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Rich Man, Poor Man


[Galveston, after Ike.]

After the hurricane the ATMs, like everything else, wouldn't work in Galveston. What I didn't realize is that they weren't working because the American banking system had collapsed.

I know about as much about what's happening on Wall Street as I know about what's happening in Uruguay. Traditionally my instinct, as a caring person, is to rejoice when bad things happen to billionaires. Class warfare is a handy default position. Not long ago Vanity Fair ran an article about the housing market in the Hamptons, and talked about these fat cats with their $50 million, $75 million and $100 million homes. This included Ron Baron, who runs a bunch of mutual funds and whatnot. About 15 years ago I bought some of that stuff and it never went anywhere. It was a dog of a fund. So why does Ron Baron get to buy a palace? He should live in a shack, like me! (You see how sophisticated my analysis of all this is.)

[But here are a couple of biz-savvy folks at Time who also find things confounding: "If you're having a little trouble coping with what seems to be the complete unraveling of the world's financial system, you needn't feel bad about yourself. It's horribly confusing, not to say terrifying; even people like us, with a combined 65 years of writing about business, have never seen anything like what's going on. Some of the smartest, savviest people we know -- like the folks running the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board -- find themselves reacting to problems rather than getting ahead of them. It's terra incognita, a place no one expected to visit. "]

In recent days the federal government has been in bail-out overdrive, rescuing the Wall Street operatives. At some point soon Congress will realize that it doesn't look so good, and will bail out the auto industry, as McCain and Obama fight for Michigan votes. If you're not in line for a bailout you need to get in one quick. (Can they bail out the newspaper industry?) (Or the Nats????)

While this is going, we've also got a humanitarian and economic crisis on the Texas Gulf Coast, where there are tens of thousands of hurricane refugees and multiple communities all but obliterated. If you read the comments posted on the hurricane stories on this website, you'll note that compassion is not the first instinct for some observers. And it's true that people can be maddeningly irresponsible. Many of the residents of Galveston didn't take responsibility for their own safety. Told to evacutate, told that there'd be no shelter, they didn't do a thing and then had to get boated to safety and warehoused for a couple of days in a high school. One woman told me she didn't know the hurricane was coming because her son is always watching cartoons and playing computer games on the TV. Her first clue was the rising water.

What do you do with such people? The answer is: Help them. Compassion isn't a merit-based system. Some people need more help than others -- and always will.

What you shouldn't do, I think, is subsidize the building of fancy vacation homes on barrier islands. If you go on the West End of Galveston you'll see thousands of homes that have been damaged, but are still standing. If the private sector wants to insure homes that are sitting in the middle of the hurricane highway, let the private sector do that. But it's not clear to me that federal flood insurance ought to cover these places. Galveston gets hit by a hurricane every couple of decades. It was the scene of America's worst natural disaster, the tragedy of 1900, when 6,000 people died. So even as we mobilize federal resources to help these people, we should remember that it's not our responsibility to help Houston oil barons rebuild their second or third home on the island.


[The high school, after the hurricane. People were hanging out on the steps because the conditions inside were intolerable.]


[Three people, I was told, rode out the storm on this fishing pier in that little compartment that remained intact.]

[Photos by J.A.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 18, 2008; 8:36 AM ET
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Next: Atom Smasher Throws a Rod


Morning All
3 people on that fishing pier,were they gaurding the bait? Yikes!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 18, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

That first photo will tear a mother's heart apart.

Posted by: slyness | September 18, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how those folks stayed on that pier in the storm.

Makes me think of lashing oneself to the mast...

Now that I think about it, we're all riding out the current financial storm to one degree or another, aren't we? Wondering what will be left when it's all over; assesing the damage and then picking up the pieces and rebuilding, hopefully richer in wisdom for the experience.


Posted by: bc | September 18, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you on the robber barons and building homes in iffy circumstances while expecting others to insure them!

But honesty compels me to write that in the early 90's, there were 1500 banks on the ABA's problem list. Today, there are only 117.

It may be they're all in Texas, but otherwise, it's the ATMs.

Posted by: dbG | September 18, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

This paragraph goes a long way to explain why Joel has such a loyal and thoughtful following...

"What do you do with such people? The answer is: Help them. Compassion isn't a merit-based system. Some people need more help than others -- and always will."

Posted by: TBG | September 18, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Well put Slyness, that photo struck me as well.

Joel love your comment about compassion.

Posted by: dmd | September 18, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

//What do you do with such people? The answer is: Help them. Compassion isn't a merit-based system. Some people need more help than others -- and always will.//

I'm just going to read this paragraph a few more times, IN LIEU OF reading ANY of the comments on the story. Thanks, Joel.

I would just add: ...and rejoice that we can help them. How awful it would be if we were, like Haiti, or Bangladesh, for example, faced with natural disaster and without the resources to come to the aid of our fellow citizens. Times like these are when being the wealthiest nation on Earth means something real, something more than having more big-screen high-definition televisions per capita than anybody else.

Posted by: kbertocci | September 18, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Hi, TBG! Simultaneous boodling, again!

Posted by: kbertocci | September 18, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I may need to print out that compassion line and tack it on the board above me desk.

In the meantime, you all have to stop what you're doing and read this incredible Dan Morse piece, a sort of dual obituary. If this doesn't make your throat tighten up, nothing will. If it doesn't get a Pulitzer nomination, there is no justice in the world.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 18, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

You see that little compartment on the pier? That's where they rode it out. Everything else obliterated. I think it has concrete walls or something. But talk about crazy!

Posted by: Achenbach | September 18, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Yes, Joel, you have hit another out of the park with your observation about compassion. ["What do you do with such people? The answer is: Help them."] That comment, both apparently offhand and wonderfully deliberate, deserves much wider airplay than the Boodle - unless, of course, we all email it to a friend. C'mon guys, let's help Joel go viral!

I also agree with the dubious wisdom of providing federal insurance for places which routinely get scoured off the beach. Of course, the Boy and I are just waiting until our Oklahoma home is beachfront property. I assume you'll all be living with us at that point.

And thank you, Joel, for the further information on the clueless woman who didn't know about the hurricane. Her son takes all the TV time playing video games and watching cartoons. Okay, that's an explanation. I still find the underlying implications of isolation disturbing - she had no other source for news, no neighbors or casual conversations gave her any hint - but my mind is no longer completely boggled.

Speaking of mind boggling, I regret to say I followed lostinthought's train of thought in the last Boodle very well. Occasionally I'll share one of my own trains of thought with the Boy - something as simple as "I didn't empty the trash" may be a very loopy road. He responds with a peculiar look which blends skepticism, exasperation and compassion for my obvious infirmity.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 18, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Federally-subsidized flood insurance is cheap (especially considering that it's available for houses that are doomed) but homeowners seem reluctant to buy it. Maybe a belief that preparing for something makes it more likely to happen?

In Florida, quite a lot of homeowners are upset at what seems to be fairly normal flooding on the St. Johns River. Some of those houses are in nice subdivisions, where you'd think minimun-elevation rules would apply.

In my own neighborhood, new construction is on raised pads, elevated maybe three feet. I take this to mean that I need flood insurance, despite being in a minimal-risk area. But new development is happening in areas flooded by past storm surges.

A recently-retired community college English faculty member lamented that the kids he taught were strictly interested in getting their tickets punched; most seemingly lived very blinkered lives. Maybe the kid who played video games nonstop and his mom represent the new norm.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 18, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I remain impressed that Galveston seems not to have suffered mass casualties, unlike Mississippi in 2005.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 18, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Not only do taxpayers pay for subsidized flood insurance they pay more for their own coverage.
I'm expecting a jump in insurance rates world wide, all the insurance companies are taking a bath.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 18, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Most insurance companies. Some might do very well.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 18, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

On the question of rebuilding parts of the Galveston area, I highly recommend this article from the Christian Science Monitor:

And while I am venting my linkomania, this piece on the Republicans and their ideaological meltdown is very good:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 18, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Things look fine in Uruguay.

Posted by: Jumper | September 18, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

...but not so good in Mianus.

(Hey, TBG, I beat ya, I beat ya!)

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

Man, this must be my day for verklempt. Watch this (2 and a half minutes long):

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 18, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

This volunteer fireman of Surfside Beach has lots of pictures of those houses-on-stilts.

The most rore recent pics are about clean-up but the early ones are about Ike damage.

Surfside beach is just west of Galveston, I believe. I got the link through the Houston Chronicle. As Joel noted in a previous kit the Chron sent lots of people along the coast. They hyped in a bit but there were some gems in the lot.

I remember a piece by 60minutes, from maybe 10 years ago, showing some beach houses owned by the very rich, on the Carolina's coast I think it was. Some of them were on their third reconstruction, all paid up by the federal gunmint...

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 18, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I too believe that we all need to re-think development on barrier islands, be they in Texas, Florida, the Carolinas, or wherever. Barrier islands are inherently unstable and storm-prone. Granted, they are highly-desireable retirement/vacation/second home sites, but at the very least, they should not be eligible for Federal flood insurance. If people insist on building, let them get whatever private insurance they can find. Unfortunately, the courts have very much limited zoning and permitting options for property rights reasons.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 18, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse
Roger Cohen gets Biblical

Posted by: Jumper | September 18, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I would defend the video game player by pointing out that he may have been playing non-stop only because a new version of his favourite game had just been released.
When Quake II was released any teenage boy you could find on the street was talking about how awesome it was. You could see them for weeks later emerging from their basements, blinking, into the sunlight.
I bet a clever statistician could track the release of a major video game and a drop in school performance or , if a hand held, traffic squashings of teenagers.

Whether this behaviour is good or bad I will leave to the judgemnet of others. I would just observe that some teenagers are at their most tolerable when not interacting with those around them and should not be distracted from the TV set.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 18, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't know any responsible person in Florida who thinks the state's pasted-together homeowner insurance setup will survive the first serious storm.

I doesn't help that legislators from the Panhandle think hurricanes are strictly a Southern Peninsula problem.

And no one seems to accept that the region from, say, Ft Lauderdale to Key West is the most hurricane-prone in the western hemisphere.

In the US, it's proven very difficult to restrict development for environmental reasons. Oregon has good coastal legislation, though I suspect it's been undermined by a property-rights initiative from, maybe, 1999.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 18, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Yup, the havelots can pay 260K bucks for an Aston Martin to park in their Hamptons garage. After this economic disaster, the havelots will still havelots. The havless will haveless.

I've taken some of these havelots on safari. A few of them were very ugly people.

Posted by: Brag | September 18, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Oops. Disagreeable tense.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Serwer and Sloan, those biz-savvy folks at Time wrote...

"Given that this is a political year and change is the buzzword, how do Barack Obama and John McCain intend to see us out of this mess? Good question. We don't know, and it's not at all clear that they've thought about it in greater than sound-bite depth."

...but apparently they didn't attend the Obama speech last March at the Cooper Union and obviously didn't read the NYT transcript or the condensed version of Obama's six principles in this blog yesterday. What these "savvy" folks really said was "We don't know (but we can write about it anyway because we have 65 years of experience writing about it)"

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Evacuees in San Antonio are starting to get vouchers at places that will provide them a clean change of clothes, the paper reports today.

However, Joel's Kit poses the interesting or troubling question of rebuilding in hurricane-prone areas--Galveston and New Orleans included. When we were in California, all we could think about was Erik Larson's book, "Isaac's Storm," about the devastating 1900 hurricane that decimnated Galveston, a book we had both read several years ago and about which I Boodled at some length when Katrina hit New Orleans.

We called to change our flight reservations on Wednesday, before catching the shuttle bus for a evening cruise on the paddlewheeler M.S. Dixie. It was Thursday morning that we incurred $66 in phone charges on our hotel stay calling all the other places necessary to inform folks or businesses about our change in plans because of Ike.

One phone call was to our neighbors next-door, speaking to one sister of Las Tres Hermanas. It was Stella who, after I asked here what was happening in San Antio, briefed me on the situation here. Ike was projected to hit Corpus Christi and turn north over San Antonio. Alamo City residents were strongly advised to get gas in their tanks, get money from their ATMs, lay in a supply of bottled water and groceries, buy batteries, she said.

Since the path of Ike changed four times, and landfall was expected for Corpus, we played the hunch on Wednesday night that Bush Intercontinental Airport would be on the northeast side of the storm, the side with the most rain and strongest winds, and that the airport would be majorly impacted. Glad, in retrospect, that we played that hunch.

Now that we're home, I haven't seen much reporting about FEMA or state aid going to the Beaumont and Port Arthur areas, which also took the brunt of Ike, but which are far less populated than Greater Houston.

I'm intrigued by Joel mentioning oil barons having a vacation home on Galveston--as well as the whole notion of a city being crippled by a lack of gasoline, as Houston has been--especially with all those oil-drilling platforms out in the Gulf and the numerous refineries nearby.

I haven't mentioned the highlights of our Tahoe trip (with a former reporter's instincts at heart), but we met a fascinating couple (moments after meeting another fascinating older gentleman on the same beach, his activity also involved with the Washoes) Wednesday morning at San Harbor State Park on the northeast shore of the lake, Nevada-side. The couple was getting ready to push out on the lake, another day's journey around a portion of the lake's rim--no gasoline involved, so our conversation occurred in snippets.

I learned Jared's name and the fact he hails from Berkshire, England, that the pair were married only a year ago, the wife's fascinating education background in Washington state, and the fact she is a contributing writer to Moonshine Ink, a small publication serving North Lake Tahoe and Truckee. Part of the money they raise from their endeavors in this new sport help fund efforts to preserve the native Washoe language, the teaching facility located in Gardnerville, Nev.

