. Smith Barney. NOT SO MUCH.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- you are funny.

Jones Edward, can we get one of these?

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith...have not thought about them for years.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Here is a classic commercial on

Smith Barney.

John Houseman also shilled for Puritan Oil, I think.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Hi everyone!!
the first week of school has been as busy as I expected. I have managed to watch a bit of tv in the evenings. Fun stuff.

Here is an interesting blog post a friend shared with me.

Posted by: a bea c | August 28, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

He needs a bigger crowd.

Posted by: Achenbach | August 28, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

... and more clapping.

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Obama-more than a 10% chance for change.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

"Eight is enough!"

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

a bea c... I like your friend's blog post.

Hey.. are you going to be able to come to our Mega BPH on October 4? I hope so!

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Over on Wonkette, they're chanting "Hill Street Blues!"

Posted by: TBG | August 28, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Whew, was afraid I was going to hear all the lead up speeches and miss Obama. I think Bill Richardson looks dashing with his beard. I'd hate MO and her toned arm self if I didn't stand in solidarity with her in the anti-pantyhose camp.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I think the stage and podium were done by the set designers on The West Wing. Just need Toby and Josh doing a "walk and talk" and half of America will think he already is president.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I hadn't noticed earlier the extent to which he uses feminine pronouns. Cool.

Posted by: DNA Girl | August 28, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

In non-specific references, I mean.

Posted by: DNA Girl | August 28, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Good point DNA girl.

Mr. F and I were just marveling at the discipline of all the speakers in their bow towards John McCain's service and patriotism. Talk about inoculation. McCain can't help but look like he's using the same old same old dirty campaigning if he, or his surrogates, harp on that any more.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Well I'm speechless (almost :-)

And I hope the @##!%% pundits are struck speechless too. At least for a few blessed moments as we share the grace.

Such language from an atheist! I must be inspired.

Posted by: DNA Girl | August 28, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Great speech!Great speech!Great speech!Great speech!Great speech!Great speech!Great speech!Great speech!Great speech!

Thie election is about us!!!! Go Obama!

Posted by: eidrib | August 28, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Biden's not a particularly short guy, is he?

Posted by: Bob S. | August 28, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse


He said it all.

He said ALL the right things.

I am ready for this man to be President of the United State.

No, let me say it as I should.


Posted by: slyness | August 28, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Great speech! My 15 yr old says the set looks like someone TP'd the White House.

Posted by: Wheezy | August 28, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking the same thing! Looks like the aftermath of a real revolution

Posted by: DNA Girl | August 28, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

It was such a pleasure to listen to a man who can give a speech and sound as if he is just talking to his friends --- and such a great speech, besides!

Posted by: nellie | August 28, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Let the battle begin.

Posted by: eidrib | August 28, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Amen Slyness. I wondered if he could top the speech in 2004, he did it in spades. What a speech! Absolutely great!!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 28, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

TP'd = toilet papered or torpedoed

Someone should TP David Brooks. He's talking about how he "wasn't wowed", indeed "underwhelmed" because it was a "serious speech"

Time to turn the TV off.

G'night all

Posted by: DNA Girl | August 28, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I can completely understand Michelle Obama's "for the first time I'm proud of my country" so-called gaffe. I only thought I was proud of my country before, now I know my standards were too low.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

frosti - Nicely put!

Posted by: Bob S. | August 28, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I think Brooks just has to say some negative things about Obama so he can keep his gig as the conservative half of Shields and Brooks.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

He absolutely punched all my buttons.

End dependence on foreign oil in 10 years.

Make government work FOR the people.

I LOVELOVELOVE that he won't run a character smear campaign.

Go f*ck yourself, Karl Rove!

Posted by: slyness | August 28, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Outta the park in some ways; totally grounded in others. Makes me happy and proud. The country music anthem-ballad in the background reminds me of Charley Pride who, like Obama, is an unlikly person to sing country and western music (and run for president.)

The cherry red tones in Michelle Obama's print dress -- are we seeing the return of the dress!? -- are so flattering. His tie features the same cherry red shade. Works because this red tone -- unlike scarlet or vermillion or cardinal -- has blue undertones.

