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Joel the Plumber

I will be out of the office today, practicing my skills with a pipe wrench, plunger and a "snake." My new business will be called Achenrooter.

Got a clogged toilet? CALL ME. I wield a plunger as though it's a light-saber.

This shift into plumbing as a profession has been inspired, of course, by last night's debate and its off-screen star, "Joe the Plumber." We had about seven stories in the paper about this fellow (I typed up one), and it's fair to say his 15-minute fame allotment has now expired. This fellow, Joe Wurzelbacher, went from rope-line encounter with Obama to starring role on Fox News so fast you'd think he traveled by chauffeured limo.

Joe the Plumber told Obama he wants to buy the plumbing business, which brings in something like $250,000 to $280,000 a year, and he said Obama's tax plan would hurt him. Obama disputed that, saying no income under $250,000 would be hit with a tax increase. The McCain camp seized on a particular phrase that Obama used -- "spread the wealth around" -- and the plumber has said that sounds socialist to him.

You judge for yourself if this is an outlandish Trotskyite comment by Obama:

I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody. But listen, I respect what you do and I respect your question, and even if I don't get your vote, I'm still gonna be working hard on your behalf because small businesses are what creates jobs in this country and I want to encourage it.

More to the point: Obama, as I understand it, would leave intact the vast majority of the Bush tax cuts, and raise the top tax rate from 36 percent to 39 percent. The first $250,000 someone makes isn't affected under the Obama plan at all. The McCain camp would like Joe the Plumber to be an Everyman, but one might guess that, if he's making more than 250K, he's not going to be on his hands and knees changing the trap under someone's kitchen sink.

Let me note that, on deadline late last night, our crack researchers were unable to find any record of a person by that name with a plumbing license in the state of Ohio. (Update: The Toledo Blade confirms.)

Video here.

[And more from the Toledo Blade.]

Obama's larger strategic goals continue to be met -- as he becomes a more familiar presence to voters, they will likely find it harder to imagine that he's some kind of wild-eyed radical. He has set the new indoor record for unflappability. You get the sense that the surface of the Earth could open right next to him in a tectonic upheaval, and as sulfuric fumes gassed outward, he would merely blink once and deliver a pronouncement on his tripartite plan to improve our nation's infrastructure.

McCain had a good line about not being President Bush -- maybe his best moment of the night -- but he has to be worried by the fact that, increasingly, pundits are comparing him to Bob Dole.

--

Gail Collins is way funny:

Obama is like the coolest, most popular camper. You can't wait to see him again after school starts. Then you discover that back in real life, he's founder of the Model Boat Society and the president of the Safety Club. And McCain is like the head counselor who led all the hikes and who you wished was your older brother. Until you realized that he spent the cold weather hanging out at a biker bar and watching reruns of "Dog the Bounty Hunter."

--

Marc Ambinder has more on Obama's "socialism."

--

I can't make head or tail of this Paul Krugman column on how he won the Nobel. Except this line: "New York is New York because of a canal that only pleasure boaters use today."

--

I keep thinking about this graf in the Pearlstein column yesterday:

"Put another way, we didn't just have a housing bubble and a corporate takeover bubble and a consumer credit bubble and a commodities bubble. In time, those asset bubbles led to the creation of a bubble economy, with too many airplanes and restaurant seats and hotel rooms, too many office buildings and shopping centers, too many investment banks and media outlets dependent on advertising revenue from car companies producing too many cars and home builders producing too many houses. Shrinking all that back to the right size is what the coming recession is all about."

--

For those who are fans of Josh Marshall's blogging empire, Talking Points Memo, check out this piece by my buddy Marc Fisher in my favorite magazine, the Princeton Alumni Weekly.


By Joel Achenbach  |  October 16, 2008; 7:23 AM ET
 
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Next: Guest Kit: The Bora Tribe

Comments

REPOST FROM BOTTOM ON LAST KIT, making me prescient! Or just very, very, lucky.
BEGIN repost:
Must say about the plumber business (full disclosure: have long-term plumber friend who is a Joe, and, Frosti might notice a McQuillan plumbing van or two in St.Paul lie gals)/Minnie-apples. Them McQui-peeps would be mine and as it happens, F.S. Fitzgerald's too. BTW, he made loads of fun of them but lived off money that the fellas made.)

Here is the deal: I expect to pay an artisan or craftworker what he or she asks. After all, 'tis the living of the person. Just as I expect to make a living, so too does, well, just about darn new everybody.

And, I cannot do these specialized jobs: electrical, plumbing, carpentry worth anything. It is worth what it is. How different, really, is working with the mind and working with the body, when the does settles. 'Tis value added. Dignity in all of it, even if the mind-work looks classier in some way. By class, insert another discussion about elitism.....

I bless my stars that I grew up in a family that saw little difference between the farmworker, the plumber, the teacher, the lawyer, the doctor, the mortician/ice cream parlor bizman in my town (Yesssir, same family!).

And, my goodness, quit with the bottom jokes (that are fast and furious on the telephone lines these days!). The real cracks these days are in the classroom. On Friday, I shall take a count of the low-rise pants on the ladies (and one or two playa-faux laddies). It is a celebritity-debut-ante crack of insousiance these days, not a badge of hard working Janes and Joes.

DONE, with the rant. Doing it because I love. Enjoy the day.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 9:19 AM

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

What, first?

Posted by: Brag | October 16, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Joel, interesting observation about inability to find Joe among the plumbers.

Posted by: Brag | October 16, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Oh Joel. Beware the treachery that is plumbing. It seems so easy. The trickiest part of the task, one initially suspects, is just to keep your situpon covered. But here's the thing. Although home plumbing might seem less complex theoretically than, say, setting up a wifi home network, the implementation can be much riskier.

For example, and speaking hypothetically of course, if you replace the diverter valve in an upstairs bathroom and fail to adequately seat the washer, there is a very real possibility that you will get a hostile phone call from your wife demanding to know why water is now dripping from the kitchen ceiling.

And if this should ever happen, for the sake of all that is holy, be sure to put down a tarp or something before you go poking at the drippy ceiling with a sharp stick.

Hypothetically.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Gail Collins has a good column ending:

"In the end, it’s always all about the ones who play hard to get."

Posted by: slyness | October 16, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

In my passion I sinned with several typos. Will let it stand as a reminder to keep cool, keep cool. Shall study Obama videos.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

While watching the Boodle's six o'clock, discovered this:

For your info--Pepe Escobar is a well connected Brazilian Journalist with out of the box ideas.

The $55 trillion question
With a third presidential debate victory and a tottering American economy, conditions are in place for a Barack Obama landslide. But what will he win, exactly? Answer: A country $55 trillion in the hole (that's $480,000 per household), embroiled in unpopular wars and set to endure unemployment not seen since the 1930s.

Full article:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/JJ17Aa01.html

Posted by: Brag | October 16, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Hey, linked to front page. Day might be full of water balloons and firecrackers and penny-locked doors and short-sheets and other devilment.

Take care y'll. Will try to ferret out more on the Candidates Wife-garb. See ya after the storm.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

The "Joe the Plumber" argument is like the earmarks argument. As Obama pointed out, the number of small businesses that net more than a quarter-mil a year is as negligible as the value of earmarks compared to the federal budget.

The real threat to the well being of our nation is not higher taxes on successful people. The real threat are the many more Joe The Plumbers who find themselves out of a job and, well, in hot water.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Like in boodling the most common mistake in plumbing is improper venting.

Posted by: Boko | October 16, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

True Boko. Or figuring out that there are some things that really should never be flushed.

Or something.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

From the last kit, Cassandra, that is too to sad for words. I'll say a prayer for a too weary soul and hope for ease and comfort for his family.

Posted by: dr | October 16, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I think the Bunker W.C. needs work...

*looking for the Liquid Wrench and other assorted tools*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

College Parkian, Boko, you're so right.
I'm afraid we're gonna see plummeting plumbers paralizing peaceful parlance with premeditated and preplanned performances and Palindronning.

Preparing to position myself inside Bunker.

Posted by: Brag | October 16, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I have tremendous respect for plumbers and electricians. Their competence saves my life and my home. The only thing scarier than the prospect of doing plumbing jobs myself is the possibility of my husband's doing them.

Even so, $250,000 a year? That's not "plumbing," it's "business." It's owning stuff and hiring people and paying your employees less than the customers pay you. And yes, I do think you should pay taxes, Joe.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 16, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Let's say that instead of "Joe the Plumber," Obama had encountered "Antoine the Graphical Designer." Even if the economic situation of these two individuals were identical, I wonder if the narrative would be the same.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

If this plumbing business grosses $250k, the owner would be lucky to have a personal income of $50k a year. Businesses with $250,000 in gross sales would not be taxed at the top income rate -- net taxable personal income of the individual owner is the number to look at. If this plumber is for real, he should be talking to his accountant more.

You need to be a damn successful plumber to make $250,000 a year in personal income. If this guy manages to crack $100k on his personal bottom line on a regular basis, he should be happy and grateful -- for his income, and for his Obama tax cut.

Note to mainstream press -- get in touch.

Posted by: pressF1 | October 16, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

How about Jane the Plumber?

Posted by: dmd | October 16, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Joe is thinking of buying a plumbing business? As noted, if he's the boss, he's probably not going to be the one under the sink at 10 p.m. And if the business takes in $300K, he's going to have to pay employee(s) out of that. Ergo, Joe himself might take home $50K a year, and would not himself be subject to any tax raise.

General view of the punditry is that Obama easily "won" the debate last night, mostly by not rising the any of the bait cast out by McCain.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 16, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

It was sickening to watch Obama constantly laughing-off serious questions that McCain raised. Does Obama really understand how serious this job is, and just how dangerous this world has become? He just doesn't seem to get it.

Posted by: Independent in FL | October 16, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

DMD, that would be Josephine the Plumber.

Searching for image...here is one from back in the day:

http://www.tvacres.com/admascots_josephine.htm

Scroll down for a contemporary shot of Josie:

http://www.jls-photography.com/gal04.html

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Joe the Plumber is definitely going to make more than 250K. I don't see why he was whining about taxes if he's probably going to charge $100 an hour.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I agree with the comments about Joe as boss, take-home less business investment & income, etc. However, I think it is entirely possible that boss Joe the Plumber might be fooling around under a sink. That's part of how he gets that $250,000 per year business worth.

We inherited plumbers. These guys are great and I am happy to be putting their kids through college. The previous generation of the family-owned firm worked on our house when it was first built in 1950, throughout my childhood; the current generation, mine, took over the business and I was glad to call them when we moved back. We're on a first-name basis. While Lance usually sends minions to handle our numerous and various plumbing adventures, he'll come out himself on occasion. The same is true of Ray and his sewer service, which put in the initial septic system (over 50 years ago) and the new one.

Our heat & air folks are also family-owned. Again, while they have minions, the owner hismelf - a delightful gallant old fellow who looks as if he should be behind a desk, not in an attic - will come out, particularly if it is an emergency call on a short-handed hot summer weekend. His wife and little dog will sometimes ride along.

As college parkian said, I have great respect and am eternally grateful for these people and their skills. As kbertocci said, I can't imagine doing these things myself. Ivansdad can do some basic plumbing, but in our quirky house one thing tends to lead to another, so it is better just to pay a professional to do it right the first time.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Just in case some moron starts beefing about overhead projectors.
http://shop.adlerplanetarium.org/catalog/display.php?product_id=983

In anticipation of the expected Joe Blow I have donned my puppet armour.

Posted by: RealPatriot ®999 | October 16, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Love Nikka Costa. Spent AM surfing on her YouTube vids - Here she is channeling Janis:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=KHS-pVRbc38&feature=related

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

This is gonna be great!

Posted by: Yoki | October 16, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I've got a secret:

http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/departments/education_1/?page=quiz118&Quizid=118

10/10

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh sure, Ivansmom. There's that whole "get a professional to do it right the first time" argument. But where's the fun in that?

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Joe doesn't sound like a very good risk for bankers. He said "I want to put more trucks on the road, and his tax increases kind of hurt that aspect."

Joe apparently doesn't realize that the amortized cost of the trucks, their operation and depreciation and the people that use them are all business expenses that will reduce his pre-tax income.

Joe also may not be aware that we are in a recession, and that people like Joel "Plunger" Achenrooter are going to do their own simple plumbing fixes before they call a plumber (who may charge a $150 minimum for a five-minute on-site house call because he has to pay for the truck, travel time, telephone, taxes, etc.,etc.,etc.)

It doesn't seem practical to operate a plumbing business like a physician's office, with a waiting room full of people holding their kitchen sink or toilet while they wait their turn to see the plumbing doctor for five minutes.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Thank goodness for teflon plumbing tape, I say.

Have you ever noticed how when you try to do a plumbing job yourself, things always go wrong exactly 5 minutes after the hardware store has closed for the day?

Posted by: Yoki | October 16, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Lots of plumbing involves building. Putting in the plumbing in new construction. I worked with many. Disclaimer: I hate most of them. The irresponsible plumbers I had to deal with would tear up the firm bearing soils under walls and footings and risk their collapse into now-unsuitable areas. They would refuse to re-compact the trenches. And which risked future settling also, leading to pipes breaking a few years hence. And of course around here, they'd hire guys directly off the truck from midnight border crossings, who had never even seen a pipe wrench.

The good plumbers are worth their weight in gold.

I wonder if the company Joe's hoping to buy owns a Rammax.
http://www.multiquip.com/multiquip/pdfs/Rollers-rammax-1203-brochure.pdf

I also wonder if Joe can run it as an S corporation. Or if he has to incorporate normally.

Ever notice how this anti-tax rhetoric would lead rationally to stopping all taxes from any source whatsoever? "It's wrong to take a man's hard earned money and redistribute it!" And the other Joe, Sixpack, nods his head sagely. I guess they forget about the troops. But I'm rambling.

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Ready for a close-up?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Adler_fg08.jpg

Posted by: Boko | October 16, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

I am woefully late for the dawn patrol duty, please forgive.

Joe the Plumber lives. The Today Show had him first thing this morning in an interview in what appeared to be outside of his house in Ohio. He said he was amazed that he was mentioned (25 times?) in last night's debate. The interview was primarily about him and I didn't hear him say which man he would vote for. I searched for a link, nbc had none that I could find on the Today Show links, maybe others can find it.

TBG, I hope you that will find a dynamite job soon, you are so capable, would be an asset to any employer with your skills.

bc, we bought a new Prius last year and am so thankful we did. Could you mention any brake problems you have learned about this particular car? In addition to getting overal mileage of 48mpg, we are able to comfortably seat four adults, plus a fold up walker and wheelchair in the wayback, and a few soft overnight suitcase for short trips. We use the car like a truck when there are only two of us, as the back seat folds down and gives much space for things we need to haul. It seems to me that a sticker price of $25,000. for the new car with all the navigator gizmos is not terribly expensive...providing you intend to keep the car for years, as we do. Biggest negative I have with the car is that I feel as protected in it as I did our vwbeetles of long ago, kind of surrounded by tinny roof, doors, etc.

I have read all comments of the debate and enjoyed them all. We were away until about 9:15 PM and although I watched the last hour or so, caught up on the boodle this morning.

Yesterday we voted. We will be out of town come election day. In Fairfax County it was a paper ballot affair and I'm telling you all, there were many people voting along with us. This election day is going to be HUGE! Virginia will go for Obama, I hope Ohio and North Carolina do as well.

Belated thanks to Kim & family for providing space for the volunteers, and also, thanks to Cassandra for her story of the poor father and the child he left behind. Cassandra, you are so supportive in your community, we try to emulate you when we can.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 16, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I guess the reason why the "Joe the Plumber" bit annoys me is that, regardless of the true complexity of plumbing and his actual role as a business owner, the whole fascination with this guy smacks of anti-intellectualism.

It seems to be making the argument, once again, that folks who work with their hands are somehow more noble and worthy than those who work with their heads.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I agree Jumper, the guys doing the new houses sre the very worst. We moved in a new semi-setached almost 20 years ago. The first time we used the washing mahine we had a mini Old Faithful in the basement. I caught it at the second eruption if I remember correctly. The would-be plumber had installed the check valve backwards even if an arrow showing the direction of flow was molded on top of the valve...

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 16, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Snort!!! :-)

"It doesn't seem practical to operate a plumbing business like a physician's office, with a waiting room full of people holding their kitchen sink or toilet while they wait their turn to see the plumbing doctor for five minutes."

Some Anon mice should really pick a handle and hang around. Or do you have one already?
xoxoxo

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, you are fortunate.

The last time we had to call a plumber, he kept telling me he didn't know if he could clean out the pipe and put the sink back together. I finally called Mr. T and told him to come home and deal with this guy.

Of course, he had everything done by the time Mr. T arrived. So the two of them sat at the kitchen table and he told Mr. T his life story while I went on about my normal life. But he still charged $600. Oh well, at least the guy had liability insurance and workers comp.

I prefer to pay the higher fees to ensure that the workers have the appropriate insurance so I hopefully won't be liable for their mistakes.

Posted by: slyness | October 16, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Immensely competent roofers are finishing my standing-seam galvanized roof this morning. A whole lot of crimping is going on.

Yesterday, I had an agreeable visit from a contractor about my stalled kitchen project. Assuming I can afford whatever he proposes, things look promising.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 16, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Field trip to Dave of the Counties' house. I want to sit under that roof and listen to a long, hard rain.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

slyness - your anecdote highlights another reason husbands are sometimes resistant to contractors. Ideally a professional should get the job done right. But what if there is a problem? The responsibility for oversight often falls to the husband. And the repercussions for failed oversight can sometimes be just as unpleasant as the repercussions for an amateur job gone wrong.

Posted by: RD Paoduk | October 16, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I too have roof envy.

Ha, that reminds me of helping my brother put a new section of roof on his house. I showed up; we pulled old shingles off; I pulled lots of roofing nails out, he put down tarpaper in time for rain. All appeared well.

Four months later I showed up and lo and behold, a new metal roof covered all. I asked what the deal was. He said "I don't want to speak of it. And never speak of it again."

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Plumbers, particularly union ones, do make good coin. I want to know more about Joe's business plan. While $250-$280k is a lot of money, is that gross or net. The services industry has a lot of overhead. Supplies, trucks, gas, tools. That cuts into the revenue stream quick.

Is $250K Joe's cut and does that include the salary and benefits of any helpers or assistants? And how does he get his own health insurance as a proprietor?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

RD, not all husbands serve in the diplomatic corps to those excellent persons who do amazing stuff with hands and machine.

Just sayin' YMMV, widely.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

FAKE PLUMBER, REAL BALD HEADED GAY MALE PROSTITUTE, AGAIN?

Joe The Plumber, aka Joe Wurzelbacher, the Toledo plumber who became the hot topic of the last Presidential debate due to his rope-line confrontation with Barack Obama’s over the Democratic candidate’s tax plan, may not be a plumber, and may not be planning to buy a plumbing business where he will be netting $250,000 a year.

He isn’t in the Toledo Yellow Pages, he isn’t registered to vote and it’s more likely that his existence as a plumber buying a $250K business is as sincere as Sarah Palin asking Joe Biden if she can call him “Joe.”

Isn’t it interesting that Joe is buying a business that is making a profit of exactly $250K, the Obama tax break minimum. If we’re talking a business that is bottom lining at $250K, a standard business acquisition falls into the 4 to 1 investment area, which would call for Joe

is buying a business that is making a profit of exactly $250K, the Obama tax break minimum. A normal business acquisition falls into the 4 to 1 investment area, which would call for Joe to come up with $1,000,000 to purchase his $250K business. If that plumbing business had assets like trucks, equipment and offices, the cost could be far more.

Add to that Wurzelbacher doesn’t appear in the Toledo Yellow Pages listings, yet has been able to put together at least a million to invest, especially in these dire economic times, you begin to wonder whether Joe is a plumber or did someone in the McCain campaign find him in central casting?

Most important, if he is really a plumber, where’s the azz crack?

http://steveyoungonpolitics.com/say-it-isnt-so-joe-wurzelbacher-not-a-real-plumber/

That's easy enough to answer. Here it is:

http://satiricalpolitical.com/?p=4019

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

PLUMBER RELATED TO KEATING!!! STILL NO WORD ON IF HE IS A REAL BALD HEADED GAY MALE PROSTITUTE, LIKE JEFF GANNON.

Turns out that Joe Wurzelbacher from the Toledo event is a close relative of Robert Wurzelbacher of Milford, Ohio. Who’s Robert Wurzelbacher? Only Charles Keating’s son-in-law and the former senior vice president of American Continental, the parent company of the infamous Lincoln Savings and Loan. The now retired elder Wurzelbacher is also a major contributor to Republican causes giving well over $10,000 in the last few years.

Does any of this make Joe the Plumber a bad guy? Of course not. In fact, after that ill-fated night at the Watergate, he may finally be giving plumbers a good name. But at a debate where John goes full bore on Obama for guilt-by-association with William Ayers (and dodges a bullet by Obama not mentioning Keating Five), the press is going to bring it back front and center by midday tomorrow once they delve deeper into the most popular plumber in America.

joeplumber.JPG This might remind you of the Paris Hilton scandal - where one side of the McCain campaign attacked her in an ad, not realizing that her family were huge donors. I was the first to warn the campaign of the perils of miscommunication within the campaign, and that story flared for a week.

UPDATE: Sure enough, a few hours after posting this, the left wing haters [OF ALL THINGS NEOCON] at DailyKos posted (or shall I say copied?)[SNARKY] their own revelations about Joe’s connections to Keating. Like I said to the campaign: Oops.

http://www.eisenstadtgroup.com/2008/10/15/joe-the-plumber-wurzelbacher-related-to-charles-keating-oops/

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Plumbing is as close to a forte as I have. I can field strip a toilet any which way. Several years back I replaced all the sink faucets and shower valves one summer. The showers required me to learn just enough soldering to be dangerous. I still have the materials and supplies.