After searching with Google, it wasn't too hard to find them on the web through the Tahoe-area publication, not as easy trying to locate them through their love of the new sport, stand up paddle boarding--compared, if you will, to the ability to walk on water. I bet many of the Galveston residents wish they could have walked on water, but probably not on a stand up paddle board--the cement-reenforced shack on the Galveston pier looks scary enough. (A rider is supposed to tether oneself to the stand up paddle board, although Renee had lost or misplaced her tether the morning we met her.)

I could write more today, but find I still have a number of tasks involved with trip catch-up, so I'll let Renee Klosterman Power tell her own story in the feature article she wrote for Moonshine Ink about stand up paddle boarding:

This link has a picture of Renee and Jared Power, standing on the left in the photo.

Posted by: Loomis | September 18, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

SCCs: Too many to mention. Up late last night and the good eye is tired and not awake yet. Through the process of closure or filling in the blanks, you can probably figure ought what I should have typed.

Posted by: Loomis | September 18, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I recommend lining the Gulf and south Atlantic coasts with connected Cat 5 proof tourist hotels. Not only are tourist hotels fun and a great make work project as sea levels rise the lower floors can be filled with concrete to form a you know what (Dick and Laura's last name.)

I've just saved America. You're welcome.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 18, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, that article on the two elderly couples involved in that car crash got me teary, too. And Dan Morse, who wrote the article, deserve major kudos. He not only talked with the family and restaurant employees, but checked DMV records to answer the question that must have been on everyone's mind. And wrote it straightforwardly, without any of the cutesy affectations I'm seeing too often in the Post these days. You. Know. The. Kind. I. Mean.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 18, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

To Dave of the Coonties:

You could have edited your comment down to "I don't know any responsible person in Florida."

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky | September 18, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (COBRA) of 1982 and later amendments, removed the Federal government from financial involvement associated with building and development in undeveloped portions of designated coastal barriers (including the Great Lakes). These areas were mapped and designated as Coastal Barrier Resources System units or "otherwise" protected areas. They are colloquially called COBRA zones. COBRA banned the sale of NFIP flood insurance for structures built or substantially improved on or after a specified date. For the initial COBRA designation, this date is October 1, 1983. For all subsequent designations, this date is the date the COBRA zone was identified. COBRA zones and their identification dates are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).

Communities may permit development in these areas even though no Federal assistance is available, provided that the development meets NFIP requirements

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Beg to differ, Cap.n. There's always Skink, from the Carl Hiaasen novels.

I think I'd throw in Hiaasen and Dave Barry, too, while I'm at it. And of course our own Bertooch, as well as DaveotC himself.

A small, very select band, to be sure, but still...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 18, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

COBRA zones typically include only sparsely or uninhabited areas. Towns on barrier islands predating COBRA continue to develop.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

What happens to drilling rigs at played-out locations? According to the Phantom comic strip (always an excellent source of information), there are loads of derelict platforms just sitting off the Louisiana coastline. They are clearly very durable structures, with the ultimate in waterfront views. Why not wash 'em down with degreaser and clean them up to eliminate the smell, then turn them into luxury resort properties? Ride out the hurricanes in style. Go deep-sea fishing from your balcony.

Posted by: PlainTim | September 18, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I would rephrase that as "I don't know any responsible person in DC."

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I remain impressed that Galveston seems not to have suffered mass casualties, unlike Mississippi in 2005.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 18, 2008 10:55 AM

I was under the impression from early reports that up to 90,000 people stayed in the Galveston area during the storm. After the storm there were about 6000 still on the islands including news people, reporters, emergency personnel, etc. Call it about 3000 residents, most of those were bused off after the storm.

Take a look at the photos. There are many places where hundreds of homes disappeared. A lot of them housed people almost as stupid as those bait shop dwellers. Where did they go?

90,000 - 3,000 = 87,000. That is a lot of unaccounted for people.

Does anyone have any more reliable figures? I'm hoping that this is as wrong as I have ever been. I also think that this is a question that no one wants to think about or pursue at the moment. If they haven't found them in the sweeps of the islands so far, they are not going to find them

The news people are starting to ask the same questions this morning.

Somebody please tell me I am wrong. 81 Thousand is a lot of people.


Posted by: DLD | September 18, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

dbG asked in the last Kit... "I don't know, Martooni. Isn't making fairy doors a gamble, tangible good or not? Nothing's guaranteed."

That's the *only* guarantee, dbG... that nothing is guaranteed. Heck... just getting out of bed can be risky.

My decision to make my little doors full time was definitely a gamble, but I knew the level of risk involved and was willing to take it. It's had its ups and downs, but it's mine and I'm willing to sacrifice to try to make it work. I should add that as I had few options available at the time, and considering the fact I had little to lose and everything to gain, the consequences of failure wouldn't have resulted in much more financial hurt than I was already experiencing.

I have compassion for the support staff at those financial companies who are losing their jobs, but no more or less than I do for those laid off from factories or other businesses. As for the brokers or any other hotshots in sales or management... they get little-to-no sympathy from me. They knew exactly what they were getting into (or should have) and now that the party's over, they gotta deal with the hangover.

I'm sure none of those types have anything to worry about, though. Considering how much smarter and intelligent they are than their subordinates and support staff (who they probably reminded daily), they should be back on their feet and running in no time at all.

The sad thing is that many of them will, deserving or not. And then they'll just pull the same guano from a different corner office at another company.

Posted by: martooni | September 18, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

If 90,000 stayed in Galveston, about half of them must have been reporters and tourists because the population in 2005 was 57,000.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes, 90,000 sounded very high to me. Maybe a decimal slip and only 9000 stayed? Better. That still leaves 6000 or so unaccounted for. About the same as in 1900. So is this progress? Only the percentages are down.


Posted by: DLD | September 18, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

DLD - I was hearing about 20000 on Galveston the day before Ike hit, although there was no way to know how many left that last day. I'd guess that most of them were long time residents whose homes were closer to the old downtown area, rather than in the newer houses out on the West side. If most of the homes that got washed away were vacation homes, then they're much less likely to have people in them during a storm, particularly a late summer storm.

The question of rebuilding conflicts me. If you'd asked me after Katrina whether much of New Orleans should be rebuilt, I'd have said that if it's an area likely to flood then no. But ask me now when we're talking about Galveston, a place near and dear to me, my answer may be different. Although again, what think of when I say Galveston is the Strand, and the older "beach homes" which weren't on the Gulf Coast beach but back further on the island. It would be interesting to see how the property destroyed correlates with location and epoch of building.

Posted by: astromom | September 18, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Re: rebuilding. Grand Forks, ND did it the smart way in the late 90s after the flood that damaged three-quarters of the city's homes. Whole neighborhoods were bulldozed and not rebuilt. Why? Because North Dakotans are not ca-razy Property Rights nuts, but sane people who can sacrifice for a common good.

(As an aside -- they're mostly Republicans.)

So that's KPage's Considered Opinion for the day. I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.

Posted by: KPage | September 18, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I know where I'll spend my next vacation; Iraq!

Yes for a mere 2150 euros you can have a «Noël en Irak», spend 8 days in Iraqi Kurdistan. I'm not making this up it's offered by the French travel agency Terre Entière.
The website looks French only unless I miss something though.

While they are at it why not p1ss off every local flavour of Islam by having a nice outdoor mass at Christmas?
Next summer destination: Somalia.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 18, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

astromom - I have the same rebuilding conflict, I'm from So. Calif. Earthquakes, don'tcha know.

I'm hoping that when the dust settles, er, when the water recedes, that some decent figures will emerge. Although knowing exactly how many people (and who) are in any location at any time is way too hard, city and county officials have to have some idea of the population in order to supply water, electricity, sewer, natural gas, police, ambulance service, hospital services, etc. Then there are voter registrations, welfare rolls, school registrations (don't they still do an annual survey for Federal funds?)

They should have been able to get a good estimate of the number leaving because there are only two(?) ways out of the area, discounting boats and planes. The police also went door to door asking people to leave. Where is the head count from that? Sure, not everyone who said they were staying stayed, and not everyone who said they were leaving left, but surely some numbers can be gleaned from the data.

I'd also like to say that barrier islands are called barriers for a reason. Barriers are meant to dull the forces of nature and are (or should be) expendable. They are not meant to be lived on.


Posted by: DLD | September 18, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Tim, technically those platforms are "production platforms." The drilling rigs move on when they are finished, and only enough structure to support the well-heads and pipeline connections is put in there. I like your idea, though. If you can get Kevin Costner to show up regularly, even the ladies might want to vacation there.

I think Pirate Bay tried it (to become their own country, in the North Sea, I believe.) They failed. And it is a LONG way to the Taco Bell from either a drilling rig or production platform, however.

In other news, my neighbor was scorning Palin for owning a tanning bed. I thought in Alaska, especially in December, it might keep down the suicide rate. I have other issues with Palin, but not that.

Posted by: Jumper | September 18, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Rebuilding after a storm raises the issue of "taking" property and property rights. A government may regulate rebuilding but cannot "take" property unless it has very deep pockets. Regulatory schemes must allow reasonable use of property.

For example, prior to 1985 Hurricane Elena, the City of Cedar Key, FL allowed a building density of up to 36 residential units per acre* (condo's, etc.). The adopted 1989 plan changed that to a maximum of 5 units per acre in the FEMA flood zone, but also allowed rebuilding (elevated) on lots of record existing prior to 1989. The original 1926 town plat had hundreds of 25x100' lots and the only way to prevent rebuilding would have been to exercise eminent domain and compensate the owners for their land value (now about $15 per sf or $37,500 for a 25x100' lot). That was not a realistic financial burden for a town with a population of only 750 (350 households). In short, the only way to prevent rebuilding is for government to buy the land at fair market value.

*By comparison, the City of Miami Beach allows 120 units per acre - high-rise condos - on a barrier island developed before COBRA.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I get the impression (maybe unjustified) that New Orleans is tending to rebuild on high ground north of Lake Pontchartrain.

After a tragic flash flood, Rapid City, S.D. did a great job of turning the swath into parks and open areas.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 18, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Grand Forks wasn't cheap:

Analysts estimated that Grand Forks lost about 2,000 residents, nearly 4 percent of its population, because of destroyed homes and lost job opportunities from the great flood. But, with the initiative of then-Mayor Patricia Owens, the city began to rebuild. She secured $171.6 million in Community Development Block Grant money to help Grand Forks rebuild. She also got the federal government to earmark more than $1 billion for buyouts and relocations of homes, businesses, and schools; money for farmers who lost livestock; and money for infrastructure repair

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"Grand Forks wasn't cheap"

Didn't say it was. Point is, it got done. Of course $ was a big part of the reason. However, I think the bigger part of the reason lay with the folks, themselves. You didn't hear a lot of them saying, "I have a RIGHT to rebuild!" They said, "Well, we don't want that to happen again." So they relinquished their century-old neighborhoods and built a dike.

Posted by: KPage | September 18, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Rapid City also wasn't a cheap recovery:

Don Barnett, who now lives in Denver, was 29 years old on June 9, 1972. He was also mayor of Rapid City. For the next three years, he guided the city through a $170 million flood recovery that federal agencies still hold up as a model.(about $664 million in 2002 dollars)

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

North Dakota and other prairie peoples know when to say uncle to Mr. Nature. There is also operating in ND that progressive upper Mid and West mindset that in part, draws upon the practical social organization of Norway and Sweden. The fingerprints of Ole, Lena, Hal, and Ingrid persist.

I have people in GF, ND. I bet that Frosti and I have many low Bacon numbers there, too.

And, they have those special vowels, made popular by the Coen Brother's dark tragicomedy, Fargo. Sarah Palin carries some of the vowel sound, more so than many westerners.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 18, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

KPage, regardless of party affiliation, such rationality requires that there be a good, safe place to rebuild, as well as a general consensus that it is the right thing to do. I don't think either of those conditions were met in New Orleans, and they don't exist on barrier islands throughout the Southern coastline.

I suppose the issue then becomes an actuarial calculation. Don't ask me how that would work out, because I don't have a clue.

Posted by: slyness | September 18, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you on the compassion, even for those who stay when they ought to know better. I reach my limits, though, when I see someone like the guy who was interviewed on one of the networks, I think, in the days before the storm. (Or, heck, it might have been in the aftermath of one of the other recent storms.) He lived in a hurricane-prone area and had no insurance, because the area was uninsurable, and he had rebuilt with federal help at least once before (maybe twice), after total destruction, and was hoping he would be able to get aid to do so again.

That just kills me. If your home is uninsurable, there is a reason -- it is because the risk is unacceptably high. And I can even see an argument for helping someone who loses everything in a storm -- ONCE. But only if they take the money and get out. It is unconscionable to take taxpayer money to rebuild an uninsurable house in a high-risk area, and then expect help when the eminently predictable catastrophe repeats.

Posted by: jane | September 18, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

They keep rebuilding in Malibu despite the once a decade pounding the beach front takes and the big bucks housing that's destroyed. I think it's insane for the government to bail out these homeowners, but it does all the time. Where we live, many homes are built on the sides of valleys with steep mountainsides. Once or twice a year, huge boulders come crashing down into houses. There have been a few deaths from these boulders and much property damage. The owners of the hillsides, mostly private, end up being sued for these casualties. I'm not sure how anyone expects people to be able to keep boulders from coming down these mountains, it's part of the natural process of erosion. To me, if you build your house (or purchase one) on the side of a steep mountain, you're gonna have to face the risk of boulders falling, landslides happening or at least some kind of slippage. You can't fight shifting earth.

