Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Yet Another Hubble Story!


Here's my web story today but we'll fancy it up for the much more important print edition of tomorrow.

By J.A.

NASA's triumphant mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope this week has cracked open a policy rift within the space agency, with a top NASA scientist saying that the United States is on the way to losing the capability of doing what it has just done so dramatically.

David Leckrone, the senior project scientist for the Hubble, said NASA's new strategy for the post-space shuttle era does not include servicing scientific instruments in space, and he fears that vast amounts of accumulated knowledge and technical expertise will quickly vanish.

"It just makes me want to cry to think that this is the end of it," Leckrone said at a news conference earlier this week. "There is no person out there, there is no leadership out there, there is no vision out there to pick up the baton that we're about to hand off, and carry it forward."

His words, streamed around the planet on the NASA Web site, ruffled the agency and incited rebuttals from headquarters. But Leckrone, who plans to retire in October, is not backing down, and Friday he reiterated his case.

"I feel like NASA's doing what it's done before -- it comes up with a great capability and, for political or budgetary reasons or whatever, it abandons it," Leckrone told The Post. He added, "I've been besieged by NASA people thanking me for saying what they think needed to be said."

Click here to keep reading.

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 22, 2009; 3:50 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Science Fiction, Lacrosse and Whatnot
Next: A Farmer's Work Is Never Done


It's a good Hubble story, too.

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, it figures. After one of my all-time-favorite "can-do" missions that embodied almost everything I love about the space program, they decide that sort of capability is unnecessary in future. I don't have any problem blaming this on Bush, either.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 22, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Aha, this reveals certain clues regarding CONSPIRACY aforethought!

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 22, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

This is an excellent piece, Joel.

It seems to me that if we want a manned space program to inspire us, and push out technology, and do those things in space that only people can do, then we need to make an honest commitment to providing the amount of money such an ambitious program requires.

If we decide that a robotic future is better, where artificially intelligent machines coupled with remote-controlled manipulators rule, then we need to commit to that.

The current solution, to me, seems to support neither vision well.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 22, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Hubble! Hubble!

Posted by: -TBG- | May 22, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I think we need a hybrid manned / robotic mission strategy that works in synchrony for realizable goals.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 22, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Hubba bubba( I used to see if I could chew the whole pack)

Back in west by god,stopped at the local deli and picked up a dozen Canadian night crawlers,about to go check them out.Also picked up a few cold ones,cause their wine selection is poor to say the least.Let's hope the fish are biting so I don't fall asleep in the kayak and end up in the Potomac.

My Hubble story: My dad grew up with a man named George Fastee(not sure of the spelling) anyways my dad said old George was a dumb kid.One day they were playing and my dad hit George in the head with a shovel,( I guess games in the olden days were tougher)after that he wasn't dumb anymore.He went on and worked for NASA and worked on the Hubble before it's launch.

Ok off to the river!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 22, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"If we decide that a robotic future is better, where artificially intelligent machines coupled with remote-controlled manipulators rule, then we need to commit to that."

RD... for some reason, that sentence makes me long for Rosie the robot from The Jetsons.

Posted by: TBG- | May 22, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention that we had already used the fine suggestion that bobsewell mentioned earlier today. We set a very long "vacation stop" on our Washington Post paper edition and have designated that the credit go to the Newspaper in Education program.

That keeps the papers from piling up on the driveway, but makes me feel better about giving up my subscription. Or not giving it up, really.

Posted by: TBG- | May 22, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Was it the Jetsons or the Robinsons who had the little hatch in the kitchen, pressed a button, and a little robot-claw would shoot out a plate of whatever they wanted to eat? I remember it always seemed to be a plate of bacon and eggs and toast. Some days, that would be handy.

It didn't occur to me at the time that if you had such a facility, you wouldn't need a kitchen, at least not the one the character was standing in. Shows how conventionally we all think, even when trying to be original.

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Tea, Earl Grey, hot.
-Jean-Luc Picard

Posted by: yellojkt | May 22, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

In bad science fiction the characters call it the "robokitchen." In good science fiction they call it the kitchen.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 22, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

The Boodle knows.

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Headline reads... "Obama Signs Credit Card Bill"

Do you supposed it was his turn to pay the check?

Posted by: TBG- | May 22, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

But did he tip 18%?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 22, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I just watched this streaming on the internet on my HDTV from my wife's MacBook:

I've risen to a new level of nerdosity.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 22, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

yjkt - I saw an article about it recently, had forgotten that the release date was upon us. I'll watch it forthwith.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 22, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of seeing articles recently, we ARE all keeping up with our ayurveda, aren't we?

Posted by: bobsewell | May 22, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Well Canada does me good again,Thanks Dr,shriek,yoki,dmd and whoever I forgot.Nonstop fishing action,the only thing that stopped me was it got dark.

Lotsa birds on the river this evening,I even saw a Great Blue Heron.The dragon flies are out and about,but most were looking for their partner.Just as dusk set in many bats were flying around.Some kids(teenagers) came to the beach and got in,talk about noise.I don't blame them the river is still cold.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 22, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of herbs (weren't we?), these recipes look scrumptious.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | May 22, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

GWE, we do great worms. I've got great pick them up lines for them.

Mrs. D is back from Warshington DC. She liked the joint . But her boss resisted any idea of going touristing around and made them go to the airport (Dulles) straight from the end of a 14:30 meeting at L'Enfant plaza for a 19:30 flight. What a flipping idiot.
Good point: she got an official apology for the boorish behaviour of an American counterpoint they had to deal with earlier this spring. Canada did not complain, so they figure the US company who was involved made their point with the US gunmint...
That is redress for gunmint bad behaviour in action.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 22, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

The NASA folks sound a lot like both sides of the discussions we had on the Boodle last week about human spaceflight, doesn't it?

RD, buddy -- you know I love ya, and even though we're both propellerheads, we do differ somewhat in our philosophies and opinions re. robotic and human space flight. I think we *need* both, no matter what the resource constraints.

Automated/remotely controlled probes are excellent tools, but they're just that -- tools.

These tools are far better suited for the environments of space and the other worlds we know of than humans are, but our machines lack the intellectual, adaptive/creative, and even philisophical capabilites of humans.

Having said that, I'm going to tie back to the previous Kit a little bit and some old SF themes as well.

If we really need both humans and machines for space flight, and there are too many limits on the current technologies for flying people as they are, is it reasonable for a country or some human organization to reengineer human beings in order to facilitate space flight and/ot for living on other worlds? Even on a volunteer basis?

There's been lots of speculative fiction that deals with the moral and ethical issues of such ideas as well as the practical and technical problems associated with them. I wonder if those nations developing technical capabilites on both fronts are considering such things?


Posted by: -bc- | May 22, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

shrieking_denizen - I'm glad that the apology was eventually forthcoming, but are you saying that your wife's boss was sufficiently annoyed by ill-behaved Americans that she/he chose to punish her/his employees by demanding that they spend all of their extra time at the airport? Or merely that she/he doesn't trust her/his adult co-workers to be able to wipe their own arses?

A little bit nutters, eh?

Posted by: bobsewell | May 22, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

An ex-Air force guy. Enough said.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... this is for you, fellow editor... from the front page of

The Bale Factor

Movie People | Will Christian Bale's infamous on-set outbreak affect how you view the new 'Terminator' movie? Tell us what you think."

Don't they mean outburst?

Posted by: TBG- | May 22, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

didnja hear? he got the swine flu.

Posted by: LALurker | May 22, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Bale has acne problems.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 23, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

It’s Mudge’s fault. I googled for the images of salvia. Every “salvia” word I looked at, I read it as “saliva.”

Posted by: rainforest1 | May 23, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Unforunate that Mrs. D's boss wasn't interested in tourist areas - I stayed where their meetings were a couple of times - a quick walk to so many things to see.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 23, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Many, many years ago, I came to DC on my very first business trip ever. My two bosses checked into their room not to be seen again until morning. The other guy on the trip and I went on a late night stroll to the Lincoln Memorial and around the White House. It's all a matter of curiosity. Many people just don't care to avail themselves of opportunity.

And the best book I know of about the man/machine debate for space exploration is Man Plus by Frederick Pohl. It has a very nice twist at the end, that while not soylent green level, is pretty thought provoking.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 23, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Noticed this multimedia clip in the Star today, in Toronto "Doors Open" is on, and the architecture critic for the Star takes a quick look at the newly built Hindu Temple in North Toronto, built of Limestone and Marble, carved in India and shipped here piece by piece.

From the outside it is quite the sight, but these glimpses inside are quite incredible.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 23, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse

bc - Sure, in an ideal world we could fund both aggressively. But I'm thinking about what kinds of decisions people need to make now given the realities of the budget.

My point is that, historically, when you have two competing approaches and limited resources there is a temptation by the government to fund both at 2/3 of what is really needed and call this compromise.

And yet, such a Solomon-like compromise really just kills both options.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 23, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Good catch, TBG. I hope Bale doesn't have another outbreak. My wife stumbled upon one the other day: some bureaucrat was going on about some process which hadn't yet been "decisioned."

Right now on the home page we've got "India's Politics, Like Its People, Grows Younger." Politics...grows?

And this deck on the Pelosi story: "After reviewing intelligence records of 2002 meeting attended by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, lawmakers remain divided over story they tell." Divided over the story the lawmakers are telling, or divided over the story the records tell? Ah, well. The weekend shift.

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

May 23, 1701: Capt. William Kidd is hanged at Execution Dock, Wapping, London, for piracy. Many historians now believe that the world’s most famous and legendary pirate may in fact have been innocent.
1848: Otto Lilienthal, the most important aviation experimenter prior to the Wright Brothers, is born in Anklam, Prussia. Between 1891 and his tragic death in 1896, Lilienthal made more than 2,000 glider flights. He began studying the possibility of powered flight and might well have eclipsed the Wright Brothers had not his death in a glider crash cut short his career.
1928: Italian airship aviator Gen. Umberto Nobile begins his second attempt to fly over the North Pole in his dirigible Italia. The blimp crashes during his return from the pole, but Nobile survives. However, famed arctic explorer Roald Amudsen dies during the attempt to rescue Nobile and his crew. Amudsen had made the first successful flight over the pole in a dirigible two years earlier, with Nobile aboard.

Going down to the boat in a while. We're hasving company aboard for dinner. Last night I did an eye roast on the grill, and my wife found an electric slicer in A-1 condition in a thrift store for $9, so I'm about to go slice the roast (paper-thin, if I can). Also on the menu: my wife's cold potatoes vinaigrette (with balsamic vinegar), a romaine salad, and a homemade cheesecake. Wine may also be consumed. Unfortunately, do to my leg, we will no doubt never leave thge boat slip. But that's OK: we're a hundred feet from the marina pool, and 120 feet from the bar. So I'll probably be off the Boodle until tomorrow or Monday.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 23, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle. Slept in and paying for it with a little difficulty getting moving with the massive house cleaning project. I'll have to find another excuse after finishing my coffee.

dmd-thanks for the link to "Doors Open." Just one word for that temple-WOW.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 23, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

rainforest-here's a link to the very boring salvia we use at the fire hall. It does have the advantage of being quite striking when planted in masses.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 23, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!
Weird spring-like weather here.
Everyone, have a good weekend.


Posted by: Braguine | May 23, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Ack. At last! I mean, howdy. Yesterday for no apparent reason WaPo stopped letting me sign in to comment. I thought I had annoyed it in some way. I believe the problem to have been random technology. Since the format change I have routinely zoomed my screen to 125% (getting old, y'know). Sometime yesterday that must have become unacceptable. This morning, after once again failing to sign in, I tried going back to 100% and here I am.

This is the sort of thing that makes me nervous about using only machines to fix other machines. In my experience they can turn cranky and unreasonable. Of course it might just be me. Perhaps we just need to make sure they don't use any machines which which I have contact.

And I really liked Joel's bio from the last Kit.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Information given too late for Gomer, who said that he's heading to the Guadalupe this weekend? From this a.m.'s paper:

With the Guadalupe River only a trickle of its former self, officials and outfitters in Comal County are expecting fewer inner-tubers than usual this Memorial Day weekend.

The entire county remains in the grip of an “exceptional drought” — the U.S. Drought Monitor's worst possible category. And that could drain the fun out of tubing, said Lt. Mark Reynolds, spokesman for the Comal County Sheriff's Office.

“People end up walking a lot. They drag their tube. It's not a whole lot of fun,” Reynolds said. “We're not expecting a very big crowd on the river.”

LL: Not that there aren't other things to do in the area...

Posted by: laloomis | May 23, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. Lovely weather in the high country, partly cloudy and low 60's. Mr. T and I have been to the farmers market (fresh eggs, spinach, goat cheese, sourdough whole wheat bread); just after 8 ayem it was a zoo. I've sprayed herbicide on the weeds in the driveway, and Mr. T is cutting the grass along the road. I should go back out and see what I can do to assist. Have a great weekend, everybody!

Posted by: slyness | May 23, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I was thinking of 'Man Plus' when I wrote that, as well as Brin's 'Ring,' and a whole armada of other fiction, including the Herbert's Dune novels (the Spacing Guild Navigators) and the 'Destination: Void' series.

A question: when we depend on our tools to do for us, to tell us what we want to know, to go where we're no longer willing to, how much are we constraining ourselves - our growth and our learning - to the limits of our imperfect creations?

I work with tools all the time, building, creating, thinking, and operating machines, sometimes with my very life depending on them. And I do a pretty competent job, if I say so myself. But I depend on them as little as possible, and build the maximum amount of human control into their operation, because I know that a person - and a human mind - is still better at making real-time, real-world decisions (as opposed to chess matches) than any machine. So far.