So, the shade tips us away from red (state) or blue (state) to something more subtle that purple. Cool.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow! He did good - way better than I hoped. He walked out to City of Blinding Lights by U2 - which got me jumping up and down. I loved it - loved the story, the attack, the solutions, the "it's about you", America's promise. Great, great speech. Liked the song at the end too, though I have to admit I don't know it.

Interesting article here about Obama and U2:

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 28, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Bob S.

Toodles boodle. Sweet dreams of changes for the better.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 28, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my! They're still repairing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from the wall-breaching accident a while back. Bad, bad, very bad back-ups predicted for the weekend.

Just say "NO" to going east-bound across that bridge, apparently. A four-hour detour may be substantially faster.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 28, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

More like the Bellagio:

(Bellagio on the left, Caesar's on the right)

Got home too late for the speech (I had to stick around to get hugged by Martha Davis) but caught the balloon drop. That was an impressive crowd in that stadium.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

The song at the end was Brooks and Dunn - Only In America.

Woo hoo - now I have to do the dishes.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 28, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Verklempt. And it didn't help I was watching Obama on two different channels (I just happened to be next to two TVs nobody else was using...).

Hit some buttons. A friend yesterday said she broke down during Biden's speech and had to stop watching... and she didn;t know who he was, but when he was talking about help for veterans, she just flashed back to how hard it was for her father, a Vietnam vet, struggling with PTSD without support, and how badly it affected her childhood and family.

When Obama opened by mentioning the Bush years' effects on normal Americans, I got a lot of MY buttons hits. I had to step away for a few seconds. I still have a knot in my stomach from thinking about the last 8 years.

Egads, I hope all of what he proposed tonight happens. I would settle for ANY of it happening-- as long as it's more than 10%. I saw Joe Biden mouth "loved it, so fabulous" when greeting Obama afterwards.

(I may be a lousy lipreader, but "fabulous" is fairly distinctive as a word, and I can always lipread love.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 28, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, thank you for that. Love that you "read" love well. G'night.

Will love to read what the Pac Rim shift leaves us.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 28, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you, Wilbrod. Any more than ten percent and I'm there.

That is an ambitious program he has set forth. OTOH, it's all work we absolutely must accomplish.

G'night all. I hope I can settle down and sleep.

Posted by: slyness | August 28, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I know it's been a political night, but on the local sports scene:

Is it too late for the Redskins to cut some of their starters and pick up some of the players who didn't get picked up in the draft? Sheesh!

Posted by: Bob S. | August 28, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

A historic night.

'Night, Boodle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 28, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I refuse to pile on with the Loomis-haters for her bestowal (or borrowing) of the appellation "Lanky" for Obama. Seems to me that it's descriptive & dismissive without being particular vicious.

After all, she's just following in the footsteps of that other great Texas humorist, Molly Ivins, who more-or-less single-handedly popularized "Shrub" as a nickname for the Texas governor-turned-U.S. president.

On the other hand, when it comes to the "humor" part, Loomis obviously does NOT always follow the biblical injunction against hiding one's light under a bushel!

Posted by: Bob S. | August 28, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah... "particularly"

Posted by: Bob S. | August 28, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Molly Ivins was a humorist.

Posted by: nellie | August 28, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

nellie - Aw, c'mon. I addressed that! Did you get to my last paragraph? I tried to keep my comment down to extremely un-Loomislike brevity.


Posted by: Bob S. | August 29, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I got serious about Obama when George Washington U. professor Marc Lynch (Abu Aardvark) met the candidate and came away impressed. Later, it turned out that the senator had done quite a lot of homework on the Middle East in Chicago.

I was more or less in tears while watching this evening's spectacle. Such an opportunity for the country to deal with crises, some of them creeping up, some ambushing us. The fiscal crisis in its various manifestations has been worsening for over a year, nasty surprise after surprise. The Federal Reserve has invoked powers dormant since the Great Depression.