Posted by: Aloha | September 18, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert, BTW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 18, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse
worth reading -- blog and comments -- on Sarah P's accent.

One part Minnesewta
One part ChiCaaagggo
One part Rez, a subtle lilt that Frosti might know

Not typically Western, more upper Midwestie,actually. Curious, that.
Hair has morphed into a
one part updo
one part down, straight sticks

The updo has a little beehive thing going that I have not seen since the late 60s....or in hyperhair mode by the B-52s.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 18, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

My point is that the only way to prevent rebuilding in high hazard areas is to BUY the property at fair market value. It helps if there is a comparable and nearby relocation site that is not in a hazard area, but that is usually not the case on developed barrier islands.

In any event, global warming and rising tides will resolve the issue in time. On some maps showing the effects of varying levels of tidal increase, over 95% of the State of Florida is under water.

But then, of course, remaining uplands will be islands - vulnerable to storms.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think either of those conditions were met in New Orleans, and they don't exist on barrier islands throughout the Southern coastline."

Or on the hills of California ... or on the coasts of, oh, heck a lot of other states, where the destruction/rebuild thing just keeps eternally on.

I'm a Dem, myself. I just threw that bit in about ND being red b/c Reps are so often portrayed as the Property Rights party. Well, except for Bush, I guess, who used eminent domain to get The Ballpark at Arlington built, but that's another story, I guess.

I have a lot of family in ND ... the original homestead is in Cavalier ... and friends from school. I had moved away by the time of the flood and subsequent fire, but the reports were shocking.

Hey ... I keep meaning to ask those of you who employ the word "dottir" in your posts: are you long-lost Icelandic cousins?

Posted by: KPage | September 18, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"Go to a bookstore, and look at the business shelves: you will find plenty of books telling you how to make your first million, or your first quarter-billion, etc. You will not be likely to find a book on "How I failed in business and in life"—though the second type of advice is vastly more informational, and typically less charlatanic." -Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Posted by: Jumper | September 18, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

No CP, the hair is prairie cheapie hair salon hair. Though here, to get hair like that you have to pay big bucks.

Posted by: dr | September 18, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Plausible story on Sarah P's accent from the Mr. Verb blog:

BEGIN QUOTEThe dialect which has caused so much fervor here is what might be termed “Mat-Su Valley English”, after the Matnuska and Susitna Valleys where it is spoken. Palmer was a colony settled by immigrants from Minnesota and surrounding regions, and hence they brought their characteristic dialect with them. It has been merged over time with the predominant white dialects to form Mat-Su Valley English which differs only somewhat from generic Alaskan English. Sarah Palin speaks this Mat-Su Valley English, as do some friends of mine who grew up in Palmer and Wasilla, but I have other friends born and raised there that speak Alaskan English instead, so it’s not homogeneous. This again is due to pressure from the English of surrounding areas, particularly Anchorage. END QUOTE

Hey, Sarah P DOES NOT SOUND as Idaho-spuds speak. Really. Montanans can speak to this, as we speak like our neighbors to the west.

KPage, I am not sure when and how we started on the dottir thingie. I have called my two young adult dottirs DOTS for years. In our case, my progeny are very Icelandic-like in genetic makeup as they are Norwegian-Swedish-Irish. Icelandic people reveal in their genes the heavy Nordic-lightly Celtic mix. Iceland is a holy grail for genetic health studies because of isolation and good records.

You can blame me, but Frosti is Nordie-Finnie I think, so she might be the culprit.

But, polka-DOTs, well fun and silly. Silly is an Achenblog decision making "rule" all the time, I believe.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Not so much a rule as a guiding principle, CP...


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 18, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I think the "dottir" thing began after so many Abloggers discovered a mutual interest in the novel "Kristen Lavransdottir", which I have never read and had not previously heard of.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | September 18, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Fall is house insurance renewal time for us. The policy invoices have been coming with big notices that we don't have coverage for floods, earthquakes, mudslides, mudflows, or landslides. Mr. T checked, and those coverages aren't available in our area. Go figure. Of course, neither the primary residence nor the mountain place is in a floodplain or earthquake zone.

KPage, I think it was College Parkian who got us in the habit of referring to our dottirs. She is of Scandinavian descent.

Posted by: slyness | September 18, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

SLYNESS, ALERT. ALERT. CP is Irish, 100 Percent. Really. As in any Nordie genes thererin date from say 700 AD, when the Danes and Norwegians settled Wexford (Viks Ford), where my mom's people are from. That those peeps are so very tall is like due to the little wee (bairn) presents left in the wake of raiders.

I am not anything but old sod!

Posted by: College Correctian | September 18, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I looked into getting flood insurance when they built the neighborhood of McMansions behind and above me and put the retention pond (the way stormwater is handled in these parts) behind and above the grade of my yard.

I found that I could purchase flood insurance at a high cost, but it wouldn't cover anything in my basement (except for built-ins like the furnace), nor would it kick in unless the entire area were submerged in a flood--not just my yard.

So a "200-year" storm could cause the pond to overflow, rushing water into my house, and unless the entire neighborhood were submerged would I have any coverage--and only then if the water filled up my basement and continued to fill up my main floor.

I decided not to get flood insurance.

Posted by: TBG | September 18, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

DR, what do you authentic Canookies think about Sarah P's accent?

And, which part of her hair is prairie-gal? The Updo with the teased crown with slight swirl? Or the down-sticks hair that grazes the shoulders?

Admission: would want to try her in a Jackie O cloche flip or Mary Tyler Moore flip.

Posted by: College Querian | September 18, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Extremely sorry to misidentify you, CP. Was I thinking about Frosti? Probably...

The Geekdottir emails me that she saw a report that yesterday the Dow Jones was .29 percent higher than it was when George W. Bush took office. Can anybody confirm?

Posted by: slyness | September 18, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Spud-speak? Love it.

I would have said silliness was a core AchenBoodle doctrine, possibly even a full-blown ideology, as well as a weltenschauung cum leitmotif. There, someone had to say it. I hope my frankness hasn'ty offended anyone (we're all adults here). (Except bc.)

(And me.)

I can confirm that "dottirs" began about six months ago during a three- or four-way conversation about "Kristen Lavransdottir," as BookTim has already said.

Not only is CP fully Irish, one might also postulate that she is a knit wit. As are several other distaffians around here.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 18, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, it is so obviously cognate that we couldn't help ourselves.

Posted by: slyness | September 18, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

.DJI on Jan 22, 2001 = 10581.90
.DJI open today = 10609.01

a difference of 0.26%

(numbers from Google)

Posted by: astromom | September 18, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The DJIA is a measure of only 30 industrial stocks used as a bell-weather index for changing market conditions. The composition of the 30 stocks has changed since Bush took office. The source of the comment is important to see if apples and oranges are being compared. The S&P 500 or NASDAQ composite are better indicators than the dow.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Ancilliary bunker alert: it probably won't affect us, but the Mommy Blog is discussing sex education in the early grades. God help us all. We may need a HAZMAT team to clean up the vitriol spill over there. (I hope there is a vitriol-proof firewall between us and them.) Please have your giant butterfly nets on standby in case any raving lunatics (other than our own Boodle members) come skyrocketing past.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 18, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Because the Dow Jones Industrial Average only contains 30 industrial firms it is argued that this index is outdated and does not truly represent the overall market. Many practitioners prefer to use the S&P 500 or the Wilshire 5000 as market benchmarks. In addition, because the index is price weighted as opposed market cap weighted, some of the largest firms in the world--including General Electric (GE), Microsoft (MSFT) and Pfizer (PFE)--actually have less of an impact on the Dow's performance than some of the smallest members, several of which happen to sport higher share prices. Because of this, the Dow may not accurately reflect the true impact that these giant corporate behemoths have on the overall market.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

We've gained some great boodlers out of the Mommy Blog fray. I say "bring 'em on!"

Posted by: TBG | September 18, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Aren't Son of Carl and firstimeblogger lawyers of Nordic persuasion?
Not me. I've been to Norway once and never felt so short and dark in my life.
Lutefisk? Bleah.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 18, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Alright cause I was interested in what the NASDAQ & S&P looked like, here are the numbers.

Jan 1, 2001 - open 2759.10
Today - open 2137.42

Jan 1, 2001 - open 1342.54
Today - open 1157.07

and no those numbers aren't backwards.

Posted by: astromom | September 18, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I think full hockey goalie gear would be more appropriate, 'Mudge...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 18, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

S&P 500
Jan 22, 2001: 1,342.90
Today: 1,192.06

Jan 22, 2001: 2,757.91
Today: 2,160.18

Posted by: TBG | September 18, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Mine were closing numbers (or current numbers for today).

Posted by: TBG | September 18, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The history of DJIA changes are more revealing than arbitrary day comparisons.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Refugees from the Mommy Blog are always welcome. So far, all ours have had their shots and are properly housebroken. It's the others I'm worried about.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 18, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

On September 22, 2008, American International Group will be replaced by Kraft Foods in the DJIA index.

No surprise.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I liked the "porn librarian" description of Palin's look in an article Mudge linked to.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 18, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Vitriol isn't only raining on the mommyblog. I made the mistake of reading the first few comments on a fairly mild Dionne piece the other day, he was writing about McCain increasingly non-believable whoppers IIRC. I had to run to the emergency eye-wash station and stay under the jet for the prescribed 15 minutes to restore my vision. Some people go nuclear (more likely new-ku-lar) as a first response.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 18, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

No problem Mudge...

I've dispatched a company of Mooning Gnomes.

That should keep the Mommy Bloggers at bay for a while (or at least offend their self-righteous sensibilities).

If that doesn't work, I have a platoon of nekkid Cornish Blue Pixies available who haven't had a bathroom break for several hours.

Posted by: martooni | September 18, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Never mind the Dow, S&P and NASDAQ. Look what's going on in money markets!

*Never mind that sh!t; here comes Mongo!*

Posted by: Raysmom | September 18, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Someone (not me, please, I'm exhausted) should channel a Gilda Radner character and post into that comments section for laughs.

Posted by: Jumper | September 18, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Jeeze, I almost forgot. I have to dig out the Jolly Roger so I can run him up the TV mast tomorrow.
Talk Like a Pirate Day is my favourite holiday.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 18, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Uh, what IS the mommyblog?

Posted by: Jumper | September 18, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I am absolutely heartborken. i logged on to continue hair silliness and I find one of my childhood heros has passed on. Ron Lancaster RIP.

The man was a giant even if he wasn't tall enough for the NFL. You lost and we won him, and he won our hearts and souls. He wasn't born in Saskatchewan but he sure enough is counted as one.

Posted by: dr | September 18, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) - Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain on Thursday called for the firing of Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, saying he has "betrayed the public's trust."

In an attempt to beef up his economic credentials after taking a few hits earlier this week for saying the nation's "fundamentals are strong" while the stock markets were suffering huge losses, McCain got more aggressive, saying that the SEC was "asleep at the switch" and reiterated his call for tougher oversight of Wall Street. McCain made the statement, while campaigning in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as he is losing ground in polls to his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama.
McCain is so transparent and opportunistic. "Off with their heads," said the queen, "Sentence first, trial afterwards."

The DOW has been up over 400 points today. I guess McCain isn't watching the recovery.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

That's a very broad brush you're using on a group of people you don't even know, Martooni.

While I think there's plenty of blame to go around, it's not at the levels you're railing on.

Go look at the kit again: "What do you do with such people? The answer is: Help them. Compassion isn't a merit-based system. Some people need more help than others -- and always will."

It's not just true of less-than-rich people.

Someone I thought was pretty shallow once told me that he thought people were either doing what they wanted to do (happy: jobwise, relationship-wise, whatever your measure) or they were doing the best they could. I think he was mainly right (and not shallow, although he did keep breaking up with his girlfriend every year before Christmas and her birthday so he didn't have to buy her presents. ((I was not the girlfriend)).

Posted by: dbG | September 18, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

When I saw that headline, Raysmom, I was doubly thankful the Geekdottir graduated this spring. Her college monies were invested in Putnam, and they never did anything good. She had a tuition waiver; otherwise, I would have had to dip into my savings to finance my portion of her education. Needless to say, I no longer work with the planner who talked me into putting her money there.

Posted by: slyness | September 18, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The "Mommy Blog" used to be a WaPo blog called "On Balance" and was home to some of the meanest commenters on this site typically arguing about stay-home vs working moms.

Our own DandyLion wrote a guest Kit for her blog and within 10 minutes was being accused by the commenters about lying about being blind, among other various criticisms.

That blog has since ceased publication and the vitriol has moved over to the On Parenting blog. Put a garbage bag over your head before you venture into the comments there...

Posted by: TBG | September 18, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"Heartborken"? That's some sort of Norwegian thing, isn't it, dr?

Sorry, Jumper. "The Mommyblog" is our shorthand for the "On Parenting" blog at It has been our experience over the past two or three years that it is a good place to stay away from: the comments section can strip chrome off a trailer hitch. As Scotty mentioned, a couple of posters over there got so disgusted they wandered over here and found a much more congenial home. (We may be crazy, but we're not usually violent.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 18, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dr, what a giant-hearted person. And born in Fairchance, PA, but the best chance open to him was Canadian. Thank you for the good but very, very blue-tinged news.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 18, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

slyness, that's terrible. What got me going is that this is money markets (Money Markets!) we're talking about. Supposedly one of the safest places to park your money. As in, that's where I had Mom put Dad's insurance money. Apparently some of them invested in those fancy-pants derivative instruments, too.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 18, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I have a theory on why the stock market kept doing well earlier this year, in spite of all the foreclosures and such.

