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Michael Jackson: Sui generis

[From baggage claim in Jacksonville...]

MJ's death has inspired a predictable amount of numbskull commentary of a nature that makes me glad that I've mastered the art of skimming and then instantly forgetting what I've just skimmed. The nonsense gets no purchase on my brain at all. But I just flew into Florida for a reunion thing, and, glancing at the boodle, I see that someone named DJ15 has dared to compare MJ unfavorably with Donnie (or was it Donny?) Osmond, a slur so vile that I cannot let it pass:

Who are you trying to convince? Jackson stole every move he knew from James Brown, Little Richard, and countless others that came before him. I saw J. Brown on numerous occasions, and every move he made was faster, cleaner, and better executed than any Jackson ever made. James Brown's voice was much stronger and more mature and had ten times the range of Jackson's. By comparison Jackson's voice as a ten-year-old boy was better than average, but absolutely no better than Donnie Osmond's. Yet, Jackson never grew up, and neither did his voice. Jackson lived in relative exile and died as an accused child sex offender. Where is Donnie Osmond today? Oh, Donnie is probably at home with his family living a normal happy life. Sorry Donnie. But then, mama always said "If you can't say something nice..."

First of all, everyone stole from James Brown and Little Richard. That's practically required, by law, of every pop star. You know what that bumper sticker says: If stealing from James Brown, Little Richard and Chuck Berry is outlawed, only outlaws will make pop music. A little band they used to call the Beatles got started by aspiring to steal that stuff better than anyone else. Ditto the Stones. As for MJ, even if he was derivative in certain respects, in totality he was (like the Beatles and Stones) completely unique -- what we used to refer to here in the Deep South as "sui generis." You might argue that he benefited from a lot of hype and publicity and his own willingness to feed the celebrity machinery (which turned on him as he got weirder and weirder -- witness the "tributes" on TV last night that had plenty of cringe-inducing moments), but go track down a YouTube of him performing, in those white socks, Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough. That should end the discussion.

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 26, 2009; 11:49 AM ET
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Posted by: -TBG- | June 26, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Hear Hear!


Posted by: jp1954 | June 26, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

You're both models of brevity TBG and Mudge. I aspire to your zennitude.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 26, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

{ }


Posted by: Scottynuke | June 26, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse


(beat yello to it; good song the other day BTW)

Posted by: engelmann | June 26, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: slyness | June 26, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Six or Eight thousand years ago, they laid down the law.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 26, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: LALurker | June 26, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 26, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Can't be 8,000 years, Weed. That's 2,000 years before the universe was created.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Stop that ommmming Curmudgeon I'm lifting off my chair. It's unsafe.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 26, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The big mistake in my recording career is that instead of stealing from Little Richard, I stole from George Jessel.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

*faxing SD a seat belt. I know we've got some around here somewhere*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, I thought you stole from Mel...

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 26, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Twitter crashed yesterday, and I initially was saying it was because of the Michael Jackson news. Today I'm thinking, it may have been a combination of factors, including Farrah, and the Iranian election protests--it's been a big week for Twitter.

Anyway, here's a Kurt Andersen tweetlink (to coin a phrase...well, Google says it's only been used about 12,000 times already)

For better or worse, there's no denying Michael Jackson has been a major cultural influence.

Posted by: kbertocci | June 26, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Sorry mudge, I go with what I hear.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 26, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

*or as you call them up your thoracique de bois, "la courroie qui s'adapte à travers les cuisses"*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Well said Mr. Achenbach.

Art is always derivative. I mean, it kinda has to be. In any creative field you end up standing on the shoulders of giants. The trick is to take something established, push it in a new direction, and then execute it well. And MJ certainly did this.

Look, I was never a huge Michael Jackson fan. Truth is, he never made a dime from me. He was just part of the cultural background noise. But re-watching some of those old vids makes me remember just how vibrant and dynamic he was. I recognize the guy's genius and his impact on the world.

In the early 80s music was coming out of the "disco" era and everything was splintering into all sorts of niches. Jackson was one of the last performers with such broad appeal. I honestly doubt if another performer will ever reach his level of worldwide popularity.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 26, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

A sure sign someone is ticked is when he starts a sentence "First of all..." (I used to follow those thoughts up with "And b,..." and then wrap up with "Fourth..." Now I just tilt my head like the RCA dog, ask DC if she's lost her mind, and go check to see if she left it in the car.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 26, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Good golly. I never thought I would live to see the day when the boodle would tolerate such potty talk.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 26, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Great video, kb... explains a lot of why folks feel the way they do.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 26, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, I think the phrase "stealthily acquired an unauthorized enterprise opportunity" sounds so much better than "steal," don't you think?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

And another thing....

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 26, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Donny Osmond really just laid the groundwork for Jimmy.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 26, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Absetively, 'Mudge...

I see JA's messin' with the horizontal controls again, too.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 26, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Here's some potty talk for ya, RD :

Posted by: -TBG- | June 26, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I've heard it said that Donny was a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll. I can't vouch for that; it's just the talk on the street.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I believe it is Donny Osmond, no ie. I was a teeny bopper fan of both Donny and MJ. LOVED the cartoons of the Osmond Brothers and the Jackson 5. A Saturday morning staple for me.

In all the news about MJ and Farrah yesterday, the media missed the luau at the White House. First ever on the South Lawn!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | June 26, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

No. Not the colon bomb.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 26, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

You know, I don't think Donny was ever any bit country. And really, neither was Marie.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | June 26, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I've been reading about Micheal's dad, Joe Jackson, I didn't realize how tyrannical show-biz parents can be. No wonder Tommy Smothers was so upset.

Posted by: Boomslang | June 26, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Here's another Jack Handy-like deep thought: When Steve Jobs dies, will he be a pop icon or a pop iCon?

I lay awake some nights worrying about this sort of thing.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Happiness is Maira Kalman at Monticello:

Also a relevant Jackson 5 song for Iran:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 26, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I believe that Marie was 'sposed to be a little bit country. Donny claimed to be "a little bit rock and roll."

Both assertions are, as yet, unverified.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 26, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"No. Not the colon bomb."

Who brought the prune danish to the bunker?

Posted by: Raysmom | June 26, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Very well said boss.

There's an argument to be made that some people are popular due to dumb luck rather than talent (Paris Hilton), but taking all subjective measures of talent out of the equation, once someone's popularity rises to some point it is no longer valid to claim his or her popularity is solely the result of luck or media bias or anything of that nature. I don't know what that point is, but Michael Jackson passed it a million times over.

Posted by: Southwester | June 26, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it: neither Donnie nor Marie would have EVER amounted to anything without the help of their brothers, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Michael, and Haley Joe Osmond.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Just proves you can't believe the word on the street, Padouk.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget Sleepy and Grumpy, 'Mudge.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 26, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge ???
The shoulder belt is the "baudrier". We didn't missed the opportunity like you guys to call that thing its proper name, a baldric.
Make sure the belt is over the hips and the baldric across the chest.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 26, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

...but would Donnie have fainted after doing a samba?

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 26, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Apparently I'm not in the right "region" to look at the video the boss attached to the kit. Sheeesh.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 26, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The interesting thing is that so-called plastic surgery didn't change Michael Jackson's appearance that much-- other than a botched nose job, and skin that was too tight, thats the same face, only younger.

Yes, he bleached his skin, but he had vitiligo which destroys pigment cells.

I once saw a darkskinned dude with it, and it had begun around his eyes and mouth, so for a minute I thought he was wearing a ski mask. One of the few times I've been startled by anybody's appearance.

Bleaching it all out or wearing a ton of makeup was the only way.

Because autoimmune diseases often travel in packs, it's not impossible the tight skin was from something else such as sarcoidosis (as well as surgery for such), as well as his lung problems (pure oxygen anybody?).

Other than that, I got nothing to say.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 26, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

neither talent nor upbringing excuse this man's actions, assuming he's guilty of them. I never expected reactions to a death would make me so angry. Perhaps I should stay off the internet for a few weeks

Posted by: schala1 | June 26, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Understandable, schala. Try the weekend; here'll be a new story next week.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 26, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

*faxing schala my ommmmmmmm*

(I'll need it back by Monday morning.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Dang, beaten to the asterisk.

LiT, that was an adorable DC post on the previous Boodle.

Or should I say, charming.

Whatever I think of Jackson as a person or even his music, he was possibly the most recognizable and popular person in the world.

Sadly, it seems there is always a price to pay for such fame and popularity and (sometimes) attendant monetary wealth.

The popular (and old) metaphor for that price is one's very soul. It still seems sadly suitable.


Posted by: -bc- | June 26, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm 75 minutes away from a 5-day weekend. Not that I'm counting but I'm getting antsy.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 26, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Who is Dummy Osmond?

Posted by: pali2600 | June 26, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Regarding MJ's face. This was linked to over at Stuever's chat.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 26, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Tomcat3 | June 26, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

He was a good dancer but that video was not great. JA is not a good judge of what is great dancing.

Posted by: charley42 | June 26, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Say what you will haters, MJ was one of the greatest entertainers of ALL time.

For all those knuckledraggers out there who love to spew scripture at us heathens, go back and look to those biblical heroes (most notably the APOSTLE Paul and KING David); they were some of the most vile men of their day (before their redemption). Why is it so easy to gloss over their failures and sins; when we can't find the same compassion and forgiveness for those alive today?

I dedicate one of Michael's greatest hits ever to the haters, especially: "Man in the Mirror"

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | June 26, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Passing along this e-mail I got a little while ago from Boodler Don from I-270 (who can't post from work next door at the Navy Yard):

Holy Tom Clancy, Mudge, was my lunchtime timing ..... well, weird. I had a doc's appointment yesterday, and he took a slice out of my groin to check for skin cancer. Until that heals, running is out of the question. Besides, I'm not quite done hacking up my lungs from the bronchitis that my oldest daughter gave me while she was here. All of that is to say that I went out to eat lunch today rather than spend that time at the gym.

My building has a fancy-dancy conference center with a wonderful view of the city. (It's the one that looks like a stupid control tower.) It's available to various and sundry govt. agencies. Today, just as I was coming back from lunch, a convention of the heads of law enforcement of what seemed like the whole d@mn free world was leaving the building.
Talk 'bout the black helicopters!! The parking lot was awash with tinted window black Suburban's. It looked like the Presidential Security Detail staging area in Anacostia. Now, I'm not one to be to all-fired up with rank. For crying out loud, I've got a classmate who's a three-star. Nonetheless, never in my life have I seen so many stars on collars, and stripes up sleeves, all the way up the wazoo! Of course, all of these guys (and Chief Lanier, one mighty fine looking woman, BTW), had to have their own assistants, body guards, chauffeurs, etc.
There wasn't this much brass on the USS Missouri when the Japs signed the peace treaty, was there?

Since I'm trying to get into the building as they are all coming out, I wind up holding the *&^% door for them. Most of 'em don't even so much as acknowledge my presence. I got their attention, though, when I got inside the little lobby.

You see, I was flat broke for lunch, but had this nylon gym bag full of
loose change. I had taken it with me to fill a few paper wrappers with
coins, enough for lunch. I put the rest back in the bag, to deal with later. I had a Subway sammich, and came back with the bag in one hand and a half drunk soda in the other. When I approached the guard desk I had to drop my bag to fish out my ID card from my pants pocket. When they heard the clank of the bag hitting the tile, the half dozen goons talking into their shirtsleeves suddenly froze, started to ssllooowwwllyy reach around their waist, all the while eyeing me like lion stalking his next meal. I gave a weak, apologetic smile, and the guard waved me by.

So, from now on, even if I can't work out, I'm spending my lunch hour at the gym!!!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

C'mon what are you doing, feeding the trolls??? You'll never live it down, man.

Posted by: August30 | June 26, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

When I was in the first grade Alphabits cereal put out boxes with Jackson 5 or the Osmonds 45s on the back. I collected the Jackson 5 singles. Once my mom went to the store without me and came home with a dreaded Osmonds 45! I was absolutely apoplectic and must have ranted for several minutes. That 45 was never cut out of the back, and my mother made sure I got the Jackson 5 every time after that.

I wish I still had those singles! I remember they actually played. I had the biggest crush on Michael back then. I was 7 and he was "older man"! Ha.


Posted by: laserbeam | June 26, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The comparison with Donny Osmond is interesting because there was a time in the early 70s when the two existed in parallel within the public mind. They were the black and white equivilents of each other. Of course, MJ proved to be far more talented and successful in his career. But Donnie grew up to be a healthy, loving, modest, well-adjusted adult capable of mormal relationships with other human beings. Ultimately, which life was more successful?

Posted by: skrut003 | June 26, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Good luck telling everybody how to think Joel. Personally I think that Jackson was a man of limited talent who sang on a handful of hits constructed by other people, who remained famous by virtue of being a walking freakshow. he may the soundtrack to your life, but not to mine.

Posted by: seenitallnow1 | June 26, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

After Jackson's big success, he asked his "friend" Paul McCartney if he had any investment suggestions. McCartney said he should look into music publishing. He explained that Northern Songs was going to be putting the Beatles catalog on the market, and that Paul would, at long last, have the chance to own his own songs.

When the time came, Jackson, flush with cash from "Thriller" engaged in a bidding war with McCartney for the Beatles songs and outbid McCartney.

As soon as he controlled the Beatles catalog, Jackson began licensing Beatles songs for commercials, something that had never been done before.

Soon "Good Day Sunshine" was being used to sell Florida orange juice.

I like to think Jackson is going to have a hard time explaining this betrayal to John Lennon. Call it Instant Karma.

Posted by: filmex | June 26, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

It's DonnY for goodness sakes!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | June 26, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

filmex: stop spamming the forums.

