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Hills Not Alive With Sound of Music


Julie Andrews is such a liar. No music out there at all. Of course if there were music I couldn't hear it, since I'm stuck in the terminal at Jackson Hole airport, waiting out a flight delay, trying to pick up a feeble Internet signal and looking at the Tetons through the windows. I should be out there hiking. Or hunting.

Yeah: hunting. The bow season is open in these mountains. I need to bag a bull elk, something with antlers the size of a futon. I've always thought I'm just one gigantic trophy head mounted on the wall away from finally respecting myself.

[On CNN, Obama just teed off on the McCain camp for trying to divert the public's attention with "lies and phony outrage and swift-boat politics." He's answering the "lipstick" charge. This completely stupid controversy reminds me what a blessing it's been to have limited Internet access the last 5 days.]

[Here's bc on the LHC.]

[I TOLD you it wouldn't destroy the world.]

Now, I know what everyone out there is thinking this blog needs: More buffalo. In fact most blogs could use more buffalo. Your blog in a rut? No one's reading and commenting? Take the cure: More buffalo.


Buffalo following ancient Indian trail back toward gift shop.


My strong suspicion: They're cows in disguise.


Tragically my buffalo brisket last night was too chewy.


Obligatory waterfall photo.

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 10, 2008; 11:12 AM ET
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Next: Lipstick Unabridged


Nice pictures ,buffalos sure are pretty big animals

Eat Mor chickin

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 10, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the fine photos, Joel. Those are not cows in disguise. Those are rabbits.

It is probably hard to hear the music of the spheres from inside the airport. Next time you travel to the mountains, let me know. I will accompany you relentlessly with song, making you long for the blessed silence of the buffalo.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 10, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed, Obama took on the lipstick issue...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 10, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Gary Larson used to claim that he drew cows so much because he felt they were intrinsically funny creatures. And I think the same goes for buffalo. I dunno what it is about ruminants. Maybe it's all the methane.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 10, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Watch out for the unmoderated comments, though...

The slugs are out again, apparently.


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 10, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

JA, about the bison brisket: very, very, very lean meat. My cousins, bison and beefalo ranchers, nearly always prepare with pork, to juice up the flesh.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 10, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke - thanks for that link. This statistic in particular caught my attention:

"Among issue voters, Obama is leading McCain 56 to 37 percent.

Among so-called personal quality voters, McCain is ahead 56 to 39 percent."

I'm going back under my desk now.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 10, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Ever write a post then hit "refesh" instead of "submit"? It doesn't submit.

With a shout-out to DNA girl, for a fun take on the Palin pick I recommend this past Sunday's Sinfest. - just hit "previous" till you reach it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 10, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Padouk, be careful what you say about cows. A certain Boodler of our mutual acquaintance is very fond of cows. And I suspect she's not having a good week, and I don't want her mooooooooooooved to umbrage over any unintended slight. So if you cud tone it down, I'd appreciate it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Made a short trip for some irresponsible community organizing on the early literacy front this morning so I had 40 minutes of driving to think about other folksy phrases Obama dare not use.

"That dog won't hunt." "He called poor Sarah a bltch."

"If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch." "He called poor Sarah an ineffectual bltch."

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

This is how much of a total maroon and thick-headed masochistic idiot I am: I read Joe Esterhas's little essay, knowing -- yes, KNOWING -- it was gonna make me ill. There

No, I'm not gonna link to it.

I never seem to learn. *sigh*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

But Frosty, you *aren't* a community organnizer; you're a mayor. That means you have, like, actual responsibilities.

I read that somewhere.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I see a trend forming here:

*arched eyebrow*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 10, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"personal quality voters" That people decide to vote on the persuasive quality of a candidate's attributes is why I care about an analysis of

hair, grooming, clothing, which segues into other personal habits like hobbies, etc.

'Tis not frivolous to try to study the rhetorical power of presence.

I think the subtext qualities that we seldom analyse might be the more powerful ones, on an emotional level. Voting is often more emotional -- pathos-driven as Aristotle would say -- that rational.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 10, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

No disrespect of our fine Bovine-American citizenry was intended. Remember, I was raise in cow country. (Contented cows at that.) My father-in-law used to work on a dairy farm. Heck, I'm practically an honorary ruminant.

Indeed, I have long suspected that when I sleep people sometimes sneak into my bedroom and tip me over.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 10, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

more buffalobell

Posted by: omni | September 10, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

excuse me while I go for a walk...

Posted by: omnioops | September 10, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

seems to me this election is going to be more like a WWF match!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 10, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

When I lived in Cody, Moran's huge painting of the obligatory waterfall came to visit the museum. It was fun to pop in to see the one, then drive to the other.

I think I saw it again at a Moran show at the Seattle art museum. As polished as Moran's oils are, the sketches somehow impress more.

I'm impressed by people who can transport a freshly-killed elk some long distance, then turn it into edibles. It's bad enough moving a people-sized black bear or the occasional alligator.

As a botanist, I have a terribly inappropriate skill set for sneaking up on large animals. The best I can hope for is to be sitting somewhere during the summer and hear a pronghorn making its sort of throat-clearing sound at my back.

The Murie cabin is at Moose. I've seen it only in miniature, near Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 10, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

My sophomore college dorm overlooked a cow pasture. They really did tend to all face the same way, or be all up/all down.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 10, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

frosti... you made me spray a perfectly good beer out my nose.

Here's one a commenter on another blog posted:

"Lipstick on a pig" is Republican policy.
"Lipstick on a prig" is Palin.

scotty... thanks for that link.

I guess McCain never got that whole "duty, honor, country" thing at West Point. Don't they kick cadets out for lying or being dishonest about even the littlest thing?

Too bad they can't punish alumni.

Posted by: martooni | September 10, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

CP - yes, you are quite right. We live in a world (bless you Don Fontaine) where such things matter to many, so it is fundamentally dishonest not to consider them. This is part of why I love Robin Givhan's analyses so much.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 10, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

So, after reading that link to Biden's special needs comments I'm left a bit confused. Perhaps someone more moderate, or even conservative than I can disabuse me of any misconception. If I am to follow the McCain/Palin campaign's line of reasoning all debate of any issue which touches Sarah's family personally is off limits, because of course only a person living a problem can honestly care the most.

Personally I don't always want someone who's living the life of xyz to make the decisions about it. There are always competing interests and as worthy as funding of this or that may be I'd like to think the decision makers can balance the interests without being unduly influenced by personal experience. Perhaps if Sarah hadn't pulled down so much pork I'd trust that a McCain/Palin administration could work against short term self interest for the greater good. (Drill baby drill comes to mind.)

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Hi all.
Seems kinda sad that a pretty funny colloquialism could generate such a fuss. One of the funnier aspects of this whole thing is that the McCain camp thought of it first. What does that say about how they think of Palin?
Anyway, when I grow up and have my own blog, I'm definitely putting buffalo photos up - maybe even some with lipstick?
Ok. Just one McCain thing: is it just me or does he look kinda odd everytime he takes the stage and stands there with his hands out in front of him and his thumbs up? I'ts like he's spent too much time with a game controller or something. If I were a "personal quality voter" just that one thing would be enough to drive me to Obama.
Er.. I didn't mean that like a destination or anything...
I gotta go get ready for the end of France now.

Posted by: Dmon | September 10, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Great shots. But why are you hiding the jackalopes?

Posted by: Brag | September 10, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Here's a profile of Maurice Sendak. He's 80 years old, and sad.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | September 10, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, thanks for that link. _Where the Wild Things Are_ is the best book ever written, period. The Tampa Museum of Art featured a temporary Sendak exhibit a couple years ago-such beautiful melancholy.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, the idea that having 4 months with a disabled child qualifies anybody for the HUGE issues involved with special needs education, disability rights, employment issues, health insurance access, etc. that her child will have to struggle with in the future...

Is a laugh, I mean, a real laugh. Everybody who's ever raised a special-needs kid knows that they never stopped learning and getting overwhelmed at times at what they had to do to ensure their kid got a fair shake in life.