The people who are the big buyers and sellers in the stock market are the guys working at the investment houses. And they were largely unaffected by the foreclosures and thus discounted the impact. Now that one of their own (Lehman Bros.) has gone under, it has now affected people they *know*. Thus, the problem is more real and thus the stock market correction.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 18, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The stock market is about taking risks and money market funds pay a higher interest rate because they are taking risks in the market.

Keeping your money under the mattress is less of a risk, but a risk nonetheless if your house burns down - or if you lived in Galveston last week.

I kept saying "don't panic" to myself this past week as I put every last dollar, including my emergency cash reserves, into a declining market. It was risky, but it is also the best way to recover faster when the market turns around.

The DOW closed up 410 points today, the NASDAQ up 100.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Lots of sadness in the Hamilton area too dr.

Posted by: dmd | September 18, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Busy, busy day spent away from the internet. So I was pleased to see that the market did well.

You know, I don't know Chris Cox from Wally Cox, but McCain's statements about wanting to fire Cox seems just a tad disingenuous. It's like in the Stalinist era when all bad economic news was blamed on mysterious "wreckers." That the system itself might be to blame was never actively considered. I wonder if a bit of the same scapegoating is going on here. Then again, Bush has given Chris Cox his full support. That's seldom good.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 18, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, somebody posted that I was worse than Hitler. Unfortunately, the WashPo removed the comment. It still gives me a chuckle when I think about it.

Does anybody know of a decent parenting blog? I have 4 kids, a wife, a dozen tomato plants, and a few guitars, not much else. Stacey's OnParenting blog is not working out.

Posted by: DandyLion | September 18, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Chris Cox would have been about as effective as Mr. Peepers in stemming the selloff by the big institutional traders this week. The big traders got into a panic (Putnam is a good example) and nothing short of suspending trading could have stemmed the tide. Trades in two of my holdings were suspended yesterday when I tried to buy more, so I knew the safeguards were working. McCain is a jerk.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I was sent into rapturous laughter about "houseborken", too, Mudge. I think we should keep it as the Boodle expletive of choice. {wiping eyes after laughing fit}

Just wanted to set the record straight with you Shriek -- I'm not of Scandihoovian descent at all. Sweden and I just adopted each other, that's all. But, truth be told, I am the personification of the old melody: "wherever I hang my hat is home." I felt just as much at home in Uganda and Tanzania as I do in Stockholm. Perhaps that's due to the fact that I am facile in languages, I'm can ingratiate myself into a culture pretty seamlessly (depending on the culture and probably my mood at the time), I'm funny as all get out and, last but not least --- I'm *houseborken*!!! What's not to love?

I spoke with a couple of finance guys this morning (one in Detroit and one in NYC -- both Republicans), who were trying the lipstick on the pig routine, in the sense that they were trying to justify voting for McCain. STILL! Un-effing-believable! But, well, then again, their pockets are lined with gold leaf, the way mine are lined with just plain old leaves.

And, with that, my dear boodlers, I make adieu, and take my leave(s).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | September 18, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I suspect when it's all over, and the bottom is reached, and it's time to buy, buy, buy there will be loud voices shrieking "Not bottom yet!" In order to, you know, fool us, and snap up the goodies themselves.

Posted by: Jumper | September 18, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

SCC -- I'm = I

Dang leaves. . . .

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | September 18, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Although I certainly understand the frustration with people who are their own worst enemy, I also understand that withholding compassion to people who have messed up in life is to punish them twice.

For such people must understand, at least in their own hearts, that they have erred in their judgment. They probably don't need anyone else to tell them that.

Besides, nobody really knows the details of why people act as they do.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 18, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

If I could just sell my blasted extra house, I could make a killing by, you know, buying foreclosed houses and waiting for the market to recover. I think.

Wait, there's something wrong with that plan...

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 18, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

That opening picture is very poignant. I have a hard time looking at it. I'm a mess that way.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 18, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't the 9/12 episode of This American Life about Chris Cox? I think so. Interesting story, tho' I admit some of it went over my head. Naked short selling or some such. I get the concept, but not Cox's response.

Posted by: KPage | September 18, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Good on you, Joel. Thanks for reminding me that the reason why we try to alleviate human suffering is because no one deserves suffering.

Posted by: shelly | September 18, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The Post's Michael Dirda has a book review in tomorrow's issue of Science. "Giordano Bruno Philosopher/Heretic" and apparently a master of memorizing. He ended up as toast, of course.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 18, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Interesting timing on the Giordano Bruno book. Yesterday was the official memorial day for Cardinal Inquisitor St.Robert Bellarmine who presided at Bruno's trial and concurred with his sentence to be burned as a heretic. Bellermine later issued warnings to Galileo. I have often regretted the association of Fairfield University with this "saint."

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Dues a muuse-a sheet in zee vuuds? Bork Bork Bork!

Ve-a moost esk Sereh Peleen! Bork Bork Bork!

(English to Sveedish Chef translation available here:

Posted by: martooni | September 18, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

What is "houseborken?"
Finns splashing in saunas but
Not peeing therein?

Posted by: Wilbrodog | September 18, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Sandbags: where do they come from and where do they go?
Y'know - you see eight billion sandbags lining store-fronts; whatever. They're almost always someplace where there isn't any sand! Like I said: where do they come from and where do they go?
Anyway, if I can figure that out, that'll be MY invest vehicle - that way I can be compasssionate AND make a killing!

Posted by: Dmon | September 18, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

SCC: MY investment vehicle...

Posted by: Dmon | September 18, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Didn't your mama tell you
How the sandman brings sandbags
For beds full of fish?

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 18, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Didn't mama tell you

(no "your")

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 18, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

There you are, Dmon. The bags are usually filled locally.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Mega BPH T-Shirt Announcement!

Hi all... the Official Mega BPH t-shirts are $10 each. If you haven't ordered one already, you still have time! I will submit the order tomorrow (Friday), so if you want a shirt, visit...

And click on the link for the order form. I will send out invoices next week for the shirts (to the email address you give me on the form) and will include instructions for paying me online or sending me a check. If I need to send you your shirt, I'll ask you to include an extra couple of bucks for postage.

If you will be attending the Mega BPH, let me know and you can pay me in person (cash or check!) and pick up your shirt at the event or the Friday night BPH (details to follow).


Posted by: TBG | September 18, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Pass the aspirin, please, I'm being bugged.

Posted by: WIlbrod | September 18, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Dmon, "dirtbag" would be more accurate, but cause a new set of problems after the first headline about the Corps of Engineers needing dirtbags to hold back the floodwaters. Plus, if we're reopening the nomenclature, dirtbags on the flooded side of a levee inevitably become scumbags.

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 18, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

On several occasions the topic of Targa Newfoundland has been raised here, and until I read the boodle I had never heard of the event.

While browsing the paper on line I saw this blog on the race - and now have a better understanding of the event.

Very off topic but I have been fighting a migraine all day and am looking for fun diversions.

Posted by: dmd | September 18, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Point well taken ftb.
I like Ronnie too dr, I've seen him play in my very first CFL game at the old Autostadium in Montreal, ca 76-77. A giant in a smallish package. I think Sonny Wade was the Al's QB back then and the Als won the game. Johnny Rogers, Larry Highbaugh's nemesis, was in his glory. After that, I've seen the Al's lose like 5 times in a row...

Fall is REALLY upon us, I had to wheel in the pots of fragile plants in the garage because frost is expected tonight...

I sure hope this market thing is going to stop swirling, I'm getting dizzy.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 18, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Dizzy, shriek? I've been riding a bear for over a week. I'm about worn out. TGIF tomorrow.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

sd-our freakishly warm weather should be headed your way. Perhaps we'll hit 80 tomorrow, but every breeze sends leaves to the ground.

Shiloh-gutsy financial move, and here I was feeling pretty good about staying the course.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 18, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

From BBC News, Washington...

McCain 'confused' over Spain PM

By Lourdes Heredia

US Republican presidential candidate John McCain has raised suspicions in Spain that he thinks the country's prime minister is Latin American...

Posted by: TBG | September 18, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

That first picture just grabs at my heart. I add my appreciation for JA's words of compassion. Simple and very moving.

TBG - I'll pay you at the mBPH for my shirts.

I agree with Jumper about the tanning bed in the guv's mansion in Alaska. It doesn't really matter, but geez, it made the hubby and I laugh.

Posted by: Kim | September 18, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

The teddy bear looking up at the sky seems to be asking "Where is my child?" and resonates with the inner child in all of us who remember how much our teddy bears cared about us.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 18, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

For the fans of Pink Floyd only, a rather long, prattling, last interview of Richard Wright.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 18, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Back from dinner with my girlfriends, always a fun evening. To a woman, they are all horrified by Sarah Palin. I obviously live a very sheltered life, politically speaking, and I'm grateful for that.

Posted by: slyness | September 18, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I was gonna write a poem about a giraffe, but changed my mind.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 18, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Can I write the poem instead, Mudge?

Long spotted horses sway
Blink skyhigh eyes and swish tails
too high to sniff (D***!)

Posted by: Wilbrodog | September 18, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Er, horse and tail in the singular. Yeah, that scans great.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | September 18, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: slyness | September 18, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

quoth dbG: "Where I work, money is a tangible good."
HoHoHo, HaHa, heehee! Oh, you dear, funny, optimistic critter, you!

Posted by: Bob S. | September 18, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Try buying clean water in Galveston, or a cold beer in Yemen. Money's just as intangible as any of a number of other things, sometimes.

Posted by: Bob S. | September 18, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I would submit as a working definition of "money" that it is: Whatever will be easily traded for the widest variety of OTHER things that you might desire at any given moment.

Posted by: Bob S. | September 18, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't intending to imply that dbG's workplace shouldn't use "money" as a convenient unit for day-to-day business. I was merely making the observation that "money" is a slippery concept. Life is easier when it doesn't "slip" so much, but life isn't always easy.

Posted by: Bob S. | September 18, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

shrieking denizen: thanks for the url to the Wright interview.

Posted by: Dmon | September 18, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Money Makes The World Go 'Round:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 18, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

shrieking denizen - The only excuse I can give for not thanking you in a timely manner for the link to the Wright interview is that I was so entranced that I forgot my manners.

Thank you!

Posted by: Bob S. | September 18, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

yjkt - The "Cabaret" piece is really quite something. It's one of those things that I don't always know how to explain to folks who don't already understand that it's pretty good stuff. I reckon that makes me a zealot, yes?

Posted by: Bob S. | September 18, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Slyness: I hope your post of 10:27 doesn't herald the end of brie and camembert or my (anyone's) ability to enjoy them.
Sparkling wine and Wisc. swiss isn't the same, y'know?
Course, if it all goes really South, who will remember?
A Gauloise, a glass of cognac and tulips (two lips) in the rain...

Posted by: Dmon | September 18, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Dmon - This project was announced a couple of tens of years ago. If you're not planning for the end of the world, and intend to be surprised by it, I'd love to hear why!?

Posted by: Bob S. | September 18, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Dmon - Dry humor is REALLY difficult like this! Any chance that you'll be able to join us, or at least send a card, at/to the big gathering next month?

Posted by: Bob S. | September 18, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

And a grounded sense of optimism.

Posted by: Dmon | September 18, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Got it!

Posted by: Bob S. | September 18, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Otherwise, "the end" is always near...

Posted by: Dmon | September 18, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

TBG, thank you for the A-blog are such a doer. And make mine an XL because I will use it when I work out. I use the eliptical so I need lots of room.

Sorry (really sorry...I would love to meet you all) I can't make it as I will be diving in Cabo San Lucas...hey, it's a time share we are stuck with. But I can hardly wait!

The job has been spent this week getting set up in my home office. Lots of online education and forms. They are paying for my land line, BlackBerry, multifunctional device, Internet, etc. I travel to Seattle next week for a couple days. I love it already and I make more money...quite a bit more money. Wow--skill set...GET THE RIGHT SKILL SET!!!

But it is the honeymoon phase...

Posted by: eidrib | September 18, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Tell us all about the right skill set, eidrib. And congratulations.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 18, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

sd, thanks from me too on the link to the Wright interview. I listened to lots of Pink Floyd way back when, and Mr Ml even recognizes it and has some CD's. But I could not have named Richard Wright. "Echoes" is one of my favorites - the album it was on, Meddle, was one of the first CD's I ever bought (when CD's were the new thing). I discovered a few years ago that my son absconded with it when he was a teenager (I found the CD case empty, sigh).

Money -

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 18, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

"...If they catch you in the back seat trying to pick her locks, they'll send you home to mother in a cardboard box..."
See you on the dark side of the moon.

Posted by: Rick Wright (used to be) | September 19, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Cabaret is one of my favorite shows. I caught the revival of it at Studio 54 and can now brag that I've seen Uncle Jesse's ass.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Yup, we got mad skilz here. All we need to know is how to optimize the set.

Posted by: Bob S. | September 19, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Analysis results: 1) Sleep needed; 2) Welcome overstayed.

G'night, all!

Posted by: Bob S. | September 19, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Howdy late nighters
Pretty drive home with fog covering the valley basked in the moonlight. Listened to WV lose to CO in overtime on the radio.Plenty of deer along the ride home and thankfully none jumped in the road.