Yet in November, I expect that a dispirited Republican Party will get McCain elected. Enough Americans will resent Obama's fast rise, fear his (and Hillary's) health care ideas, want a President who tortures alleged Islamic militants, want to hide in the past.

Is it too early to plan a move to a country with a working political system? Maybe learn enough French to qualify for Canadian residence?

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 29, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Dave - Less than a year ago, I scoffed at 'mudge when he suggested exactly that scenario. It seemed (dare I say it?) "inconceivable" that ANY Republican could win the next election.

I'm palpably aware that the possibility is quite real.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 29, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Dave of the Coonties, you brought tears to my eyes --- that is EXACTLY my fear. I want to see this change happen, any of it, some of it -- and just can't see it coming about.

Posted by: nellie | August 29, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Wow. slyness expressed my sentiments regarding Mr. Rove with such eloquence. Well done. Sen. Obama's speech was one of the finest I've heard in a long time. I was particularly impressed with the way in which he stated his case for ensuring the security of the country. There was a comment tonight that Sen. McCain's campaign was going out of state to being busloads of people to his Dayton gig tomorrow, and that they were having a time finding the 10K people to attend. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that people were turned away from the stadium tonight. My wife and I watched this evening's broadcast together and she remarked that the crowd had a lot of nerdy looking people in it. I replied that the Republican convention would attract a far less diverse crowd, but would include a lot of stuffed shirts.

Posted by: jack | August 29, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

I hope you're wrong. I think there are lots of Americans ready for change. Certainly the possibility is there. But I read that thousands of people watched the speech in Times Square - that sounds like a good sign.

I heard Pat Buchanan say the speech was magnificent, the best convention speech he's heard. And for his favorite part, he picked the part about people not dying together for a "red state, or a blue state, but for the UNITED States!" - which was an echo of Obama's keynote speech 4 years ago.

CP, when I saw Michelle and the girls dressed in fuschia, I wondered what you would think. Fabulous.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 29, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Dave, nellie: I plan to go to our local Democratic party representative and work for the campaign. The race is too tight to be a spectator. I succeeded today in convincing a die hard Clinton supporter to vote, rather than sit this out. I feel like there is little attention being paid to the youngest segment of the electorate, as well as women and minorities. The Clintons are going out to do their part to secure votes and Sen. Biden has a lot of blue collar support. The DNC has a 50 state strategy, and the Obama campaign seems to have mobilized far many more people to this point in the process compared to the RNC. Turnout will be the key, so do what you can to make this happen. As the song says: People of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains...

Posted by: jack | August 29, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

The Achenblog community is a great deal larger than the D.C. area, but I'll point out that in the local area, those of us in Virginia have some work to do if we've decided that we like Obama. I'm pretty sure that D.C. & Maryland are safe for the Dem's (heck, in MD in '92, Paul Tsongas beat the crap out of Clinton, and Clinton STILL managed to outpoint Bush-the-Elder with the leftovers!), but Virginia is a state that's theoretically winnable by Obama only with a lot of concerted effort.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 29, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

I actually chuckled out loud when Loomis brought up the Clinton "double standard for supporting the winning candidate" argument earlier. When I first saw it floated a couple of weeks ago, I considered it seriously for about fifteen minutes, until I came to roughly the same conclusions mentioned by the 'mudge earlier.

I mean, c'mon! With the exception of Obama, Clinton gathered more financial support than any Democratic candidate in history. Is she just supposed to walk away from the party's presidential aspirations because she's not the standard-bearer? As demonstrated in recent days, she doesn't think so, and I think it's a little nuts that some other people apparently DID think so.

To those whom much is given...

Posted by: Bob S. | August 29, 2008 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Before I'm torn to shreds by electoral historians, my remark above (about Tsongas-Clinton-Bush) refers to the numbers of votes that they gathered in their respective primaries.

Paul Tsongas (obviously, to some of us) was not a significant vote-receiver in the general election. If I recall correctly, in the general election in Maryland in 1992, Clinton beat Bush by more votes than Bush had even received in the state's primary.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 29, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

What struck me about the speakers' stage last night wasn't the columns, which I only noticed when (for some strange reason) the camera shots framed the large display screens on & near the stage rather than framing the folks who were speaking.