Posted by: -bc- | May 23, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle! It is a beautiful day on the high plains, the leaves are finally out on the trees, we might even get lilacs one of these days. One of my favourite things is to be walking down the street and suddenly smell lilac carried on the wind. Pity that is only possible a couple of weeks in the year.

Much doing today, office work and housework and a visit to the gallery to see some works of Joe Fafard.

This discussion of human/machine information and action is very interesting. It seems to me that for the purpose of pure data gathering, machines probably have the edge, in that they are recording/measuring, without the biases and prejudices and conditioning all humans bring to the job. Of course, the interpretation of the information is still up to us, with all our weaknesses.

Have a happy Saturday.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

O... what a beautiful day! The pool is open and Daughter is there today as a swimmer; tomorrow is her first day working there and she'll be partnering with one of her best friends (who is Manager this year).

Dr G and I were up and out early to the Farmers Market. Got a delicious pint of strawberries, but the best thing I saw there was an old friend I haven't seen for a few years. It was wonderful catching up and finding out her family is doing well.

Then it was to one of our area's many Indian food stores. We are so lucky to live where there is such an assortment of ethnic restaurants and grocery stores. We bought some spices and mixes and lentils to make dal and pakora tonight. And a new bag of Basmati rice. And a large container of Raita. Yummmmm.

Posted by: TBG- | May 23, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Good almost nap-time on an almost officially summer day, everybody...

Just finished loading my solar / fusion / wind-powered clothes dryer (a.k.a. clothesline) and was thinking of my sometimes geeky, sometimes sciency, all the time good peoples Boodle Buds (with one or two exceptions).

Hope you're all enjoying the long weekend (and good weather, too). I'm wishing I was Mudge's neighbor because he has a boat and I have a hankerin' to do some fishin'. Or just drink beer and eat some of his famous seafood and other gourmet munchables.

Peace out, my friends... and take a minute or three to remember all of those who made your peace possible. :-)

Posted by: martooni | May 23, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh my goodness -- Martooni! Do you know that on my way to my farmers market this morning I actually thought of you, wondering where you are and what you're up to?

After a couple of errands this morning, I've now had some quick lunch and am on my way to yet another grocery store to get what was not anywhere else I've been.
Gonna wait on Trader Joe's for tomorrow first thing, as there's no point (and no parking spaces) left for today.

The Mall and the Apple Store will have to wait until tomorrow as well, and then The Body Shop to fill up on what I'm almost out of. Except dangling prepositions.

Hope all have a simply glorious holiday weekend and I'm making fervent gestures myself for the Red Wings in tomorrow's game. Was a treat to see them come back last night with three goals in a row to tie things up. Such a stressful season!

Hey Yoki! Fax some lilacs down (or at least the fragrance) when they come round your neck of the woods, eh?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 23, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey, martooni, nice to hear from you, and good thoughts.

Beautiful day here - very untypical for Memorial Day weekend. We decided to play it safe and not compete with the crowds by going camping next Tue. We may go to Folklife tomorrow. It brings the hippie out in everybody.>itle=Northwest%20Folklife%20Festival%202009&pubdate=5/22/2009

Posted by: seasea1 | May 23, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Go to your local fishin hole with little bean and some of her buddies,throw in a line or two,if you catch a fish great,if not you will still have a great time. Skip a rock,frolic in the grass,blow on a fuzzy dandelion.It is a win-win situation when kids are involved.

Back to the cleaning and packing

Have a great day everyone!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 23, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

One of the great delights of the Boodle is reading all the varying stages of seasons. Yoki rejoices that trees are in leaf. Everything here is in the thick of early summer. Right now the eco-system we call yard is jungle-like in its greenery and variety of vigorous foliage. Lotta flora here and a little too much fauna, at least of the unpleasant insect kind. The other day I got weeding in an old flower bed and unearthed some great rocks my mom had set out, probably as a border, decades ago. I look forward to putting them in the sunlight again.

The Boy won this morning's fencing tournament and came in second last night. There's one more, a big one, mid-summer, then it is just training and fencing till competition season resumes in the fall. Modern fencing is an interesting combination of man and technology. While the "touches" are scored electronically, a referee still makes the calls. All the scoreboard tells you is that a target area was touched, and (usually) who hit first. That doesn't mean a point is awarded, or that it goes to the fencer you thought it would. I've amused myself by learning the basics of refereeing, just to have a better idea of what is happening.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, have you all seen Star Trek yet? There's a line that made me think of The Boy...but I don't want to spoil it for y'all (or anyone else) if you haven't seen it yet. Congrats to him.

Posted by: seasea1 | May 23, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

we are at the peak of the jacaranda trees blooming, which is both beautiful and messy. (if you have to park on the street as i do - our street is lined on both sides with them.)

if you haven't seen jacarandas, they look like this:

Posted by: LALurker | May 23, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow, LALurker. Another thing to add to my list of things to see before I die.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Seasea... it doesn't take much to convince my inner hippie to come out and play. The problem lately is that my inner punk rocker, my inner hippie, my inner redneck/hillbilly, and my inner lefty political snarkmeister (as well as several other "inners") have been battling for control of my potty mouth and the "enter" button on my keyboard, so sometimes they trip up my hippie on his way out the door.

Just call me Sybil. (but never call me late for dinner or last call at the bar)

Posted by: martooni | May 23, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

We’re a few weeks ahead of Yoki, our lilacs being past their peak, but a month or so behind you all (or is it y’all) around Washington. The rhododendron haven’t bloomed yet but azaleas are ‘bursting forth.’ Those jacaranda are impressive LaLurker.

A lazy rest of the day for me. I was up and out early to my hair appointment and then the cemetery with a side trip to Trader Joe’s. The window boxes have been fed and I’m saving the rest of the housework for tomorrow. Monday we’re taking the granddaughters to a place called Battleship Cove in Fall River. I bet Mudge knows all about it, as he does about everything nautical.

dmd, thanks for that link to the Hindu temple. That was amazing and gorgeous. If we ever get to Toronto, I would definitely want to see it in person. Great to hear from you Martooni, hope all is well.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 23, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

In west by god it is "yaw"

Back to the big city and work yaw.

Have a great day yaw.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 23, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

So is 'yaw' the WV version of Balmer's 'hon,' gwe?

Posted by: TBG- | May 23, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey all, good to hear from you, Martooni!I hope all is going well for you.

Mr. T is parked in front of the TV, watching Carolina play baseball. I didn't ask about the outcome of last night's game against UVA, the score was UVA 10 UNC 1 when I went to bed.

We've gone to the outlet mall(such as it is), did a tour of the village, dropped off the recycling as the bin was overflowing, and are back.

Now. Do I want to crochet a bit, or try to finish weaving the basket? Maybe I'll just be lazy for a while.

Posted by: slyness | May 23, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

This has been a day completely full of errands. One more to do tomorrow and then I'm in for the duration. Due to the fact that my skin is so sensitive that I get sun poisoning if I stay out without protection, I usually stay out of the sun and all wrapped up. This morning at the farmer's market, tho, I kept the sunscreen off so I could soak up some Vitamin D.

I went to the Mall and went into the Apple Store. Strangely enuf, I thought everyone had gone to the beach, since the traffic up and down Rockville Pike during the day was almost nonexistent, which is UNHEARD OF on a Saturday. Nope. They were all in the Apple Store. I did get a chance to see the 24" iMac and completely fell in love. Still have to get a PC OS system for "the other side" and I'm going to try to get XP at MicroCenter. Also, still have to wait until end of June, but I can cope. No, really. I can. *CAN SO*

Re-upped what I needed from The Body Shop, where I go about 3 times/year to load up on stuff.

And now home, sitting to comfort the lower back and hoping my feet will forgive me from all the walking I did today. Of course, the sandals -- while comfortable -- are just beginning the season on my feet, so all parties need to adjust to each other.

Slyness, I vote for being lazy for awhile. But, that's just one vote.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 23, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

One more thing. LALurker, I *adore* jacaranda trees. When I was in Arusha, Tanzania, they were blooming along the main road and a bunch of petals had already fallen into the road. It was like a fantasy, with all those periwinkle colored petals. Gorgeous.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 23, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Just sat down after a busy day, eldest is having a pre grad trip party at our house this evening, shopped for the trip (at a Camp operated by the Coffee chain that is so much a part of Canadian life) and for grad shoes. A muted silver/rhinestone pair of mid height healed sandals and matching clutch, I would be a little wistful over how quickly time passes but also picked out on the shopping trip bright blue rubber boats decorated with stars of many colours and a large blue anchor on each boot - one step in the future with the sandals one pair of boots firmly planted in the present. We had to purchase one long sleeved T-shirt for the trip - sounds like no big deal - 9 stores later and we finally saw 1 long sleeved T-shirt - fortunately her size and with the caption - CENTRED - so fitting. It can still be cool at night here can't believe the stores have completely eliminated long sleeve T-shirts - now hoodies we could have had by the bucket load - of course we already have too many of them in this house.

Glad people enjoyed the Hindu temple - it really is quite the sight when you are on the highway, took some time to visit the official sight for the event, it was good to take a hard look at the many buildings - some I used to admire when I worked downtown.

Frosti - I planted this Salvia the other day - it is a perennial but with Zone 6 being the outer limit for it it may not survive the winter but I will enjoy it for now - and it is supposed to be drought and heat tolerant - the pink of the flowers is really vibrant - not economic in this area though to do mass plantings of it.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 23, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Ivansdad and the Boy saw Star Trek last week. They were more interested in it than I was, and both enjoyed it. Of course, the Boy had seen various Star Trek reruns and movies, but cannot have the same perspective as Ivansdad (or me, for that matter) who watched the original series as a kid.

I'm sure the Boy would be pleased to remind you of something in the movie, as long as it isn't the red-shirted ensign doomed to advance the plot.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Love the jacaranda trees too. I've never seen a real one - I'm sure I've heard of them but didn't know (or had forgotten) they are purple. Gorgeous.

Spoiler Alert -
No, Ivansmom, although it's related to that scene. When Kirk and Sulu and the ill-fated guy are on their way to save Capt Pike, Kirk asks Sulu (who was chosen because of his hand-to-hand combat skills) what his combat training was - and Sulu says "Fencing". Cracked me up...although it proves to be handy...I thought The Boy would get a kick out of that.
Spoiler Alert Off

Posted by: seasea1 | May 23, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

FTB, your vote was the winning one, I haven't done a thing, and did nothing quite happily.

Posted with a giggle for our mathematically inclined boodlers:

Posted by: slyness | May 23, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

They did mention that line! Liked it too.

I just went out to toss the old bread and take stuff to the compost heap. I stopped to pull a handful of bad weeds off the path, and four from what may yet resume its function as an herb garden. I intercepted three ticks on my legs out there, and found two more inside. It is going to be a long summer.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

We all remarked about how we thought of The Boy when we heard that line at the Star Trek IBPH, Ivansmom!

The Boy has a huge fan base.

Dr G is making up the Indian food now. The house is starting to smell delicious.

Posted by: TBG- | May 23, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes, but, TBG -- when the house begins to smell "just right" you might want to start at the shingles because the insulation can fill you up really fast.

Sorry -- channeling Mudge there for a minute.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 23, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, ticks! I despise them. I've had them on me, but so far never had one latch on. I found one engorged on the Elderdottir's head when she was about two and freaked. Fortunately she didn't get sick. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever occurs in this part of NC more than anyplace else in the US.

Ticks and poison ivy - why do they exist? That's a question I have for the Almighty, when I get to heaven. That, and why human gestation is 40 weeks instead of 32. That last eight weeks...

Posted by: slyness | May 23, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh Slyness, I’m so with you on ticks, they creep me out and they’re a big reason why we don’t own a dog. It’s been a buggy spring so far. Spiders all over the house and big black ants crawling on my desk at work. When I mentioned the ants, a woman who has been with the company since before they built the building we are in said, “yeah, we built this place on a bunch of anthills.” I don’t remember seeing many ants the first two summers I was there but this year they have invaded. It wouldn’t be so bad but my desk surface is black formica, so I don’t see them until they are crawling on me or my also black keyboard. I eat lunch at my desk, so this is going to be a very icky summer.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 23, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

We are in the middle of lilac season. It smells wonderful on the patio. The new hybrids I planted a couple of years ago are finally producing. I forgot what colours I choose it's fun to rediscover that one is of a deep red-burgundy colour and the other one is almost purple. Very nice but the standard French lilacs (one white and one, well, lilac) are more fragrant than the hybrids. After the regular lilacs it will be the Prestons (2 of them) and then the Persian lilac. That's the way to go to have a 4-5 weeks lilac season...

I planted all the poor tomato plants. The old fluorescents should have been retired last year. The plants are tall, stringy and feeble looking. The Fungi thinks I should get out of the fifties technology and embrace modern hydroponics. I'm not so sure.

Very nice temple dmd, I am almost tempted to convert.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 23, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

The tomato roll call this year include the hybrid Tomande, the heirlooms Cuor di bue (Ox heart) and Costoluto Genovese, a red saladette (Harlequin) and an orange one (forgot the name) and 6 plants of the old staple Italian tomato Roma.
No Mr. Stripey.
We'll see what does well and what does not.
There are no Juliet saladette tomato, a first in the past 10 years. I thought I still had seed but the packet was empty. Rats.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 23, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Seriously wondering what insanity prompted my decision to go for 100% cleaning of Chez Frostbitten, complete with piles sorted toss, donate, store for the progeny. Mr. F was supposed to be here several hours ago but a welcome home ceremony he was to attend was delayed because the soldiers were delayed leaving Iraq so he won't be here until late tomorrow. Hard to whine under the circumstances, but after reading a few wine snob reviews I won't feel guilty about opening the Vinetta without him. A glass or two should help the "toss" pile grow.

dmd-now that's some salvia I would buy for my garden, love the color. In our NoVA house I had a variety of blue flowered salvias that wintered over quite nicely-just needed a good cutting back in the spring, and a shearing in late summer to grab a late flush of flowers before frost.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 23, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

The orange saladette tomato is called "Orange Santa".
I just so wish I had the vivid imagination of those people who name commercial strains of plant.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 23, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

SD, I am the only one in my family who eats tomatoes. Don't ask me why, neither Mr. T nor Elderdottir nor Geekdottir will consider eating any. It's ridiculous, given how much tomato ketchup they all three consume.