I saw there is a couple of pink floyd tribute bands playing in Baltimore coming up soon.Pink Floyd Live was always a spectacular show musically and visually.Pretty cool when the burning bed flew by and exploded when it crashed into the stage on"on the Run"
Or the floating Big Pink pig with big red nuts on "Pigs on the wing"

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 19, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

The market in this region took a tumble yesterday. AIA is the local unit of AIG in Singapore and Bn. AIA, S’pore, was flooded with people wanting answers and wanting to cash out their policies. Despite them stressing that they keep separate books from AIG, and that they are still strong, policy holders still say, “…who knows what will happen next.”

Bn doesn’t have a stock exchange board or brokerage firms. Anybody who wants to invest in the stock market can do so in most of the bank here. Every so often banks will conduct seminars about investments. I attended one a few years back. This guy was saying that the Japanese market was the place to get into. He said the Japanese market had rocked bottom and that there was no place to go but up. He did make sense then. Ok, so I was a sucker. If the market had rocked bottom, it dug the bottom right after I invested in one of the unit trusts.

The last time I checked, it was still digging.

Posted by: rainforest | September 19, 2008 2:21 AM | Report abuse

have been overwhelmed with work the last couple of weeks.

but i just had to drop in and say:


Posted by: L.A. lurker | September 19, 2008 2:52 AM | Report abuse

eidrib...Congrats. I'm excited for you. Thoroughly enjoy every aspect of the rose-colored view, and may it last a good long time.

CP....thanks. I think you're a good judge of these things, and I'm honored. inital reaction was to be wounded (paper-cut kind of wound) that you regretted that you followed, but upon a moment's reflection, I realized that's another thing we have in common. Thanks for making me see that I'm not all that flippin weird (or even if I am, I'm in good company).

Shiloh... I've been very lucky and have seen lots of his works in lots of different venues, and I can honestly say the prints don't begin to touch the sheer beauty of the originals. The Potato Eaters has always spoken to me (in a pretty loud voice), while A Pair of Boots and Bedroom in Arles whisper secretly to me. The works, the words, and D. McL's take on the whole shebang are how I made the leap. (Even if you don't go back and see my leap, I hope you still look at the video. A good one.)

Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 19, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Bob S!

If it's good enough for Tony Soprano, it's good enough for me! :-)

Posted by: dbG | September 19, 2008 4:04 AM | Report abuse

A small lesson of compassion.

Many years ago, I brought my toddler to the park. Her favorite playground item was the swingset where I would push her and listen to her babble and sing. This particular time, she got a little risky and began climbing up the chain. I quit pushing her and warned her repeatedly that she was doing something dangerous. I didn't go so far and insist that she stop, I wanted her to explore her capabilities.

As she got higher, I asked her to stop, I was afraid that she would fall and get hurt.

She didn't stop

I warned her again. She still kept on climbing.

Then she slipped and fell to the ground on her back. Ugh! The hollow sound that ribs make when they hit the ground with a thud.

My first instinct was to scold her, make it teachable moment - See what happens when you don't listen to Daddy? I told you so! don't come crying...

Before I started my lecture though, I heard her start to cry. She was hurt, but she was trying her best to hold it in. She was toughing it out, as if to deny she had made a mistake.

Aw! I picked her up and gave her a hug. She began wailing. Poor kid. She got the wind knocked out of her.

No lecture needed. I learned it is far more joyous to comfort my fellow human beings than to express disdain for their behavior that caused the suffering.

Posted by: DandyLion | September 19, 2008 5:46 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. 'Morning, Dandy.

Well, it's Friday...the last full day of rest before the weekend onslaught. Cassandra, a week or so ago you said I make honey-do's sound like a punishment. Zackly. I just don't know what it is I've done to warrant it. I suppose there must be something.

No, don't worry: I'm not going anywhere within 200 yards of the Krauthammer and Gerson columns on the wonderfulness of George Bush's legacy. My hands tremble even as I type this. No, yello, thanks but no thanks: I can even do without your synopsis.

Night before last Chris Matthews made the point that Bush has been nearly invisible during this financial crisis -- and he's right. CM said Bush was pulling "another Katrina" and he's right about that, too. We've seen efforts by "the government" or "the Fed" to do this or that -- but not a peep out of GW himself. In a way, maybe that's a good thing...but yes, he's pulling another Katrina.

Don't know if anyone's posted since Dandy's 5:46, so I'll just say, c'mon, Brag, Scotty, Cassandra and yello, it's time to start moving.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Slept in this morning. Staying up until 1 am blogging is not something for old men like me. I did post a bunch of pictures of Cape Cod last night.

Including one wild lapine out for morning silflay.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, LostinThought. "Another Starry Night" by primitive artist Robbie Armistead (1931-2004) is inscribed on the back "In remembrance of the 100 years of Vincent Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' painted by him in June, 1889 while he was a patient at the insane asylum at Saint Remy 'Saint Paul De Marisole' in France,where he stayed a year." Robbie's version is dated May 1989 and is further inscribed "Frame Made By Artist." It was a gift to me from the artist and I look at it every day in my home office. I have downloaded your gift and thank you again for it.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 19, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

That was a very cool Van Gogh montage.

Feeling guilty about not doing anything aerobic this morning, I opted for some light stretching. Nothing fancy, just some simple poses. Downward dog, cobra, triangle, half-moon, tree, shoulder stand. A lot of things, like camel, I'm just not limber enough for. Never done a headstand. I'd have to take some lessons for that.

I don't know any of the Hindi words either. Except for शवआसन, aka savasana. I'm really good at that one.

Now I'm off to see how high Chuckie K can get my blood pressure.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, and happy Friday. I volunteer at the fire museum today, which means I sit in the place with another retiree till about 45 minutes before it's time to close, and then somebody wanders in to look at the stuff. I need to find volunteer opportunities I can enjoy. But I'm not whining, I promise!

Posted by: slyness | September 19, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Great pictures Yello. We’ve had that bike trail on our list since last summer and I am amused that you, coming from hundreds of miles away, have biked it and we still haven’t! Of course between the rainy summer we had and taking care of daughter #2 all summer, we haven’t had the time or energy to bike. With #2’s wedding fast approaching, I doubt we’ll be biking anytime soon.

Very busy week, I’ve enjoyed lurking but haven’t been able to join in. Great quote from Joel about compassion. I admit to having a hard heart at times so it was good to be reminded of the greater good. Looking forward to the weekend, even tho’ it promises to be almost as busy as the past week has been.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | September 19, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Mudge... yesterday I heard Bush's statement on the financial crisis and it sounded more like someone reading something for the first time than ever before. I was thinking about how he always sounds like he's reading his speeches; they never seem to come from his head.

Then I was watching The Daily Show from the other night and they were showing old clips of Bush campaigning and speaking as president and it DID sound like he at least knew what he was talking about back then. It led me to think about what kind of president we have today.

Do we clearly have some sort of puppet president? Has he just lost the will to lead? Or even pretend to lead? Who IS leading?

Posted by: TBG | September 19, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrr, me hearties!!

*peglegging a barrel o' grog to the catapult to share wi' 'Mudge, th' old salt he be*

Aye, that scurvy dog bc best be keepin' his hobnailed sandals handy for repellin' borders!

An' that non-scurvy Wilbrodog best be returnin' me eyepatch! Arrrrr...

*parrot-on-me-shoulder-and-brandising-me-cutlass Grover waves*


Posted by: ScottyJohnSilver | September 19, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't Hindi look pretty?!
Too bad I hate writing it (too many strokes...learning to write Chinese or Japanese would be hell for me).
phonetic spelling: shav-a-sun (shav is said almost like "shove")
Gotta run to class.

Posted by: DNA Girl | September 19, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

It appears Chris Cox wants to keep his job...


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 19, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Chuckie K Watch (just avert your eyes, budge):

"History Will Judge"

Yes. Yes it will.

The Hammer couldn't make it through the first paragraph without a bald-faced lie. He also makes a rather impassioned defense of torture. The article was based on a private interview with Dubya and there isn't enough soap in the world to get the brown off of Krauthammer's nose.

Which sadly makes Gerson only a distant number 2 (so to speak) in the Sucking Up To Bush Sweepstakes today with an effort that would normally take the gold medal. He defends perhaps the most ironically oxymoronic (emphasis on 'moronic') phrase ever, "Bush's foreign policy vision."

Whew. Even by Right Wing Flamethrower Friday standards, the bullshoots where piled high and deep today.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

DNA Girl,
Thanks for giving everybody else that Wikipedia link. It's where I stole the Sanskrit script. It is very pretty.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Mudge, I would never call you 'budge.' Even for my fat fingers, that's an egregious typo.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps you meant budgie, yello... A reasonable substitute for a parrot, no?


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 19, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

At least four years ago, James Fallows (at The Atlantic) seriously suggested that President Bush suffers from some kind of on-and-off speech disability.

The Meltdown of American Capitalism is looking to turn Iraq and Afghanistan into sideshows.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 19, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Gut morninckz das Boodle!

Been airborne for some time, busy sifting through the discordant voices inside NATO. The whispers and static required some digging. Then, came the noisy part. Rice is again giving lectures to the Russians whereas Gates proposes a more moderate approach.

I think he has enough wars going without Rice's beligerent approach. I guess she doesn't read her cables from far-away embassies. The White House and the Observatory provide more pleasant info.

Feel free to dip into that rum barrel, yer back is covered.

Posted by: Brag | September 19, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Hey dudes. I heard that if you bypass the sub transient you can directly access the data layer and pull out the video signal by overriding the encryption. So now I can make as many copies of Babylon Seven as I freakin' want. Take that you fascist corporate copy protection oppressors.

Wait. This *is* talk like a pirate day, right?

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Avast ye scurvy dogs! Trembele at the sight o' todaes calendar date and be forewarned.

It's speak like a pirate day!

Posted by: Kerric | September 19, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Brag, all that surveillance empennage must play hob with yer thrust-to-weight ratio...


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 19, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

No, really, I AM gold, don't listen to that geologist. See my lovely sheen and sparkle??

*rechecking calendar*

My mistake, Talk Like Pyrite Day is much later...


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 19, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Aye, empenage be damned!
Unfurl top gallants and load chain shot. The treasure in that galleon awaits us, mateys!

Yo hoho (slurping a mug of Jamaica's best)
Faxing rum to the rest of the fleet.

Posted by: Brag | September 19, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Oh all knowing Boodle, I have a question. When I read stories about Republican rallies and meetings, there are generally protesters disrupting the event. Are we hearing about similar disruptions at Democratic events? I haven't seen any and am wondering if this is a harbinger of how the election is going.

Posted by: slyness | September 19, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Aaarrrr the scurvy dogs going to keelhaul the Dow today?

I reminded Raysdad this morning that it's Talk Like a Pirate Day. He's going to open his staff meeting with a pirate warning. Not sure if he'll go there when he meets with the admirals this afternoon, though.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 19, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

It's funny about being a tourist in your own back yard. I've been slowly riding the W&OD rail trail piece-wise for quite some time. I finally got Reston to Purcellville checked off. Now it's time to start working the other way.

I'm not very good at pirate talk, so I won't even try. And RD is getting it all wrong. It's Deep Space 5. Or maybe he's confusing it with Stargate Who.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I am another who is incapable of speaking like a pirate - I am still working on proper english.

Ment to mention earlier the top photo, the bear looks just like one we had at our house, only much bigger. Our bear was one of a set, one with purple overalls and a pink heart the other with pink overalls and a purple heart. They were kissing bears (magnets in their noses) and were gifts to my kids for valentines day. The picture in itself is very poingnant but that bit of personal background makes it much more so to me.

Happy Friday all.

Posted by: dmd | September 19, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

slyness: We received our homeowners insurance renewal forms as well. Our policy will not cover damage due to space debris, missles, nuclear bombs, and other trivial things like that. I guess that I have no choice but to cover the place in boilerplate, and finish the bunker under the dining room.

Posted by: jack | September 19, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I just ran across a good Palin-related blogpost by James Fallows discussing her ignorance of the Bush Doctrine and why that is a bad thing.

Deep in it he makes this observation about Bush:

///The truly toxic combination of traits GW Bush brought to decision making was:

1) Ignorance
2) Lack of curiosity
3) "Decisiveness"///

Pretty sure that summarizes Woodward's latest book.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse


I be believein' Bushbeard didn't know that the Treasury Map was plottin' a course through rough seas, or how close his garbage scow of a White Boat had been to sending the whole fleet to Davy Jones' Locker.

Aye, I 'spect he's been in the White Boat Cap'n's quarters plottin' shore leave at his next port 'o call and was a bit' out' o sorts when he be called on deck fer a minute to make an appearance at the tiller.

I believe I heered him ask if we were at Pismo Beach or Tahiti yet.



Posted by: bc | September 19, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Rich man, poor man? Foot-in-mouth disease? Remarks by Texas Governor Rick Perry in today's paper (reported by Terri Langford, Lindsay Wise, and Harvey Price of the Houston Chronicle):

Gov. Rick Perry said 22,000 people are still living in more than 200 shelters, and he joined Galveston city officials on Thursday in asking for patience.

"I absolutely undertand they want to get back to their homes... I'd like to get back to the mansion," said Perry, who moved into temporary quarters about a year ago for renovations to his official residence, which then took heavy damage from a fire in June.

LL: Gee, I wonder if the Texas Gov.'s temporary digs are anything like a Red Cross or emegency evacuation shelter?

As to my inquiry yesterday as to how other areas that took the brunt of the storm's surge--Beaumont, Port Arthur and Sabine Pass--are doing, Houston Chronicle reporter Stewart M. Powell has the story, since Chertoff visited there yesterday:

Posted by: Loomis | September 19, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Of course, also following the buzz about Morgan Stanley and *Wachovia*, with Chinese bank Citic thrown into the mix.