Service plumbers and construction plumbers are entirely different business models. A lot of service plumbers make their money on service plans and other guaranteed revenue streams. In addition to the hourly rate, they also make money on the mark-ups of the fixtures and materials. That is why a plumber is going to be a lot more reluctant to install a sink you bought versus hiring him to replace a sink.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Point well taken CP.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

So Joe the Plumber is a plant or a shill? Sounds plausible. He doesn't seem to know much about business. And yes, John, if this plumber is netting $250k, he is rich. Under Obama's tax plan, I'm not quite rich, but definitely not going to benefit much.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Something about that 11:26 just reeks of Zapper-worthiness... something about the all-caps title...

*shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Off the plumbing subject, but about the debate, a snarky (inane?) comment I didn't have time to post last night: at one point, it appeared that McCain didn't remember Michelle Obama's name, or else he purposely didn't use it, saying "...you and I and Cindy and...your wife..." It crossed my mind that maybe "your wife" was like "that one," a subtle form of disrespect. But more likely it was one of those "the names are the first to go" moments, an indication of McCain's age.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 16, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

11:35 is also a bit troublesome.

Mr. Schmidt (not that you seem to bother reading the comments), if you want to present some facts without the meaningless personal smears, please do.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

But, RD, I know 'tis tricky. I have had the same

mechanic since July 1983 when I rolled into town via limping Toyota Celica hatchback wagon;

same plumber (family, natch) since I bought a house and the right to pay for plumbing circa 1986;

original electrician of 1986 became a Buddhist monk in the mid 90s and I have the same newish electrician since about then.

same bike shop since 1983 - July, but since I am moderately bikelicious, have branched out to spread the joy.

RD, without sounding too debutante-ish, I acknowledge a slight feminine advantage in some of these transactions. But the best approach is mutual honesty in the transaction space for a good long time.

And, of course, I channel Montana mining town gal, too. That might help, also.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Some men, myself included, are reluctant to talk to contractors out of fear they are going to get taken to the cleaners out of ignorance of systems that fall in the manly purview. I just dread dealing with a guy claiming that some doohickey is going to cost me thousands of dollars to replace.

Automotive shops, AC repairman, and remodeling carpenters also fall in this category.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I agree that the Joe the Plumber references are implicitly anti-intellectual (Antoine the Graphic Designer, very funny!). However, I don't think anyone did Joe a favor last night.

What bothers me about the Joe the Plumber discussion is the implied lack of respect inherent in reducing him to a stereotype. The real Joe the Plumber had a valid concern - would Obama's plan raise his taxes if he were to buy this small business. This is a specific question which can be answered on a personal level. McCain and eventually Obama used him as a shortcut.

McCain's argument seems to be that Obama didn't care about the little guy, everyman, Joe the Plumber, who implicitly shares McCain's values but not Obama's. There's nothing wrong with creating an Everyman (like Joe SixPack), but Joe the Plumber was an actual person. His single expressed concern - taxes on small business - in no way suggests anything else about him. Anyone thinking seriously of purchasing a business has some business and leadership skills and some vision. I think it is disrespectful, and maybe shows a little contempt, to reduce him to some Joe who serves only as an exemplar or stand-in for what a candidate will or won't do.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Note to whom it may concern;

When the revolution comes, please spare these lawyers:

Ivansmon
Firsttimeblogger
SonofCarl (fulltime poetician)

and the others here.

----
Reference quote:
King Henry the Sixth, Part II

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers". - (Act IV, Scene II).

Posted by: Shakespearian-Welder | October 16, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, sweating copper joints is pretty cool, isn't it? [Particularly when they actually hold under pressure]

I do a lot of my own plumbing, and enjoy it on its own merits, except when you're wrestling a burst pipe at 3 AM.

Vinatge Lady, are you having brkaing problems with your Prius? I did mention regenerative braking systems in the previous Boodle, but only in the sense that I know how they work and how they contribute to the overall electrical power systems of the car.

Having said that, while your Prius may have cost $25k, a equivlent gasoline-powered car (say, a Toyota Yaris) could be purchased for about $10k less. Some would suggest that it would take a substantial amount of time to recover that $10k in the total TCO calculations, particularly if you took out a loan and are paying interest on it...

Having said that, I'm a fan of hybrids, but I'm not quite ready for one myself. My manual-transmission-equipped Olde German luxury sedan (just turned 190,000 mi.and 10 years old) is giving me roughly 35 MPG on the highway, and a combined average fuel ecomomy of just over 30 MPG, so I'm doing pretty well on that front, and my old domestic econo-beater (Blue Book value is about 35 cents) gets me about 35 mpg combined, so I'm covered either way.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 16, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. If Mr. Schmidt is right, perhaps my indignation on Joe the Plumber's behalf is misplaced. In a larger sense, though, I think not. Even if (worst case) Joe isn't a plumber, isn't really buying a business, and was encouraged by others to ask the question, none of that was apparently known to either candidate. It is wrong to objectify people to one's own ends.

yellojkt, I thought those fears of being taken for a ride by contractors preying on one's ignorance (real or perceived) was the province of women. Nice to know it is equal-opportunity.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - yes, I think there was something a bit disrespectful about turning a real person into a cultural archetype. And, I think, a bit risky. What did McCain really know about this guy?

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/servicing/SM4/news/status_update_20081016.html

Hubble fix working. I'm easy to please, and good news is what I need.

Had to tweak the IP address to get this latest update.

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom,
The feeling is exacerbated by the stereotype that a guy should know about these things.

bc,
A couple of joints took more than one try to get water tight. The best advice I got was to drain the the house, cut the lines, and install isolation valves before doing the real work. That way the time intensive stuff could be done at leisure.

I also once ran over my PVC water service with the lawnmower (don't ask how, it's a long story) and had to get up to speed on purple PVC glue in a hurry.

Methinks Kevin Schmidt is just doing some hit and run blog plugging and doesn't quite rise to full fledged spammer. His comments are nominally on topic.

According to the blogosphere, Joe was interviewed by Katie Couric and admitted his current income is nowhere near $250k. That is the magic of Republican pandering. It appeals to the people that hope to be rich someday even if the proposed policies have no present benefit to the person.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

From the Wiengarten chat a link: http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/jbistlin/headlines10.htm

My fave:

Here's the question -- "Should Congress quit funding for Public Television and NPR, Public Radio?" Should Congress cut that funding? Richard Guess of Charleston says, "Congress should continue paying for it because if they don't, the taxpayers will end up paying for it." That's a good lesson to be learned, yes siree bob!

Posted by: omni | October 16, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah!!!!!!!!!! Phillies take the pennant!!!!

C'mon, Scotty, we need ya, buddy. Get them Sox motivated.

Just finished backBoodling. *whew* Great live Boodling during the debate, gang. Wish I'd been able to join in. May get my computer straightened out by Saturday. Am abandinging *&^%$#^%$ Mircosoft and Windows, going with Linux and OpenOffice. Bill Gates, you can bite me.

I'm told I can also get Mac OSX loaded on my PC. Am seriously thinking abut it.

I'm a very big fan of hybrid cars, but I don't agree that Detroit has remotely done enough about them, but rather seriously delyaed and sabotaged every effort to advance the technology.

I see the new Michael Connolly novel is out (or about to be out), featuring the meeting of Harry Bosch and the Lincoln Lawyer!! I can hardly wait.

'Morning, Boodle. On a big deadline here.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

RD and Ivansmom,

Joe still has the whiff of plant. I'm not sure his concerns were genuine and I think he was just trying to score some pro-McCain points.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, a little bird whispered that to me last night but I was honor bound not to cheep. i thought this news would be about 3PM.

Rejoicing in Mudvile, indeed.

Hey, that was me the Welder of Shakespeare. I want to reveal my joshing sock puppetry.

Transparency: What's for dinner.

We will find out later if the plumber icon is real or not.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

My father in law is a plumber in Toledo. I called my mother and law and said "You should find out where he's been hiding all these extra money for decades now!" He swears he's never made anywhere close to "Joe-the-Plumber" money in the 30 years he's been, ahem, a self-employed plumber.

Methinks Joe the Plumber is a fantasy. My mother in law wants to know where all that fantasy money is, "so I can buy my fantasy beach house!"

Posted by: Birdie | October 16, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Howdy, college parkian, I figured that was you. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Howdy also to Mudge, inadvertently Anonymous (not to be confused with Any Mouse or Mice).

I wonder about the plumber, yello, but on reflection my initial reaction stands. Even if he was a plant, the candidates behaved as though they believe he was real. Objectification bad. Respect good.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Many plumbers have explained to me that all you need to know about plumbing is:
1. Hot on the Left
2. Cold on the Right
3. Excrement flows downhill
To which I would add:
4. Don't look into the downhill end of an outfall pipe.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky | October 16, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Even if (worst case) Joe isn't a plumber, isn't really buying a business, and was encouraged by others to ask the question, none of that was apparently known to either candidate.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 11:55 AM

But the evidence suggest the fake plumber is related to Keating and was apparently a plant by the GOP, in which case McCain would have known about it.

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Technically I guess I just hacked NASA, then. Do I get a free taco or something?

Weird science of Herbertsmithite:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbertsmithite

More on string-net liquids
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19325954.200?DCMP=Matt_Sparkes&nsref=fourth-state

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I'll ask you, yello, instead of attending the symposium "Porcelein Breakage Risks and Torquing Down on the Wax Ring: How Much is Too Much?"

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

...if you want to present some facts without the meaningless personal smears, please do.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2008 11:44 AM

Who are you, the WaPo moderator? No? Then stop defending the dishonest tactics of the GOP.

Since the 90's, the GOP has made it their Standard operating procedure to smear anyone who was Democratic, Liberal, and anyone else, Republicans included, like Joe Wilson, who would dare speak out against them.

Jeff Gannon, the fake reporter but real gay male prostitute is bald. This fake plumber is also bald. Bush loves bald headed men. There are numerous photos of Bush patting bald headed men on their bald heads. dick Cheney is also bald. Do you see where this is going?

The GOP likes to play in the mud of personal smears, well I'm giving these lipstick laden pigs just what they deserve!

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, relax buddy, it's all cool in here. We're calm and reasonable around here. That takes some getting used to. Take some Xanax and learn who we are before getting all defensive.

Jumper,
When my wife dropped the toilet paper roll holder down the toilet and I took it entirely apart to get it out of the trap, I reused the wax seal. So far so good.

Another rule of plumbing:
Don't chew your fingernails.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/27212617#27212617

Will take you to Today Show morning interview video with Kevin Tribble.

The way I see it, Joe is definitely going to vote for McCain.

Joe's telephone interview by Katie Couric is here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2008/10/16/VI2008101600235.html?hpid=topnews

At the end of the conversation, Joe compares Barak's perceived (by Joe) tap dancing of the issues to Sammy Davis, Jr. Unnecessary snark, but Katie laughs.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 16, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

We understand, Kevin Schmidt, that you're emulating the tactics of the party you deplore. I believe yellojkt was gently trying to convey that here on the Achenblog we try to stay away from personal smears. For serious conversation we like facts (and thus, as he said, much of your post was on topic and worthy of discussion), substantive discussion, even vehement disagreement - but we tend to be civil about it. Yellojkt wasn't, as you accuse, defending the dishonest tactics of the GOP or anyone else. He was suggesting that you can make your points here more effectively without resorting to personal attacks. I second that suggestion.

Also, I think you may assume too much in stating that McCain, Obama or any national candidate knows everything their campaigns do, particularly local campaign actions and especially as they relate to their opponents' appearances. If in fact Joe the Plumber is a Keating relative and a GOP plant, McCain might have known about it (Nixon showed that level of obsession with his campaigns). It is just as likely that someone in the national campaign or state office had what they thought was a great idea, put it into action, and spared the boss the details.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

You're a bit out of line, there, Kevin. Scotty was in no way defending any GOP tactics. It was just that your drive-by posts looked a bit like Spam to him (and I concurred at the time). Turns out you aren't a spammer.

Try the decaf. You're a bit over the top. But you're welcome to stay here, if you want to calm down a bit and not attack people whose opinions you know nothing about.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Schmidt,
I hope you'll stay and check us out for a while; you make like this place. We're a bit sensitive to CAPS usage, that's all. Also, boodlers often try to suss out the veracity of posts. Yours seems to have some truth in it, but the real story may be more convoluted.

Ivansmom, you poked a hole in the ceiling, as they say...or is that hit the nail on the head?

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/washington/AP-Joe-the-Plumber.html

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I re-sent that remark!

Posted by: Bald Guy | October 16, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse


relax buddy, it's all cool in here. We're calm and reasonable around here. That takes some getting used to. Take some Xanax and learn who we are before getting all defensive.

Another rule of plumbing:
Don't chew your fingernails.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2008 12:39 PM

Before you presume to lecture me about WaPos rules, you should know your personal attacks are against the rules. So please stop with the passive-aggressive BS and personal smears. It just makes you look like an unreasonable excitable Pollyanna.

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, Kevin Schmidt, I meant Scottynuke. Yellojkt was the guy trying to reassure you that we're just a different breed of blog, much more cleanly and concisely than I did.

Another thing we tend to like is silliness. In that spirit, I must say your "bald men" thread has some real possibilites.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 12:47 PM

The same goes to you too. You guys attacked me, remember? So stop with the holier than thou personal smears BS.

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Christine Lavin loves bald-headed men too!

http://www.snazzyamericanamusic.com/sounds/Lavinbald.mp3

Don't think she's in the GOP, though:
http://www.christinelavin.com/index.php?page=news&display=589&hilight=republican

Posted by: The ScienceSpouse | October 16, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Nobody was lecturing you about the WaPo rules. A handful of us *were* lecturing you about our own informal rules here on the Boodle. One of which is to calm down and chill out for a while until you get to know the neighborhood. This particular blog is unlike any other you've visited before, and we don't much cotton to the kind of stuff that you're used to seeing elsewhere.

A couple of deep breaths, Kevin. Really.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "make like this place" ?!
Yeah baby you should totally "make like" this too cool party place!

Yello, Ew on the fingernails comment!

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, Kevin Schmidt, I meant Scottynuke.

Another thing we tend to like is silliness. In that spirit, I must say your "bald men" thread has some real possibilites.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 12:50 PM

OK, mistakes do happen. The GOP is a perfect example of that.

My reference to one bald headed man being gay (not that there's anything wrong with it) should not be taken as an accusation against all bald men. Just the ones that 'pal around' with Dubya.

There is something very creepy about Dubya and his affinity for patting bald headed men on their bald heads.

Plus there is the fact that the White House sign in sheet shows bald headed Jeff Gannon, fake reporter, but real gay male prostitute spent many sleep overs in the White House.

Hmmmmmm....

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Schmidt;

Who's defending any tactics at all?

Accusing Joe Plumber of being a GOP plant is fair, calling his sexuality into question without a shred of support is a bit much.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

this is the phone interview couric did with joe the plummer last night. i thought the last comment comparing obama's tap dancing around the issue to sammy davis jr had racist overtones, actually.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2008/10/16/VI2008101600235.html

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 16, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, Mr. Schmidt!
I was on the bald beat already! You'll love this one :-)
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2870

Plus, I admit, Mr. Schmidt does score a point about the GOP's SOP. I do often want to scream my head in response to the garbage we're forced to endure...AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

Oopps! Broke the CAPs rule. Off to find the Xanax now.

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Nobody was lecturing you about the WaPo rules. A handful of us *were* lecturing you about our own informal rules here on the Boodle. One of which is to calm down and chill out for a while until you get to know the neighborhood. This particular blog is unlike any other you've visited before, and we don't much cotton to the kind of stuff that you're used to seeing elsewhere.

A couple of deep breaths, Kevin. Really.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 12:52 PM

Stop with the personal smears. Really. And stop trying to bully me with your ridiculous made up rules!

This is not your personal domain. You do not have the authority to make or enforce the rules, whether they be formal or informal.

You do not have the authority to tell anyone else how to behave, especially since you yourself hypocritically do not obey the real rules.

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

What has happened here?

Did I fall through a crack and into an alternate reality? Calling Science Tim for an explanation.

OR, omni, didn't omni write the book "The Ten Best Ways to Enjoy anAlternate Universe"

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 16, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The entire concept of "moderation" just irks the heck out of our pal Kevin. Nothing succeeds like excess!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 16, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Very nice, DNA girl.

I hope, Mr. Schmidt, you aren't offended by my inclusion of the bald conspiracy in "silliness". It does seem pretty silly to me. I keep thinking of W patting the heads of Mr. Clean, and Michael Stipe,and you can see this can wander off all sorts of ways. All those bald sports guys. Patrick Stewart. Ben Kingsley. Yoda.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

bc, no, we have had no brake problems with the Prius (already 25,000 miles, is having check-up today) but since you are knowledgeable about hybrid brakes, thought I should ask.

We did not have to secure a loan, as we sold two cars which we had enjoyed for years and added a little to make the purchase. Because we keep cars for a very long time, it does not seem too much to pay.

I can understand your fondness for your two cars; my 22 year old volvo wagon, with original manual transmission is still running, It has about 230,000 miles on it, averages about 30 mpg; my oldest son has taken it over. And, the original paint job is just now beginning to show rust.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 16, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

We're a bit sensitive to CAPS usage, that's all.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/washington/AP-Joe-the-Plumber.html

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 12:47 PM

The same advice goes to you too. You do not make the rules, so stop trying to tell others what to do. Address the message, don't smear the messenger.

All I did was post the title in all caps, not the entire comment. That is an acceptable practice in any forum. If you don't like it then keep scrolling.

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Ah well, I suppose some people just don't want to be engaged on any but their own terms, and eventually become overly sensitive to others' ways of operating.[Hey, isn't that essentially his complaint about the GOP? Perhaps he's been focused on his enemy too long.] Too bad.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Get out.

Posted by: Histrionymous | October 16, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow. A you're-not-the-boss of me argument. Do I need to pull this car over? You know I will. In fact, we can just turn this baby around and go home right now.

And don't start with the he's-on-my-side garbage.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 16, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

...the bald conspiracy in "silliness". It does seem pretty silly to me. I keep thinking of W patting the heads of Mr. Clean, and Michael Stipe,and you can see this can wander off all sorts of ways. All those bald sports guys. Patrick Stewart. Ben Kingsley. Yoda.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 1:07 PM

My comment reveals the silliness of the entire hypocritical, homophobic GOP. They made this silliness into an election issue, not me.

They use the issue of gayness as a wedge issue and diversion from the real issues. But then we find a fake bald headed reporter who is really a gay male prostitute sleeping over in the White House, along with a pattern of Dubya patting bald headed men on their bald heads. Now we discover another bald headed man pretending to be a plumber.

They made their homophobic, hypocritical bed, I just want them to lie in it.

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Uh Mr. Schmidt, we're the love doves baby, xoxoxo already :-)
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=1156

And, let's go back to playing, shall we?
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2595

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I didn't write any book but I did read one once: "The Five Best Ways to Enjoy an Alternate Universe"

1 turn on
2 tune in
3 drop out
4 look 'round
5 carm down

Posted by: omni | October 16, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

That's fine. May I suggest you make them lie in it in some other blog? I'm not sure if you'll be happier elsewhere, but the rest of us will be.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Don't make me come down there.

Posted by: RealPatriot ® | October 16, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Schmidt;

Try reading the comments from the previous couple of blog entries (we call them Kits), and then perhaps you can determine the political leanings of this group.

You might be surprised.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I re-sent that remark!

Posted by: Bald Guy | October 16, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, how has Obama managed to run his campaign without jumping all over this issue? I'm sure the "bald-headed gay male prostitute reporter" wedge issue would have sewn things up long before now.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 16, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps this is why I saw a "BHGMPR for Hoover/Palin" lawn poster down the block this morning.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I just love this headline: "Paulson Says Economy Facing a Rough Period."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Joe Gannon only peddled his ass, the White House Press Corpse sold it's credibility and integrity. And all for a little access.
FOR SHAME!!!

'Cept Saint Thomas, of course.
And the furriners.

Posted by: RealPatriot® | October 16, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I know one thing for certain: I'm eternally grateful Obama didn't go to that rope line in Ohio and run into Joe the Plumber's colleague, Larry the Honeydipper.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I just noticed that Joel added to the Kit. Geez. I can't keep up with this stuff. He refers to socialism and bubbles and links to the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Now I'm confused, Mudge. Is McCain Hoover or is Obama Hoover? I thought McCain took the title on policy grounds but last night he said Obama was Hoover. I wonder if Palin would have helped Hoover in the polls.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Schmidt;

Try reading the comments from the previous couple of blog entries (we call them Kits), and then perhaps you can determine the political leanings of this group.

You might be surprised.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2008 1:21 PM

I could care less about the political leanings of 'this group', because there is no 'group', there is only the WaPo commentary board. If you want your own 'group' then start your own forum and you can tell everyone else how to behave. But you can't do that here because you are not in charge, WaPo is.

No matter which way I lean politically, I have a right to post my comments without you or anyone else attacking me personally.

Address the message, don't smear the messenger. It is against WaPo rules, the only rules that apply here.

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

He's touching me!

bc

Posted by: bc | October 16, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

In the 'Understated Headline' category the Paulson headline is almost as good as Grahame Greene's, "Small Earthquake in Chile, Not Many Killed."

Posted by: Boko | October 16, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Kevin - at the risk of violating our usual standards of civility, but on behalf of Achenboodlers on their lunch hour, we'd like to help you out. Which way did you come in?

Posted by: km2b | October 16, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Joel, many thanks for the link to Marc Fisher's Princeton Weekly Alumni piece on Josh Marshall, I never would have found it, otherwise.