If Palin had this child 8-10 years ago, she might well be anti-NCLB and endorsing health care reform loud and clear. But she didn't, and she ain't knowing nothing about what life is going to hand her.

And even if she does, doesn't mean she knows anything about how OTHER families all over America contend with the issue and what they see the biggest problems to be, nor the challenges concerning getting the best support service providers to work with those children.

I do think that stem cell research does not automatically mean embryonic stem cell research, and also that therapy is a different matter. This restriction has actually promoted research in alternative sources, and it's been good.

I did start out pro- embyronic stem cell research, but now after looking at the history of gene therapy and other types of live-cell therapy, I'm not so convinced that meaningful therapy using borrowed cells is a good idea.

The best therapy must use the individual's own cells to minimize risk of reactions. It doesn't seem practical to waste a lot of research on cell lines that would be impractical to actually use in therapy. The main argument is that embryonic stem cells are pluripotent; they can be used to make anything, while stem cells in adults or children are already differentiated into many types.

But research has indicated that there's more to the stem cell story in our bodies than thought, and that stem cells can cross "cell type" at need; fat stem cells can become bone, and vice versa.

Just a thought here. The debate has changed over the last 8 years as research has progressed.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 10, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Frosti is right. The "special experience" stance does not always make good law or policy. However, these experiences need to be taken into account.

For example, concerning the death penalty. I do think that murder victims' families are NOT in the best position to shape overmuch the death penalty debate. Participate. Testify. YES. But, we need a broader vision than what is seen through their (weeping) eyes. Is this hard, to not acknowledge and elevate their experience into policy prescriptions? Yes. But there is a reason that Lady Justice isbflindfolded.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 10, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Frosti is right. The "special experience" stance does not always make good law or policy. However, these experiences need to be taken into account.

For example, concerning the death penalty. I do think that murder victims' families are NOT in the best position to shape overmuch the death penalty debate. Participate. Testify. YES. But, we need a broader vision than what is seen through their (weeping) eyes. Is this hard, to not acknowledge and elevate their experience into policy prescriptions? Yes. But there is a reason that Lady Justice isbflindfolded.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 10, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Testing, 1, 2, 3.
Hey, is this thing on?


Posted by: bc | September 10, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

College Parkian, years of watching death penalty cases and executions has convinced me you are right. Families of a murder victim often vehemently support the imposition of the death penalty, and even resent the legal steps necessary before it can be imposed, because on some level they believe it will bring them closure - either emotionally or from some sense of justice being done. In my observation, these families find out that the death of the murderer does not in fact bring them the solace they hope and expect. Watching from the outside it is easy to understand that nothing will ever compensate or make whole their loss of a human being. This seems to escape the persons living with the loss.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 10, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Wb, thanks for reminding us that the Palins are living the fourth month of life with a special needs child. The rubber hits the road in school for many. And, health care coverage, well don't get me started.

But, celebrity being what it is and we sheep being what we are, sometimes a well-placed famous family can do much advocacy-wise.

Kennedy family and Special Olympics
Christopher Reeve and spinal injuries
Elizabeth Taylor and AIDS activisim (also Paul Michael Glazer, his late wife and children and pediatric AIDS)

Remember breast cancer before Happy Rockefeller and Betty Ford? Remember addiction before Betty Ford?

Posted by: CeeParkian | September 10, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Sen McCain's gestures are restricted by the injuries he sustained during his military service. When he snaps out his shoulder high, two handed wave you can see him wince.

Please dont' make me defend him again.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 10, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I like your perspective on the death penalty, Ivansmom. I also think life in prison without possibility of parole is a much harsher punishment than death. All of us die; life in prison prolongs the agony of knowing that that time will come.

Posted by: slyness | September 10, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I have noticed that a common characteristic of those who claim to be conservative is that they discover compassion only for those things that they, personally, have experience with -- the ultimate in shaping policy to serve special interests. It is the only standard by which to ratify the difference between "real" need and mere ( liberal) whining. Laura Bush is a teacher and librarian, thus George Bush finds importance in reading and education (for others, that is), albeit he handles it incompetently. Laura Bush has a small Bacon number for Aung San Suu Kyi, and discovers a deep concern for the people of Myanmar (say, whatever happened to the starving and flooded millions?). George Will and Sarah Palin each have a child with Down syndrome, and have discovered the importance of special-needs education and services. John McCain was personally tortured, and, nearly alone among Republicans, discerns that it is a bad policy. If only others could appreciate these important issues with the special poignancy and clarity of the true conservative.

Posted by: PlainTim | September 10, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Remember scurvy before me? (Oh, sorry. *smacking self on wrist* Bad Curmudgeon, bad, bad.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

We know you invented the Margarita, Mudge, but you haven't told us exactly who it was you named it after, and how that came about.

Posted by: Jumper | September 10, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I think Tim's 2:26 is dead on -- and one thing that always puzzled me as well as angered me (surprise there, right?) is the demonizing phrase "bleeding heart..." (bleeding-heart liberals).

I always thought, yeah? and what's wrong with being a bleeding heart? About caring about people, caring about others more than one's self.

I've always thought one could criticize liberals, progressives, bleeding-heart knee-jerk liberals, yadda yadda, on a number of grounds (often on their excesses or their naivete)-- but in general their hearts have always been in the right place and their compassion and intentions, and I have always been willing to cut any liberal/bleeding heart a lot of slack on those grounds. What I have never been able to cut any slack on is greed, pure self-interest, money-grubbing and penny-pinching and the pursuit of "cutting taxes," and that whole mantra.

I've long thought that the difference between "liberals" and "conservatives" had less to do with policy and idealogy than with being inner-directed versus other-directed. And there's just no question about which kind of people I like better, which kind I respect, which kind I want to associate with. Gimme a bleeding heart every time.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

By the by, let me note that I have no argument with people who decide to spend their private money philanthropically in response to a personal crisis. I think that is a respectable position. My dispute is with those who actively oppose public action to remediate any societal problem except those with which they have had some personal experience.

Posted by: PlainTim | September 10, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, he CANNOT tell the whole story because it involved a Spanish Lady named Marguerite....Mudge would not kiss and tell. But you can hum the ballad in her favor

Farewell and Adieu you fine Spanish Ladies

NOT to be confused with the accordion classic
Lady of Spain

Posted by: College Parkian | September 10, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Should a society decide which problems get prioity by the popularity of a celebrity spokesperson or which charity can mount the best advertising/fundraising campaign?

I think not.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 10, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee is a fellow that I cannot figure out. He seems like he should be One of Us, a liberal or at least a bleeding-heart moderate, instead of a "conservative" -- despite his silliness on the subject of "Intelligent Design" (if our design is so intelligent, how do you explain color-blindness, the appendix, pinkie toes, and farting?). In every appearance on the Colbert Report and elsewhere, he seems like he would be the perfect neighbor. He just would make a crummy President.

Posted by: PlainTim | September 10, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

PlainTim, I agree. Huckabee passes the neighbor-test. His speech was the best at the RNConvention for its humanity and dignity. I disagree with him on several important issues. But, I would mow his lawn if he were under the weather and I bet he would deliver a pan of lasagna to me, should I need it.

My rhetorician's dream; that we would (could) disagree and then go play a big game of softball and eat barbeque.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 10, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

CP-I can't believe Lady of Spain wasn't mentioned in any of our accordion lovers' bios. My foolish foray into early marriage was fueled by Mr. F #1's ability to play Lady of Spain, and truth be told his pink slip on a 1971 Dodge Charger, Super Bee with the 426 hemi and pistol grip stick shift as shown here:

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Just remember, folks: you have so many muscles you can flex. There's the deltoids of compassion; there's the abs of being kind. It's not enough to bash in heads -- you've got to bash in minds.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | September 10, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

It's not the "kissing and telling" that's problematic; it's telling what happened next that might prove...uh..."challenging."

But let me think on it some, Jumper, and perhaps one day I'll tell the story of the Lady and the Margeurita. But I can tell you right now, she sure put the Flam in Flamenco.