Sooo, I grow tomatoes for myself and must be reasonable about the number. Two plants are in the ground, a Roma and an Early Girl. When last I looked, they both had blooms. I've got some good organic fertilizer, and I think they are going to do well.

Also done well this week is Weingarten's column. Just when I've decided he's a moron and a jerk and not worth reading, he makes tears come into my eyes again.

Posted by: slyness | May 23, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Slyness... that link didn't work, but it was well worth hunting down on my own...

Posted by: TBG- | May 23, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

What I meant to say was "THANKS, Slyness, for pointing out the Weingarten column!"

Posted by: TBG- | May 23, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I see I didn't capture all the address, TBG, sorry about that. Great column, isn't it?

Posted by: slyness | May 23, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Maj. Gen. Bolden is Obama's nominee for the head of NASA.

Posted by: tomsing | May 23, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

What a great column Slyness, my father was foggy at the end as well, after his surgery he never once uttered my name, although he said he recognized me - and would ask about the kids - their names were not mentioned, sometimes I think he thought I was my grandmother, sometimes my mother, other times he was much clearer asking for my husband. My favorite day was the day we asked him to call my sister for her birthday, he wrote down her name and number and then when we asked how he was going to call her, he pointed at the phone and said "I am going to use that thing there right?". He then proceeded to pick up the receiver then place it down trying to figure out how it worked. We showed him and indeed the next day he and my sister spoke - it would be his last real conversation with her.

Despite that it is a treasured memory - just as my mom's last conversation with my eldest was - a heart to heart on how my daughter should live her life - the nurse in the room, like all of us was a sobbing mess but it be something my daughter will always remember - the emotion and love if not the words, which under the influence of considerable doses of morphine were a little slurred at time, to form a cohert sentence was difficult at the time but with enormous effort my mom accomplished it.

Gene's column brings back those memories.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 23, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful story, dmd... makes me think of when my dad was in rehab after his first big stroke. He and the therapist were going over the names of fruits and vegetables.

When she asked him to name the carrot, he picked it up, held it close to his chest and said, as earnest as a young child, "Ooooohhh... this is a hard one."

At the time, I hoped we would all laugh about that later; we did.

Posted by: TBG- | May 23, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

So, who am I to blame for my puffy eyes, the author, Slyness, or TBG?

Slyness-I swear off Weingarten periodically. Can't bear his live chats at all, but then he reels me back in with a piece like that. Thanks so much for pointing it out.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 23, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Is it menopause, dmd, or just getting older, that makes me more inclined to be moved to tears at stories like yours? Because I am so easily moved, these days.

My parents were with us mentally to the end, and I am convinced they both died of their own volition. The doctor told us Friday morning my mom could live 3 or 4 weeks, so my brother stayed with her and moved her back to the nursing home while the rest of us when to Durham to the Geekdottir's high school graduation. Saturday the dottir graduated, Sunday we got through Senior Sunday celebrations at church. Sunday afternoon a raft of my cousins descended upon us; after they left, I told my mother I loved her and would see her in the morning. She said she loved me too. Towards daybreak, she died.

Now that I think about it, that was 5 years ago this weekend. She died on Memorial Day. At her direction, all that was on her casket was the American flag which identified her as a veteran.

Posted by: slyness | May 23, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I think it is experience Slyness, we have reached a point where we can fully understand how something can be at the same time funny, heartbreaking, loving, and awful simultaneously.

Gene's last few sentences we so incredible because you feel all those emotions, great that his dad realized his granddaughter would be a Vet, sadness at the death and that the grandfather would not be at the graduation, the pride Gene must feel over his daughters accomplishments - such a rush of emotion - hence tears.

Love your story and TBG's.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 23, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

That's right hon,yaw is the wv version of hon.

I was shocked when I moved to WV and was told I had a Baldimore accent.I say wooder(water) budder(butter) and warsh (wash).

I see where Balmer beat Warshington 2-1 in the battle of the beltways hon.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 23, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Boy, that Weingarten column is good. Thanks for the tip. A couple of days before my mother died she looked up and said something about my red dress. It was the most coherent thing she'd said in months, and really startled us all. And my dress was red, too.

Slyness, ticks and poison ivy and wasps. Don't forget wasps. I just don't see any use for them.

I'll pass your kind comments on to the Boy tonight. He's at a bar mitzvah party right now. Fortunately he understands and accepts that the lavishness of the bar and bat mitzvahs he has so far attended will not be matched in this household, ever. We didn't even do one of those dinner/dance/ballroom things for our wedding.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely, Ivansmom. Wasps and yellow jackets (the real insects) and hornets. Mr. T had to kill a wasp upstairs this afternoon. How did it get there? And how did the cricket get in the upstairs bathtub last night? There are so many things I don't understand.

Posted by: slyness | May 23, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Excellent Weingarten article. I share Frosti’s feelings about him. I guess my visit to the cemetery today makes me more sensitive to the subject of a parent’s death. My hairdresser told me a story today that brought tears to my eyes. A friend of hers is one of seven children with 19 grandchildren. One of his sisters died of breast cancer a few years ago. About a year later his mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given four months to live. The siblings all wanted her to get either aggressive chemo or ‘alternative’ treatment. She said no, that she was blessed to have 19 grandchildren and such a large loving family. That they would all be okay but that her daughter who had died was all alone in heaven and needed her to come be there with her. Her sentiment made her family less sad about her death and more able to lean on each other and cope. How wonderful is that?

Posted by: badsneakers | May 23, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

We just picked up our copy of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies", with most gory cover art. I look forward to giving it to the Boy. The first few chapters very cleverly insinuate the undead into the everliving Austen story.

All this talk of planting makes me envious. I hope, over the next few days, to clear my garden patches to the point where I can prepare them and plant a few vegetables. Much to my surprise, a couple of sprigs of parsley and a handful of chives have appeared in the herb bed, as if from nowhere.

I bid you all fondue, and look for you on the morrow. Vaya con queso.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks frostbitten for the saliva link….. I mean salvia link. Indeed they are stunning in masses. I like red flowers. They are stand out so well against the green leaves.

LALurker, those jacarandas blooms are absolutely gorgeous.

Posted by: rainforest1 | May 23, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Had a busy day today -- did some work around the house, picked up some rear brake pads and rotors for the old Dodge. Unfortunately, the driver's side pads were down to the rivets, and when I went to compress the brake piston back into the caliper in order to install the new pads, the piston cracked (it *is* 13 years old on a car with 165,000 mi, had had been a little overheated). Fortunately, being a resourceful fellow, I happened to have a couple of old rear brake calipers I'd liberated from a junkyard car on hand (like the shuttle astronauts carrying extra used components, just in case), so after a little digging and getting a little creative in swappling pieces between calipers, I was able to cobble everything I needed together and install it. Going to need an extra heavy foot from someone to bleed those brakes tomorrow ('tis a two-person operation -- I don't have a vacuum bleeder, and I'm not crazy about them anyway), but I think I'm good to go other than that.

Gene W's been on a bit of a tear-jerker tear, lately, isn't he? I think it was he who wrote the piece that ran in the WaPo mag a few months back about small children being inadvertently left in cars during hot weather...


Posted by: -bc- | May 23, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Having read the comments regarding Mr. Weingarten's article, I think that I'll bookmark it and read it later. One of the last things my Dad said to me was "Take care of those dogs! They're money, you know!" It was so off the table, it cracked me up. Busy day today. the VW wouldn't idle, according to my mechanic, due to the cantankerous nature of the Chinese iteration of the venerable Solex PICT 30 carburetor. Thus, I dashed off to Cross Anchor and to have a properly reconditioned Solex installed. The sewing machine sound of a properly running air cooled flat four greeted my ears. Now I have to figure out how to get the rear part of the sunroof to pop into place and seat properly. It doesn't leak, but it won't seat. Returned home, cleaned house, and 'cued some burgers and dogs to feed sixteen. Didn't use the porch, but we all had a real good time. And now, for your late night listening pleasure, some traditional music:

Posted by: -jack- | May 24, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

for those who wonder about how the Brickyard came to be...

Posted by: -jack- | May 24, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

You rawk, Jack.

Posted by: Yoki | May 24, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

bc, you know I'd be happy to lay my extra-dense skull on the brake pedal to help ya bleed the brakes, but...

We've found ourselves on Vet Watch. *SIGH* Midnight/Butthead was very lethargic the past couple of days, would only look at the water dish and actually refused treats a couple of times. He wasn't responding to scritches and snuggling, either. Took him to the emergency vet last night -- liver issues, perhaps. Hopefully a night of IVs has him properly hydrated so things can be sorted out. *SIGHHHHHHHH*

*not-feeling-all-that-jog-worthy-but-will-likely-venture-out-anyway-with-fingers-crossed Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 24, 2009 6:01 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Martooni, good to hear from you, and hope the fishing goes okay. I love fishing, but never have the time.

Yoki, Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, and all, hope you get a chance to attend church this morning, and wishes for a great day. *waving*

Will read your craft, JA.

This could just be my overactive imagination or my mind playing tricks on me, but I believe those of us that live in the South are going through a backlash become Obama has become President? African-Americans, that is. I went to a government office to make an inquiry about a program, and while asking questions about the program, I was actually, in a sneaky sort of way, discouraged from applying. And some of my friends have told similar stories. The local sheriff here called a business man(African-American) an idiot out loud because the man filed a complaint citing harassment from deputies. It seems the deputy was parked in front of this man's business and the deputy was sound asleep. The business man didn't want to knock on the window from fear of getting shot, so he blew his truck horn until the deputy woke up. The deputy was on patrol, and sleeping on the job. And if one inquires about stimlus money for certain programs, one is told it doesn't exist. It is as if because Obama became President, African-Americans will pay the price through a backlash. The reality can't be altered, but there will be repercussions. And I realize this is not a new way of doing things here in the South, but in the year 2009, I can hardly believe it still exists. It's as if the losers are saying we lost the election, but we're still in charge. And in a sense, that is very true. Yes, we have an African-American president, but we have the same set of people running the institutions and programs that impact our daily lives. So really, not much has changed, especially when they practice their craft through these institutions. Backlash, another word for sheets.

What a thought for Sunday morning, and all before heading to church. Prayer, big time.

Posted by: cmyth4u | May 24, 2009 6:05 AM | Report abuse

"through a backlash because Obama.....

Posted by: cmyth4u | May 24, 2009 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Dang you, Weingarten...

I knew what was coming, and I still teared up at the end.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 24, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that reads the Weingarten column as a sappy Mitch Albom/John Grogan level tearjerker written solely as a shaggy dog story so that he can brag that his daughter is graduating from vet school?

Just color me jaded and cynical.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 24, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse


I spent many an afternoon in my youth as the brake bleeder. Since I was a mere slip of a boy, the calls of 'harder' let me to some serious contortions of leverage to push that pedal down as far as possible.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 24, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Morning, everybody. Cool and cloudy this morning in the high country. There was rain in the night. Mr. T's agenda today is not to break a sweat. That means no heavy work in the yard. So we'll find something fun to do.

Cassandra, I wish I could make those issues go away. I think racism will recede only with the deaths of the racists. It's just too easy to live with a hardened attitude, even when it's obviously totally wrong.

Posted by: slyness | May 24, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Good morning with a chance of rain on top of the day. Been reading but quiet because I am in the post-grading prostration.

DMD and all: hearing the garden details lets me re-spring. SD, your planting of lilacs for a succession of bloom and scent is bully! I am visiting next year.

Peonies this year bloomed in between rains, so the scent is lovely for more than two days. However, I think the sniff of them anesthetizes the nose.

Cassandra, boorish behavior is bad at any time. The reasons are often many, even in one person, one setting. I am sorry that you experience this. The racist layer is hideous.

Rainforest -- hope you find salvia that is scarlet and vermilion at the same time.

Beating back the haunted house neighbor's wisteria today. If I miss this opportunity, curtains of this menace will shroud the back yard.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 24, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

DR, SeaSea and dbG -- I am hoping to be able to knit this summer. Just thought you should know that it is not all flowers with me. Fibers, too! First we begin with imagining something little and light on the needles.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 24, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

morning all... yello.. I see that somewhat in Weingarten's column, but forgive him for a few reasons...

1. He shared a good story that gives those of us who have been in that boat a tear and a smile at the same time. Like dmd says... it's age and shared experience that give us that perspective.

2. I like a story that begins with one thing but turns out to be about another. That was the beauty of the old Simpsons (the first few seasons). The "Homer is president of the union" episode that begins in the dentist office ("The Big Book of British Smiles")is a good example.

3. "Brag away!" I say. He's made no bones about his pride in his daughter's accomplishments and that's one thing I love about him--his great affection for his wife and kids (and dogs).

Posted by: TBG- | May 24, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Jack - thanks for that article.

Something it does not mention specifically (though it does seem to imply) is that many of those old race cars used total-loss oiling systems for the engines' valvetrains. The one of the jobs of the riding mechanic was to squirt oil (from an onboard tank) onto the valve systems from time to time. There was no provision for recapturing that oil which was allowed to sploosh out (providing a slight cooling effect), and onto the track surface. That oil was replentished to the cars during the pitstops for refueling and tire changes, resulting in later rules that forbade oil replentishment during the 500 (resulting in a couple of infamous incidents over the years, including a few where desperate crews added water to crankcases in the hopes of making an engine last to the finish).