Here's some of Josh's description of his organization:

“We’re a hybrid of reporting, aggregating, commentary, and interactivity,” he explains. “The daily newspaper model, where every article is self-contained, creates a lot of discontinuity. We’re part of a more diverse news ecosystem. We’re not parasitic — we bring new social goods to the table.”

The Boodle is somewhat like that to me, especially bringing new social goods to the table. Not to mention good recipes. :-)


Posted by: VintageLady | October 16, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Oil is below $70 a barrel. This is some rollercoaster.

The irony is, back in the summer we darkly predicted that gas prices would drop dramatically as an "October Surprise", to help McCain (on the assumption that people reflexively give the credit to the guy in charge, which was at least nominally W, who is of the same political party). Now gas prices are going down (about $2.50 a gallon here) as oil is apparently in free fall, but nobody around here is talking about that as a reason to vote Republican. Too much else imploded for it to feel like dropping gas prices is a good thing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Schmidt
Schmidt
French, is it?

Posted by: Adrian Wapcaplet | October 16, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Threatening to pull the car over is just that...a threat. All moms develop a diaper bag arm which in later years makes it possible for us to swat a misbehaving child from the driver's seat without actually having to pull over.

And I'm confused...is the argument that all bald men are gay?

Posted by: LostInThought | October 16, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Uh Mr. Schmidt, we're the love doves baby, xoxoxo already :-)

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 1:18 PM

Is that an apology? If so, it is a bit obscure so I will assume it is not.

Let me get this straight, you attack me personally and expect me to accept it because you hypocritically portray yourself as a loving person?

Sorry, you must have me confused with some poor, confused Republican voting masochist who always votes against his own best interests.

http://www.ImVotingRepublican.com

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

WHAT??? NO GROUP!!!

The SSAO15 disbanded and no one told me?

AW, CARP!

Jeez, even Celebritology has gone all political.

Time for a walk...

Posted by: omni | October 16, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Anon...you should have gone before we left the house.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 16, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

But I gotta go baaaad! And Kevvy won't stay on his side!

Posted by: Stillcantthinkofaname | October 16, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Awww, Kevin, they're just funnin' with ya! But you appear to have brought sauerkraut to a custard pie fight. Any time you do that, you're gonna catch some flak.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 16, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Schmidt's right. No one has a right to run him off. I like the fire in his belly.

Thanks for alert for new links at top, Ivansmom. I'm off to read 'em now.

I'll drop this here before I go. It's photo-copy PDF of the troopergate deposition. Another site noted that the wildest card in the deck seems to be Palin's dad.
http://media.adn.com/smedia/2008/07/21/18/Wooten_interview.source.prod_affiliate.7.pdf

Bald Guy was me, for the purpose of both humor and defense. Actually, I only shave my head in summer. I'm unbald. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

No more Happy Meals for you kids!

bc

Posted by: bc | October 16, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse


And I'm confused...is the argument that all bald men are gay?

Posted by: LostInThought | October 16, 2008 1:41 PM

I would guess that only those who have fake jobs and 'pal around' with Dubya in the White House are gay.

Again, my gay reference was only meant to call attention to the cynical 'defense of marriage' wedge issue, coupled with the hypocritial reality of gay Republicans fighting against their own best interests.

If they were really trying to defend marriage, they would let gays get married and outlaw divorce and adultery.

I could care less if the fake plumber is gay or not. But knowing the history of the hypocritical, homophobic GOP, I would bet money on it.

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Out here in west by god,the plumbing is anywhere you want to go.

I once had 2 plumbers work on my toilet for 2 and a half hours and they charged me $42.00.I was so shocked I gave them a 50 and they both hugged me.They were so heehawish I had to listen very closely to understand what they were telling me.

Earlier today i was working at a neighbors house and the wind was blowing and a gazillion leaves were falling from the trees(did I mention I was raking leaves).Well I started running around to see how many I could catch.I got eleven before a stump got me.

If I ever grow up somebody smack me.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 16, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

but he's on my side of the line.

Posted by: dr | October 16, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the MOST LIBERAL SENATOR and far liberal than Nanci pelosi or any other Democrat senator.
Obama has also several serious problems (ties to ACORN, Ayers, Wright, Tony Rezko, David Marshal (communist), Rashid Khalidi (former PLO member), and much more….). But Obama’s MOST DAMAGING TRUTH is his stance on Abortion. He is THE MOST PRO-ABORTION PRESIDENTIAL candidate in the modern history. Obama’s stand on abortion is SO EXTREME that even Nancy Pelosi, Clinton, Boxer, Kennedy DO NOT SHARE with Obama’s postion. Obama, as a Illinois state senator, VOTED four times AGAINST providing medical care to NEW BORN-ALIVE BABIES, letting them DIE, while ALL DEMOCART SENOATORS including Nancy Pelosi VOTED FOR the identical federal bill, BORN ALIVE INFANT PROTECTION ACT.
Obama also supports PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION, whose procedure is SO GRUESOME that people EVEN DIDN’T WANT TO SHOW THE PICTURE OF ABORTED BABIES who could live, if the mother CHOSE a delivery room instead of an abortionist. There are people who SURVIVED an ABORTION and one of them speaks AGAINST Obama.

At the third debate, Obama said that he VOTED AGAINST a ban on PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION because the bill did not include the exception of woman’s health. DO YOU KNOW what categories are INCLUDED in woman’s HEALTH ISSUE? NEARLY ANYTHING such as woman’s anxiety or any other trivial reasons AS LONG AS they ARE LABELED AS WOMEN’S HEALTH ISSUE. So Obama is DECEIVING YOU!

Fellow citizen!
REALIZE WHAT Obama is SUPPORTING: KILLING INNOCENT BABIES in a GRUESOME WAY without ANASTHESIA! This is a BARBARIC practice. If we vote for Obama, we are COOPERATING in EVIL, and history will JUDGE US.

Posted by: Geon Lee | October 16, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I had Buddy999 unballed.

Posted by: Boko | October 16, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. This is interesting. The Swiss have stabilized their bank, Das Bankenheit der Cheese. I wonder how they did that? A little Lactaid, maybe?

I would just like to note for the record that Ireland may have an 11-percent tax rate, but they aren't fighting two wars (at least one of which is necessary and one isn't). And judging by my last visit to the Bunker, the lace business is booming, alas.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Awww, Kevin, they're just funnin' with ya! But you appear to have brought sauerkraut to a custard pie fight. Any time you do that, you're gonna catch some flak.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 16, 2008 1:48 PM

Funny you should mention sauerkraut. I prefer it to the custard pie.

Unpasteurized sauerkraut has documents healing properties, while custard pie is full of bad things and just makes you fat.

http://www.sauerkraut.com/benefits.htm

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Might I point out that Curmudgeon IS the shop steward?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Ah, lostinthought, I tried never to make a threat I wouldn't carry out. Living in a rural area, I've been known to stop the car in the middle of the road. It worried the Boy deeply. I've also left a store and cancelled a zoo trip. I find that keeping my word in such circumstances is an effective example that lasts for years. I only had to do such things once or twice each, and now I don't have to do them at all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, I get to sit by the window because he got the last piece of apple pie on Monday night!

Posted by: VintageLady | October 16, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I once had 2 plumbers work on my toilet for 2 and a half hours and they charged me $42.00.I was so shocked I gave them a 50 and they both hugged me.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 16, 2008 1:51 PM

They didn't screw you up the butt with their bill, but they did hug you. Were they bald? On the other hand, they were real plumbers.

The verdict is still out on the sexual preferences of bald headed fake plumbers who covertly work for the GOP.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

But Geon got a happy meeeeeal!!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Remind me to stay away from LITs Diaper Bag arm.

Looking out of the Boodle Porch, I see an "AllCapStorm" approaching. Might have to head down to the Bunker for a drink soon...

bc

Posted by: bc | October 16, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

hi all... just doing a quick drive by. I'm here cleaning out my office and say goodbye to the coworkers and friends I've made here over the past 16 years.

Just had a fun lunch with my boss and am cleaning up my work computer and handing over files she'll need to have the rest of her staff work on from now on.

Yesterday they'd already cut off my access to the email server and the networks but this morning they got me back on. (Nice to know they don't suspect me of being a corporate terrorist.) They keep telling me when there's more money they'll bring me back. It's happened before (not to me, but to plenty of others around here), so who knows. In the meantime, I'm getting excited about another new phase in my life.

Glad I've got all of you on my side and happy I'll have more time to boodle.

Carry on....

Posted by: TBG | October 16, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to keep it under control, Mudge, but it's a terrible compulsion.

Is there anything in the fridge down there? I have some leftover ham and I have some baked beans going in the oven in just a few minutes. I'd be happy to bring them along.

Which reminds me, yellojkt, did we ever get the bunker ventilation fixed?

Posted by: dr | October 16, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty busy at the moment trying to figure out just how large a caliber gun someone would have to hold to my head to get me to pay actual cash money to go see that new movie about G. Bush. So far I'm up into calibers used to measured 18th century mortars and Japanese battleships...and it ain't enough. That flick sounds like it would be almost as unpleasant as a Richard Simmons film festival. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

We can take down the Front Page Alert, methinks...

And dr, I replaced the charcoal filters in the ventilation system.

Don't mind the mesquite scent, I got a great price!!!

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/10/which_one_will_you_be_voting_f.php

Posted by: RealPatriot® | October 16, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mudge. Given my feelings about W you'd think I'd be the target audience but I just can't bring myself to do it. In a few short months he'll be gone from public life, not a minute too soon. I don't even want to think about him now, much less see something about him. Even if it doese have fine actors and Stone apparently went easy on the bias. And I loved "Nixon", too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused. I think I need a drink. Exactly who is doing all this smearing?

Posted by: omni | October 16, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

We got ourselves a combative one this am.

Schmitt is a popular French surname, from the North obviously. Schmidt not so much. I don't think we are dealing with the-one-who-must-not-be-named.
I'm not thinking Bob the Builder either.

More on Bald Joe the Plumber.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/10/16/joe_the_plumber_not_a_licensed.html?hpid=topnews

Plumber, plombier, plumbagum, Pb. Lead pipes lasts for hundreds of years, showing very slow rates of corrosion. Can't use them anymore because Pb is expensive and ICCP can detect very small amount of it in water and PB's not good for you. Can't even use it in soldering material for potable water even. Makes you a lunatic or sumtin'.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 16, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I hate to tell ya, dr, but there was a small piece of buttercake left in the fridge...until yesterday. It was from the one that dbG brought to the MBPH. I nursed it and nursed, just one little diabetes-inducing piece at a time. I'm tellin' ya, that cake was richer than the Sultan of Brunei.

I think there's some carrots and some ranch dressing, if that helps.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to tell you that I'm loving my new MacBook, but I'm not yet.

I lost the magnificent linkification ability, and I spent most of the late morning on the phone with Comcast trying to reestablish my wifi capability. He knew nothing about the Mac, and I know just as much.

I guess I'll have to attend a few workshops at the Apple Store, which is so crowded and noisy that it drove me to distraction.

Sigh.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The vents didn't need fixing. We just instituted a "No Saukraut on Chili Night" rule. That cleared the air real quick.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

GWE! I was doing the same on my walk to school this morning!

Fall is my favorite season! (I love colored leaves),
except for Winter (I really love snow),
Um, except for Spring (I really really love flowers),
oh and except for Monsoons (I absolutely LOVE the feel of warm rain and the sound it makes on metal roofs).
I sound gay don't I?
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2397
What about Summer, you say?
Feh. Had enough of that sticky stuff back home.

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

And dahling, when I apologize to a guy, there's nothing obscure about it...he ends up having to pop a button or a zipper...

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Squeal!

Posted by: Billy Joe Plumb Bob | October 16, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

We got ourselves a combative one this am.

Schmitt is a popular French surname, from the North obviously. Schmidt not so much.
[That's because the name Schmidt originated in Germany, not France, not that this has any relevancy to the subject at hand.]

I don't think we are dealing with the-one-who-must-not-be-named.
I'm not thinking Bob the Builder either.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 16, 2008 2:14 PM

You're dealing with Kevin Schmidt and no one else, and I only get combative when people attempt to smear me, the messenger, instead of attempting to address the message.

Ad hominems do not win the argument.

Why do you get combative when I point out your illogic and uncivil behavior?

Posted by: Kevin Schmidt | October 16, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

DNAGirl,
Makes me want to get on your bad side.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

*quickly reviewing the memory banks to see if DNA Girl owes me an apology*

Nope, dangit... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

What?
I got spicy cookin' skilz, man!

Get your head out of the toilet, or I'll call the plumber!

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Holy cow, I just realized something! Do you guys realize how close the nation came to Obama going to that Ohio rope line and engaging in a dialogue with...(wait for it)...

Martooni, the Gnome Fairy-Door-Maker?

Would that have changed the debate or what? Wow.

M the GFDM: Mr. Obama, sir, I'm just an average fairy-door-maker, earning just a tad* under $250,000 a year, and I want to actually buy the fairy-door company I sweat and slave for. How will your tax plan help me and other fairy-door-makers rise to levels of incredible wealth and oppulence, to say nothing of conspicuous consumption?

*By "tad" I mean a couple hundred thow, more or less.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

And if Martooni had been bald, he could've been the Gay Fairy-Door-Maker.

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Kevin should deal with Geon Lee. Or maybe not. (I don't recall Geon Lee ever posting here before, Kevin)

My personal philosophy towards gay republicans is fairly forgiving unless they are caught spouting homophobic nonsense themselves, or publicly hugging other pols who spout it. (Providing examples will be left as an exercise for the student.) Granted, there is a psychopathology involved in trying too hard to be seen as macho among chicken hawks, but I don't think it's universal among the gay republicans. Sometimes they are distasteful merely because they are so politically wrong.

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Poor Martooni.

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I turned the lights on in the bunker and the kitchen is fully stocked. We're in good shape if anybody wants to drop by.

Oh, except for the Kinkade over the sofa. Somebody seems to have taken the bulbs out of the spotlight trained on it. I wonder why?

Posted by: slyness | October 16, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

1. Mudge: LOL

2. I'm sure I'm deeply offended about something. Apologies all around, I say.

3. Smear: damage the reputation of (someone) by false or unwarranted accusations. Not seeing a lot of smears, Kevin.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 16, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

And another thing! Over at the Miami Herald, commenters get little avatar icons! I WANT AVATARS! And what's more, caps for emphasis are allowed everywhere italics are unavailable. All caps, he11 no. But in lieu of italics, WHICH ARE JUST LIKE CAPS only smaller, I will use 'em too.

Caps are a sign of caffeine indulgence, or its equivalent neural pattern in the deranged. Just as my success or failure at solving the difficult sudokus on any given day tells me a lot about my mental state, so caps tell us similar info about the state of mind of our various commenters. Myself included.

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute! Who are you calling cheese? I think that is a completely unwarranted personal attack on all things Swiss. It's a insult to that fine upstanding country whose major economic drivers are secret banking and, um,... never mind.

Posted by: Yoki | October 16, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

JUMPER!!!
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=1821

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Let's not mention French drains. We can't tolerate that level of umbrage.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Now I remember why I came in here. To get the acrylic paint to go paint my tree face. Cheese!

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

And SonofCarl should know, being a shark and all.

Posted by: Yoki | October 16, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

That was bold, DNA Girl.

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

SoC, I apologize. That was probably a smear. I should have referred to you as a large sea-dwelling carnivore.

Posted by: Yoki | October 16, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

What's a tree face? Why does it need painting?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

omni! my beer is ready (pre-paid) at 5:30 downstairs.

Life will be good.

AND would everyone leave Kevin alone. He is just another hating angry (fill in the blank) man. He just doesn't appreciate the wholesome nature of our so-Republican Achenblog lifestyle.

Just kidding Kevin, in reality, we are fully paid staffers of the Post. We live together on the Post's commune in Southern Maryland. We grow organic fruits and veggies when we are not out working for the group. Mudge runs our sailing school. It is a new approach. It is socialistic sailing. There is no captain on our crafts. We insist on taking a vote on everything. We don't even tack without at least a super majority.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 16, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Jkt, I have your umbrage right here, man.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 16, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Gail Collins is indeed very funny, as she always is. I like this comment about the audience reaction to constant reference to Joe the Plumber: "Or were they stunned by the idea that anybody still expects to make that much money in the foreseeable future?"

Indeed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

TBG, do you want to own my plumbing company? Do you know from pipe wrenches? Do you suffer from terminal plumber's crack? Got $250,000 to buy me out?

Posted by: Joe the Plumber | October 16, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

This is a tree face:
http://craftygardener.blogspot.com/2007/05/garden-faces.html

Mine has had great effect on the unwary, who, visiting my front yard, are suddenly struck by the realization that there's an Ent smiling at them.

As seen here,
http://springfieldildailyphoto.blogspot.com/2008/05/tree-faces.html
the pieces turn a bit green (all the other colors bleach but green) in the sun. So I touched 'em up with some mixed acrylic paints to restore their browner/grayer bark color.

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I can smell your fear.
*doesn't have a nose*

(Oh who am I kidding? Noone's going to get that reference.)

Posted by: Zeke the Plumber | October 16, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

DM, on behalf of the Pinkering community, I would like to point out that the "ic" in socialistic is unnecessary.

Yoki, why do I suddenly feel wrangled? Apology accepted; though you should be aware that the bar has been raised in that regard.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 16, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

doing your own plumbing in a condo can become very dangerous - mom tried to fix the commode one nite and we ended up flooding all 4 floors below us in the middle of the nite... not good..

i like bald men...

Posted by: mo | October 16, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Santiago, Chile 23 minutes ago.
Palacio de la Moneda.

La Presidenta Bachelet walked just down the Hall from her office to see her Foreign Minister.

"Don Carlos," she said, "What's going on with the big fellows up north?"

The forein minister opened a file. "Our Conspiracy Theory Department reports, it's all a Neo-con plot to steal the election. Joe the Plumber, a Neo-con agent, will run as a write in Candidate and win the elction." :o)

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Aweful Waffle! Aweful Waffle!

Posted by: Salute Your Shorts | October 16, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

No...but we can Google: http://nickremembered.blogspot.com/2008/07/i-can-smell-your-fear-salute-your.html

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

That's OK, SonofCarl. I'm happy to raise a drink at the bar.

Posted by: Yoki | October 16, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

All this bar talk is making me thirsty. Has the plumber fixed the beer dispensers in the Bunker Bar?

Posted by: Brag | October 16, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Ok SofC. I spent so much time deciding between socialistic or socialistical, that now, you have me at a humor disadvantage.

Actually, I have developed a personal -tic. It started with the Republican spin rooms deciding to call the Democratic party the Democrat Party.

Again, SofC... thanks so much.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 16, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/face-of-the-d-9.html

Great Caesar's ghost, I thought it was Photoshop for sure. Tell me it's a fake, for the love of all that's holy. Please.

I'm begging here.

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, it's real. Right as Cindy McCain came onto the stage, I am told.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 16, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I hope it is fake, Jumper. It looks like the Lizard King.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Real as can be, Jumper... Check Yahoo News pictures. *shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow, so it turns out Joe is really a Sam, isn't a licensed plumber, and owes back taxes. Maybe McCain shoulda vetted the guy a bit more before making his such a big part of his campaign.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

McCains fatal steps:

Maverick
My Friends
Palin
I know how to fix it
Projector
Joe the Plumber

Posted by: Brag | October 16, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Typical
It's just typical.
I provide a link to the funny McCain picture and nobody says squat. But let Jumper find it at a gay conservative's blog and you're all over him.

Is it because I linked to a hetro- liberal's blog?
Oh, I know, it's because I linked to an atheistical blog, isn't it?

You guys are in big trouble. Just wait 'till I get back with the hordes.
Bunker, smunker, youse guys is doomed.

Posted by: Boko | October 16, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

SCC schmunker

Posted by: Oh, you know who. | October 16, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Dow finished up 401.

*rubber-leggedly getting off the ride*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Boko
The pitchah with McCain behind Obama? There were several comments

Posted by: Brag | October 16, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Boko, I followed your link and then, widening my search, (after finding its name using "properties"), found it again on the MSM site. I credit you with leading me down this path of horror.

It is simultaneously the most horrible and hilarious thing I have seen today. Nay, this campaign.

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Sullivan is also bald, I believe.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

OMG. What have I done?
I wasn't paying attention and didn't see the comments.
I am so sorry.

Not to worry, I've got some atheistic horde repellant here somewhere. Now, if we can get it into the ducts.

Posted by: Boko | October 16, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

But Sully is in the tank for Obama.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

LostinThought, threatening to pull over isn't always just a threat. I remember one time when my mother pulled over to get my sister and me to stop bickering. No paved shoulder, and it had been raining a lot. Mud. The car was stuck. We started walking home (a couple miles away, maybe?). To go with no paved shoulder, also no sidewalk. Mud. After a little while a passing neighbor saw us and picked us up. Thank you, neighbor!

Posted by: bia | October 16, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey CP! Do you know this guy?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-waldman/sacred-sex-and-common-gro_b_135173.html

Posted by: Boko | October 16, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Poor Boko. Nothing worse for the blood pressure than unwarranted resentment. If you like, we could all snub you (in friendship, you understand) so that you have something productive to do with that umbrage.

Posted by: Yoki | October 16, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Boko, I have read his stuff and often agree with him, Waldman that is.

Conservative and Catholic, legal scholar Doug Kmiec is going Obama. Kim posted several links here last week. But Kmiec has articulated this view for a long time. Check out this FEB 2008 Kmiec piece on Obama as possible for thoughtful Catholic voters.
http://www.slate.com/id/2184378/

Read about Nick Cafardi who also is voting Obama and admits that the abortion battle -- on the current field -- is over with. The post is at Andrew Sullivan -- who is bald, Irish, Catholic, conservative, thoughtful, funny, gay, British, and pro-life.
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/cafardi-resigns.html

Thanks, Boko, for the shout out on this sort of news.