What I couldn't ignore was the wild beehive / Babe-the-Blue-Ox turd-pile look of the actual platform upon which the speakers spent most of their time.


Posted by: Bob S. | August 29, 2008 3:03 AM | Report abuse

So, am I technically a troll if there's no actual discussion which I'm interrupting?

Posted by: Bob S. | August 29, 2008 3:05 AM


Of course you are, you self-indulgent crapheel!

Posted by: Bob S. | August 29, 2008 3:06 AM


Posted by: Bob S. | August 29, 2008 3:09 AM | Report abuse

Of course, what I really enjoy about the Achenblog is these interludes where you've all decided that my brilliance is so illuminating that it requires neither affirmation nor even acknowledgment.

On that happy note, I'll go take a little nap before arising to take up the good fight once again. Peace, all!

Posted by: Bob S. | August 29, 2008 3:37 AM | Report abuse

Hadn’t watched any of the speeches made by all the important people and don’t have anything intelligent to say.

But on recycled water, I have a little to add. I visited my sister in Singapore a few weeks back. When I was there I drank her water forgetting they get “sewage” water through their taps. If I had remembered, I’d have gone and buy myself bottled water. It tasted kind of dull. Not a refreshing taste. It might be because my sister had boiled it. I’ve had boiled water in M’sia too but it’s not that dull. So I dunno.

In the last 10 years, installing water filters at home have become popular. I don’t know if the filtration system has anything to do with it, but I realized filtered water in Bn taste different from water in M’sia. Since both countries’ water come from the river, my only guess is the filtration system.

Posted by: rainforest | August 29, 2008 4:18 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Looks like with last night's late ending the Boodle has slept ion this morning. Gonna be a lonely Dawn Patrol.

I'm a bit irked; I looked all over the WaPo this morning looking for the full text of Obama's speech, and couldn't find it anywhere. I'll have to go online later after I get to work to find it.

Terrific, historic night, though.

Otherwise, I got nothing.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2008 6:02 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Well, if Obama's speech last night didn't move you -- no matter which side of the fence you call home -- I don't know what will. Even Pat Buchanan was gushing about it (and was roundly teased by his amazed co-panelists for doing so).

Of course, the only response the McCain camp could come up with was to complain about the stage set and call the speech "misleading". As if every other word from McCain and his team isn't.

Mudge... I was here for the Dawn Patrol at oh-five-hundred, but in stealth mode. Didn't want to wake all the sleeping beauties. ;-)

I think I'm going to head over to the newly-opened Obama campaign office here this morning to get some yard signs and see what else a long-haired leaping gnome might be able to do to help.

Right now, though, it's time to put on the second pot of mud.

Peace out... :-)

Posted by: martooni | August 29, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

btw... did anyone else find it ironic that the GOP is considering delaying the start of their convention because of rain?

Maybe that whack-job of a preacher Dobson's prayers that it rain on Obama's speech backfired.

God does have a sense of humor.

Posted by: martooni | August 29, 2008 6:41 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Mudge, you're not alone. I'm here. And very happy this morning. History has been made, and we're going to fight to win. Obama for President.

I saw some of the speech, not all. I had a church event to attend. What I saw was good. It is about the country and its people. Not just a few, but all.

I have a date with the laundry room this morning. Dreading it bad, but it has to be.

Good to hear from you LIT. And a sharp comment.

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

We're not getting any rain, but the weather has turned really hot. I suspect the storm that is closing in on us will give us some rain, which will make the totals really high.

Slyness, are you folks still cleaning up the mess from the rain? I saw the pictures from Cabarrus(?) county. It looks as if they have a real mess. And the governor has been there. Does that mean they will get help?

The young man that was shot and killed was only 22 years-old. I knew he was pretty young. Such a waste.

Well, time to get going. I want to go early, perhaps finishing early. Have a good day, folks. And I see David Duchany(?) is in rehab for sex addiction. I can't help but think about the character of "Chazz" in Blades of Glory or whatever his name is.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 29, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Here is Gene Robinson about John Lewis, one of the last great original civil rights warriors.

