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Rush Limbaugh vs. David Brooks

What a splash Rush Limbaugh made with that speech Saturday. I thought it was, at a purely technical level, rambling, sloppy, self-indulgent, demagogic and anachronistic, but it is conceivable that I was not his target audience. The crowd went wild, and he's been Topic A on all the blogs, so it'll go down as triumphant.

Rush could have delivered much of that speech more than a decade ago. He gave relatively little attention to the economic crisis, the banking collapse, the Wall Street meltdown, the housing disaster. He focused instead on the evils of liberals and of Big Government. He clobbered the Left with clubs hewn from timber harvested in 1993, or perhaps 1979 or 1965 -- or do I hear 1933? He didn't rely on the creeping-socialism meme of CPAC so much as on caricaturing liberals as power-mad, intolerant, "cruel." Assign to your opponents the worst of motives and you will solidify your base.

Between the lines, he seemed to be aiming much of his wrath at the conservative elites inside the Beltway -- the David Brooks crowd. Rush said there are some conservatives who would renounce Ronald Reagan, which I took to be a reference to conservatives who think it is not enough to preach the evils of government. See Brooks and his "nihilism" jab at Bobby Jindal.

There was a protracted anecdote about unnamed conservative opinion leaders (including Brooks) having dinner with Obama on the same night that Rush was in Washington to meet with President Bush. I heard indignation from Rush that, even as he has reached the heights of influence, and has an audience with the president of the United States, he is still slighted by the Chevy Chase conservatives who didn't make sure that he had a seat at the table.

There's much talk about whether Rush is the de facto leader of the Republican Party. The Democrats would like to make him so, seeing him as the definition of a reactionary. Whatever he is, he is succeeding in getting lots of people's attention in a society where that is an increasingly rare feat. Everyone today wants an audience. Limbaugh has one. Who on the Left has an audience that compares? I can think of only one person: The guy in the Oval Office.


And now here's David Brooks, taking a shot at Rush Limbaugh (Brooks clearly understood that he was the target of Limbaugh's jabs): "On the right, there are the Rush Limbaugh brigades. The only thing more scary than Obama's experiment is the thought that it might fail and the political power will swing over to a Republican Party that is currently unfit to wield it."

[Via Memeorandum, here's a Red State blogger responding to Brooks: "David Brooks, you are an idiot. You should be disqualified from voting ever again. Why? Any reasonably objective person who bothered to actually look at what Obama did, instead of what he said, would have reached the conclusion he is a leftist radical at heart." [Um, so if he's a leftist radical why did he annoy the leftist radicals and the liberals and the pacifists and Nancy Pelosi et al with his recent Iraq policy announcement?]

The central premise of that dyspeptic Red State post is that moderates don't believe in anything. In my experience they believe in lots of things, including competence and pragmatism, and perhaps most of all, the importance of not starting a conversation with the words "You are an idiot."]

[Now here's Joe Klein, also adopting the moderate label (moderate-liberal wing of the Moderate Party), explaining why, unlike Brooks, he doesn't think Obama is taking on too much at once:

'We are at the end of a 30-year period of radical conservatism, a period so right-wing that many of those now considered "liberals"--like, say, Barack Obama--would be seen as moderate pantywaists in the great sweep of modern political history. The past 30 years have been such a violent departure from the norm, such a profound destruction of the basic functions of government, that a major rectification is called for now--in rebalancing the system of taxation toward progressivity, in rebuilding the infrastructure of the country, not just physically, but also socially and intellectually.']

[OK, but I still want to know how we can afford all this. Good intentions don't change hard numbers. Who inherited what deficit is beside the point at some level. Trillion-dollar deficits unnerve me. Someone explain to me why I shouldn't be nervous about a long-term fiscal plan in which a $600 billion annual deficit is aspirational.]


So many newspapers failing. So many of the rest struggling. Where did our revenue go? Wait, now I remember: To Google. And Marissa Mayer. For some reason, this article drove me insane.


This just in: Gene Weingarten's knee surgery went great. He authorized the following message to be sent to everyone in the newsroom:

'If you are receiving this message, I am resting comfortably at George Washington University Hospital after double knee replacement surgery. If you have not received this message, I died during surgery, and the message you received instead was maudlin and -- as these things tend to be -- filled with embarrassing exaggerations of my accomplishments, as well as outright lies about the strength of my character, my importance to the newspaper, and the inspiration I have been to others. If that happened, I apologize.

'By "resting comfortably" I mean "under the influence of narcotics administered in doses large enough to sedate a mature horse." This condition will last through tomorrow morning, at which point I plan to begin a strict regimen of self-pity, accompanied by cantankerousness. This will last four days. Visits during this period are discouraged. This is because my behavior will resemble that of an enraged ape. If I have it at hand, I will fling feces.

'Thank you.'

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 3, 2009; 7:56 AM ET
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Good heavens! Limbaugh a leader? What is the world coming to?

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Hey Jumper, I am frenvious of your bulldog puppy sighting! There may be nothing cuter (except a Berner puppy, of course).

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

There was some question in my mind that the owners had locked them in the house and abandoned ship. But they were released under observation (although I did not see the owner observing them) to tear around the neighborhood for a while. I especially like the fact that I have the advantage of bulldogs while not having to feed them.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 3, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately Joel, I think it is clear that the Republicans have degenerated down into a rump party where a rump like Rush rules.

Terribly sad. And dangerous as well.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Yay! Joel said reactionary!! Thank you, Joel.

Remember, folks, the political spectrum goes: reactionary, conservative, centrist, liberal, radical; the two "Rs" may turn into revolutionaries. Tell your friends! Let's expand this discourse!

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 3, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Is a discussion of free-running bulldogs considered "on kit?"

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 3, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Happy, happy birthday Yoki!

Watching the snippets of the Rush speech at CPAC gave me that twirling parallel universe feeling that I had in the first few weeks of the Palin VP candidacy. How is it possible that folks can take this guy seriously?

I actually kind of enjoy watching his superstardom at this point. I think that his clearly ravenous ego is going to let all this hoopla go to his head and he'll implode most spectacularly. Am I a bad person?

Posted by: Kim1 | March 3, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Wait, enjoy isn't the right word. Let's say I *hopefully watch* his superstardom

Posted by: Kim1 | March 3, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Rush is not a leader, he is a mouthpiece. He is a wholly invented sock puppet of Roger Ailes. While he does represent and parrot the conventional wisdom (such as it is) of some conservatives, he is getting his marching orders from elsewhere.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The thing about Rush is that he has imploded before, and he comes back yet again. It's a sad day when the Republican party has no one with better ideas to lead it.

Posted by: slyness | March 3, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Five bucks on the big one.

Hope I can find enough time and energy to skim more than the title of the kit.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 3, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

John Stewart and Stephen Colbert have become the left's equivalent (minus the hatred).

Rush Limbaugh is deeply envious of those columnists that are widely read and taken seriously as thinkers. He has never been accepted in those circles and he knows he never will be.

I take issue with him on two points: Number one, he should not be speaking of or for Ronald Reagan because he shares not an ounce of commonality with him. He merely latches on to the former president's mythology (serving his own putrid purposes) like a starving leech to flesh; and two: Rush is nothing but a blowhard who has never run for any office (competition!) or come up with any policy prescriptions to pass and/or help anyone.

ANYONE can sit on their A double S and talk smack about people, as Limbaugh proves. The difficult job of going out and DOING is left to the professionals (unlike the pill popping bubble man).

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 3, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I fear this kit may be storm bait. Or hope,I guess, depending on how you roll on such things.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Of course bulldogs are on-kit. I'm sure we could draw a metaphor about bulldogs biting and never letting go that would apply to Limbaugh!

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I can't bring myself to watch the whole Rush rant, so I'm going to impose on JA and the boodle to ask if Rush really said these words I found quoted on another blog (in his CPAC speech)?

"Everybody asks me -- and I’m sure it’s been a focal point of your convention -- well, what do we do, as conservatives? What do we do? How do we overcome this?... One thing we can all do is stop assuming that the way to beat them is with better policy ideas."

What? Not even attempt to come up with better ideas? So much for American inventiveness and creativity being the answer to our woes.

Also, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the right wing nuts use of "messiah" as a pejorative term in re: Obama. I've been a devout apotheticist for a while now, but it still strikes me as wrong to turn a word for one's most revered deity into a snide insult. Seems the reactionaries could use both better ideas and better manners.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 3, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

No, Kim, you are most definitely NOT a bad person.

Kurtz has a good column about how the Rush phenom is playing right into the hands of the Obama White House.

My own analysis is that Kurtz is correct, and that Obama and Emmanuel attacking -- or even just mentioning -- Rush is *not* a mistake at all, but a brilliant tactic. The key point, in my view, is that it is "safe" to attack Rush all they want, precisely *because* he is not in the Congress, and the WH has no particular motive or desire to get into a pissing contest with, say, McConnell or Boehner, or even Michael Steele for that matter. But boy, they can bash Limbaugh all they want, with no down-side.

And the benefit is, the more they raise Limbaugh to the exalted height of Head of the GOP, the more they exert pressure on Steele and McCoinnell and others to split from Limbaugh, and in general create total havoc inside the GOP/Conserv castle. Which is exactly what we've got.

I think it's positively brilliant tactics on the part of O and his staff. Just brilliant. They've got their own personal whipping boy, and they can whip the holy bejaysus out of him, and all with no consequences. Wow.

(So Rush energizes the base? So what? The more that base is engergized the more it *shrinks.* And that is key. A frenzied, mouth-foaming Conserv is both fratricidal and self-destructive. What's not to like?)

I am just sooooooooooooo enjoying this.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

All good for Joel's stats, RD-P, which ever way it plays out.

And we know where to go if a storm is brewing.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

One of the rules of politics is that when your enemy is self-destructing, stand out of their way.

Steele is in no more the true leader of the GOP than Rush is. He is a figurehead that has yet to discover his real role. The GOP is currently a rudderless vessel with everybody rowing in different directions.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Yes- I was thinking that same thing Yoki. Perhaps we should check the pantry in the bunker. I think we may be running dangerously low on sparkling wine.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The problem is that Conservatism has reduced itself down to a few simple precepts such as low taxes. There really isn't any philosophical back-up plan.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh, yes, good thought! We'll need lots of Prosecco to have with the delicious lunch 'mudge created for us.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

No, Steele isn't the "true" leader. There are basically only two choices:

1) Rush is the "head" of the GOP, or
2) The GOP/Conservs HAVE no head at all, just a bunch of small, sniveling factions.

The "truth" is probably the second choice, but it hardly matters; either choice is good for the Dems, and as long as either condition exists, it is just gravytrain all the way for the good guys.

The notion that the GOP is leaderless, rudderless, fratricidal, in total disarray, etc., is a perfectly welcome alternative to Rush being the head of the GOP. It bespeaks the total bankruptcy of ideas and leaders in the GOP.

So look at it this way: what is the very *worst* that that could happen to Obama/the Dems vis a vis the GOP/Conservs? It is this: that a reasonably strong, coherent, intelligent leader/slash/2012 candidate arise from the current mire.

That any number of total wack jobs have arisen is already a given: Palin, Jindal, Limbaugh, McCain, whoever. But these are all exatly what I said: wack jobs. We aren't afraid of the wack jobs (or shouldn't be). It is the reasonably sane, intelligent person with some charisma and some sense the Dems need to fear. And so far, no such person remotely exists.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"He [Limbaugh] gave relatively little attention to the economic crisis, the banking collapse, the Wall Street meltdown, the housing disaster."

Interesting chatter by the pundits on CNBC yesterday. They said that essentially Obama is taking the Hans Brinker approach (my terminology with Brinker, theirs of the slender digit in the hole) of sticking his finger in the floodwall of the economic crisis, as far as Obama's steps taken so far. Unfortunately, the hole is the size of a fist, the pundits said.

Interesting lead-off question on Anderson Cooper's show last night: Is Obama biting off too many large issues/projects that can be accomplished simultaneously, and be accomplished *well*. Former presidential adviser David Gergen thought so, sharing that he thought Obama, for the short term, might want to put all his efforts into the economic mess and leave other big projects for later within his first term.

And this from Frank Rich's Sunday op-ed:

...Americans still don’t understand why many Wall Street malefactors remain in place or why the administration’s dithering banking policy lacks the boldness and clarity of Obama’s rhetoric.

Nor can a further bailout be easily sold by a Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, whose lax oversight of the guilty banks while at the New York Fed remains a subject of journalistic inquiry.

Given that Geithner's earlier activities as Fed jefe took place in the New York Time's backyard, you'd think that the NYT would put an investigative reporter on the story that Rich finds so juicy. *other than Bloomberg's reporting--Rich linked to it, drumming fingers waiting for journalistic inquiry*

I think if I see one more clip of Limbaugh on cable or see one more story in print about him, I'll scream.

Did you see comedian Paul F. Thomson (sp?) last night calling the GOP pick of Mitt Romney as forerunner at this conference of conservatives "a group shrug"?

Posted by: laloomis | March 3, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Rush did say that. It's in the transcript that I think Joel linked to a few kits ago.