Off to drive assorted dudes to music lessons. Hey, they behave better than some. LiT, you got me there. Funny. Good times. Children: if they only knew how quickly we might cave and geezy peezy the generational bromides.

Thank goodness this one is nearly passe:

Do you want me to give you something to cry about. Ouch. Another kind of deep sadness.


Obama fits so much of Catholic social teaching. So much more to this teaching about the preferential option for the poor than pro-life/pro-choice issues. Regular posters know my feelings of deep, deep sadness about abortion.

But the field of debate, choices, policies facing us is HUGE, absolutely,

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Intrepid Ohio SecState Battles Evil Vote Suppression Gambit. Scolds Acorn.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/16/exclusive-ohio-secretary_n_135269.html

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

After watching the Final Presidential Debate last night, I was very interested in the "Joe the Plumber" saga. So I eagerly began to search the Internet in curiosity of what Joe actually wants. After listening to his conversation with Obama, I have come to conclusion that Joe had a more hypothetical and general question than I expected. Joe wants to know "if “he decides to become his own business owner, and "if" he began to make more than 250,000 dollars than "why" should he be taxed higher? Even though I feel that this is a no-brainer, my concerns and feelings are not so much as to "Why Joe must pay higher taxes" but why is Joe worried about something that has not come into play yet. He made an appearance on ABC News with Diane Sawyer in which he stated he does not make anything close to 250,000 dollars but hopes to in the future. This is an American Dream of 100% of the citizens in this country and worried about whether or not you have to pay taxes on this new found wealth is irrelevant to what Joe's situation is right now. It seemed to me that Joe is leaning toward a vote for McCain. With this in tow, Joe needs to ask the question of "Which candidate has a plan that will allow him to create that dream job". Joe needs to inquire about which candidate will reward him for creating that job in the USA that will bring a job to the guy down the street who is an experienced plumber but does not own the business. I hope that Joe fully understands that it is not initially about his long term goal of making 250,000 dollars a year but a short term goal of being able to create that business all together. GOOD LUCK JOE!!!

Starlet

Posted by: Starlet | October 16, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, so sorry you're having mac problems! I'm a mac person, too, though hardly an expert. Just in case it'll save you a trip to the loud mac store:

For the wifi: go to the pie-shaped icon on the top menu bar and select "Turn Airport On," and then click on it again and select the name of your network, and then put in your password if you've got one, and it should connect. If not, well, oops, that's all I've got.

If it connects, and you want to set it up so the computer knows the password and you don't have to type it in every time, go to system preferences (in the dock -- the bar on the bottom or the side where your important icons are), then network, then airport, and you should be able to enter it.

For linkification, first make sure that you've installed firefox, since that didn't come preinstalled:

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

Then add linkification:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/190

I hope this helps and that you'll soon be happy with your mac-ness.

Posted by: bia | October 16, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Joe the fake plumber says:

"There's a lot more important issues than me, and I'm starting to feel a little uncomfortable with it," he said. "Everyone's more worried about what Joe the Plumber has to say than what Obama or McCain has to say."

"I'm being taxed more and more for fulfilling the American dream," Mr. Wurzelbacher said Sunday.

"McCain was doing much better this time," he said. "McCain came across with some solid points. I like his tax cuts."

"It's just one step closer to socialism," he said.

"I believe there was too much emphasis put on me. The debate was more important."

Who talks like this? Not any plumbers I know. Politicians talk like this.

Joe may in fact be an illegal plumber without a required Ohio license, and working under the table too, which would make him a real plumber after all. :)

But he comes off too polished in his comments that are just too refined to have come from the brains of a typical plumber. I suspect he may have been coached in what to say.

I also think it is suspicious how Joe sandwiches his opinions in between his faux "my opinions don't count for much" disclaimers. He is just too smooth with words to be a plumber.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Good one, Starlet.

Posted by: Wow | October 16, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Present at the Bunker Bar. Toasting the Boodle

Posted by: Brag | October 16, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, what sad times are these when passing politicians talk about tax increases for those who earn more than $250,000. There is a pestilence upon this land. Nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design plumbing fixtures are under considerable economic stress at this period in history.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 16, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Plumbing reminds me of a story my brother told at the wake. Apparently he was trying to do some plumbing at his house; he worked in construction and is pretty handy. Well, my grandma saw him and insisted on doing it herself, she said he was doing it all wrong.

I'll have to ask him if this was before or after the basement flooded, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 16, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Bia, I'll take all the help you can give me. Thanks for the Mozilla suggestion. I got to Step 4: Drag the Mozilla icon onto the dock. I did it a couple of times, and each time, it jumped back to its original place. What am I doing wrong?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

CP, that's a good one. I was raised on the "I brought you into this world I can take you out" method. The 'wait until your father hears about this one' didn't work.

Ivansmom, T1 was too laid back as a child to pull anything (and probably too stoned as a teenager), and T2 was too much of a rule follower. DC, on the other hand, has had to put the Scooby Doo mac and cheese back on the shelf, she's watched toys go into the Good Will bag (for throwing them), and we've gotten out of line at the McDonald's drive-thru. Nothing phases the girl.

dr...he's not on your side. Air's free. What's next? He's looking at you?

bia...I'll bet the car, the ditch, and the mud just did wonders for your mom's mood.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 16, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, I'm not sure. Did step 3 go okay? All I can think is that firefox isn't really installed yet, so the dock won't accept the icon. To check, open a finder window (click on the happy face in the dock) and then click on the applications icon to see if firefox is there. If not, you can drag it from the installation window straight into your applications folder. If it is (or once it is), the dock should accept it, either dragged from the installation window or from the applications folder. Even if you can't get it into the dock, once it's in the applications folder, you can double click on it there to use firefox.

Posted by: bia | October 16, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

One of the advantages of a minivan is that each offspring gets an entire seat. This has always come in handy.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

LiT, I'm sure you're right about my mom's mood that afternoon, and I wanted to make some cute comment about it, but I honestly can't remember. I must have blocked it out...

Posted by: bia | October 16, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: nellie | October 16, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous - Well, I've never been a plumber, but I supported myself as a house painter for a couple of years not so long ago, and sometimes I can sling a little verbiage. I'm not so sure that I personally would want to put a heck of a lot of money on my ability to predict a person's occupation based upon their speaking style or choice of subjects.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 16, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah but think what you and your kids are missing, RD, by being so securely and safely fastened far from each other.

Posted by: dr | October 16, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

lostinthought, not at all. It was he is looking out my window.

Seriously these are the things we used to fight about.

And then there were the days when we played space ship with all the chrome do dads trimming the backseat of the family car. Even better, the times when we played kitchen with the little heater mounted inside the cab of the old grain truck. Good times in the very best way. Ah sisters and brothers, what can I say.

Posted by: dr | October 16, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Anon -- which one? Any Mouse? Nonny Nonny Hey?
I know three plumbers:

classically- trained Shakespearian actor
civil engineer
auto-didact who is wise and quite fine at wordsmithing or slinging

Maggie. In the PM of Friday let's chat by phone with our Macs open. One thought: don't think like a PCgal. Try the bleeding obvious, click less.

If this concerns email, though likely to be Comcast; if this concerns internet , could be Comcast. You have to get the IP numbers and passwords JUST right.

TBG Omni -- they can help.

I am sitting outside in Silver Spring waiting for music lessons to end. So cannot coach, but feel your frustration.

LiT: Momspeak continued.

Oh yes I AM the boss of you.

Now. Skedaddle.

One. Two....

NO BITING.

If you ( x) I will spank you. ( Spank played out exactly ONCE with each child): x = run into the street.)

CPboy heard this lately:

Pardon me? (f- word in my presence)

Dude? No. I do not answer to dude.

You are not everybody. If lemmings run over the cliff, will you follow?


Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Bia, this MacBook is way harder than the PC. I had a Mac until 7 years ago, and I thought that I would just back into it. The Firfox Linkification thing just took forever to get it. I tried every living thing to get it installed. Finally I prevailed. Sort of. I do have it, but as I type, the margins are getting really hinky. Who knows what it will look like when I hit 'submit.'

I'm sure I'll have thousands more questions. And, yes CP, let's chat by phone early tomorrow pm; I have an appointment with an Apple 'genius' tomorrow at 3:20.


It's a good thing I have all the time in the world to work these things out.

Some good news for a change! Social Security has been increased by 5.8 % !

Happy days are here again!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

CP...I often ask Dear Child if she's lost her mind, and then tell her to check the car, her book bag, etc. and see if she can find it. Yesterday, she said she unzipped her head at school, and maybe it fell out there. I'm going to have to come up with something else.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 16, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget.. "because I said so."

Wow... what a day you've had today. I'm home and free, free, free! I had a great day today, cleaning out my office and saying goodbye to everyone. I felt great! Had a chance to visit with the owner of the company and thank him for the great time I've had working there.

I was a little worried that I may be somewhat shunned as an untouchable, but I went in smiling and happy and chatting with folks and they took my lead and everyone was very nice and lots of fun to talk with.

The big boss and some other coworkers even helped me take all my stuff out to my car. I told them I felt like I was Dorothy and they were the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion, taking me to the balloon that would return me to Kansas.

Did I mention... I'm free, free, free!

Posted by: TBG | October 16, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

LiT, how about this:

If you lose (loose?) your mind again, we will buy one on sale at Walmart. (Wanted to say Zayres....but that would mean that I lost my mind back in 1888.

Maggie, I will email/phone at 1ish after I escape the throngs of Friday office hours students.

LiT, I also said recently this:

I am SO NOT ok with that. (Can we have a sleepover in the woods by the pond? Urban woods, complete with sweet but erratic homeless guys and gals..and TICKS!!!!)

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Oooh, I used "Because I said so" lots and lots. Elderdottir was my challenge. As a wee one, she would tantrum on the inside of her bedroom door till she exhausted herself and fell asleep on the floor. Her dad and I would take turns, sitting in front of the door and holding it closed. She didn't settle down and learn to behave until the day I wrestled her down and convinced her I could beat the snot out of her, and would. She was 11, and taller than I, but I was in better shape.

Posted by: slyness | October 16, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh.. I forgot to mention...

Son of G has a new job already! A great full-time job that he'll love, with a decent salary and benefits to boot!

He's a boy who lands on his feet. Well.. he's one who knows how to network and stay in contact with all his connections. This is a place where he worked last-last summer. When he emailed his old boss to tell him he was looking for work, the guy invited him to come to lunch today to talk about things. Lunch and a job offer!

Posted by: TBG | October 16, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Hi fivers for soG.

Hi Starlet and Wow. Somebody earlier mentioned this escalation between sibs:

Daisttouched me! Mawwummm...I said SHE TOUCHED ME.


Motththththeeerrrrrrr, Violet is looking at me. She is and it is not a nice look.

THEN THIS:

Mom-Pom, Daisy is THINKING about me, I just know it.

I burst out into song, a German folk song of resistance about Free Thoughts (during WWII). Heard it on a Pete Seeger Weavers record.

Sie Gedanken Sing Frei (Our (you) thoughts are free).

My children were stunned. Me too.

Names changed to protect the guilty, the very very guilty.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

TBG,
And all is well in the land!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

TBG, having met Son of G, I'd say he isn't a boy who lands on his feet, but a man who does so. Take a bow...you've done a great job.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 16, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

You Mom's got it tough,but you are all doing a wonderful job.

My poor mother I tried it all on her,but me being the baby,she would always just say "stop" I have heard it all and nothing you will say would surprise me.

Congrats to soG

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 16, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

WTG, Son of G! I wish I could make unexpected time between jobs that short.

Give your mom a few tips too, whydoncha?

Cassandra, so sorry to hear of the unexpectedly orphaned girl. I hope she has good family to take her in.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 16, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

While everyone happily remembers these sibling battles in the past - it is my present.

Hooray for Son of TBG. Glad cleaning out your office went well TBG it can be tough - great admiration for your spirit.

Posted by: dmd | October 16, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Now this is just insane....
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081016/ap_on_fe_st/odd_big_burger

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 16, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Dmd! This too shall pass.

One day my mom said -- seven of us, with me the lead child at say 16 --

"I am running away to the forest and I am NEVER coming back."

Middle brother "O" (not Orville!) used to say that all the time and sit with a bandana Matilda on a stick under the "Slow Children" sign. 'Twas a homemade sign by the neighborhood.

She DID leave. With another mom. For an overnight. I think they went to a Motel 6 and shared a bottle of Rose.

Worked wonders. We were beyond good for at least two months.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Eventually they will have to build a monument to the portable DVD player's contribution to world (or at least backseat) peace. Such a monument should include a vista of a roadway and its environs for miles and should be very very peaceful. Perhaps the entry should be a cacophonous barrage of noise, to remind us of the long march of history, and of tales of who is looking at whom, to this point.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 16, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Tina, we should all do so well.

Not that I'm surprised.

Posted by: slyness | October 16, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Not a surprise, but awfully nice to see...

Barack Obama for President
Friday, October 17, 2008; Page A24

THE NOMINATING process this year produced two unusually talented and qualified presidential candidates. There are few public figures we have respected more over the years than Sen. John McCain. Yet it is without ambivalence that we endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/16/AR2008101603436.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: TBG | October 16, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

The modes of child rearing and control have ranged from infanticide and abandonment (pre 13th century) to intrusive and socializing modes (18th century to present) and variables exist today in some parts of the world. The child as the property of the parent(s) to dispose of as he sees fit is an idea as old as mankind. Abortion is simply a pre-emptive exercise of parental rights.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Son of Carl, you are preventing evolution to happen. Keep your kids with sharp teeth and fingernails and let them fight for that Yaris backseat. Three of my siblings and myself survived many long trips out of a Plymouth Fury III backseat so that we could go out and reproduce ourself.
We are clearly heading to a non-recoverable spot in the evolution process if siblings cannot thin out the herd out of the weak.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 16, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

SCC Ouch. sorry. I'm out.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 16, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

We all four girls sat in the backseat of our 1964 Valiant station wagon, with my little sister usually standing (!) on the "hump" and leaning on the back of the front seat.

Posted by: TBG | October 16, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see I wasn't the only youngest who had to find whatever place they could. Dad's car sat on the console between the front bucket seats, station wagon I got to lie down in the way back with the dog.

I do remember a great game of pick up sticks with someone on a long ride one time - so it wasn't all bad.

Favorite spot, the cramped little compartment behind the front seats of my dads (later sportscar) - it was a convertible - lots of fun, had to sit sideways to fit.

I am ever grateful my father was a very good driver as the odds of me surviving a crash probably weren't great.

Posted by: dmd | October 16, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

SNL's on.

Joe the Plumber
Has a magical Plunger

Take it away SofC :-)

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 16, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Holy cr*p. I'm sick of these hobby-horses being randomly inserted into our conversation. What relevance did that have?!

My brothers and I crossed the NA continent at least three times in my memory, bedded down in the back of the station-wagon cushioned by sleeping bags and random comic books, boxes of animal crackers and the odd hamburger bun and empty Coke-bottle, but not otherwise restrained.

This is not at all a recommendation that yeanlings not be suitably restrained or protected, just a sort of wonderment that all four (five) of us lived to adulthood! Scary, when I think about it.

Posted by: Yoki | October 16, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

if twerent for bad memory
id have no memry tall

Posted by: omni | October 16, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

If it weren't for bad luck,
I'd have no luck at all.

I started out with nothing,
And I still have most of it left.

Posted by: Yoki | October 16, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

The best trips were the ones when my parents folded down the back seat of the station wagon and put the luggage there. Mom had a rug she'd put down behind that and the cooler, and we had the whole back to ourselves. No restraint, but we had room enough to move around and not be on top of each other.

That was a 61 Ford, and my dad had seatbelts installed. We started using them after a neighbor came over to say that he followed Dad's lead in putting belts in, and they saved the family's lives in a wreck in Pennsylvania.

Posted by: slyness | October 16, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Yoki; hey, recent Any Mouse poster. Get a handle so by your name we shall know you. And, pelt you with bon mots or pick up sticks.

Dmd and Yoki and Tina: so grateful for better safety now, but rolling around like billiard balls in the WAY BACK was the life o Reilly, wasn't it. And, the summer of contraband MAD magazines plus MAD LIBS...sigh. Don't get me started on riding small motorcycles in the Rockies....near Augusta. No helmets, tearing up some foothills but wind and long hair and spring water from a crik..I sound like Grandpa Walton....

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Cp, thanks for the vote of confidence, but my 'free' WiFi disappeared and am on an ancient ISP phone modem. Most of what bia wrote went over my head.

Posted by: omni | October 16, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

When I was a kid, my Dad had a Bricklin. It had gullwing doors, front bucket seats, and no backseat. If Dad wanted to take both me and my bro somewhere, one of us would ride in the hatch-like trunk. To be fair to Dad, he usually took us no farther than the golf course a mile away. Although that meant we were also squeezed in with the clubs.

Posted by: astromom | October 16, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I'd also recommend SciTim, a bea c, and ...
oh well, I'll remember tomorrow after it's figured out

Posted by: omni | October 16, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

And on one of those life o' Reilly trips my Mum rolled around in the back with us and read "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" out loud, as the prairie and Shield night was eaten by Dad's miles, in its entirety. I know *now* that the Chronical is a Christian allegory, and deeply incorrect about everyone not white and English and Anglican, but at the time it was just a ripping yarn of deeply satisfying fantasy.

Ah, good times, well remembered.

Posted by: Yoki | October 16, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I miss fold-down rumble seats in station wagons, myself, as long as we're on a trip down nostalgia lane.

That and getting sleeping bags and sacking out in the back of the wagon for drive-in movies and late-night ice cream trips to Dairy Queen.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 16, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I had to skip a lot of today's discussion in order to hop down here and comment on bc's discussion of the Prius and Yaris:

When I was car-shopping this past Spring, I test-drove both the Yaris and the Prius. Except for superficial issues (number of tires, tire material, flammable fuel, nameplate), there is little similarity between them. The Prius is a MUCH more substantial car, in terms of interior space, comfort, spiffiness of the options, and all that experience-of-driving stuff. The extra $10K of the Prius above the Yaris (or the Honda Fit, for that matter) buys you a lot more than a marginally-reduced fuel bill and smug bragging rights. That extra $10k cost buys you a car that is not unlike gas-only cars that cost $6-8k more than the Yaris, plus the improved fuel economy. It's only "an extra $10k" if the *only* reason for buying the Prius is to get the marginal efficiency advantage beyond the Yaris.

For my money, however, we bought the Fit. The fuel savings with the Prius is not that much greater than the Fit, we didn't feel a desire for such a cushy experience, and we just liked the Fit a whole lot better. I had a swell drive up to Ithaca with it last Friday. 35.7 mpg for highway driving with, hypothetically, a substantial speed margin above the legally posted limit. I plan to stick to the legal limit rather more scrupulously on the way home, due to a more relaxed schedule. I look forward to learning what mileage I get under such circumstances.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 16, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

TBG, you are my role model for keeping positive. Great news about Son of TBG.

All the nostalgia about car rides is fun to read. Not having siblings, my memories revolve around staying on the left side of the backseat as the right side belonged to my dog. My dad had seat belts installed in our car the week I got my driver’s license. Of course no one ever actually used them.

I’m not surprised about all the stuff coming out about that so-called plumber. The whole bit about buying the company for a quarter million sounded a bit fishy. I am lucky that we would need the services of a plumber only if the gas stove or dryer needed replacing, “S” is very good at routine plumbing stuff.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 16, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Props to TBG for being first to spot the Post's endorsement. As fine a man as Sen. McCain has been, it's his misfortune to be Republican in a year when it's not exactly responsible to leave that party in the White House or the Naval Observatory.

Then again, I still can't understand those newspaper endorsements of Bush four years ago. Even the Economist, if memory serves me right.

...and best wishes to Son of G.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 16, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

7-zip Tampa top of the 7th. Could they take 3 straight in fenway to win the American League pennant? Sure looks that way.

Oh by the way I know lotsa Joe's
Joe Cool,Joe Walsh(also a Presidential hopeful)Joe Jackson( the shoeless one) Joe Mama, and a few other,none were plumbers though. One was the father of a carpenter.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 16, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Election day cannot come too soon. The candidates are preaching to the choir, the opinion writers are writing for their little groups of agreeable readers, and I (and Joe Sixpack and the rest) made our minds up MONTHS ago.

Somehow the election cycle needs to be fixed, shortened, altered and abreviated so we are never faced with this kind of runnup to an election again.

Posted by: nellie | October 16, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us–don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
-Emily Dickinson

or blog!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Master craftsman Joe,
builder of strong character
spared the great sorrow

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Why, look! It's greenwithenvy. I was wondering where you were today.

Posted by: Yoki | October 16, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Let the record show. I am not the poster of the Emily Dickinson poem above.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey! There is a great baseball game on!

Posted by: nellie | October 16, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

good evening boodle!

Time for me to look away from the game-can't jinx the Rays if I don't watch.

Congrats to Son of G, hugs and hopes for better days for Cassandra's young friend.

Got my ballot in the mail today, have photocopied it to save proof that I am on it with Obama. Our precinct only does mail-in voting, to cast a ballot in person you have to drive to the county seat. The convenience is nice, but voting as a civic ritual feels better.

Toodles and fondue. Hope I can find time to hang out a bit tomorrow.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 17, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

*Tim, I was only using the Yaris as a point of comparison to the Prius. The Fit's a very nice car, though based on your data it gets roughly the same highway as my olde MPG German sedan (you don't want to know how fast this competition-licensed driver tends to travel) at this point from what you're describing, though as your engine loosens up after 20K MI your mileage is likely to increase 1-2 MPG.