Imagine the condition of the course towards the end of a day of competition in those days... a 2.5 mile slick of oil-based mud, I expect.

Also, remember that highly banked wooden board tracks were becoming popular in those days as well (based on bicycle racetracks IIRC), and that paved racecourses were probably a distinct improvement on that from a durability standpoint. I think that a couple of the East Coast board tracks in Atlantic City and/or Brooklyn may have been damaged or destroyed in storms and/or fires.

And Scottynuke, I may take you up on that offer to pump 'n hold. My brake pedal, I mean.

yellojkt, I had the same problem with weight and brake pedal pressure on my all-manual-drum brake '69 Plymouth Road Runner. After one hard stop, I had to leverage myself by curling the steering wheel from the bottom and pressing my shoulder blades against the seatback in oder to generate enough force to stop that thing when the shoes overheated. Which is why my next RR had power discs.

It's beautiful outside, but I'm watching the Monaco GP live at the moment. Jensen Button continues his domination of the '09 season, while my mancrush Lewis Hamilton unable to manhandle the recalcitrant forward with sufficent alactrity after a qualifying accident had him starting at the back of the field, and starting postion is of maximum importance.


Posted by: -bc- | May 24, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "the recalcitrant McLaren Mercedes MP4/24"

Apologies for the horrifically self-indulgent post.


Posted by: -bc- | May 24, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! The big clean continues, and doesn't seem quite so daunting today. A solid 8 hours of sleep often has that effect.

S'nuke- hugs to you, spouse and feline.

yello-a big part of my love/hate relationship with GW is that he can be such a manipulative ba$tard. But, even in my hate phases I'd be hard pressed to tar him with the Mitch Albom brush. You are not only cynical, you are cold.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 24, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. A rather late start for me.

I'm off to spend the day in the majestic Rocky Mountains. I am hoping to see grizzly bears (from a distance).

Have a happy Sunday.

Posted by: Yoki | May 24, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Yipes! Today is Bob Dylan's 68th birthday (he's just 41 days younger than Ma Frostbitten).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 24, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Crikey! Can that be right?

Posted by: Yoki | May 24, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Or maybe you just have a contrary streak yello.

I thought that was a wonderful article that really had very little to do with an offspring's accomplishments and everything to do with dealing with loss and family continuity.

For reasons that defy all logic Gene seems to have been blessed with a strong family and good friends. Articles like this show me that Gene understands the value of those connections.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 24, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

This story in today's San Antonio Express--News ought to make anyone pause, perhaps also shed a few tears. Accompanying it are pictures of the subject of the feature story: burned GI William Kleinedler and of the sculpture he created called "Hope," 19 feet tall and 250 pounds that hangs in Fort Sam Houston's Warrior and Family Support Center:

Some important grafs:

A look at retired Army Staff Sgt. William Ralph Kleinedler is a shock.

Bits of yellow gauze shaped like oversized teeth stretch along his upper lip like an Elliott Gould moustache. The gauze and “Z-plasty” sutures on his cheeks and chin can make you cringe or turn away.

It’s led his parents to give him a nickname: Bucky Beaver. ...

Somehow he lived when three others didn’t. He toughed out six operations and nearly three years of care in San Antonio and is thankful to be alive, but it’s more than that now. ...

Kleinedler’s head and ears were spared because of his combat helmet, and goggles saved his eyes. But he suffered third-degree burns to his cheeks, nose and upper lip. They were “full-thickness” burns, where all layers of the skin are destroyed and cannot heal on their own.

Treatment is difficult because facial skin covers a complex muscle network. Burned skin contracts and scars, affecting not only the immediate area but also other parts of the face, hindering the ability to make normal expressions. ...

Rather than mope about his misfortune, Kleinedler dived into his art. While drawing last year at Fort Sam, he met two women who asked whether he was interested in designing a butterfly sculpture that would be mounted on the fireplace of the Warrior and Family Support Center’s great room.

Posted by: laloomis | May 24, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Yup, Dylan graduated from high school 50 years ago this month. Some of his Hibbing High School classmates were on hand at Hibbing's annual Dylan Days celebration. The whole Dylan Days festival is an interesting phenom. "The Range" (as in MN's Iron Range) hasn't always embraced its most famous son. The western end of the The Range is in the eastern part of our county but in many ways it might as well be a different country.

Just put some scarlet runner bean seeds in the ground. My last 6 seeds so I hope they all germinate as they are already spaced the recommended 6" apart. If all goes well they will climb the arbor and shade the ligularia which I probably should have planted in a shadier, or wetter, spot last summer-but now a successful winter has us committed so I'll grow some shade and water every day until the sandy soil is "improved" to the point of sogginess.
Here's a great gardening blog entry on "the rocket" as it is also known-

My clematis-2 count 'em 2!- are growing about 4" a day and sending out new shoots like mad. Tempted to try to root a few cuttings, but this year's fussy projects are nursing the ligularia and transplanting teeny tiny divisions of campanula Bowl of Cherries. The campanula was only supposed to be reliably hardy to zone 5 but it's made it through two winters here.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 24, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't Hibbing also equal Kevin McHale?

Posted by: russianthistle | May 24, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Shuttle down, safe and sound!

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 24, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Alas, McHale (Mr. Basketball 1976) is a basketball player from a hockey town. However, I think Hibbing makes a habit of downplaying the accomplishments of anyone who leaves and makes good.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 24, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see the shuttle land safely, and that the team of riding mechanics can have a well-deserved post-repair beverage.

I'll be good to get the core charges for those cameras and other Hubble parts back from Pep Boys and into the Federal Budget, too.


Posted by: -bc- | May 24, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I was trying to find some history on the old, old Charlotte Motor Speedway. The original track was a wood planked design, somewhere on South Boulevard. I didn't have any luck. I guess someone was paid to expunge the record.

Posted by: -jack- | May 24, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Was getting things done around the house, and had the Indy 500 pre-race on with the sound off, and noticed that the normal military flyover during the National Anthem wasn't the typical B-2, F-18s, A-10s, F-16s or anything like that, but looked to me like a pair of WWII B-24 Liberators.

Fitting, I suppose, for the 100th anniversary of the Speedway.

Probably too much to ask to have some Wright Flyers fly down the pit straight, but maybe next year we'll have the Dawn Patrol do the flyover. I call the P-51, you know how I love the hot rods.

Oh, look, here's Jim Nabors singing "Back Home in Indiana," time to turn the sound up.

Oh, dear, I think something's not right there...


Posted by: -bc- | May 24, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Losing a loved one to dementia is very tragic. My parents wouldn't even let me visit my grandmother in her waning days. My wife's grandmother became bitter and accusatory, so much so that my wife needed some counseling to deal with the bitterness from the lady she used to spend summers with.

My parents are still in good health but I can only prep myself for that day when they can't take care of themselves.

It's a running joke that my memory is so bad that my wife won't know when the Alzheimer's sets it. It's a whistling past the grave joke because it's the type of decline I fear the most.

You and rd have perfectly opposite views on what the column is about, which is fine. I think Gene was going for his infamous twist ending which his longer articles tend to include. Gene is rightfully proud of his daughter and I'm jealous I don't have a nationally syndicated column to brag from. Molly's degree is quite an accomplishment as Gene will continue to remind us.

It is an unfair comparison since I have never read any Abrom and don't intend to anytime soon. It was a cheap shot. However, I do think there is some professional jealousy against Grogan.

I knew I would be all alone on my skunk at the garden party take on Weingarten, so here's my long form take on why Weingarten's piece is beneath him:

Mudge and everybody else that doesn't want to click on the link is excused. I'll talk no more of it.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 24, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I got to hear the sea level views of Harold R. Wanless, of the Geological Sciences department at the University of Miami. He's worked on Everglades coastal issues for years (effects of hurricanes on mangrove forests and such). By the way, mangroves have NOT recovered from the three catastrophic hurricanes of the 20th century (1935, 1960, 1992).

Miami is doomed. With sea level rising about 1 foot/century since 1930 and the rate increasing to at least 2 ft/century (with an unpredictable component due to collapse of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica).

Wanless also warns that in recent history, sea level change is seldom at a steady pace. Rises have tended to be sudden, with existing beaches abandoned for new ones at higher elevation.

Miami is already having problems with normal high tides; Wanless illustrated the situations taken from a week of higher-than-usual tides following hurricanes Gustav and Ike in the Gulf.

It isn't possible to protect Miami with dikes. The city is built on porous limestone and sand. Can't seal it off, unlike New Orleans.

As sea level rises, Miami's beaches will be exposed to greater wave action than at present. Wanless figures that as the beaches retreat or simply disappear, oceanfront buildings will be reduced to rubble. No tall buildings rising out of the ocean, as in Spielberg's movie, "AI".

The city will lose its wet climate, becoming dry (in the rainfall sense) like Key West. The landmass of Florida provides the convection required for showers; new stretches of open water wouldn't.

Seems possible Miami will disappear by the end of the century.

On the side, Wanless encourages restoration of the Everglades on grounds that adequate water flows are likely to stimulate peat formation, keeping salt water at bay, at least temporarily.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 24, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

bc, help me please - explain the tradition of Jim Nabors signing at the Indy 500 - his voice is enough to have me leave screaming from the room - what am I missing?

Posted by: dmd2 | May 24, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Dave, even more reason to have property in the high country.

A nice, steady, gentle rain is falling. Makes a virtue of a lazy day.

We have now had our spring drive to Globe - a small community at the bottom of the mountain on a gravel road. It's a fun, although bumpy, ride and beautiful regardless of the weather.

Posted by: slyness | May 24, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't happen to a nicer place. Maybe Billy Joel will have to rewrite Miami 2017 to reverse the migration.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 24, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

dmd - I have often wondered that precise thing. My guess is that sacred tradition is involved. And, quite possibly, beer.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 24, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

dmd, have you ever heard Jim Nabors sing?

His speaking voice is one thing, his singing voice is - or was, back in the day - remarkably powerful and deep.

IIRC he had a bit of a career in the '60s and '70s as a popular singer, and was on a lot of variety shows showcasing that voice (and trying to sell records, of course). He was invited to sing "Back Home" with the a marching band during that period, and was so popular that he's been invited back every year since, health permitting.


Posted by: -bc- | May 24, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if Wanless has read McPhee's "The Control of Nature"? This title by McPhee just came highly recommended to me this morning in an e-mail from the she-geologist I met last Saturday at the Fredericksburg Lavender Festival, so I read the synopsis at Marie wrote "... to me it is by far his [McPhee's] most interesting--it is a series of three shorter essays about 'control of nature' being a three-word oxymoron."

In the contest between mankind and nature's awesome powers, we all know the winner--every time.

We've had .95 of rain since about 7 p.m. Friday night. First rumbles of thunder today, during the last 30 minutes and frequent, with very light rain now falling. I'll gladly give up any semblance of a "holiday" weekend for ANY amount of precip. Today's newspaper said Saturday's rain was not enough to raise the rate of flow on the Guadalupe. Poor Gomer.

DotC, you didn't mention, if I recall correctly from your most recent post or your previous ones, what most impressed you--either positively or negatively--about Wyoming when you were a greenhorn there?

Posted by: laloomis | May 24, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Good luck, Susan Boyle!

Posted by: slyness | May 24, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Dr Wanless was a member of a committee that recommended how to save the marshes of southern Louisiana. The group's recommendations were to promptly abandon the bird's-foot delta and reroute the river's waters to other distributaries, where the silt would contribute to marsh growth, rather than slipping off the continental shelf.

The committee also noted that dams within the Mississippi system have drastically cut the amount of sediment being transported to the Gulf. They recommended prompt demolition of as many dams as possible.

In other words, Wanless is all in favor of "controlling" nature, or at least arranging things for nature to do its own thing. McPhee's section on keeping the Mississippi from switching its flow down the Atchafalaya is a classic. The Atchafalaya is building its own cute little delta.

I very much liked Wyoming's lack of humididty, relative lack of insects, and the general pleasantness of being outdoors, unless the temperature was south of -15 or so. I'd spent several years previously doing hot, soggy field work, often in swamps full of poison ivy.

Even then, if the car would start and it was a Saturday, you could get out for some cross-country skiing (I never warmed up to the notion of waiting in lift lines, and was too impoverished/cheap for downhill, anyway).

I also liked that our corner of Wyoming looked very much like The West, at least as portrayed in that Princeton-written geology textbook.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 24, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I liked Albom's _Tuesday's_ book, probably for the same reasons I liked _The Last Lecture_. On the other hand, Grogan is inexcusable.

As RD wrote, GW does seem to be blessed with family and friends. But I think the measure of a person is not how well they treat those they love--and since GW continually denigrates others that he doesn't love, his measure is small (although his ego is way too large).

What's the point of visiting your parent who has dementia? Maybe because it's important to you to just be there, just in case. If he had been, perhaps he could have heard the "vet" comment firsthand.

The article was okay, but I really have stopped reading his work for a reason.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 24, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Must be time to look into the future estimated costs of Federal flood insurance on the coasts. If a carbon tax won't be funding it, (carbon taxes are "too radical") I guess we'll manufacture another hollow AIG-like simulacrum to handle it, and then it, too, will go belly up in some future replay of current events.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 24, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

dbG - I am saddened that you have abandoned Mr. Weingarten. I have never met him, and he's probably totally okay with that, but I do enjoy his writing even when I disagree with him. (Dark chocolate rules. And mixed with red wine it can be orgasmic. But I digress.)

