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How I'll Get Rich Quick

This weekend, I went to a fund-raiser for the C&O Canal Trust at a mansion with a grand view of the Potomac River. I made a mental note to get a mansion, and a view of a river, or at the very least a respectable house with a view of a creek. In fact, I'd probably settle for a cabin with a view of power lines. In any case, I met this guy who said he invents algorithms used by an Internet company. That strikes me as the kind of work I should get into when this news thing goes bust. I need to figure out how to patent an algorithm, or an equation, or even just a number. I'd like to own that number, and all the subsidiary profits pertaining thereof.

Ideally it would be a whole number. And an even number, if that doesn't sound too greedy. The number 4 would be a good one. I could be known as the Guy Who Owns Four.

I would immediately have my lawyers call up Taco Bell and read them the riot act over their Fourthmeal concept. That's such an obvious infringement on my number.

But I'm not sure I'm cut out to be rich. You have learn things like fox hunting, which seems cruel, involves way too much fussy clothing and is literally pointless (how do you know which team won?). Also I have the basic problem of already owning an estate in disarray, including corners of my garage where even the spiders fear to tred. There are places in that garage where the flesh-eating bacteria have actually become prey. Other microbes eat them. Trust me you want to stay clear of the flesh-eating-bacteria-eating bacteria.

--

There's a lot of talk on the campaign trail about who is rich. Note this column that ran this weekend and got a lot of play on Memeorandum. The author calls Barack Obama a "charismatic demagogue." He goes on:

"Rather than pursue the American Dream, [Obama] insists that the American Dream has arbitrary limits, limits Obama would set for the rest of us -- today it's $250,000 for businesses and even less for individuals. If the individual dares to succeed beyond the limits set by Obama, he is punished for he's now officially 'rich.'"

To my sensitive ear, this has a note of hysteria. For one thing, the author's desire to label Obama a "demagogue" runs counter to what most Americans have seen for the past two years. His core strategy has been to avoid demagoguery, as I understand the term. Wikipedia tells us that one strategy of the demagogue is "demonization," to wit:

"....identifying others as a mortal threat. Often this involves scapegoating -- blaming others for one's own problems. This is often advanced by using vague terms to identify the opposition group and then stereotyping that group. This allows the demagogue to exaggerate this group's influence and ascribe any trait to them by identifying that trait in any individual in the group. This method can be aided by constructing a false dilemma that portrays opposition groups as having a value system that is the polar opposite of one's own, as opposed to simply having different priorities."

Why does Bill Ayers come to mind there.

In assessing Obama, David Brooks seems closer to the mark (echoing an A-blog item) in saying that Obama is a little bit dull.

But back to the substance of who's rich and who's not, and what a fair and righteous tax policy ought to be. During the primary fight, Obama and Clinton got into an interesting debate on what the cut-off is between middle class and upper class. Read my story. Clinton declared repeatedly that, in this country, we don't think the accumulation of large amounts of wealth is a good thing. But Kevin Hassett (a McCain adviser) says that shows Democrats don't respect private property. Now the McCain camp is pushing hard on the idea that Obama wants to redistribute wealth. The problem for McCain is explaining why a switch from 36 percent to 39 percent at the margin for the highest tax bracket (and upping capital gains back to 25 percent) represents socialism, particularly given McCain's own past comments that the Bush tax cuts gave too much of a break to the very wealthy.

--

At Memeorandum there's lots more on RedistributionGate (the latest flare-up being an Obama interview from 2001) from the National Review, Andrew Sullivan and Politico. Cass Sunstein, an Obama adviser, makes they key point in defending Obama against the latest attacks: "What he's saying - this is the irony of it - he's basically taking the side of the conservatives then and now against the liberals."

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 27, 2008; 7:12 AM ET
 
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Comments

Wonderful kit, Joel.

Posted by: Yoki | October 27, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The key is class envy. We all want to be rich which is why we are so sympathetic to their plight. And for quite a while I think taxes on capital gains are going to be a moot point.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Great article, Joel. Alas, I must (reluctantly, since I've now met you) inform you that mathematical algorithms have been found (by the Supremes no less) to be non-patentable subject matter. *sigh*

Fantasies otherwise oughtta work, tho.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 27, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I know it won't evoke any sympathy, but I am in a bracket where I get nicked by the AMT, can't deduct my wife's student loans, get no credit for tuition paid, didn't get a tax incentive check this summer, and probably wouldn't get a tax cut from either McCain or Obama. But it beats the alternative.