And . . . Donny Osmond? You've got to be kidding me.

Posted by: MisterJ8 | June 26, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mudge, Yoki, slyness, TBG, Shriek, et al. -- is the bunker open? It may be time to hustle ourselves in there. Whaddya think?

Yokes -- the tracking info suggests that it is scheduled to come tomorrow. Hope I'm not at the farmers market when that comes. If I'm not in, they'll come back on Tuesday. BTW, turns out they didn't have my complete address -- someone's not doing his/her job! Good thing I filled in the blanx for them, eh?

*gettin' itchy*

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 26, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh please - what evidence is there that MJ did any of his own choreography? He was a great businessman, but for a bubblegum pop performer he was an average singer, and your average broadway musical features better dancers. As for his music, none of it compares to the better end of hiphop, rock or punk. MJ sold a lot of albums but had no influence what so ever on the direction of music. Please Joal, you're getting pathetic in your celebrity-like attempts to out-mourn the world over this washed up, has been, drugaddicted old pervert.

Posted by: marcedward1 | June 26, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

(since * was already taken)

Posted by: yellojkt | June 26, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Bunker's open, I even cleaned the bathrooms this morning!

BTW, I need to have a word with Mudge, bc, and Scotty about the condition of the LBR. What the heck were you DOING in there, guys?

Posted by: slyness | June 26, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Dare I ask what the LBR is, Slyness?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 26, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Donnie Osmond was a little bigoted Mormon boy from Ogden, Utah, who was taught blacks like Jackson were marked by God as fence sitters in the war between God and Satan in the "pre-existence"

Posted by: coloradodog | June 26, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

LBR? Couldn't be "library" -- nah! Slyness, you can whisper it if you like.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 26, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

oh my, DNA girl and kbertocci outdid themselves with their linking today!

mudge, funny story about Don. I can just picture it!
Many years ago, my younger brother made someone angry in some kind of chat room and this joker reported my bro to the Secret Service for ostensibly making threats about the President. The Secret Service ended up knocking on my brother's door. Secret Service guy took a gander at some of the bro's art, which tended towards the "stick it to the man" genre, the occasional crossbow and sword, not to mention his 6'2" bearded, brooding appearance and explained why he was there. As the agent spoke, the bro noticed something falling off a shelf out of the corner of his eye and suddenly reached to catch it. As he turned back he was treated to a bird's eye view of the barrel of a gun.

He never fails to turn pale when he tells that story.

Posted by: Kim1 | June 26, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Geez, Wilbrod, I thought everybody knew. LBR: little boys' room
LGR: little girls' room

Posted by: slyness | June 26, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

What happens in the LBR, stays in the LBR...

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 26, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The firefighters' euphemism is to go 10-100. Just so you know.

Posted by: slyness | June 26, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I've got to say Don that senior army-navy-air force-marine officers having their own bodyguards, inside the USA, makes me smile.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 26, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, only when it doesn't create a mess that requires the services of a plumber. I don't know what the shop steward is going to say about the bill, but since he was involved, he better NOT complain to ME!

Posted by: slyness | June 26, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

So true. I'd give anything to learn those moves. So funky. So sexy. So sly. You get the feeling he's smiling because it just feels so good to move like that.

Posted by: jrpf | June 26, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

coloradodog, I was going to type out a response to your post, but it would be like yelling at a wall. Pointless.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 26, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

jrpf, I hope you're not talking about Scotty in the LBR.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

To marcedward1,
A pop tart, eh? Michael Jackson sold more albums than any other group or act in history. 50 MILLION and counting. Last year's top selling album (by Coldplay)? A little over 2 MIL.

No one will ever top MJ's numbers, especially in light of today's crumbling music industry.

Numbers don't lie.

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | June 26, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Bailey, numbers lie all the time.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I blogged a little about Jacko yesterday using my earlier boodle posts as a starting point:

I summed up thusly:

A brutal childhood in pursuit of fame, a creative rebirth into superstardom, and a descent into secrecy and depravity. A life too short and yet too full. So it goes.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 26, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

re: Michael Jackson compared to Donny Osmond - the only difference between pop and pap is one letter.

Posted by: hitpoints | June 26, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

~ Since most others were taken, and since puntuation isn't really one of my strengths, seems to fit.

Eight year old came home from school today (last day) they had watched Thriller and Beat It - she was very excited, of course she is a big Jonas Brothers fan so I am not sure how much her endorsement counts. :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | June 26, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

neither talent nor upbringing excuse this man's actions, assuming he's guilty of them.


See... The problem with this line of thinking is that the legal system disagrees with your assumptions.

Posted by: mason08 | June 26, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

If numbers are all that matter, then yeah, he was the greatest ever. However, I think his extreme weirdness, if not outright pedophilia, over the last 15 years or so, might rightfully be said to trump the numbers.

Posted by: justmike | June 26, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, after he retired from the military my father's second career was teaching business administration, labor relations, accounting, etc. He was best known for his statistics class, and his favorite saying was "Figures don't lie, but liars can figure."

Posted by: kguy1 | June 26, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse


Not in $ figures.

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | June 26, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Yup, kguy. And I am reminded of the three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess we've gotten the answer to that age-old question, "What does it take to overlook serial child molestation?" The answer: Fame.

Posted by: grohlik | June 26, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

As I write on my blog,

My first and sustaining reaction to Michael Jackson’ apparently drug-induced death is good riddance. Yes, good riddance. The world is better off without him as this reduces the world by one person who has a history of homosexual pedophilia.

Jackson will forever be remembered for his abuse of little boys. While his money paid off victims and secured legal freedom to avoid accountability, he cannot, even in death, avoid the terrible stain of his actions.

Good riddance.

Posted by: MatthewWeaver | June 26, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I have had Billie Jean in my head the whole time I was powerwashing my deck.Now, I was never a big MJ fan,but you can't help liking a lot of his songs.

Time to cleanup and head back to the big city and work.

"billie jean's not my girl"

Maybe I should put on some Skynyrd for the ride home!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | June 26, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm not trying to fight with you, Bailey, especially since I have no opinion (printable) about MJ anyway. All I'm, saying is one can lie with numbers.

For what it's worth, Wikipedia claims MJ is number 4, not number 1 in albums, behind the Beatlers, Elvis and (wait for it...) Bing Crosby. See

Number 6 is A.R. Rahman, and number 8 is Alla Pugacheva -- which demonstrates *exactly* how and why numbers can lie.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I remember Fred Astair once called MJ the most talented untrained dancer he'd ever seen. MJ may have started that dance career by taking moves off the greats, but he made them his own--starting when he was only a kid. He had charisma and a real feel for the funk that separated him from his brothers and other performers. And he looked like he was truly enjoying himself. When I was a little kid, all that made him definitely cooler than Donny Osmond.

Posted by: asimmon2 | June 26, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

GWE, for me it was Man in the Mirror, had it in my head while I was working today.

My cure will be U2 -Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 26, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"...but go track down a YouTube of him performing, in those white socks, Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough. That should end the discussion."

Go track down a YouTube of him explaining how he sleeps with young boys. That should end the discussion also.

His music was music for the mass consumption of a musically-illiterate America, like so much Velveeta on Wonder bread. That's who the Jackson Five were, and that's who he was. The comparison to the Osmonds is obvious.

Most sane men actually grow up, and don't reclaim their lost youth by luring children in with a private amusement park, picking the little boys he fancies, and then sleeping with them after getting them drunk on what he called Purple Jesus.

You can say what you will. You can denigrate those who tell it like it is, you can swoon at the prospect of a white sock bobbing and sliding furiously to some inane backbeat. You can avert your eyes, and in the name of not speaking ill of the dead you can ignore the plight of his victims.

I'm not so inclined, thank you very much.

Posted by: dgblues | June 26, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Running for both the bus and the bunker. Later, dudes. Everyone have a good weekend.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

When I was a kid there was an hour of Saturday morning cartoons that featured the Osmond Family and the Jackson 5, so at least in the minds of small children these two groups were being conflated as, if not rivals, equivalent quality bands. It took me years to understand that the Jacksons had the power and talent of the Motown organization behind them while the Osmonds were favored by Andy Williams.

And I guarantee you, based on demographics alone, far more teenage (and younger) girls had posters of Donny on their walls instead of Michael (although as a solo artist, his bow-tied Off The Wall look seemed mighty popular).

And my family were faithful watchers of the Donny And Marie Show, cheesy ice skaters and all. If Donny was a little bit rock and roll, it was mighty little indeed.

By the numbers, The Osmonds had three top 10 hits including five weeks at #1 with 'One Bad Apple'. Donny as a solo artist had six top 10 hits with 'Go Away Little Girl' spending three weeks at number one. He also had two top ten duets with his sister.

In comparison, the Jacksons had ten top 10 hits with four of those being number ones, with 'I'll Be There' spending 5 weeks at the top. Michael as a solo artist had 26 top ten hits with thirteen number ones putting him in the range of The Beatles, Elvis, and Madonna for biggest artist ever.

The numbers pretty much speak for themselves.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 26, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

For the sake of Weirdness:

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 26, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Arrived in Chicago without incident. A 13 hour drive is no way to spend a birthday, but the company of my brother and nieces made the ride quite entertaining. *faxing a Chicago pie and a case of Old Style to the bunker*

Posted by: -jack- | June 26, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder, Prince (or as we call him here in the homeland "the purple one") released Purple Rain 25 years ago this summer.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 26, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Joel, thanks for posting that video. I'd never seen it. MJ looks like he's really enjoying himself. And the song is catchy.

I think he was a very unhappy guy, so it is good to see him looking happy, even if it is for the cameras.

I was not a big fan, but when the child molestation stuff was all over the news, I kept wondering why nobody blamed the boys' parents. I always assumed they let their kids spend the night and come back telling tales to get out of having to save for retirement.

Anyhow. I guess that will feed the trolls a bit. I might try to find my way to the bunker later.

Posted by: abeac1 | June 26, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Danger, danger! Someone opened a can of crazy and sprayed it all over the bunker.

Time to bite the bullet and mow the lawn. 'twill be cooler tomorrow but rain is expected.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 26, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't see why the media has to make everything an either/or proposition. Why can't Michael Jackson AND Donny Osmond be 70's icons. They both were. Yes Donny had the squeaky clean image, but that doesn't take away from the fact that the Osmond Brothers were a big deal back then. Yes MJ had some serious problems later in life, but he definitely was a celebrity with the Jackson 5 as well as on his own through the 80's. No reason to riff on Osmond to try to make your point.

Posted by: barbnc | June 26, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Osmonds:Jackson 5::Pat Boone:Little Richard

For the record, my mother was a huge Pat Boone fan growing up in the 50s. He tended to chart higher with his versions of the songs than the original artists.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 26, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

So we're all going to pretend he wasn't a mentally ill child molester who should have been drinking his jesus juice in jail?

The chimp. The oxygen chamber. The kiddie playground.

Insane. Totally insane freak.

His NOSE was falling off, dudes.

Posted by: mj777nnnntgggg1 | June 26, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Likening MJ to DO is, somehow, an insult to each.

Posted by: dukeoferrol | June 26, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

i submit to you the Fred Astaire–Michael Jackson connection:

MJ's signature stylings seem to have come as much from James Brown and Little Richard as they did from Hollywood and Broadway musicals.

Posted by: Egadman | June 26, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The wise, wise Ms. Liz Kelly.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 26, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Pretty please can we talk about Sanford now? Iran? Health care? In order: Sanford was foolish at best; good for the Iranian protesters and good luck to them when the clerics revisit Tienanmen; we should all have health care. There, I did my part.

I am taking the Boy and a friend to the baseball game tonight. Minor league but a very nice park and the team's not bad. By game time it should only be about 99 degrees; might cool off into the eighties before the game ends. Of course we might leave before that. The Boy asked who we were playing. I said since hockey season is over, I'm pretty sure it is another baseball team. Go Baseball!

Hey! We could talk about how Baseball is America's Game. The slow pace, the combination of individual skill and teamwork, the ethical dilemmas which may be posed during play. . . the American sport. Of course the discussion will be incomplete without Mudge.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 26, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Right on, Joel. Right on.

Posted by: dcampbell1 | June 26, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I myself was a David Cassidy girl. But I like Michael better than Donny. He was so cute. Every time I hear a J5 song (and I love their songs) it saddens me because Michael grew up to be a very troubled man who was erratic, eccentric, and looking for the "perfect" look. Hard to tell, if you followed the trial, whether he was guilty or not, but it was another sad and strange episode of his adult life.

Posted by: baltimoremom | June 26, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I do admit to a taste for Chuck Berry. But this is why Dave Brubeck was my music source when I was in college and even now. It grew with me. Or I grew to appreciate it.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 26, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Comparing Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson's talents? You're kidding, right? MJ was a pure talent and energy on stage, while DO was a vanilla, watered-down version of Elvis for the conservative audience.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | June 26, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I saw J. Brown on numerous occasions, and every move he made was faster, cleaner, and better executed
your as queer as your story is...go worry some more that someone likes Donnie Osmond more phreaktard

Posted by: DD163 | June 26, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: -TBG- | June 26, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Bless you, Ivansmom. Yes, I'm here. Let's talk about baseball, or Sanford, or pomes, or food...anything but You Know What.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 26, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

In response to the pedophile's death I downloaded all of his work via piratebay, I set to listening and got to his "newer" releases like Off the Wall etc. He absolutely sucks, it's just disco with weird little vocal spasms and jerks. I deleted Off the Wall, Bad, Thriller, and whatever else he created. It's fluff for air heads and the limp wristed. Most overrated artist ever.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | June 26, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom this is how I have been amusing myself, while many listened to Michael in the early eighties - I was a big U2 fan. Particularly their early albums. For fun look at the videos from U2 at Sloan Castle.