Rush's answer is pure obstructionism, much as Bill Kristol advocated a few days ago. From later in the rather incoherent speech:

///Where is the compromise between good and evil? Should Jesus have cut a different deal? Serious. From the standpoint of what we have to do, folks, this is not about taking a policy or a process that the Democrats have put forward and fighting around the edges. If we're going to convince the minds and hearts of the American people that what's about to happen to them is as disastrous as anything in their lives in peacetime, we're going to have to discuss philosophy with them.///

Rush is leading his rag-tag army into the hills screaming "Wolverines!"

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I do hope we don't get a storm though, I am not in the mood for nastiness. I would much rather just play all day.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Times'

The day is too beautiful to spend time indoors...

Posted by: laloomis | March 3, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Prosecco, of course is one of the three ingredients of the sgroppinos I mentioned: i/s shot of vodka, a melon-ball scoop (or two) of lemon sorbet, and fill the flute to the top with prosecco.

I think prosecco can also be used in the bellinis.

Fortunately, I had the foresight to lay in a whole case of the stuff, just for Y-Day2.

Did we decide on a location? At first I suggested the club, but RD mentioned Waikiki, which sounds great to me. So either one.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I'll play any game except lawn darts.....ouch!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 3, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

So thoughtful, 'mudge! Thank you.

I'm all for Waikiki (though I sunburn easily; will need to bring my very fetching hat).

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Achenblog, you're making the same mistake that a great many media analysts make when it comes to Rush Limbaugh. You're buying into his own definitions concerning the size of his audience. Notwithstanding his success as a talk radio host, his audience is really quite miniscule compared with the larger voting electorate.

Even if one accepts Limbaugh's own boast of 20 million listeners a week (Think that one over for a minute. He has a daily show, so the 20 million figure he cites represents about 4 million a day--probably the same 4 million.) that only amounts to about .02% of the total voting electorate. Check it out yourself. Four million listeners perday works out to about .02% of an electorate of 130 million.

The recent Gallup poll more accurately reflects this reality. He has a national approval of about 28% favorable, but even more startling is that nearly a quarter of republicans have an unfavorbale view of him. And, a full 30% have no opinion of him one way or another--a shattering blow to Limbaugh's outsized ego.

The point of all of this is that most Americans go about their daily lives out blissfull unaware and uncaring about all of this media fabricated hullaballoo concerning this bloated wretch who makes his lving by saying outrageously hateful things about entire classes of people he really doesn't know. You silly, self absorbed people in the media may wallow in a sycophantic delusion about Limbaugh's "power" but the truth is, he is pretty inconsequential to our lives. And, he is not likeable.

Posted by: jaxas | March 3, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I take choice 2, mudge.

Steele is a very smart political worker bee that led the MD GOP out of the wilderness, but he has never held national office and was a "Who's that?" to most people. His only elected experience is as a one term lt. governor that lost his Senate bid rather badly.

For RNC chair he was a late ballot compromise choice and his power within the GOP is untested. For now, we have the shattered fragments of the also-rans (Romney and Huckabee) and the rising stars (Palin and Jendall). I predict that the 2012 candidate will be none of these and will be a new flavor of the month.

If I were in charge of the Republicans, I'd spend a few years rebuilding the grass roots and try to narrow the gap in the House. The way to do that is to move to the center by offering sensible alternatives, but nobody asked me. Everybody seems more enamored with Rush's scorched earth demagoguery.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Front page alert!

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

There's a nice self-introduction from new boodler mlwjaw at the end of the previous boodle, for anyone who missed it.

I was thinking something vaguely on-kit earlier, when I read how upset the audience was with Tucker Carlson's comments about the NYT: basically, that the paper tries to get its facts right. There's trouble with a group that demonizes intellectuals -- they end up upset with any of their own members who display intellectual honesty. So where are they supposed to get new, useful ideas?

Posted by: -bia- | March 3, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Loading up my beach umbrellas and SPF 50 (several bottles) as I type, it was 8F when I got up this morning, I need no encouragement other than the mention of Waikiki.

Kristol referenced Jesus?

Posted by: dmd2 | March 3, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Darwin in song, the Republicans in song. Everyone's into singin' and entertainin' these days? This blogger offers lyrics (short excerpts below) for Michael Steele's new urban GOP hip-hop rap video:

Michael Steele may think he's the new, youthful face of Republicanism, but he's over fifty and it's showing. His hipness, such as it is, is like Robert de Niro in Awakenings. It just woke up and realized how long it's been in a coma.


We know that people out there need so much help
When it comes to your problems, this party is def
We're 2 tough 2 fail so we're gonna survive
"Just block all progress," that's how we'll stay alive
(Ah! ah! ah! ah! stayin' alive)

I ran for this job, told the Party don't panic
I'll just use some street talk on the Blacks and Hispanics
Sure they're the ones that have been beat down the worst of 'em
But once they hear me they'll forget we're a curse to them -

Posted by: laloomis | March 3, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

From the NYTimes magazine:

Michael Harrison, the editor and publisher of Talkers magazine, a trade publication, puts Limbaugh’s weekly audience at 14 million. Limbaugh himself says it is closer to 20 million. Either way, nobody else is close. He has been the top-rated radio talk-show host in America since the magazine started the ranking 17 years ago.

Posted by: joelache | March 3, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The Obama White House knows that if the GOP actually accepts "Pills" Limbaugh as its de facto leader, the Republican party will never find its way out of the wildnerness.

New challenges require new thinking. The Limbaugh wing of the GOP doesn't do thinking.

All is well in Obamaland... at least until the shiZnit hits the fan in Afghanistan.

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 3, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I am compelled to note that, although the reactionary/conservative wing of the Republican party appears to be in extreme disarray on a national level, this is not necessarily true when applied to state politics.

Just as an example, this year for the first time Republicans control both houses of the Oklahoma legislature, including both social and fiscal conservatives. Now, these people must deal with governance. They have to run the state and pass a balanced budget with a $900 million shortfall; they have to deal with a well-liked Democratic governor. While there is a lot of free-floating ideology cluttering the Capitol halls, there are also bills being passed. These bills have an ideological bent, to be sure, and would no doubt look different with a different majority, but a handful of them do address budgets, corrections, education, etc. - classic state governance issues. At this level, even very conservative legislators cannot be the Party of "No."

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 3, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Last week a repub congressman had to go crawling on his knees to ask forgiveness after critisisng Limbaugh.
Now Micheal Steele, RNC chair, gets to share in the humiliation.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 3, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Long ago (1988-89) when Rush began getting national syndication and building his audience, I was skeptical that he was a Roger Ailes leadership project, aimed at eventually being the front man for a political run. I think that effort broke down after '96 when Newt derailed Rush's ascendancy as "the majority maker" and Rush began his self destruction with his pain pill addiction.

Now, the danger is that Rush has deep enough brand identification to be a comfortable filler for the leadership vacuum in the Republican't party.

Rush's only talent is extemporaneous speaking, at which he is an all star, and that is probably as deep as the hard core Republican't base needs to go to get all het up.

But the country is safe. Rush regularly self-destructs and has a personal history that will torpedo any serious overture he makes for a leadership role.

Posted by: roboturkey | March 3, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Welcome, mlwjaw, was a wonderful introduction.

Posted by: dmd2 | March 3, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

If we're going to Oahu let's skip Waikiki and head to Shark's Cove (near Sunset). Lots of easy grazing from places nearby, plus shade and tidal pool wading for we who burn easily. Plus, the Pupukea Foodland has a Starbucks.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 3, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Limbaugh is painted into a corner.

He's a salesman selling a product, and he can't change the brand now. He can't dilute it or relabel it. He sells venom, not soda, and when the formula ceases to work, he has no choice but to make it stronger. Fewer people will buy it, but those who do are Limbaugh's sole hope for relevancy. The Chevy Chase conservatives like Brooks can't embrace him any more than the science faculty of Yale could embrace Andrew Dice Clay. They need to repudiate everything he is--a fraud, a demagogue, an entertainer--if they ever want to rebuild their degenerate school from a mob into an academy.

It's ironic that in making "liberal" a slur, Limbaugh has made "conservative" into one.

Posted by: Attucks | March 3, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

No, dmd. Rush mentioned Jesus. Sorry for the amiguity. Kristol said this in the WaPo a few days ago:

///[Conservatives and Republicans] should do their best not to permit Obama to rush his agenda through this year. They can't allow Obama to make of 2009 what Franklin Roosevelt made of 1933 or Johnson of 1965. Slow down the policy train. Insist on a real and lengthy debate. Conservatives can't win politically right now. But they can raise doubts, they can point out other issues that we can't ignore (especially in national security and foreign policy), they can pick other fights -- and they can try in any way possible to break Obama's momentum.///

Pretty much the same strategy Rush is advocating. I wonder if they are getting their marching orders from the same place.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

*sigh* It was bound to happen.

Jaxas, your post is nonsense. None of us give a toot about the size of Rush's audience. So far you're the first and only one who has even mentioned it. It's size (or lack of it; I agree with you about that) is irrelevant. And we're not buying into a word he says.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

You analysis of Winslet's character as an example of a poor woman at the bottom rung of society, with the attendant women's lib issues, Loomis, completely neglects the fact that she is on trial as a NAZI WAR CRIMINAL WHO AIDED IN THE EXECUTION OF 300 WOMEN.

(Pardon me for raising my voice. But you *exactly* epitomize what Rosenbaum [yes, a man, with all the flaws inherent in that gender] was comp[laining about: people who in effect either glorify or excuse a person was was, effectively, a mass murderer, who learns how to read.

How come you missed that part, Loomis? Or do women war criminals get a pass from you?

Well, a contemporary example would be like looking at PFC Lyndie England vs. Donald Rumsfeld. Sy Hersh has a lot to say on this topic. Or, as yet another contemporary example, what about those lower-eschalon CIA men who tortured prisoners of war from various countries? Does that let the big fat Greek George Tenet off the hook? Where are those 92 hours of missing tapes anyhow? Who's being incarcerated for rather recent American war crimes? Maybe Rachel Maddow can help me with this...

Since you're obviously too cheap to spend some coin on the price of a movie admission, you probably are unaware that, in the story, Hannah is in jail for the rest of her days for her war crimes? There was a huge class disparity between the young lad played by Kross and Hannah. And yes, there are gender issues, which most women will recognize and most men probably will not. Open your wallet and see the film. You are not pardoned for yelling, and since my clock is so cleaned from your last rant at me, it's a wonder I give you the time of day.

Posted by: laloomis | March 3, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

If we are lunching in Oahu, my vote is for Hanauma Bay where you can snorkel and feed the fish frozen peas right out of your hand.

You're 11:54 is onto something. Cross Rush at your own risk. As for who wins the Limbaugh-Brooks match-up, it would depend on whether it's a sumo wrstling match or a spelling bee.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Car Talk on NPR draws 4.3 million listeners (according to the NYT) and it's only on once a week.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 3, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

For pity's sake, not only nasty personal attacks on 'mudge, but a little bit racist/zenophobic. I'm pretty sure Tenet is as American as you are, Loomis.

Why do you give anybody here the time of day? Why not just go elsewhere?

mlwjaw, please forgive Loomis. She has issues and is not representative of the Boodle proper.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

wtf is Rush giving a speech for? If you ask me it is all entertainment. Reminds me of the WWF or WWE,just a bunch of big fat guys yelling at each other.....and the crowd goes wild.....

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 3, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Now there's a scary thot yellojkt! A Sumo-spelling bee match-up between Limbaugh and Brooks!

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 3, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

If it's a cute off I take Brooks.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 3, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Good morning, Al.

A very good morning to you, Yoki, and happiest returns of the day!

I can't help but think that Limbaugh is attempting to exploit a perceived GOP power vacuum by attempting to fill it with - noise and gas and anything else he can generate.

I'd add that I suspect he and much of the Conservative GOP are trying to reengineer the media and political successes/base-building of the 90s (anyone else noticed Newt Gingrich wafting around these days?), with eyes on the next mid-term and Presidential elections. Seems to me that they believe that if they did it once, they can do it again.

Now, I wonder how many boxfuls of 15-year old "Rush is Right" bumperstickers are winging their way to (what some refer to as) flyoverland as we speak?

Ah, I see that it is now afternoon.
The first of my SCCs for today, I suspect.


Posted by: -bc- | March 3, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Let's let the circular republican firing squad continue to execute all those deemed 'unworthy' until there is only one conservative left standing who we will then mercifully drown in one of Rush's luxurious bath tubs.

Such great entertainment!

Posted by: cfeher | March 3, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't care where we go but Waikiki isn't my favorite place on Oahu. The places Yello and Frosti mentioned work for me, just let me know.

Actually, Mudge, the bunker wine cellar is in good shape. I went to Costco last week and stocked up. The cheese larder is full, too. I'll admit I splurged; they had a special on salmon so I got some. We're good to go for a beach party!

The saddest part of the conservative problem, to me, is that they don't have anything to offer on governance. My experience is that working together for a positive outcome, bringing new ideas from both sides to the table, makes for a better outcome. But when one side has nothing but vitriol to offer, there can be no improvement from compromise in the product. Yet it's quite apparent from the November elections which way the country wants to go.

Posted by: slyness | March 3, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of fat-arsed right wing bloviator, Baron Black of Crossharbour just celebrated his fist anniversary in jail today. He must be really p-off to have been sentenced to 6.5 years in jail for stealing a mere 6.1 million from his stockholders. He was thinking way too small, obviously.
On the other hand crime stats aren't really down since he has been in.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 3, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, isn't today the day Weingarten's having his surgery? Good thoughts and prayers for a quick and easy recovery (if that's possible) to him!

