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The Skater Dude

Now, finally, I know how I'll be remembered. I know how my name will pop up on Google 17.0 (debuting 2150 A.D.).

See, we had this reunion in Hogtown. It was my high school's 75th anniversary, and we had a little variety show and a gala and, most importantly, late night gabfests by the hotel pool. As with all reunions there's ritualistic sharing of biographical and reproductive details, but at some level people don't even need to talk -- just showing your face is enough. You had me at hello, etc.

We've reached the point where the past is surpassing the future as the dominant increment of our lives. We adjust by tending to our memories as if they were hothouse flowers. We all have our war stories. Jeepers, we survived Hogtown in the 1970s. (Disco was our 'Nam.)

We're about one reunion away from the full efflorescence of replacement-joint conversations. You know you're a good friend when you remember not only the names of your old friend's kids, but also which knee is new.

Because this was an all-school reunion, lots of accomplished alums showed up and received plaques for managing to make something of themselves. But everyone combined was only fractionally as famous as one alum in particular -- Rodney Mullen. As you surely know, Rodney is the greatest skateboarder ever. He's also a totally cool dude. "Authentic" is the word that instantly comes to mind. Like, after the reunion, he was going to go skating through the wee hours of the night. He was going to hit the schoolyards of Hogtown, looking for excellent pavement and picnic tables (for jumps). The point is, he really lives the life.

The guy does stuff on a board that defies physics. He can levitate! He can make the board flip up in the air and remove a speck of food from between his teeth -- stuff like that.

And here's the key data point: He's the younger brother of my classmate Sara, on whom I had a monster crush circa 1974, necessitating marathon phone sessions (at that point I was not sufficiently mature to be in the same room with the love object, but I could talk a blue streak).

So this is how I'll be remembered -- as a minor footnote in the Wikipedia entry for Rodney Mullen.

And that's cool with me.

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 29, 2009; 7:51 AM ET
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Clearly, if you are one degree of separation from Rodney Mullen, you are a priori cool yourself. We knew that, of course.

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm still queasy about hard surfaces. Happier dealing with soft stuff, though there was the problem of possibly suffocating in powder snow. Snow in places like Cody was entirely different from the air-drop ice cream of the east. You needed a push broom or grain scoop to move it out of the way.

As for liquid water, a neat story on "learning to forecast the waves" in New Scientist generated a bit of discussion of wave physics, and how breaking waves can focus a whole lot of energy on a small area. Crunch!

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 29, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Disco, man. In the end it all comes back to Disco. You know? You can never leave it behind. No matter what you do in life it is always there lurking somewhere in your brain, ya know?, like some kinda, muscle memory. Ready to jump out at any moment. Because we were kids. Just innocent kinds who didn’t know better.

We turned on our AM radios the way we learned to from our parents. The way society taught us to do. And when the sounds came out, we danced, man. We danced ‘cause that’s what we thought we were supposed to do.

We didn’t understand the repercussions, understand? We just, you know, wanted to “get down” and stuff ‘cause we didn’t know any different. And then the beat claimed us. One by one. And next thing you know we were doing The Hustle, The Touch, The Bump, and other things just too horrible to recall. We Rang that Bell. We went to Funky Town. Yes, some of us, as twisted as it sounds, some of us, well we Played That Funky Music White Boys.

It’s true.

And the sick thing is, well, on some level, we liked it. Yeah, I said it. We grooved on the sounds. We did. God help us we did. We were just kids. We didn’t know! We just didn’t know! It wasn’t until later, much later that the truth came out. Then began the shame. The self loathing. The denial. We tried to burn the pictures and destroy the vinyl. But the truth could not be suppressed. So we turned it inwards. Tried to gain strength from the experience. But there is a cost. A cost, I tell you.

For sometimes, in the middle of the night, we still awake with the sounds of Sly and Donna ringing in our ears. And we get confused. Disoriented. We look around for the shiny lights and feel the clammy touch of polyester. But then slowly, fitfully, it all fades back into the forbidden recesses of our primal id. We feel our breathing slow. Our bodies relax.

And we know that we are once again safe.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 29, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I don't see how this possibly eclipses being the roommate of David Duchovney.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse


If I had to list some of the accomplishments of folks from my high school, I'd have to suggest that many of them have been paroled by now or are at least on work release programs.

Did some skating myself back in the day, and still annoy my youngest by hopping on her board and taking it for a quick spin and some 180s (I'm too ol-, er, *out of practice* to nail 360s anymore).

But I still wear Vans and Chucks.

I know some people still livin' the life - surfin', workin', skatin', bikin', boardin' - and they're a lot of fun to hang out with, even after reconstructive surgery. And they're maturing, too. Sometimes they even pick up the check.

And Joel, please - you're a *bigtime* minor footnote to a *lot* of Wiki entries.


Posted by: -bc- | June 29, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I was kinda hoping for a few more "reproductive details." There's still a few things I haven't figured out.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Astute observations suggests that I am, in fact, the most famous alumnus of my high school. This fills me with horror.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 29, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

No no no no no -- I lived NEXT DOOR to Duchovny.