Never cared whether singers I liked danced or not, actually can do without all the dancers on stage - if you can sing/play well enough they are not required IMHO.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 26, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

SCC Slane Castle (I think - can't remember now)

Posted by: dmd2 | June 26, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Ivansmom -- thank you so much for your sanity check.

Sanford remains an idiot and is a poster boy for his political party. Of course, he may have to joust with Newt for the title.

I still want universal health care -- note, I said health CARE, not health insurance. I sure hope Medicare will be around in 2 years, 2 months and 3 days, because that's when I'll be looking for it.

And as I keep sayin', if socialized medicine is good enuf for Congress, it's d@mn good enuf for the rest of us, too.

Gonna see my orthopedist in a couple of weeks -- I think I've got a twinge of spinal stenosis. I suspect there are some exercises I can do in lieu of surgery, which I absolutely don't want. Gotta strengthen the core and the quads and still stay reasonably happy while doing that.

Have a good weekend, everyone. I'll try to check in during it.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 26, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Moves are afoot to attempt to build a new minor league stadium for the St. Paul Saints just a stone's throw from the hip urban loft. The frostfam is thrilled. The current stadium is in a no man's land barely in St. Paul, in a neighborhood imaginatively named Midway because it is midway between Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 26, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Only a color-aroused person's ideation and emotion would lead them to compare Michael Jackson to Donny Osmond. Sure, they competed for the same audience for about two years there around 1970.

But can anyone remember any of Donny Osmond's music videos? Did he ever make one? Can anyone remember where they last heard of Donny Osmond doing a concert?

Donny Osmond was Michael Jackson for white people for about three years in the early seventies. Then Michael Jackson demonstrated that he had a genius far beyond anything that Donny Osmond could ever have dreamed of aspiring to.

What were the names of three of Donny Osmond's songs? I rest my case!

Posted by: francislholland | June 26, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Spinal stenosis, firsttimeblogger? There used to be pads for that. I guess they disappeared with the dictaphone and word processing.

I don't know whether the ball game will be as interesting as the street show getting to the stadium. Half of downtown is taken up with some major dog show, and the leashed doggies are all over the place. The rest of the district is occupied by a Harley bikers' rally - not the rowdy kind with knife fights and trashed bars, but the kind where the bikers are fairly orderly, and spend money. Mosta those fancy Harley guys may wear the vests and leathers but frankly, they look a little old. And a little prosperous. It must be expensive to ride a Harley these days. I say "guys" because many of the gals with them aren't that old.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 26, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

We are bracing for the arrival of all the pow-wow dancers this weekend. Could be as many as 500 plus vendors and spectators. To say Our Fair City is probably not prepared enough to host an event of this size is an understatement. However, I am glad to be mostly an onlooker as my friend and counterpart, the Chairman of the Local Indian Council is in charge. The biggest concern tonight is to have enough food for the blessing of the pow-wow grounds. Time for some of Arlene's fry bread magic

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 26, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Geez louise. There is room in the musical universe for both Donnie Osmond and Michael Jackson. Is nothing happening in Iran today?

Posted by: ChristyVA | June 26, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Cool, frosti! I love pow-wows! That should be a big time. Have some fry bread for me!

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 26, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Who is Don Osmond?

Posted by: lindalovejones | June 26, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom-I am sure I can eat enough fry bread for the two of us, and probably the rest of the boodle too.

Breaking news. The WCHA has decided to expand to 12 teams and Bemidji State made it in (along with Univ. of Nebraska, Omaha). This is cool beyond words-the best in college hockey (and some of the not so best, they did let in Omaha)will be just a 50 minute drive from Our Fair City!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 26, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Is it safe to come in?

I'm back to the bunker with a case of Bartholomew Park Sauvignon Blanc. As soon as we get it chilled, we can Par-tay.

No complaints, now! I got what *I* wanted!

Mr. T and I are back from Costco, where we purchased a side table with drawers for me to keep my files and office stuff on/in, instead of piling it on the hearth. Although it was made in China (of course!), it's decent quality and I think it will work well.

Now I have to figure out how to work the digital photo frame he gave me for my birthday.

Speaking of which, happy (late) birthday to Jack!

Posted by: slyness | June 26, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I give up on reading anything but the blog author's posts. I enjoy reading what he has to say, but this is the most inane batch of comments I've ever read. I've been reading for about a week and, almost without exception, whatever Joel writes about is ignored in favor of fatuous comments about gardening, etc.

Posted by: novelera | June 26, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Scottynuke | June 26, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

In the pantheon of fatuousness I'm appalled to see gardening take such a hit and everything else is noted with a mere "etc." Other than that, to quote the esteemed S'nuke "&?"

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 26, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

And who says people don't understand the boodle?

Posted by: yellojkt | June 26, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Novelera, perhaps you unaware of the fact that the Achenblog is the Official Blog of the North American and Mid and Pacific Rim Horticultural and Rhubarb Appreciation Society (NAMPRHRAS), and for two years running was recognized as the Outstanding Mr. Stripey Web Site of the Year (2006, 2007)?

Please, Sir (or Madam, if that's how you roll), kindly refrain from mocking this fine collection of concerned gardeners and devoted agriculturo-philobioticians.

Or, as we like to say somewhat jocularly during V-8 breaks at the Saturday workshops, "Go suck a Brussel Sprout!" In the nicest possible way, of course.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 26, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I hope I wasn't too harsh.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 26, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

No, Mudge, perfectly fine.

Novelera, in colombia, is someone who sticks their nose in everyone else's business, or else, someone who spends too much time watching soap operas.

I wouldn't worry.

Posted by: abeac1 | June 26, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I may have been. I was, wasn't I? A bit over the top. A tad too...judgmental? Strident?

Yes, quite possibly I was. But I just get *sniff*

Bartender, another gin and bitters, please.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 26, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the celery stalk.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 26, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 26, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, curmudgeon, well-played, sirs.

I loved Novelera's comment! If all s/he reads is the Kit, why bother to post on the Boodle? It's like those people who write into Liz Kelly's Celebritology chat chiding it for frivolity. I mean, that's sort of the *point,* isn't it?

Posted by: Yoki | June 26, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm glad he reads Joel.

Posted by: -pj- | June 26, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if anyone's posted this, but here's the Jackson family audition before Berry Gordy. Michael Jackson is quite young (I'll leave it to others to tell his age) and performs a James Brown song using James Brown moves and does it very, very well.

Posted by: -pj- | June 26, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Let's not completely denigrate little Donny Osmond. He did yeoman work on the soundtrack to "Mulan". There's no shame in being merely pretty good at what you do, even if others are spectacular. Pity poor Salieri -- I mean Osmond.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 26, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I’m sorry but I need to be on Kit for a sec to ask a question. Tonight they were playing the MJ 911 tape and the caller was asked if someone was performing CPR and where the patient was. The caller said that the patient was on the bed and the 911 operator told him to move the patient to the floor. “S” commented that CPR should be done on a hard surface, i.e., the floor. So if there was a doctor there performing CPR on the bed, wasn’t this against proper procedure? I’m not saying this would have changed the outcome, I’m more interested in the credentials of the ‘doctor’ who was with MJ.

Okay, back to the garden. I hope ours likes rain and clouds, because that’s the forecast for the foreseeable future. (Pardon me for harping on the weather here, but complaining keeps us from going barking mad!)

Posted by: badsneakers | June 26, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse


Don't pick on Salieri...Poor guy...

Posted by: abeac1 | June 26, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

At lest nobody is picking on our incessant babbling about military aircraft.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 26, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

DJ15 said: "But then, mama always said "If you can't say something nice..."

right ...

Dance-Pop is not my favorite genre, but I will admit that MJ was one of the few people I respected in that genre and one of a handful that could get me onto the club floor without a handgun being held to my skull

and who in blazes is "DJ15", anyway? and who cares?

Posted by: curbludgeon | June 26, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

FGC (Fatuous Garden Comment) alert- we are approaching twilight here in the boreal forest and my peonies are absolutely glowing. The last to open is white like the ones on the other plant, but with a tinge of yellow and a scent that could fool you into thinking we have plumeria in the air.

I can hear drums from the pow-wow ground. Official festivities won't start until tomorrow but the old men will drum and sing tonight then give it over to the youngsters tomorrow. Some summer folk will probably complain but I hope they drum well into the night, so comforting to fall asleep to.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 26, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Curbludgeon, cut it out. You were not over the top, you were quite funny, as we expect you to be.

Leave it to abeac to have the last word!

In the middle of all this, my modem goes down and I miss good stuff! So no fair. But at least I'm back. You all didn't drink all the sauvignon blanc in my absence, did you?

Sneaks, you are correct. To do CPR correctly, the person must be on a hard surface. Otherwise the chest compressions wouldn't work.

Posted by: slyness | June 26, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Slyness, I figured you'd know if anyone would. So perhaps in additions to being a pill pusher, this doctor was also incompetent? This whole thing is reminding me more and more of Elvis. I'm going to concentrate on gardens from now on.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 26, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Hi Slyness!

Posted by: abeac1 | June 26, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Curbludgeon! I like it...very sly, slyness...

I'm afraid I'm tired of MJ all the time...a little of that music goes a long way, and I just don't want to know all the personal stuff. Sneaks, I think the personal doctor being incompetent is a given (I bet he wrote great prescriptions, though).

Gene Robinson has a good column, as usual:

Posted by: seasea1 | June 26, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

frosti, I'm frenvious of the powwow, too.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 26, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

BaileyReynolds, you seem to think numbers equals quality. I never said Jackson wasn't well marketed or that he wasn't good at selling himself. OTOH if we go by numbers you should listen to housefly and eat humen excrement. It's perfectly OK for you to like MJ, but pretending that he was the greatest singer ever is just out and out silly. Sure, he could dance better than many performers, but it's MUSIC! If you put him on a DANCE show against professional dancers he's look like a turtle. As for musical influence, I've certainly not seen it. Brian Eno has had more influence. The Beatles certainly had far more influence than MJ. To me MJ's influence is like that of ChumbaWumba or the Spice Girls.

Posted by: marcedward1 | June 26, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, you'd be surprised at the number of MD's who don't know how to do CPR. I suppose it's not in the required curriculum except for ER and cardiac docs. You have to remember that it's a prehospital procedure and very low tech. I think even paramedics do more than CPR these days.

But it's critical to keep the blood moving and oxygen going to the brain before more sophisticated treatment is available.

It's been literally a generation since I got my EMT certification, and I let it lapse once the Elderdottir was born, but some things you do remember. I think I could do CPR as I was taught even to this day. I understand, though, that the protocol has changed significantly. I have heard that breathing support is not deemed as critical as it was when I was taking the course. Maybe Kim can elaborate.

Posted by: slyness | June 26, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

even i know you perform cpr on a hard surface - learned this as a girl scout in my preteen years. how could a doctor not know this?

Posted by: LALurker | June 26, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm having a bit of a hard time with this headline from the Washington Post Business Section:

Bernanke Stands Firm in Hot Seat

What shall we do?

Warn Bernanke to sit down, or else?

Posted by: russianthistle | June 26, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Weren't there rumors at one time that he slept in some sort of oxygen tank? Bed might be a relative word in this case.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 26, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

The Doc?

One pill makes you larger And one pill makes you small

Posted by: russianthistle | June 26, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

OK... Here is a terrible story about a tree landing on a car in Maryland. Terrible news, but I got confused reading the article since it is dated for tomorrow and refers to today as yesterday.

Confusing ....

Falling Limb Crushes Van, Killing 2
Woman, Girl Were Among 8 in Vehicle

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 27, 2009

A woman and a girl were killed in Chevy Chase last night when a huge tree limb crushed their minivan during a powerful storm, authorities and witnesses said

Posted by: russianthistle | June 26, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I am/was not Curbludgeon.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 27, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

We knew, know, that, 'mudge. Fear not.

Posted by: Yoki | June 27, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

You're still up, Yoki?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 27, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Clearly. I'm *always* up. Except when I'm not, when I've collapsed into insensibility.

Posted by: Yoki | June 27, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Michael Jackson was the topic of conversation of a lot of people who are not his fans. They didn’t talk about his music. They talked about his life, dying so young etc, etc. They talked about the millions he earned and his assets – that big house he owned.

Posted by: rainforest1 | June 27, 2009 3:24 AM | Report abuse

I wish peonies grow here. They are such beautiful flowers.

A couple of weeks ago, I pulled out 2 tiny periwinkles from the crack of the drain and re-planted them in a pot. They grew beautifully until yesterday. I think they died because I over watered them. Sigh.

Posted by: rainforest1 | June 27, 2009 3:27 AM | Report abuse

Saw this on the home page:

"Capitals Draft Johansson"

Somebody alert Weingarten!!!

Oh, wait...

And I'm sure we're going to see a new sign placed in the Metrodome visitors' clubhouse soon: "Danger: Sausage Crossing!" There was a third near-collision last night!

Sneaks, I think Papi's really getting his groove back... *teehee*

And Robinson states the obvious with his usual eloquence, yes.

-- Warning: rant ahead --

Just saw an example of the dangers of "citizen journalism." One of the "subway tabloids" that shares content across several cities ran a piece on their Website about a "warning" sent to all 50 states and some Federal agencies. Doesn't say WHO sent the warning, but that's minor -- one of the people who "discovered" the issue is the AUTHOR of the article, and writes about herself IN THE THIRD PERSON!!!!!!!

-- end of rant --

*weeping-into-my-coffee-but-will-somehow-get-through-the-day Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 27, 2009 6:51 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. In the Fatuous Gardening Comment category I need to attach my tomato plants to the stakes once again. They grow so fast. We had our first salad (mesclun, really) from the garden yesterday.