And I sympathize deeply with people that make due and do more on a lot less. Meanwhile, the 'rich' (which has always been defined as someone making 50% more than you) are whining that the dollars they don't pay FICA on are only taxed at 60% of the rate that my wages are. Cry me a river.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute, wait just one minute (or so): *I* have (what I consider to be) a respectable house with a view of a creek. Well, a stream. Where does this leave me, socioeconomically? Will I need to start paying some sort of luxury tax? Can I brag about it, and thereby gain social status? This is all so new to me, I'm totally flustered. Whew, get me some smelling salts. I think I feel a touch of the vapors coming on.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 27, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

SciTim,

From what I understand, you own 22% as many houses as John McCain which makes you landed gentry. Particularly if you can walk to Lake Elkhorn from your house.

Fox hunt at the SciFamily house this weekend.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

And a garden party afterwards.

Posted by: Yoki | October 27, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

More insane stuff from Mark Levin's post at the National Review:

"There is a cult-like atmosphere around Barack Obama, which his campaign has carefully and successfully fabricated, which concerns me. The messiah complex. Fainting audience members at rallies. Special Obama flags and an Obama presidential seal. A graphic with the portrayal of the globe and Obama's name on it, which adorns everything from Obama's plane to his street literature. Young school children singing songs praising Obama. Teenagers wearing camouflage outfits and marching in military order chanting Obama's name and the professions he is going to open to them. An Obama world tour, culminating in a speech in Berlin where Obama proclaims we are all citizens of the world. I dare say, this is ominous stuff.

"Even the media are drawn to the allure that is Obama..."

Messiah complex? You mean, like, a President who declares that God has singled him out to be President, like W said of himself?

Special Obama flags? Should he be flying the special McCain-Palin flags instead? In situations like this, by the way, they are referred to as "banners" rather than "flags", because they advocate a message rather than group identity.

A portrayal of the globe? Um, that's the letter 'O'. His initial, y'know.

Camouflage outfits and marching in military order? WTF? First I've ever heard of any such thing.

An Obama world tour? You mean, the tour that John McCain had been complaining he hadn't made as a senator, so that he could see the world, and vice-versa? The one in which it turned out that Obama had a flair for communication with foreign leaders, and threatens to make the rest of the world admire the U.S. again? Yeah, that would really suck.

Even the media are drawn? I thought that was the central conservative rant, in all their many, many publications and radio programs and TV appearances and newspaper columns and 10% of Fox News -- that "the media" (themselves included, I guess) are the entire force behind Barack Obama, who really should be reviled by every "real" American.

What a maroon.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 27, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Uh, 10% of Fox News? What happened to my second zero? That was supposed to be 100%.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 27, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

SciTim, I think the second zero fell victim to higher taxes.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 27, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Since SciTim made it officially on-Boodle, I've been having some photoshop fun with both candidates official logos.

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2008/10/fun-with-logos.html

It's guaranteed to annoy 100% of my readers. Ironically, my work browser is blocking the images as "pornography" which I assure you they are not.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Here's an antidote to the notion of hysteria in the Obama campaign:

http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/26/the-power-of-passive-campaigning/?scp=4&sq=stanley%20fish&st=cse

I used to have a different handle.

Posted by: Jim19 | October 27, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"I could be known as the Guy Who Owns Four."

Um, Joel:

BOBBY ORR.

You'll have to take another number. Why not 2,877? That's a good number.

Posted by: byoolin1 | October 27, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Most people don’t consider themselves rich because most people don’t feel rich. For wealth, I have begun to appreciate, is partly a state of mind.

The richest I have ever felt was in 1974 when, as a reward for diligently working the entire season, a local raspberry farmer presented me with a generous bonus of 20 dollars cash.