If you find his writings offensive then, for you, he has failed. And I am sure he would agree.

But I do encourage you to take a closer look at what he writes.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 24, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

bc, think Jim Nabors voice is an acquired taste - not untalented mind you just not something I find appealing. Think I remember him from a few variety shows, and of course have seen him at the Indy and well, I do remember Gomer Pyle :-).

Posted by: dmd2 | May 24, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Hello all. Spent the day finishing the errands started yesterday, balancing the checkbook, putting some things in order -- to be continued tomorrow. We'll see how far I get on that.

The most important part of my day, of course, was to watch the Red Wings eviscerate the Blackhawks 6-1. Back to Detroit for the next (and I hope final) game in the series, which I think they said was to be on Wednesday.

I hope Susan Boyle wins the BGT contest over there. Her voice is so lovely and powerful (when it needs to be).

Off for the evening of reading the old news in the newspaper, and maybe even get to the mega-crossword puzzle (which I always save until last) before I nod off.

Cya tomorrow perhaps.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 24, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Gomer Pyle jumped the shark when they made Gomer the Singing Marine and every episode revolved around Sergeant Carter chaperoning Gomer to various public relations event. Each episode including Jim Nabors dropping his hayseed accent long enough to sing a gorgeous number. While the show never mentioned Vietnam, that theme was obviously inspired by my father-in-law's second favorite singer, Barry Sadler.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 24, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

That Jim Nabors succeeded commercially demonstrates empirically that many found his voice satisfying. Personally, I always found his voice a bit too "Ashcrofty."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 24, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

based on the youtube clips i could find, susan boyle did win today's semi-final for bgt. she sang memory from cats and was clearly nervous at the beginning, but she did just fine. considering all the scrutiny, i'd say she's holding up pretty well.

Posted by: LALurker | May 24, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I decided to Google Dr. Harold Wanless and see that he passed in 1970 and that his work about changing shorelines was published posthumously, with a coauthor, in 1971.

Has anyone challenged or provided alternate hypotheses about Dr. Wanless's views in the intervening 38 years or are other scientists still, after several decades, pretty much in agreement with Dr. Wanless's conclusions?

Posted by: laloomis | May 24, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Winding down a long day here. We acquired an extra boy for the night but I hope Ivansdad will stay up to ride herd on them. We're old-fashioned and actually make them (a) stop playing video games, watch a movie or talk and (b) go to sleep before 1 a.m. People keep coming over, though, so it can't be too bad.

I think the decision and ability to regularly visit a parent with dementia is very personal. I have known people who went faithfully weekly, even daily, long after their parents no longer knew who they were or could speak coherently. I know my father, who lived hundreds of miles from his mother, could barely stand to visit her when he was there; it was too painful. My mother got to the point where she enjoyed any visitor for perhaps three minutes and then got a little worried, a little anxious, a little restless. Visiting her was not a kindness to her or her visitors. If asked, I encourage people who have difficulty making regular visits to concentrate on their particular circumstances, and not to worry about how others will view their decision. If you can wonder what the point of such visits are, then it is a legitimate question for you.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 24, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Daughter's first day of work went well and she wasn't called on to save any lives today. Whew.

She's now off at her "summer home"... the sleepovers at the girls' house up the street have begun. Too bad there's still nearly another month of school.

Posted by: TBG- | May 24, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I just found and watched Susan Boyle's semifinal video. I, too, detected some nervousness and I thought the phrasing went a little too quickly, although that might have been due to the minimal time which she had to do her number. She is very good and I think she has a good future ahead of her.

As for the dementia issue, I agree with Ivansmom that it is very personal. My mom lived in Michigan, so I would "commute" every few months (my car knew the way by heart, and I once got the time from DC to Detroit down to 8 1/2 hours. Yeah, just call me lead-foot).

Dementia is by turns tragic and heart-wrenching and occasionally hysterically funny. It is equally hard on everyone involved -- the one who has it and the ones who love the person who don't. It sometimes holds up a mirror and we don't like what we see or who we see. It's frightening and cruel and sad beyond belief. Last Friday was the 14th anniversary of my mother's death. I remember her with love and with sorrow and with a longing for her to come back into my life in actuality, not just in memory. It still feels like yesterday, as much as it feels like forever.

There are no rules. For those of you inside of that situation, I hold compassion for you and for your loved one. Peace requires that they die, which is not the point, but is the reality. I have the hugest respect for the human brain, no matter how configured (or, indeed, not).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 24, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Fierce t-storms and the biggest hail I’ve ever seen (large marble size) this afternoon. Luckily we got the grass cut and the cars washed (!) before the deluge. Now it’s a clear and muggy dusk.

I agree with Ivansmom about visiting dementia patients. I used to feel bad that I only visited my mom once a week until the day when circumstances caused two visits in one day. When I came in for the second time she remarked that she hadn’t seen me in a long time. As she got worse, I visited less as it was too upsetting to me. I was in the middle of my divorce and moving and a job change and my stress level was too high for me to see her much.

Glad the shuttle got down okay. They did a remarkable job up there and must be happily exhausted. It seems a good thing that the new head of NASA is a former astronaut, but then, I don’t know anything other than what I read here.

Thrilled that there is one more day to this weekend, even tho’ it will be spent keeping the granddaughters amused, which is one tough job.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 24, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

i had a great aunt who lived to be 100. an alzheimer's patient in nearby room of the nursing home befriended her. it was one of interesting relationships because my great aunt was wheelchair bound the last few years of her life and had real challenges hearing, even with a hearing aid. but her mind and her eyesight were good. the alzheimer's patient was in great physical health, so she happily would wheel my great aunt to meals and help with other odds and ends. my great aunt would in turn try to help her remember appointments and other things, usually related to medical things and appointments. it wasn't easy though.

one time this woman hung out with us while a bunch of us were visiting my great aunt. we'd have to reexplain to the poor woman who we all were about every 20 minutes. that was about how much time it would take her to forget the previous introductions/explanations and interrupt the conversation to ask us how we were all related. she would also ask specific questions like "are the two of you married?" to a father and a daughter or to a brother and a sister. we were all trying not to laugh because she was a very sweet person and of course, how can you laugh. my great aunt would sit there and roll her eyes at each new round, not in a malicious way, but in a "here we go again" and a "this is my life" kind of way.

Posted by: LALurker | May 24, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Newsflash: BC is onto something with olive oil as essential grease for skin maintenance.

'Grats. Now go sue them for stealing your idea, bc.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 24, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes, dementia is a difficult issue. A grandma went through Alzheimer's for a long time before she died.

I think regular visits are warranted to be sure the person is being treated well, but "less frequent" could have meant going from 5 times a week to once a week or every two weeks.

That's still a lot more than a lot of folks in nursing homes get, because their relatives live too far away to visit.

And as Ivansmom and others say, sometimes it is not a kindness to stress a confused person by disrupting the routine and forcing them to be social too often.

My grandma feared nursing homes and was kept in her home to the day she no longer recognized the place she had lived in for over 50 years. My uncle visited her daily while she was living independently and for a while after that. He even had a job delivering to her nursing home, so even by the end he was in there at least twice a week.

It is a difficult burden for anybody to bear, and he was the one to do it because he lived so close.

Some people need a break from that so they can distance themselves emotionally or they'll go crazy themselves.

After all, visiting is a blessing when you feel like or KNOW that you're doing something good for them.

If the benefit is doubtful (and even stressful), and it tears you up... yeah, cutting back makes sense, as long as you keep doing what you CAN do that matters.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 24, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I'd just like to point out that literature is grand. With no prodding or suggestion from me, the Boy is already halfway through "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies". He approves heartily. You understand, this has a lot of Austen's plot and prose wholly lifted, with the addition of zombies, the undead, and the necessary weaponry and fighting (the sisters are zombie battlers along with everyone else). Please don't anyone tell him it is Jane Austen until he's done.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 24, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

My sister works in nursing homes. You want to visit as often as possible. Trust me on this.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 24, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Check, Yellojkt.

Does she handle a lot of dementia?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 24, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

'Hey, Boodle. Just got back a few minutes ago, just now settling down for the night. Had a good two days, and as a bonus, saw the Blue Angels no less than twice. I was unaware that this weekend was the air show at NAS Pax River, where I used to work, and which is right across the the harbor from Solomons, where we keep the boat. So yesterday afternoon as I was working on the boat, who should fly over at almost treetop level, but you-know-who. At one point they were so close overhead my wife said four of the pilots had brown eyes and two were blue-eyed.

And then this afternoon we went to a clam boil at a friend's friend's house in Solomons right on the river. So we saw out on the pier and watched the Blue Angels yet again.

So a pleasant two days, though we did do a lot of work on the boat.

So: better late than never.

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

May 24, 1543: Nicolaus Copernicus, the astronomer who overthrew the Ptolomaic view of the solar system, dies at age 70 in East Prussia.
1607: Capt. Christopher Newport and the ships Discovery, Godspeed and Susan Constant (also sometimes known as Sarah Constant) arrive at Jamestown in the Virginia colony with 105 of the original 144 colonists (39 died en route). By year’s end, starvation cuts the number to 32. Nevertheless, the first English colony in America survives.
1918: The Aviation Section of the Army Signal Corps is abolished and the new Army Air Service is established as a separate, independent division of the Army. It later changes its name to the Army Air Corps and then the Army Air Force, before it becomes the U.S. Air Force in 1947.
1962: Navy Cmdr. Scott Carpenter, a 1954 graduate of the Test Pilot School’s Class 13 (known as the “Thirsty Thirteen” on their foaming beer-mug-adorned class pennant), becomes the second American ever to orbit the earth, in his Mercury capsule Aurora 7. An anti-submarine warfare pilot during the Korean War, Carpenter went on to become the only American ever to be both an astronaut as well as an aquanaut, serving in the Man-in-the-Sea Sealab II project.

OK, I'm off to backboodle and see what you guys were up to.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 24, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the reminder, Yello. We've been fortunate in my family not to lose our elders to dementia, but you make an essential point.

One of my duties as a deacon in my church is to visit the elderly person who is assigned to me. It was rather intimidating at first to go, but my person is a delightful 90 year old whose body is letting her down but whose intellect is quite sharp. I hope she gets half as much as I do from our visits. Even when I rotate off the deacons next year, I plan to keep on visiting her.

One good thing about visiting people in nursing homes is that it gives you perspective about what you will want when it comes your turn. I've got some pretty strong opinions about where I want and don't want to go locally. And I'm keeping up with the premiums on the long-term care policy. That is a gift I'm giving my children, although they don't know it yet.

Posted by: slyness | May 24, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

This was all about kids coming home to deal with their parents' dementia Mudge, that should be familiar to you. ;) Or to your children at least. I felt a sense of familiarity myself, anyway.

I got the garden going today. It was a long day but it was worth it. I admit to quitting the Monaco GP halfway through when it became a procession. Yet I hope one day I'll see it in person. Those big cars in the small streets are awesome. It's the GP that make you realized how flipping fast those cars are going around the bends.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 24, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

It was about my kids looking for dementia symptoms in me of course. My parents' health is failing but they are still their own cantankerous, f-up selves. And that is a good thing (a few grand-this or that didn’t ride so gracefully into the sunset).

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 24, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

There's two geology Harold Wanlesses. The University of Miami one is quite alive, though he could pass for a retiree.

He's also a severe critic of beach nourishment as practiced in southeast Florida. Now that I've seen one of his PowerPoint presentations on this subject, it makes a bit more sense that sand is being trucked from near Orlando to Bal Harbour:

In some parts of Florida (but not Miami or Fort Lauderdale), I suppose barrier islands could be raised the way Galveston was after its deadly hurricane.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 24, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, you said that so well.

Posted by: --dr-- | May 24, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I have no first-hand experience with Alzheimer's, but I appreciate all of the comments from those who do. If I ever need to face such things, I will have something to draw from -- thank you.

s_d, I don't blame ya for bailing on Monaco. Seems to me that the Monaco GP has been processional for decades; the cars have been far too fast for a proper race there for probably 45 years now. I still enjoy it, but I think of it as being a long techincal demonstration of time-trial precison and concentration between the barriers more than wheel-to-wheel racing.


Posted by: -bc- | May 24, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I wish some network would make a deal with ITV so we could just watch BGT on TV.

This guy might give Susan a run

and I just love this kid

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 24, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I didn't make this clear, but my "what's the point" graph was in answer to GW's question "What's the point?"

Ivansmom and others have actually reinforced my general objection to Mr. Weingarten. I could be reading him wrong, but what I see as his obstinate belief that his is the only way is objectionable--most certainly in his live discussion, but also in his non-blog and many of his articles.

My paragraph was to indicate that there are differing points of view about how people could respond when faced with the specific situation. I've been there too.

RD, you know how some here can't read Will or any of those right-wingie guys? I guess I've come to feel that way about GW. Not because of his politics, but as I've read more of his non-story offerings through the years, I've come away with the strong reaction of "jerk." I could be wrong.

Life's too short to go looking for more stress, but I do appreciate your wise counsel.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 24, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Great selections Frosti, of course you have sent me to that great time sink - Youtube,

love this violinist from BGT,

Posted by: dmd2 | May 24, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

dbG, I think it's Gene's persona or schtick to come across as a jerk...I kind of doubt that he is in real life, or in the "important" things. But then, I've spent a lot of years loving the music of some bonafide jerks, so in general I'm good at separating the art from the artist (whether that is a good thing is another question). But you don't need to read Gene if you don't want to. He was very nice to jw, though, and wrote a sweet column about him. Wonder what happened to jw...

Posted by: seasea1 | May 24, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect? Our government has reached the last stage of paralysis. So-called democracy is the problem. Not only do the people not control the government, no one does. Our government is a competitive sport, and all that matters is how you play the game.