It rained!

Transnational company Unilever, owner of the Amora-Maille brands, closed the last mustard plant located in Dijon itself. So much for Dijon mustard. It never was an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée because the mustard seeds never came from the Bourgogne region, it's a recipe. Currently the seeds come from Canada.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 27, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

June 27,1898: The now legendary Canadian-American Captain Joshua Slocum completes the first solo circumnavigation of the globe, aboard his equally legenday 37-foot sloop Spray. He'd left Briar Island, Nova Scotia, three years earlier.
1918: German sub U-86 (Lt. Helmut Patzig) torpedoes and sinks the well-marked and well-lighted hospital ship Llandovery Castle off Fastnet. Hoping to eliminate witness, Patzig’s sub then proceeds to ram and sink the lifeboats except one which managed to escape and tell the tale; 234 survivors died in the lifeboats, including 14 nurses; 24 survived. Patzig later was declared the number one war criminal of World War I but never stood tried because he “disappeared” in Germany right after the Armistice (he popped up again –where else?—in the German submarine service during the 1930s, and was a shore-based Nazi submarine administrative officer during World War II). Two of Patzig’s officers and a petty officer were convicted, sentenced to four years but also “disappeared” before their sentences could be served.
1923: The Army Air Service’s Capt. L.H. Smith and lt. J.P. Richter successfully demonstrate the world’s first mid-air refueling, of a deHavilland DH4B, over San Diego.
1942: The worst convoy disaster of World War II occurs when ill-fated Convoy PQ-17 departs Iceland en route to Murmansk. A week into the trip a false alarm about a roving German battleship causes the British Admiralty to order the convoy to scatter. Patrolling German aircraft and submarines then pick off 24 of the 35 ships one by one.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 27, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Peonies are sort of magical things (Portland, Oregon had an excellent peony nursery), but I guess we can make do with heliconias and crinums. The heliconias are rhizomatous, so they creep around their bed. The best approach seems to be to confine them open-bottomed containers or dig and replant regularly. I don't have the energy for that. Shoots appearing in inappropriate places get whacked.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 27, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Morning all.

Much more conversation about peonies, and I'll be forced to go out and buy some for the garden. Not that that's a bad thing.

Busy day ahead. Mr. T plans to wash the front of the house, which needs it, and we are going to move the last of the Geekdottir's furniture out of storage and dispose of it. Some she's keeping, some is going to the Salvation Army. Fun activities on a day that supposed to top out at 95.

Posted by: slyness | June 27, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning.

I LOVE peonies, but I'm not good at gardening, so I enjoy pictures and other people's yards.

We had planned on picking blueberries this morning, but I called the farm and they're not opening until next week. The recording says the cold spring caused the delay.

We're hiking at Pocahontas Park, then.

I really need to stay busy today or I'll sit at my computer and rework my presentation for the 100th time.

Leaving for NECC in 20 hours or so. But who's counting?

Posted by: abeac1 | June 27, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I’m sort of upset that no one has called to interview me on how I felt when I heard that MJ had died. Heck, they’ve asked every other person in the entire world. Good grief!

I don’t watch entire bb games, but “S” keeps me posted on important news, especially Big Papi’s hits. I am so happy for him, that slump had to be frustrating.

Big article in the Globe this morning about the damage this past week’s nor’eastern did to the outer Cape beaches. Chatham lost a couple of beach shacks that had stood for 50 years and some beaches along the National Seashore have eroded quite significantly. Oh, and the sun is out this morning. I cannot remember the last time I woke up to sunshine - really.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 27, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle.

I was up way too early today. Mr. Moose had to work. He was up at 4:30am, and so was I.

Just wondered over to the computer for a few minutes.

I hope everyone has a peaceful day.

Posted by: Moose13 | June 27, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

*Peeks out from hole*
Looks safe. I couldn't find the bunker (a map would be nice) so I dug myself a foxhole.

FGC: My mother has decided to restart her vegetable garden, which she abandoned after my father died. The problem? She now lives in an apartment. So far, her only crop is balcony basil.

Posted by: Southwester | June 27, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Cool and rainy here today.

Trying to get motivated to clean Chez Frostbitten. Hope a reporter doesn't call for a pithy quote on MJ, just might get me off track for the rest of the day.

FGC- With balcony basil comes pesto-sounds great to me.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 27, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

@Southwester -- Just follow the trail of Lladros and Kincaides and you'll find the bunker door, no problem.

Saw a sight on I-270 that would obviously make bc weep with joy: A Mustang GT 500 sandwiched between two Vipers, one of them a convertible, no less, convoying their way north.


Posted by: Scottynuke | June 27, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Went to a punk music festival in Baltimore last night as a sort of family event. Had a lot of fun and finally got to see the Dead Milkmen. Seriously, who could have resisted singing along with "Punk Rock Girl" and getting into the pit during my personal fave, "B!tchin' Camaro?"

I'm surprised I don't have more bruises, but I haven't done a full inventory yet, as I didn't get home until the wee hours.


Posted by: -bc- | June 27, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

You go to punk shows and I go to 80s nostalgia tours. You are so much younger at heart than I am.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 27, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

My wife was reading on the web and found this article that she thought was very similar in sentiment to my blogpost (blatantly link-prostituted to much earlier) about MJ:

I can't break it to her how close Liz Kelly and I really are.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 27, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

In Orlando, the Kinkaid store (an elaborate one) is at the Florida Mall, not Mall at Millenia. Florida Mall also has a Japanese toy store, a great idea. Ikea is next to Millenia, so it can be useful to wander over for rest from overstimulation at the Swedish retail theme park.

Could someone build a Hummel Grotto? The US must be awash in the figurines.

(I confess to spending about $40 for a set of 3 Pyrex mixing bowls in orange and yellow).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 27, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

And courtesy of Liz Kelly's Facebook feed, here is great slideshow tribute with links to all the very good coverage in today's WaPo as we enter our third day of sitting shiva virtually.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 27, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I hear Hummel Grotto and think Playboy Mansion Grotto and picture cute little figurines posed in kinky erotic positions. Sorry. That's just how my damaged brain works.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 27, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

jkt, it just might be part of the Hummel "Americana" series.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 27, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

DotC-Among my most prized kitchen possessions is a set of vintage Pyrex mixing bowls frostsis#1 gave me. From largest to smallest they are yellow, green, red-orange, and a not quite turquoise blue-green.

I believe Hummels are one of the unintended consequences of having soldiers posted in Germany so long after WWII. If we had kept such a presence in Thailand post-Vietnam we'd have to deal with ceramic elephants.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 27, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Those mixing bowls are worth it DotC, I inherited my moms, Orange, Yellow and Green, think there was a large red one as well but it got lost or broken.

Lots of memories of Mom associated with those bowls, she baked a lot. This time of year, Strawberry/Rhubarb pies or crumbles, her famous butter/syrup tarts and just for me raspberry tarts. Not much wonder dessert has always been my favorite part of the meal. I can still taste her super flakey pie crust.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 27, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Fatuous Gardening News (just broadcast on Wait wait...):

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 27, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Does pronunciation, volume control, etc. count?

Will the plants grow slower if you swear at them instead of tell them to pull themselves up by their evolutionary bootstraps and have at it, man.

This study needs follow-up research.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 27, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

My Mac arrived about 1/2 hour ago!!!!! Woo-hoo!

Now I've got to arrange with my Apple Store down the road to come over with the Mac and the tower from my current machine to get everything transferred. Got XP-SP3 yesterday (obviously avoiding Vista), I've got VMFusion and Mac-Office, too.

I'm just so giddy.

And may you all be the same. . . .

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 27, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering why my back went out. Then I remembered the 150 POUND CONCRETE FRAGMENTS I put in my truck to dispose of them. I had forgotten I had done it. Sheesh. At least, upon memory kicking in, it's no mystery. Aspirin and time, and I'm getting better already.

How did I live here for 10 years with no roaches, and now I have to treat the house for them? This impugns me. Of course every other form of vile annoying insect and/or arachnid pest has manifested lately, from the ongoing mosquito plague to moths flying under the lenses of my glasses while reading (my reaction this this particular shocking affair, which has occurred twice in the last several nights, might be amusing to see and hear); and fleas on Miss Dog as well.

I am off to the store to acquire weapons.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 27, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Any boxes or other secondhand cargo arrive in your house, Jumper? These can carry roach eggs.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 27, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

W_G, the follow up joke on "Wait wait..." was that this method can have tragic consequences, as when an entire crop was wiped out when subjected to an hour of The View.

That made me snort my tea :-)

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 27, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The View? That stuff is lethal to humans, never mind innocent tomatoes..

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 27, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse


you really don't need an Apple Genius from the store. Your new computer has a built-in migration assistant. All you need is a firewire and Leopard will walk you through the process.

I'm setting up a Mini at home right now, but since the old computer it replaces was a Dell (RIP) there is nothing to transfer. I'll import all my photographs later from the external hard drive.

Rhubarb...Did anyone listen to the report about rhubarb on NPR yesterday morning? Made my mouth water.

Posted by: abeac1 | June 27, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Nevermind, FTB. I just realized you are switching to Mac.

Yes, you might need help moving your files.

Posted by: abeac1 | June 27, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Loved the rhubarb report on NPR. Peonies in full perfume, tis surely the smell just inside the pearly gates. Am making do with purple petunias and Nicotiana: lovely, lovely, and nothing like tobacco though the plants are quite related.

And, at 3:50 or so, I lap up the scent of four O'clocks AKA miracle of Peru.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | June 27, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

yello, I don't really enjoy the big halls for music unless it's a full orchestra.

I saw the '70s and '80s acts the first time around, and I y'know, I saw Queen with Freddie Mercury twice - nothing's going to top *that* for me.

Got to see the Police on every US tour since '79, too. Also, right up there.

(Though the first Iron Maiden/Judas Priest tour in '81 was pretty cool).


Posted by: -bc- | June 27, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey CqP. My moonflower vines are about to take over the whiskey barrel and post, but no flowers yet. I keep watering faithfully, lest the sun scorch them to death. I didn't have quite so many nicotiana plants to volunteer this year, but they are blooming and look and smell so pleasantly in the evening. They are sharing space with one squash hill this year, so far so good.

Ahem. I am proud to announce that I pick my first two TOMATOES of the season this morning. Two lovely little Romas, which will grace a salad in the next day or two.

Posted by: slyness | June 27, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I was listening to the rhubarb disquisition on NPR, too. My favorite was the painfully honest guy who said he bought it out of nostalgia, knowing that it would probably just sit in his refrigerator and rot.

"Rhubarb" is one of Russell Brand's favorite words, with rolled r: "'Tis RRRRRhubarb!!"

Pardon me for mentioning it.

Posted by: kbertocci | June 27, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad I got the shopping done early. My outdoor kitchen window thermometer - still in the shade - reads about 105 degrees. My current plan is not to go outside again until almost sundown. Well, okay, one of us will go replenish the dog water again, but that won't count really. There's no point in watering anything else until this evening since the water drops would evaporate almost before the plants felt them.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 27, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

kb- liked that guy's honesty too. That's what happens to squash at Chez Frostbitten, grown and/or purchased out of nostalgia but rarely eaten. The #4 urban dictionary entry is way off base though, a true rhubarb pie never gets anywhere near a strawberry. Though there are some good strawberry-rhubarb pies out there, I'm too much of a rhubarb purist to partake.

Must refrain from saying too much about RB, lest I start saying "OMG" and "he's so cute."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 27, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Herding your files into their new pastures should be easier at the store.

I'm enjoying my minimal Mac Mini.

The orange-tangerine-yellow Pyrex bowls are mostly doing duty on the top shelf of a lighted glass-doored cabinet in the new kitchen.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 27, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

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

Hello, friends. Badsneakers, we haven't had rain here for awhile, and everything is drying up. Just hot and steamy. Temps in the 90's and feeling like 100.

Slyness, I wish I was closer so I could perhaps take some of that stuff off your hands. I sat on the porch a little, but had to come in, too hot.

I don't have my car, and I'm tired of sitting around here. The grandsons made haste to get away with my daughter yesterday. I don't blame them. I was so ill. Just tired and sleepy. And one of MJ's song has become stuck in my head, and won't go away. That and the ears ringing is about to drive me nuts.

It feels strange reading Donny Osmond and Micheal Jackson names in the same sentence, much less comparing their talents.

Mudge, Yoki, Scotty, Martooni, and all the gang, have a fantastic weekend. *waving*

Posted by: cmyth4u | June 27, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

In Spanish it is "ruibarbo", and many people in Colombia think it is poison.

My mom used to peel, chop, and cook with TONS of sugar until it was really thick. We ate it on toast, like jam.

Never had it in a pie.

Posted by: abeac1 | June 27, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Excellent review of Robert Wright's "The Evolution of God."

Posted by: Yoki | June 27, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link Yoki. He lost me though on his interpretation of Leviticus. He parses the verse, which allows room for interpretation, but taken as a whole, I think it's pretty clear neighbor means fellow Israelite. (KJB...Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the LORD.) I don't know how we can then be disappointed to learn something we've always known.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 27, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

It may be meant that way, but the LORD never did put in a clause saying "if you happen to live among infidels, etc, don't follow this rule."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 27, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

A proper understanding of any text requires a proper understanding of the intended audience. Otherwise, you can come up with all sorts of off-the-wall stuff. Another ex: Machiavelli's The Prince.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 27, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

DC just came up behind me, wrapped her arms around me, said I love you Mommy, and then wiped her cheese-puff covered face on the back of my shirt.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 27, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

lit, you just made me lol loudly.