Posted by: slyness | March 3, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Shriek, you had me guffawing out loud in the office. Just think how much it would have been if Lady Black had had her druthers.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

seems to me that limbaugh is: 1) a racist--remember the donovan mcnabb attack?,and 2) a liar--his housekeeper's pills my @#$.

he is a perfect symbol/figurehead/spokesman for the republicans.

some months ago i expressed an opinion in this space to the effect that republicans represent the rich, the reactionary, the rich, the racist, the rich, and the stupid.
to borrow a phrase, i rest my case.

Posted by: butlerguy | March 3, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

If Rush goes biblical then I can say "jawbone of an ass." I can also mention "render unto Caesar."

I think "no compromise" means they won't be happy until all taxes (which are "wrong") are abolished. This is a constant drumbeat, but without being so stupid to actually say they want an end to all taxes. Or too cowardly. Because then they would have to, you know, think about it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 3, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, billions and billions *channeling Sagan*. Lady Amiel had very expensive druthers, she could have put Thain to shame. No, it can't be; he's shameless.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 3, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

butlerguy is right. Limbaugh actually is the perfect figurehead for today's GOP: white, angry, racist, greedy, corrupt, etc.

The more this sinks in (for the broader public), the better off the Dems will be. That is if they can keep their noses clean and keep being ideas/results driven.

Was it just me, or did anyone else smell sulfur while watching the Limbaugh clip?

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 3, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed, best wishes to Weingarten and let's hope they labeled his knees properly!!

I believe the record will show that I brought Hawaii into the Yoki Day discussion.

Hello mlwjaw!!! *welcoming-the-newbie Grover waves*

Limburger has never been a thinker, he's the most limited of one-trick entertainers, the provocateur. *shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 3, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

It's not only the pills. He got caught with male rigidity enhancement products on his return from the Dominican Republic. How do you spell s3xual tourism?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 3, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Now be fair, butlerguy, Rush doesn't represent all the rich. I myself am not rich and, when I think about it, I don't actually know any rich people, but I know that a good handful of thos Hollywood rich types, some sports figures, and even a few rich businesspeople support the Democrats.

I guess I'm saying don't blame all the rich folks for the bad actions of some of them. Gosh, that's a good general principle. I must be some kind of bleeding heart, huh?

Howdy to mlwjaw! C'mon out again! Apparently we're about to have virtual lunch on the beach. I'm bringing cupcakes to go with the birthday cake.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 3, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Sentence pending the arrival of the equipment.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 3, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

And a great contribution it was, Mr. Nuke.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry Loomis, but you are making absolutely no sense at all. When someone contradicts your point you basically ignore the refutation and go down to the next item on your list of nastiness. This is how small children and drunks argue. Point, set, and match to Mudge.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

*and extra-happy-birthday Grover waves for mlwjawSpawn* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 3, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

This is the fault of Republicans like Brooks and his political forefathers. They failed to stop the kooks from taking over the party -- ergo Reagan (who refained from even mentioning teh word AIDS for most of his term and let many people suffer needlessly) and the radical Christians -- and now we have the results their incompetence and lazyness to clean-up.

Posted by: kxrc | March 3, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom is coming to lunch? Yippeee!

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

A few more quick comments:

I do not expect Limbaugh to become defacto head of the GOP now anymore than he was 15 years ago.

The GOP can use some shaking up, and, perhaps, a lightning rod.

If I were in the GOP, I'd consider giving Limbaugh some backing and some play, and siting back to watch how the White House and Dems deal with him. I'd consider it excellent information for understanding the Dem strategies for the next election cycles without expending any real political capital.

And besides, this way they may end up with a martyr they can resurrect later for other uses rather than political/media blame pincushions or pinatas (see: anyone involved with the 2008 GOP Presidential Campaigns, in particular Palin, Sarah and McCain, John.).

Finally, Hollywood movies (whether they're made, financed, or distributed from there) are all well and good for passing the time of day, but not my personal choice for garnering insights to human nature, social or political issues or anything.

But, I'm a man, and clearly deserve to be flayed with a carrot peeler (I won't tell you where to start, either) and salted while still alive, then left to be torn to shreds and consumed by ravenous bears, thence digested and deposited in the woods for my Final Reward.

For the unforgiveable sin of simply being born male, nothing less would be appropriate than being left in the woods to decompose to nothing from what I so clearly am every day of my life.


Posted by: -bc- | March 3, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Pow, right in the Kisser!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 3, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

And a blunt carrot peeler at that.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 3, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Just FYI -- and the editor in me just can't let this go-- but the little Dutch Boy with his finger in the dy ke was *not* Hans Brinker. However, the tale of the Dutch Boy (a.k.a. "the Hero of Haarlem")*did* indeed appear in the Hans Brinker story. Hans, of course, wanted to win the silver skates (but didn't; he let a friend who needed them more win the race).

It is true that Brinker is sometimes confused with the boy with his finger in the dy ke. But that boy manifestly is not HB himself.

Please pass the salmon. And everyone!! Glasses up! A toast to our Yoki on her birthday! May you have many more, Milady! Hip, hip!

(Would you believe the Wirty Dird filter wouldn't let me write the name of the Dick Van D water-holding structure? Jeez.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Merely representing the rich wouldn't be enough. The Republicans have fostered a broad base of supporters that feel they should be rich or will be rich and thus cast their sympathies with the truly rich. Hence, Joe the Plumber.

I skimmed as much of the Rush Rant as I could and a good section of the speech was defending by name robber barons that should be serving time. It's a political perversion of the Gospel of Wealth: What rich people want is right because they are rich.

And the funniest bumper sticker I ever saw was in an organic grocery co-op in upstate New York: "If Rush is Right, I Want What's Left."

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

SCC. Jeez. Maybe it woulda helped if I'd have spelled it di ke. *smacks forehead*

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Describes the pushback against talk radio/Fox.
"The rush of activity, particularly as it relates to health care, is illuminating a realignment of interests and a shift in the public debate, with liberal interest groups rising up to run vigorous — and expensive — campaigns in support of Mr. Obama’s agenda in a way they did not for the Clinton White House. And they have brought to their side some unexpected corporate support."

Posted by: Boko999 | March 3, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Sure. Take the easy way out.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Salut, Yoki.

[smiling and clinking glasses, all around]
[and trying not to look at the pate]


Posted by: -bc- | March 3, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't like that, you know? How an anti-male prejudice seems to have worked its way into the cultural dialogue. Ads and commercials, tv shows, stand-up comedy, everywhere. All bearing the message that men are both stupid and dangerous.

So, gentlemen, for the record, I do not subscribe to this view. I like men, generally speaking, and have a lot of respect and friendship for many many men in particular.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"I thought it was, at a purely technical level, rambling, sloppy, self-indulgent, demagogic and anachronistic, but it is conceivable that I was not his target audience."

Just imagine if you were one of the 15 million mouth-breathers who listen to this dreck everyday.

No wonder Bush's approval rating never fell below 25 percent.

It's just so entertaining to see the modern conservative movement consume itself. Maybe whatever arises in it's place won't be so virulently destructive to the country.

Posted by: icoleman | March 3, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to be missing some great discussions esp Great War poetry. Barely keeping up, though.

I should say that EYE intend on seeing The Reader eventually. Preferably in Blu-Ray so that I don't miss any of the subtleties of the class distinction dialectic.

Posted by: engelmann | March 3, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Believe me, Yoki, being a man isn't as easy as it looks. For example:

- Single-threaded intellectual processing
- Hair
- The hairbrained external plumbing/gentialia arrangements

And I won't even get into the emotional restrictions.


Posted by: -bc- | March 3, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The soup is delicious, 'mudge. Whoever is your caterer?

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse


You all seem to be coping pretty well.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather get eaten by a crocodile. I suppose the hungrier the quicker so I'd stipulate a ravenous one.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 3, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Yoki, for that very kind post on behalf of us male-type people.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Oops. Sorry.
You're eating lunch.

I'm not sure how much bears like people. They usually don't finish them.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 3, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The overweight and self-indulgent Bluto Limbaugh leads the Animal House wing of the Republican Party Democrats stand to cheer. This food fight in front of the American people proves that the Republican Party is unworthy to lead anything but an outlaw fraternity. David Brooks is one of a few conservatives who can come up with something besides just saying no and hope for failure. Maybe we find Jim Baluchi to play Rush in movie version of Animal House goes to Washington.

Posted by: bradcpa | March 3, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

bc, thanks for the (somewhat appropriate) tune cootie:

Give me no restrictions
On what I do or say
Don't speak of tomorrow
When it's still today.

Leave me to my selfish ways
I'm well enough alone
That is what I tell myself
As I stumble home.


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 3, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Ravenous Crocodile is available as a handle for any lusty cold-blooded hairless large hungry creature, euh, man, presently lurking in the boodle.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 3, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Breezing by, with the party favors. Teeny tiny scrolls of gilt-edge paper: inscribed in spiderly script is the boodle motto of "Clouds are Hard."

Tissue paper crowns for Yoki at one end of the table and mlwjaw at the other end.

Busier than I want to be. Driving to Baltimore and Towson, to return at midnight...not sure I can find WiFi. Will wave at GWE's mother.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 3, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey! I'm a mouth breather and I'm from Belushistan! Lay off!

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 3, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

David Brooks has been surprising me. He is still a Conservative. BUT a rational one that you can argue facts.

BUT in the past years you could see he was trying to tout the Republican Talking Points..

BUT lately he has stopped a surprised David Shields from responding. Other then he agrees..and quitely adds a few tips.

I think Davis Brooks is moving away from current Republican Idiotology to a rational and arguable ideology.

The Democrats dumped the Idiot-o-log Southern Democrats to the glad handing Republicans..who did not care what they got.

Forgetting they knocked out the WHIG party..the Democratic Party took a hit but survived..

NOW the Republican are going to have to make a decision and may become the Third Party.

Letting the Limbos, Coulters and Hanities start their own PROSLAVERY PARTY party.

Fei Hu

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | March 3, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps we should re-up Rush's OxyContin prescription... He causing a lot of pain for those that happen to be in earshot.

Rush has been, and always will be, about Rush - first & foremost. Creating nonsensical controversy drives his ratings up and fattens his pocket. He happens to find an audience in the ranks of the Republican hard right. If he could make more money ranting to the MoveOn crowd, I'm sure he could find a change of heart. Michael Steele hit it right, before his retraction - Limbaugh is an entertainer.

David Brooks is the thinking man's conservative - with sound reasoning to support his principles. Yet, wise enough to recognize political talent and skill wherever it appears. We need more pundits with the same mental horsepower all across the political spectrum.

Posted by: bethesda11 | March 3, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Safe trip, CqP! The favors are lovely. You made them yourself, didn't you?

Posted by: slyness | March 3, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I've been laughing out loud reading all this.

I'm glad I got here for lunch. May someone please pour me something not too dry. I'd like to toast Yoki.

Posted by: abeac1 | March 3, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Stop by if you wish CP, I am sure you would leave with a basket full of herbs.

Whatever we do,no Pinatas filled with sparkly confetti,I am still picking that stuff up 4 years later.

Off to work everyone!!!

Have a Great day everyone......especially the Birthday girl!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 3, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

It is not too far fetched to think that next year when we are in the throes of one of the worst financial diasters of our country that the hate spewed by this megalomaniac will incite some of his listeners to violence. Thus, it is not funny and we need to counter his influence as much as possible right now for the sake of our society.

Posted by: verycreative | March 3, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Bailey, I'm glad you're back. I'm down the road from you a piece. Don't mind me, I'm ancient and seen too many bad days and too many not so good people.

Welcome, mlwjaw, it's nice that you decided to join in the conversations.

As for Rush, he has a following in rural places like here. Some believe that stuff he shoots out of his mouth or probably the other end, and some of them take it to heart. Yet it all goes back to my original statement, these folks can't walk together unless they agree on something. Conservatives here still hate Roosevelt, and his legacy. If you ask any of them about the problems the country is facing now, and they will take you back to that time. They believe it began there. And many of these folks look sane. I mean they're not hollering and carrying on, just regular people. Some people buy into that stuff, and it just promotes bad feelings because much of it is just plain old hatred. Think about it, how does hatred usually end? Ivansmom and all these lawyers here know the answer. They see the outcome everyday, it's their job. The hatred of the slave era didn't just go away, it took another form, it evolved, and we see it everyday, just with a new dress on. And I intentionally used the feminine form, because it's a coward, plain and simple.

And Loomis, when discussing the head of the Republican Party, why don't you just come out and say what's on your mind. Please don't make us guess. Everybody here is over twenty one, and we've heard you before.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 3, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Brooks is a suck up. Chris Buckley is much more rational and entertaining, in my humble opinion.

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 3, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey cmyth4u, thanks! I'm enjoying it!

Bailey *waves*

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 3, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Do you notice how most of our visitors seem to be on-side with Joel? That doesn't usually happen. Does this mean that civil discourse is on the upswing?