Posted by: markoller | May 25, 2009 2:26 AM | Report abuse

Back in the early 90's when I was looking for a system to archive scanned data, I talked to a firm in Maryland that was busy interviewing NASA scientist who had retired or were about to retire. It seemed that they knew all about building and launching very large rockets. (Think F1 motors.)

NASA was retiring them and a person asked "Who will be able to do that in the future?"


You think we will build large rockets in the future?

If everyone in NASA forgot that project, the company was Microdynamics in Silver Spring, but I think they merged.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 25, 2009 6:17 AM | Report abuse

*saluting those who gave the ultimate service*

Hmmmm... No front page alert. Oh well.

Both my parents are still sharp and alert, and I dearly hope that continues.

I also hope Midnight's improvement continues -- test results are promising, but we'll see how he's doing this afternoon.

*another-salute Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 25, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Morning, everybody, and happy Memorial Day! I realize that I'm the only one up early, but I had my eight hours in the bed, and the body was done with that. So here I am.

Rain overnight here in the high country, so all is gray and cloudy this morning. Our little weather station says it's 60 on the porch. I may go out and drink my tea and enjoy the peace and quiet.

I hope all in boodleland have a lovely day and don't forget to honor the service members and veterans in our lives.

Posted by: slyness | May 25, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

slyness, I would trade an hour of sitting on your porch for a cup of coffee. That sounds wonderful.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 25, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

There's not much to see this morning, RT, but you're welcome to come! If Maxwell House suits you, I'll have the coffee ready when you arrive.

Posted by: slyness | May 25, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. It's a cool and windy day in the other capital. Clearly not the perfect weather for newly transplanted tomato plants but what can I do? They will have to endure.
Seems like I discovered new muscles while gardening yesterday. All that crouching, seeding and transplanting stretched parts that are not used often.

Is it an old cat Scotty?
We had a huge male cat who died from renal failure, it went down really quickly. Better thake care of it now than to be sorry to have delayed action.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 25, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey, the view, I am sure, beats my view.

The one thing I can bring is coffee!

Have you ever done much reading on our friendly legumes? I have been noticing that, for whatever reason, I enjoy, crave them now.

Just thinking about making some a little bit later. Tossed part of a can into a salad for last night's supper. Such a simple meal, but good. Just wish I had some fresh parsley to chop up and include with the beans in a vinaigrette.

And, they were canned.

It would be nice to make some beans from scratch. I guess they can be prepared a billion and one ways. ... including a la Achenbach. Have we received a proper recipe for Achen-bro's beans?

Posted by: russianthistle | May 25, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all and Happy Memorial day!!

I wanted to give thanks to all of those who have served and especially to those who gave the Ultimate sacrafice for their country so we could be free....Thanks

Also Thanks to the Greatest generation and all of their sacrafices.Let's thank our Parents today.

Well off to bed

Have a Great day everyone

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 25, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Actually no, Shriek, he's fairly young, about 7 or 8. We're hoping it's just a passing infection and not a chronic thing. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 25, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, this one's for you:

Recently we had some discussion about Harry Golden. This story in today's Charlotte Observer caught my eye. I'll have to go see the exhibit:

Posted by: slyness | May 25, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Oh, slyness, I remember Harry Golden. I read his column whenever it appeared in whatever newspaper I would be reading. A real, true-blue mensch.

Hope everyone has a good day.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 25, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I believe that we are within a week of the Minn. Supreme Court hearing the Franken/Coleman case.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 25, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

The Scots Tattoo - Taps

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 25, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!

RT-they've heard the case, we are supposed to have a decision next week. T-Paw won't say if he'll sign an election certificate if the loser goes on to appeal to fed court. At first it seemed pretty clear he wouldn't, now not so much.

S'nuke-sending good thoughts Midnight's way. Keep us posted.

Cool and rainy here this morning. Nice light mist, perfect for all the plants I divided and moved over the last couple days-but not so great for all the sore muscles. Like sd I'm feeling all the digging, bending, crouching etc.

Off to continue with the big clean. At least now some portions of the house are put back together-when motivation flags I can just gaze into the organized-at-last closet or open the armoire to look at the neatly folded clothes. Aaaah.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 25, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Way kewl, Jumper. I knew that Taps is the signal for day's end, but the rest of the history is fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: slyness | May 25, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Frosty, I saw something from the papers there that oral arguments were scheduled for June1, so it was incorrect. (or I can't read)...

Thanks for the update. Once the State Supreme Court rules, and, if Franken prevails, it SEEMS TO ME to be a huge violation of the state's rights to have the Governor delay approval.

At that point, all the state level courts and authorities would have passed judgment.

The governor's power is to guarantee that all state's rights and privileges had been addressed--recounts, court challenges and what have you. It's done.

At this point, Coleman is done, Paws will go, too.

Again, thanks for the (good) news!

Posted by: russianthistle | May 25, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle, and Happy Memorial Day to you Murkins, and otherwise happy Monday to you Canuckistanis (you know who you are).

Read Dionne's op-ed, and couldn't quite figure out the point. There was an op-ed by somebody named Steve Schooner that irritated me. It was about the 1,350-odd contractors killed in Iraq and Afghanistan who aren't being mentioned in war casualty statistics. So far so good. But then he gets snarky about those contractor KIAs not being mentioned by President Obama. And then he turns around and points out that 353 were killed in 2007...which if memory serves was under a previous president. No mention of the fact that Bush and Cheney not only failed to recognize these war dead. No, it's all Obama's fault for not recognizing them. That Bush and Cheney failed to recognize them for half a dozen years goes without the sluightest hint of a mention. The take-away? It's okay if Republicans fail to mention the havoc they caused, but god forbid Obama doesn't honor the KIA contractors that Bush and Cheney got killed. Jerk.

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

1889 – Birth of Igor Sikorsky, pioneer Russian inventor of the helicopter, whom some misguided folks believe might be Ukrainian.
May 25, 1961: “The Space Race” begins in earnest as President Kennedy tells Congress the U.S. will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. NASA succeeds, with five months to spare.
1982: British Sheffield-class destroyer HMS Coventry (Capt. David Hart-D yke) is struck by two bombs delivered by Argentine A-4 Skyhawks during the Falklands War. Coventry and another destroyer were off on a diversionary mission to draw Argentine planes away from landings at San Carlos Bay. The bombs hit Coventry's operations room and engine room, causing the ship to capsize within 20 minutes, with 20 dead. The surviving crew took to lifeboats, and while awaiting rescue amused themselves by singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's "Life of Brian." Gotta love them Brits.


Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 25, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse


Meanwhile, today is not a good day for outlaws, rebels and miscellanous other kinds of lawbreakers:

1521 – The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.
1659 – Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth of England. When Charles II is restored, he launches a worldwide posse to round-up ex-Cromwellians, especially the 92 men who signed Charles I's death warrant. One of them was my wife's distant relative, Gen. William Goffe, who fled to New Hampshire and lived in a cave outside what is now Nashua until one day he emerged from hiding to lead the town's defenses as it fought off an Indian attack. Later, one of his descendent's Col. John Goffe, led the militia unit that gave rise to the name "Yankee Doodle." My take-away: be very careful when married to someone who has regicide blood in her veins.
1738 – A treaty imposed by King George II between Pennsylvania and Maryland ends the Conojocular War (also known as Cresap's War) with settlement of a boundary dispute and exchange of prisoners. The boundary in question concerned large portions of the Padouk Family stomping grounds up in the now Penna. Dutch territory of York and Lancaster Counties (I don't know why they didn't call it the War of the Other Roses, like I asked them to) mainly the west bank of the Susquehanna River. The dispute wasn't definitely settled until 1767, when the Mason-Dixon Line was imposed.
1787 – In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates convene a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United States. George Washington presides.
1837 – The Patriots of Lower Canada (Quebec) rebel against the British for freedom.
1878 – Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore opens at the Opera Comique in London.
1895 – Playwright, poet, and novelist Oscar Wilde is convicted of "committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons" and sentenced to serve two years in prison.
1925 – In Dayton, Tennessee, schoolteacher John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, leading to the famous "Scopes Monkey Trial."
1940 – World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk begins.
1977 – A movie by the relatively unknown George Lucas is released, called "Star Wars." It stars a bunch of unknown actors, a pair of robots and a Wookie. The plot concerns a bunch of rebels against a galactic empire led by a heavy-breathing Dick Cheney wannabe.


Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 25, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday:

1803 – Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, English novelist and playwright ("It was a dark and stormy night.") and Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and philosopher.
1898 – Bennett Cerf, American publisher, TV personality, and co-founder of Random House (logo by Rockwell Kent). He published William Faulkner, John O'Hara, Eugene O'Neill, James Michener, Truman Capote, Dr. Seuss, and even Ayn Rand, although he violently disagreed with her philosophy. Cerf, a lover of puns and famous "What's My Line" panelist, was the publisher who won the landmark 1933 case for Joyce's "Ulysses."
1908 – Theodore Roethke, American poet
1921 – Hal David, songwriter/lyricist who with Burt Bacharach wrote about a thousand tune cooties.
1935: W. P. (William Patrick) Kinsella, Canuckistani's all-time greatlest novelist (because he wrote a lot about baseball). Kinsella wrote the novel "Shoeless Joe" which became the movie "Field of Dreams." He was (and still is) interested in Canada's First Nations and wrote eight books of short stories about life on "reserves" (what we call reservations) that became the CBC TV series "The Rez." For some time he was also a professor of English at the University of Calgary, wherever that is.

Today is Geek Pride Day (you know who you are) as well as (more than a little redundantly) Douglas Adams' Towel Day.

OK, that's it. Gotta go find some food. Everybody have a good day.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 25, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Happy Decoration Day, y'll. In my mind's eye I see two cemeteries:

Tobin Township, between Parkton and Mitchell, S.D. AND

Leavenworth Cemetary, wedged in between the Big House prison and Fort Leavenworth.

My people in these cemeteries bridge the old and new worlds. The Leavenworth cemetery contains Civil War vets (2); Sp.Am War (1), WWI (3), WWII (7), Korea (3), and Vietnam (4). No Iraq I or II events, cross fingers.

I will be interred in Mt. Olivet, near the National Arboretum. That cemetery is full of little granite "houses" placed by the Italians, some of whom built the National Cathedral. I want a very tacky and large angel statue and a Marchel Niel rose planted above me. Don't use the casket as fertilizer I aspire to be.

Am recovered from grading papers. Have swum the first laps in a frigid pool. Will bike soon.

Take care all.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 25, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I was amused by the first sentence in the article about the dangers of jurisprudence: "Threats against the nation's judges and prosecutors have sharply increased, prompting hundreds to get 24-hour protection from armed U.S. marshals."

Geez - you know it's a tough gig when armed US marshals are after you!

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

And how that elephant got in my pajamas I'll never know.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 25, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

RT- 1,000 pardons, your newspaper and you were most correct. Oral arguments will begin June 1. However, a quick (relatively) decision is anticipated.

T-Paw was on Twin Cities Public TV on Friday evening and is so mired in explaining his "no tax increases, no special session, I'll make cuts myself" stance that he must be convinced the Rep. base is large enough that appealing to it in this manner will boost his ambitions on a national stage. He's toast here already.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 25, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Stumbled upon this seemingly comprehensive list. Too interesting not to share.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 25, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, thanks for that link. I don't know that there was much included there that I didn't already know, but seeing it all laid out sure makes the point.

Posted by: -bia- | May 25, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

This, of course, is the reason that some people are pissed off that states (individually and jointly) reserve the status of "married" for certain couples only. Even setting aside the various financial goodies, it would cost a fair bit to have a lawyer reproduce contractually the various legal entanglements that are created with the (quite inexpensive) marriage certificate.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Taking a few quiet moments to remember those who sacrificed all for our freedom.

On a side note, I finished those brakes this morning with an assist from Scottynuke (thanks, my friend).

Now we're watching the delayed Coke 600 from Charlotte for a little while until his afternoon appointment [sound of carbonated beverages being popped open].

Have a good day, everyone.


Posted by: -bc- | May 25, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Just out of curiosity, how long is it going to take for the Justice Department's "unmarried couples" policy to get the full pinata/football treatment?

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

bc, glad you got Scotty to help. I've had to help bleed brakes a few times, and I hate it. Nice to see that Danica Patrick came in third in the race too. Scotty, hope your kitty gets better.

Posted by: seasea1 | May 25, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Does one traditionally remove the casing from Italian sausage before cooking?

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Bob, take them out of the box first.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 25, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Good one, Mudge. Almost as good as firsttimeblogger's May 23, 2009 7:01 PM post. Of course, she kind of gave you credit for that one, too.

Bob... depends on what you're doing with 'em.

Posted by: TBG- | May 25, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Har, har!

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

howdy, boodle. happy memorial day to everyone in the u.s. of a. and a big thank you to all our veterans out there.

hope everyone has a good day!

Posted by: LALurker | May 25, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

On behalf of all of the electronics maintenance troops who kept themselves far from danger while telling the flight crews, "You go get 'em, sir. If you make it back, I'll fix her right up!" I thank you.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I make light of some things because it's easier that way. I knew one of the guys who bought it at Khobar, and I volunteered for (but was not selected for) a number of reasonably hazardous situations in 1990-92. It's a nasty business, this war thing. I just don't have the words to express my profound gratitude and appreciation for (and strong suspicion that I'm unworthy of) the sacrifices that are made for me.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Today's a good day to note that peace is unpopular as a concept nowadays. It's at a low point. (Except for a few, including Martooni, bless him, who passes it along every chance he can.)

How did simple hope for peace become uncommon?

Also, what IS the Justice Department's "unmarried couples" policy?