BTW, meant to do a shout-out to Raysmom: nice to have you back, and missed you the last couple of weeks. And we had a lightning-fast drive-by from Miss Toronto the other day, too. Wish she'd stop by a little more often.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, somehow you are speaking of a mash up of our own BC-gearhead and Lawrence Welk.

Here is a very vibratto-ey LoP from LW, who if I am not mistaken was Norwegian.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 10, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

LoP would be Lady of Pain
LoS would be Lady of Spain

mea culpa times three

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

A student in my linguistics class this morning did a short presentation on the following sentence: "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo." Not his own invention, but it was new to the other students and appropriate to our current discussion of syntax. I'm sure he had no idea that it was also on kit.

Posted by: bia | September 10, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, would you believe I had the Plymouth version of Mr. F#1's car, a '71 Plymouth Road Runner (InViolet purple, no less, with white strobe stripes over the roof), with the Hurst Pistol Grip. White seats on black carpet - very sharp.

Didn't have a 426 Hemi though, could only afford the 383. Insurance on Hemis for a guy like me was awful at the time.

The Hurst Pistol Grip through that A 833 (IIRC) manual trans was about the worst-shifting thing I've ever driven, but it's my favorite car of all I've owned.


Posted by: bc | September 10, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm suddenly in the mood for Buffalo wings

Posted by: omni | September 10, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Party's on at the Interior dept. They actually are in bed with the oil companies. I definitively work for the wrong department.
"The investigation also concluded that several of the officials “frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.” "

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I just shipped a pair of doors to Buffalo today.

Maybe Joel inadvertently unleashed some sort of wildly infectious Buffalo meme with this Kit.

Posted by: martooni | September 10, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I win.

Posted by: Jumper | September 10, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Anon... we're *all* having sexual relations with oil and gas company representatives.

The kicker is that the bastages have the nerve to charge extra for lube.

Posted by: martooni | September 10, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Bia -- my brain hurts, but in a good way from your buffalo sentence. Here is something lighter we English profs use about punctuation:

Woman without her man is nothing

OK, punctuate that. Keep your books closed and your eyes on your own paper. Omni, please do your own work.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 10, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, that Huckabee is a real mystery.

*takes lipstick and draws a smile on a photo of Jerry Fallwell*

Whoa! Mystery solved!

Posted by: Boko999 | September 10, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Tune cootie alert (but it's a good one)...

Buffalo Soldier, Dreadlock Rasta...
There was a Buffalo Soldier in the heart of America,
Stolen from Africa, brought to America,
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival.

Posted by: martooni | September 10, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Item 1: Has anybody noticed how much McCain and Palin look like Wallace and Grommit?
Item 2: The official ballad of Sarah Palin is "She Ain't Pretty She Just Looks that Way"

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky | September 10, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I was looking for clarification (because wikipedia says it's from Bill Rapaport, but I'd heard it attributed to Annie Senghas) and found this history:

It looks like it's been invented a number of times independently.

Rapaport managed to add a few more (though it is a bit of a stretch):
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

For this one to work, there has to be a particular kind of buffaloing that is particularly associated with Buffalo.

Posted by: bia | September 10, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

SCC: get rid of one of the "particular"s

Posted by: bia | September 10, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that punctuation one, CP. Isn't this fun!

Posted by: bia | September 10, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Woman; without her, man is nothing.


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 10, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Wo, man! Without Herman is no thing.

One of my Google ads is for...

Buffalo Springfield
Signed Original Music Posters & Art Sign Up for a Free Catalog Today!

Posted by: TBG | September 10, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

You guys just GOTTA read Anonymous's link at 2:32. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez. It's just breathtaking on so many levels.

I've sent this all around my office (ironically, we had a briefing on ethics at our staff meeting this morning), and to a friend who was a PAO at EPA.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Looks like that post has been zapped, Mudge. Pretty scurrilous, though. Yup, we'll all in bed with big oil.

Posted by: slyness | September 10, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I love this...

//Minerals Management Service... director, Randall Luthi, released a preliminary statement on Wednesday morning saying he had not yet seen the reports but had scheduled a mid-afternoon conference call with reporters.

“I will tell you that we requested this investigation in 2006 after an employee raised allegations of ethical lapses,” Mr. Luthi’s early statement said. “I look forward to having the opportunity to review the Inspector General’s findings so we can take the appropriate actions.”//

Of course he's looking forward to reviewing the findings... sounds like titillating reading!

Posted by: TBG | September 10, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

eats shoots and leaves

is not the same as

eats, shoots, and leaves

Scotty, another variation on your theme is

Woman: without her. man is nothing

TBG -- I am hearing a Sylvester-Stallone-as-Rocky voice in your Herman thingie.
The colon might be a teensy, weensy more standard that the semi-colon. But, let Mudge wax specifical on that.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 10, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Whoopies, Scotty that is a comma
Woman: without her, man is nothing

Posted by: College Parkian | September 10, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Woman, without her man is nothing.
Woman without her man, is nothing.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Being, as I am, a gummint-employed copy editor, I would have to render that sentence in the following manner, CP:

"Persons having or possessing aspects of the femine gender, whether by actual possesion of two (2) X chromosomes or by alternate forms of gender identity as specified by the Office of Management and Budget under CFR 412.938.j, and absent or not possessing or failing to possess a person or persons of the masculine gender whether by inherent possession of both an X and a Y chromosome, or some similiarity to said condition, are, have been, may be, will be, may reasonably be construed to be, or otherwise shall present themselves as being in a null state or condition having the temporary or permanent manifestation of nothingness or its allied negative paradigms."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The post Mudge refers to is at 3:32.

Posted by: nellie | September 10, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Oops. Right. Thanks, Nellie.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Mudge meant the 3:32 PM posting by Anonymous, not 2:32 PM. It's still there, unzapped.

Best line in the whole piece: “sexual relationships with prohibited sources cannot, by definition, be arms-length.”

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 10, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant, Mudge. Scary but brilliant.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 10, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Hi guys. Just had to make a quick comment on the lipstick issue. If only Barry O had said "Putting lipstick on an elephant..." we'd have none of this shouting going on.


Posted by: CJ | September 10, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Oops, still back-boodling. Tune-cootie alert.

If we're talking about theme-songs, perhaps the Palin-leaning PUMA's should be the profoundly philosophical Lyle Lovett song, "I married her, just because she looked like you."

Posted by: CJ | September 10, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Now it's headlined at

Posted by: slyness | September 10, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Ruh-roh. Flooding in Cassandra's neck of the woods. I hope she checks in soon to let us know that she's okay.

Posted by: slyness | September 10, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Boko: Since I'm the only one who said McCain looked goofy with the thumbs-up gesture, I suppose you were defending him to me.
Goofy is goofy - if it's Dick Nixon with the iconic flashing V signs and stupid grin or McCain with his opposable digits aimed at the heavens.
McCain's not the only one among us who has suffered injury at the hands of our country's enemies, nor is he the only of us who looks goofy doing something in public. You'd just think that someone would tell him to chill.
At least Bob Dole didn't have a choice - his hands were ruined by his military experiences.
As far as defending McCain goes: you seem to feel comfortable doing it and I certainly don't want to nudge you out of your comfort zone.
Just sayin'...
Since I'm on a rant here, Julie Martin was in the ALPs! Not the Grand Tetons. The Swiss and Italians do stuff differently than we do: coulda been different.
From previous boodles I know that many of you grow garden thingies to eat - there's an interesting article about freezing stuff in today's WaPo:
Lipstick on a pig! Indeed!

Posted by: Dmon | September 10, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

One more gin and tonic and I'm British.
It is, after all, back to school night...

Posted by: Dmon | September 10, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Rally in Fairfax

I jumped the creek in my backyard to get to the republican rally that was held in a park where I've played since I was a kid. Walking up the hill, I spotted a priest from the neighboring church talking with cops, (you don't see that everyday), but security was tight. I got in line for the rally and saw a person in a polar bear outfit holding a sign, "Stop Global Warming Now!". Good thing it was cool enough to wear that outfit. Other sightings included women wearing moose heads, women passing out McCain-Palin and pro-life bumper stickers, and a group of about 25 pro-Obama chanters, one being a neighbor down the street. I waved.