News about Seattle-based Washington Mutual also catches my ear, since one of its largest operations is a call center on the north side of San Antone that employs upwards of 2,000 folks. Interesting times.

Posted by: Loomis | September 19, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Ahoy boodle! Contemplating introducing TLAP day to the after school kids this afternoon. What I need is a clean for kids pirate song for the singing impaired. Have a few hours to learn and perfect so suggestions are welcome.

For those who missed the Daily Show last night check out the first 5 minutes or so. The cuts from the Hannity/Palin "interview" to a get-out-of-debt infomercial and back are priceless. Colbert King saw the same infomercial qualities

Aaarrrrr, where's that cabin boy with me coffee?

Posted by: frostbitten | September 19, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

New kit coming midday, roughly...Thanks.

Posted by: Achenbach | September 19, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

frostbitten, isn't the SpongeBob song sorta pirate-based? Arrrrr...


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 19, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

A pirate walks into a bar, and orders a whiskey. The bartender get him the drink and says "I can't help but notice you've a helmswheel sticking out of your pantaloons." The pirate replies " Arrr, ya, and it's drivin' me nuts"

Posted by: Kerric | September 19, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Complete Muddy Waters, 320kbps MP3. 920MB


Posted by: Jumper | September 19, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

yello-thanks ever so much for that Fallows link.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 19, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

No: Thank YOU... (A reason to go on living for the next two or four hours...) :-)

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

s'nuke-thanks for the suggestion, but Frostson's first complete sentence was "Mommy please don't sing!" accompanied by a hand over my mouth. I need something unfamiliar so they won't know how badly it's being mangled.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 19, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

frosti, I suppose "What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor" is out of the question?

Posted by: Raysmom | September 19, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Disputes recent FDA bisphenol A findings, links to endocrinology journal (via thyroid)

Posted by: Jumper | September 19, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 8:16 AM
Talk Like a 1980s Movie Hacker is next Wednesday, though.
*is writing this on a computer with text readable from space while typing needlessly loud/fast and listening to heavy metal*

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Here's a link to a non-copyrighted book of Sea Shantys for download:

Posted by: Raysmom | September 19, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom! That's it, that's a tune even I can get across. We'll change it to "What do you do with a scurvy pirate?" they can come up with a few verses, then repeat forever or until the grown ups scream for mercy. It's kid perfection.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 19, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Aaaargh! I almost be fergettin' what day it war!

Frosti, lass, might Oi be recommendin' "Zombie Pirates in Love," which ye all can listen to or download at this here link: [boodle handle] "phrase" achenblog

Further down the page you'll find three more pirate songs, "Wiki Pirates," "Kidnapped by Pirates Is Good," and "A Pirate Christmas."

"Shive Me Timbers" and "Professional Pirate" are on the Muppets Treasure Island (see the YouTube: )

And here's a list of no less than 51 pirate songs, http(colon)//www(dot)rhapsody(dot)com/playlistcentral/playlistdetail?playlistId=ply.11714679

(And, no, these did NOT come out of my own personal songbook, duly copied down during my days as a pirate.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Whoops, wrong link above. Meant this one for Zombie Pirates in Love, and the other three:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Kerric... you owe me a new coffee. The one I just poured and was about to enjoy is now dripping down my monitor.

Posted by: martooni | September 19, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

While I do not condone computer piracy in any form, I also do not condone using public e-mail sites for government business (and feel that matter also deserves further scrutiny).

I'm truly distressed to read this news, but wonder if he apologizes, repents and offers to marry Bristol Palin if this will just be written off as "everyone makes mistakes" by the McC/P camp.

Posted by: dbG | September 19, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The personal e-mail for public business is straight out of the Rove/RNC playbook. Several years of e-mails are now history because (intentionally?) poor back-up practices.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely, yello. I read someplace that this wasn't carelessness, it was discussed and decided for precisely that reason.

Why else would you leave the (assumed) safety of a private e-mail system that would preclude this kind of hacking (in most cases)?

Posted by: dbG | September 19, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I always hate to say that someone deserves to be the victim of a crime, but there's a reason drug dealers have a short life expectancy. If you are committing a computer crime yourself you shouldn't be crying if you get hacked.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 19, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Jeepers. I just don't know what to think about the market. That it has oscillated so wildly clearly shows, to me, that it is based on investor perception. I don't know if this mega rally is good news, or if it is just the tide going out before the tsunami arrives.

So I guess I will just stop logging onto Vanguard and try to pay more attention to baseball scores.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

ScottyNuke - "pyrite"...most excellent and snort-worthy.

Oren't you glad you came up with this pun?

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Toles is perfect today:

Should appeal to Slyness.

Posted by: Wheezy | September 19, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Arrgh and ahoy mateys. That's pirate for howdy, y'all. I am still watching the financial meltdown in bemusement. I've been reading for over a year that Something Awful was likely to happen, and I only read mainstream sources. Why was this a surprise? Arrgh.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 19, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Joel has been working hard and under very challenging circumstances... first photo is eerie... brings to mind the Gangi River.

Posted by: Miss Toronto | September 19, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree Ivansmom! and it's sure to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by: Miss Toronto | September 19, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Imaginary friends, I have to let you know what a therapeutic outlet this is. I had a situation at work that was making me feel like slapping the sh!t out of a co-worker. Instead, I wrote a post, venting about her untimeliness and ineptitude. I read it over, and deleted it.

I win two ways: 1) I now feel able to deal with the issue and 2) I didn't bore you all silly with this nonsense.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 19, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

i have a migraine on TLPD.
reminds me of when all the aunts 'n' uncles 'n' cousins gathered to celebrate my tenth birthday and i came down with the flu.
if that ain't enough I've run out of coffee and am drinking the instant stuff. 7 years in the jar hasn't improved it.
i'm just gonna sit here wrapped in my pirate flag and sulk.


Posted by: boko | September 19, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Les Misbarack

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

RDP, I'm so glad someone noticed that vein of untapped humor.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 19, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

s'nuke-thanks for not disappointing, I knew you could continue mining for boulder puns.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 19, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Arrrr... Boko... we've gotcher back, matey. You'll be feeling like hitting the high seas in no time, I betcha.

Yo ho ho... and all that.

Posted by: TBG | September 19, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I think we often take our cleverness for granite.

Posted by: Loomis | September 19, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

*faxing Raysmom a bill for $75 From Boodle Psychiatric Services, LLD,, to be split by the boodle 58 ways*

Same time next week, dear?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Why, Loomis!!!! Most excellent!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

If I didn't, frosti, I'd be on the slag heap for sure.

(not goin' nowhere near a strip-mining pun)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 19, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Irony and brimstone. That's all I see.

Posted by: Jumper | September 19, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

You guys rock. You make puns and jokes in quartz. Just don't lucite of our goal here. And it's a gneiss place topaz the time.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

And I can telluride now there no place I'd rather be.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

And boy howdy, can we shovel the schist.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 19, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Arrr. Most days at my quarterdeck I be feeling more like the Spaniard crewman, holding off the pirates looking for deep pockets full o' doubloons, but today we hoist the Jolly Roger and turn into the wind.

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 19, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Oops...Overpromised...Got too many stories juggling and I can't post a new kit today...SORRY...Will post something ASAP. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Posted by: Achenbach | September 19, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

OK, shale we bring this thread to an end? Or continue to just grin and barite?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

It's OK, Joel, we're all over here happily getting stoned. So to speak.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Is there uranium in Mianus?


Posted by: DLD | September 19, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Of course, to build on what Scotty said, this is, after all, Talc Like a Pyrite Day.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks TBG. Talk Like a Pirate Day isn't old enough for me to get all sedimental about it but I do enjoy it.

I don't why but when I get a migraine I get the sweats something awful. Think I'll go change my chert.


Almost out.

Posted by: Boko | September 19, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Depends on which one of us you ask, DLD. :-)

'Mudge, don't go getting all sedimentary on us. It's my fault we're in-situ-ating these things...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 19, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Shiver me timbers, Joel! ye were lashed to the mizzensail in a hurricane and ye kept kitting. Hope yer editors didn't threaten ye with walkin' the plank and keelhauling as yer reward.

Scurvy dogs they be. Doing the saber flamenco with their guts would be too good for them, those pop-eyed deck-licking scallywags!

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 19, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I thought Mianus was the name of a valley and a river. If that's the case then the question, properly posed, would be:
Is there uranium up Mianus?

Sorta out.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 19, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

We clearly needed a clean slate, too.

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 19, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, were it not for my professional responsibilities, I'd totally agree. Given her reasons for being on Yahoo, I'm rolling my eyes that the Republicans are making such a big deal of it--but it does add to their story that she's being victimized.

It's like that burgler who fell through a skylight, sued the homeowners and won (didn't check this out on Snopes, though).

Posted by: dbG | September 19, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I'll draw the lime at a stones throw.

Posted by: Kerric | September 19, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I was afraid this pun business would avalanche. Better than talking about the rocky market. Just hope it doesn't start dropping like a...

Oh never mind.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm tor now-- I was taking the high luster of today's chat for granite, so slated some lava to share today....

then I come on and find that the boodle's metal is gone, and they've lost their marbles and gone back to the stone age.

I'm afraid to quarry why this seismic activity has occured.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | September 19, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Listening live to McCain on MPR (He's in Blaine, MN-kind of like the Prince William County of MN-used to be outside the metro sphere of influence, now deep in it). Says we're in a deep recession and the economy is in the toilet, but he can fix it. "Country first or Obama first?" Crowd pounding on bleachers chanting "country first." "We will cut taxes." Did he not listen to the news this morning? Where is the money going to come from to pay for all this bailing we're doing in the economic boat.

Crowd booing, and oohing and ahhing, in dark tones on cue. Very negative people these McCain fans. "You have my word." I'm really tired of that-his word is not all that reliable (5 years in a POW camp notwithstanding). Only 6 "my friends" in the few minutes I've been listening but he hasn't hit Vietnam yet.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 19, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Any of you see this? Interesting on rebuilding on the beach in Texas.

Posted by: nellie | September 19, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Frosti at lunch while I was waiting for my sandwich, the restaurant had CNN on, Obama was speaking in Florida about women it was very good. Spoke of his mom, grandmother and Michelle - the man lights up like a Christmas tree when he mentions her - so nice to see.

Posted by: dmd | September 19, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, that was blessedly brief. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the source of all our economic woes according to McCain. Too lazy to find and repost yello's link to the Fallows piece. While Fallows was concerned about Palin's lack of foreign policy knowledge I think you could easily put McCain where ever Palin's name appears and economic policy for foreign policy and the column would be just as true.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 19, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

It's okay, Joel. Don't stress about the blog. Plenty of stress elsewhere to fill your quota.

Posted by: kbertocci | September 19, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Frosti... this morning on NPR they were playing clips of McCain telling crowds just a few months ago, "I don't know anything about Wall Street..."


Posted by: TBG | September 19, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I just had a stab of a rather nasty SNL parody where McCain goes to register at the "Make a Wish Foundation" and says, "I'd like to be president before I die, but I need a good vice presidental candidate to get the world's attention off me.."

A few calls to "our political wish department" and McCain gets in touch with Palin, with the church lady/ nurse thing going on, and she cooes "do you need a job in the Alaskan government?" And McCain explains.
"Why then, I can help you PERSONALLY, you brave little POW you."

Pictures of Palin wheeling McCain around and helping him stand at town halls, doling down his medicine (with a calendar with the days to the election X out, little stickers for his medicine, and a big red sticker for the day after election labelled "Rat Poison".

I told you it was nasty. Although it'd probably feed into a lot of porn nurse fanasties right away...

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 19, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, you've just asked my question exactly. I'm glad that the gummint is taking some action, and even some concerted across-the-board plans, to alleviate this mess. However, when reading that the gummint plans to buy up distressed mortgages, etc., I immediately wondered, "With what?" Maybe we can ask for some money from Georgia - didn't we just give them a big chunk to rebuild? - or Iraq, now that they have some surplus. I just hope China doesn't foreclose.

Whoever said Bush has been largely AWOL in this is right. He only showed up yesterday to "reassure" the country, and wouldn't answer questions. Since Bear Sterns and all through the summer, I don't think it ever occurred to anyone that Bush has actually played any decisive role in the gummint or Fed actions. Why expect it? He doesn't do hands-on governing anywhere else, so why should he be involved in Wall Street and the housing collapse? After all, he's only the president.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 19, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Bush the only president with an MBA?

Posted by: frostbitten | September 19, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I did not find any uranium in Mianus, but I wasn't looking all that hard.

(Link solely for the newbies.)

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

What do answers to test questions and ghostwritten theses cost at Harvard these days?

Posted by: Jumper | September 19, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

RD, it's not just perception, it's hormones.;_ylt=AksC93PF0GXWe6uD33nOKb534T0D

Frosti -how about "it's a pirate's life" from animated Peter Pan (at least I think that's where I learned this):

Oh, a pirate's life is a wonderful life.
You find adventure and sport.
Just live every minute for all that's in it
The life of a pirate is short!

Will have boodle withdrawal starting tomorrow, we are going to move MIL to an assisted living facility, clean out her house, etc, and there's no internet at her house. ARGGH!