This bonus, which consisted of sequential dollar bills, when coupled with my regular earnings created an impressive wad of US currency whose total value came tantalizingly close to Triple Digits. Being savvy in the ways of money, I sensibly bound the cash tightly with a rubber band and hid it inside of a non-functioning light bulb.

Now, although my net worth has increased somewhat in the years since, I have yet to recapture that primal sense of financial abundance. This is especially true today. While part of this is doubtless due to the economic snuff film that is the Dow Jones Industrial Average, part of it is also simply because so much of my income gets spent as soon as it comes in. And not on fun things either, but on boring things like mortgage, medical insurance, food, clothing, and education.

Further, between direct deposit, automatic bill payment, and credit cards I don’t even get to fondle, however briefly, the actual cash

Now, ideally, our ability to have these things should make us feel rich, but they really don’t. You never notice when you are not hungry. Being fully insured seldom creates that smug glow of affluence. Instead, what one gets is a tremendous sense of anxiety about what would happen if the spigot gets shut off.

Which is why, now and then, I like to go to the bank and request just a few dollars in fresh un-circulated bills.

And then hide them in a light bulb.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 27, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

byoolin, I had the exact same thought, of course I live with a major Bobby Orr fan.

Posted by: dmd2 | October 27, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

RD, you are quite wonderful.

Posted by: Yoki | October 27, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

New variety of tomatoes to try for the boodle,

Purple tomatoes - genetically engineering (with the aid of Snapdragons),

bonus fights cancer.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081027.wtomatocanc1027/BNStory/Science/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20081027.wtomatocanc1027

Posted by: dmd2 | October 27, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Yoki!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 27, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Here in Baltimore, Cal Ripkin has exclusive rights to '8'. Joel may have to settle for a prime number large enough to be used in cryptographic applications.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Purple tomatoes dmd ,they would be great for gameday!!!!

Morning all,i guess the front went through cause it is chilly and windy here this am.

I see philly broke out of their hitting slump, they were like 2-40 with "risp" then bam they hit 4 or 5 homeruns!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 27, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Maybe a nice irrational number between e and π. I hear there's an infinite supply of them.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Threven, the number that only appears on rich people's telephones, is already taken. (by Colbert)

I think threventeen is still up for grabs.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 27, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

But Jumper, you can only use threven to call that European country so exclusive that only Jack Donaghy knows about it.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

On this side of the Outaouais 4 has only one owner; Jean Béliveau.

I hate to do that, it may only be the anvils I've been taking every few hours, but shouldn't the tred in the middle of the fourth graf be a tread?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 27, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Tred is the number you get when you divide eleventy-one by threventeen

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

SCC That is embarrassing, "thread"
I meant it too. Got to go to bed.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 27, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

bad sneakers, thanks for sharing the wedding story, and congratulations on the even hem! Too bad you had to wear pantyhose. I don't think anyone wore pantyhose at my wedding (I know I didn't), but I suppose there's a difference between July in Texas and October in New England.

Posted by: -bia- | October 27, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Striking headache Shriek - went to see if Advil in French is anvil but realized even with my glasses on I cannot read the small print

Posted by: dmd2 | October 27, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

And thanks for the gunpowder idea again, Mudge. The theme of my new blogpost was changed to basically, "Jumper was wrong."
http://jumpersbloghouse.blogspot.com/2008/10/john-barleycorn-must-make-corned-beef.html

Although I'm still never going to say I put corn on my fried eggs.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 27, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

My halo is on straight and shining: I have voted!

The polling place opened at 11, so I was there shortly after 10 and was done by 11:15.

I'm glad I went early; the line was looong by the time I got in and the parking lot was scary.

The only campaign workers I saw were trying to recruit others to work for Obama. I might have been tempted, if I didn't have to get stuff together for this darned conference.

I took my new copy of The Big Sort and read the first chapter while I waited. This is an interesting book.

Posted by: slyness | October 27, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Gotta blab about a truly scurrilous campaign flyer I got in the mail on Saturday.

Tim Kleinschmidt, a representative in the TX house, sent out a giant color denunciation of his opponent, Donnie Dippel.

"Donnie Dipple's plan for improving your personal finances. Step 1: declare bankruptcy!" The flyer has an image of Dippel's 1989 (yes, 1989) filing. Although Kleinschmidt blacked out the Social Security numbers of Dippel and his wife, you can still see 'em. Nice move, eh?