This is America, and thank goodness we still have choices as to what we can purchase for our individual transportation use. Personally, I like a more lively ride than the Fit, Yaris, or Prius, and if I had to make a choice for a new car now, I'd probably look at the Mazda 3, Chevy Cobalt, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, or VW Golf/Rabbit. Might even look at slightly used Subarus, VWs or Audis (particularly the latter with diesel engines).

But that's just me, and I'm pretty particular about where I'm likely to spend at least two hours and 100 miles of my day.

The back of a station wagon is fine, but am I the only one who remembers lying down on the rear window deck of a 60s-era sedan?

TBG, I'm glad to hear you so upbeat - I *know* you'll be fine - and that Son of G was picked up of the wavier wire so quickly.

Astromom - a Bricklin! You're clearly younger than I, I remember test driving one in High School and thinking how cool it was.

When I was a kid, a neighbor had a '65 Corvette StingRay 327 4-spd, and would take my brothers and I for rides to the 7-11 for Slurpees. No back seats (or seatbelts) whatsoever, we used to ride in the carpeted space under the back window... and be very happy to do so.

Ignorance and bliss.

bc

bc

bc

Posted by: bc | October 17, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Hey Yoki!!
I just heard a three pack of great driving tunes.....
Radar Love, followed by 1 bourbon ,1 scotch and 1 beer
Then green grass and high tides with the last one had my driving around the block once so I could air guitar on the steering wheel.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 17, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Cripes, gwe. I love both (all?) those songs.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

well here you go then

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISmgOrhELXs

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 17, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

and another one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R82OM5tzcrk

Maybe I should learn to play Guitar Hero,then I wouldn't have to use steering wheels and green beans.....but then I would just be a normal soul

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 17, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Well, I've tried to catch up but I'm so far behind, I think it's hopeless.

CP made me laugh with her 7:20 and 8 and 9:52 posts...took me back, way back.
WAYBACK is what we called the back part of our gold panelled station wagon (the vehicle I learned to drive in). Just like dmd's 9:24, there were no seat belts involved! I was the oldest of 7 and the car was a bargaining tool. I would ask to use it to do something and my mother would say, "yes, if you take your brother with you." The brother in question was 2 at the time and he would clamber into the WAYBACK and kneel with his arms propped on the back seat as we proceeded on our adventure. NO seat belts! I can still see that mop of brown curls in the rear view mirror. All the years that I worked in the burn trauma unit of my hospital has made me very grateful for those years of innocence.

I enjoyed the link to the article on Josh Marshall of TPM. After Andrew Sullivan (YES! he IS in the tank for Obama), that is the blog I most love to visit when I get the chance. I really loved the picture of their office space.

No Obama volunteers in residence yet. I got a call today that said I could expect my folks to show up on 10/23 or so...(my 21st anniversary, yikes!) I hope that they will feel welcome in spite of the fact that McCain signs outnumber Obama signs by about, oh say...20-1 in my neighborhood. I wish that was an exaggeration, but it's not.

Alrighty, I'm up way past my bedtime what with all this crazy WORK I've been doing lately. Good night all!

Posted by: Kim | October 17, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

"This is America, and thank goodness we still have choices as to what we can purchase for our individual transportation use."

We can't choose a lot of the efficient European cars (e.g, VW Golf diesel, BMW 3-series diesel which most of my English friends drive) that Europeans have been buying for several years. My daughter wants a Fit, and I tell her to wait for the diesel. I would kick in a few thou if that or something like it was her choice. She's ready for it now, but her 93 Civic will have to last a while longer, until my financial reserves have recovered somewhat from the battering they're taking right now.

I wonder how many MPG a diesel VW Polo gets -- 60? Gas will be back up to $4 or more per gallon when the current recession or whatever it's called is over, and my car will probably require replacement in 5-10 years. I get about 31 mpg overall from my 2001 VW Passat (1.8L with turbo, stick). I would expect to get 45-50 without sacrificing any comfort and not much size (not that I need size to drive to work) in a few years, via diesel and a somewhat smaller car.

Posted by: LTL-CA | October 17, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Oh, believe me, greenwithenvy, Guitar Hero is a snare and a delusion. #1 and Physics-boy introduced it to this household, and we're all hooked. And goodness me, I swan, Himself (a musician anyway) totally rocks at it. He understands chord progressions and musical intervals and other musical theoretical-type concepts. And he's an engineer, so he just analyzes the thing and then wins.

So discouraging.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, you are up late! I am home after spending the last leg of my trip listening to 5th and 6th graders discuss their Washington D.C. Fall break trip... non-stop ( I mean 2 hours of flying with said chattering) One girl said she has ADD and her mom doesn't let her drink coke...while she proceeeded to drink an entire can of coke sans mom. But I enjoyed it...10 and 11 year olds...great ages. Wholesome and fun and open and honest.

Even if Joe the Plumber is a fake he still represents the average middle class schlep (which are most of us dontcha know) questioning how in the hel! is he gonna make it with or without regulation?

Spending more time in restaurants lately I have noticed portions are slightly diminishing...a good thing! We are way too indulged in the American lifestyle. I really get to people watch now. There is much heft out there.

TBG...16 years? Ouch. But change is good. Your new mantra. Your karma is too positive for you not to find something even better to occupy your time. BTW, never received my boodle shirt?

Scottynuke...okay....but Joel needs a steady diet of fiber.

Posted by: eidrib | October 17, 2008 2:29 AM | Report abuse

I've been working all night, eidrib, and waiting for a message which finally came and set my heart at ease. So I'm to bed. Later, 'Boodle

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 2:48 AM | Report abuse

TBG, so sorry to hear about your job situation. With your great positive attitude, you won't have problem finding another one. Congrats to Son of G.

Going back to way back when, our family didn’t have a car. We travelled by bus if we needed to go out of town. Once a while, my father would visit his brother who lived 15 miles away. He always brought me with him during those trips which were always on Saturdays. School’s out for me but my uncle would be working at his shop. While they shot the breeze, I’d just looked at typewriters and other stuffs in the showcase. After what seemed like forever, we would leave and go eat something. And then my father would buy me a small box of raisins. That was the highlight of the trip and the only reason why I tagged along.

Posted by: rainforest | October 17, 2008 3:58 AM | Report abuse

Plumbing : I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it since I’m living in a rented place. If I have plumbing problem, I’d just call the landlady and the contractor would come.

Houses here don’t come with food waste disposals in their kitchen sinks. In my previous place, the landowner/developer skimped on everything. All the pipes in the house were small. I always had to make sure that nothing big or hair got washed down the sink. The hardest was the kitchen sink. It clogged easily. When I felt that water drained too slowly, I’d pour boiling water down the sink. Most of the time it worked. Times when it didn’t work, I had to go get Draino.

Posted by: rainforest | October 17, 2008 4:06 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to you, TBG, and also to SoG!

You on handling the situation, SoG on getting a job to help support you, years from now, in your old age.

Big project deadline may be moved again, this time to Thanksgiving weekend. Not popular, but neither is the thought of going live with the (delete big company name here) data coming in incomplete and regressed to earlier, incorrect versions. I'm hoping we all get a few weekends off if the deadline is moved.

Thanks, Jumper, for that link. Once again, I wonder how Palin can make accusations where four fingers are pointing back to her. How do you try to get someone fired for illegal behavior when your father was a full participant?

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

'morning all.
Congrats to your Sawks Scotty, 0-7 and 5 outs from vacation they staged an impressive rally.
Joe the Plumber had his 24hrs of notoriety, the news cycle will move on to something else.
The rise in unemployment being a likely candidate.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 17, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all, and happy Friday. Cassandra, are you sleeping in?

Not much on the agenda here for today, I will enjoy the peace and quiet. It's not going to last, so I better savor it while I can. Maybe I'll get those bulbs planted. You know, the ones I dug up six weeks ago.

Posted by: slyness | October 17, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Mudge... your bit about me on the rope line caused some minor coffee spewing. I missed Obama's appearance here in Youngstown, but it was probably for the best. Imagine the fun the Republicans would have with footage of a furry gnome wearing a tall pointy red hat discussing Wee Folk issues with Obama, particularly the plight of Garden Gnomes.

Did anyone else catch Obama and McCain's bits at the Alfred E. Smith dinner last night? I'm sure it'll be YouTubed... both were pretty funny and it was nice to see the two of them having a laugh at themselves and each other.

Well... I'm off to an early start. The neighbors should be up and about by now. If not, they will be when I fire up the saws.

Peace out :-)

btw... Happy TGIF, everybody!

Posted by: martooni | October 17, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Bonjour les Boodleurs!

Very special congratahoochies to Son of G!
Great was to land!

Vroom, vroom off to check out the Boodle's six o'clock. Gotta make another low pass at the Bookworld bunker to wake them up. So far been unable to get them to list my boosigning tomorrow on their calendar.

Posted by: Brag | October 17, 2008 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Aaaarrgh --above should have read book signing.

Posted by: Brag | October 17, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

when k-space goes missing we're all in trouble. Good thing you caught that Brag.

Posted by: omni | October 17, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Son of G, way to go.

Posted by: dr | October 17, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

Martooni, I will be sure to watch for the video. Laughter is a rare commodity these daze.

It is definitely past first light here, cool, dry, leaves beginning to fall, deer searching for food in the woods. The deer don't look healthy. They were here first, we've taken away their habitat....they need to be relocated or the County needs to do a thinning.

Our birds keep looking at our empty feeder. I keep telling the freeloaders they must wait until Thanksgiving, they must depend on mother nature until then, or perhaps one of my more generous neighbors.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 17, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

*really rubber-leggedly getting off the Game 5 ride*

WHEW! To paraphrase one commentator, "The Ghost of Dave Roberts is alive and well at Fenway!"

Now Beckett just needs to wake up...

And the bats need to stay hot...

*SIGH*

TGIF indeed, martooni!!! Been a crazy week, and I'm so looking forward to a couple days off. From the office, anyway.

Actually flew the I-270 corridor for the Dawn Patrol this fine morning, and I can report a paucity of bogies.

*gonna-be-a-fun-day-in-the-office-with-only-one-other-coworker-NOT!-but-will-make-the-best-of-it Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Well, boo signing *does* fit the ghosts & goblins season. ;-) I kinda like it....

Posted by: VintageLady | October 17, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmmm, close to 900 comments on the very well-written and intellectually sound editorial...

Shocking, I know. The comments, not the well-written part. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone. I went to bed last night with such a painful headache that I was seriously considering drilling a small hole into the temporal lobe to release the bad humours that were collecting there.

But I'm much better this morning.

Couple random thoughts before I fire up the electronic difference engines:

Seatbelts have saved thousands of lives, and I own one of those cars where the motor won't start until everyone is strapped in. This is because I won't turn the key. That said, I have very fond memories of being three or four and standing behind the driver's seat whilst peeking at where we were going.

I also recall curled up and sleeping in the back seat with my dad's coat over me.

Finally, I remember being older and sitting in the front seat. Whenever my mom would brake her right arm would fly out to keep me from going forward. She still does this, by the way.

My favorite example of MomSpeak involves shoes, which my siblings and I would frequently misplace. When we would ask if she has seen them, her answer was always "I don't know. I don't wear them."
She still does this, by the way.

And Yoki is quite right. Guitar Hero can be addictive. But the true electro-narcotic in our house is a Wii game called "Harvest Moon," which is occupying a startlingly large amount of my daughter's time. In this game your avatar interacts with the other members of a happy little village and, with a modicum of effort, can own a farm, get married, raise children, and own many, many animals. My daughter especially likes the last bit.

I think this game might also be good for her because it encourages reading skills as well as a modest amount of logical thought. Besides, it makes her very happy. And I can understand the vicarious joy that comes from living in such an idealized world. I mean, who wouldn't want to ride a purple horse to work?

Even if it doesn't come with seatbelts.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Seats on horses ceratainly come with belts!!!

For the horses, anyway.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

RD, my husband does that same right hand out trick - usually makes me laugh at the though of his arm being able to prevent me from getting hurt but I appreciate the gesture.


Cool and clear here this morning a little frost on the roofs - just beautiful, trees on my drive in to work were stunning.

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

TGIF, boodle! I backskimmed far enough to discover that SoG has a new job, gleaned through networking. Congrats, SoG and TBG/DrG, on the job for the former , and on a great job of parenting. My weekend is blocked out doing non-insructional duties: football game gate duty tonight, and another 18 hour day for band. I see that the editorial board has endorsed Sen. Obama, and that the McCain campaign is scrambling to turn out the vote on election day. This is going to be an interesting election.

Cassandra, I hope that all is well in your neck of the woods.

I have yet to finish the upstairs shower, and hope that DIY imitation of Joe the plumber continues to hold water.

Throw a random act of kindness someone's way today.

Posted by: jack | October 17, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

And of course, mega-^5 for Son of TBG!!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

New thngs have been discovered about the Miller-Urey experiments, and it seems atht Dr. Miller was way ahead of the game:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/science/17LIFE.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Posted by: jack | October 17, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I have suddenly lost my ability to type.

Posted by: jack | October 17, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Slyness, I've been up for some time, just getting to the computer. I've turned my television off. I'm sick of the politics. We started early voting here yesterday, but my daughter had the car, so I did not get a chance to take advantage of it. I wanted to look at the news, but too much this morning.

I see the Post has endorsed Obama. Good for them, and Obama.

TBG, you did leave that job with such grace, and I'm happy Son of G has found another job. You say you are free, free, and you're right. May God bless you wherever that freedom takes you, and I certainly hope it is to a good place.

Martooni, Mudge, Scotty, and to all, good morning.*waving*

I went to visit the little girl that lost her dad, and she was so happy to see me. She was jumping around and appeared quite happy, but her family was there, and the kids at school had sent sympathy cards that they hand made. For a little while the pain wasn't there. I hugged her and kissed her, and told her I would be checking on her quite often. I want to get her a little something to lift her spirits. Got a chance to talk to her mom too.

The g-girl went to the fair yesterday. She was so excited. The county fair is here now, and the kids love it. I think the state fair is this week too.

The weather is promising to be slightly cooler today. Not as warm as it has been this week. I hope everyone has a good day.

Welcome new people. We love company, and we hope you will stick around and enjoy the conversation, the operative word there, "enjoy".

Loomis, where are you? I hope you're okay.

Thanks for the advice about the converter box. Now what's the deal with dark chocolate?

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 17, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I have a question that is somewhat off-topic (except in the larger sense of the overall health care issues). My wife needs surgery to repair a failing stomach by-pass. The health plan coverage we have from work isn't the best, with limited availability of doctors in plan that could do this. Is there some supplemental insurance that you are aware of that we could get that would allow us more flexibility in the pool of surgeons? The job wasn't really done right the first time (over 20 years ago), and we don't want a repeat. Thoughts? Direction?
Thanks, Boodle

Posted by: ebtnut | October 17, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Scotty, you did much better with your Sox last night. Congrats.

I, too, have a few fond memories concerning the back seats of cars. Usually, the car was stationary at the time, there was a speaker in one of the front windows, and "Charade" was playing, IIRC. And there were NO siblings around, and almost no complaints about touching. I won't bore you with the details.

Although now that I think about it, she did ask, "Are we there yet?"

Gotta go run to an appt. with my diabetes doc. Don't burn the place down while I'm out.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

ebtnut... Not to crush any hope, but even if you find a supplemental plan, chances are they would treat her bypass as a pre-existing condition and not cover anything related to it for 2 years.

(In a previous life I was a licensed health/life insurance agent)

Now back to my current life as a fairy-door-making Gnome... cut, sand, sand, sand, paint, stain, lacquer, repeat...

Posted by: martooni | October 17, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Morning All
Cloudy cool day here today.

I was shocked to see the sox winning last night's game.They seemed to be dead in the water,their poor fans sitting on their hands and then Bam,Bam Bam and they are right back in the series.Scotty and Maggie O must have been going nuts. Reminds me of a CSNY tune "we have all been here before"

Off to do some chores....what a Great day!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 17, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all... thanks again for the kind words and support. You know, I'm sincerely relieved that the company I worked for did not go completely under and that many jobs were saved by letting some of us go. Of course, having a husband with a good job makes it easy for me to say that, but it is the situation and the truth that I'm happy my co-workers still have jobs.

I wouldn't have volunteered to leave, of course--don't get me wrong. But if this is the way it had to happen, so be it and I'll go on with my life. I have a healthy family and good friends and a house that's not completely falling apart and we can still afford to pay the mortgage and raise our kids. What more could I want?

The saddest part of losing the job is that Son of G and I won't be working together anymore. It was a wonderful time and we both knew it was something special. He was telling his dad yesterday how awesome I was at my job and it made me feel so good to hear him.

Now.. back to politics. Did y'all read Kathleen Parker this morning and her excellent defense of Christopher Buckley?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/16/AR2008101602538.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Oh yeah... t-shirts will be sent out shortly. I'll try to get them out today. Sorry for the delay! There were lots of out-of-town orders. Thanks!

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all, and a special good morning to all of you Sawx fans.

Apologies for the SCCs in my post last night - clearly, I was a little tired.

Looks like dominos are continuing to fall Obama's way for the November election; undecideds deciding, endorsements, the stock markets and economic news (sorry, but a bad economy's good for the challenging party), military assessments of the increasing difficulties in Afghanistan and Pakistan, *Tim's appreciation of his tush, etc.

With Obama's victory in Novemeber looking more and more like fait accompli, what stinkbombs will the GOP uncork in order to try to prevent that? Or will they refocus their attention on the Senate in order to prevent the Dems from achieving a fillibuster-proof majority (60 seats, IIRC)?

Interesting times...

bc

Posted by: bc | October 17, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to SoG. Good going.

Here is the finest collection of MomSpeak ever. And it's set to music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXT6Hs113ZA

Saw the McCain part of the Al Smith dinner. It was very funny and honest. I'll have to Google the Obama half.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 17, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I am going to put this out there, not because I knit, but because I drink coffee.

Is it wrong of me to laugh when she was having a bad day?

http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/

Posted by: dr | October 17, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Howdy and good morning. Cassandra, thanks for the update on the little girl; I am glad you could see her and bring her some comfort, and I'm glad the kids sent cards. What a horrible thing.

TBG, I'll chime in with admiration for your grace and healthy attitude. Even in these times I'm sure you'll find some work you want to do, and it truly is a gift to be able to look for it. Congratulations also to SonofG.

Scottynuke, Maggie O'D, the Sox were amazing. Hang in there.

I'm enjoying all the childhood road trip memories. Mine involve taking dramamine and sleeping on the back seat for hours and hours until we reached our destination. While not exciting, they're considerably more pleasant than the memories of the trips without dramamine - the sudden stops at the side of the road, the regret when stops weren't quite sudden enough . . . .

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Kim.. we called the back part of the stationwagon the BACK-BACK. It's what I call the very back of the minivan now and my family still doesn't know what I'm talking about!

Ivansmom... we had Sunday dinner every week at my grandmother's house in Chevy Chase, about 1/3 around the beltway from here. Nearly every week my dad had to pull over to let me throw up on the way home. Not exactly sure why they didn't figure out to let me sit in the front seat. Also not sure why it didn't happen any other time. There's probably a lesson in there but I havn't figured it out yet.

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Aw, dr, that yarnharlot story just made me dissolve in helpless hysterical laughter. Tears and all. The worst part is, there's a hapless student sitting outside my office so I decided to stifle the whoops and guffaws rather than alarm him. I'm afraid my wheezing suppressed gasps had an even worse effect. And I don't even drink coffee.

Yellojkt, that William Tell momspeak is one of my favorites.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

TBG. I am the last to know. I am so sorry. These are times where we all very much count our blessings. You know, I just made myself laugh, and this is why. I NEVER use the word lovely, but, thinking of you, TBG, you ARE a lovely person.

This may very well be the blessing of which you can take advantage. I was you the best and may you discover many wonderful and exciting opportunities.

Now, you are presented with a full and open world where you can apply your creative talents and start fresh. You have just the disposition to make this be a great development.

D. Michael

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

ebtnut,

I'm afraid martooni is right. No private plan is going to cover that. That is the major failing of our health care policy. I got into a major shouting match with a pro-McCain supporter that said that there was nothing wrong with the existing system because everybody gets the coverage they need either through work or from the state.

I couldn't begin to start with how wrong she was. We need coverage that is universal, portable, and inexpensive. I don't think either candidate has the full answer, but Obama's comes closer.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 17, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

My drive-in movie memories are waaaay different than mudge's. My folks used to dress my brother and me in pajamas before going to the movies. We would play in our footies on the playground until the movie started and then watch the first feature.

After that it it was bed time. One of us got the rear window ledge and another got the back seat. We would fight over who got the window because that was cooler.

One time my brother stayed up long enough through the second feature to see the horse's head scene from The Godfather. Gave him nightmares for years.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 17, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

ebnut, sorry to hear of your wife's problem. My good thoughts are coming towards you.

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

yello... the answer lies just north of the border. I don't hear much complaint from our Canadian friends regarding their health care. You hear stories of people having to wait in line for some procedures, but at least they have a line to wait in. Under our health care system, if you don't have insurance or tons of cash on hand, you don't receive care unless it involves an emergency room visit.

Then again, if we want to roll our own universal plan, I would say expand Medicaid/Medicare to cover *everyone* for core coverage, then let the insurance companies sell supplemental coverage to pick up the difference and cover "elective" procedures and medications. They could also bid for administrative/claims processing work.