Posted by: km2b | September 19, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I think that President Bush simply isn't interested in all the market turmoil. He doesn't care one way or the other. The issues are complicated and have to be researched and understood before taking a decision. Not his style at all. He has no gut feeling about the whole thing, hence a complete disinterest. I think that his position is to let others deal with it if they think it's important.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 19, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

For the record, despite the fact that I have a ... you know ... I have not trafficked in any comments that connect the name "Sarah Palin" with the word "porn". Except for this one. And except, maybe, for an early agreement with the term "naughty librarian" and an endorsement of references to a visual similarity to Tina Fey, for whom I carry a tiny yet persistent torch. Not that my torch is tiny, you understand. I mean a metaphorical torch, not an allegorical torch.

Anyway, I find it is possible to despise Sarah Palin's politics and to dismiss her professional stature without resorting to name-calling, references to her looks, and so forth. No p0rn-nurse fantasies required. 'Cause I'm, y'know, mature. And stuff.

Posted by: PlainTim | September 19, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Right, PlainTim. I did not mean anybody in specific, just those who might enjoy that particular fanasty.

I apologize for giving personal offense in such a manner that you felt you had to reassert some sort of maturity.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 19, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

And may I suggest going to the nearest eye wash, PlainTim? I think it's down the hall to the right.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 19, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Dang those hormones. They get us fellers into all sorts of mischief.

Although the market seems to be ending the week pretty much where it began, a quick look at the six months just past still paints a grim picture. Of course I really only care about where things when I retire in 2030. Or maybe 2035. 2040 at the latest.

Besides, I am planning on my son becoming fabulously wealthy. I have mentioned this to him several times. Indeed, somewhere I have one of those cutesy baby books where under the section labeled "dreams for our baby" I have clearly written "fabulously wealthy."

And, let us not forget, I still have my cereal box collection. Some of them are worth upwards of 2 figures. Cash.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

SCC: I see I left off an "are."

Which, given the day, seems gloriously ironic.

Them pesky PM meetings coming up. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

That PlainTim: such a mensch.

Ivansmom, twas me referencing the disappearing Bush, paraphrasing Chris Matthews.

Who would thunk a bunch of "hands off"/laissez-faire/let-the-market-rule pure-bred deregulation-minded capitalists would nationalize the banking industry. I mean, fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and AIG ought to be a piece of cake, now that we (the gummint) own them.

Now, if only the big hospital chains and the pharmaceutical industries would fail: we'd wind up with socialized medicine overnight.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

With that scheelite there will be no cummingtonite. She would cassiterite you seamanites allanite

Posted by: DNA Girl | September 19, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

That's funny - I heard one of the former VA governors blame the economic woes on the price of oil during last night's debate.

On that note, I'm going to meet a friend for a drink.


Posted by: bc | September 19, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about my retirement being affected by the financial crisis because I plan on working until I die. I just hope somebody still has the money to pay me while I'm in the workforce.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 19, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Say hello to the Prime Minister for me, RDP.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 19, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Lost Credit Card Holder was able to describe the card to a T. Went to the bar where she works and ordered a beer and shot to drink while reading/waiting. Lost Credit Card Holder wanted to give me a twenty dollar reward. I refused to accept of course. I did get a Hug and High-Five though. Finished my shot and beer, asked for my check, but it had already been taken care of. Sweet.

Posted by: omni | September 19, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I concur with PlainTim. The less we sexualize ALL the candidates the happier I will be. But there is no denying the ubiquity of Rule 34.

Here is that Fallows link again:

Dubya outsourced the Iraq surge to Hadley, a former partner in The Scowcroft Group.

Henry Paulson, current Treasury Sec'y is a Goldman alum. Between the foxes being issued guard uniforms and the rampant cronyism, Dubya has just gone and left the keys under the floormat. Supposedly he canceled a trip to make his non-announcement yesterday.

Bush going on vacation is more than a metaphor. He checked out several months ago.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of checking out, apparently the Gates/Seinfeld ads really WERE just an excuse for the two to rub elbows. Microsoft's "retired" the ads in preparation for the REAL campaign, apparently...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 19, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand it may be a good thing that the president isn't involved in the credit meltdown. No texan crony or other Brownies involved.
The real players are an All-Eastern-Elite team. (Bernanke and Paulson are originally from the South but they have been long enough on the Eastern seaboard to qualify.)

A snotty purfessor, one of McCaines's greedy banker and one of those despicable allways-at-the-public-through professional public servant who may not even be a Republican.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 19, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

You don't think the candidates should be sexualized, yello? I can't think of whole bunches of them who can all go sexualize themselves.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Can, not can't.

C'mon, finkers, get wid da program.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

How could Arbusto be checked out if he never checked in?

Loved the run on rock puns this morning, sorry I missed it as it occurred.

Wheezy, Toles was indeed excellent today.

Now, to catch up on the news since 8:30 this morning...

Posted by: slyness | September 19, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

That's funny DNA girl. The cat is named Chrysotile and the old black lab's "official" name, never used and still in mint condition, is Anthracite. We had the dearly departed cat Perlite and another kitty started in life as Stibine but ended up as a Pea Soup (like Obelix, he fell in it when he was little). I wanted to name another cat Wolframite but got vetoed by the significant other. The receptionist at the vet always shake her head when she read the names of our pets on her computer. My dork credentials are pretty solid out there.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 19, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Rockhoud NerdLord, SD, not simply dorkish.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 19, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

What if McCain dyed his hair red, yello?

Posted by: Boko | September 19, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Present for you SD, courtesy of the Minerals Information Institute:

Period table of WHERE the elements -- many are minerasl -- come from. Enjoy, if you do not already have this.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 19, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse


I'm just trying to avoid people getting mental images of McCain dressed in a merry widow with a feather boa. Or Biden wearing a Chippendales bowtie and a black velvet speedo.

And I wouldn't want anyone picturing Obama all oiled up in a gladiator outfit. That gimmick's been taken. Mo MoDo already photoshopped that last one up two months ago:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse


You are mistaking me for another boodler that is the ginger fetishist. As a natural red-head myself, I know how unsexy they can look.

I have gotten some unbidden mental images of McCain as The Gimp in 'Pulp Fiction', but that is so wrong on several different levels.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Good Froomkin
"The View From Bush's Dead End"- by Dan Froomkin

"The Top Of His Head"- by Boko999

Posted by: Boko | September 19, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Cute CP. The old Rock Museum at Laval U. had something like that on the wall but they were little boxes with samples of the mineral in them, when possible of course. Hydrogen oxide is hardly a mineral and there are those totally unstable transuranides...

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 19, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, what age range are the kids you need a song for?

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 19, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere, I believe frostbitten mentioned Thurs night's Daily Show. Tony Blair was in the interview segment, and it was quite good, I thought. Have kind of a soft spot for Tony myself, not sure why. He seems like a decent guy, I guess. Still think he's wrong about Iraq and Bush, but there you are.

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 19, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Names for SD's progeny and pets; I only included them if I have had contact with a real person with such a name:

Bijou (A student named Beatrice went by this handle.)
Cameo (I have a student named this now.)
Pearl (ALL the Margaret variations)
Sapphire (Willa Cather wrote into being a Sapphira.)
Topaz (When nuns in my town reclaimed their birth names, Sister Jerome Mary because Sr. Topaz...we called her Sr. Tobie).

Posted by: College Parkian | September 19, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Beware of that Froomkin link, mudge. It quotes the Krauthammer Column To Be Avoided extensively.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Sorry yello
And I forgive you for causing me to spew awful faux coffee all over my flaptop.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 19, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

SofC-the kids are 5-12. Unless I get really inspired in the next 20 minutes we'll be singing to the tune of "What do you do with a drunken sailor?"

"What do you do with a scurvy pirate?"
"Pat him on the head and feed him jello" "Train his parrot to fix me breakfast" "Paint him yellow and call him Sponge Bob" "Train a shark to chew his hand off."
"Early in the morning."

Posted by: frostbitten | September 19, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Ah, thanks for the heds up, yello. Was just about to go there. I will now refrain.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

SD-- Tungsten would be a great name for a Husky with a pierced tongue!

And I got-a dibs on Mike-uh?-- black and flaky!

Posted by: Wilbrodog | September 19, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Starting to get round-robin emails from relies in Montana, S. Dakota, and Seattle about two items:

1) Sarah P. does not talk like a Westerner in her vowels. Some of the consonants and clipped endings are Mountain West. (To Minnesota relies, Sarah P. sounds like well-meant but off Minnesota accent).

2) Crow people relatives are intrigued by the "quantum of blood" discussion underway about Todd P's ancestry. Touchy discussion, among tribal people. And, to these lower 48 indians, the Alaska discussion is very different. Alaska and Canadian tribal people live closer to their heritages than many other tribes.

Here is a discussion about tribal connection by an Alaska (sent by cousins.)

Posted by: College Parkian | September 19, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

What a flippin day,left my computer on last night and got a virus,so far every attempt to kill it hasn't worked and I refuse to pay 39.95 to the company that infected me to get rid of it. Waited 3 hours for an exterminator that never showed up.let the cat in this morning and he went on the carpet #1 and #2.Got a flat on the way to work.

Arrrgh is right!!!

But it is more like jump off a bridge day,or poke myself with a hot cattle prod day.

Thank god I am at work and safe.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 19, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Been meaning to thank CP for the links to the Palin accent discussions. I agree, she's not Minnesota or ND quite - but close. On one of the forums (fora?) I frequent, someone uses "Yup yup" to mock her. Ah, she's so plain spoken.

I would love to ask Carly Fiorina if she thinks Bush could run a big corporation - with his MBA and all. It really ticks me off that she thinks Obama could not do that - not sure what the qualifications are for such a thing. I've gotten the impression over the years that it's not what you know, but who you know that gets you that kind of job. I mean, what about Cindy McCain?

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 19, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

45 minutes to go.

Not that I'm counting.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 19, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

It's been empirically proven that Dubya can't run a corporation. The evidence that he can't run a country is pretty compelling too.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Another day of recovery:

DJIA up 368

Posted by: Shiloh | September 19, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Mudge, I think you should read Froomkin. You'll agree with what he has to say, even as he quotes Chuck K.

Posted by: slyness | September 19, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse


NASDAQ up 74

Posted by: Shiloh | September 19, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if I'm too late? Here's for frosti's group:

We pirates live out on the ocean (Tune: My Bonnie)

We pirates live out on the ocean
we pirates live out on the sea
we pirates live out on the ocean
it’s surely a fine place for me

Heave ho! Heave ho!
Out on the ocean so free, we’ll be!
Heave ho! Heave ho!
Out on the ocean so free, we’ll be!

Last night, we buried some treasure
a secret map shows it's next to a tree
We learned a lesson that evening
now we wonder where that map might be

Don’t mess with us pirates, young matey
or out on the gangplank you’ll be
The last boy who messed with the teacher
is floating around on the sea!

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 19, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

There is no doubt that Froomkin eviscerates Chuckie. The problem is that Krauthammer states things that require rebuttal. Like the surge is working, public opinion pushed us into invading Iraq, torture gave us valuable intelligence, and that "the 9/11 attacks literally came out of the blue." Not if you had Condi Rice's briefing books.

The sheer level of lies, half-truths, and miscellaneous mendacities in this single column sets a new personal record for the Krautster.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 19, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

For LostinThought.

“Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night” continues through Jan. 5 at the Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, Manhattan

Posted by: Shiloh | September 19, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

SofC-in the nick of time, Thanks!

Posted by: frostbitten | September 19, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Inventory of accent samples at the Speech Accent Archive. Some are very homogenized with only subtle clues to regional sounds. Some are quite iconic. And, you can ADD YOUR VOICE.

Concord, New Hampshire

Boston, MA

Brooklyn, NY

Off to the rest of the evening. Lovely cool fall. September/October is the best time in DC.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 19, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

CP, that's a cool site! I love listening to the various accents. Neat!

Posted by: Aloha | September 19, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

You know, CP, I think September/October may be the best time in many places in the U.S.; Seattle, Little Rock, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Ohio, Pittsburgh. All have beautiful autumns, but each one is so different. There's something about the angle of the light, and the moderation of the temperature, that makes fall so compelling. (Tune cootie alert; Autumn in New York is now stuck in my head. Gotta love Ella.)

Posted by: CJ | September 19, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Love that accents site, CP. Dr G and I have played with that before. Makes me want to say...

"A box of books."

Where's Yoki been these days? Yoki! Where are you?

Posted by: TBG | September 19, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

As anyone who has ever observed my humorously intense startle response can attest, the conclusions presented here are, like, total hooey.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

High School Football

What a beautiful night. I've got the window open and I hear lots of happy people. At the high school a half mile away I can hear them chearing when a touchdown is scored.

The band is pretty good too!

Posted by: DandyLion | September 19, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I think it depends on the testing conditions, RD. And "more likely to support" doesn't preclude spooky liberal doves.
You have to factor in how elevated the startle is, the recovery time and ability to reason after getting the heebies-jeebies.

I'm assuming you don't actually rush out of your office waving weapons and telling everybody to get their heads down, you'll save the office from the guy who banged down the copier cover a bit too loudly?

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 19, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I am speaking purely from first person experience. As one who has frequently suggested that his coworkers wear a small bell to prevent coronary events when they approach unexpectedly.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

DandyLion - my son is one of those band members. In my opinion there is nothing quite as full of life as the sound of a marching band at half time.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

RD, I think those of us who can concentrate very intensely on something we're reading or thinking tend to startle more. That doesn't mean we're warmongers. I'm trying to figure out those data. Nothing plausible suggests itself.

NB - I was raised in a conservative "republican" household - maybe I have the physiology of a conservative, but overcame it? My appearance seems to suggest conservatism to many, so this may be true. Ever since I gave up bell bottoms and flower decals sewn on the patches of my jeans, people have been mistaking me for a conservative.