A pal called the Dippel campaign to alert them, and actually got Mrs. D on her cell phone. "Mrs. Dippel, is your SSN XXX-XX-XXXX?" Mrs. D was, understandably, aghast. Dippel himself came to my pal's house to pick up the flyer. When he started to explain, my pal said, "Save your breath. I've already voted for you!"

Hoping the Austin-American Statesman picks this up. What a scumbag.

Posted by: 1KatPage | October 27, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

yello, I looked at your site. You are so far out there. If you ever catch a glimpse of me when I'm lost (I get lost in thought a lot, and you'd be surprised where I find myself...something tells me your neck of the woods can't be that far off), can ya point me back in the general direction of the rational? Thanks.

Cassandra, no offense taken at all. I've just been out here, trying to keep putting one foot in front of the other, making progress. DC's doing great, adjusting quickly. I'll drop an email next time I come up for air.

TBG, best of luck on the job. Hope sis is up and about, finding laughter at every turn.

Mudge, bc...I gotta brag. I've taken 11 this week. How'd you do? I've got the Colts tonight though...

CP, hope things have quieted down, no more nuisance. Please remain vigilant for a while.

On kit...Rich is such a relative word. There's no war making its way through my town, I get to vote again, I don't have to wear a burka, I have a roof over my head, I know there's going to be dinner tonight. I'm rich. I get a new pair of kick-a$$ shoes every now and again, I'm on top of the world.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 27, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I read that a little earlier. The Guardian is engaging in a bit of American baiting quite often. This reporter was researching for a bit on ethanol but got lectured on the evilness of Obama by the manager of the plant. He made a side story about it.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/uselectionroadtrip/2008/oct/27/barack-obama-muslim-antichrist

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 27, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

GoogleNews doesn't pick up anything on that, although this story did come up.

http://capitolannex.com/2008/09/11/tx-hd-17-kleinschmidt-broke-state-law-hired-family-with-campaign-dollars/

Gotta think Dippel is in a tough place on how to play this. Protesting the flier would only publicize the attack further. If intentional, it's a Rove-worthy dirty trick.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

KPage, I cheated and Googled those two, but it wasn't difficult to guess each candidate's party affiliation. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 27, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I like the way you think, LiT.

I'll add: No matter how bad things get, I never have to go shopping with my mother again! :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | October 27, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

joel, i think you need to add a "to" to first line of para 4.

Posted by: LALurker | October 27, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

BadSneakers, Loved that wedding postage. I would really like to see those upside down pictures. Something tells me they may be some of the best.

________

You all know I live in DC, or if not you do now.

I have voted in every election I've been allowed* to, even though the outcome of the top ticket in DC is a given I still wait in line to do my civic duty.

This year will be the most exciting ballot for me since my first (1980).

*Unaffiliated DCers can't vote in primaries


Posted by: omnigood | October 27, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm baaaack. I always wanted to learn to foxhunt - not that I cared about getting the poor fox, but what a great excuse to gallop over the countryside, on a beautiful fall day...not that I would probably ever have had the nerve or skill to do so without breaking my neck, or make an idiot out of myself. I loved that Jackie Kennedy went fox hunting as first lady - can you imagine if that happened these days? Talk about class warfare.

Sounds to me like the Republicans are projecting again. Hope Obama wins big - I can hardly believe the crowds he's drawing. Has everyone in Colorado gotten to see him in person?

I feel rich when I can pay my bills, and buy yarn when I want to, and fly across the country on occasion. While I wouldn't mind if I won millions in a lottery, amassing millions is not something I view as a goal. There are lots more important things - like growing purple tomatoes.

I don't think I have enough time to backBoodle. Could someone summarize the last several days? What did I miss? Thank you.

Posted by: seasea | October 27, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey, here's a get-rich idea: Transparent backpacks and bags!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/27/AR2008102700767.html

*SIGH*

Sneaks, wonderful news on the wedding, in case my earlier confusion didn't get the point across. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 27, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

i just back-boodle-skimmed.

badsneaks, glad to hear the big wedding day went so well.

jack, six puppies! i'd love to see a picture in a couple weeks.