One thing neither candidate has addressed is mental health care, which IMHO should be part of that core coverage and expanded. With all the economic guano going on, suicide hotlines are burning up right now, depression and anxiety are on the rise, and it's only going to get worse. They need to understand that with the right therapy/meds combinations, billions of dollars could be saved by greater worker productivity and fewer people spiraling down so far that they need societal/governmental assistance just to survive.

Just my $0.02.

Posted by: martooni | October 17, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Here is Obama's speech at the Al Smith dinner. Very funny.
Part 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwwjPnnvK40

Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDTAcfu5rlA&feature=related

Hysterical stuff.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 17, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt--

Even morons should know that sharing the risk in any insurance situation is the answer. One big group wins. If we own that insurance company, we gain the profits.

AND, I like the idea that folks who are against our federal government providing a successful solution by extending Medicare to all would otherwise turn to making the "so-called" state solution, the answer.

What's next, townships?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Yello, I love that Anita Renfroe video. The funniest part, of course, is that it's ALL TRUE, every bit of it!

Good luck, ebnut, that's a tough situation. Proof positive that we need to reform what passes for a system!

Posted by: slyness | October 17, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

ebtnut,
And I went all wonky and forgot to mention how very saddened I am to hear of your wife's condition. The most important thing is that she gets the best treatment possible and that you be her advocate. I expect you can do nothing less.

Single-payer Canadian style is one solution. With the powerful insurance interest groups around, it may not be the path of least resistance. But we need to do better.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 17, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Martooni!

Here is the thing that people "just don't get." Our current quagmire of a combination of payers provides essentially all the services required by a civil society. Unfortunately, we don't receive payment in an appropriate fashion. It is not, as the economists say, an "efficient" system.

First, we create a multivariate adversarial system. Several services are overcharged for, because everyone knows that payments will be made for those services and finally, the Federal Govt ends up paying off providers who are necessary for the common good of the greater community.

At the same time, because of our current system, the most common cause for bankruptcy (up to the time of this housing crisis) has been health cost issues.

The whole thing CAN BE life changingly tragic (I guess I am making up words here).

The problem is that health care, from the simplest view of the individual who hasn't experienced the hardships, remains fairly binary. I'm OK, so what's the problem. Unfortunately, many of those very same "I'm OK" folks are, each year, getting gobbled up by this creep.

As we know, much of the problem of extensive health care costs is random in nature. We never really know...

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

And the reason I am boodle-hogging is that my wife and I flew into San Francisco last night and I promised I would let her sleep until 10 PST. I'm on my regular sleep schedule and this is about all I can do in the dark.

I see some daylight coming through the window and may go for a walk. My wife leaves Sunday morning and I'm still at a loss at what to do the rest of the day until I have to head down to Los Gatos. Right now the good money is on renting a bike and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

I'm open to a micro-BPH if we have Bay area boodlers that would actually care to meet me in person. I know my online persona(s) is/are challenging, but I really am a nice guy.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 17, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Dolphie.. "I'm OK, so what's the problem" is basically the Republican mantra, isn't it?

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

What DM said. My favored solution is a variation on the Federal employee system where all people can annually pick a provider based on established benefit and cost structures.

It would be funded in part by tax-free employer mandates and be completely portable with tax deductions/credits for self-employed and unemployed people. And perhaps Medicare forms some level of provider of last resort. I clearly haven't thought it entirely through but it seems at least a step in the right direction.

Health insurance and health care will never be "free" but we need to do more to share the burden of catastrophic events.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 17, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

i'll confirm.. yellojkt is a nice guy. I don't care what anyone else says about you, yello!

:-)

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The question I have about Obama's plan is this... he keeps saying that those folks not covered by an employer's health plan will have the option of using a federal employee plan. Well, I'd rather use a federal employee plan, too. So am I in trouble just because my employer DOES offer a plan? Am I stuck with an inferior plan?

I'm sure this is explained somewhere; I just need to dig some more.

I think a great way would be to create one large pool that can shop around the plans like the feds do for civil servants. If we could ALL join that pool, imagine the pricing power and options we'd all have. Our employers would be able to offer the same healthcare benefits the government does to federal employees, paying the same rates as the government is.

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I have a small problem with DM's randomness. Most health care costs are incurred near the end of life and except for those of us who die in accidents and hockey fights we're going to ring up a tab.

Posted by: Boko | October 17, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Vice versa, TBG. Except I've never ever heard anything bad about you to have to ignore.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 17, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Martooni - There was something in the bailout bill about mental health coverage. I know a strange place for it. I haven't read it, but from summaries I think that it requires insurance companies to cover mental health comparably to their medical coverage. So no separate deductibles and coverage limits. I've been meaning to look at that.

Posted by: astromom | October 17, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

My secret fear is that the gummint employees tend to get such a good deal because they are much more insurable than the general public at large. Federal unions have always opposed opening the system to others because it would dilute the cost advantages they have. We have two great public health care systems in this country. The Fed Employee system is one.

The other is the military health system which is the ultimate single-payer, universal coverage, no-cost=to-individual system ever. Kinda socialistic and ironic.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 17, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Boko, in the best case scenario health care costs are wracked up to prevent death! Think of all the cancer survivors from children on up - big costs to treat and survival rates are climbing.

Equipment costs, drugs etc are a big portion of the costs - more technology but at a big price.

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

TBG,

I don't mean to strenuously disagree, but I have spoken to a number of Republican Doctors in this area who agree with what we are talking about here.

At the end of the day, the Docs want to teke care of their patients and get paid. It is the Insurance folks that muck it up and you have to look for the $'s. It is SOOOO easy to muddy the waters with scare tactics.

In a while, I look forward with great relief to qualifying for Medicare, like most Americans my age. What's the difference of switching over to a national plan which is not connected to my employer. Afterall, most employers can and will pay for coverage for an aging staff.

Look who can't get a job at a place with a health care plan... women in their child bearing years, men and women in their late forties and fifties. Who gets hired... 20 something guys who drive Honda Civics.

There is indeed a problem trying to go from here to there, so to speak. Everyone is worried about being "Fair." Well, life isn't fair, is it? Is it fair to give a tax break for interest paid on a mortgage but not to a renter? What sense does that make? It isn't fair. All that did was raise the prices on homes.

Not to distract, sorry, but I think that the well being or welfare of the community as a whole is so important. If we don't take care of the poor and the middle class, we have very little onto which we can base our consumer economy. The bottom 1/3 of our people drive the economy by spending almost every dime that they have. That is the engine that makes the investment in America a good bet.

If we have to wait for the very rich to decide to invest in a factory or build a stadium, then forget it. They are very happy just looking at their bank statements and investments online from their condo in the Caribbean.

Of course, I sort of came up with a snarky illusion about "those who trickle," but TBG, you have to admit that money held by the rich can become non-productive very quickly while money held by the bottom 4/5 ths of our population gets spent over and over. The rapidity of the spending of a dollar within our community provides the "temperature" of our region.

Solving the healthcare crisis is just one of the steps where we can make our community better for all. We know that we can work with a startup even if we have a wife or husband with a health care issue. Our economy and our families will run much more efficiently.

The point is that the very same nay-sayers on healthcare are those who say that our entrepreneurial spirit is what drives America... well, a universal program for health care WILL BE a shot in the arm for entrepreneurialism.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

One thing I don't understand about health insurance. At my former workplace, a woman ("Ms. B.")(one of my favorite co-workers) was diagnosed with cancer, got care under the plan, but the disease was terminal and she died; all under care. The insurance company then RAISED THE RATES. I was told by the completely competent human resources lady that this was because of the expenses of the care "B." had received.

I thought the insurance company was supposed to calculate the statistical risks, charge us for them, and just suck it up and pay for it if someone needed treatment.

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Have you ever had a day when all was right with the world, when you felt optimistic, sure that wonderful, exciting things were just around the corner, and that the whole world loves you and you love it back? When you felt that all your projects would prosper and that even in spite of the many troubles of the world, that everything was falling into place as it should?

For no rational reason, I am having that day (though sleep deprivation combined with dental anesthetic may play a role). I would like to share it with all of you. If you can't summon quite this sunny-side view yourself, I will be glad to do so on your behalf.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Boko,

I studied this data for years as a contractor for the Fed. Govt. That is my point about payments. We spend roughly (don't know what it is now) about 1/2 of our health care expenditures in the last 2 weeks of a person's life).

That's how many docs/hospitals get paid.

Again, that is inefficient, but when Docs say that they take care of everyone, we know how they afford it. Assume as the "care" doesn't change much and the payment doesn't change much, then, we can create a vastly better system by appropriately supporting an efficient health maintenance regime for everyone in our country.

It's big picture stuff that frankly, the simplistic Binary mind doesn't want to entertain.

Boko, why does it cost so much to die in America?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Carpe diem, Yoki!

Posted by: Kim | October 17, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Boko, by the way, you are absolutely right that there is more than a random factor in overall personal wellness, but there IS a randomness of certain diseases which can destroy a family's financial comfort.

As a parent, I would be willing to take a bet to say that we all should toss in a couple of bucks to "insure us all" against dealing with something like Lupus than deal with both the financial stress as well as the resulting family challenge.

That's my point.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

It would be nice to see some Boodlers and lurkers at the Silver Spring Borders Books tomorrow at 02:00 PM where I will do a blah-blah and sign Kingmaker. :o)

Posted by: Brag | October 17, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Yoki! I'm delighted to share with you. I'm having a pretty good day myself.

Almost time for lunch, and I've got yummy leftovers!

Jumper, I have health insurance as a retiree from the city. Good deal that they keep retirees on the rolls. The city is self-insured, which you know means that the payments come from the pool of cash employees and the city put aside for that purpose. Those covered have choices for a couple of companies that administer the program and a couple of levels. It really gets ridiculously complicated, when all I ever cost them is my annual physical and mammogram. And the increase in costs is amazing. I'm thankful to have it, though, I wouldn't have been able to retire otherwise.

Posted by: slyness | October 17, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Jumper,

That's the point of group insurance. The underwriters calculate the insurance company's risk of underwriting your group which included, sadly, your friend "B."

Her costs raised the cost of for the group, after the fact. THat is why a company should change carriers in that instance to get re-rated. Also, some mid-sized companies partially self insure their plan so they know that the firm is carrying the risk and the insurance company just administers.

There is a "rating" balance within insurance companies between profit and customer acquisition and risk of claims.

Jumper, at the end of the day, the insurance company is assuming that your group may include another "B." Thus the rate increase.

... Totally not going to happen with "ONE GROUP."

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Dolphie... I'm not arguing with you at all. I'm all for a nationalized healthcare program like Canada (and most of the rest of the industrialized world) has. I think we are "on the same page" as they say.

I believe all Americans should be covered, or insured, or provided healthcare in any fashion.

If it means we all enter the federal pool--if that's what we can get passed--I'm all for that. I'm all for whatever will give all Americans the healthcare they need.

I was just wondering about that one statement Obama keeps saying in the debates. I was thinking "out loud" but really should just look into it more to satisfy my curiosity.

I also know that candidates' plans during a campaign don't usually amount to reality after being elected. It gives us an idea of what they'd LIKE to see happen, but I know it's all just like those crazy outfits on the fashion runway... they give us an idea of what will be "in" next season without having to actually wear huge collars with skirts split up to our you-know-what.

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I know you aren't arguing with me, I was saying that we have folks within the Republican ranks who totally agree with you.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

ebtnut, I am sorry to hear about your wife's condition as well. I'm no expert on health insurance, so have any suggestions beyond what's already been Boodled. Consider getting multiple referrals to discuss the situation with several in-plan doctors/surgeons. It'll take some legwork, time and a little money (for the visit deductables), but you might find one you feel comfortable with.

Cassandra, I'm so glad you were there to comfort that child, and that things are going well with your family.

Yoki, thanks for sharing your optimism and spreading a little happiness today. It's contagious.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 17, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I also find Obama's soft peddling of the healthcare approach less attractive than Hillary's "out front" approach. To me, the so-called less scary middle ground approach is not a good idea.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

D@mn, Mudge stole my best back seat memories!

Posted by: CC | October 17, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Hell, I don't know, Dolphie.
Up here we pay to keep people alive, dying's free (burying isn't, but I have a cunning plan).

Lemme guess, high price of ammo?

Posted by: Boko | October 17, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Dolphin, you're so, I dunno, actuarial about all this.

Boko, you're so, I dunno, Soylent about your plans...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

DM... good points.

I was just thinking while sanding about how we would pay for everyone to be covered under Medicare.

Since businesses would no longer need to buy insurance for their employees, a flat tax per employee could be imposed (heck, call it a premium) that would end up saving businesses money since being part of such a large pool would drastically reduce the premiums. Also, since people would be more apt to get preventative care, the overall population of the pool would be healthier and problems would be caught and dealt with before they turn into serious and/or chronic conditions that cost more to treat.

This would benefit every business from the small mom & pop shop to General Motors. GM and the other car makers are going broke not because their sales are down, but because so much of their income goes to health care and retirement costs. And those costs are only going to go up under the current system, especially if their retirees aren't dying off fast enough to offset new retirees just starting to collect benefits.

What I don't get is that those in charge can't see that this simple solution is the best way forward not just for individuals, but for employers as well -- including insurance companies. Why must they insist on a complicated inferior solution that will cost more and *still* not cover everyone when a simple superior solution will cost less and cover everyone?

Oh right... we're talking government here.

Posted by: martooni | October 17, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'd be happy to share in your sun-slammed mood! :-) Let's picnic, I'll bring the new imaginary flatware (will order this weekend, perhaps).

ebnut, I believe there was an article in the NYT in the past year about medical ombudsmen whom regular people could hire as liaisons with the medical community. Part of their job is to negotiate the best price possible--the insurance price, in fact, whether or not you hold the insurance that has negotiated that price. You might want to check that out after you have some prices/options as a frame of reference.

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

What a good idea, dbG! Imaginary lunch it is. I made a killer chicken salad last night.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Here we go:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B01E7DC1E30F935A35752C0A9649C8B63&sec=&spon=&&scp=5&sq=medical%20ombudsmen%20+%20insurance&st=cse

There are more if you do a NYT search for
"medical ombudsmen + insurance". What's it gonna hurt? :-)

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I know a doctor who explains medical ethics to me (fascinating topic) and he won't work for free. He does lots of "pro bono" work but is adamant that the patient pay SOMETHING, for lots of reasons. Among them, the patient needs to place value on the care for the patient's own good. And there are rare but everpresent people who game the system to obtain social interaction and a sense of esteem arising from folks fussing over them. Sad but (anecdotally - what's a term for this to Goggle?) true. He was known to accept chickens or firewood in lieu of cash, back in the early days of his practice. So I'm okay with means-tested payment. Graduated or progressive "taxes." There's the rub.

Another issue is treatment for self-inflicted wounds. Obesity, smoking, unprotected sex. The hackles rise on some folks' when asked to pay for this. I used to have a neighbor who was about 300 lbs who got disability for his bad knees. In the prime of his working life, he ran a cocaine dealership. (and you can believe I'm glad he's gone) And got his dole check every month. I'm aware that I didn't know diddly-squat about the real condition of his knees. I resented it a little bit, even though I'm a liberal. (I don't feel much guilt over my resentment, however.) I was always aware that he felt that knee pain often, even though he didn't complain about it to me. At least some of his friends who hung about told me about it. (By the way, I despise the cocaine trade and walked away from that carnival long before any of this came about.)

Also, I'm unsure how much real risk analysis triage really goes on in medicine these days. We assume the best of our doctors but we all know systematic analysis is often lacking in the approaches of some of our physicians. TV creates a mythology that's not borne out in reality. There are disturbing statistics around that pop up such as doctors not washing their hands enough; things like that, that a systematic approach might really help.

The AMA does not appear to be of substantive assistance in these matters.

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Killer chicken salad it is. I still have some garden tomatoes, found hiding under a raised-bed jungle of plants. White balsamic? Regular dark balsamic?

Imaginary flatware:
http://www.onlinestainless.com/proddetail.asp?prod=melon-bud

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, my dears (do we know each other well enough for me to call you that???) -- I was just out doing an errand (of the grocery store type) and parked behind a car with three bumper stickers: (1) marine decal; (2) SEMPER FI; and (3) OBAMA 08!. Cool, eh? The occupants of the car (which parked right before I did, so I could see them) looked like they were maybe in their 70s. That was great!

I haven't been doing too much back-boodling, but I, too, am looking forward to hooking up with Medicare, although I may have to shop around for the insurance gap coverage. My doctors, like many, will not take Medicare patients if they aren't already in their system (i.e., new patients which are on Medicare) -- so, since I've been with them for decades I get to stay with them, and they are simply wunnerful!

Gotta make some lunch. cya later.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 17, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The problem with for profit health care insurance is that it does not save back for a rainy day. Co-ops and pools do but but not for profit ventures. My husband was involved in searching for affordable health care every year for the small company where he worked. When the premiums paid by the company didn't cover what the insurance had to pay out, rates went up. They didn't go down when there was a surplus. All I could figure out was that when the premiums exceeded the amount paid out, shareholders got the profit. It certainly wasn't saved back for rainy day. This can be a disaster for a company that wants to keep experienced employees and is top heavy with an aging workforce.

Saw a PBS special on health coverage a while back, Robert Krulwich went to a number of industrialized countries to find out how they deliver health care. For instance the German system uses private coverage, but the insurance company can not make a profit on basic care insurance, only on add-on coverage.

The effect of having insured and uninsured health care costs is bizarre. When I was covered by insurance, the rates for services were reduced (you could see that on the EEOB's). But the uninsured are the people who can't afford to pay the extra costs. Go figure.

One question Krulwich asked in a number of different countries was how many people had to file personal bankruptcy because of health care costs. People were astonished that a citizenry would let this happen.

Posted by: km2b | October 17, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

How about just a touch of red wine vinigar and olive oil? This will be the first really good tomato I've had since I was in Ontario in August.

Shall I pick up some baguette on my way over? And chocolate? Dark or milk?

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The baguette sounds great. The tomatoes are heirloom, Brandywine, I'll add fresh herbs, and . . . dark, dark, dark!

Nobody's joining us?

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet 'Mudge will join us if he gets back from the doctor in time (though no chocolate for him!). Anybody else? Imaginary killer chicken salad and two tomatoes can certainly feel more than three people!

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Healthcare is unusually important to my family, and is one of the reasons I took a job as a civil servant.

I would like healthcare to be available to all, but I am also a little worried about how people interact with healtcare.

In my world the doctor is someone you visit when you notice something seriously wrong with your body. The doctor isn't someone you routinely visit to keep yourself healthy. The doctor doesn't have that power.

I'm not arguing against mammograms or other cost-effective screening procedures. I'm saying that it is easy to get trapped into a self reinforcing cycle of expectation.

For example, two years ago I was having some minor sinus problems, so I went to the doctor. Very quickly I ended up on a bunch of expensive meds and was told I should come in for periodic tests and on and on. I mean, it was like getting stuck in a spider web.

And yet I found that if I just took an OTC medication and stopped scratching my eyes, I achieved an inexpensive 80% solution tom my sinus problem. A problem that totally went away after a while.

Same thing with my shoulder. They wanted to put me on all these drugs and send me in for weekly physical therapy sessions because their goal was to maximize my comfort in the minimum amount of time. Whereas I was fine with a much less costly approach that took a little longer. And yet, if I hadn't been proactive, this option would have never really been given to me.

Looked at objectively, the cost-benefit ratio seems out of whack. I think Americans expect far more from the medical establishment than they should, and the medical establishment is all too willing to sell them what they want.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm definitely in, if there's good food involved! I'll bring fresh peach tea with Splenda, if Yoki will steer me to the best wine for the occasion, I'll get that too.

Posted by: slyness | October 17, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Snoook,

The other misunderstanding is that private enterprise otherwise known, in this case, as insurance companies, do a better job (efficient) than the government.

Here's a myth buster, the Federal Government with Medicare and Medicaid are more efficient. The Federal Government already sets most of the compensation standards for health care today.

Invariably, you will see private insurers try to challenge processing. The other problem is where we have gotten with these health maintenance programs. At this point, it is questionable whether these large groups are actually worth having. There are huge books written about HMO's now. Oddly, or not so, Medicare provides much more choice than an HMO.

BTW, I am also concerned that our fractured health care industry is also impacting the natural practice choices by young doctors as they too must be concerned about how they might be paid for their work.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Stupid philtre.

I read this blog as a national security issue.
http://benmuse.typepad.com/arctic_economics/page/2/
Check out the link to the Reindeer Blog article about the bottom falling out of the reindeer antler market. The Philtre rejected the direct link because of a v-word in the url!

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid of killer chicken Yoki. In a salad I'd be afraid it's not cooked well enough. I've had salmonellose once, it's like dying but without the final peace. T'was eggs though.

Whatever plan you Murricans come up with, make sure chronic illnesses like diabetes of ileatis-colitis are well covered. There are plenty of stoopid plans that would pay for leg amputation of careless diabetes patient but won't pay for frequent/regular consultation of a nutrition specialist and/or endocrinologist. A young engineer here in the office would have been banckupted by her i-c before the age of thirty if she had to pay for all the tests, surgeries and meds made necessary by her chronic condition.

The WaPo editorial backing Barack Obama is up to over 1700 thorouhly reasoned, well thought-out comments by readers. I'm so not going there.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 17, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Vorlons?

Victory?

Variety?

Vintage?

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=210002665

power 24/7 from the Gulf Stream

Obama needs a scientist advisor. Maybe I should apply!

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Have you guys see what is happening with Schlumberger, the oil services company? Seems like another American myth is about to die.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

jumper, you must be one of those folks who believes in sciencism.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Reading my little screed, I think I am making two different points.

First, I think Americans are over-medicated and over-treated because they expect to much from medicine. They don't just want to be healthy, they want to be uber-healthy and mistakenly believe that they can purchase this kind of health.