Posted by: LALurker | June 27, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad LALurker. I love my DC. I look like I fell asleep in the tiger lilies.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 27, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

And quit calling me Sue.
-Michael Jackson

Posted by: yellojkt | June 27, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

In September of 1988, through a set of odd circumstances, we spent about 20 minutes with Michael Jackson during the intermission of a production of "Zorba" with Anthony Quinn at the Kennedy Center.

There were about 10 people including Michael and his "handler." This person walked Michael around to the rest of us and he (MJ) shook our hands.

He then chatted a bit with one woman who had a necklace he admired.

Later we tagged along to the green room, where MJ and Anthony Quinn met. It was fascinating to see them fawning over each other, so happy to meet at last! You are so good! etc. etc.

Michael, at that time, seemed to be any nice, quiet, soft spoken young man. Not a sign of any super star personality. No "stage presence" there, in that group. And he seemed a lot younger than his age.

Posted by: nellie4 | June 27, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

That's very cool, nellie! To see Anthony Quinn as Zorba was great in itself. Adding a Jackson appearance makes it that much more special.

Posted by: -pj- | June 27, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Nellie, you’ve met MJ and Anthony Quinn in person. I’m a fan of neither, but still it’s so cool.

I had a visit from a damned rat last night. Of all the supplements I have on the kitchen counter, it took my newly opened bottle of black cohosh. It might have ate a few and then chewed on others. If it is a female rat, it probably won’t have period cramps anymore. If the rat is straight, it’s now gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with being gay.

Posted by: rainforest1 | June 27, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

SCC : ....straight male

Posted by: rainforest1 | June 27, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

That should be 1984. I can't even tell my own story correctly!

Posted by: nellie4 | June 27, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

So much for hiking and not looking at my computer today...

The kids thought it was a hike to get around the mall, but that really doesn't count.

Good night everyone.

Posted by: abeac1 | June 27, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

rainforest-thanks for showing me chasing a squirrel out of the screened porch this afternoon was not such a bad thing. We leave a corner of one screen open so the neighbor cat can get in and out. Hadn't had any trouble with other critters until today. Not this year anyway. The cat used to come in through an opening in the bottom of the screen door, but skunks were using it too.

Speaking of skunks-we've begun the annual skunk vs. turtle routine. A turtle lays her eggs in the sand of the driveway, a couple nights later a skunk digs them up and feasts away. It's a wonder we have any turtles at all, but a good bunch must hatch because this time of year you can hardly be on the river without seeing dozens in a quarter mile stretch. I wouldn't mind nature playing out its survival struggles in my yard if this particular one didn't waft in through open windows.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 27, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Um. I've been reading about this history of the Israelites, and the story is that they lived among many peoples, so yes, they had many neighbors who were not kin. So the love-thy-neighbor commandment didn't just apply to themselves.

It seems to me that Wright has his argument backwards. It's not the God has evolved, but that our understanding of God has progressed. Not that we will ever know or understand much, but we have, some of us, moved in the right direction.

I wonder what cultural assumption we take for granted that our descendants will be horrified by.

Posted by: slyness | June 27, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

rainforest, you just made me laugh out loud.

Posted by: Yoki | June 27, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

We apatheticists see the different views of the evolution of the divine as the flip sides of the same coin-but one we probably wouldn't go out of our way to pick up on the street. We could ask if God is evolving, or if people are evolving in their understanding of God. But, as long as we are improving does it really matter?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 27, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I, too had a number of quibbles with Wright's thesis, slyness. I guess the main question was his notion of "moral progress." I see the overall pattern-- but I think there were just too many instances of back-sliding (the Spanish Inquisition, burning witches in Salem, rabid antisemitism and all that Protocols of the Elders of Zion crap, the 19th century invention of notions such as the Rapture,...I could go on and on) to see anything like a positive upward development. Throw in the trend toward fundamentalism among the three Abrahamics, and I have to question the entire premise of "progress" from the git-go. Yes, they've evolved. No, I'm not at all sure all that evolution has been positive.

Since Wright knows a great deal about evolution, one might hope he would have adapted Steven Jay Gould's view of "punctuated equillibrium" and applies that to his notion of moral progress.

However, applying the concept of evolution to the Abrahamics in particular or to religions in general, one might usefully note that rather than "evolving" monolithically in a positive moral direction, rather the Abrahamics have merely evolved by doing what animals did: split off into various and sundry species (families genus, etc.). I would argue that Chritianity, at least, has evolved into a pretty large number of species and sub-species, and that applying a common notion such as "moral progress" to all those species is simply wrong. Some yes, some no.

Of course, it is admittedly difficult to extract all this from a simply NYT book review. And I'd like to know what are Wright's thoughts and indebtedness to books such as Jack Miller's "God: A Biography" and Karen Armstrong's "A History of God," which, superficially at least, seem to cover the same ground.

But yes, a pretty interesting if complicated topic (to me anyway).

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 27, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Y'all have a nice theological/teleological/philosophical discussion starting here, but my brain refuses to focus on it - or anything substantive. We got our cold front come in, it is almost nice out now and should only reach about 90 tomorrow. Hurrah.

I also enjoyed the critter discussion. We learned to make the dogs eat up - no uneaten food in the yard - and dump the compost way away from the house. Of course, right now is my favorite time of year because the tree frogs (cicadas to you pedants) are so noisy they can be clearly heard inside the house over the air conditioner. Outside they are louder than anything else and the noise just fills your head. I like it.

LostinThought, you bring laughter and memories. Ah yes, the Cheetos hug.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 27, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

How I love the Boodle.

I just thought the review to which I linked was well-written (and kind to someone about whom we know, if not know, and splashy, since it is on the cover of the NYT Sunday Magazine). That is, I was taking the review on its own literary merits. The peril of having studied English during the era of dominant Deconstructionism.

And still, we are debating theology and biblical textual analysis, without any of us (with, perhaps, an exception or two) having actually read the book under review.

Posted by: Yoki | June 27, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I agree the review was well written, Yoki.And you're right about the difficulty of not having read the book.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 28, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I love ya. Six ways to Sunday.

Slyness, I see what you're saying. But I think there's such incredible specificity in language, and the 'thy people' thing seals the deal for me. Yes, I know, translated to within an inch of it's life, but done so with an eye toward consistency over time *as we gain greater understanding*, and done in steps where there was sort of an institutional memory.

Yoki, see what you start? ;)

I'mom, yes, it's weird...she brings back memories of Things 1 and 2, yet creates all new ones but from a different focal point. DC continues to be such an excellent surprise.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 28, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Hey, LiT. As usual, I've been naive if not innocent.

I really adore your DC stories as so familiar to me from my beloved children's lives. Of course, the dogs do that same thing; run up and telegraph "I love you" and then wipe their drool on my clean jeans or skirt. I'm inured to it.

Posted by: Yoki | June 28, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Yoki.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 28, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey, novelist

Posted by: Yoki | June 28, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

You folks are up late tonight

Howdy all from work......boooo....but a new bride and groom just came in after their reception.They are dressed in traditional African dress and look great.
I gave them a bottle of wine on the house.I'm sure my manager won't mind,at least I think she won't.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | June 28, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

rainforest, that's quite a supplement!

Posted by: LALurker | June 28, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like a sweet gesture to me, gwe.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 28, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Howja guess, Yoki? I was working tonight.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 28, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

I know these things.

Posted by: Yoki | June 28, 2009 2:16 AM | Report abuse

they seemed delighted and we are instructed to go out of our way to make the guests happy.

Dirty Harry is on AMC,"do you feel lucky punk?"

Posted by: greenwithenvy | June 28, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

That’s a really nice gesture, gwe.

LALurker, that rat’s probably overdosed on my black cohosh. First, it (I think it’s the same rat) took my dogs’ skin and coat supplement and now it took my supplement. I hope its hormones are all upside down now.

Posted by: rainforest1 | June 28, 2009 2:52 AM | Report abuse

morning all. There a bit of fog in the air; it will be a humid day. The roses are in bloom but the last peonies are fading away in the heat.

The sure way to be covered in slimy dog drool is to wear dressed black pants. It never fails.
Speaking of drool, we had a first a couple of weeks aga as I discovered a small stalagtite of dried drool hanging from the kitchen's ceiling light. The VLP is a lovely but drooly dog. And it snores. Very loudly. Now.

I fished my first drowned chipmunk off the pool in years 15 minutes ago. The first year I operated the pool I must have recovered 8 to 10 bodies of chipmunks in the skimmer basket. Now I used a kind of dirt catcher in front of the skimmer to provide the rodents with a passage to dry land. I never found a drowned squirrel, be it grey, black or red. So back then I proposed Swimming Chipmunk as a Scout name for my son. It didn't catch.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 28, 2009 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Good morning!

GWE, that was so nice. They'll remember your kindness forever.

The Cheetos hug. I love that. My kids no longer eat those, but I can't stop myself from grinning when I see orange smears on other mom's thighs and butts. Those smears are in the same category as baby spit-up down your back, and you leave for work without even noticing it is there...

Has anyone linked to Dowd this weekend?

Mark Sanford versus Marco the international man of mystery.

Posted by: abeac1 | June 28, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Hope you enjoy the conference, abeac!!! :-)

*faxin' gwe a gold star for gentlemanly behavior*

And I'd like to thank Scamcast for wasting several of my valuable weekend hours yesterday. The HD cable box went all silly after some power disruptions, and by the time the online tech failed to fix anything the "local" office was closed. The online tech suggested the office the next county over, and telephone customer service said the same.

Someone forgot to instruct them that company policy prevents equipment exchanges across county lines... *SIGH* The in-person customer service tried to blame it on technology, but when the online person can push a channel lineup change over the cable connection, it shouldn't matter where you get the box. *shrug*

*preparing-for-NukeSpawn's-arrival-while-doing-the-usual-stuff Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 28, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

The entire Wright book seems to boil down to "Man created God in his own image."

I'd tell you to switch from Comcast to Verizon FIOS but it's not available everywhere. A coworker of mine is thinking of it but Comcast has two channels of MASN, one in HD. FIOS only has MASN1 and its standard def. He would lose half his Orioles games if he switched.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 28, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. The laundry is on -- almost ready to put into the dryers (we have laundry rooms on each floor -- on my wish list is to move for any number of reasons, not the least of which is to have my own washer and dryer).

I'm getting close to deciding to do my own transfer of files to the new 'puter. First of all, the Mac folks told me that it would take approx. 24 hours for them to do it, so I'd have to drop off both computers during that time. Secondly, I've got confidential files on this computer and I'm really not willing to let others see them (atty-client confidentiality, and all that). I'll have to get some sort of what I think is called a "fire wire" (techie boodlers, please confirm) for the transfer process itself. It may take quite a bit of time, but we do have a 3-day weekend coming up, so why not? Thirdly, doing it at home (sui generis, if you will (to stay only obliquely on kit)) will allow me to avoid the huffing and puffing and back and knee problems which would be a huge part of the schlepping back and forth to and from the Apple Store.

I'll talk with my colleague in Oklahoma City about it (he made the switch to a Mac a couple of years ago).

I'm trying to remember if the sun were really shining for a second this morning -- I think it was -- but the sky has become quite overcast now. Hope it doesn't rain before I head out to the grocery store after the laundry gets fluffed and folded.

Hope you all have a nice day, whatever your local weather pattern might be.

Anyone had a Martooni sighting lately? I miss that guy!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 28, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse


Here is how I transferred files the long and slow, but confidential way when I moved my dad's files from his Gateway to his Mac.

I went through the folders and purged unnecessary stuff. Then I put each folder on a flash drive and moved them to the Mac. That way I put each folder where my dad wanted it, and only moved what was worth moving.

BTW, if you have been working on MS Word, you can open all your files by using Bean, a free Mac text editor. I LOVE Bean. Your files will be saved as .rtf, so you can share them with Word users without a hitch (except for fancy formatting)

Macs have iLife as a standard pre-installed package, but iWork (much better version of Office) has to be purchased. So, I use Bean for word processing and OpenOffice for spreadsheets. Presentations, I just use Google Docs.

Hope that helps, FTB.

Welcome to the Mac world.

Posted by: abeac1 | June 28, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of reviews about evolutionary matters (weren't we?), here's Charlie Brooker on a new natural history show, Inside Nature's Giants. First episode? Dissecting an elephant!

Here's a more informative article on the making of the show:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 28, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Yes! I loved Maureen's column today. It's perhaps the longest Dowdversion (the gimmick she has where she contrasts two things using similar phrases) ever. I've gone and highlighted all the similarities.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | June 28, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

**This was "held for approval" twice. I am trying again, splitting into two parts; sorry if it shows up more than once.**


Good morning, everybody--

Joel, thinking of you and hoping your travels are going (have gone) smoothly.

I'm skipping church this morning and have a few quiet moments here to contemplate _The Evolution of God_. I read the Pulitzer-winning Jack Miles book, _God: a Biography_, a few years ago, and had the same reaction that Slyness expressed above: The God I believe in is real, is unchanging, eternal, and infinite. Is essentially unknowable by our finite minds. But as we evolve, our ability to comprehend God grows, and that is reflected in the scriptures and in our culture.

I have almost finished Wright's book, so thought I should weigh in on the subject. Wright does a decent job of summarizing the historical realities behind the Abrahamic religions, although that historical area of study is something of a minefield. He treads pretty lightly, as is appropriate, while managing to unearth some interesting ideas. I won't try to summarize any of that.