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 25, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - "Historically, domestic partners of Foreign Service members have not been provided the same training, benefits, allowances, and protections that other family members receive. These inequities are unfair and must end," Clinton writes in the memo. "At bottom, the department will provide these benefits for both opposite-sex and same-sex domestic partners because it is the right thing to do."

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

One cannot be too cautious in cooking instruction for packaged foo. An aunt of mine who was babysitting us at the time laid an un-opened bag of frozen fries on a cooking sheet and put it in the oven at 450F. She made of the earliest poutine in a way. With plastic instead of cheese curds.
Her defense was clever; she blamed her four older sisters. Between her mother, my mother the expert cook and the other 3 sisters she claimed to have NO experience in cooking.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 25, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

See what I mean about "exotic" Canadians.

sd- your comment was doubly funny as I tried to figure out just what Canuckistani delicacy, unavailable in the US except for our most cosmopolitan cities, packaged "foo" might be.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 25, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

A lot going on with North Korea today, with reports of an underground test of a nuclear weapon and missiles fired into the sea.

Interesting that they're trying to flag our attention with some Saber-rattling today, of all days.


Posted by: -bc- | May 25, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

State department, not Justice, but here's an interesting note from the WaPo story

"Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the top Republican on the committee, is also a strong supporter of the new policy, having lobbied for it during the Bush administration."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 25, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

It was my usual typing skills that were responsible for "foo". Eggs foo yung come to mind though.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 25, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I've had packaged foo. Good stuff. I'm pretty sure that you're supposed to remove the casing.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, foo is good (make that, GREAT!) with Christopher Elbow Choclates. [sic]

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I think 'foo' comes right before 'goo' in the food dictionary.

Speaking of Canadian delicacies... I was preparing asparagus today and noticed that it came from Canada. Hurray... an imported meal.

Posted by: TBG- | May 25, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Ah, 3:00 moment of silence.

Thank you.


Posted by: -bc- | May 25, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

frosti - State, State. I'm an idiot. Thanks! Better I should have that pointed out to me here, where you're already aware that I'm an idiot, than in places where I haven't quite proven it yet.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

We're back from Balticon. What did I miss?

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

You're right, Jumper (I think it was you) when you posted that "peace" is not a terribly popular concept. It brings to mind something I read a few years ago (which *still* encompasses Bush's wars) about some of the soldiers in Iraq, one of whom stated emphatically that he wasn't there to help bring about any peaceful solution to the problems -- *he* was there to KILL! I don't think that's an unusual characteristic to being a soldier. And more's the pity. I also think about it in the context of the soldiers' coming home to (at least pre-Obama) any kind of assistance to helping them cope with what they've seen and definitely with what they've done. TCM and other channels were showing war movies over the weekend -- mainly with John Wayne -- which clearly romanticized war to the hilt. So many soldiers -- young men mainly -- are committing suicide either in the countries where the wars are going on or back here when they get home. That is surely a "statement" and I think it is being more ignored or otherwise tut-tutted about -- good for a few columns or a feature story in the Style section and then we get to read about Michelle Obama's bare arms again.

I don't get it. And I'm with Martooni on the "peace" stuff. Maybe it all comes down to the microcosm of sibling rivalry -- those who cannot let go of their passionate hatreds, perhaps because they're so terrified of what to replace those strong emotions with [forgive the dangling preposition, please].

Well, time to do some more tidying up. I've invited a colleague (and dear friend) over for chicken and millet this evening, and I want to get more done in the home office before I head to the kitchen.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 25, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

SCC -- "no" kind of assistance


Hey, S'nuke -- I'm faxing some good strong karma for your kittycat.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 25, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Tim - I'm not sure how others handled this, but in observation of the 488th anniversary of the Edict of Worms, I have decided to end my diet of worms.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

A wise move, bobs. My understanding is that those diets never work in the long term.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Hi, all. Happy Memorial Day! After a short, somewhat soggy picnic which included WAY too much mayo, we're back home and homework is being accomplished. Fittingly, a two-hour long audiotape we made earlier in the week of a neighbor's WWII reminiscences is being played so youngest daughter can take notes and work on an essay about it. 83 years old, interesting fellow, very knowledgeable about lots of history, not just WWII. Only there for the last 6 months in Europe, but he was marched all over Germany as a POW after a two week stint as a soldier in the Battle of the Bulge. He credits his survival in part to the picture of Jesus his mother sewed on to his underwear. Daughter wishes to know, but is too embarrassed to ask: top or bottom underwear?

Posted by: Wheezy1 | May 25, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Much needed rain thunder-bumping by. Wanted to say to dbG and others, Rd too, that GW frustrates me. I think he is talented but his humanity is not always clear. I think this way: like to read about 1/8th of his output and admire. I do not think I would like to be his neighbor or work with him. Perhaps this is an act; however, what is up with that? I prefer people, including artists, to live their humanity inwardly and outwardly. Having said that, he is talented. Pardon an expression from Catholic culture: the vessels of chalice and patten might be cracked, but grace and healing can be contained within the imperfect.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 25, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy - An actual liquid spew just occurred. I'd probably be hesitant about pursuing that topic myself. THAT is a very fine Memorial Day story!

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Re: the 10:27. No comment either way about the Schooner op-ed. Here's a local story about one of those contrator KIAs.

Several grafs:

Army Reserve Lt. Col. Shawn M. Pine was a veteran intelligence officer by trade, but soldiers and family knew him as a crusader for the underdog.

A Ranger, Pine, 51, of San Antonio was killed Wednesday when his SUV hit a roadside bomb near Kabul, Afghanistan. He was a consultant for MPRI, an Old Town Alexandria, Va., security firm. Services are pending.

Pine once got a group of soldiers to pitch in to pay for a funeral. There was the time he made sure a foreign national got life-saving surgery. And, one day long ago on the streets of San Antonio, Pine helped a homeless man and his family. ...

He was a Hebrew linguist who spent much of the past decade in the Middle East as a soldier or civilian intelligence specialist, and was part of the search for weapons of mass destruction after the fall of Iraq. ...

In what may have been his last act of charity, Pine asked his daughter Rachel, a former GI living in Fort Riley, Kan., to send a “care package” of baby clothes to Afghanistan. The clothes were for an interpreter who was going to be a dad.

Posted by: laloomis | May 25, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

*gulping naproxen for a right calf muscle that's suddenly sore for some strange reason* :-)

The kitty karma is most appreciated, all. Looks like Mr. Midnight will have an ultrasound tomorrow to determine a further course of action. No, he's not pregnant. *wan smile*

And I'm somewhat peeved Bob S. beat me to the Diet of Worms joke. *not-so-small smile*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 25, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Much needed rain thunder-bumping by. Wanted to say to dbG and others, Rd too, that GW frustrates me. I think he is talented but his humanity is not always clear. I think this way: like to read about 1/8th of his output and admire. I do not think I would like to be his neighbor or work with him. Perhaps this is an act; however, what is up with that? I prefer people, including artists, to live their humanity inwardly and outwardly. Having said that, he is talented. Pardon an expression from Catholic culture: the vessels of chalice and patten might be cracked, but grace and healing can be contained within the imperfect.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 25, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Would someone who understands the physics comment on Burkhard Heim's hyperdrive and ultra-high frequency gravity waves. The more conservative might discuss the late Robert Bussard's IEC boron hydrogen fusion reactor.

Could we have made a single stage, horizontal take of and landing, solid core nuclear engine shuttle craft decades ago? Why can't we at least make a fully reusable two stage shuttle craft?

Posted by: markoller | May 25, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Fun stuff, no, we could but it's impractically expensive.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Did I miss anything?

Posted by: bobsewell | May 25, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

CP - I assume that you do not know Gene Weingarten personally any more than I do, so your opinion of him must be based on his writings, as are mine. Now, your response to his writings is clearly different than mine, and that is fine. But I am interested in what, specifically, about his writings have made you question his humanity. Is it his atheism? His fascination with scatological matters? His playful dogmatism? Or, perhaps, his tolerance of pornography? Without knowing what has made you so hostile to having him as a neighbor, I don't really have any good way of interpreting your words.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 25, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I would happily have Gene as a neighbor. Actually, all I want in a neighbor is that they be quiet, especially in the middle of the night. And if they have dogs, that they keep them quiet, too, and preferably they don't keep them constantly tied in the yard.

Gene's a humorist, so therefore he's prone to exaggerate for effect. He's willing to be brutally honest about himself in some respects, but he also sets himself up as the authority on various matters, in an attempt to be funny. He's a good writer, a good editor, and a friend of Joel's. I figure he can't be that bad. My impression is that he's a real softie.

Having said that, I don't follow his Chat much anymore, or read Below the Beltway every week, or read the Gene Pool. Not everything he's written is a gem. But he's written some things that I read over and over and over.

Posted by: seasea1 | May 25, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you, seasea, lots of time Gene leaves me cold, every once in a while he produces a story that blows me away. OTOH, wasn't Gene the one who got Joel to WaPo? We have to thank him for that.

Posted by: slyness | May 25, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

You know who would make a really good neighbor? Mike Huckabee. I think he'd be a great neighbor. Among other things, it would give me lots of chances to try to talk him out of running for President at alcohol-free block parties. Plus, I feel certain I could rely on him to look after our pets when we go away for the weekend.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Dave Barry has had a lot of success portraying himself as a shallow, stupid, beer-swilling nitwit who loves booger jokes and exploding toilets. In one of his books, I believe it might have been "Dave Barry gets Old" (is that one of his titles?), he takes a couple pages to talk about his mother's death very honestly and movingly, then apologizes for being serious and promises to return to booger jokes and never go back there again. It's something he felt he had to do, but generally he avoids cracking that wall and keeps only the jester persona in the public eye. Which is why his columns never mentioned in any way his divorce from his first wife. Do you really think he is so fascinated by desiccated nasal mucosa that he failed to notice his marriage falling apart? The fact is, we're just not entitled to his whole life -- we're entitled to exactly as much of it as he is willing to share, and no more.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Last thing, then it's time to go make some dinner:

I can understand not finding a particular humorist funny, but I have never understood the visceral detestation that some folks seem to feel for Weingarten. What Weingarten does for humor is to express smug, unexamined certitude about trivial and inconsequential matters, issuing preposterously rigid dicta about things that obviously don't matter and about which no certitude could be possible, such as the legitimacy of dark chocolate. The whole point is to parody ordinary human behavior. Just between you and me, don't let this get too far, but I feel confident that he doesn't give a rat's ass about whether anyone likes dark chocolate or mustard on hot dogs, or any of that nonsense. Possibly, *he* doesn't like those things; but the joke is that the world is full of people who are certain that their own personal likes and dislikes actually are the considered and impartial judgments of an expert, and that is the behavior he is parodying.

I am amazed -- no, more than amazed, I am flummoxed -- that anyone could hold the belief that the persona of Weingarten's columns and chats represent 100% of who he really is, and thereby conclude that they know enough about him to write him off as a trifling person. If you don't get a laugh out of Weingarten or find him to be thought-provoking, that's fine, that's a matter of taste. But to believe that your dislike of his work constitutes the considered and impartial judgment of an expert is to plant yourself squarely in his sights as the object of satire at its most powerful -- the only person in the room who doesn't know that he himself is the one being satirized.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

SciTim - Very well said.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 25, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Weingarten has always struck me as an incredibly smart, warm and thoughtful person whose (I think pretty funny) schtick is to be a bloviating know-it-all.

I think more than once he's referred to himself in writing as an "ignorant blowhard."

Posted by: TBG- | May 25, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse


Indeed. Gene can't possibly be the complete @sshat he plays on his chat because we know of the high company he keeps. He seems to be a loving spouse and devoted parent, but even that is just speculation. About the only truly personal thing we know about Weingarten is that he is both a recovering hypochondriac and former heroin addict.

When I criticize him, I take great pains to separate Weingarten the person (about whom I know nothing personally) and Weingarten the persona who is boorish, opinionated, and self-parodyingly self-important. It's not the person, it's the schtick that I find tiresome and repetitive. He's occasionally funny but I have come to cringe every time one of his columns picks on some poor PR flack, or even worse, some lowly customer service rep that has to deal with his infantile provocations as part of their job just so he can do his. I feel sorry for the poor people whose career he often carelessly jeopardizes.

If it's all some meta-parody of obnoxious behavior, all I can say is that he's no Andy Kaufman. Or even Dave Barry.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 25, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Much needed rain thunder-bumping by. Wanted to say to dbG and others, Rd too, that GW frustrates me. I think he is talented but his humanity is not always clear. I think this way: like to read about 1/8th of his output and admire. I do not think I would like to be his neighbor or work with him. Perhaps this is an act; however, what is up with that? I prefer people, including artists, to live their humanity inwardly and outwardly. Having said that, he is talented. Pardon an expression from Catholic culture: the vessels of chalice and patten might be cracked, but grace and healing can be contained within the imperfect.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 25, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

And his poetry is truly, deeply awful. But that could just be him lip-synching to Mighty Mouse.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 25, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow, CP, your comment thingamajig seems to be stuck. Hope you're ok. BTW, I'm knitting some laceweight at the moment - like knitting air. Alternating between that and the afghan from he**, which turns out to be not so bad, but it's on size 15 plastic needles which are not a joy to use. I'm going to be out of pocket for a couple days. We're going camping - I'm taking a couple books (Alexander McCall Smith and Susan Power's The Grass Dancer), and a sock and Scotty's hat to knit.

Posted by: seasea1 | May 25, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

But he is the Master of the Double Dactyl.