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I think it just means that nobody linked this Kit to various wingbat blogs and other bloviating fora.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 3, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Happy day all. I see we've got visitors. Everyone remembering their manners? Please and thank you, and no double-dipping. bc...please use your napkin. And get your feet off the coffee table. Does this look like a barn to you?

RD, I had considered chemical imbalance, socially-stunted, anger issues, even schizophrenia. I hadn't even considered drunk. Thanks for the suggestion. Determining the root cause is like a parlor game for me.

There aren't a whole lot of radio stations up here (we have one station that plays entire cds without interruption every morning. I'm pretty sure the station owner/dj likes to sleep late), but I do get Rush and Laura a couple times a week. Seems to me the station that carries them only owns a few cds, and they're just filling dead time. (While a mostly-Republican area, no one up this way likes Rush because of his anti-Donovan rant. Football is way more important than political activities.)

Time to spin the wheel, toss the dice, and play another round of name-that-dysfunction. Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 3, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I have feared violence myself, verycreative, especially last fall.

So, yes, we can watch Rush implode. But what happens in the meantime?

Posted by: abeac1 | March 3, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Rush was "rambling, sloppy, self-indulgent, demagogic and anachronistic.

Well, as they say, one should write (and speak) what one knows best.

Posted by: citizenjane | March 3, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Ah, yes, Chris Buckley...

What was his grave sin?

Posted by: russianthistle | March 3, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

two great words in this article:
competence and pragmatism. Where is either party on those qualities?

What our citizenty years for is not political theory wrapped in rhetoric but solid governance at an affordable cost. Which party is going to make that the cenerpiece of its message instead of pandering to interest groups and contributors who help them retain power?

First one into the pool wins the moderate middle; the swing vote which decides all elections.

Posted by: bobfbell | March 3, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

In the addendum to the kit Joel mentions that a common criticism of moderates is a lack of belief. And I think this highlights a key point. I don't see any other way of really understanding what it going on with the Republicans except in terms of a fundamentalist mindset.

Conservatism isn't a problem-solving philosophy anymore, it is more like a faith-based religion. Instead of the Resurrection and whatnot, the tenets of this religion are things like Tax Cuts are Good.

And the message of folks like Limbaugh seems to be that if you just Keep the Faith eventually Redemption will come. And the unbelievers will be cast into a fiery pit.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Yoki! To borrow (steal) from you ...

EYE think you RAWK!


Posted by: KBoom | March 3, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

3 topics for loomis, two of them catching up from previous boodles:

(1) I enjoyed your description of the flowers around your home coming into bloom. It was very evocative.

(2) "Promoting astronomy in Hawaii" is an important part of the economic engine. I don't think it is related to the actual *doing* of astronomy -- $2M is not even close to the cost of operating a major observatory for a year, with the costs of cryogens and manpower and other issues. No, that $2M almost certainly is going to public relations, which is just fine: there is a strong anti-haole movement afoot, and astronomers catch a big piece of it. Why? (i) astronomical organizations *used to be* very insular and arrogant (but not since a long time now); (ii) We are the only mainlanders who regularly come to the Big Island without immediately disappearing into resort hotels, which are like black boxes that emit money into the local economy; and (iii) we are really, really obvious -- when the cloud covers clears, you can see the evidence of astronomy's impact on the Big Island from most of the most heavily inhabited parts of the island, because the observatories are pretty visible up there on top of Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea is a sacred spot in traditional Hawaiian culture and religion. "Promoting astronomy" means, essentially, asking permission to be on Mauna Kea for the same reason that Hawaiians call it sacred: because it is where Man can touch the infinite.

(3) I think that Hans Brinker (a literary character of known authorship) has nothing to do with the folkloric Dutch boy with his finger in the leaky dike.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 3, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Chris Buckley's grave sin was merely speaking the truth!

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 3, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

LiT - remember I just said this style is "like" a child or a drunk. I wasn't implying that either of these was the actual explanation. I want to be fair about this.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Maybe when her mother rocked her to sleep, she used too big of a rock. Could be....

Anyway, thought this might be of interest.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 3, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

David Brooks (and to a lesser extent Andrew Sullivan) is every liberal's favorite conservative. He does work for NYT, which lowers his credibility among the Tucker Carlson-booing crowd.

Chris Buckley is too perpetually bemused to be a true advocate and I suspect he harbors secret moderate tendencies that would be viewed suspiciously among the 'God Said It, That Settles It' wing.

Wave to me coming and going. Most days I never get more than a mile away from I-95.

And that is Senator Blutarsky to you, bradcpa.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Apologies, I should have been more specific!

Buckley's grave sin:

In October 2008, Mr. Buckley set off a controversy in the conservative press by endorsing Senator Barack Obama's candidacy for president in a column for the Internet magazine The Daily Beast headlined, "Sorry, Dad, I'm Voting for Obama."

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 3, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Nice link there LiT. Wow. That Mamie really knew how to work it.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Chris Buckley endorsed Obama, mostly because he couldn't choke down the Palin-Ade.

Money Quote:

///Dear Pup once said to me sighfully after a right-winger who fancied himself a WFB protégé had said something transcendently and provocatively cretinous, “You know, I’ve spent my entire life time separating the Right from the kooks.” Well, the dear man did his best.///

Chris clearly has issues with the gypsies in the palace that his dad built.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

FYI, for those who don't necessarily want to ponder conservatives vs. moderates, etc., I added a link to a NYTimes article on the executive who is in control of Google's look. I have to confess that, as much as I love Google, I seethe with resentment and envy when it comes to Google executives. I should be the bigger person and overcome such feelings, shouldn't I.

Posted by: joelache | March 3, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I think that FINALLY the left is coming around to the tactics of creating their own memes. And Rush as the head of the Greedy Old Plutocrats (or maybe I need to change that to Greedy Obese Plutocrats) is the first one their pushing hard successfully.

Now we just need a sobriquet for him that doesn't offend people of weight.

I'm thinking Rushatollah? Maybe Rushatollah of the Retaliban Party? I mean, they're the ones who compared themselves to the dictators of thought.

Posted by: RealCalGal | March 3, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I think Mike Murphy and Peggy Noonan (for the most part) are worthy of listening to/reading. Pat Buchanan is knowledgeable and funny, tho he gets creeped out by the browning of America. And Joe Scarborough gets points with me for at least trying to be open minded and reasonable. He may have been in the class of '94 (Gingrich Revolutionaries), but he's much smarter than most of them (and he's a Gulf War vet).

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 3, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Who knew Grace Coolidge was hot? Thanks LiT.

Have to run. Found out we made it through a major hurdle with a grant proposal and will be getting a site visit. Not quite like preparing for inspection, but it might be nice to at least have all the painting done in our new after-school program spaces. The floor guy started work yesterday and with luck will be done before the visit next week. Thankfully, no hunting or fishing seasons open between now and then. Just try to get anything done around here in the fall.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 3, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Sniped again.

It's Grace Coolidge that caught my, er, eye.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Sniped by fb of all people.

And if you read the Buckley endorsement, the real reason is that he finds Obama to have been the more intelligent, reasonable, and competent candidate.

Those Buckleys are such snobby elitists.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh is the true leader of the lost Republican party after the failure of Bush, McCain, Palin and steele.

Posted by: SaminLA | March 3, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Joel may be frightened by Marissa Mayer, but I'm smitten.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I can't say I feel the insane resentment over people like Mayer.

But then, I work in a growth industry.

What I am always amazed by is the importance of contingency in a career. Anyone who has ever read the "Google Story" will understand that, yes, those two young lads who launched the site are brilliant and hardworking, but they were also very lucky. Same with Bill Gates and most other super over-achievers.

Their success isn't classic Darwinian selection as much as a bit of fortuitous contingency ala Stephen Jay Gould.

The thing is, while they are smarter and hard working, they aren't that much smarter or hard working than most of us. ('specially me.) And *certainly* not Mr. Achenbach.

That Mayer has a 5 million dollar home, which is, like, about 20 times the cost of my home doesn't mean she is either 20 times smarter or harder working.

Partly, the pachinko ball just worked in her favor.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately for you, Yello, she's taken.

Remember the video on the NASA blog Joel linked to recently? The one that the young NASA engineers did, to show the difference between how new ideas are treated at NASA and at Google? It would be interesting to study her impact on the Google decision-making process over a long period, to assess its success.

Posted by: slyness | March 3, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

LiT, Thanks for the link. I really like Mrs. Coolidge's portrait.

Posted by: abeac1 | March 3, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the deficits scare me a lot. There is much trust involved. I just hope that these are productive loans.

I mean taking out a huge loan to say, educate your offspring, isn't the same as taking out a huge loan to splurge on Psychic Friends.

I keep hoping this will be like WWII (without the nuclear bombs) in that the huge deficit that result is coupled with a rejuvenated economy.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Malcolm Gladwell's latest book 'Outliers' (reviewed by me here: emphasized how important it is to be at the exact right place at the exact right time. Sometimes that matters most of all.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

And I am acutely aware of just this element of contingency in my own life and career. A lot of if/then is apparent to me. If I hadn't done one thing, then another would (or would not) have happened.

When it seems to have worked out in my favour, though, it doesn't feel so much like luck as good judgement, the ability to recognize an opportunity and make much of it.

When things go pear-shaped, of course, that does not in any way reflect on the quality of my judgement! That is just bad luck.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE Malcom Gladwell! Blink is so much fun!

He's a keynote speaker at NECC this year.

And now that I mention NECC, I had not shared my good news. I was selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator. I go to Florida after NECC to meet the other members of the class of 2009. It will be an awesome summer.

Posted by: abeac1 | March 3, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

abeac!!!! That is wonderful! You rule.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh is just a cheap hustler. If he is the leader of the GOP, the party is in in trouble.

Posted by: UnPatriotic | March 3, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Limbaugh v Brooks. Ha. The winner gets to escort Sarah Palin. I'd like to see all three of them mud wrestle as to who gets to be king of the deadenders. My money is on the tub of lard. The time for the reasonable, rational conservatives to shout down the rougher elements has come and gone. It's all mob appeal now.

Posted by: SarahBB | March 3, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

WooHooo abeac!!! *confetti and Snoopy dances* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 3, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

What an honor. My wife got a trip to a teacher conference when she was named county technology teacher of the year (which wasn't even her field). Enjoy Florida and keep up the good teaching.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Brooks vs. Limbaugh.. winner gets to escort Sarah Palin. LOL

Now remember, she doesn't cotton to those gosh-darned elitist media types, dontcha-know! And she'd probably turn her nose up at being near that mountain of sweating mush Limbaugh just like she did at Grandpa McNuts. Did anyone else notice how creeped out she seemed to be by her running mate? He'd be trying to get all of that hug he could and Palin would already be on the other side of the stage from him. It creeped me out watching it!

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 3, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The normally uber-snarky Gawker chimes in on the Rush-Steele battle and has this to say:

///Limbaugh is the spiritual leader of a Republican party that has basically resigned itself to representing only aging white males. There are enough aging white males to make Rush still a very, very successful broadcast, but there are not enough of them to win the presidency.///

Pretty much nails it except there are plenty of aging white men that might take exception. Yours truly included.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I am pleasantly aghast at the montage of sleevless first ladies (and nieces, apparrently).

Thanks for that, LiT.
And for not asking me to desist from marking my territory.

Where did the newspaper revenue go, Joel?

I'm like:
Dude, Where's My *Economy*?


Posted by: -bc- | March 3, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

C'mon yello, you're not that old! And in your pitures you're more of a pale salmon.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

And "Lexington" posted this on his Economist blog today:

A big fat idiot
Posted by: Lexington

I GET the impression that David Frum does not like the would-be leader of the Republican opposition, Rush Limbaugh. After a few friendly words about Barack Obama—soft-spoken and conciliatory, physically honed and disciplined, a devoted husband and father—he turns to his fellow Republican,

a man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as “losers.” With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence...
I particularly like the way that he ends his post by saying that "of course he and his supporters have to be treated with respect".

Yoke again: he links to Frum at

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

One who refuses the slightest debate is not one to be treated with respect. No matter how many lemmings are listening.

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 3, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

But my mind read "aging white whales."

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 3, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Just skimming today, folks. Too, too busy at work and still no computer at home. Hello, all, and happy birthday Yoki! "You say it's your birthday, it's my birthday, too" it really is.

Counting down to leaving at 4:00 sharp today since I was one of the few brave holding down the office in yesterday's nasty storm . . .. If you do wind up having to resort to the bunker lift a glass
for me because I'll be with you in spirit.


Posted by: CoraCollins | March 3, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Asian wide snails?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Does that make Steele Ahab?

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, AROC!! Many happy returns. Here, I'll pour you a glass of Prosecco and offer the first toast to you.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

You have visualized a great political cartoon, Yoki. I will alert the media.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 3, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, the public likes Dubya Bush more than "Pills" Limbaugh. LOL

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 3, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Aroc!!! *more confetti and Snoopy dances* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 3, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, they're all has-fins.

Just remember how Moby Dick just kept getting shot up and it only made him crazier?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 3, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

With my compliments, Jumper. I draw so badly that my stick-people come out all scribbled, so you should do something with it.

Scotty, that seems to a bottomless bag of confetti, so liberally are you tossing it today!

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

In another day RNC Chairman Michael Steele would have been his own man.

Now he can't spit out his gum without getting permission from Rush Limbaugh first.