Posted by: LALurker | October 27, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I want to add that 2004 was pretty great cause of the largest turnout I've ever seen in my neighborhood. Everybody smiling in a good mood. Very friendly one and all.

What a crappy hangover we all had the next day.

Posted by: omnigood | October 27, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I've always said that if someone would invent a self-cleaning bathroom, the world would beat a path to their door. That's my "get rich quick" thought for the day.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 27, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Note to LALurker: I believe that the word "to" is patented by the American Preposition Corporation (APC) and a licensing fee is required for each use. The omission is not always accidental, but is sometimes an economy of words that is now more frequently required by the print media as a cost-savings measure, not unlike the number of newspapers unhappy with the sister organization of APC, the AP. Please note that this posting used the word only once as a matter of reference and is not indebted to APC or affiliated with the AP.

Posted by: -tao- | October 27, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Getting rich?

Ha! I have skillfully avoided the amassing of money, the accumulation of wealth and rich parents.

I could write the How to Stay Poor for Dummies book, but that would make me rich.

My other book is a great success, it is not making me rich.

Another great success i've had was inaugurating a new compnay. The date? Black Friday 1987.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | October 27, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Note that "to" as a quotation or part of a quotation is in the public domain and not subject licensing fees by APC, nor when used in reference to APC.

Posted by: -tao- | October 27, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Vintage Lady -- In France they have self cleaning public bathrooms.

Posted by: Braguine | October 27, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

And we're getting some of those self-cleaning public toilets in Calgary! Everything's up to date in...

Posted by: Yoki | October 27, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

seasea, welsome back!

Here's the news: The Miami Book Fair is all scheduled and arranged. This is a big year, the 25th anniversary of the event.

All you northerners who are looking at a cold, damp, dreary November, consider this: our first cold front rolled in last night and the temperature plunged to 67 degrees. [Our cat went into hibernation mode and my husband wasn't too cheerful this morning, either.] Today is sunny and gorgeous and the forecast is for more of the same, indefinitely. SOOOOO, why not come on down to Miami November 14 - 16 and enjoy some sunshine and the Best Book Fair in the World. Open invitation to all.

Seasea and I have already made some preliminary plans. I'm more than thrilled to be sharing the book fair experience with her (again? well, mostlylurking was here last year. So I'm not sure if this is technically a different imaginary friend or not. This cyberreality stuff scrambles my brain sometimes.)

I haven't had time to read through the schedule to decide who the must-see authors are but I guess on behalf of my daughter I'll need to see Art Spiegelman and on my own behalf I'll get Dave Barry to sign his most recent book. The Rock Bottom Remainders will rock the joint Saturday night, at the geezer-boomer time of 5:00 p.m. (That's perfect for me!)

Here is the website with EVERYTHING you could possibly want to know about the event:

http://www.miamibookfair.com/

Posted by: kbertocci | October 27, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, some schools already require transparent (plastic or mesh) backpacks/book bags. Metro is behind the times. Sigh indeed.

Posted by: -bia- | October 27, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks... the wedding sounded wonderful. I love that you had such a wonderful time and that your daughter and SIL did too. I know that feeling of having everyone you love all together. It reminds me that we are all rich here who have each other to depend on.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 27, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

get rich quick? If someone could invent something to get rid of all these leaves,then they would be rich.

I just looked at weather.com and they are calling for snow here tonight,much to soon for that!! Although I guess i should whine too much,I'm sure our canadian neighbors have been getting snow for awhile now.

As for numbers I have always liked 13,bad luck? naw I don't think so. but lately I have been partial to the numbers 10 and 4,as in 10/4 the day I got to meet a lot of you wonderful people!!

10-4 good buddy

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 27, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I know I feel rich when one of my daughters is giving me that Imperious Teenager backtalk, and I remember that in this country she can marry whoever she wants, and that I won't have to try to come up with a dowry to sweeten the deal.