I went through the security checkpoint and had to display anything metal on my person. The guy behind me had a hip replacement and was being funny about it. The mood was festive, the weather a little overcast. Nice and cool to begin with.

I took my place down the hill, known as the bowl which serves as a soccer field. It smelled like a cross between fresh cut grass and a catfish pond. Yes, it smelled fishy, but more like live fishies than dead ones. On my left, a HS senior girl who cut class to attend since the event was canceled at her school. On my right, a 5 foot 2 Fairfax HS graduate from the class of 69. Male to female ratio estimated at 50 - 50, a few babies, and a even bell curve spread of ages from 25 to 55.

A guy from Stafford began playing/singing country music. He only had a steel string acoustic guitar, but sounded professional enough. His first song had the words, "If you're going down a 1 way street, you gotta have an ace in the hole". He sang some Cash, Move It On Over, This Land is Your Land, and other stuff for 45 minutes.

Fairfax City Mayor, Rob Letterer came out as the MC and introduced a large host of VA local, state, and federal politicals, Tom Davis, Devilightes, Allen, Wolf, Killgore, ..., about 40 (estimate) in all.

The show began by featuring some POW heroes and families that attended. A few words were spoken in honor of their courage and dedication for protecting our country. Not very much was mentioned about McCain and his POW experience.

Then came 3 speeches, all from women.

The first was from a small business owner from Richmond who's company specialized in turning restaurant left over oil products into biofuels. She reiterated that she was a democrat, but was going to vote for McCain this election because Obama's plan to tax small businesses and forcing them to be accountable for the health care insurance of their employees would put their business at risk of failing.

Next came a speech from an ardent Hillary supporter, feminist, and life long democrat. She said she was going to vote for McCain because when she presented her issues to the players in the Obama party after Hillary lost the nomination, she got "laughed at". She was upset that Obama didn't speak out about the misogyny from the "b" word being used in satirical music against Hillary. She wants to be represented by women. Also, she said the "lipstick on a pig" reference was on the level of a 5th grader, and she didn't want the country run by a 5th grader.

Next, a woman from the school board talked about education and how important it is to reach out to special needs children. {Interesting to me how the person working the sound board lowered her voice about a third of an octave from the beginning of the speech to the end]

Then Fred Thompson took the stage and did a motivational standup. First by saying how Obama wants change, and how he has changed his mind on major issues so many times already. About 7 examples were given. Most of his pitch he compared/contrasted Palin and Obama in a humorous manner.

Fred also mentioned how the rally was moved to the park after an emergency meeting from the school board supervisors. Funny how Obama could do his stuff during summer school session, but the rules suddenly changed on McCain. It didn't matter though, in fact, it did McCain a favor because the high school couldn't support the turnout. Fred was right on this, that park never had so many feet trod on it in a single day.

Then they cranked up "Eye of the Tiger" on the sound system. Cindy, John, Sarah and Todd took the stage.

Cindy, in a green dress introduced Sarah in a dark dress.

Sarah's speech was a rehash of her speech during the RNC. She mixed it up a bit, but used the same "sold the jet on e-bay", got rid of the Chef, said no to the bridge, mentioned the 4 time winner of the snow machine race, took on the corruption of big oil, ..., all the same stuff you've already heard. She said little about her kids, but her main point was that she was a maverick, a reformer, and wanted change in the right way. She introduced John, a fighter, with guts that will do the right thing for America. If elected, both Pres and VP will have kids in Iraq...

And lastly, John took the stage. He pointed out that Obama had signed for a lot of earmark, pork barrel projects and was merely the same old party-line democrat that talked of energy independence, but didn't support nuclear development or drilling on our own turf. McCain took out an ink pen and said he couldn't wait to put his veto on government waste spending. He also mentioned that those CEO crooks involved in the loan mortgage crisis shouldn't be bailed out, they should be made to pay the money back.

At one point, the crowd chanted, "Drill, Baby, Drill!"

The unofficial "My friends" count is 9. (this includes 2 sets of doubles)

The new terms for the repubs are "team of mavericks" and "America first".

My 2 cents: Palin needs a few new lines and some new material or the repubs are going to sink very quickly. On the other hand, Obama should avoid the snarks if he wants to keep his campaign about issues. He lost a few points with his earlier wisecracks.

Carry on. (I was the anonymous 7:45 this morning)

Posted by: moderate alien | September 10, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

When the meadows laugh with lively green,
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene,
When Mary and Susan and Emily
With their sweet round mouths sing ``Ha, Ha, He!''

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread,
Come live & be merry, and join with me,
To sing the sweet chorus of ``Ha, Ha, He!''

Posted by: They're coming to take me away, ha ha... | September 10, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Well done, Mod Alien! A great review of a stump speech.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 10, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Mod Alien! Or, as I should call you, neighbor. Not over the fence, mind you. But I do live right by GMU. Anyway, that was a wonderful fact-based account.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 10, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey mod alien... great description of the rally today. Thanks!

So you're from my neck o' the woods. We've got a whole Fairfax contingent here on the Boodle now. My kids loved playing in that park when they were little. It had one of the last "merry-go-rounds" around here.

BTW... Obama's rally at Robinson this summer wasn't during school hours; it was summer and the kids weren't in school. There was an Institute for the Arts in session, but that's an extra-curricular program. Lots of politicians have rallied at various FCPS schools after hours over the years... no reason McCain couldn't have done the same.

Glad you didn't have to deal with traffic!

Posted by: TBG | September 10, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Wo, man, wi' thou... th'..., er, man? ... is nothing.

Posted by: Never mind | September 10, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I want to know why there aren't any Buffalo Gals around. You know, the kind that will come out and dance by the light of the moon.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 10, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

A slow but steady rain has brought the creek higher than I have seen it in 9 years. The auto shop down the road was swamped last time this happened, I assume they didn't wait around this time to be rescued by the fire dept. It's very unusual.

Posted by: Jumper | September 10, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for sharing. I don't remember there being a plan in place to tax small businesses, but in any case, until health care reform is achieved, this is going to be a crappy country for small businesses and their employees.

In this neck of woods, people are working 2-3 part-time jobs and no health insurance-- because the businesses can't afford to pay full-time AND benefits.

And I did the math; if you free-market human worth; well, you can overcharge small minority-owned business for health insurance because they're "a higher risk health pool." This means right off African-american businesses in DC (to give an example) are going to be paying a lot more for health care than Big Corporation down the street.

I fully believe that a lot of discrimination in hiring is now driven by the bottom line, which is determined by health insurance costs.

It's impossible to provide equality of opportunity when we already have legal discrimination in the name of employer-provided health insurance costs.

66% of disabled people are unemployed. UNEMPLOYED. They don't WANT to be unemployed. Some are simply unable to hold full-time employment. But way things are, part-time employment is likely to mean no health insurance.

Self-employment is an option, but not for everybody. It's a lot of work, and you don't get social security points from it.

What choices would you make in that situation? I personally think a lot of things that've been happening in the last 8, even 12 years have been crappy for small business. I urge everybody affected to research what is actually being proposed, and to fight to be heard, so stuff doesn't get passed that benefits big business and hurts small business.

Or even programs started. The National Animal Identification Databse (NAID) was one such plan that would have deeply hurt all small livestock raisers and given large business a free advantage.

The problem is that big business has the money to send people to tell politicans about "what's good for their industry", meaning THEM.

Therefore, most "business" laws have consistently favored large business, not small business (150 or fewer employees, but I'm also talking about the 20 or fewer employees model in particular).

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 10, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Kelsey Grammer is a spokesman for irritable bowel syndrome because his latest trophy wife suffers from it. Just sayin'.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 10, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the report, moderate alien. Nice to have it straight from the horse's mouth (so to speak - I'm not saying you look like a horse, any part of a horse - I love horses, really, ask the Boodle). I sincerely mean that - nice job! I agree, I think Palin will wear thin soon - I'm hoping by mid Oct, when early voting starts.