As for google? "Do no evil"? I think they've helped de-value data & news to almost worthlessness. When data and news providers no longer create content, will google step in and bring back newspapers?

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | March 3, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

In another day RNC Chairman Michael Steele would have been his own man.

Now he can't spit out his gum without getting permission from Rush Limbaugh first.

As for google? "Do no evil"? I think they've helped de-value data & news to almost worthlessness. When data and news providers no longer create content, will google step in and bring back newspapers?

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | March 3, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes the fax thinks it's a shredder, Yoki... *nodding*

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 3, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

There is a rumor that Google is going to buy the Miami Herald.

Of course, I started that rumor, so its truthfulness is questionable at best.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 3, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey, shrieking_denizen! Coverage of the battle over the renactment of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in the Economist.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

There is a rumor that Google is buying a million tickets to the big powerball lottery and giving them to Russianthistle.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 3, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Achenbach writes:"Someone explain to me why I shouldn't be nervous about a long-term fiscal plan in which a $600 billion annual deficit is aspirational"

I don't think that the central question is whether or not one should be nervous at the prospect of such a long-term fiscal plan. Of course one should be nervous. The more important question is whether, all things considered, the plan is a reasonable necessary response to structural problems in our economy and our society that would otherwise go unaddressed. At the time of the S&L crisis in the 80's I was a business attorney. It was clear then that the S&L problem was symptomatic of a much larger problem with our credit economy. The only surprise about the present situation is that it took so long to arise. We face deep problems in many areas which, if we don't address them, will express themselves in recurring crises of greater and greater virulence. We are now confronted with a "pay me now or pay me later" situation. The longer we wait the higher the bill, the higher the anxiety, the greater the suffering, and the less likelihood of success.

Posted by: QuickBen | March 3, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Where was Rush when Bush and his Spend and Spend Party was still in power?

There are still a few too many "tax cut patriots" out there and Rush is the best example I can see.

Posted by: drshreve1 | March 3, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Happy Y-Day! Sorry I missed lunch.

Tim, can you tell us what the lady actually said, instead of what you think the husband heard? I think it would be interesting to catch reactions to that.

Reading your post, I did think "to then obtain something that expresses for her something that is characteristic of him," strikes me wrong. Surely the point is that she wants him to think enough to come up with something that is characteristic of her, which he is proving he's noticed?

For some reason, I'm reminded of my ex's 39th birthday. I was at grad school, home on weekends. He told me he wanted a party at a certain restaurant, I got that together, as well as ordering his favorite cake. When I told the story at school, my study group, all male except me, laughed. Their point was if they were doing all that work, they would have picked up THEIR favorite cake, not hers.

Sometimes not being specific enough is a form of control. My ex-husband almost never *wanted* anything until it didn't show up--his feeling was that I should have known what he wanted. Disappointment is a powerful weapon until the disappointer says "He11 with this" and walks away.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 3, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Bulletin: Weingarten surgery a big success. He's fine.

Posted by: joelache | March 3, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh my Yoki. I'm going to be sick. To think that once upon a time the PQ had great humanists like Lévesque, Laurin, Burns, Lazure, Johnson or Bouchard in its leadership. Sanity has definitively left that building.

Pale salmon indeed, says the one whose kids call the Beluga.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 3, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Only for the rockers. It is a very funny song.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 3, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Good for Weingarten. But doing two knees at once? It means he will be in a wheelchair for a bit, no?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 3, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

And the Economist went for this "scaling cliff" nonsense as well. It was a goat path roughly along the path of the current Gilmour Hill road. Getting 4800 soldiers on foot up that hill in one night was an exploit in itself; embellishments are not necessary.
Going down the Gilmour Hill on a bicycle IS fun though.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 3, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

AROC, happy birthday!!!

Posted by: abeac1 | March 3, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Up in the kit I posted Gene's note to the newsroom.

Posted by: joelache | March 3, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Satan has been put on waivers. If you want it on your team he can be signed for peanuts. He didn't get along well with Good Boy Crosby.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 3, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Nicely said, QuickBen.

And happy birthday to Aroc!

This is a three-birthday Boodle day so far: Yoki, Aroc, and mlwjaw's daughter (I hope I have that right, forgive me). Anyone else lurking out there whom we can celebrate? Scottynuke still has confetti.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

SCC want "Him" on your team

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 3, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

That note from Gene is very funny, not that I would expect any less.

Shriek had to do a quick head shake when I saw you post our Satan, then remembered the correct pronunciation and it all made sense :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | March 3, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Ah, shriek, I'm not sure Satan's a bargain. He starts out well enough with a team, then just fizzles. Just ask the Sabres or the Islanders.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 3, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

That's our Gene!

Actually, SD, they'll have him up and walking tomorrow. He WILL be cranky, even with the narcotics. The problem with knee replacement is the therapy, which is No Fun At All. Maggie O'D will confirm, I'm sure.

Posted by: slyness | March 3, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Gene's just dying to buzz people with his wheelchair, SD.

Alas, he'll probably be on a walker for his rehab. At which point Joel will rib him about being the ugliest old lady alive, make speeding ticket jokes, and so on.

I think reclusion and fecal threats isn't a bad idea, overall.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 3, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Double knees. That seems the sort of thing I'd wish on a particularly nasty, fast-moving enemy. I was expecting hip replacement for myself, several years ago. For some reason, the pain disappeared. A colleague was less fortunate and hasn't had the happiest time with the new joint.

The young Lancetilla mango tree (all 5 feet of it) has several baby mangos. Its first bunch. The tree's big enough to let them develop. The caladium bulbs will arrive in a few days. Why did I order so many? Then pick up some native iris and crinum plants? Crinum americanum or southern swamp lily is quite lovely. I don't think it needs a real swamp to be happy.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 3, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be so sure, Dave o' the Coonties.

It turns out aquatic critters release nitrous oxide.

Maybe those roots need a little tickling for true happiness?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 3, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

A Post story on the art of Japanese pottery repair mentions the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sending a broken, but very valuable piece back to China for repair, getting the piece back with the traditional metal staples.

Yoshimasa was the inept shogun who did tea ceremonies at his elegant Silver Pavilion as Kyoto burned in vaguely Beirut-like civil war. He's remembered as a great aesthete.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 3, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I myself enjoy a nice cuppa after a day of ineptitude. Why not?

Posted by: Boko999 | March 3, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

David Brooks is wasting his time trying to make sense of Rush Limbaugh.Mike Steele was correct -but he was rtaken to the woodshed and he immediately reversed course. Sean Hannity and others keep talking about "The Fairnss Doctrine" -we dont need the Fairnes Doctrine - Rush and others are doing a great job of shootimg themselves in the foot..
The Republican Party is in trouble.
And as long as the likes of Limbaugh Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity are the faces/voices of the conservative movement -middle of the road voters will be running in the opposite direction .
So let them continue to hog the mike all the way to 2010 to the democratic Party's benefit.

Posted by: Carprin | March 3, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Weingarten is fine? But..but..I had a glowing tribute all composed full of heartfelt recollections and women crying over the loss and commenting on his under-appreciated stud-like nature. And ..and I wrote one of those higgeldy-piggedly things that he is so big on. I mean, it is...epic.

But no. He has to go and live through it. Thoughtless bastardo.

Besides, now my bookie is going to insist I pay up.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

It's cute when you get upset enough to lapse into Italian, RD.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 3, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse


I hope Weingarten somehow sees your 6:09, RD_Padouk. Just the right tone for him.

So, you gonna post your double dactyl here?

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Landing for a few minutes to say hello. It is tough to keep up with the boodle. I'm in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport on my way to Bismarck, North Dakota. Pretty close to some of you frozen Canadians! Lots of snow here unlike the Springs which when I left was over 70 F.

What a BIG change from San Diego. Hey, North Dakota, another state I can checkmark.

Sending well wishes to Gene. Hopefully Gene has a PCA (patient controlled anesthesia) pump.

Joel--diversify. The Rocky is no more but the Denver Post scooped up quite a few journalist from what they say. My advice is all big papers concentrate only on Thursday-Sunday dead tree editions.

I read the Feb edition of the Reader's Digest on the plane and was uplifted by all the "be grateful" for what you have articles and the humor.

Keep the faith.

Posted by: Windy3 | March 3, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

So good to hear from you, AROC, and best wishes on your birthday.

Congratulations, a bea c, teachers rule in my book.

And Steele apologized to Rush Limbaugh, I seriously feel sick. Steele will have to kiss his hand and the other part now. These folks need to "man up". I'll bet Rush is grinning all over himself. The man spoke the truth about Rush, he did not need to apologize. Rush Limbaugh isn't going to like Steele anyway, nor will he ever think he's the person for the job. Steele would have to be born again, and I mean in the physical sense.

Yoki, I hope you enjoyed your day, and the wonderful lunch.

The g-girl is here, so the bed is not an option now. Lord, I hope her mother shows up soon. I'm beat.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 3, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday aroc and welcome to mlwjaw and happy birthday to your daughter. I have the same reaction to Rush that I have to Bush, can’t bear looking at them. I can’t add anything to what others have said better regarding Rush and the Repubs, so I won’t try.

Just heard Brian Williams saying that Michelle Obama has a sky high approval rating. I guess there aren't many objectors to her bare arms.

Posted by: badsneakers | March 3, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Hi Cassandra! I actually have stuck around a few minutes. Hope you are well. too.

Posted by: Windy3 | March 3, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Windy3!!! Is all well? You holding up?

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, I like it: Ann Coulter is the Head of the Republicans. The Great Magnet around which all the machine residue coalesces? Or the Central Gizzard through which all the grit is ground? Maybe just the Big Toe? Perhaps the Royal Nostril, through which all dogma is Sniffed and announced Worthy or Unworthy?

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 3, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Hi Yoki! Up and down as usual but up presently. Next week--a challenge but my husband and at least one son will do some touring of DC since hubby has never been and then he and I are driving to Pittsburgh to show him where I grew up.

Posted by: Windy3 | March 3, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: geomguy | March 3, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I may still get to Canada since my company does business there--pretty much any where there is a Bismarck!

Posted by: Windy3 | March 3, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

So who is this Rushbaugh?

Posted by: Windy3 | March 3, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I must say that spending lots of time in airports the last few months I do see more business women than men. Okay, maybe just as many. But it is rather striking.

Posted by: Windy3 | March 3, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Gotta run--take care Yoki and all!

Posted by: Windy3 | March 3, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Ah Boko, I knew you were a great aesthete!

Posted by: nellie4 | March 3, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

BismarcK? Who goes to Bismarck...and why? Sheesh.

Anyway, additional happy birthdays to AROC and to MNLWhatsis's dottir. And a standing ovation to abeac-- you rawk, ma'am.

OK, shriek, I seem to be in need of a refresher. It's been a long time since I studied the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Is somebody now saying it wasn't all that big a deal to get up that cliff? Is that what all the revisionist history is about? Last I'd heard, it was quite a feat. (I wasn't there, personally, so can't say from direct experience. I was down in the mapping and survey ship with Cap'n Jim Cook (helluva sailor, second-greatest I ever served under), so missed the big night (I had KP duty in the galley, scrubbing shards of bully beef and hardtack out of the tubs).

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Apparently we (meaning earthlings) narrowly missed getting smacked yesterday by an asteroid the size of the Empire State building, which would have had the impact of 1,000 or so Hiroshima A-bombs. Sucker missed us by only 45,000 miles.

Apprently there wasn't a lot of warning. I think I was just as happy not knowing it was coming.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Windy, it's too bad nobody around here has any advice on DC points of interest...

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 3, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I think Shriek gave us a link to that story the other day.

Posted by: dmd2 | March 3, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Hello, Windy, glad to hear from you. I'm hanging in there. Between saying the word "quit" more times than I care too, me and the five year old are holding out pretty good. I've just be informed Mom's a no show.

I slipped over to Eugene Robinson's for a minute, the word they're using is "groveling" for Steele in regard to Rush. I thought about that word too, just didn't want to say it, because it makes me even more depressed. Why would an intelligent human being feel conflicted about Rush Limbaugh? Does Rush have an army somewhere, and should we be afraid?

Now to get this five year-old out of the bathtub.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 3, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Ensconced in Towson, MD, in a giant mall that is dead, dead, dead, dead as in no shoppers. At the word's tiniest Starbucks and note to Mudge: they are selling a handy thermal glass/bottle that will carry coffee about. The lid is a screw top. This will be my new coffee-to-go-by-bike system. You asked about ways to not take the, see this. The color is, like Henry Ford's famous quip: basic new-grass green. (this is the new black).

Hippo Birdies to

Aroc-San, and the newest boodler progeny:
MW...-San's fair and lovely and young dot.

Waves to Windy and this is her theme song, that plays in my head:

I played trombone in marching band for that song. I played only on that song for one year. Sheesh, the things a desparate music teacher will inflict on someone who can read a bass clef...the next year I played string bass in the orchestra....the next year, I quit to do theater tech and costumes...

Oh Michael Steele, why bother to back away from the truth....sigh...and how about grow a backbone of some metallic fiber...isn't your cause worth some truthsmack?

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 3, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Howdy Windy, hearty congratulations to abeac, hang in there Cassandra. Bedtime will come almost as soon as you hope.