LiT, you have 11 games right this week out of 13? I thought I was doing reasonably well with 9 out of 13 so far. Dag, wench (Caution/PSA: 'wench' is a term to ony be used in reference to some women who grew up in Maryland, and only by those experienced in handling exotic and/or combustible materials. Any other uses are discouraged and not recommended, and may result in a poke in the eye or some Even More Tender Region for your trouble. Thank you.), even if Tennessee wins tonight (and I did pick them), you've beaten *me*. Well done, ma'am. I'd award you the Football Wench 'o the Week (F-WoW) tiara, but I want to hear how Mudge did first (you know how he gets when he isn't allowed to wear his tiara).

yellojkt, the office firewalls here are blocking your stuff, too.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | October 27, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

It's called a rake, gwe. I don't think that made anyone rich.

Posted by: Yoki | October 27, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Sounds great. One thing I like about election days is that you really see so many of your neighbors, and in a large town/city you probably will have never seen around 80-90% of them before.

I enjoyed the caucus here for that reason as well, although that was a lot more chaotic. NO quiet standing in lines.

And now to get going with another Monday. No more self-indulgence of sickness.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 27, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

A rake just moves them from one place to the next Yoki,I need something to get rid of them and fire is not an option.

I know!!! I could borrow the Vacu-Suck from the Space Balls movie,I bet that would work......

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 27, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

gwe, there is the leave sweeper, like a old rotary lawnmower but it sweeps the leaves into a holder. I have thought about it but I have a lot of leaves and the holder doesn't look that big. Fortunately I just have to rake to the curb and the city vacuums them from there.

No snow here yet Thank you! Impatiens just succumbed to frost last Friday - other flowers still blooming away - leaves are just past peak but still beautiful.

Posted by: dmd2 | October 27, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

what, wait. I thought jack said three puppies this time.

Posted by: omnigood | October 27, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Ha!
Bc, when I was the Imperious Teenager, my mum said she wouldn't even try to arrange my marriage (let alone come up with dowry) for fear of ruining some poor guy's life.

And "rake" brought to mind that guy who won a bunch of times on Jeopardy a few years ago and identified a gardening tool that also partakes in pleasure as "What is a hoe?"
Ha!

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

kbertocci... Oh how I wish I could join you at the book fair again this year. The trouble with unemployment is you've got the time, but not the money.

Next year in Miami.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 27, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

A gasoline powered leaf blower does the same job as a rake but at a much higher decibel level with a much greater impact on the environment. Bonus points all around.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

DNA Girl... Dr G was always trying to get that goat he was promised when we got engaged.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 27, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Autumn photos from Ithaca, NY, where some world-famous sciencey-political bloggers might be considering sending their offspring for college or other perfidy:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/30059780@N04/sets/72157608416808142/

My wife says that it says volumes about me that there are, basically, no people in any of my photos. A few wander through, occasionally, but I may try to edit them out of existence.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 27, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I am very confused. I just entered a post with a Flickr URL, but it has not shown up. I got no nasty messages about my comment being withheld, or anything like that. Trying again...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/30059780@N04/sets/72157608416808142/

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 27, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

You can mow those leaves, and justify the action as turning them into mulch, which is pretty much true. They'll break down much faster into nutritious grass-food.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 27, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* So busy today, yet so much fodder to work with. Where to start, where to start.

Joel, I have a house that overlooks a street corner where the storm drain backs up regularly and forms a very lovely lake. I don't suppose that counts for anything.

Slyness, re: Spanx and me not looking at that link, I lived a good bit of my married life in a house with as many as FIVE females in it at one time. We had tea and estrogen every afternoon at 4, so there ain't much I haven't seen hanging over the bathroom shower rod at one time or another.

"I'm not sure what rithms you want to patent, Mr. Achenburg, but I'm pretty sure Al Gore didn't invent them." -- Roseanne Roseannadanna

Football picks, bc and LiT: 9 plus the Titans. Cleveland? Miami? Nawlins? Ya gotta be kidding me.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 27, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

TBG, you'll be there in spirit. (*hugs*)

Posted by: kbertocci | October 27, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Scc: Roseanne should be Emily Latella

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 27, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I'll tell you guys this much: all this talk amongst you who have already voted has got me nervous, like there was something really important I meant to do but forgot what it was.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 27, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

kb, I haven't had time to check out the schedule yet, but I'm so looking forward to seeing you and carousing the Book Fair again. (Not looking forward to the flying part, tho). Nearly bought a book by Ridley Pearson in the Dallas airport yesterday...