Tom Friedman wrote a column saying that Obama's convention speech had no memorable lines, no vision. I must have heard a different speech. But it did get swept away by the Palin pick. TBG, you're right, Obama has to stop preaching to the choir. And I agree with Friedman that he's got to work on some clear, crisp quotes - or quips.

Now someone's getting raked over the coals (so to speak) about the "Jesus was a community organizer, Pilate was a governor" line that's been making the rounds of the Internets...which he mangled, but

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 10, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Maslow’s “Take” on the Election

By Bob Mann, Golf Professional

Abraham Maslow said “To distract people from higher needs, threaten their lower needs.”
The Republican strategy of giving their convention a war and patriotism theme was quite brilliant. It changed the focus from such issues as health care, education, global warming and long term alternate energy development, and even to large measure, the economy; to the more fundamental human need to feel safe.

As Bob Woodward noted in his recent interview with Larry King, the President is not the Commander in Chief of the economy or global warming. The President is the Commander in Chief of the military.

The polls have shown that Senator McCain is perceived by the American public as more suited to be responsible for national security than Senator Obama. The Republicans are openly selling “inexperience” vs. Obama, but less openly they are selling “fear”. Ultimately, the peoples greatest fear, for themselves, and their families, is annihilation.

Unfortunately many people see bravado talk and aggressive action as the “answers” to fear related national security issues. (This, coupled with Senator McCain’s military service and family heritage gives many people a greater sense of false security.) However, the reverse is true; reserve, caution, negotiation, and having a strong military in reserve enhance national security. As President Clinton said, “..we lead by the power of our example, not by the example of our power.”

In spite of the evidence that we are militarily weaker as a result of the ill-founded invasion of Iraq, proposed by Senator McCain long before it actually occurred; a majority of Americans see Senator McCain’s approach to national security as being better then Senator Obama’s. Iraq has our military so over extended that we are not well prepared to face other situations that may arise, and are more likely to arise, because others recognize that we are over extended, which weakens our negotiating position.

Senator McCain continues to make hawkish noise; including implied threats that, as well as being inflammatory to other countries who might pose a threat, also distances us from our European allies.

In October 1st, 2003 on ABC nightline Senator McCain was asked how much more money the war would cost. He replied, “Estimates I hear as much as 50 to $55 billion more.” When asked, “Over a course of how many years?” McCain answered, “..four or five years.” Five years have passed with no end in sight, and Senator McCain’s estimate of maximum cost has been surpassed by approximately 10 to 1.

Senator McCain brags about his support of the Surge and its effectiveness. This claim is subject to serious question as many experts believe that the turn around in Iraq was more attributable to putting the enemies on our payroll. Moreover, Senator McCain’s bragging about the Surge can be compared to the person who makes a bad judgment about maintaining their car, but brags about repairing it at a cost many multiples of the original neglected service.

Senator McCain’s selection of Governor Palin to be a heartbeat away from a position of invoking nuclear holocaust on the world raises additional questions about his judgment, decision making process, and his motives.

Senator Obama’s campaign needs to make it clear that Senator McCain’s aggressiveness, has in the past, and will in the future, if left unbridled, weaken us militarily by depleting resources. It is not enough to merely point out Senator McCain’s bad judgment, the other shoe must drop, and Senator McCain’s bad judgment and hasty reactions must be clearly defined as weakening national security if permitted to affect our future. Senator Obama’s approach, using military force only as a last resort, and only following negotiation, strengthens us in two ways:
A) Enables negotiations to be conducted from a position of un-dissipated strength
B) Holds military might in reserve to use when and if genuinely required.

Senator Obama’s plan for better treatment of returning veterans coupled with his educational and occupational proposals for military personnel enhances recruiting and thus is superior for strengthening us militarily as compared to Senator McCain’s approach.

The Importance of rebuilding our alliances around the world should be more emphatically communicated as well, so Americans understand that we are stronger and more secure having Senator Obama as our next President, (who our European allies prefer over McCain by a 9 to 1 margin).

When Americans come to understand the superiority of Senator Obama’s temperament and approach to national security, compared to Senator McCain’s, they will recognize that Senator Obama is far more qualified to serve as Commander in Chief.

Posted by: Bob Mann | September 10, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse


"Self-employment is an option, but not for everybody. It's a lot of work, and you don't get social security points from it."

Close, but not quite. Self-employed people pay twice the rate of SS tax as wage earners (they do get to deduct half of their total SS tax from their taxable income though). Otherwise, SS is the same for both, benefitwise.

The one I have a problem with is that self-employed people have to pay unemployment insurance not just for any employees they may have, but for themselves as well. The kick in the pants is that a self-employed person is never eligible to collect unemployment benefits they've paid for. If their business goes belly-up, their employees can collect, but they can't.

Posted by: martooni | September 10, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

mod al,
Great synopsis. The disgruntled Hillary supporter and her fifth grader comment made NPR tonight. The Big Lie is that sexist attacks at Sen. Clinton were shrugged away by the Democratic leadership.

The Republicans have the Faux Umbrage Effect down pat. Who knew that elephants had such thin skin. A Rovian would make the point that by being ultra-sensitive, Obama is being kept on the defensive. There is an ulterior motive here and it's not pretty.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 10, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I just heard the Conservative Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador give a speech eviserating Stephen Harper, the Coservative Prime Minister. Only a Newfoundlander can express disbelief and contempt to such devastating effect.

When the Conservatives and New Democraats tried to exclude the leader of the Green Party from the television debates, the public outcry forced them to back down.
Good for us.

Bad day for the Consevatives and the NDP today, all Dion, the Liberal leader, has to do is avoid laughing out loud. A least not crazily.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 10, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Um Boko have you heard Dion laugh, anything is possible.

Posted by: dmd | September 10, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I never had to pay unemployment insurance in this state when I was self-employed. I did have to buy workman's compensation insurance. That ws ironic because if I WAS injured on the job, the standard everyone follows is that I would have used the contractor's - my customer's - account. 'Course I occasionally worked for homeowners directly, and I assume if I had raised enough hell I could have gotten my own policy to cover me. Odd that one would have to do that if the policy is after all, on me.

For other uses of antlers:

Posted by: Jumper | September 10, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, you okay on your side of town? We only had three-tenths of an inch of rain in our gauge, dagnabit. I'm still concerned about Cassandra.

Posted by: slyness | September 10, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, folks. Just getting in, and so,so, tired. I've been running all day long, and this body is just give out.

Mostly, tried to email you, but couldn't. Will keep trying, probably tomorrow.

Slyness, it's a deluge here,but I'm pretty dry, so far. Rockingham and Highway 74 west is a mess. We have areas here in the county that a light shower will flood, so this morning's rain pretty much put them under. I think we have a two hour delay for school tomorrow or a half day, and they were out early today.

Have a good evening, folks. Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | September 10, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

While it's fun watching Harper get creamed I agree with him on most of the issues that have the NFLD Premier so exercised.
I'll feel guilty when I've stopped laughing.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 10, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I was responsible for the 3:32 pm about the Interior dept. The unsigned post was a technical glitch, I guess. Here's the Wapo take on it.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 10, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

SD. a Canooki, breaks the DoI (US) sex and drugs (and rock n roll?) scandal in boodleland. Thank you, kind sir.

I saw a big big sturdy puppy today and said a weak approximation of the name of your fine animal. The owner was charmed and happy.

About to initiate CPBoy into The GodFather Part I. Some of his friends are watching The Sopranos. I insisted he begin old-school. Mario Puzo's favorite book The Fortunate Pilgram is based in the reality of his family's life. A good read.

Brag, I lost your book at the beach. I hope somebody really enjoyed it. It disappeared poolside while I was swimming laps. Sigh. I just now convinced the local library to buy it! So, will make space for it in the winter evenings.

Take care you wet ones, especially Jumper and Cassandra.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 10, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, the line of rain seems to have been breaking such that the north side of town, my side, has gotten quite a bit. My creek is still up to record height in the backyard. I have a roof leak, too. It only appears after hours of rain for some reason. I saw on the news Rockingham flooding.