Please excuse my ignorance and literal mind. If the battle was on the Plains of Abraham why were there cliffs?

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 3, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Once you scale the cliff then you are on the Plain. I am very visual so hope this helps.

Posted by: dmd2 | March 3, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Ivansmom, but will I be around to see that? That's the question.

I read Gene W's quote in the kit, and as tired as I am, I thought this guy is reading my mind. I had to laugh. He's going to start throwing feces after the drugs wear off. Very funny. I guess with both knees wrapped up, a sense of humor is a must.

Now I need to find my drugs. They should do the trick. I think I'll get the g-girl to read me a story. We're out of the tub, and suds are everywhere. The bathroom looks like it's been snowing.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 3, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I was just contemplating whether to put in $0.02 on the Plains of Abraham. Mudge, if you didn't know, the re-enactment was cancelled because there was a critical mass of threats and protests. For some the 250 year old battle still hits a raw nerve. Personally, I was surprised a re-enactment was considered as this was entirely predictable.

I think Americans are much better at letting go of the past (though that probably surprises some of you) than others. By way of example, the capability of reenacting horrific battles of the Civil War, which were not really that long ago, is not something most nations have the maturity to do.

Ivansmom, the fortress at Quebec City is adjacent to the said Plains, which are a plateau with cliffs down to the St. Lawrence.

Posted by: engelmann | March 3, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

dmd's pix is as good as any, I suppose, Ivansmom. Quebec at the time was a walled city, and sits on a plateau overlooking the St. Lawrence River. The cliff there is about 150 feet high.

Wolfe had been beseiging the French for three months, but Montcalm refused to come out and fight him (why should he? he had a point). Finally, Wolfe decided he had to launch an attack. No one quite knows why he picked the spot he did. But he sent his troups down river and landed at a cove at the base of the cliff. During the night a small group of British soldiers went up the cliff to capture a lookout post; Wolfe and his men came ashore an hour later, and went up the goat path (I guess). At the top of the cliff was a plateau outside the walled city, but apparently it was *inside* the general French line of defenses. So in effect Wolfe and his troops landed inside the French perimeter, and therefore Montcalm felt he had no choice but to do something about it.

There is lots of controversy about whether each general -- or both of them -- were a little bit crazy, but it seems Montcalm had some better choices than those he made. He could and should have waited for an additional force led by Bougainville to come up and assist him in repelling the British, whom he could have cut off and surrounded, and driven back down the cliff.

But he didn't. He launched his main attack more or less right away, and the battle only lasted an hour before the French broke. Both generals were killed, Wolfe during the battle, and Montcalm was wounded and died the following morning.

So basically, a somewhat foolhardy attack succeeded, and so Wolfe is/was regarded as a genius (even though a competent defender would have/should have cleaned his clock). And since Montcalm died in the battle, he had to be a great warrior too, so both are remembered probably a lot better than either deserved.

I don't know how large the actual Plain of Abraham is, but my guess is not very. A quarter mile? Half mile? But certainly not "the plains" you are thinking of.

The famous English navigator/explorer Capt. James Cook was a lowly captain of a surveying ship at the battle, and he and his ship plotted water depths and anchorages and made charts of that portion of the river. Pretty boring, dull work, but quite useful, and the British Navy was terrific at that kind of thing.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Truthsmack - now there's a good word, CqP! I'm going to remember and use that one.

I remember just the tiniest bit about that battle. Didn't the Canucks whip the Muricans there? And that was the end of Murican attempts to conquer Canada? I'd google it, but I'd rather hear our Haute Mainers' account.

Posted by: slyness | March 3, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Thats a little harsh engelmann, I will have you know that in Toronto, since 1967 the Leafs have been reenacting their attempt at some sort of resemblance of a hockey team, a few more decades of practise and they might have it. Although they might not have tried that hard this year :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | March 3, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

See? I knew somebody would set me straight! And of course it would be Mudge, who was with every great general and admiral in the history of Western Civilization.

Posted by: slyness | March 3, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Engleman: Willa Cather, with her American plain voice, wrote lovingly of Quebec in Shadows on the Rock.

She also wrote about WWI in One of Our Own.In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for this moving story published in 1922. Cather's book was inspired by reading her cousin G.P. Cather's wartime letters written to his family. He was among the first Nebraskans killed in WWI

My grandfather was a WWI vet. He died in his high nineties. He did speak about parts of the war to us. He may have regretted more than WWI vets did not get the GI bill, like WWII vets did. He would have gone to medical school, truly, had that been open to him. As it was, he did not finish high school, having to work beginning at 13 when his father left the family for fool's gold and a floozie.

He saw his father again at muster for WWI, in Kansas City, Kansas. He refused to speak to him. His father wanted to wish him well as a doughboy.

My GG's most moving story was that as a medic, he was asked within his first week of duty to paint silver nitrate solution on the tonsils of sick soldiers. He did not understand that the solution was to be diluted first. Two young men died in front of him, with swollen, burned throats.

The other stories -- and those of my grandmother, his wife from Ireland -- were more about the Spanish flu than the war. The spoke in specific names about people who were dead within four or five days of starting with the cough and fever.

He remained interested for years in all things medical. He taught lifesaving and river swimming for more than fifty years in the Leavenworth, KS area. I cannot count the number of times he swam the Missouri River. Late July and August only, as the river was not safe for that at other times. He was the oldest accredited CPR instructor in Kansas, at this death.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 3, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh, pshaw, slyness! *but blushing* Truth is, I did miss a few engagements, 'cuz ya can't always be in two places at once.

But yes, that Wolfie was two demitasses short of a full tea party.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yes, a footnote about Irish-German sympathies in WWI. My grandmother did not share my grandfather's war tinged wariness about the Germans. Tis an ancient alliance of this algebra: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Many Irishers fought in WWI, as British Army soldiers. They comported themselves well. But, they had that history of military service with their uneasy and unliked masters. But, the Irish sentiment about the Germans...well, complicated.

So, they did not talk much about this. I understand that WWII re-shaped my grandmother's views radically. But, they would have had a good 12 or so years together with silence about those Kaiser-Krauts.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 3, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Ah, well. *sigh* Who among us hasn't fallen for some fool's gold and a floozie from time to time?

Wish I had a nickel...

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, not you! Never.

Slyness: a mall rat just walked by with a t-shirt proclaiming luv-luv for a band called


So, not my thought really....just inspired borrowing.

I put the Zero in there because two posts were held for review...

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 3, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse


by: Willa Cather (1873-1947)

N the tavern of my heart
Many a one has sat before,
Drunk red wine and sung a stave,
And, departing, come no more.
When the night was cold without,
And the ravens croaked of storm,
They have sat them at my hearth,
Telling me my house was warm.

As the lute and cup went round,
They have rhymed me well in lay;--
When the hunt was on at morn,
Each, departing, went his way.
On the walls, in compliment,
Some would scrawl a verse or two,
Some have hung a willow branch,
Or a wreath of corn-flowers blue.

Ah! my friend, when thou dost go,
Leave no wreath of flowers for me;
Not pale daffodils nor rue,
Violets nor rosemary.
Spill the wine upon the lamps,
Tread the fire, and bar the door;
So despoil the wretched place,
None will come forevermore.

WiFi is running out for me, unless I find another hotspot....take care all. And YJ, I did wave at you with ScottyNuke enthusiasm and nearly his wingspan. Will wave quietly at you, say about, at 11:50 or so. Will be a late night and drive.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 3, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, you have no idea how much I would have loved to interview your GG, CqP, and your grandfather, Yoki, and anybody else's WWI and WWII vets.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I think I need an intervention-home and watching Idol.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 3, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

A much better site to explain the look of the Plains - from the war museum - scale models.

Posted by: dmd2 | March 3, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, I need to join your intervention!

Posted by: dmd2 | March 3, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Welcome mlwjaw and I hope your little one had a lovely birthday.

Happy Birthday to you, Aroc.

Congrats, abeac, very impressive.

It has been strange to see all these new posters who have not been spewing right wing malice, hasn't it? Strange, but nice.

In nursing school during my clinicals, I observed many operations, Open heart surgery, abdominal surgery, carpal tunnel surgery (you would not believe how much fat can be around a wrist...yellow, gobby fat!) and others. The only surgery I ever felt remotely uncomfortable watching was knee surgery. Watching that kneecap manipulated nearly killed me, I really thought I might faint. Somehow, to watch a beating heart wasn't nearly as bad.

And some of the worst problems I ever had with patients in my first job on a surgical floor were with knee replacement patients when I had to get them into the CPM machine. Criminy, they could get ugly! I can remember this normally sweet little old lady baring her teeth at me and literally shaking her fist in my face. And honest, I was (and still am) a very compassionate and gentle nurse! If I do say so myself....

Windy's right, it's much better now with PCA's, but it's still no fun. I'm glad Gene is doing well and I hope he's floating in a nice dream as I type.

Posted by: Kim1 | March 3, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

By better site I ment in pictures, can't top the description by Mudge.

Posted by: dmd2 | March 3, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Going back to my Epiphany of Gender-Related Communication from the last Boodle: dbG, what the lady said was "my husband is one of those men who... well, I tried to be very specific. I asked for a gold bangle bracelet, narrow, about an 1/8 inch across. What I got was a bracelet made of silver, with these big things, and turquoise [I deduce it is a concho bracelet -- Tim]. So, I tried again. I said I'd like a watch, something small, with a narrow band." She demonstrated her watch to the audience, but since this is an audio podcast, one can only infer from the audience reaction that she showed a wide watch and wristband, very unlike what she just described. "No, no! This isn't the one! The one he gave me was twice as wide!" I seem to recall that her description had more specifications than what I have summarized here.

I did not mean to be particularly hostile to the lady, but I felt her description of the situation was a tad self-serving and showed no awareness that she must be contributing something to the communication problem her ownself.

When I said the man was trying to get something characteristic of him -- well, yes, I get what you mean about how it should be characteristic of her, not him. What I mean is that if he is genuinely trying to get something that bespeaks thought and caring, then whatever he gets will be heavily tinged by him and his personality. He will be getting his conception of satisfying what he thinks she wants. Putting my own immediate reaction into his place -- given such a specific request, I know that the one thing which would make me most disappointed and feeling that I failed to demonstrate genuine caring would be to unimaginatively give the precise thing she described, with no elaboration on the theme. It's not that I would feel I had failed to ignore her taste in favor of my own. I would feel that I failed to comprehend what she wanted enough to try to give her something more than her request. The assumption is that her request is modest and that she really would like something that is in some way "more". But what?

Which would be better -- to try and fail, or to not try and simply take her order? She could more satisfactorily have simply purchased jewelry herself and told him that that's what he's giving her. If she is genuinely displeased by what he gets her -- like, actively unhappy with it -- then she shouldn't be asking him to get her something that he is purely incapable of perceiving in the way she sees it. Ask him to give her car care or something "manly".

I imagine that to her, "narrow gold bangle bracelet" is a category that allows for endless variations and creativity. To me and, I suspect, to her husband, it is so rigorously specific that she couldn't be serious and must mean it as merely an example implying "bracelet, made of precious metal" with narrow meaning "I authorize you to limit the amount of material so that it does not break the bank."

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 3, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Kim, as I think I have mentioned, my sister was an ER nurse for years. Oh, the stories she would tell about "little old ladies." The old men she could deal with, but the "LOLs" were the ones that drove her to distraction.

Speaking of knee replacement, my father-in-law had one done last spring. He recovered very quickly. The feces-flinging stage didn't last long at all.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 3, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

So what empty mall are you at CqP? It's been quite a while since I have been to Towson Town Center, but it always seemed pretty lively to me. Nowadays I find anything I need a mall for at the sprawling and pretentiously named The Mall In Columbia. Tomorrow morning I go there for Apple lessons. My wife is dragging me to the dark side.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 3, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Jorge Nunez should just sing in Spanish.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 3, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Some after action shots I took at the Plains of Abraham.
The trail up.
At the top.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 3, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Just what every paty needs -- a fat, ignorant, racist, xenophobic, drug addict blowhard. What is amazing is how the republicon leadership bow and scrape and kiss his enormous foul smelling feet, and other even less savor anatomical attributes. You'd think he was important by the way the kowtow whenever his gargantuan jowls flap in the fox channel winds. If this is what the republicons are reduced to they must be in abject shame of themselves. What's next? ann kkkoulter writing the party talking points? heinity calling roll call votes in the senate for them? olieley for president? Good God, one would feel sorry for them if they had not so totally destroyed our nation with their incompetence and criminal buffonery

Posted by: John1263 | March 3, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, that's pretty much what I suspected. I will allow Mudge to pass you his jewelry code book.

Anything that goes on my body next to my skin, I have a right to be very specific about.

I too would be upset if I hinted that if I got jewelry, I would prefer it be gold-- and I then got silver.

Have you considered that many people are allergic to metal and can only wear gold? And that some jewelry designs are far more irritating to the skin than others?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 3, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh right-- if you don't wear jewelry, you don't think about wearablity.

She should have returned the gift instead of complaining about it.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 3, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes for my 9 y.o. I do believe she had a good day! The chocolate-chip cookie, strawberry ice cream sandwiches we made for her dessert were darn tasty.
If I were to ever encounter Rush Limbaugh I would not admit to recognizing or knowing of him. I would feign ignorance of his vitriol and behave as if the idea of having a talk show is quite droll.
My mother had a knee replaced last year, and only recently could feel glad she had done so. It's different for everyone.
Thank you a hundred times for the warm welcome. I am honored to be among you.