Higgelty Piggelty
Juliet Capulet
loved a young Montague, they
wanted to wed.
The families objected,
The children defected,
And everyone ended up
- Yoki -

Posted by: Yoki | May 25, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Ironically, GW is correct about many of his silly obstinate positions. Particularly, the right to touch bumpers when parallel parking and the importance of rhyming from the accented syllable on. Of course, I could find just as many counter-examples where he is dead wrong.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 25, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Had a fun day with the granddaughters at Battleship Cove. We went on a destroyer, a submarine and of course a battleship. Lots of climbing up and down steep ladders and wandering thru corridors, (very narrow on the sub) and losing “S” at least twice. We saw a huge jelly fish in the water and a beautiful white egret catching fish. There was also a carousel from 1920, which had been restored and moved there from an old nearby amusement park. Of course we rode it twice. I’m surprised my legs aren’t screaming at me with all the ladders, but it was a good day. The girls have gotten so big, the little one doesn’t even need a booster seat in the car anymore. Hope everyone had a great long weekend.

Scotty, I hope your cat is okay. It’s a worry.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 25, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Crossing my fingers that this comment goes through, instead of my poorly-worded GW critique of the last three posts. (Geeze, what a time to have this problem.)

I do not mean to imply that GW is not humane in the way of some monster. However, that Chatological Snark-Impressario Shtick does not strike me as funny because GW does not seem to have regard for his audience. I will try to rethink this because I respect some of the commenters and commentary here. Thanks, RDP and SciTIm for the insight. I guess you say he is acting as the very anti-person? But, ok then. But many of us do not get it; do you mean to blame us for not getting it? Humane also means that a wide net is cast that covers a broad appeal to humanity. Perhaps he is casting a narrow net....perhaps I should have said, he is not for all audiences. Bill Cosby manages a broad and fully humane gesture.

Snark humor has at its heart the stilletto of silvered-words, flashing fast and furious AGAINST another. CW wields this, sometimes against Chatters, sometimes at a foil-person (hapless customer service person). This is the root of my comment about inward and outward humanity.....seems mean and powerful,however artful.

So, RDP, you asked this a
bout me and my reaction to GW:

Is it his atheism? His fascination with scatological matters? His playful dogmatism? Or, perhaps, his tolerance of pornography?

No, I am not focused too much on GW's content; it is more GW's stance toward his audience, particularly in the Chats that I find a tad meaney.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 25, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

SeaSea: lace sounds lovely and light on the lap in hot weather.

I have two scarves planned, but am having some trouble finding the quiet time to start them and learn the pattern in muscle memory. I want and need the knitting to refresh rather than frustrate.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 25, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Today's a good day to note that peace is unpopular as a concept nowadays. It's at a low point. (Except for a few, including Martooni, bless him, who passes it along every chance he can.)

How did simple hope for peace become uncommon?

Also, what IS the Justice Department's "unmarried couples" policy?

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 25, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!

Posted by: Yoki | May 25, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Catching up on the boodle today is a little like watching Groundhog Day, some sort of weird quirk in the software today. I keep thinking I am rereading the same posts - I confuse easily this is playing with my mind.

Scotty hope the cat recovers quickly.

Lovely cool weather here today but spent too much of it in the accountants office.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 25, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

My comment thingy broke, too.

Foo fight!

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 25, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

er, good morning to you, too, Yoki. Hope you're not just now dragging in from some day-long pub crawl.

Yanno, what this boodle needs on this particular day is a pome. Here's one from Lawrence Binyon, very famous, written in 1914, called for the fallen. The pome is recognized most especially for its fourth verse, and the fourth line of that stanza is often repeated as a coda during acts of remembrance.

For the Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them. We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.


Jumper, I hate to say it, but I don't think peace was ever very popular. Remember how it was vilified during Vietname? The people who did the vilifying are the ones down on the Mall today doing Rolling Thunder drive-bys. One of them was at the clambake my wife and I attended yesterday. I kept my mouth shut all day, and foretunately, he did, too, for the most part.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 25, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Peace is hard like clouds are hard. It takes lots of self-discipline and flexibility and empathy and maturity.

That's all I've got tonight. 'Night, everybody.

Posted by: slyness | May 25, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

I believe we all develop representations or symbols for each other in our heads, and some of us take that a step further and develop a persona (or, ahem, avatar) we employ in our writing and other communications, Gene W. included.

Seems to me that Gene's taken the classical humorist/comic route and established a familar persona that makes it easy to parody himself and others. Additionally, he can use that pre-established familiarity/persona and classification in our heads to pivot or play off of for humor or to make a point.

Just for the record, I'm not always an olive-oil covered, Gladiator-gear-wearin', lycanthrope with delusions of scientific literacy and occasional moments of lucidity, but sometimes I am.

I am, however, *always* the Jackson Pollock of the English Language.


Posted by: -bc- | May 25, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Lovely expression, CqP--

"the vessels of chalice and patten might be cracked, but grace and healing can be contained within the imperfect."

I am not familiar with the origins of that metaphor, but it does sum up so much.

Incidentally, what you say about the slightly mean tone makes me think about my experiences in developing a morality of humor.

It is easy to go too far in humor to ne entirely kind, particularly when the humor is continually other-directed as you note.

I know I've said something funny and then been absolutely horrified at myself as the other person laughed hard anyway.

Drawing the moral (or social) line is a subject all humorists must struggle with. It is a matter of reading the audience, the subject, and mood. It is a complex social act.

It is easiest to stick with word play, self-referential humor, humor about a specific subject that does not have negative connotations. Quips, one liners can be done when context is well-provided.

Unfortunately humor often comes and is strongly influenced by fads and waves. I remember when country music was a subject of endless jokes.

A nd I particularly grew up rather upset about jokes about violence towards mimes, for obvious reasons. I do not expect others to share my feelings about mimes, but the "make fun of the other" behavior is part of forming an in-group and casting others out.

That "meanness" you sense, I also do, but also recognize in many other comedians. It is an essential part of comedy.

That is why comedy demands a... certain morality from every comedian on what they will and will not do in the name of comedy.

I'm sure GW wouldn't walk up and slam a pie in a neighbor's face just for a joke.... maybe.

Happy memorial day, enjoyed the poems.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 25, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse


Methinks you doth protest too much. Some of us know the truth.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 25, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I bid all of the boodle veterans, and the families of veterans, belatedly, a happy Memorial Day. The city has a set of monuments in front of the War Memorial building on the hill, and they had a service there this morning. We had yet another busy day, cleaning out years of stuff from the building that we're using for our office. I found a 25 Gallon drum of what I think was sweeping compound. Whatever it was has my left hand itchy. I have yet to figure out how to dispose of the various oil based paints, floor sealer, and other unlabeled stuff safely. HazMat comes to mind. Found some real cool things, as well, including a 1937 calendar with a print of the Duchesne (?) quints on it. I probably have the name wrong, but I remember that the last of these sibs passed recently. Were it not for the boodle, I'd have had no idea of the significance of these people. We also found some cool calendars from the local NAPA store. One has a Vargas-like girl astride a bicycle, and the other is holding a checkered flag next to that year's iteration of the NAPA Grand National car. Vampy. x2. I'm glad to have found this corner of cyberspace. Most everyone 'round here can take a joke, and the level of civility is far beyond the majority of the other places I've seen. Scotty, I hope you cat gets well soon. I have the first of two pre-op protocols tomorrow afternoon. Regardless of the final outcome, everything will be ok. Thanks to all of you for your continued encouragement. y'all are the best. Now, IMO, a beautiful ballad...

Posted by: -jack- | May 25, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

For pity's sake, 'mudge!

Posted by: Yoki | May 25, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I think you mean the Dionne quints Jack.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 25, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

bingo, dmd. I knew it started with a D, and I knew it was a hockey player's last name. Trouble is, I automatically pair D with Duchesne. I have duly modified my scheme. I will be thinking Marcel Dionne, who played aside Dave Taylor for years on the Kings. The year before I enrolled at Potsdam, I saw Taylor take the ice for his college squad, Clarkson. That was one cold arena.

Posted by: -jack- | May 25, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know Céline had quints. Or that she was all that old. Clearly, I have not been paying sufficiently close attention.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm adding this poem, which to me has always meant Memorial Day.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | May 25, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

R.I.P., Herbert York.

Herbert York, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project developing the atomic bomb and later became a leading advocate of arms control and nuclear test bans, died Tuesday in San Diego. He was 87.

The cause was the effects of radiation from prostate treatment, his wife, Sybil, said.

Mr. York by his own account played a rather minor role on the Manhattan Project. But in the 1950s he was an important scientist working on the development of nuclear weapons, first for the new Lawrence Livermore Laboratory at the University of California, which he directed from 1952 to 1958, and later as a top Pentagon scientist in the Eisenhower administration. ...

Herbert Frank York was born in Rochester and studied physics at the University of Rochester, earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in 1942. After graduating, he joined the staff of the radiation laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was recruited for the Manhattan Project, working at the Berkeley laboratory and in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on the electromagnetic separation of uranium 235.

After World War II ended, Mr. York returned to Berkeley, where he earned a doctorate in physics in 1949 and, after working as a researcher, joined the physics department in 1951. At the age of 28 he was named director of the newly created Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, where he oversaw programs under the sponsorship of the Atomic Energy Commission that included work on developing the hydrogen bomb.

Posted by: laloomis | May 25, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I suppose peace is unpopular because war is easier.

Jack-hope all goes well.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 25, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Dionne quints. I stumbled on this good rendition:

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 26, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

And one more Memorial Day poem --


by: Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

PILE the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo,
Shovel them under and let me work--
I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?

I am the grass.
Let me work.

Posted by: nellie4 | May 26, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

From Whitman to Sandburg. Beautiful.

Goodnight, Boodle. Al.

Posted by: Yoki | May 26, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Tim, I'm not sure that any of us believe our dislike of GW's work constitutes the considered and impartial judgment of an expert.

Most of us don't take ourselves that seriously, even in our personas. :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | May 26, 2009 3:47 AM | Report abuse

Rain from the sky
Came from the sea
Caused by the sun
Lift up by gravity

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 26, 2009 5:28 AM | Report abuse

You're so silly, MusicTim.

It's not that Canadian shrieker, it's the guy who sang "Abraham, Martin and John".

Comedians with funny recognizable schticks:

Steve Martin: Wild and crazy guy
Robin Williams: Manic free-associating
Dennis Miller: Rants with obscure highbrow metaphors
Steven Wright: Deadpan non-sequitur observations

Comedians with annoying personas:
Howie Mandel: Whiny guy that blows up and wears surgical gloves
Margaret Cho: Sexually adventurous daughter of immigrants

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 26, 2009 5:42 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

North Korea is starting to get on my nerves.

Good Robinson piece on Obama v. Cheney. Decided not to read the Richard Cohen piece -- don't care for either one of them. Used to like her, once upon a time. As for Kristol, well...

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

May 26, 1940: The British begin the evacuation of Dunkirk, France, aided by 1,200 naval and civilian craft of all kinds (80 are sunk). By June 4, 338,226 military forces (including some 112,000 French and Belgians) have been saved in history’s largest evacuation.
1941: Open-cockpit torpedo-bombing biplanes from the carrier HMS Ark Royal put three torpedoes into the German battleship Bismarck, damaging her rudder and leaving her helpless to maneuver. The Bismarck is sunk the next day by a flotilla of British cruisers; remarkably, 110 German crew survive.

To this day it still blows my mind that a semi- C&W singer could have a hit song about the sinking of the Bismarck (much less the Battle of New Orleans).

Let the week begin.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 26, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, all.

Maggie, thanks for the pome last night. One of the reasons I love May is that it's the month when poppies bloom. Around here, they are planted along the interstates and they are lovely. I remember seeing the wild poppies blooming in the fields in England, I suppose they do the same in the rest of Europe.

Travel day, time to get myself in gear. Later, folks.

Posted by: slyness | May 26, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

110 surviving crew is another way of saying that about 2,000 crew members of the Bismark died during the battle or to the waves.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 26, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all... Scotty... I'm waiting for a Midnight report.

Jack... hope all goes well for you. Lots of Boodle Mojo coming your way.

Got the word last night that my "new" car has left Memphis and is on its way to the Carmax here in NoVa. It looks like I'll have my own wheels some time this week. Woo hoo!

Posted by: TBG- | May 26, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

New kit coming in a lil bit. About my life as a farmer. You've heard it all before -- but that's not going to stop me from telling it all again! I took the weekend off, the entire weekend, and only went into the office once for an hour or so. I could get used to this not-working thing.

Posted by: joelache | May 26, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Joel, don't mean to nitpick but if you went to the office 'for an hour or so' that's not taking the 'whole' weekend off. ;-) But I am glad to hear you had an almost work-free weekend.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 26, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. We dodged the bullet, I don't think we had a frst last night at our place. However a colleague living near the Eardley Escarpment, maybe 2 miles North of where I live, saw patches of frost in the fields.

Well Mudge, lost of people have had enough of North Korea and the idiot who controls it. Unfortunately, there is nothing most countries can do to bring him to heel and the one that can do something about it (China) won't do anything. All the while a great proportion of North Koreans are litteraly famished. As long as the idiot has his own western food and drink he doesn't care.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 26, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning ye Boodlers!

Just to show that I'm watching the Boodle's six o'clock: When it comes to foreign policy, I don't see substantive changes with Obama in charge. Or is he? Neocons are still entrenched in da gummint.


Posted by: Braguine | May 26, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

The not working bit is something I could easily embrace as well. It's the not being paid part that I would doubtless find vexing.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 26, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Obama selects New York judge Sonia Sotomayor as his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. Too bad NBC's Pete Williams substituted Harvard Law School for Yale's when he made the announcement. Official announcement to come at 10:15 a.m. Eastern. She's said to be feisty. Her court the same court that threw out the New Haven firefighters' test as invalid, case now appealed to the Supreme Court.

Posted by: laloomis | May 26, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 26, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company