The idea of moral progress, however, can be summed up pretty easily. Think of someone who is amoral. That would be a person whose entire concern is for his own immediate pleasure, happiness, safety, with no concern at all for any other person. If that person had a friend and was able to empathize with his friend and care about his friend's welfare, that would be moral progress. Most people at a minimum, care about and work for the welfare of their families. If that is extended to a clan, a tribe, a city, a state, a nation--that's moral progress. The concept of a Brotherhood of Man is the opposite end of the spectrum from the totally selfish individual. So, the more we are interconnected and the more we recognize people around the world as having a common interest with us, the more we are able to feel compassion for all the people of Earth, the more "moral progress" we have made.*

Posted by: kbertocci | June 28, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse


I came to a new concept of God from Wright's previous book, _Nonzero, and I had hoped he would expand on MY idea in this book. But, he had his own concepts to develop, imagine that.

What happened to me as I read Nonzero was that I shifted my emphasis from God as the Creator, or Creative Force, to God as Higher Consciousness. Wright wants to believe that there is a kind of intention in the universe, a directional force, something like a purpose. (Rick Warren believes this, but that alone doesn't make it untrue.) I'd like to reserve judgment on that because I don't think it's essential. It's enough for me that there is consciousness, and that morality is self-evident (i.e., that which promotes long-term survival of the planet).

I also think that religion has value apart from any kind of scientifically proven "truth" -- an attitude of humility, gratitude, prayerfulness, and compassion is conducive to mental health, and I don't hesitate to recommend it.

= = == =

*I was referring to "men" and "people" but in my mind I was thinking of all the living creatures of Earth and by extension, the oceans and mountains and so on. It's just difficult to express all that and keep the flow of the idea going.

This morning's Speaking of Faith featured Xavier Le Pichon, a scientist and philosopher who also has some interesting ideas about evolution and morality:

Now I think I shall go and work in my garden, and contemplate Rousseau (the beauty of nature) and Voltaire ("Il faut cultiver son jardin.")

Bonjour, tout le monde!

Posted by: kbertocci | June 28, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

A busy couple of days with family and friends is winding dowm, so I have a few moments to Boodle. Yay!

LiT, Imom, Yoki, s_d, Mudge, abeac - I've always thought that love is messy.

People who have loving lives always have clean towels around, and probably travel with some sort of kerchief, wipes, or even a pocketful of napkins or tissues.

And perhaps love can be measured in loads of laundry and the volume in dryer lint traps (it's easy to forget those tissues in your pocket, y'know?).


Posted by: -bc- | June 28, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

abeac -- thanx for your comments about file transfers to the Mac. My files have what I want -- not what I don't want (unlike when I move and take *everything* with me, only to throw away/give away/donate stuff on the other end of the move), so the winnowing out won't be an issue.

I already have iOffice and VMFusion, along with a copy of XP SP3 for the operating system on the Intel side of things. My use of the Intel side will be minimal generally, as I will only be using it for Timeslips.

Does anybody here know yet which day -- Friday or Monday -- is an accompanying holiday to July 4th? I thought it was Monday, but I'm not sure.

*Ahem* -- not that I won't be working. . ..

The laundry is done and put away. Now I'm just resting my back in anticipation of going out to do that errand I've been postponing for a month.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 28, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Friday is the Fed holiday, ftb...

If your PC has a FireWire connection, I'll be surprised. An alternate suggestion would be to ask the Apple Store to just install your PC drive on the Mac as a "slave" drive -- that's if your Mac has an extra hard drive bay. YMMV

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 28, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I've been pondering that NYT book review Yoki posted, too.

I haven't actually seen the material (thought I did read Bloom's well-written review) -- which in the blogosfear never stops anyone from commenting on it at length, right?

I found myself following a couple of courses of thought:

Based on this review, the book sounds very Western-civilization based. Perhaps this is OK, since his audience is, well, Western civilization. But it seems to me that much of the world's Abrhamic religions aren't focused on Western civilization - or the US. Given that most of the world does not live in a Western civilization as we think of it, that makes sense. But I'm not sure that we can reasonably apply (or impose?) Western thought on religions that aren't about *us*.

Only short but interestig mention of Buddhism in the review, and hey, what about Hinduism?

Again, haven't read the book, so if I have this wrong, forgive me.

More momentarily...


Posted by: -bc- | June 28, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm back inside after doing the weedwacking and lawn mowing. It's almost too hot to work outside already and it's barely 11:00. The tomato plant are doing well, there are blooms all over and some minuscule tomatoes as well. The snap peas and peas were nibbled by a dastardly vegetarian. I suspect a lagomorph, I'll put the VLP on the case.
My old PC had a Firewire connection but finding a motherboard with one is getting pretty difficult with the advance of USB2. They tend to be MB with all bells and whistles, i.e. expensive ones, and I settled for a MB without one. I was using it for a video camera I doesn't use anymore.

Off to trawl the web for an easy cole slaw recipe.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 28, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Great posts, Bertooch.

Easy cole slaw recipe: Get in car, Drive to supermarket. Buy cole slaw. Drive home. YMMV.

For some reason the Achenfilter is holding a post for no known reason. It's just got some gardening stuff and the daily history thing.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 28, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Snuke -- what about if I move all my files to my external hard drive? Then I can switch them back in once I plug in the Mac.

There remains the issue of my Outlook files, but I suppose I can archive them all into a file which I can also put on my external hard drive. A Mac person told me about a third party software provider ( which for $10 will let you download software to convert the Outlook files.

I'd still like a way to transfer my bookmarks (I have many from both IE and Firefox). Any suggestions?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 28, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Anthony Quinn was mentioned. I read his autobiography once and it was great. Not your usual celebrity fare.

My sister told me recently that Thoreau's mother did his laundry the entire time he was out in the woods living "self sufficiently." I don't know the particulars.

I have my bookmarks saved in a folder ready for transfer, and backed up. Don't know how such a file would take to Apple. I bet the answer is: Google it!

Slyness, your tomatoes are a bit ahead of mine. I'm jealous. But soon all my green maters will turn red. I ought to dig some new potatoes. My squash will likely not prosper, and my cukes didn't make it. However, I gave some cuke plants to neighbors and last I checked they might get some... My cilantro, lettuce, and poblanos look like they are "go."

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 28, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Too late Mudge. The cabbage, onion, carrots and celery stalks are shredded and I hold a 2-cup pyrex measuring cup with about 1.5 cup of white stuff in it. There's even dark particles floating in the white stuff. And I didn't follow one recipe either, I mashed two and substituted half&half with crème fraîche. We'll see.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 28, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

It's probably prudent for folks who care about such things to read about the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. I'm not predicting anything, but still:

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 28, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. kb, thanks for your thoughts on Wright's books and God. I subscribe to your view, the Higher Consciousness, without being able to express it as well as you do! I suppose for me it's the Hippie faith, or the Gospel according to Leon:
Never treat a brother like a passing stranger -
Always try to keep the love light burning -
Sing a song of love and open up your heart
For he might be the prince of peace returning.
Yes, he might be the prince of peace returning.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 28, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Bauer was a cheerleader in college and has some traffic violations on his record. Sure sounds like presidential material to me.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 28, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Computers-don't speak of computers.

Busy updating 4 assorted laptops today in preparation for Robotics Day Camp running Monday-Wednesday. I've come to regard each computer as having a personality-the little one I'm using right now is my best friend. The one I don't see very often, but after a couple of hours of catching up (updating) it's like we never parted.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 28, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I use igoogle as my homepage, with the google toolbar. When you sign in any bookmarks you have can be saved either on the toolbar or on your igoogle page and you can use them on any computer once you log in. I believe there might be a import bookmarks tool.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 28, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Nice, seasea!

"... got some words to say about the way we live today
Why can't we learn to love each other
It's time to learn a new faith
To the whole world wide human race
Stop the money chase
and Lay back
Get back on the human track
Stop racing toward oblivion
Oh, such a sad, sad state we're in and that's a thing
Do you recognize the bells of truth when you hear them ring?
Won't you stop and listen to the children sing Won’t you sing it children"

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 28, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

ftb, an external hard drive will certainly work! And both IE and Firefox should have favorite export wizards in their Tools.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 28, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention previously something a friend likes to say: "The Pope - when he's talking, he's probably not talking to *us." It's a big world; the aspects of international religions - those "facts on the ground" - are wide and varied all across it, and international religious leaders have to account for that.

OK, next item: Words or ideas I didn't notice in any of the quotes or the review are "spirituality" or the word "faith" as used in a personal sense, as opposed to a shorthand word for a religion.

Personally, I think of faith and spirituality as personal and as indivdual as, say, one's perceptions of the universe and the "reality" we build in our heads. This, I believe, would include individual spirituality and faith in God. The review - and the book, as I can perceieve it - seems to address human religious, moral and ethical evolution as assigned to God on group levels, but what of the individual mind, the individual heart?

Granted, addressing this last could be an all-but impossible task, possibly requiring 8 billion books.

And maybe some branching off into quantum mechanics, too ... but I digress.

Perhaps I'm parsing and picking at this, as someone who might consider the words written in Leviticus with the benefit of and context of thousands of years of historical knowledge and moral and ethical evolution, as opposed to a book of laws and rules intended for "the facts on the ground" of people thousands of years ago, translated who knows how many times by who knows how many people?

I like Wright's work - it's brave and informative and thought provoking. It's easy for me to sit here and write this ignorant stuff -- he did a lot of hard work to produce this book, and I appreciate it. And I do want to read it soon.


Posted by: -bc- | June 28, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

And we now have photographic proof of last Wednesday's foray to Nationals Park...


Posted by: Scottynuke | June 28, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"S" and I just looked at your photos, excellent. How do you blur all the faces in the background? It's very cool.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 28, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

SC, I'm late to the party, but I've found Paul Deen's recipes to be a great place to start for almost everything. Not that I do much exactly as she prescribes, she uses a lot of bacon grease and butter. And of course she and I are Southerners, so that explains a lot.

Kber, great thoughts about higher consciousness. I think we'll eventually find that the song is right - God is the simplest of all.

I was chosen by default to lead a Bible study and am feeling my way. We're in I Kings, smack in the middle of the division of David's kingdom into Israel and Judah. It's fascinating to see what was important to the Deuteronomist to include, and contemplate what he omitted. The utter rejection of the fertility cults of the indiginous peoples is incredibly radical. I'd like to know more about those cults and what they meant to those who followed them. I certainly understand their point - fertility was essential to survival in those days. Was it a rejection of the feminine and exhaltation of the masculine? I gotta find a book or two in the subject.

Mudge, you are, of course, completely correct about the moral progress of humankind. But surely that reflects upon us, and not on God? We are the fallen, imperfect, finite ones, not God. I have a copy of A History of God, and it defeated me. I gave up at medieval Jewish Cabbalism. Karen Armstrong is a great scholar, but God was not present in that book.

bc, please let us know what you think about Wright's book. Let me recommend James Fowler's Stages of Faith. He says in the preface that it takes three readings to understand his thesis, and that is right. I've read it once and need to study it. His focus is on the growth of the individual to mature faith, not belief. So much of what passes for religion these days is sham. Fowler gets into the heart of what it means to have faith.

Posted by: slyness | June 28, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, bc, I object fairly strongly to using "faith" as a synonym for religion, although I'm aware many people do. They are not the same. There are plenty of religions that do not use the concept of "faith" as a necessary or major part of their systems (Judaism, for example, minimizes it).

Thre is a kind of "proof" in my assertion, if you consider all the times that terms and phrases such as "religion and faith," "religious faith," etc. are commonly used. If the writers weren't trying to make some sort of distinction, such phrases would be redundant.

On a somewhat more obscure and problematic level, there is also a substantial body of thought that holds that "sprituality" per se isn't necessarily a requirement of a belief system.

The problem (IMHO) is that many Western writers and "religionists" sling the terms religion and faith around interchangably, and make assumptions they are the same thing somewhat carelessly, simply because they are thought to be synonymous in Christianity. If they are synonymous in Christianity, then they must be synonymous elsewhere, so the thinking goes. But it simply isn't true. Christians *want* it to be true, and may believe it is true...but that's not sufficient.

You ask "what of the individual mind, the individual heart?" I don't see what that has to do with anything Wright is talking about.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 28, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"But surely that reflects upon us, and not on God?" Yes-- and I think that's what Wright is saying and talking about.

I've always thought if it takes three readings to understand what a writer is saying, he's either done a lousy job of (a) explaining himself of (b) he doesn't know what he's saying in the first place, and is just babbling. In the scientific and engineering communities they place a lot of emphasis on the notion of a scientific principle being "elegant." (For what it's worth, I agree.) But if a scientific principle or theory, or the solution to an engineering or mathematical problem can be "elegant," why shouldn't we have the same expectation of a religious or philosophical idea? I often have to ask myself, if a particular religious idea is so freaking complicated that the average person can't grasp on the first reading, what is the point of it? What is its utility? I have the same objection to all things "mystical"; if only a mystic can divine something or understand something, what good is it?

I remember in college someone saying that only six people in the world understood Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake." And I though to myself, if that's true, Joyce did a pretty crumby job. What is the point of such a work? What's the point of any work of art if no one can understand it? Is it in fact still art?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 28, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Sneaks!! It's a tool called "smudge" and it comes in handy!

But in sad news, this has been a bad week for celebrities... Billy Mays is now pitching OxyClean at the Pearly Gates...


Posted by: Scottynuke | June 28, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Gone for days, finally backboodled and had my comment held because I wasn't signed in (although my userid was clearly visible at the top of the page). Let's see if I can reconstruct this.

The concept of elegance in mathematics and engineering has to do with defining or describing something in the simplest possible terms. It has nothing to do with how understandable it is to the layperson.

In systems, it's sometimes like fitting a few extra letters into existing words for a Scrabble mega-score. For me, it's elegant when I can design a new process which uses parts of already-existing ones.

Complex thoughts take time to understand. If the average person can't grasp them on the first reading, well, what's wrong with that?

I think it can be art even if there are only 6 people in the world who understand why.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 28, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Mays' obit is also on the home page...