He was briefly my congressman in the mid-80s. He fought a tough primary fight against a better connected more urbane opponent by taking his message to the people.

I'm glad to see that he is still out there fighting.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Here is a longer article on Rep. John Lewis (D) that I read yesterday that made me think back.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

I am still smiling and happy this morning. I have a good feeling about the next few months and I believe that the debates will be spirited and that Obama will clean McCain’s clock during them. I don’t care who gets picked for VP, I am confident that Biden, if he doesn’t get too wordy, will handle him too.

Glad it’s Friday, although work today will be a challenge as I will be attempting to do some tasks that I haven’t been very well trained for. I’m frustrated about it but somehow I’ll muddle through. Happy Friday all. And Slyness, may I second your sentiments about Rove!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 29, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

I slept in, since I was up late and was so excited I had a hard time going to sleep. It was worth it, though, to stay up and hear The Speech. Take that, John McCain!

We are going to fight, and, please God, we are going to win.

I haven't been inspired by a candidate like this in my lifetime. After all, I was only seven when Kennedy beat Nixon.

Cassandra, no rain here, either. I wouldn't mind getting some more from Hanna, if she comes this way. No wind, though, please. The picture in the morning paper from Cabarrus County of a washed-out culvert was pretty dramatic. That's the way of life, isn't it? First drought, then flood.

Now I must get my act together to take myself up the mountain. I'll check in.

Posted by: slyness | August 29, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle.
The Lone Aviahooch checked out the Krauthammer cage. The fellow wrote a pathetic yammer on Obama. Worth taking a look for a laff.

Posted by: Brag | August 29, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Dawn Patrol doesn't work so well when you have to break out the oars, yanno...

And through an odd series of events I seem to be the only person in the office at this point, and perhaps for quite some time to come.

Saw enough of the Redskins game to know bc will likely be a little late joining the fun here. But at least Guzman hit for the cycle against the Dodgers (never mind that he got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double).

*rather-more-fervent-than-usual-TGIF Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 29, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. I've actually been on duty for quite some time this morning. Didn't ya hear all the hovering?

Sounds like Obama did a great job of energizing the troops - remember my revival meeting analogy - and is building momentum to turning those pesky possible Democratic voters into actual Democratic voters.

Slyness - you nailed it. I haven't felt this level of energy for a political candidate - ever. One of the beneficial repercussion of such enthusiasm is the realization in people, especially those impressionable youngsters, that public service is a worthwhile and noble profession. And I'm not just talking about elected officials. What I am suggesting is that if Obama really can push down the cynicism inherent in the phrase "Government Service" then maybe, just maybe, more worthwhile people will join the government.

And I can find somebody else to get up at O'Dark-Thirty.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 29, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

The projected path for Hannah, not yet a hurricane, takes a "rare" turn to the southwest towards the Bahamas and points east and if so, will spare the Carolinas, Virginia and foggy bottom.

Gustav, meanwhile, threatens a direct hit on the republican convention as its projected path leads to the weather beaten central gulf coast.

The Germanic pair of storms has a trio of little ones, mostly twinkles in their eyes, waiting to develop in several locations.

Global warming, of course, has nothing to do with the storm pattern of the past several years. That is all maya, illusion. It is a circumstance of nature with no anthropomorphic cause, only consequence.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 29, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Yep. Is indeed a bit rainy out there this morning.

BTW - I checked with my chemistry peeps and found out that H30 is called "hydroxonium" or "oxonium." Although I like this old name, "Hydronium," I found via Wiki better.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 29, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Oops, forgot the kit link: both storms and their offspring will produce a lot of the wet stuff from the sky.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 29, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

New kit coming momentarily...

Posted by: Achenbach | August 29, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

After last night, I hope I never hear again the tired whinging, "Who IS Barak Obama?"

Posted by: KPage | August 29, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

"New Kit" is always a show stopper.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 29, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Loving the rain and the soft, infirm voice of my plants saying, "you do love us, after all, having arranged for this gentle and sustaining water."

Posted by: College Parkian | August 29, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

New kit is here.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

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