I've been perusing that antler / primitive skills blog I noted at 8:20 p.m. The guy really enjoys writing, it's obvious; his pictures are fantastic. And he has it seems no commenters at all.

Posted by: Jumper | September 10, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

The Godfather is one of the very few times I recall my parents going out to see a movie together. My mom told me she was a little shocked because she had never before seen nudity in a movie.

That, and the whole horse business.

And, of course, as one with an Italian name, that movie has haunted me my whole life. But in a good way. For whenever someone tries to force an unwanted repayment on me, all I need do is repeat the following mantra:

"Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me"

That usually settles thing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 10, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

My son and I watched The Godfather a few months ago. His reaction was "Man, that's a long movie." We saw that Part II was a double DVD, so we never got around to it.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 10, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Your fault, you should have reared him on "Gone with the Wind". Now THAT's a long movie.

Although I do agree with him re the Godfather.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 10, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I have a picture of the hubby and I with that same waterfall in the background...if I could figure out that dang flicker-photo posting thingie, I'd post it.

What a great time of year to be in the Grand Tetons. Great pics.

The whole lipstick on a pig absurdity is it for me. I can't watch any more news, can't visit some of the blogs I like, can't talk politics with my Republican friends, just can't, can't can't. It is so utterly dispiriting to watch huge swathes of the American public being led around by their noses. Gotta pretend it isn't happening. Any room under that desk, RD?

Posted by: Kim | September 10, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

And a low blow in the campaign:

Somebody commented to this on another blog by listing 42 the names of Republican politicans convicted of sex offenses, many with underage minors as why McCain supports not educating children against sexual predation...

Although I think the FBI agent hit on by Larry Craig wasn't a minor, it made me laugh anyway. Indeed.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 10, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Your current antivirus solution is not protecting you
against Spyware and Adware. Get real protection!

Posted by: WinAntiSpyware | September 10, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

bc-yes I remember the difficulties of that shifter. I am only 5'2" and to get enough leverage to break through the gate into reverse I had to thread my left hand through the steering wheel (because I sit so close) and use two hands. Other than that, that Charger was fabulous to drive. Mr. F#1's was red with the white bench seats.

modalien-thanks for the McCain rally report.

I think it took me less time to read The Godfather, which I liked, than to watch the movie, which I didn't that much.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

oops, I meant what a great time of year to be in Wyoming! I had Wyoming on the brain before this kit. We're trying to decide whether to take our vacation in the Grand Tetons or Bryce and Zion next summer.

Westward ho!

Posted by: Kim | September 10, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Always room under the desk. It's like, a non-euclidean space.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 10, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

The WaPo's article on the LHC, by William Booth:

It's good, and covers a lot of the same ground as Joel's Natty Geo piece linked in the Kit.

And I d say that mine on the is as least as funny (also linked in Joel's Kit above): "In particular, there have been concerns that as the LHC’s scientists smash beams of particles together at fantastic energy levels (like, 7 Trillion electron volts, which is comparable to the electricty created by an unimaginable number of people stroking an equal number of cats), those collisions may inadvertently create subatomic mini-black holes that could swallow the Earth, or unleash some other large-scale disaster which could be blamed on France, like mayonnaise on French Fries, or the continued popularity of Jerry Lewis movies."


Posted by: bc | September 10, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

bc, personally, I prefer ranch dressing to mayo on french fries, but that's just me.

G'night all.

Posted by: slyness | September 10, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

So this evening I called my Mom. She's 71 but, by mutual agreement, we both pretend to be 25 years younger. Anyway, we chatted about this and that. Family news and whatnot, until, as always, politics came up.

This woman adores Obama, and is insulted by McCain's assumption that Palin would woo her over. I asked my dear mother whether she thought that if Palin made it to the White House that would prove anything.

She responded that she didn't need somebody like Palin to prove to her that women could do great things. My mom knew that already.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 10, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

vinegar on fries, the only way to go

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

RD, I love your mother. And Kim, I sympathize, I am no longer talking back to the tv, I’m yelling at it. I can’t stop watching or reading about the news, but I am starting to slide over some campaign coverage. Issues, let’s talk about issues, dammit. (I know, I know, McCain doesn’t want to ‘cause he was part of the problem and he’s got no ideas).

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | September 10, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

RD, your Mother rawks. She is so so right.

Posted by: Yoki | September 10, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

And Old Bay.

We met some people last night and the mom had gone to back-to-school night. I don't miss it. It was funny to watch the crowds in the classrooms get thinner and thinner from freshman to senior year. The parents just start giving up.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 10, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Ha, frosti, I know exactly what you mean about getting reverse with that car.

I had the bucket seats, so I couldn't cheat over to the shifter. I remember third gear being difficult, too. The top of the handle came so close to the dash that it would pinch my hand if I held onto it going from second to third, so I learned to push it up with the heel of my hand after the shifter went over through neutral (you couldn't hurry that gearbox much anyway, there was plenty of time). Also learned that I had to come out of my seat to pull the handle back to fourth, so I learned to hook my index finger at the "v" in the shift handle at the bottom of the Pistol Grip, and start the pull that way and slide my hand up the handle on the travel back to fourth.

For all that, though, you're right; they were a pleasure to drive. Setting up for an exit ramp by dabbing the power disc brakes (*such* an improvement over my '69 Road Runner's manual drums) and nicking it on a rev-matching heel-and toe-downshift (in that car I pretty much had my foot turned 90 deg sideways) from fourth to third and setting up for an exit ramp with a quick left-foot stab at the brake pedal to break the tail loose at turn-in, then feeding power to the big BFG Comp T/A rear tires with my right foot to swing the tail out a touch further and applying a little opposite lock with the steering wheel where necessary, steering with the throttle as much as the wheel.

Probably with Springsteen's "Born to Run" on the stereo, or Rush's "Red Barchetta", Judas Priest's "Desert Plains," or Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers' "Roadrunner," of course.

Yes, the car's little lavender horn (bearing a decal saying "The Voice of the Road Runner," IIRC) really went "meep-meep."


Posted by: bc | September 10, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Whew, bc, when you write like that I need to open a window and let in some cool air. Just need Bob Seger's Night Moves on the radio and the entire Guess Who discography on the 8 track.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Kim, it's a lovely time of the year in the mountains of the west. Joel's pics show the beautiful clear blue skies, too. Love those B-cows. They're part of our heritage yanno.

Frosti--I love that you really are a mayor...yea Frostbitten!

I am waiting for the debates before further comment except to say Obama should run more ads on what he will do rather than the same old McCain being tied to Bush. That is nothing new. Here in Colorado we are being bombarded with TV ads on both sides.

Posted by: eidrib | September 10, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Love Bob Seger's Night moves too. I actually hung out with his band members down in Miami way back when. I was dating a boat captain of a 50 ft sailing yahct and they had a 40 footer in the next slip. It was epic. Oh yeah.

Posted by: eidrb | September 10, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

iedrib-have they been running the McCain ad where you see a pack of wolves gliding through the snowy forest on the hunt and the voice over says Obama air dropped 32 attorneys into Alaska to dig up dirt on Sarah? The wolves look more cute than vicious to me.
Thanks for the props on my mayoralty.

The Ballad of Sarah Palin (lyrics included in the description)

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone watching the Red Sox vs the Tampa Bay (Not) Devil Rays game tonight? It's the 12th inning, and it's been tied 1-1 since the 3rd inning. The Sox are 1/2 games out of the 1st place Rays.

I should mention that I only pay attention to baseball starting in mid-September IF the Red Sox have a chance.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | September 10, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

frosti, I'm an *excellent* driver.


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

frostbitten--I don't think I've seen that one but will be on the look out for it. That's awful. Can't wait to see Palin answer questions without props--the true test. Hopefully we won't be wincing like I do whenever Bush speaks ad lib.

Posted by: eidrib | September 10, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

martonni, Second you comments about unemployment. I'm almost 71 years young and just finished a stint cleaning up before and after music and rock concerts at the ( events. We only got three to five hours a day around concerts but now that they are over we can't get unemployment because we din't earn enough hours in the quarter.