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 28, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Let me add here that I read many, many things that I don't understand the first time around.

I learned when I was getting the BS in CompSci, no big deal. It happens to everyone.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 28, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, RIP cheery infocomerical guy. Billy Mays had personality.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 28, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I, too, have questions about use of the word "faith," which is why I pointed it out.

Again, I haven't read the book, but I find it difficult to talk about God without using the terms 'faith' and 'spirituality,' which I consider to be more personal than social. A shortcoming on my part, I'm sure.

What I think Wright's talking about here is the evolution of human morals, ethics, and society based on religion. Some might say that that those topics may or may not be distinct from a discussion of God, per se. For example, one can practice a religion and be part of an organized religious community without actually believing in God.

Again, I should probably read the book, eh?


Posted by: -bc- | June 28, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Y'all are busy bees today. Thanks karenbertocci for the description of, and your thoughts about, Wright and his writing. Thanks also to slyness, bc, Mudge, dbG - everyone in on the philosphical/theological/etc discussion. You are all providing food for thought and I hope my brain will start thinking again soon.

Scottynuke, are you suggesting that firsttimeblogger should become a slave driver?

Also thanks to Scottynuke for the excellent game photos. I kind of hope that's a telephoto lens; otherwise I'm surprised they didn't eject you from the game after chasing you off the field.

Shrieking Denizen, it depends whether you want sweet or sour slaw. You can use milk or half & half for a base for either. I come from a sour slaw family, so we use vinegar with a little sugar. Ivansdad's family eats sweet slaw so they use much more sugar and omit the vinegar (shudder). Really, all you need is a milk mixture or oil (or mayonnaise, for Ivansdad, Shudder) along with vinegar, a little sugar, and a pinch of salt.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 28, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

And now for something completely different. This poem was published in the most recent Harvard magazine. Two phrases in the original are italicized, and I set them apart in quotes. Sorry, Albert Goldbarth. Take it up with WaPo. I particularly like the phrase in the last line, which seems to me Boodleworthy, and plan to adopt it as my own.

"Days With the Family Realist"

"A doorknob on a chicken"
my grandmother said once, meaning

useless, stupid. Most of us,
most of the time, are that

exactly. Not that
we don't have our ambitions,

even our nickle-and-dime
nobilities. Still, some nights

when I can't sleep, I look
in the mirror, I study this man

who's planning his own small
parthenons and relativity theories,

bank heists, moon shots, deathless poems.
"Go milk a fish" she also said.

-- Albert Goldbarth

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 28, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, the U.S. men's soccer team HAD a 2-1 lead over Brazil in the Confed Cup final... *SIGH*

Yes, Ivansmom, the camera has excellent optical zoom; I always pick that over megapixels.


Posted by: Scottynuke | June 28, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you, Scottynuke. Pixies are enough trouble as it is. Megapixies are just way too hard to deal with. One of them gets a bright idea and next thing you know your car is balanced on the front bumper, with the alarm system blaring.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 28, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I dust my camera every time just to make sure, Ivansmom.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 28, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

bc, your comment about the book sounding as if it might have a western's seemed to me that we talk about an east/west division of the world, when the case can be made just as persuasively that the dividie is really a north/south thing. Think about it.

Also, FWIW, it seems to me that there's a distinct possibility that the word *faith* has multiple definitions, which makes it's use problematic

Posted by: LostInThought | June 28, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

how did that happen. I was just typing away when it seemed to submit itself.

Anyway, as I was saying...which makes it's use problematic when discussing different religions.

Gonna restart my computer, see if it stops acting up (I have faith that it will continue to act, but I could be wrong.)

Posted by: LostInThought | June 28, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Hereabouts public policy focuses on the rural/urban divide. That might be a fair description of "developed" v "third world", or even agricultural v industrial countries.

Proof that something is wrong with my brain: I'm going to go work outside for an hour or so. Hey, it is only ninety today, and I've got a project in the shade.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 28, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

dbG writes, "Complex thoughts take time to understand. If the average person can't grasp them on the first reading, well, what's wrong with that?"

Nothing is wrong with that. Some ideas are in fact complex. But why does religion and theology have to be complex? Who says complexity is a good idea? This tends to promiote the idea that if an idea is complex and diificult, then it *must* be right *or at least, is likely to be right. After all, if I can't undertand, someone a lot smarter than me must have thought it up. And if he's smarter than me, he's probably right, Yes? Well, actually, no.

Here's the problem with having a complex, hard-to-understand religion. If one believes that man invented god and religion (to use yello's general simplification above), and if that's Wright's thesis, then sure, make religion as difficuilt and complicated as you want, because it is mankind who is "building" it, and mankind can do it any old which way, because there is no "outside" absolute.

However, if you are a Christian and/or believe that "God" exists a priori, then you've got a complexity dilemma. If God exists a priori, what is the point of making His religion complex and difficult? Wouldn't it make more sense that it should understandable and accessible to the common man? What's the point of a religion only Harvard PhD's can figure out on the third reading? By definition, such a religion automatically excludes a lot of the population. To what end? What's the point?

One of the general tenets of Christianity in many cases is simply that God is unknown or unknowable in some sense, that we can't figure out his plan, yadda yadd. It is much better to have a Supreme Being who says he is inexplicable than to have one who says, Some of you really smart guys know what I'm talking about, but the rest of you stumblebums aren't bright enough to see where I'm coming from."

So it's kind of all or nothing: either religion is reasonably accessible, or else it is myterious and God's will is unknown and we don't know why he does what he does. But a God who who says you need at least 1400 on your college boards -- no way.

And anyway, nowhere in general religious writings is there a sentence that says, "What I (God) am telling you is difficult, but a few of you will get it and the rest won't." That kind of statement exists nowhere that I'm aware of. So God himself makes no claims about being difficult and hard to understand. The choice seems to be between knowable or unknowable, but nothing in between. And that's where "faith" comes in. Faith assumes unknowability, and says you have to believe when there is no evidence. Faith doesn't say "everybody but you really smart folks will have to just trust me."

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 28, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

LiT, that's a good point about the differences between the northern and southern hemispheres possibly being as important as the ones we're used to discussing between the east and west.

And I'mom, the rural/urban discussion is interesting too. Though rural/urban probably means different things in Ohio and South Africa, Brazil, or Indonesia.


Posted by: -bc- | June 28, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Hi all... Got home from the beach yesterday morning and have been running around ever since. We dropped Daughter off at camp today; we'll be childless at home for five weeks. This is very weird.

We took some great, rambling back roads today up through Central Virginia. What a beautiful ride on a gorgeous day. The constant rain has made the countryside so incredibly verdant.

The mimosa trees look downright tropical, covered with huge pink, bushy flowers. My deck looks wonderful as my impatiens are growing like crazy.

I'm staying away from the religion debate. When dbG mentioned complex thoughts, I realized I can't handle anything more difficult than deciding what to eat for dinner right now.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 28, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, I'm sure I agree with you on some level about the idea that theology should be accessible. But when you said, "Nowhere in general religious writings..." it reminded me of this passage, from the New Testament (Matthew 13:9-16) Jesus has just told a parable, and then he says:

9 He that hath ears, let him hear.

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

11 And he answered and said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And unto them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive:

15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them.

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.

Posted by: kbertocci | June 28, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Changing the subject, Neil Young played Hyde Park in London last night. His encore was "A Day in the Life" by The Beatles. He had a very nice unannounced guest star help him sing the Paul McCartney bits of the song.

Posted by: -pj- | June 28, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

some zen


Walking home, on the way I saw a dandelion ready to pop its seed.

I also saw a father and son holding hands walking my way (Son about 4-5 years old)

I pulled the dandelion, handed it to the father, who handed it to his son and the little boy said 'what do I do'. Father said blow on it.

The little (city) boy after two tries got them stem clear, boy obviously didn't know what to think, but the father had a smile from ear to ear.


simple and subtle acts of kindness

Posted by: omnigood | June 28, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, pj, that's really cool.

Groovy, even.

Crosby, Stills and Nash are coming to my neighborhood soon and they have a big billboard right down the street that I see every day. I just keep thinking, who are those three old guys and what happened to the Crosby, Stills and Nash that lives in my memory...

Cynically and sarcastically I said to my husband tonight, "That's the great thing about celebrities: new ones keep coming along to replace the old, used-up ones." So I can ignore my own aging process, and just switch allegiance to younger performers. But I guess I will stay loyal to Paul McCartney, anyway. And I do love Neil Young's voice.

Posted by: kbertocci | June 28, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Love that story Omni - good for you.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 28, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, omni. You often tell us about performing random acts of kindness. They always lighten my heart and remind me to do the same, when I can.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 28, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

On religion - I have nothing.

However, we did attend a reunion for a workplace my husband worked for when he was just starting his career. It was a large IT division - at one of those companies that is a great training ground for young people. Most of our close friends are from his time spent there, back then we attended many functions together - we have all drifted our own ways, most moved to other companies (some like us muliple companies).

It was great to get together twenty years on and catch up on peoples lives, their children etc. A much tamer event that those gatherings were when we were young and carefree but fun in any event, and we made it to Toronto and back without one traffic event - can't recall when that last happened, we were expecting traffic to be a nightmare between summer construction, cottage traffic, tourists and the Gay Pride events ongoing in the city but all was smooth.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 28, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Ha! You read my mind, kbert. I meant to include "not bad for a couple of old geezers" in my description.

Posted by: -pj- | June 28, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, on the needing a couple of reads to fully understand complex writings, I'd argue that the very best writings require multiple reads; why people read and re-read everything from Jane Austin to Ender's Game to religious texts. They're not trying to memorize it, they're trying to get to the root of the authors' thoughts, ideas, messages. I think people do this too by watching things like sporting events or movies over and over.

I also think a lot of religious texts should be viewed from a governmental standpoint as well as a religious one...hence the desire to untangle. Add to this the idea that something you read at 15 hits you very differently when you read it at 50. Shakespeare. Thucydides. As I was going up the stair I saw a man who wasn't there....

Posted by: LostInThought | June 28, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

oops. Jane Austen. And anything else I spelled incorrectly.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 28, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if I can make a rock idea so big I can't lift understand it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 28, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Hello from Zaytinya. This Boodle thing is not easy on the iPhone

Posted by: abeac1 | June 28, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I know what you mean, LiT.

I can't tell you how much I've gotten out of "Lather, rinse, repeat," over the years.

Aside from the occasional 6-hour shower and the insane water and sewage bills, that is.


Posted by: -bc- | June 28, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

KB, apparently Jesus also thought religion should be accessible -- because he told a parable those people could understand on their own level, yes?. He quite specifically did NOT say, "This is a really complex idea, and some of you won't get it." Because it clearly wasn't all that complex if it could be told as a parable, and the less fortunate people could then understand it. If anything, the moral of that piece of Matthew is that the manner in which one discusses ideas is variable, and that some ways are better than others. Today we'd say there are aural learners, and verbal learners, etc. But nowhere in that piece is it suggested the concept under discussion was just too darn complex for simple people.

LiT, you're not getting it either. I am not suggesting complex ideas don't need multiple reads, because they do. I am suggesting that the topic needn't be complex in the first place. And I'm saying that religion shouldn't be complex.

You think people watch sporting events over and over again so they can better understand their complexity, which they didn't understand on the first viewing? OK.

It's perfectly OK for Ender's Game or Moby-Dick or The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind to be complex and require multiple readings. It is NOT okay for Genesis to be complex; it isn't. There is a difference between a text having many interpretations, applications and meanings; but that isn't complexity. The Golden Rule isn't complex; it is dead simple (which is fine). Song of Songs isn't complicated. That people disagree on what it means is something else entirely. (And some of those interpretations are just plain crazy.)

The injunction in Leviticus to refrain from mixing two kinds of cloth, such as wool and linen, isn't complicated at all; it is a dead simple rule, and anyone can understand the rule AND how to apply it. But just because no one has yet figured out "why" the rule exists doesn't mean it is complicated and needs to be read over four or five times. It is perfectly accessible on the first read. It simply makes no sense, and hasn't for 1,500 to 2,000 years. But it isn't complex or complicated, and no amount of deep thinking by really brilliant people has made a dent in it. The only substantial question that arises from it is whether or not one choses to obey it or not. Ditto for a good many of the 600-odd rules and regulations.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 28, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

When my son learned that Billy Mays had died, his first reaction was, "Does this mean we should expect two more"?

Sad. I once read a profile of the guy and he seemed much classier than one might expect. He admitted he talked too loudly and that even he got sick of hearing himself on television.

Another reminder that life is a gift.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 28, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Also, hope everyone checks out this piece by Caitlin Gibson, friend of the boodle. It's a good 'un.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 28, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I think all religion starts with this: You are not the universe; it is not your servant either.

Then there's a phase of magical thinking in trying to control the universe. Then the obvious--appealing to the guy who MUST control the universe.

And then eventually, going back to acceptance of the first two premises-- much as it galls us; after all, we can only know what we are and experience; why shouldn't we be all the universe that matters to us?

I probably skipped a lot of stages in this kind of reasoning. I'm tired, but ultimately-- I think no matter what you believe, you gotta deal with the fact that the universe will be around long before and after you go, and so you gotta make it matter somehow that you lived, or make your peace with the fact that you ain't nothing special-- which begs the question why humans with such massive egos exist in the first place...