Second, doctors respond to these expectations by over-treating and over-testing even if the benefits in terms of patient health might not be worth the expense. (There also might be a bit of malpractice fear going on here.)

Both of these things contribute to an increasingly expensive system with rapidly diminishing returns.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Interesting preliminary study on aid for ADHD in children - drug/cost free

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081017.wladhd17/BNStory/specialScienceandHealth/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20081017.wladhd17

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I think you are safe with my chicken salad, Shriek.

Slyness, can't wait to see you. I think we usually prefer a nice prosecco at lunch, don't we gang?

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

True, but sometimes chronic problems CAN be solved because it's actually caused by something else that the patient would never have thought of. There are many diseases that can be stopped cold if diagnosed and treated properly... or the patient can be given information to manage same, like with diabetes, etc.

Unfortunately focusing on one symptom alone and forgetting to report all other symptoms won't get that diagnosis going.

In general, the patient is his/her best advocate and the best one to track symptoms.

Maybe it's time to make sure everybody has basic first-aid skills again. I have a book from 1943 describing when to see the doctor, when not to, basic hygenie for various things, how to know when to take a child to the doctor or not to.

I looked at it and it seems to be rather up-to-date in most of its advice, although I have dark suspicions of the doctor's political leanings in regard to eugenics.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 17, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Trust a shark wrangler to want a lunchtime prosecution...

Waitaminit...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm here! I'm here! I'll come! Since I'm late, I'll bring dessert. How about a blueberry clafouti?

Besides, I want some of whatever Yoki was smoking a little while ago. I only ever have days like that when I'm in the dentist's chair and they crank the nitrous up to 11.

BP: 125 over 54
Pulse: 54
Blood sugar: 125

Not bad for a 900+-year-old man.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Lunch! I can bring homemade apple sauce. It isn't fancy but it is tasty.

RD, you've articulated an interesting point. Some people who have health care want it to do a lot, very quickly, to make them "better", and all too often "better" means "like I felt when I was younger". Consequently, they may not take as many steps to help themselves as they can, although they likely have the resources to know what those are. Conversely, some people without easy access to health care lack either the resources or the motivation to take preventive steps which could help their health. Thus we wind up with two separate groups of people who don't take care of themselves and rely on either "modern medicine" or, at a much later stage, emergency room treatment for fixes.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Yoki, I'm on my way! I'll pick Mudge up, he'll have to carry the clafouti on his lap anyway.

Good numbers, Mudge, I'm sure you're glad to have them.

Posted by: slyness | October 17, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Proseco, yes.

RD, I agree, and would add that practice profit also seems to be considered.

I get allergy shots and have a very, very, very mild case of asthma. I might use a puffer one time a year, if that. The practice decided everyone with asthma should do a breathing test every time they came in for shots--at an extra cost of $24 per visit. Most patients go in 12-26 times a year for shots, allergies and asthma go together, so this really added up no matter who paid for it.

I had to have a long, uncomfortable conversation with my allergist about why I felt this constant testing was unnecessary in my case, and he finally relented. The nurses cheered when I told them; they couldn't believe the cost or that this wasn't considered necessary until the practice moved to a nicer building.

I also wondered if another doctor in the practice was gathering data, at patient/insurance cost, for a paper.

Although indignant, I don't want to change practices because these guys are among the best in the state.

Don't get me started on the discussions I've had with the vet about vaccines I don't think my dogs need.

I'm sure I'm on a blacklist somewhere.

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, good numbers, slyness. Of course, it costs me about $150 a month (that's my co-pay) for meds to get those numbers. But hey, it could be worse.

Trader Joe's has prosecco on sale, I believe. Can we swing by there on our way, slyness?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - I am bringing our beautiful autumn day with me and some fall foliage, much better than my cooking.

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Your presence is much better than the foliage, dmd!

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

RD, my friend. You're a guy.

As you point out, we tend to go to the doctor's only when something's wrong that we don't think we can deal with anymore - something causing prolonged pain or itching, some embedded object that we can't remove, a major bone (one required for locomotion or for consumption) that needs to be reset, loss of blood, an unexplained protrusion from a Delicate Area lasting for more than six months, etc. We're great at denying our mortality like immature teenagers and ignoring anything that does not require a blood transfusion.

Women are far more complex and sophisticated in every way and require a lot more care and maintenance for good health. One could make the case that if Men's and Women's health care plans were seperate, the Men's may be less expensive simply because the men would be using it system far less.

But personally, I am happy to have my health care payments amortized across both genders. Women's health is important. We men want you happy and healthy - for most guys, women are the reasons we even go to the doctors.

You ladies make life worth living.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 17, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Awwwwwwwwwwww.

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, when I saw the number 125 for your blood sugar level I thought you were like our friend Robert Ludlum and were writing while dead. Then I remembered you funny lot are using the mg/dl standard for blood sugar.
6.9 mmol/L is purty darn good.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 17, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

bc - that's a good point, but it isn't really the point I was stressing. Yes, some men can refuse to go to the doctor because they are trying to be macho. I ain't one of those men. My complaint is that once you get involved with the medical system, it is hard to figure out what is appropriate and what is not. (And dbG, I'm probably on that blacklist for vets as well.)

And I'm not totally comfortable with the assertion that women are that more vulnerable to disease than are men. Seems to me that women are a pretty sturdy lot.

But I do agree enthusiastically that they are nifty.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

bc, I agree Women need more ongoing Medical treatment, but Men are statistically more like to get injured/die need serious medical attention for accidents etc. The reason men die younger is in part because they commit stupid stunts (not all, but a high enough number to be a factor).

Up here among my favorites snowmobiling on thin/slushy ice, drinking while driving/boating, canoeing etc.

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I can bring the green beans.

Wouldn't cha know it the sun just came out and now I'm off to work.

Argggggg!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I have a major beef, here. We hear about greenwithenvy's green beans (making us green with envy) and we hear that Cassandra took a big load of green beans home with her after the party (not that we begrudge dear Cassandra a single solitary pod), and we further hear that gwe is still harvesting green beans. But who was it, not so very long ago, wrote a long screed about her despair over ever getting good-quality fresh beans in Calgary? And, further, whose *most favourite vegetable of all* is green beans?

Well, there you have it. Clearly Canadians are being discriminated against by the green bean cartel, and we demand redress. Something, anything. A nice tomato would do.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I tend to agree with bc: we guys tend not to go to doctors unless there is a police report involved, EMTs are needed, and the local ambulance service does the driving (smaller carbon footprint that way, too).

And nowadays once you start going, you can never get rid of them.

I suspect this aversion to doctors has a strong Darwinian factor. Back in the good old days (circa 1200 A.D. to 1900 A.D.), people who tended to go to doctors seldom came back. I think this is embedded in our Jungian consciousness somewhere.

Any more prosecco left?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I have some mind-blowing illegally intense Gorgonzola and slivered almonds. I will dress up GWE's perfect specimens of green-beens.

About health, rant on DM. I am fine but have stared poverty down concerning nothing other than bone crushing expenses all of these types: health care and insurance and copays and experimental medicine and supportive therapies like yoga, meditation, acupuncture, etc.

Our model is crappy on chronic conditions -- whether genetic or life-style in origin.

I ride my bike tons -- and swim -- so I can secure the best health possible, now and for the wilted salad days.

Two of three children struggle with chronic illness. I (we) do not go as often as the docs want because the medicalization of these chronic illness interferes mightily with living. And, the passing off between specialist to specialist is a huge, huge, huge money and time suck. I know that I need this knowledge, but our approach is to

1) go less often than asked
2) learn as much as we can
3) apply liberally the tinctures of exercise, good food, music, fun (X10), service to others, prayer, REPEAT
4) we show up before the crisis occurs, because we learn how to monitor for this
5) take the least invasive, least potent preventor treatments.

When the docs look at the blood or other tests, they tell us we should be sicker....clinically that we are. I say, "Why be so surprised? We are

well people, who happen to be sick NOT

sick people, who happen to be well."

I know we cannot control this completely, but the choice to live well is empowering. Also, as good as support groups are, you risk being defined by your illness or condition. This often interferes with living.

Paging MAGGIE?

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I think it was Freud who asked, "What do women want?" right before he came up with his highly controversial theory of haricot vert envy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

No worries, Mudge, I always have a couple of bottles of Prosecco on ice.

I'll bring it, along with a nice fruit salad.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 17, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Can I come to lunch, too? I'll bring a cat to grill.

Posted by: Brag | October 17, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

CP,

I am sorry for ranting.

I actually want to talk about Schlumberger seeing lower profits because, with the cost of petroleum dropping and demand dropping, FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON, oil producers in the United States don't want to drill.

I don't know... was that Drill, Baby, Drill more about turning over more potential oil rights to the Oil Barons than a shortage and high prices for the consumer?

What gives, College Parkian?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope I'm not too late for lunch. Had a nice midday meal already, though, with Son of G and GF of Son of G. She came into town yesterday by air so that she could accompany him back to Charlotte today by car. He starts his job late next week so he's taking advantage of his time off to spend more time with her down there.

But I'd love a glass (or two) of prosecco and some dessert would be nice, too. I have some comfy chairs and a blanket we can use if we're picnicking. Are we by a lake today? That would be lovely.


Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

What a about a verdant river bank? Some nice lookouts up there, and the motion of the water is so relaxing.

What a great group of people to picnic with.

bc won my personal post of the day award with "some embedded object that we can't remove." 'Mudge is first runner-up with Freud.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Semi-serious, here, Mudge.

We want to be cheered on in pursing our box canyons of joy. (We are good on the return cheer, so never think this is a limited resource; tis enough to go around.)

We want to work hard but not always be the one loading/unloading the dishwasher.

(Lid down; toothpaste cap on; socks in the hamper; newspapers to recycling; the digging of some nice holes to place the lilac, the viburnam, the what-have-you-green in....)

We want less clicking on the remote, when we are in the room, too.

We want people to "play nice," and admit, perhaps,to not being always realistic about the role of conflict.

We want a bit of aesthetic play, be it knitting,
painting the porch ceiling the perfect Robin's Egg blue,
arranging asters in a Mason Jar,
securing the best pair of patent leather flats,
slicing tomatoes and spreading them in a perfect fan atop basil atop mozeralla atop chiabatta,
making up the best lullaby for that particular baby.....

And, we want to be taken seriously.

The LAST one is universal. The other "We" statements are possible. But, ask us, and we will tell you.

Thank you, bc, this prosecco is lovely, lovely, and you are dear to bring so many bottles.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Always a bridesmaid. *sigh*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

A HUGE win!!!!

Amazingly, the SCOTUS refused to condone Voter suppression in Ohio. Or, at least won't go along with the attempt to remove upwards of 200,000 voters from the latest round of new voter registrations.

The ACORN thing was cover... the cover broke down.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

DM... we like the ranting.. keep it up.

Schlumberger's profit estimates have been based on $150 oil, not $70 oil. So I guess oil companies aren't that excited about--and don't have the money to pay for--that imaginary drilling anymore.

Do you think it's the perceived inevitability of an Obama victory and the loss of the drill-baby-drill mentality? Now that I think about it, I doubt that, since most of Schlumberger's business is probably in other parts of the world.

But what the heck do I know? I'm just a lazy, unemployed bum.

:-)

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to rub it in Yoki but it may not be discrimination agains all Canadians.
I bought a quart of fresh green beans at the Parkdale market last Saturday. I expect to repeat the feat tomorrow morning for the last tinme this year. A Killer Frost (-5C) is expected this weekend so we will have to switch to Brussel sprouts, leeks and sweet pumpkin (potiron). (poor us!)
I found a way to save the pumpkins from the squirrels: I wiped them (the pumpkins, not the rodent) with deer repellant. So I saved 2 Ronde de Paris potirons and 1 One-too-many pumkin from the bushy-tailed rats. I lost a lot more than that.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 17, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

You know I love you, 'Mudge. bc just struck my funny-bone a little harder this time. Something about this euphoria from which I suffer, I think.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you always look fantastic in ice cream colored satin gowns.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Dauphin Michael -- I am cheering you on for the conversation about the specific broken cogs of health care machinery. I agree! My rant is simply that some of us, even if we look OK, really know the backside of health care problems. And, I know this as a mother. Things are relatively ok. One thing about hospitals, say Children's Hospitals, is that you quickly see how much to be grateful for because down the hall or in the waiting room is someone else. Their struggle makes yours look picnic-like!

I do fear, DM, that a health problem would sink me into living with my aging father. And, as nice as he is, well, want to live differently.!

But that is crazy talk on such a day. TBG is here and look at her smile.

I see two dragon files over there, yes, they are making hay so to speak of the last days of warmth. Carpe Diem is really about that bit of spark and warmth before frost settles. Look, one is green-winged and the other blue. Such iridescent flickers.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Check the cooler in the back of the car, Mudge, there should still be four bottles of prosecco in there...There's plenty of room TBG, so come on and enjoy!

CP, you have exactly the right attitude about immersion in medicine. My plan is to be hale and healthy until I wake up dead one morning, to everyone's surprise.

Posted by: slyness | October 17, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Might I add that WE don't want men to believe that we exist for their evaluation/judgement. This comes back to the conversation we had a couple of days ago.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Yoki your 2:35 would be on the top of my list.

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Dolphin, you're all over the good stuff today. I hadn't checked SCOTUS today. As a former member of the Vanguard of Our Energy Frontier, I too am confused with Schlumbeger. Logic tells me drilling ought to be up, especially now. I have been out of it too long to know how to figure it out.

Perhaps it is because they are French? :(

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey, this looks like the Bloginator/blumphasaurus JA rides, only edgier:

http://www.sesow.com/paintings/aug2k8/lucky.jpg

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Number 4 is particularly important, CP-- the one trait men may be weakest on.

All 5 are good. I'd like to go to my grave taking only what I MUST take.

I've had to vote down statins (not a good idea for reproductive-age women in any case) and so many other things.

Exercise, diet, and staying connected does a lot for improving overall sense of wellbeing. You can't take care of any chronic condition as well if you're sunk in depression.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 17, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey, c'mon, CP, it was Freud who asked, not me. I already knew most of the answers on your list. And you left out the I've-had-a-bad-day back/neck rub; the occassional flowers-for-no-reason; the Tiffany bracelet; the surprise weekend in the Bahamas; the company's-coming-can-you-vacuum-the-stairs?; the chilled zinfindel ready, poured, and waiting; the remodeled kitchen [master bathroom, bedroom, den, etc.]; the warming of the [very] cold feet in bed; the cheerful spousal attendence at a thousand boring real estate events; the designated driver role so she can have a second mai tai; the zipping up of the dresses; the designated driving over long bridges and through tunnels; and the never-saying-I-told-you-so.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Yoki is spot on with the universality of this one:

WE don't want men to believe that we exist for their evaluation/judgment.

---
As Kant would say, we want to be ends in ourselves, not merely means to ends. And, Martin Buber would say, we want to be understood as the

I-Thou dyad, rather than a

Me-You are for ME dyad.

The chicken salad is light and lovely. Is this a dash of curry, so little to pique and not proclaim?

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the perceived Obama victory is Schlumberger's problem, TGB. It is fascinating and I'm glad Dolphin Michael brought it up.

One of the huge lessons hard learned fromthe collapse of the oil and natural gas market in the early 1980s here was that, when the price of oil and gas collapses, the subsidiaries hurt. I have been startled at how quickly oil has fallen. I'm not sure I fully understand why the global economic meltdown has led so quickly to less energy usage and to the perception of dramatically reduced energy usage, which in turn is leading to the drop in price. However, it is just fact that when prices drop, oil companies do less exploration and drilling. There's no big conspiracy about it. Some of it is caused by having less cash to pay for the drilling and exploration (which is shockingly expensive). Some of it is just supply and demand. If the price is low enough, it may cost more to get the resource out of the ground than it is worth right then.

And you're right, TBG, it is worldwide. A supplier like Schlumberger only works when the oil and gas companies explore and drill. If Schlumberger estimated profits at the high end of oil prices they'd be losing money even if companies continued exploring and drilling.

Should the oil companies continue to fund exploration and drilling even when prices are low and demand is down? Sure. It makes policy sense to do so. It takes a while from exploration to drilling to a completed producing well, and the demand will probably shift in that time. The energy-consuming world as a whole would benefit. Do the companies feel it is economically feasible? Probably not. They'll be spending money they don't get a return on. Currently there is no compelling reason for oil and gas companies to do this, whether they are private or state-owned.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I really feared that the voter suppression would go to nuclear levels. There were fears of maybe a million voters getting to cast provisional ballots, in the best of cases. While the outcome of the case Bush v. Gore was technically one that changed the outcome (as best as studies have shown), the impact of a full onslaught this year would have been ugly--and may still be.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Fine palate, CP, ma'am.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

...and that was a vastly misunderstood conversation the other day.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, apparently Freud became fascinated with these two animals;

hedgehogs and
porcupines

He used an idea from Schopenhauer: the urge for intimacy is always impeded by our interpersonal prickles. Get too close you will prick and be pricked. Ya know, the freedom and autonomy vs intimacy and bonding.

Europeans have hedgehogs; but in some translation the word shifted to porcupines, a North American species.

In the Freud museum is a copy of a carved porcupine statue sent Freud by an American colleague.

This relates, in part, to our topic here.

But oil, on to oil. Demand has fallen. But the story is more complex. My head hurts about it all.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

OK, I confess: I have NO idea what we're talking about.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

PORCUPINE PICTURE, of the Freud one:
http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/26/prochnik.php

Doncha love the internet.

Will try very hard to say something about oil

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Albatross??

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

porc d'épine

Posted by: omni | October 17, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

My girlfriend had hedgehogs living in her dresser drawers.

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, I liked your list of the other things you know. Truly nobody was implying that the Boodle-guys (mostly) don't treat women with just the sort of respect our listed items evoke.

And I understood the start of the previous conversation to be entirely humourous and appropriate, it just veered into serious territory later on.

EYE didn't know about hedgehogs and porcupines, I think its a good tool to think about these things.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, can you tell more? And what about hedgehog scat? Was she British? We you in England? Have you held a hedgehog? How prickly?

More, dear Jumper, more.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Dolphin, I gave up trying to explain the theft of '04 to certain subsets of people long ago. It wastes my time and annoys the pig. (You can lead a horse to water, but shouldn't change horses in the middle of a metaphor.) Etc.

They accuse me of tinfoil-hat-ism. Oddly, I follow the scientific method and for the most part the scoffers don't.

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Albatross
silk and dross
caber toss
gath-ring moss
total loss

SoC or Wilbrod or Mudge or AnyHaikuist can make a pome of some of that.

Thanks, Scotty. Albatross is a grand word.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Dolphin Michael and Jumper, I too am relieved by Supremes's decision. The underlying lawsuit is still in place - that is, the Ohio GOP is still suing the secretary of state trying to get her to give counties the mismatch voter information (such as it is). However, they can't force her to turn it over and make counties act on it before Election Day. I shudder to think at the difficulties that would have caused.

I think it is very interesting that the Supremes decided this based on standing, which is the ability to bring a lawsuit. You have standing to sue if you are an injured party or, if you're suing under a statute, the statute gives you the right to sue to enforce it. It isn't at all clear that HAVA allows private litigants like the Ohio GOP to sue to enforce that provision. The lower federal courts apparently recognized this but punted, reasoning that since the GOP only wanted "information" at this stage they'd assume standing. However, to get an injunction requiring or prohibiting someone from doing something, you have to show a decent chance of success in the underlying suit. The Supremes said no injunction because the Ohio GOP had not shown a good chance of success on that issue, meaning they probably don't have any right to bring the suit at all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

She.
Was.
An American girl!

Yes, I held the hedgehogs. Neither they nor she was really all that prickly. She had a full-fledged menagerie going. About 6 dogs, 2 or 3 cats, houseful of parrots & cockatiels. A duck in the BIG birdhouse outside (8'x 10') with another parrot or two. Goats, a pig, an iguana and a boa or two. Occasional rescued rehab birds of all sorts. I'm sure I leave some out.

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Well toss my caber, we've lost a giant...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/17/AR2008101701589.html?hpid=artslot

*SIGHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jumper. The boodle ways and means continue to astound. I may not touch a hedgehog this time around but Jumper has. So, boodle-checked on the bucket list.

Thanks.

You finessed my scat query but that is fine. :)

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Never saw or noticed scat. Not my drawers; not my problem!

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Who knew that Joe, our plumber
could become an albatross,
just by going to a rally
and having questions out to toss
Well I suppose because the truth comes out
the "plumber" is his boss
and his name’s not Joe but Sam
and his income claim is dross.
Not to mix our metaphors
but McCain must bear this cross
and find a way to lose this bird
before a total loss.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 17, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

And I was thinking of Ella.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your comments, guys. Looks like I opened up a tidal wave on health care. I don't pretend to know all, or even most of the answers to this Gordian knot of a problem. I know I don't mind the $70 or so a month that comes out of my paycheck, or even the $20 or $30 co-pays. What irks me is the need to chase down a referral every time I have to see someone other than my PCP, and not having truly my choice as to which doctor(s) I want treating me and what hospitals I can go to.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 17, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

DM, I am in need of ruminant or rodent or chicken scat for soil renovations. Am toying with the idea of chickens but I am so busy that this will wait until I stop driving children (even worthy ones) around.

And, I live in the close-in burbs, where chickens violate about ten codes. Still, I want them.

Ella scatting, such an elevated concept, over hedgehog droppings.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

SoC, boodler-laureate of the afternoon.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

At least there is Little Feat.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

College Parkian, my mind is now full of hedgehogs, and that means "the Hedgehog song" from Terry Pratchett. Google it if you dare.

The refrain is "the hedgehog can never be buggered at all."