Posted by: Wheezy | September 19, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I have lost count of the number of people I have screamed at when they startled me, but I do not believe anyone has ever mistaken me for a conservative.

I was startled not too long ago when I realized I was not the only person in the office, it was an interesting way to introduce myself to the bosses spouse. True story.

Posted by: dmd | September 19, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy - yes, I agree. I tend to lose myself very easily in what I am reading or thinking about. This is why I am the subject of such amusement at work. It is so much fun to see how high I will jump. And it isn't just at work. I will be doing something like cleaning the garage, but be so lost in thought that I startle violently when my wife walks in. She tends to take this personally.

I suspect that this study falls in the category of overlapping distributions. Yes, there may be a measurable correlation, but it isn't strong enough to make reliable predictions about a given individual.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

dmd - love the image. I once did something similar. A VIP came into my cubicle and I jumped so hard I splattered diet coke on him.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The WaPo had a story about the startle study (which says that people with a high startle reaction tend to be more conservative). I must be one of the exceptions too, as Mr Ml can attest to. He scares the bejeebers out of me just by walking up behind me while I'm doing dishes. And he's not a small guy - although sometimes he's practicing sneaking. The water running, the focus - all of a sudden a booming voice, or a large presence - eeeeekkk!!!

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 19, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

We moved this week at work. I made sure I'm looking out of my new little cubicle so I can see who's coming.

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 19, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I think that it's really neato & keen that Carly Fiorina (who's obviously an intelligent, energetic woman) wants to lend her talents to the campaign of someone that she apparently respects and admires. I'm not convinced that she's the best possible judge of who is or isn't capable of successfully running a large company, though. Don't I remember that she helped lead H-P to some awfully hard times?

Posted by: Bob S. | September 19, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I tried using little mirrors in my cubicle. Didn't really help. It's just wired into me.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 19, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

After thinking deeply, I - OMG YOU SCARED THE HELL out of me! CHEEZ don't do that!- decided fear runs my life too much. I'm basically scared of stuff all the time - 'cept when I 'm packing my .357. And handlin' snakes. If you're not afraid of handling snakes, you're not afraid of anything. All right, Jumper, that's enough. And voices in my head. I'm afraid of them.

Posted by: Jumper | September 19, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Usuallly I can hear them breathing before I get the startle attack, but my kids think it's great fun sneaking up on me and scare me with a BOO!

Granted I'm an easy target, but they rarely succeed. Happens more than I like, but my bad for making it a challange.


Posted by: DandyLion | September 19, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I do not startle, or shock, easily. However, I've always attributed this to being oblivious, not liberal.

TLAP Day was a big hit with the kids, stupid, poorly performed songs and all. Next year costumes!

Posted by: frostbitten | September 19, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

This morning I was coming around the corner towards the kitchen at work just as my boss was coming around the corner from the kitchen - we both jumped, then laughed. In general tho’ I don’t startle easily. I do tend to scare a few people at work (the ones whose chairs don’t face their doors). We have carpeting and I wear flat shoes with soft soles so I’ve learned to tap lightly on their doors with my fingernails as I enter.

It’s been fun lurking again today when I had time. This week at work has been wild. The young woman who handles all the AP/AR and some accounting duties will be going out on maternity leave in a month or six weeks and guess who is taking over many of her duties, some of them permanently. That plus my usual stuff has made my days quite busy, but I’m not complaining. The week just flew.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | September 19, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I startle when I really am interrupted in moments of deepest concentration. That and I don't hear people behind me.

However, I notice other people do seem to put more value on "knowing" people are there before they are spoken, touched, or otherwise seen. Presumably, nonexistent people are not permitted to argue otherwise.

I, on the other hand, will startle at ANYTHING I hear or feel suddenly and unexpectedly.
Which made owning Wilbrodog at first a sheer trial; he had and still has a bark that I can hear and feel, and he was using it a LOT those first 2 weeks as he made the transition to his new life with lots of dogs, smells, sounds, people, and stuff.

Fortunately, he learned to put a sock in it within a month. I find I don't startle if I see him react before he barks. If I don't, well, I've been known to wake up somewhere 2 inches above the bed at a sudden bellow from him.

However, they were speaking of startling at things such as spiders crawling across faces, things that suggest underlying issues with fear and anxiety may be tested for, not just a functioning sympathetic system.

I'm interested to know if age was controlled for and gender, and whether they also found differences there?

--Different generations may remember the events of 9/11 very differently.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 19, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, everyone.

An interesting day on a lot of fronts.
greenie, glad you made it to work in one piece tonight, and I hope you have a safe ride home. And no more flat tires.

I'm one who startles easily when I'm concentrating, or distracted and daydreaming.

Now that I think about it, that pretty much covers the spectrum of my conscious thought.

I used to be more prone to being startled before I became a father. Now I have a degree of vigilance to go with the concentration and distraction/daydreaming.


Posted by: bc | September 19, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

In the future, could we move Halloween to just before the autumnal equinox? The kiddies could run around in suits seeking money-shaped candies.

I suspect the great financial seizure will end up increasing London's importance as a financial center at the expense of NYC.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 20, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Hi all.

Wilbrod, since you skill set: a medical background, IT and project management experience, advanced degree (not to mention 30 years fulltime work...ouch! (but I still look good she said!!!)) make for a winning combination.

But it will be very different. The team spirit will be much broader. I'm off to Seattle Mon and Tues.

Hey, at least some of the economy is in good shape.

Posted by: eidrib | September 20, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

This week has seen so much stuff happen. It's been exhausting to keep up with it. I heard the words Great Depression bandied about today, and wondered how close Wall Street was to a total meltdown. Arbusto, by many accounts, sat back and watched it happen, delegating the responsibility for communicating the state of he economy to SecTreas Paulson. I saw a comment, by 'Mudge, IIRC, that nationalization of the financial system has been largely achieved in the course of six months, by the party that traditionally favours the least of government controls over anything. IN this particular instance, governmental intervention was necessary, based on what information I've gleaned from the news, to avoid a slide into economic depression. The bad news is that it's likely that the markets haven't bottomed out, the deficit will balloon to 500B next year, and it's likely that the economy will experience a 2-3 year recession as a result of successive waves of deregulation, particularly during the past eight years. I will continue to shred my unopened monthly retirement account statements, peek at it at tax time, and hope for the best. Candidates McCain and Palin have a lot of chutzpah peddling themselves as agents of change. Error in '08.

Posted by: jack | September 20, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Bill Moyers' program laid out the financial situation as clearly as anything I've seen:
Not very reassuring...hoping I can hang on by my fingernails.

The program Now was very good too - about women and politics and power, by Maria Hinojosa:

eidrib, hope you have a good trip to Seattle. It's chilly and cloudy - summer's over (although I missed the weather forecast tonight). Hope we have some sunbreaks at least while you're here.

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 20, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Thanks bc,I did make it home ok and work was ok too.

Happy to have the weekend off,bought a beef roast and am going to marninade it overnight for tomorrow's dinner.

I just heard a couple of loud gunshots outside,hopefully just the good ole boys target shooting at 1:30 am.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 20, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, mostly. I'll dress appropriately. Hope to get some seafood!

Posted by: eidrib | September 20, 2008 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Who peer reviewed a psychological study conducted by political scientists?

The Fashion Institute Quarterly?

My cousin pretends to be annoyed when I laugh at the term 'political scientist.' After acquiring his Masters in PS he's worked in municiple planning, river restoration, and is now a lobbyist for the trucking industry.
He agrees that just calling it 'Politics' is a better idea.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 20, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse

SCC- municipal. Jeepers, I had to take 3 coures in municipal government meself. So ashamed.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 20, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. It has been awhile since I've posted. I feel like a new person here. I hope everyone is doing well, and life is good.

Morning, Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, Martooni, and all, have a great weekend. *waving*

I've been busy trying to get the after school project in swing, and logging around a big box of books to give away to the kids. Still helping kids with homework, and listening to words on a page.

I've also been trying to keep up with what has been happening in this wonderful country of ours concerning the nightmare on Wall Street. Of course, this is not easy to understand, but that just puts me in company with a number of folks, including the present administration, I suspect. If one is a Republican, how does one convince someone to vote for you when the mess we're in happen on your watch? I don't get that. It is too high for me.

Greed, thy name is man.

Hello, night folks. This is really early for me, but couldn't sleep. I got up and said my prayers, which is always good. Sometimes God knocks at two or three in the morning.

Have a great weekend, folks.

Posted by: cassandra s | September 20, 2008 3:30 AM | Report abuse

Gail Collins at the NYT has a fine column this morning. I'm just as happy to see the Secretary of the Treasury doing the deals while the President entertains a visiting dignitary, but I don't recall Lincoln sitting down with visiting Canadians while Jubal Early was attacking.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 20, 2008 3:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

Jack, I was born at the end of the Great Depression and as a child it was drummed into my head by my elders to be a member of the "clean plate club". And, when our sons came along, the same elders felt the responsibility to impress upon them the same values. There was always the preached lesson by them of how hard it was back then and how they never wanted my generation or our children's generation to go hungry or to waste anything. And, we haven't, so far. But, through my family I have an idea of just what it was like and these days are pretty scary ones. So far, we are allright, thanks for the most part of living well within our means, but not frugaly, (not yet, anyway).

Along that vein of thought, there's a front page story today about the lesson of frugality among the "unpoor".

The French Embassy invited a large group of the well heeled for a fashion show, to benefit Goodwill Industries. The models were professional, but the clothes were from area Goodwill stores. Surely, the very best of the donated second clothes to be found, but the article is a fun piece for anyone who has ever been with women and men when they find unexpected "value/goods" really, really cheap.

A light puff of a piece, to be sure, but the Embassy did raise about $150,000 for the charity.

There are bargins in thrift shops, not just in clothes but also in household items.... My son's generation taught me that.

Posted by: VintageLady | September 20, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm fairly easily startled, so I must land in the middle. I used to keep a convex mirror like you can buy at an auto parts store on my computer monitor so people couldn't sneak up on me.

My wife used to love shopping at the Palm Beach Goodwill store. Lots of elegant clothes at very low prices. While in Los Gatos, I went biking for the morning and she spent the whole time in the ACS thrift store next to the bike shop.

That thrift store, being in Silicon Vally and all, also had tons of electronics cheap.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 20, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Best line from that Gail Collins column:

///The Republicans have discovered that McCain can’t draw a crowd without Palin, and the dangers of letting her float off by herself are apparent. So the two are manacled together these days like Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier in that old escape-from-a-chain-gang movie.///

She's no Maureen Dowd, but that is pretty good.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | September 20, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I like the idea of a Wall Street firm, having screwed up, geting a knock at the door and a greeting, "Hi, I'm from the government, and I've come here to help you."

Posted by: moderate alien | September 20, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

As big a pain in the tukas as it was, I miss marching band season. I enjoyed trailing the bus to competitions in little towns full of fall foliage. Last year we went to Allentown and Cumberland. Good times, good times.

I'm going to have to go ride my bike before I get all verklempt.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 20, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't startle. At. All.

Re: the current Wall Street meltdown ... does anyone here really buy the whole it-was-too-complicated-for-anyone-to-foresee argument? I listened to a long bit on NPR yesterday in which the experts interviewed all said that. I don't believe it. Surely there were folks out there who were looking at this whole thing and shaking their heads.

Posted by: KPage | September 20, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

VL - As I have mentioned before, you are the same age as my mom. I think people born in that narrow range at the end of the Great Depression have a very unique and valuable voice. It reflects neither the so-called "Greatest Generation" nor, certainly, the Boomers. And the virtues of frugality are a big part of this worldview. I often hear her voice reflected in your posts. Which is probably another reason I enjoy them so much.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 20, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I like the word Boko coined, "municiple."

It conjures up the image of municipal governing bodies enacting policies based on principles that conflict with the Constitution and that are later overturned by the courts. There are many.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 20, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle and happy Saturday. Caught a cold a couple of days ago. This morning I am sneezing and trumpeting like an elephant.

We are seriously losing the war in Afghanistan. The new Taliban has learned its lesson, practicing it and gaining support from the population. Our guys and NATO haven't learned anything.

Though fiction, my book, Kingmaker, explores a failing state and how the war on terror is manipulated for the profit of a few.

Posted by: Brag | September 20, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Happy Weekend, all!

Well, I'm happy to report fall arrived a couple days early this morning... Crisp and cool, perfect weather for a new personal record on my morning run! And the rest of the day's looking just as good, so I hope everyone has a marvelous day!

And interesting energy news from NYC...

*contemplating-Boodling-from-the-porch-today Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 20, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

new kit!

Posted by: Kim | September 20, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"It turns out that the Republican enthusiasm for Sarah Palin is just as superficial as she is."

Unfortunately, it is the gut response "I just like her" that is most likely to prevail on November 4th.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 20, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. I'm snoopervising Mr. T, who rented a manlift this morning and is cutting big limbs out of the willow oaks. We had a large limb break and come down a couple of weeks ago, so he decided it was time to do the job properly on both trees that need it. He's enjoying himself. I'm moving the debris out of the way. I think he was okay with the fact that the person he called never came to look or give him a price. He's doing it more cheaply himself, as well as having a fun time on a lovely, cool Saturday morning.

So far, the only casualty has been a cap knocked off one of the fence posts. No damage, it can be glued back on. I made sure he didn't hit my sasanquas or my grandmother's rhododendron.

Posted by: slyness | September 20, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

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