Boy, I'm in a chirpy mood tonight. Let's say I believe somebody's running the universe, but that our egos are probably better off not assuming or knowing his plans too carefully.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 28, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Hm. I'm not seeing the usual element of fun in this discussion. Which surely calls for a Sinfest series (5 strips):

Ivansmom, thanks so much for the Goldbarth poem; it'll keep me laughing for a long time. Sounded exactly like my grandma. Both my nani and dadi, actually. There must be a teacup o' truth all grandmothers sip from.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 28, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

That's funny Mudge. I'd say you're the one not getting it. I guess that's why we're on different sides of the discussion. The messages within given religions are accessible, yet complex. Keeping with the Leviticus thought, pretty much like any other set of laws, some of the stuff doesn't make sense (against the law to eat peanuts in a church in MD, right?), sometimes it appears to contradict itself, and sometimes it seems on its face to be bass-ackwards. Where some see Leviticus as sort of a mix of FDA (clean/unclean animals), Treasury (offerings), CDC (blood, leprosy), maybe the cotton/wool thing had to do with Commerce. Since I don't think I was the intended audience, I gotta struggle to find the meaning.

The kicker on whether religions should be easily understood...if as some argue football is a religion, shouldn't the rules be more like baseball?

A glass of wine is calling me. Pretty loud. Have a happy evening all.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 28, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

And Mudge, the injunction against mixing two kinds of cloth is proven by a sweater my grandma knitted once.

It had mostly nylon yarn, but she accidentally used green wool for the green squares. The wool shrunk and distorted the sweater's shape.

Had that been a purchased sweater, I'd be within my rights to be irate. (as it was, I wore it anyway. It was a nice sweater except for that mistake...)

Sometimes those things aren't that deep.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 28, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Any dardi (daddi) on your dadi, DNAgirl?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 28, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

And I agree. We need a fluffy bunny topic soon-- and a new kit.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 28, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Come again W_G? I'm missing something. Too tired.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 28, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

what's a scratch golfer?

Posted by: omnigood | June 28, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

what's a scratch golfer?

Posted by: omnigood | June 28, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Everybody in our Seatac airport taxi service is now angry at that DJ for saying such thing. By the way, who's Donny?

Posted by: mapua_76 | June 28, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

god is both immanent and transcendent. if god is of a higher order and infinite, then s/he is not ever knowable by finite beings. yet if this god, for whatever reason, wants to be known on some level accessible to the finite beings, some aspects of the divine character are revealed and become universally accessible and knowable.

it's really both/and, not either/or, imo.

on difficult texts, all i can say is graduate students in most disciplines must read challenging texts and are often not prepared for the fact that they must read some texts multiple times. abstract, theoretical, philosophical, and complex concepts require study and multiple readings. this is just the way it is, and perhaps it is also a function of the fact that complex ideas are difficult to reduce to the linear medium of verbal expression.

Posted by: LALurker | June 28, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

LALurker, I'm toasting you with my wine. That was a great post.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 28, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, pj!

Posted by: seasea1 | June 28, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Love your Sinfest, DNAGirl. Everything I know about Leviticus I learned from a blogger who wrote a series of posts called "I Read Leviticus So You Don't Have To." (It's in blog order so you have to start at the bottom.)

There is ton of weird stuff in there. Insects that walk on four legs are unclean. The whole bit about not sitting on chairs that have been sat on by menstruating women.

J_hw_h sure had some persnickety rules.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 28, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Scratch golfers are ones that have a zero handicap. They are expected to be able to beat par on any given course.

A scratch baseball player is one who can't keep his fingers off his crotch while in the field.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 28, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Great article by Caitlin. Another fine article by a friend of the boodle.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 28, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

RD-thanks for the link to Caitlin's piece. Just the thing before turning off the computer for the night.

Toodles boodle and goodnight. Nice break from all the MJ coverage today. Very interesting how deep discussion about the quintessential controversial topic turned the boodle back to a civil place, while a pop idol's passing created a firestorm. The world is a funny place.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 28, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse


your comment made me spit toothpaste all over my laptop. It will be a while before I can watch baseball without laughing...

And thanks for the link. So far, this has been my favorite bit.

"I remind you once again of the underlying premise of this whole series -- I want all of you who choose to quote the Book of Leviticus when putting your various hatreds on display to begin following ALL of the rules of Leviticus, instead of picking and choosing the ones you like and ignoring the rest."

Posted by: abeac1 | June 28, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Someone explain this one to me:

First Ed, then Farrah, then Michael. Now, add Billy. It feels so right, like when they added Bobby to Abraham, Martin and John.
-Gene Weingarten

Posted by: yellojkt | June 28, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I read that XX files article and agree it was great.

I told a friend at brunch that i had met her once. She was impressed.

my second brush with fame ( Joel of course being the first ( both at the IBPH))


In other news, any one planning a cookout this summer wanting a Mariachi band: this one is awesome::¤t=DH_DSCF0526-1-5-1.jpg

The women in the middle isn't part of the band, but the owner of Haydee's. This band plays there every Friday. First time I ever saw a Mariachi live. Wow. TV and Movies do no justice to these bands.

Posted by: omnigood | June 29, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

I read that XX files article and agree it was great.

I told a friend at brunch that i had met her once. She was impressed.

my second brush with fame ( Joel of course being the first ( both at the IBPH))


In other news, any one planning a cookout this summer wanting a Mariachi band: this one is awesome::¤t=DH_DSCF0526-1-5-1.jpg

The women in the middle isn't part of the band, but the owner of Haydee's. This band plays there every Friday. First time I ever saw a Mariachi live. Wow. TV and Movies do no justice to these bands.

Posted by: omnigood | June 29, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

sorry about the double postings

Posted by: omnigood | June 29, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

sorry about the double postings

Posted by: omnigood | June 29, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

another quest...: Dirty Sue Martini?

Posted by: omnigood | June 29, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

My wife learned earlier this evening that her best friend from college and her maid of honor died of multiple sclerosis on Saturday. She was diagnosed with it about nine years ago, shortly after she got married. The two of them had not been in touch much lately and this came as a big shock to her. I helped her scan some pictures from college for her Facebook tribute. Somehow it seems hardly enough, but it is good to do something, anything.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Let me google that for you omni:

It's a brand of olive juice to be used as martini mix. It looks very NOT extra virgin and is probably not recommended for use on leather gladiator skirts.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 2:35 AM | Report abuse

sorry for you and wife's loss Yello

give her a collective hug from the Boodle

Posted by: omnigood | June 29, 2009 4:22 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Another Dawn Patrol Monday, and Monday is always Creamed Dried Beef Day in the cafeteria at work, so I've some for the Ready room as well, along with biscuits or toast, etc.

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

June 29, 1955: the Air Force puts its first Boeing B-52 bombers into service with the 93rd Bomber Wing at Castle Air Force Base, Calif. They (B-52s) are in service still, 54 years later.
1961: The Navy launches the Transit IV satellite into orbit, the first satellite known to be nuclear-powered, through its use of a radioisotope battery.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 29, 2009 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. I was mostly off-Boodle all last week, and it looks as though work will make sure that continues this.

Much movement all around me; Himself and #1 moved into their new house last Wednesday; I decided not to buy a new car after all, but am looking at purchasing a condo in my neighbourhood. So my feeling of being flush after the sale of the conjugal home on Friday last will be fleeting, at best.

Interesting discussion on religion/complexity and one I was wise to stay out of.

Hope everybody has a great week.

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Morning all.

Thanks for doing breakfast, Mudge. I'm afraid I didn't have any ideas for it this morning. I'll replenish the country ham supply when we go to the mountains for the weekend.

Yello, I'm sorry to hear about your wife's friend.

Yoki, good luck with a condo! I know you will love having your very own place.

Great discussion on religion overnight.

Onward! I think I'll make a swan dive into the week.

Posted by: slyness | June 29, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Joel has a science digest item (second one down) that explains how the space shuttle caused the Tunguska event.

Or something like that.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea who Amanda Palmer is but she is hugging buddies with Neil Gaiman and plays cards with Harlan Ellison.

And she has a kick-@ss cover of 'Billie Jean' on the YouTubes:

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Yello, I am very sorry to hear about your wife's friend. Please pass on my condolences.

Both my husband and I know too many people that suffer from MS, old school friends, co-workers and new friends. Canada has a very high rate of MS.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 29, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Oh, religion isn't that tough...

The world is a beautiful place.
You must go into it and love everyone.
Try to make everyone happy, and bring peace and contentment everywhere you go.

And so I became a Boodler.

*yes-I-was-watching-the-Encore-channel-last-night-sosumi Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 29, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone!

Yello - condolences on your loss, and thanks for that link to Joel's article.

The noctilucent phenomenon is not limited to clouds. Aircraft operating at very high altitudes (key word being *very*) can also appear to glow in the nighttime sky in a way some have described as "unearthly."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 29, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Yello, I'm sorry about your wife's friend. MS is a nasty disease, one of my cousins has suffered with it since she was 19.

Cloudy and raining again here, is it possible that we will have a year without a summer, we've already had a year without June.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 29, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

badsmeaks, we had the year without summer last year, broke just about every rainfall record for this area for the year.

Wishing you sunny skies soon.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 29, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

SCC Badsneaks, so sorry didn't have my glasses on.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 29, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Monday morning bad mood, written from the depths of exhaustion. Have just returned home from Las Palmas Pet Resort after learning that pooch palace padded the bill (grrr!) and didn't feed our hound his treats per the feeding instructions I left them. Ashley, the teen whom we "hired" to water plants, kept everything alive in the back yard, but there are (too many) dead plants in the front yard. I promised her a $10 bonus if everything looked good, and it doesn't. It's apparent she did only what she was told but gave the care of our yard no extra initiative in what was apparently a sweltering heat wave here last week.

On the plus side, I can close my eyes and see the snow-capped peaks of the Wind River, Big Horn, Absaroka and Uinta ranges, along with mental pictures of the Platte, Big Horn and Wind rivers flowing just out of their banks.

Last year's heavy winter broke Wyoming's 10-year drought, to the delight of both locals and tourists. Unfortunately, though, I left Wyoming madder than hell.

Posted by: laloomis | June 29, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Okay. I'll bite. (Cheezbuger, cheezbuger)Pepsi, no coke?

Posted by: LostInThought | June 29, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The USGS seems to have been consolidating place name spelling as "Bighorn". Range, river, basin. But Big Horn County and Big Horn Reservoir.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 29, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

So sorry to hear your wife's friend, yellojkt. Multiple sclerosis is a long and disabling illness, some live 20 years or more with it, but its course is unpredictable.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 29, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Morning all,
My brother came in to visit for the weekend and on the way to pick him up from the train station I picked up the requisite bottle of scotch. You see, Mrs SW and I have an understanding: I can drink as much as I want and stay up as late as I want, but my domestic responsibilities the next day will not change to accommodate my condition, nor will my wake up call be any later than normal (it's generally a low, bellowing woof). Now it is Monday and I'm once again trying to figure out why it is that I only drink with my brother and when we're together we always drink. I should add that we proved our hypothesis: consumption of alcohol does not improve one's ability to play Wii.

Posted by: Southwester | June 29, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Not able to stay for jackalope-hunting season?

Posted by: LostInThought | June 29, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I'm sorry to hear of your wife's friend. Please pass along my condolences.

RD, I was wondering about the same thing, though IIRC aircraft operating at high altitudes have less water in the jet exhaust than the shuttle's rocket engines, they can leave classic vapor trails from the wingtip vortices --an aerodynamic effect where compressed air from the wing swirls off of end of the wing and crushes water from the air, essentially making artificial clouds. These can make for some eerily beautiful effects when they reflect sunlight high in the sky after the sun has set locally.

Um. No coke, pepsi!


Posted by: -bc- | June 29, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

About now, antelopes (properly "pronghorns" and not closely related to jackalopes) are curious and will slip up behind you, or run along beside you. Come fall, they magically disappear.

Very sorry to hear of your wife's friend's death. I have a very modest neurological problem, and do not want to imagine living with serious neurological disease.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 29, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Thought the state slogan "like no place on earth" meant you'd get a good idea of what it's like on Mars?

Posted by: LostInThought | June 29, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to everybody for all their kind thoughts. I'm 'only' 45 so dealing with mortality of the non-accidental type is new to me. There have been too many deaths both of the celebrity variety and the personal friend type in my general age bracket lately to assimilate. I don't know if it gets easier as I get older, but it's a tough adjustment in expectations and perceptions to make.

My wife spent most of last night on the phone or over the internets talking to old friends. Her friend was a twin (complete with cute rhyming names) and the two of them were inseparable when we knew them but they have been living separate lives for a decade or so now. My wife spent some time talking to the sister and that is another odd paradigm shift to adjust to.

Again, thanks for all your sympathy and I don't meant to be a downer or boodle killer so carry on with the general frivolity.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Oh, we're ready for a new kit, I think.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 29, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Time to make like antelopes and migrate to the bright green vegetation of the new kit.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 29, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Will do, yello. FYI. Krakatoa is still erupting.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I read this blog early this morning w/o realizing you were quoting a vile comment that you wanted refute, and here I was hating you all day, really ready to rip yu a new one in a comment. Anyway, thank you for defending Michael. Michael brought us so much happiness, and he was always in so much pain, it's important that we honor him in death. He loved his children. Let's do right by them and respect him in death so that if they should ever read what was written about their father, they know only of the joy he spread throughout the world. Also, question: Why are all the comments on here unrelated to the post? I am new to this blog/comment thing I guess.....

Posted by: lacounter | June 30, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

response to the pedophile's death I downloaded all of his work via piratebay, I set to listening and got to his "newer" releases like Off the Wall etc. He absolutely sucks, it's just disco with weird little vocal spasms and jerks. I deleted Off the Wall, Bad, Thriller, and whatever else he created. It's fluff for air heads and the limp wristed. Most overrated artist ever.

Posted by: AIPACiswar

What a despicable vile loser's comment this is....- I feel sorry that you never got to experience the joy Michael's music and talent and genuis brought to millions the world over.

Posted by: lacounter | June 30, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

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