Some partial lyrics are: "... a giraffee if you stand on a stool; .... a snail if you slow down to a crawl..."

And thank you for pointing out the Freudian model of the hedgehog, which I assume inspired Nanny Ogg's tune.

Although I do not recall that Freud tackled the bestality complex in particular...

In short, no hedgehog haikus from me until I scrub my mind clear of that song. I'm sure porcupines are very fine at tossing cabers and dancing on moss in dresses full of floss, but just... no.


Posted by: Wilbrod | October 17, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I spilled "artificial maple flavoring" on my hand. I should just wear it as cologne. It's great.

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Only if you want to be attacked by pancakes and waffles, Jumper.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Hugo Boss presents his new scent, IHOP.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon boodle. I can't add much to the health care discussion because, much like McCain, I've had my snout in the federal trough all my life. The top two reasons I love military medicine, however, are Ma Frostbitten and Frostdaddy. Not worrying about health care for aging parents makes me feel very fortunate indeed.

Would have been here sooner but I've been busy chasing the speculation that Colin Powell will endorse Obama on Sunday. Chris Cillizza even thinks it could matter:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2008/10/why_the_powell_endorsement_cou.html?nav=rss_blog

Voted today, the weather is gorgeous for this time of year, and Yoki's happy day is rubbing off. Fridays don't get any better.

Go Rays!!

Posted by: frostbitten | October 17, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Gettin' kinda grey and gloomy here. But it IS still Friday!

Go Sawx!

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Running for the bus. There's a chance-- narrow, but still a chance -- I may get my computer back tonight or tomorrow morning. O frabjous joy!

Toodles, Boodle, have a good weekend.

(Jumper, be careful of those syruptitous enhancements.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

May I just say, "Fight fiercely, Red Sox!"

My email problems are over. I had an appointment this afternoon with an Apple genius, but when I turned on the computer today, I had email. I have no idea how that happened.

I've had such fun with my new computer, and I'm sure with a little tutoring, I'd get seriously addicted. It's like crack!

I have to surrender it for 24 - 48 hours for them to transfer my old stuff onto the new machine. I may have to be put into a medically-imposed coma to live through the experience!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 17, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

You'll be mobbed by crazy French Canadian if you go out tonight Jumper . Artificial Maple Flavoring is to us what Old Spice is to crabby old Red Soxs fans.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 17, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, that is a happy new-computer story. You don't hear too many of them. Congratulations. MacBook, right?

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the regulars over at fivethirtyeight.com will do when the election is over.

This is my favorite comment of the day, in re: endorsements.

"I heard that Ross Perot was going to support Obama until the debates.

However, Perot is virulently anti-planetarium, and is now considering throwing his support behind McCain, who shares his disdain for overhead projectors."

S'nuke-I hope your weather improves for the weekend. Go Rays!!!!

Posted by: frostbitten | October 17, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

albatross means luck
for all good seafaring folk
shoot bird bad omen

mind gathering moss
not strict haiku no seasons
still not total loss

Posted by: omni | October 17, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

SD: funny. Good reply yesterday too, though I think DVD players are the least we can do for the safety culture generation securely locked up in their car seats and missing out on being able to stretch out in the back seat.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 17, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I think you're right SoC, I would have broken down 10 years ago. But now that the kids are almost 21, almost 19 and 14 yo I would never put a DVD player in the car. "Ilsa, She wolf of the SS" has no place on the road...

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 17, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

if I had read SoC's effort, I would have passed...Bravo

Could this be a good omen for the Sawx.

Maybe Maggie, Scotty, Mudge and myself can get together for a World series game at some sports bar. Of course Maggie and Scotty at one end, Mudge and I at another. (Did I get my grammar right?)

Oh right...gotta wait another couple a games...so sorry

Oops, movie starts, a really bad one too.haha

Posted by: omni | October 17, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Getting mobbed by pancakes doesn't sound too terrible. Or even by a lady with a hedgehog in her drawers. Mr. hedgehog (I'm stopping now.)

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, thanks for recognizing that "embedded object." I was giggling when I wrote that, thinking of my many Tales of Stupid Shop Accidents and Other Misadventures: When Trying to do Good Goes Terruibly Bad. I'd elaborate, but I don't think I need to say anything that would further lower everyone's opinion of me.

I'd be up for getting together for a World Series game or two, omni. I can sit 'twixt and 'tween you and Mudge and Scottynuke and Maggie, perhaps as Moderator.

Sad to hear about Levi Stubbs, too.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 17, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, had to share that last post elsewhere. You have received attribution.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Thou shall not put lipstick on pigs nor hedgehogs nor porkypines.
Pricklypears? Go nuts

Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Go Sawx, Go Rays, Go Baseball! The True American Sport. Football. Feh. or Faugh.

SonofCarl, I absolutely refuse to get a DVD for car trips. Of course the Boy can use his PSP in the car, so it isn't as if he's deprived of a tiny screen. Here's a scary thing: he got permission to download "Night Before Christmas" on the iPod (ensuring he'll never take it to school). Here the Ivansclan wants one of those giant TVs (much bigger than they'll ever have) yet he's willing to watch a movie on a postage stamp.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I meant "Nightmare Before Christmas" of course. Very different.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF2imOQhkeM

Do not try this at home.

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Good heavens - very hard to keep up with you guys. Yoki, I could use the mood enhancement - I have those days, but not lately. Work is too stressful and depressing, on many levels. But they still pay me, so that's good!

I'm one of those people who has to be in severe pain before I go to the doctor - although I hope I've learned by now not to put it off too long. The reason women go to the doctor on a more regular basis is probably because of the yearly gyno exam - which you have to do in order to get birth control pills (or at least I did). Which insurance does not cover (the cost of the pills, not the exam). Pregnancy is even more doctor visits. Now I have regular 3-month appointments because of diabetes. I go because otherwise I can't get my prescriptions refilled. And I do all the preventive tests too, but would gladly skip those. Going once a year would be fine by me.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 17, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Ross "aliens at the wedding" Perot is falling in love with McCain? Well, that will balance off Dennis Hopper, I guess.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 17, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Mostlylurking, here have some of mine. It's a bit worn after the day, but just polish it up and it should do you fine.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

John's Hail Mary toss
silk purse from painted sow, dross
gath-ring total loss

Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I could fax you some green beans Yoki,if you think they could get through Canadian customs....

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 17, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I think everyone is entitled to there opinion. My combined family income is 60,000 a year but I don't think that I should have to pay anymore taxes then the next persona and to think that people work hard, become successful and they should have to pay more then the average person seems very undemorcatic to me. Then we go after this Joe the plumber with every nast thing that can be said. Is that fair just because he does not think the same way as you want them too. What a country this is becoming, now free speech is being sensored in the form of being able to check everything out on a person just to get people to not believe what he said. What a shame. Listen I believe in letting all the pieces fall where they are supposed to go and in the end you make whatever choice you believe in. That is the way the system works. I don't read many newspapers and I don't watch too many news stations just FOX news as they seem to provide the answers. and they seem to be fairer then any of the other stations.

Posted by: Linda | October 17, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I saw this on Sullivan's "The Daily Dish." It is very funny, and surprisingly sweet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1dudz3SKjQ

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Loomis is getting weirder and weirder.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 17, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Ol' McCain had a campaign, ee-yikes, ee-yikes oh
And on that 'pain he had creatures strange, ee-yikes, ee-yikes oh
With a nast FOX here, an ign'rant hen there
Here liars, there no-brains
Everyone playing shady games
Ol' McCain had a campaign, ee-yikes, ee-yikes, oh

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 17, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

SD, I don't think that's Loomis. She can spell.

LOL, DNA Girl.

Posted by: slyness | October 17, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

RD-thanks for that link. It was both funny and sweet-a rarity to be sure.

sd-your 8:22, priceless.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 17, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

That would be great, greenwithenvy.

No fresh foods allowed the cross the border, but if teleporter-faxed, how are the men and in uniforms to know?

Do you think it's safe? Maybe you should press send and then pretend you don't know me. Because, if truth be told, under this mild-mannered exterior is a Canadian who mad, bad and dangerous to know.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

In honour of Yoki's wonderful day, I saw this series of articles and video, on the 2nd Annual Me to We day in Toronto - its aim to get children involved in making change.

Gave me some of that feeling Yoki had today.

http://www.thestar.com/specialsections/article/518013

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Awww. dmd, you are top-notch. Absolutely top-notch.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

RD, sent that link to all my favorite white women.

Posted by: slyness | October 17, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey AnyHaikuist?, not to go all NerdyNitpicker on you or anything, but one can too make a silk purse out of a sow's ear:

http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/exhibits/purse/index1.html

Enjoy :-)

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 17, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

FYI, Tina Fey on Letterman tonight:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/17/tina-fey-on-palin-impress_n_135637.html

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 17, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh, that was just bad, too many mistakes to fix all of the them, but as a start: to cross the border, men and women in uniform.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

And for zombie fans:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2008/oct/18/horror-channel4

I'm done boodlehogging.
G'night all.

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 17, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Me too. I got three hours' sleep last night, and it was not enough. I'm out.

Talk to you tomorrow, Boodle. Hope 'Mudge gets back online too.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

No fresh foods across the border, Yoki?

Not even as part of commerical trade? Yankee beans aren't that bad.

/mutters... it's revenge for the mad cow embargo. I know it is... mutter ends/

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 17, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I know, I know...just call me a zombie.

I returned to find out if gwe goes worm grunting before he goes fishing:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/18/science/21wormgrunting.html

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 17, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of plumbing the depths of political bias...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081018/ap_on_el_pr/biden

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 17, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Hypothetically speaking, if a middle-aged man goes shopping at the MEC with his youngest daughter for a winter coat and the daughter in question gets snow pants and a polar fleece sweater in addition to the coat (at an additional cost of about 0.65 coat) , doest that make me an easy mark?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 17, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I was headed over to Youtube to check out the latest debate split screen mash up of all McCain's interesting facial tics when what appears on the TV screen but a brand new Obama commercial. It starts with McCain full screen saying he's not President Bush, then splits into some of his more troubling expressions on one side of the screen while a deadpan narration makes a few points about his voting record which is flashed on the other half (not unlike Colbert's "the word"). Frankly, I couldn't even focus on what was being said because McCain looked so darn strange.

Should this be considered a negative ad?

Posted by: frostbitten | October 17, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

sd, that makes you a sweet dad.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 17, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Why yes, sd, yes it does.

Posted by: dr | October 17, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

hi, dr!

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 17, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Frosty, there was an ad the Obama camp got out really quick to counter the "I'm not W moment" of the debate. It might be it.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2008/10/obama_practices_political_juji.html

Thanks all. I knew I was a sucker, but then Mrs. D and Witch no. 1 really liked the polar fleece.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 17, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin trying to save Indiana (aka first to go GOP):

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081017/LOCAL0104/810170466

Hussein acorns do not seem to be working.

Hope you are all doing well.

Posted by: bill everything | October 17, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

SD, maybe a little of a softy, but hey, a good Canadian dad doesn't let daughters wander around half-frozen.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 17, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking, _I_ have a polar fleece.

It's useful, valuable, and keeps my toes warm on those three-dog nights when I'm two dogs short of being warm. I understand you have 2 dogs, but may get three, four, five-dog nights.

Your daughter's need is undeniable. Pay my air fare and I'll see about helping VLP etc. warm her up those nights.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 17, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

That's the one sd, thanks! You are a softy, but no matter. A girl can't have too much polar fleece.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 17, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

After being ignored by the Boodle lunchers (I suspect for offering a cat as a bbq offering), in my great distress I wrote a story.

For anyone interested in this WWII drama:

http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=143294

Posted by: Brag | October 17, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

This reminds me of the Daily Show in which Jon covered the final debate. He had clips showing McCain saying he'd do a spending freeze, an across-the-board hatchet job, and then go at it with a scalpel.

He said something like:

"He's like a neurosurgeon from the 1600's...
Whack the top of the skull off with a hatchet, and then go inside with a scalpel."

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 17, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Howdy bill everything, good to hear from you.

Where IS Don from I-270?

That makes you a pushover, shrieking denizen, which also makes you a sweet good dad.

The Ivansclan watched the most recent Indiana Jones movie tonight. I liked it very much. Of course, I was just delighted to finally see Karen Allen back. That's what was wrong with the last two movies. Okay, it's a start at what was wrong with them.

Brag I look forward to reading the story. I am finally almost through with Kingmaker, hope to finish it momentarily.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I get it, Brag!!

Balz is actually Mr. Baltimore, a British spy pretending to be a Russian double-agent for the Germans? Hence, his need to write in French and making fun of the Germans while pretending to be German himself. Deep. How does a spy keep it all straight?

Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 17, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

See, what tipped me off that Balz was a BRITISH spy was the fact that Fritz was writing the story... in ENGLISH.... and carrying on the guise that Balz was a german officer trying to fool a french spy. Only the French spy was Fritz, who of course was born in Alasace....

Oh!! The wasserbomb is a important clue.

Bernard is going to be killed and an very important French colloborator with secrets to share will be framed for it and shot dead before he can say anything to the Germans. He'll be les chates du barbecues, as they say in France.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 17, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Brag... I thought I saw you at lunch today! I was sure that was you with the cute kitten. I knew you were kidding about the grilling.

Loved that video, RD. Thanks for linking!

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog.
I see you have great understanding of the espionage XXXX business.

I may need to dig out some of the older Kptlt. Balz episodes for you.

The guy to keep an eye on is Bernard.

Posted by: Brag | October 17, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't the bbq, Brag. I'm allergic to mushrooms and cats.

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Very nice story, brag, but spooning up wine is just not an efficient drinking method. Balz would have needed to spoon wine all afternoon to get in condition to start his book.

Speaking of books, I enjoyed Kingmaker. Thanks for a good adventure.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog--BTW Johan Sebastian Balz, the great Teutonic hero of the Kriegsmarine, is also the author of Meet Me in Balzimore You Hoochie-woochie.

Posted by: Brag | October 17, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom--thank you for the kind words.

Hehe, we don't know how long Balz been spooning wine.

Posted by: Brag | October 17, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Bon nuit la Boodle. It's my time for le bon sleep.

Posted by: Brag | October 17, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Late to the party, as usual. I see that health care was the dominant thread today. I use the system only when it's absolutely necessary, and then usually for my children. My wife and I go to the doctor's office for annual exams. I took great umbrage at the position that our benefits might be taxed. I don't know how much our employer's contribution amounts to, but I have attempted to take the health care deduction on our tax return. I gave up when I found out that medical expenses would have to amount to something that exceeded 1/3 of combined household income as a threshold for this particular deduction. I'm not real sure that a 5K credit would completely offset the tax we'd pay on our employer's contribution to our benefits. I'm also pretty sure that I'd opt for private insurance in lieu of our BCBS plan. Having listened to any number of NPR reports on the virtues of the American health care system compared to other models around the world, the general conclusion is that the cost/benefit ratio indicates that our system could use some tweaking. It's tough to find a good MD, one that doesn't practice flip chart protocols, as alluded to by RD earlier in today. Given that the government has taken a grand step toward nationalisation of the banking system, it may be worth looking seriously at health care reform. The nation is looking at some serious debt as the segment of our population that lacks health insurance ages. I hope that all is well with you and your family, TBG.

Posted by: jack | October 18, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Obama goes for the knitter vote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdbHhLt-Ing

I love polar fleece. So cozy, so soft and warm. Must get more.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 18, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

503

Posted by: Anonymous | October 18, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

pacific time?
area code?
cyber lock, what?

4

Posted by: omni | October 18, 2008 3:14 AM | Report abuse

2

Posted by: anonymous | October 18, 2008 3:19 AM | Report abuse

2 4 6 8
who do we appreciate
1 3 5 7 .
eleven
snake eyes


oMNI can't sleeP

Posted by: craps | October 18, 2008 3:24 AM | Report abuse

i enjoyed watching both mccain and obama's alfred smith dinner speeches. reminded why i liked mccain.

then i watched mccain on letterman last night. the banter with letterman was fine but his defense of palin reminded me why i didn't like mccain anymore.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 18, 2008 5:15 AM | Report abuse

Dreamt I got a degree in astronomy, under the aegis and scholarship of the Royal Marines, making ME a Royal Marine. As an afterthought.

Posted by: Jumper | October 18, 2008 5:48 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

It's a wee bit chilly here this morning -- 36F -- and our heat isn't on yet, so brrrrrrr... Would be a good morning to have a large furry pup or two around. Unfortunately, the only furry animal we have (besides me) is a scrawny little cat that can only warm one foot at a time (assuming you can get the little bugger to stay still for more than 30 seconds).

I finally got my Obama-Biden yard sign yesterday. Woohoo! I had signed up for one a few weeks ago, but when I went down to the campaign HQ they said they were already out of them and didn't know when more would be coming. Apparently they went faster than free money. I was a little bummed, to say the least, but just as I was about to start the car to head home one of the campaign workers came running out to me with a sign yelling "Wait! I found one!"

Oh happiness! The Obama-to-McCain yard sign ratio in my neighborhood is now 8:1. Huzzah!

Another busy day lined up here, so I better get to it. Have a great Saturday, everybody...

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | October 18, 2008 5:50 AM | Report abuse

hey, martooni, glad you scored a sign. the obama to mccain sign ratio is pretty good over here in this left coast city, too.

on the oil price issue, there is a really long article in the nyt:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/magazine/19oil-t.html

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 18, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

'Morning Boodle. Another fine, shiny day here. Lots of work to be done, and perfect weather for it.

Temperature: 4.9°C
Humidity: 64 %
Wind: N 15 km/h
Euphoria Index: 79% or high

Wilbrod, I should have said no fresh food to be carried across the border in traveler luggage. You know that greengroceries present a grave threat to homeland security!

Exceptions are occasionally made for hominy grits.

Commercial shipments of produce and other products cross the border all the time. If it weren't for US and other foreign veg, all Canadians would have to take an anti-scorbutic every winter.

Have a great day, all. 'Mudge? You online?

Posted by: Yoki | October 18, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. Cool and cloudy in the Carolinas this ayem. No complaints here - yet.

Yoki, I wouldn't call grits greengroceries but that's just me.

On tap today is the wedding of the only daughter of a good friend. She's 32 and had dated and rejected a millionaire businessman and a cardiac surgeon so her mother had just about given up. The groom is a darling Greek engineer so there will be much happiness in this corner of the world.

I'm leaving in a little while to go help decorate the reception site, then I'm preparing light snacks for the wedding party as they dress, then the wedding this evening. Gonna be a fun day!

Posted by: slyness | October 18, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

You're right, of course, Slyness.

Have a great day. Sounds fun and happy, if a bit exhausting.

Posted by: Yoki | October 18, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Oh man! The shop is *cold* this a.m. and today is paint/stain day, so can't wear gloves. I just went out there to turn on the lights and fire up the space heater and my fingers are frozen already.

Time to Irish up the java, break out the insulated coffee mug and don the longjohns.

Done, done and done. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | October 18, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Watching my DVR recording of F1 qualifying from Shanghai, China (from a live broadcast at 2 AM EST). My guy Hamilton's been fastest in every qualifying session I've seen so far, as he tends to be.

Yoki, after so little sleep yesterday, what in the world are you doing up so early, ma'am? I suggest a momosa or Bloody Mary and a recline.

Brag, not sure I can make it down for the signing today, but I'm going to read your bit (and try to not read Wilbrod's commentary beforehand) shortly.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 18, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

For Brag, who is wise, subtle, and knows more than one way to skin and bbq a cat:
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2965

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 18, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Gut mornincks Boodle!

Yesterday sent an Email to the WaPo Ombudsman, who is actually a lady.

It was a complaint about the inhabitants of the Book World bunker who would not post today's event on the Literary Calendar. Grrrrr.

At least Ombudsman answers emails.

The event is a chat about espionage and my misadventures in that field. I will also sign copies of Kingmaker.

2:00 PM at Borders Books in Downtown Silver Spring. A massive presence of Boodlers and Lurkers would be welcome. :o)

Posted by: Brag | October 18, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

That is a fine prescription, bc, sir.

Sadly, I am non-compliant; a group of my lawyers in the East are depending on me to kick out a major project by noon today. And I shall.

Posted by: Yoki | October 18, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Delightfully brisk morning here, much to do (as always).

But not much to say, oddly. Perhaps it's all pent-up energy waiting for Game 6. Yeah, that's the ticket! :-)

*off-to-jogging-and-all-the-other-stuff Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 18, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Slyness... enjoy the happy day! If your friend is having a punch-and-cookies reception, those Greeks are going to be mighty disappointed!

Just yell 'opa! a few times. (Martooni knows what I'm talking about.)

Dr G and I are planning to attend a local Obama rally for military families and veterans today. I feel like it's an important constituency to support. We're hoping to get a "Veterans for Obama" yard sign so that Dr G can declare his support. I want the neighbors to know we're not just flaming liberals, but that he's a flaming liberal veteran.

Posted by: TBG | October 18, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: slyness | October 18, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Shrieking, which one? I hope not the "Linda" comment? Loomis, why are you hiding? Just curious.

It is chilly and cloudy here. A big change in the weather, but oh, so, nice.

Mudge, Scotty, where are you? Slyness, your day does sound busy. Martooni, glad you got the sign.

Yoki, dear, did you spend the night here? It is odd to see your name so early in the morning. You had a very good day yesterday, perhaps it will spill over in today.

I think there's some stinking stuff swirling around here about voting, but I have to investigate further. I believe it is a tactic to scare people off.

Have a great day, folks, and a beautiful weekend. I'm aiming for both.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 18, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

hello

is new boodle died

Posted by: omni | October 19, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

It got better

Posted by: Boko | October 19, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Beating feet to Bora Bora now.

Posted by: WIlbrod | October 19, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

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