Seattle had self-cleaning public toilets, but this year they (wait for it) - sold them on eBay. Turned out they got used for things other than what you might expect...

Tim, both Mr seasea and I take pictures without people. It is a bit bizarre, and I'm trying to improve on that. I just looked at my pics from this weekend - no people, except for some of the musicians I went to hear.

Minnesota has leaf-sucking trucks - you rake the leaves to the curb, and they take care of them from there. I want one.

Speaking of foxes:
http://www.subpop.com/artists/fleet_foxes
I have to admit that I'm partly intrigued by these guys, because one has the same name as my son (usually when someone has the same name, she's a girl). But I like their music, too.

Posted by: seasea | October 27, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Great pictures SciTim, I had a cousin who went to Cornell and I remember having a conversation about that gorge - so nice to see it.

Posted by: dmd2 | October 27, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

This Week showed a clip of Colin Ferguson saying that the only way McCain could win is if liberals were too busy buying brie and free-range mushrooms for their Obama victory party and forgot to actually vote.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Nice pictures, SciTim. My dad was in New England recently and says the colors were more vibrant than he ever remembered.

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

Well, forgetting to vote ain't happening around here.

On my walk this morning, I noticed a number of McCain/Palin signs have popped up like those ugly toadstools that come out after a rain. They may even outnumber the Obama signs on my street. I really don't care. We know how *I* voted.

The grass is mowed. I'm going to rest a few before I take the garbage can around and put the recycling out. Here, you gotta bag the leaves for the City to take them. I wish I could vacuum them off the trees.

Posted by: slyness | October 27, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

slyness.... I learned from a friend that the McCain signs are being planted around here by the McCain campaign. They go door to door and ask if they can plant a sign. That's why you'll see a whole bunch on one street.

The Obama supporters for the most part have had to go find the signs themselves, so they should be considered the more "pro-active" supporters.

The sign I can't figure out is the "Democrat for McCain" sign on a house on my street. Yikes. What happened to them?

Posted by: -TBG- | October 27, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that leaves the tiara to LiT.

I had NO over SD in London -- West Coast teams don't travel well to the East Coast (I think they were 0-8 before last weekend), and sure as heck won't travel well another couple thousand miles further, and wavered on Miami, but went conservative. Hint: I'd look for SD to lose this week, too. They've been on a horrific East Coast road trip - what, 13,000 miles in 3 weeks?

I went with Tampa over Dallas as an upset and wasn't too far off with that, either.

As far as my get-rich-quick scheme goes, I was thinking of using a popular, well-established blog frequented by intelligent, chatty folks to get them to describe their get-rich-quick schemes in the comments section, and then leveraging the Blog publishers' rules regarding intellectual property of comments to establish ownership of those ideas, and then implement the best ones.

I was also going to sell rocks as pets and write a book about how I got rich (though I haven't actually done so yet) called "The Shhhhh," and getting some TV lady to put it on her book club list, but someone's already beaten me to those ideas.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | October 27, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

bc,
The first flaw in your strategy was using "get rich" and "blog" in the same sentence. That kind of karma backlash dooms whatever follows.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Joel, did you notice that you have been linked to over at memeorandum?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 27, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

re the pending new world order that obama is about to launch with his legions of camo-dressed teenageers.....some time ago i offered the drive-by opinion that it seems to me the republicans represent the rich, the reactionary, the rich, the racist, the rich, and the stupid. i forgot to mention that they lie a lot, too.

Posted by: butlerguy | October 27, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey butlerguy! Good to hear from you!

fivethirtyeight.com is talking about MY town today:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/10/on-road-charlotte-north-carolina.html

Posted by: slyness | October 27, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I saw that slyness!

And there's some action down in Kim's and the Frost'rents' part of the state...

========

Virginia Democratic officials say someone is handing out fliers in Hampton Roads that mislead Democrats and Independents into thinking the election is Wednesday, Nov. 5.

The election is actually on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

The flier, which includes numerous misspelled words, appears as if it is written on official State Board of Elections stationary.