I have had computer problems so haven't back boodled but has anyone noticed since there was talk about looking into speculators gaming the system on oil futures that the price of oil on the exchange has dropped 50% or more. And today OPEC said holy stuff, there is too much oil???????????

Posted by: bh | September 10, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Palin doesn't like wolves. When the number of wolves being killed from the plane/helicopter wolf hunt Palin thought the hunters were slacking off so she proposed a bounty over the objections of the fish and game scientists. Apparently it's beyond her understanding that the number dropped off be cause the wolves are being hunted out.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 10, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Man I really hate to bring this up, but Joel, if you are out there next spring, could you get just a little closer to the buffalo and then comb their throats for the fine and downy hair, so I could make something like this...

Mrdr has already nixed the idea even though we have a bunch of buffalo just down the road. He is worried that he can't run fast enough.

(FYI, they actually collect the fibre from farmed bison, and even then they collect it from scratching posts, or so I have been told. Taking native flora and fauna out of National Park is illegal)

And yes, all blogs need more buffalo.

Posted by: dr | September 10, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

BH--cool that you are involved with rock concerts. That's gonna be me too at age 71 young. Go bh!!!!

I want the oil prices to stay higher to force us to find alternative sources sooner rather than later. What a global game being played.

Posted by: eidrib | September 10, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I want a buffalo sweater!

Posted by: eidrib | September 10, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

RD, I saw an "Old White Women for Obama" button today. Sounds like your mom would love one.

Wilbrodog is now sporting an "Obama '08" button.

I couldn't find an Al Franken button, but I'm sure it's a matter of time before I do; I do have an Al Franken sign, which will go nicely in our window.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 10, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

The idea that predators strengthen prey populations by removing weak and sick animals while it is the hunters that take the prime beasts is too complicated a concept for her.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 10, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I got the job driving the concert trash away because I could drive the stick shift trash truck. The festable mangement prefers to hire college kids because the only pay minimum wage for the part-time work but they couldn't find any that could drive a stick. Trash for a rock concert was usually over three pickup loads of 30 gallons of bags and a couple truckloads of bottles. Brit allows the guests to bring their own wine and beer plus the local service clubs has booth the sell it.

Posted by: bh | September 10, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Boko-hunting from aircraft just frosts me. In fact, I have risked backlash from constituents over my statements that only (manhood questioning expletives)would even use an ATV.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

bc- I always fly Qantas.

Oh carp, look at the time. Have to be up early so it's toodles boodle, and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

"...huge swatches of the American public being led around by their noses..." Kim, 9.25p

My sentiments exactly, Kim. The Long Arm of Mr. Rove has turned the race, again. I could spit quarters. Sen. Obama doesn't need to put himself on the level with Gov. Palin by addressing the Palin phenomenon, as he isn't running against her. Better to emphasize the dishonest ways in which the McCain campaign twists the facts to suit a particular purpose. IIRC from a recent news story, Palin's tenure as mayor netted more earmarked dollars than did Portland, Oregon. She was all for the bridge to nowhere until it became politically expedient to turn against it in public, yet the State of Alaska was still awarded a reduced earmark, originally destined for said bridge and will continue to receive earmarks that have found their way into the general fund. When questioned about this, the response from the McCain campaign stated that she vetoed a lot of wasteful spending, a non-answer. Sen McCain is for embryonic stem cell research, Gov. Palin is on the record against it. These differences need to be emphasized, however the very people that need to hear it are being led about as Kim suggests, most probably deafened by the muffled sound that results from having their heads inserted into a particular orifice. Good thing you have that Euclidean space under your desk, RD. I may ask the favour of joining you soon. Would you please fax me a bunny?

Posted by: jack | September 10, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Boko999, real troply hunters go for the largest, hence oldest bucks and elk that stay way up high and have lost their sex drive and don't come down in the winter. That's why one never finds their dropped antlers. They die way up high after the snow falls and the scavengers clean up the remains when the snow melts.
Meat hunters are another story speaking as one that lived on venison from age six to sixteen.

Posted by: bh | September 10, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I've been hearing and reading bits about Woodward's latest book The War Within that's apparently none too friendly to Bush. (Trivia question: is *any* recent book friendly to Bush? ... time's up!) All those years it looked like they were making it up as they went along: apparently so.

Bush appears to have given Woodward considerable access. Perhaps W didn't read the books that followed Bush at War.

My wife's off to a European conference today (one of the perks of her job). She found an application for her iPhone that speaks foreign phrases. I have a vision of people conversing with their iPhones doing the tinny speaker talking.

Has the Palin buzz subsided yet? No? Does she have any new talking points? No?

Footnote: self-exculpatory books by Bush administration members don't count for the trivia question.

Stay safe, everyone. Those choppers might harbor lawyer-wolves.

Posted by: Fifty | September 10, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

The McCain campain complains about the demos dropping lawyer wolves in Alaska, how may did they drop in Chicago?

Posted by: bh | September 11, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I will heed this morning's blandishments from Broder and Collins and not concede the election yet. Sam Wang's Princeton Election Consortium indicates Obama's still ahead in the electoral vote.

The scandal at the Minerals Management Service probably won't even register with the public. Only money and good, clean fun. My recollection is that MMS was hived off from the Bureau of Land Management some years ago in hopes that financial management would improve. It probably did. Tonight's news stories seem to point to the Bush administration for lax management.

On Thursday, surfers got some gorgeous waves on Florida's normally-flat Gulf coast. I'm wondering what's in store for Houston and Galveston.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 11, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

The deer around here don't get worn out running up and down mountains so they're pretty horny right up until they get run over or shot. We have thousands and they're delicious.

The one time I went moose hunting the only moose I saw was the one I spent four hours dragging through a swamp, over a ridge and through another swamp in sub freezing temperatures. The next day someone looked at a map and discovered a road that went within 200 yards of where my friend shot the damn thing. We could have been warm and had beer and had music.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 11, 2008 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Two city types have shot a moose and are dragging it out of the bush when they come across a old Indian.
"You shouldn't drag that by it's hind legs, you're pulling against the fur," says the old guy," It'll be easier if you tie your rope to the antlers and pull from the front."

A couple of hours later one hunter says to the other, "It really is easier this way."

"Sure," is the reply,"but we're getting further away from the truck."

Posted by: Boko999 | September 11, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

I hauled slag on the midnight to six shift at the Kidd Creek Metalurgical site in Northern Ontario that kept a small herd of bison. Although I didn't drive near the bison during the three am. break I'd drive miles back into the lot (it was huge) turn off the lights and listen/howl at the wolves. When it's thirty below it can sound like the wolves are right next to you. The northern lights were generally magnificent that winter.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 11, 2008 2:42 AM | Report abuse

oops -missing critical commas. Too weak to correct.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 11, 2008 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Northern lights. First read about it in Nat Geog and then to plan in my head about joining a tour just for that.

Beautiful pictures of mountains, Joel. I love mountains. We only have bunny hills here.

Ahh, Sound of Music. I watched the film when I was in primary 6, 1966. I didn’t watch it during the 1st week when most of my classmates were rushing to the theatre to watch it. I watched it went the showing was coming to an end.

I never had the desire to join in the latest rush for the latest of anything – film, fashion, whatever. But Sound of Music was different. There were just too much talk about it being a great film and even the teachers were talking about it. So I just had to watch it. By that time all my classmates had watched it already. Fortunately, I was able to talk my sister into letting me go with her and her friends.

I read more than my classmates do so I knew about a lot of things but I don’t talk about them. Most of my classmates thought I was a country pumpkin, not up-to-date and westernized. Worse, I looked like one.

Posted by: rainforest | September 11, 2008 3:52 AM | Report abuse

SCC : too many for me to correct ...