Posted by: mlwjaw | March 3, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, y'all, for the Plain of Abraham explanation and pictures. I am now less ignorant than I was when I woke up this morning. That's a good day.

I wish I were going to sleep, but after I put the Boy to bed I have another hour and a half or so of preparation for tomorrow's 8 am class. Ideally I can do this prep work on weekends, but some weeks the schedule just wipes me out. I think during spring break I'll get as far ahead as I can.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 3, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many people think Rush Limbaugh is a person that Al Franken made up.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 3, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

mlwjaw, "If I were to ever encounter Rush Limbaugh I would not admit to recognizing or knowing of him. I would feign ignorance of his vitriol and behave as if the idea of having a talk show is quite droll."
- that is brilliant. I love it. If only we could get the MSM to take this attitude towards Limbaugh, Coulter, Nancy Grace. . . .

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 3, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Mlw I love your polite approach.

Now, if I was forced to acknowledge him, I'd never be able to resist saying-- "What, Al Franken didn't make you up, like he did Stuart Smalley?"

(Or insisting on his getting me the Church Lady's signature.)

This is why people don't talk to me at parties, by the way....

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 3, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

happy birthday, Aroc, mlwjaw, and Yoki, Bless you all. Congrats, abeac, on recognition that's very well deserved. I read the transcript of Mr. Limbaugh's speech. He is quoted as saying that he didn't see a WalMart voter, a black , a hispanic, a woman... I suspect that none of these people were present in numbers large enough to be visibly picked out in the crowd from the podium. He neglected to articulate how the country arrived at this economic conundrum, nor how he might fix it. Rather, he spent his time throwing meaty lines to the crowd, strategically sprinkling he11 no's and screw this hither and yon, to the desired effect. No substance. If this is the voice of the Republican party, a leader, the GOP is in for a long ride in the ditch. I respect Mr. Brooks for his candor and more principled stands on the issues. Now, the laundry beckons.

Posted by: -jack- | March 3, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

The spectre of Raygun made me think of the first time I saw the Rolling Stones. this giant tv screen lit up and cartoons and various images flashed on the screen. Jagger said "Look, my favourite televisioin show is coming on...", and on cue, the screen filled with an image of the President's face, that melted, the way that movies did when the got stuck in the projector at school. Then they played this:

Posted by: -jack- | March 3, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm just shattered.

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

The lawyerly aftermath of the Plains was also decisive in a different way. In the negotiations ending the Seven Years War and leading to the Treaty of Paris New France could possibly have been returned, but was abandoned for the return of the sugar islands in the Caribbean. Voltaire lobbied as such, and is famously quoted as calling Canada "a few acres of snow".

More anti-Canuckitism: apparently Voltaire in 1755 after the Lisbon earthquake wrote: "I wish the earthquake had engulfed that miserable Acadia" (wiki)

dmd: LOL

Posted by: engelmann | March 3, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Happy B-Day, Yoki.

Posted by: engelmann | March 3, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Please! No more comments about that broken rectal thermometer, Lush Rimbaugh. The boodle has traditionally ameliorated the vacuousness of the kit, not enhanced it. At long-last, sirs, have you no decency?

Posted by: Nebreklaw01 | March 3, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Not unless you buy the boodle a gold bracelet, Nebreklaw.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 3, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Bling, Wilbrod? Bling? Do you think the Boodle is that shallow that we can be bought with bling?

I want to be tucked in, and a kiss goodnight. Then the bling.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 3, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

If it were a matter of wellness, then I would see no rudeness or impropriety in saying "I'm sorry dear, I need to have gold jewelry because of my skin -- it reacts badly to other metals." That is an instruction that is easily interpretable and totally practical, therefore comprehensible to an aesthetically-challenged person. But be careful -- he might go for platinum, which is similarly chemically inert but looks different.

The problem I see is that the storyteller thought that the failure of communication is because she is insufficiently specific, so she spelled out a shopping order, which her husband interpreted "creatively" because otherwise it's not a gift -- it's a purchase. She needs to be less specific, not more so, and describe the parameters that led her to the specific thing she asked for: " I like gold, because other metals cause an unsightly and painful allergic reaction in my skin. I like objects that are light and delicate, because otherwise they look a little garish. I like things like bracelets, because I don't like to wear too many rings, I don't like brooches, and I have enough earrings." That would lead him to the same conclusion as what she specified in her order, but it leaves him the opportunity to feel that he is meeting a challenge in finding something that meets her needs.

Of course, we are just assuming the issue of allergy. If it is a matter of preference, she needs to state a preference for gold, not just a preference for a specific thing that happens to be made out of gold -- she sees one set of defining characteristics in that object, he sees another.

Put metaphorically: in the movie "When Harry Met Sally", Sally goes to restaurants and places highly precise and picky orders that define exactly what she wants and how she wants the cook to prepare it, and fails completely to understand why this is considered troublesome. Is there anyone who does not find that behavior reprehensible? If I were the restaurant owner, I would throw her out. If you want to do the cooking, cook whatever you like. When you come to my establishment, you get something that I offer. Cooking is art, it is creativity. If you don't like the art that I offer, then why are you here?

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 3, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Shopping is an art?

That said, your suggestion on how to request such things is a good idea, actually.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 3, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Well then! EYE will tuck you in Curmudgeon, pull the blankets up over your shoulders, pat your back, and lean over and give you the goodnight kiss. And then tuck those soft blankets more securely around you.

Dictating to Chef, Tim? Never. I still amaze Calgary peeps when I say, when asked how I want my duck breast, "However Chef thinks I should have it."

Posted by: Yoki | March 3, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Yoki. You make me appreciate you yet more.

Would I say to Picasso "a little more red, please, to go with the sofa"? Would I ask Paganini to transpose down a bit? Would I inform Rodin that he needs a little more muscle definition in that Thinker, a little more pizzazz in that Kiss? Would I tell Doc Watson that he needs to slow it down and make his playing less complex? Would I suggest that Hemingway needs to punch up that narrative style with something a little more cheerful? -- perhaps describe a pleasant scene with some lush bougainvillea, fragrant cups of fresh coffee in the paradisiacal sunshine of Key West at Spring Break.

I think not.

(I realize this is a digression. I just like the idea of giving artistic pointers to Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway.)

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 4, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

My favorite joke, torn from the pages of the WaPo:

Why did Hemingway's chicken cross the road?

To die. In the rain. Alone.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 4, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

In, finally. YJ, twas TTCenter. But, the mall was empty, as in no shoppers. Several stores closed at 6. As I walked through, several shops had clerks stationed at the doors with sample things....I won a scarf in an on-the-spot drawing...also was given an amazing sample of lotion....bought some at this rate: Buy one; get three free. Total=four.

I am not a shopper but I think this is a new phase in the shrinking economy. Also, Tuesday is very slow, even in better times.

To bed! Yoki, I am siphoning off some of the tuck-in you sent to Mr. Mudge.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 4, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

HAHAHA! That is a fine joke, *Tim.

And would I ask a rhetorical question for effect?

OK everyone! Modulate!

Posted by: Yoki | March 4, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Not necessary, CqauP! I will next fetch up (tip up) at your house and tuck you in too.

I am the Boodle Mommy!

Posted by: Yoki | March 4, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Kitchen Kaboodle, a Portland, Oregon institution, has lowered its costs so it can lower prices. The stores are now open only Thursday-Sunday. Their website is still open all week.

Mayhaps Voltaire mistook Acadia for Arcadia?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 4, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

evening All
Pretty half moon in the shape of a watermelon on my ride home tonight.Made for a pleasant sheen off the potomac as I came by, and then set behing the mountain as I pulled into my driveway.

Sorry no wildlife to report,except for my guests tonight as someone decided to heat up waffles in thier microwave for 11 mins,catch them on fire and set off the buildings fire alarm.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 4, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

A nice blast from the past here,I used to know all the words to the first 4 Eagles albums by heart.This was one of my favorites.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 4, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. And yes, I've been to bed, just didn't rest well at all. Just stopped by to say good morning. I have a busy day.

Kim, I suspect it is true about old ladies. Being one myself, and thinking about my last hospital stay, I can attest that I did get a bit nasty. Not to the point of throwing feces, too sick to do that, but not on my best behavior. They had to transfer me to another hosptial, and on the way, the ambulance nearly wrecked, so that certainly calmed me and put a lot of things in perspective. I have to admit the staff was more than kind, and you probably fall in that category too. Just ignore the bad moods because you folks do good work.

Yoki, Scotty, Mudge, Slyness, and all, have a great day. *waving* Where's Martooni?

The weather here is suppose to make an attempt at being warm. I have my doubts, but what do I know?

I'm starting my day at the hospital this morning. I'll attend a meeting of ministers here in the county. I hope with lots of prayer and praise. Plus we have to go to school this morning.

Forgive my rotten mood this week, boodlers. JA, I want to blame your kit, but can't really do that. I just find Rush Limbaugh really repulsive, and I know he's a human being, but he's not a nice human being. The country is struggling, we don't need the likes of Rush Limbaugh, the party that left this mess. These people have no shame.

Sorry, Loomis, didn't mean to take it out on you. Have a good day, too.

Time to study and find coffee.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 4, 2009 4:21 AM | Report abuse

Tim, I'm speechless. I know you take gift-giving very seriously, but what would you think if you requested a mountain bike and the lady extrapolated that to mean "bike" and got you a, I don't know, unicycle?

I will attempt to respond after work this afternoon, but question how specific her request was--a quick I'net search on "narrow gold bangle bracelet" brings up 1,510,000 items, so that doesn't seem an overly specific request on the lady's part. I suspect any chain jewelry store would have at least 5 different possibilities.

Tiffany's has at least 15 which qualify, in a wide variety of styles.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 4, 2009 4:33 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, dbg. How are you?

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 4, 2009 5:28 AM | Report abuse

For Yoki, Aroc, Mlwj girl, Gomer, abeac, aw heck everyone...

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 4, 2009 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Oh and a contribution to the genderbashfest:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 4, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Al, and everybody else too.

I'm already behind schedule today, but I don't care. Still too cold to walk. This is getting old, but it's supposed to be spring-like this weekend. Figures.

Cassandra, enjoy your day! And don't work too hard.

I hope I can find the energy to move a little faster...

Posted by: slyness | March 4, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. It was a very fine summary of the plains of Abraham battle Curmudgeon. The "climbing cliffs" bit makes me cringe every time I hear it. You don't send 4800 soldiers up a cliff in the dark, that is nonsense. The cliff is made of brittle, unstable material as well. It has been stalized by rock bolts and metal grids now but rock falls used to be common all along the Quebec cliff.
Wolfe famously surveyed the shore of the river and either was shown (by a traitor) or discovered the path starting at the Anse au Foulon (later renamed Wolfe's Cove then renamed back to l'Anse-au-Foulon).
Useless tidbits: the place was known as the Hauteurs d'Abraham/Heights of Abraham at the time, I don't know how it becames the Plains of A. (Abraham was the farmer working those fields.)
I don't know why those nationalist can't let go. The Battle of the P of A was the just the final chapter of the story. France had decided to fight and beat England on the Continent, not in the Americas. Montcalm's (and his predecessor's)numerous requests for additional troops were denied and so it was inevitable that they would be defeated as the English continually built up the level of troops in Canada (and the US, as there was come agitation going on down there...)
Boko, your picture of the Cap-Blanc stairs brought back good memories. I took those 398 steps many times to go fishing on the wharf down by the river. Going up, the last 10 steps are the hardest...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 4, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Despite the chilly weather and chillier news, I am feeling positively chipper this morning. Don't worry, it shan't last. It is probably the coffee. Or the fact that I choose a slice of the raspberry cake with chocolate ganache brought in by a coworker as my breakfast.

When the crash comes it shall be horrible indeed.

You know, one of my philosophies of life is that the best defense against depression is to read history. Not only does it make things seem a whole lot better today, but you also get the sense that this too will pass.

For instance, in England some time ago they were facing certain ecological and economic disaster because they could no longer reach the deeply buried low-sulfur coal. Then someone came up with this thing called a "steam pump."

I'm not advocating a technological deus ex machina for all our problems, of course. Just pointing out that the future is sometimes unknowable, so while we should reasonably prepare for the worst, there is nothing wrong with expecting the best.

So long as it is coupled with sensible action, a Pollyanish attitude does no harm. And can be reasonably entertaining.

Especially if chocolate ganache is involved.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 4, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

*shoveling-out-from-under-a-quick-flurry-of-paperwork-with-a-Hump-Day-burst-of-enthusiasm Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 4, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!

dbG-I await your gift giving reply. Something about sci'Tim's posts has me troubled and I can't quite reach it.

It would be nice to say no gift should be a disappointment, but in addition to all the communication and emotional issues attached there is money. I'm not saying higher priced gifts=more love. It's just that marital gifts, even when separate bank accounts are kept, come from a common pool of money. For most people that means to buy one thing means not being able to buy another, or not wishing to because there are other priorities. A tragically chosen gift then is not just not what the recipient wanted, it is also a token of not getting the wanted item, and many other items of equivalent value that both partners would have preferred.