"For Immediate Release," it states. "Due to the larger than expected voter turnout in this year's electorial process (the word electoral is misspelled), an emergency session of the General Assembly has adopted the following emergency regulations to ease the load on local electorial precincts and ensure the a fair electorial process."

It continues, "All Republican party supporters and independent voters supporting Republican candidates shall vote on November 4th as pecribed by law. All Democratic party supporters and independent voters supporting Democratic candidates shall vote on November 5th as adopted by emergency regulation of the Virginia General Assembly."

Virginia Democrats say they had to battle similar misinformation campaign from GOP supporters in 2005 and 2006, but some Republicans suspect Democrats are actually behind the efforts in order to generate stories about potential voter suppression.

Either way, expect a lot of this over the next week.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2008/10/let_the_games_begin.html

Posted by: -TBG- | October 27, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The "Democrats vote on Wednesday" story is becoming as much a chestnut as the "check your kids candy for razor blades" articles. It serves as an intelligence test. Both for the voters that get the flier and the people that think it'll work.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The gross misspellings would tend to point the finger at conservatives. The same feature that always sets the CAP LOCK key seems to turn off spell-check as well.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Some Google ads are self-contradictory:

Scam Alert
Don't Waste Your Money On Jerks When You Can Earn $9k/Week
www.AbundantLivingSystem.com

*L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 27, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the annual candy safety warnings, this one seems to be real:

http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/coins.asp

Seems to only our Canucki friends seem to be affected, but I predict tons of parents confiscating any pirate coins.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Too many words in the last sentence. Delete which ever ones you don't think I need.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 27, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Mudge, I took all three. Took 6 upsets this week (well, 5 and a sympathy pick), lost TB and Pittsburgh. Colts tonight. Sometimes you gotta go out pretty far on the limb and risk hitting the ground like a squirrel with an inner-ear infection. (Sorry. It's been a long day.)

Posted by: LostInThought | October 27, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Bad sneaks! Lovely to hear details.

DMD -- smiling about your situation; my inpatients blooms look fine but the leaves and stems are sickly.

In case anyone is interested, the designer that Sarah Palin spent at least part of her redo budget on is

AKRIS

Swiss and very posh but bellow the radar. If you look through the fall collection you will see the high neck color she wore on several occasions.

http://www.akris.ch/html/english/

Here is an article on the Akris niche; apparently, Conde Rice is also a fan.

http://www.luxist.com/2008/07/19/akris-outfits-high-powered-women-at-high-prices/

LiT is vetted to comment, again, on shoe sartorial high/low notes.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | October 27, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey LiT!! *extra Grover waves for you and DC* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 27, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Today's October surprise:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/27/AR2008102700289.html?hpid=topnews

Wonder if he'll win his election again...

Posted by: slyness | October 27, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Stevens found guilty!!! Woo-hoo!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 27, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

(knock, knock)

Anybody home?

Posted by: slyness | October 27, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, you have captured the same scenes we enjoyed when we visited the cascades and the gorge a couple of Septembers ago. We were sightseeing in the Finger Lakes area, and took a day trip to Ithica. VintageSpouse took pictures, too, bounding ahead, while I strolled along and took advantage of the benches along the way, met some other seniors on our little hike. Many thanks for your beautiful photos.

Sneakers, you are a special person to take the time to share the wedding day with the boodle. Maybe you have already mentioned this earlier, but I would love to know what you wore? Color? Style?

Posted by: VintageLady | October 27, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Sad news - Tony Hillerman has died:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/27/AR2008102700052.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Posted by: seasea | October 27, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

My wingnut friend sent me the following today. Surprisingly, he's very bright, but he's swallowed the KoolAid big time!

- - - - - - - - - -

Zibinew Brezinski is Obama;s main foreign policy advisor and is the Executive Director of the Trilateral Commission. He was Jimmy Carter's National Security chief and was largely responsible for creating the Taliban and admits that he deliberately drew the Russians into Afghanastan where they killed one million Afghans.

Do you really think President Obama is going to make things better with Jimmy Carter's cabinet? Or for that matter that Obama is his own man?

Brag and others,
what do you think of this?

Posted by: rickoshea0 | October 27, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

new kit!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 27, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

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