Posted by: rainforest | September 11, 2008 3:57 AM | Report abuse

It's that day again... The memories come less often, but always with the same impact. The sheer disbelief at watching the second impact in NYC; the confusion at hearing the Pentagon had been hit; the paralysis of communications; being "encouraged" to leave the area near the White House; the jam-packed, quiet Metro ride from downtown through a horribly scented Pentagon station; having to seriously consider the possibility the U.S. might go nuclear on someone in return.

And what hath it all wrought? It pains me to think about it. *SIGHHHHHH* Almost as much as it pains me to think the anniversary coverage might obscure the Palin interview. *shaking my head*

And somebody, anybody... Do we still have the Zapper after the "upgrade?" Blog spam at 9:32... *SIGH*

*saluting the fallen*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 11, 2008 4:56 AM | Report abuse

Bonjour les Boodleurs!

Oh dark thirty takeoff this morning. Brilliant article and analysis by Roger Cohen NYT.

Posted by: Brag | September 11, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

I hear ya, scotty.

All we can do is draw our littlest ones a little closer, bow our heads for a moment in rememberance of our dead, then hold our chins high with steely determination and resolve to live life to its fullest without fear.

I think today's a day to welcome and embrace John Lennon's tune cootie, "Imagine" -- let it loop freely through our brains and hearts and let it's message of peace and love wash us clean.

Peace out...

Posted by: martooni | September 11, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

What you two just said, Scotty and martooni. Peace be with you all today.

Posted by: jack | September 11, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, all.

What a beautiful day September 11, 2001 was. The memories of the horror are still so clear.

I want to go see the memorial at the Pentagon.

Posted by: slyness | September 11, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Seven years ago, we lost a family from our neighborhood and school. Read about Leslie and Charles and daughters Zoe and Dana here:

Within the month, a tornado hit our town, killing two UMD sisters when their car was tossed into a new campus building. October 2002 was "sniper time." Some young people I know are just now recovering from a realistic, lingering anxiety. They have their objective reasons, don't they.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 11, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

I think 11 Sep 01 was a Thursday, like today. Very same weather as it was then today. Cool morning, clear skies and fog over the river.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 11, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends and all. I agree with Scotty and Martooni in their comment concerning the day. A word of prayer, and remembering would serve us all well today.

Posted by: cassandra s | September 11, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

g'morning boodle. Today is Frostdottir's 19th birthday and if anyone is of the type that needs to look for a silver lining in disaster, I have one. 9/11 was a day of liberation for our family.

The dott joined our family through adoption when she was 6, moving in with us in early October of her first grade year after 2+ years of foster care. She was separated from her half siblings, the only one not taken in by immediate or extended family. Her foster mother invited her entire first grade class to her birthday party and 2 children came. She was still feeling guilty for the time, at age 4, that she was babysitting her two younger brothers and one fell out of a second story window. Thankfully a broken arm was the only physical damage.

September was always meltdown time for us, because, like many young people removed from their birth families for abuse or neglect, anniversaries of traumatic events bring on a flood of emotions. With her difficulties in the classroom the late start of school in Virginia assured Sept. would be a bit rocky. Add her birthday, plus the anniversaries of her removal from her birth mother's home and her brothers leaving foster care, and the entire month of September was hellish.

Then, on her 12th birthday the towers came down, the pentagon was hit, and the plane went down in PA. That night when we went to dinner at her favorite restaurant in Carlisle, PA and had the place to ourselves save for the staff, it was if the weight of the world had been lifted off her shoulders. Who could blame her for having emotional trouble, especially in September? We certainly didn't. But, almost as if a magic wand had been waved she saw that other people's lives sucked too and decided that just being alive was a pretty good deal.

We'll set aside time for commemoration today, but the mood at Chez Frostbitten is one of thanksgiving for being able to salvage our daughter's mental health from the tragedy.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 11, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. Yep, the memories of 7 years ago still burn brightly. Oddly, what I remember most clearly are the moments right before my wife called me with the news. It is as if my brain reached back in desperation for those last few seconds of normalcy.

At the time I was working as a contractor in Rosslyn. The only television in the office was a 4 inch battery-powered B/W. We set it on the desk and stared at the smoking towers. It was as if we were viewing a science fiction movie with amazing special effects. We had a hard time accepting that it was real.

I was back on the phone with my wife when the Pentagon was hit. I could see the smoke from my window. It was at that moment that I figured it would be prudent to get out of the area.

The first tower fell as I drove. The second soon after I arrived home. As my wife and I stared in silence at the scenes of devastation I was again overcome by the sense of dreamlike unreality. I wanted to wake up, but, of course, could not.

I also remember the next day. The eerie quiet. Not only were there no sounds coming from the sky, but everyone spoke softly as if in church.

Then I remember the surge of patriotism. Of righteous indignation. For a few minutes I kinda liked George Bush. I remember the way his approach to Afghanistan was described, rightfully so, as reminiscent of the approach taken by Lincoln towards the South.

And then, like a cancer, came Iraq.

So here we are. Seven years later. Still waiting to wake up.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 11, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Frostbitten... you've absolutely made my day. Thank you for that honest and touching story.

Posted by: TBG | September 11, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Actually, SD, September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday. I remember this vividly, because on Monday evening, I went to a City Council meeting where there was incredible acrimony about a decision to leave open the back entrance to the private school that adjoins my neighborhood. The tragedy the next morning really put the stupid fight about a little traffic in proper perspective.

Posted by: slyness | September 11, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

RD padouk, on the very day I knew it would get ugly. Even before the second tower fell some political hack from State leaked info that the planes were coming from Canada... I happen to know why but it made no sense at all to make that allegation. Politization started on day 1.
Later when it was confirmed the planes took off from US airports the talk from State was that the terrists came through Canada. This is the day on which paranoid xenophobia became policy for too many.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 11, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

You are right slyness, my memory is a sieve.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 11, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I am so glad Frosty, that good came from that day.

Posted by: dr | September 11, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Very busy morning, so missed Dawn Patrol muster.

Quite excellent Michael Kinsley column at

That's all I got.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 11, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I second Brag's recommendation of Roger Cohen's column today:

Posted by: DNA Girl | September 11, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm at a construction site today and they stopped work and had a very touching ceremony at 8:46 commemorating all the lost lives from the four planes. Brought a tear to my cynical eye.

That is a great story proving that life goes on despite tragedy.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 11, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

New Kit.

Posted by: dr | September 11, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Kinsley is the best, most perceptive pundit working.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 11, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

new kit

Posted by: dr | September 11, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I, too remember this morning seven years ago.

The hallway conversations, "Did you hear about the plane that hit the World Trade Center?"

The pictures on the Internet.
The plane hitting the second tower, the initial confusion and the the dawning realization that this was an attack.

And that I was at work in Washington DC, with the Isreali Embassy visible from my window. My family 40 miles away.

The phone calls, the notifications that there were more planes in the air, some reportedly headed towards Washington.

The decisions to leave the office, the first tower falling, the Pentagon, the second tower.

The eerie ride home, scanning the skies and seeing no air traffic whatsoever. And not much on the roads, either. Text messages with friends and family in NYC. The discussions about taking the kids out of school (We tried to remain calm, and let them stay there. We were 40 miles from the city, after all, though there were some local military installations on our minds).

Filling the cars and gas cans. Filling the generator. Standing in the yard and observing the military air traffic heading out to Camp David and points north. The choppers flying low and fast, with F-16s rumblebuzzing around them like big angry hornets (the military air traffic would keep up like this for days, weirdly ).

For days; counting the fallen, the seemingly endless TV footage of the tragedies and the aftermath, the worries, the speeches, the anger and fear. Eyes to the skies, -- looking for hope, looking for threats...

...and finding them in our mailboxes and on our roadways in the forms of anthrax and the DC snipers.

Today I am remembering the victims - those that fell and were taken - directly and indirectly -, and those who are living on with their memories.


Posted by: bc | September 11, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Hello, I'm an Aussie from Perth Western Australia and I've been sort of following the American Election and I'm interested to know, did you guys find anything in the fact McCain appointed a female Vice Present after the noted interest and praise Hillary Clinton got during her try for the democratic vote and presidenty or something like that?

Posted by: Kylie | September 11, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

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