But what do I know? It's taken me nearly 20 years to put across the message to Mr. F that I do not like pistachios.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 4, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Frosbitten - the common pool of money is what always confuses me about extravagant gifts. To me, they basically represent a unilateral raid on the family finances. Neither my wife nor I see this as particularly endearing.

For example, each Christmas I threaten to buy my wife a Lexis on accounta how happy the wife in those commercials look.

She discourages this. Unless I *really* want a Christmas to Remember.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 4, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

That is why this year my wife instituted the policy of just buying ourselves our own 'gifts'. Everybody gets exactly what they want.

Besides most of what she buys nowadays that are luxury items are obscure perfumes not available in local stores. It's just silly for her to call me into the office and point to a computer screen and say "That's what I want" and then still have to hit the BuyNow button.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 4, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

To me, and realize I am an idealist, the ideal gift is one that the recipient didn't even know they wanted or needed until they see it. Such a gift is an expression of a unique knowledge of the other person.

And the inverse is, I believe, the source of some of the gift rage that many endure. This anger arises from the implication that one person (often a man) knows so little about the other person (often a woman) that they would purchase a gift that is so obviously inappropriate.

Which is why I usually stick with chocolate truffles and fuzzy slippers.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 4, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Is it a genderbashfest? I didn't think so. I thought it was about how two people can be thinking that they are communicating quite clearly, but neither one is getting the message the other one thinks he/she is sending. Kinda like now.

To the extent that I was bashing the woman/storyteller, it is because she was pretending to the part of a neutral narrator while actually pursuing an agenda to seek ratification for her point of view (and I admit, she did so in amusing fashion). She mentioned the mote in her husband's eye, while failing to perceive the log in her own. This kind of issue plays a major part in my own storytelling choices: in an anecdote that involves a person playing the fool while others behave wisely, there can be only one choice for the identity of the fool -- me, the teller. To cast someone else as the fool is to choose to insult, rather than amuse.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 4, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm always available to be cast as the fool, *Tim.

Usually by default, but anyway...

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 4, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

dbG, I don't think misreading a gold bangle bracelet for a silver concho bracelet is equivalent to confusing two different styles of bicycle. I think it would be more like confusing two different styles of bicycle tire. Not just referring to the similarity in shape, it is an object for which there can be a world of difference in design that is perceptible only to the cognoscenti. A bicycle, unlike a tire, must be fitted for size to the body of the rider. A tire, like a bracelet, comes in standard sizes that can fool the unaware into thinking they are similar.

But, you see, I would never ask someone else to buy bike tires for me, because I know that I have requirements that would be unknown to my loved ones. If I'm going to place a highly specific order, then I'll just do it myself. To ask someone else to place the order is to set them up for failure. If this lady has specific things she wants to see in her jewelry, I have no problem with that. The unfairness is that she expects her husband to understand her highly specific wishes at the same level of detail that she understands them, and derides him when he interprets her 'request' in a way that makes no sense to her -- but it makes sense to him, because he is attempting to respond to her desire, not her shopping list.

Imagine if bc were to ask me for auto parts for Christmas. We all have a good working definition of what a 'car' is, but I would not think for even a moment that I understand the concept of 'car' well enough to select something for him. You would all understand that it would be an unfair request (setting aside the fact that I have no cause to be giving expensive gifts to bc). bc is the expert on the subject and I am not, so I could not possibly satisfy his request, no matter how specifically he described it. There would be something (a million things) so blindingly obvious to him that they would not even need mention, and of which I would be completely unaware. So, if he asked me for it anyway, who is to blame for his inevitable disappointment -- him or me?

I have said way more than enough on what I thought would be a short subject. I, for one, am dropping it now, because I seem to be creating lotsa heat, but no light.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 4, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

With every retelling, your story becomes less of a genderbashfest, SciTim, but that's because I know you're not a genderbashermaniac to the extent I know anything (entschuldigung, I'm into faux German today). This does not erase the fact that your original post had a clear slant (I perceived it that way anyway).

But what do I know?
Once, years ago, DNA Guy asked if he could buy me gift for a birthday or something and I said I'd bash him over the head with it if he ever presumed to know me that well. I of course know him well enough to give him what he wants before he knows he wants it.
This works out at least 99% in his favor. I know it.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 4, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Der Vorleser deutscher Trailer

Posted by: laloomis | March 4, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh, but we ALL know what to get you, DNA_Girl...

Anything autographed by Ishida-san, no?


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 4, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Al.

So, today I'm being a terrible mom. Took the kids in to daycare. Yes, schools are all closed, but I've been in the house with them since Saturday and I GIVE UP! I came to Panera with my computer and have already done more work in 45 minutes than in the last 100 hours or so.

The kids were sick of being at home with me, too, and since other parents work, their friends are at daycare and I sure hope they have fun.

I agree with the pricey present issue. After all, it is *our* money. So we buy collective gifts, like weekend trips, a nice dinner, new furniture...The whole family enjoys it. Extravagant, pricey presents come from my parents.

Posted by: abeac1 | March 4, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Good call, S'Nuke :-)

It won't hurt much to be bashed on the head with a piece of paper.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 4, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

On boodle-Nick Hornby's preface to his 40 favourite books list.

"It can happen anywhere: a dinner table, a pub, a bus queue, a classroom, a bookshop. You strike up a conversation with someone you don't know, and you're getting on OK, and then suddenly, without warning, you hear the five words that mean the relationship has no future beyond the time it takes to say them: 'I think you'll like it.'

This phrase is presumptuous enough when used to refer to, say, a crisp flavour; if, however, you happen to be talking about books or films or music, then it is completely unforgivable, a social solecism on a par with bottom-pinching. You think I'll like it, do you? Well, it has taken me more than 50 years to get anywhere near an understanding of what I think I might like, and even then I get it wrong half the time, so what chance have you got?

Every now and again I meet someone who is able to make shrewd and thoughtful recommendations within the first five years of our acquaintance but for the most part the people that I listen to I've known for a couple of decades, a good chunk of which has been spent talking about the things we love and hate."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 4, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, please stick around! This is fascinating (certainly enough so that I ducked in from setting real privileges for imaginary users). I don't see this as a gender thing at all. I'd love to hear more from other Boodlers.

RDP is right on the money with his comment about the perfect gift one never knew one needed.

I agree with your comments on buying for the specialist or fan. In case anyone was wondering, I have a very narrow set of criteria for the diamond earrings I will eventually, most probably, purchase for myself.

If a carless friend or relative needed a car you were willing to provide, however, that's a different case than bc. Sometimes a car is just transportation.

In the case of the lady, I thought thin gold bangle was general, indicating a gold bangle is just a gold bangle and she would be happy with any thin, gold bangle. She didn't say, Tiffany's 18K with the little sterling X's bangle and none other. Likewise the watch (I feel I could pick out a bangle or watch for her any day).

Not to cause trouble, but I'm slightly bemused. If someone asked for something in a specific enough manner to be discernable, why wouldn't you look at the available options for that thing and pick one out of the hundreds available, thus allowing for surprise, a chance for delight and an acknowledgment that the giftee has a right to his/her own needs and wants?

Posted by: -dbG- | March 4, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

P.S., I also want a composter, any available on the market would be fine with me. Let me know if you need my address.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 4, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Actually, a handmade one would be fine too.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 4, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I've read nearly everything Hornby has written, but only five of the forty books he recommends. Odd how that works.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 4, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Book and movie recommendations are so tricky. I usually preface stuff with "If you liked x, you might also like y."

The more insistent someone is that I will LOVE something, the more certain I am that I will hate it.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 4, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Yello, I'm really, really, really sure you'll LOVE the new Eliza Dushku movie. :-)

Back to work.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 4, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Well, if I said, "This might be tolerably amusing, given the right mood for X kind of book, even if you depise the whole author's style, storytelling, and tendency to write MONKEY POO every other page.."

.. Would you be willing to read such a recommend? Because that's my stock review for Gene's next book, no matter what the subject matter may be.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 4, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I've been avoiding 'Dollhouse' despite Dushku. But it's been a struggle.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 4, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Gene writes books?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 4, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

frostbitten - I agree. But sometimes you meet people who quite quickly, and almost instinctively, understand your tastes. Them be the keepers.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 4, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

All I know is if your wife asks you for a ruby pendant then by all means get her a ruby pendant.

Just do not. Ever. For the love of all things joyful in life. Tell her that the ruby was laboratory made.

Trust me on this.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 4, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Unless you personally made it in your own lab, RD, and somehow managed to embed an image inside the ruby.

...This sinfest made me grin.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 4, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Not to sound pretentious, because I've never avoided that before, but I like to think that I'm worldly enough to have heard of most things so it's unlikely someone will come across something that I've never heard of yet will be perfect for me.

The only exception I can think of lately is that some boodlers (speak up because I've forgotten who) have been recommending Christopher Moore WHO has never quite risen to the level of 'willing to give a try'. If he really is that funny, I'd give him a go. Which of his books should I start with?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 4, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

49 foot snakes. J, M, & J. For Dooley and DoTC, and anyone else interested in fossils:

Posted by: -jack- | March 4, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

And a comment on diamonds as gifts:

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 4, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I've had that "natural 0.5 carat diamond versus flawless and cheaper 2.0 carat lab-made diamond' discussion before. Woman usually want the 'real' thing even if the differences are undetectable. I, and most men, find that totally illogical, but women prefer the more extravagant (and hence expensive) gesture.

I've speculated that it's because subconsciously women don't desire the object as much as the knowledge that a man has made a significant sacrifice for them. It's the thought that counts. And the effort. And the cost. That is why mudge got so much mileage out of his Tiffany store purchase when having it mail-ordered and shipped to him would have been far more practical. The grand romantic gesture goes a long way. It sends the message to a woman that she is worth lots of trouble. And that flatters and pleases her.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 4, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Dang, I wish Sinfest weren't blacklisted here at work. I feel I'm missing half the conversation.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 4, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I have built all my own composting bins since the first and only store-bought one. They're just too flimsy to support the food wastes of even two people, much less four. And if you want to add yard wastes? Forget it.

I am fairly certain that the ScienceSpouse would *prefer* the laboratory-made ruby. Any idiot can dig up a rock and polish it, but it takes serious technology to make a rock from scratch. However, since she dislikes all things pendulous (I happen to know this), I have no need to get her such a pendant.

Rush L., on the other hand, is extremely pendulous. Whoops! Did I say that? I meant prosperous.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 4, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I think you might like Island of the Sequined Love Nun, Lamb, or You Suck: A Love Story, yello. LOL!

Posted by: Yoki | March 4, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. The thing to remember about Hornby is he just loves being difficult. So it really isn't the speaker's fault; it's Hornby's. (I like some of his stuff, but he's kind of just putting on a front about how allegedly discriminating he is.)

The "I think you'll like it" isn't really the speaker's true opinion, it is more of a formal space-filler, like "Have a nice day." It doesn't really mean "I think you'll like it," it means "I like kit and I hope you'll like it too." Most sentient beings are aware of this, and take it in the spirit it is meant. Hornby, however, choses to ignore the sentiment behind it, and attacks the literalness. In which case, the proper response probably ought to be something like, "OK, Nick, if that's how you feel, go eff yourself, and buy your own damn [X item]."

Of course, if the real Hornby is handsome and charming like John Cusack, he may get a pass. Otherwise, ya really can't deal with him, so you just ignore him, and never try to make him happy.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 4, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Yello.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 4, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I have diligently tried to stay out of the gift-giving discussion, because I thought it quickly got off on the wrong foot. I remember my originial reaction to Tim's introductory story (previous kit, Mar 3, 12:01 a.m. post) was that the woman in question was giving the man a completely contradictory, mixed message that he was doomed from the outset to complete. Here is the key graf of what he "heard" her say (yes, maybe she said something else):

""Whatever you do, DO NOT get this precise thing for me. If you do, it means you don't love me, because it is the thought that counts, and if you unimaginatively follow my precise description, it means you don't care enough to give me a thought."

The message I get from this is: "this is what I want, but don't get it."

So basically we've almost come full circle to Hornby, somebody who makes a fetish out of being unable to be pleased. So there's only one way to deal with this, and that's simply to not buy into the game, to walk away, because it's a lose-lose proposition.
There's no rational way to deal with "don't-get-me-what-I-want."

Now, the question of the "ideal" gift for someone. I think that takes a bit of knowing what the other person likes and dislikes, and you can only accrue that kind of knowledge over time (and if you've been paying attention, which is a separate problem).

Some people like extravagant, over-the-top things, and some don't, that's all. It isn't too much harder than that. Some people like a specific object they've asked for, and some want to be "surprised." Some think it's the thought that counts, others count the dollars and/or effort.

I don't think there's any particular "right or wrong" in these choices, other than one should know one's S.O. well enough to know which one to use at any given time.

Sometimes my wife asks for a specific item (even, god help me, a composter), and sometimes she just wants to be surprised. In which case I know from experience she likes a bit of extravagant "over-the-topness," and so that's what I get/do. Ain't rocket science, at least not for me.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 4, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

In other words, know thy wife?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 4, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

new kit.

Posted by: -jack- | March 4, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

If Mt.Rushbo was really so confident in his "arguments," he'd run for office like normal, concerned grown-ups.

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | March 5, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

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