But the Mullen thing gives me huge street cred with the skater dudes on the corner.

Posted by: joelache | June 29, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

When I was a pre-teen I owned a skateboard. Alas, it was one of those primitive versions with clay wheels. You know, the kind that jarred your spine when you went over the cracks in the sidewalk. I keep telling myself that if I had just owned one of those new-fangled ones what with the Polyurethane wheels and all, I too would have been a master thresher. Or whatever.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 29, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Too bad the "sucker at the card table" rule doesn't apply in reverse: look around at the reunion and if you don't see anyone great, then you are it. Because it doesn't work that way.

My entire town had one single famous person. He went through his TV career never mentioning that town, and the locals finally grew to hate him for this omission and perceived slight. Fame: be careful what you ask for.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 29, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Well, don't leave us in suspense, Jumper! Who is he?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, Joel I think it is great that you made the effort to attend this reunion. Because of geography and domestic constraints I have never gone to any of mine. But those are really just excuses.

Truth is I am uncomfortable with the notion. It isn't as though I disliked my high school years, they were a lot of fun. I dunno, I guess I sometimes fear the experience will be either depressing because of how much everyone has changed, or depressing because of how little everyone has changed.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 29, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I pride myself on my lack of disco history; I never owned any dedicated shiny and/or sequined sythetic clothing, and the only 'disco' I ever stepped foot in, once, was in Lethbridge, Alberta; it was really just the beer parlour of the local 'hotel' (which was really just a euphamism for 'beer parlour')that hung up a mirrored ball on Saturday nights and changed out the jukebox. It was not a happening scene. While it may have been a *hoot* to see the real cowboys attempting The Bump; they were tops at line dancing.

I was fully complicit in the subsequent punk movement, so I am not spotless by means. Glass houses, and all that.

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Madoff got 150 years. (With good behavior, he'll be out in 90.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

In ninth grade I was a disco machine with tight polyester pants, matching vest and a choice of two patterned silk shirts. However, no photographic evidence of this part of my life exists. I've made sure of that.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

My ninth grade biology teacher had been the high school drama teacher for Mark Hamill. Does that count for anything? I didn't think so.

I did go to a wedding where one of the ushers was John Goodman because the groom was a close high school friend of his.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I had a swirly vertigo moment with the sound of the BeeGees reverberating through my head as I read RD's hilarious 11:08. The horror! I was definitely engaged in disco for a long blonde locks were cut in the "wing" style, lots of garish polyester and I even took a disco dancing class! WHAT was I thinking? The whole phase only lasted about 6 months, though, really!

The worst of it is my brothers have pictures of me actually disco dancing and they love nothing more than bringing them out at gatherings. Ghastly.

Posted by: Kim1 | June 29, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Not even in a yearbook, yello?

Regarding Madoff, somehow a jail sentence, no matter how lengthy seems inadequate punishment for the financial devastation he brought upon so many.

On skateboarding, knowing my level of physical coordination, I wisely never attempted it. Ditto for disco--listener only.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 29, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

No, I never dressed nor danced (o the horror!) Disco either, but...I wonder how many of us would confess we sorta liked the music? I hereby freely admit I liked some of it. I liked (still do) the BeeGees. I like Donna Summer. I even like "I Like the Nightlife" by one-hit wonder Alicia Bridges. (C'mon, admit it, guilty pleasure, you liked that cat-like yowl she had). Love Patti LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade." I like the theme from "Shaft" (which is listed under "Disco" for some reason). Also Barry White, thanks to his revival on Ally McBeal.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Your Mullen's Wikipedia pages have been updated for the sake of posterity.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

It was a choice between Wyoming and my high school's 40th reunion later this year (as I told Dooley). I chose Wyoming and I hope that I made the better bargain--although upon our return I'm not so sure.

Janet Harris Bowles, our school's pep rally commissioner, took on the task of coordinating the 10th, 20th, and 30th reunions, despite having increasingly debilitating MS and lupus. She passed recently while visiting her daughter in Houston.

The junior class president who took over the responsibility for the 40th is a real whiner. Everything associated with this upcoming one has been last-minute, poorly organized and poorly communicated. The site for the get-together? A refurbished Marriott in central Bakersfield (boring), with blue and white decorations (boring), and a DJ (boring--I had pleaded for no music so people could have an opportunity to converse. I had also imagined a nice outdoor location for late October, with soft hanging lanterns, and space so class members could easily mingle). There's an outdoor pool, though. It's $65 a plate and an extra $10 after mid-July.

Thrown in is a Friday night homecoming football game in the about 100-year-old, decrepit, terribly uncomfortable concrete stadium (boring--especially without any personal connection, and at the high school level, and noisy). What were the reunion committee thinking?

I'm not sure who is the most famous graduate of our class (nor do I particularly care). Except for my closest friends who studied hard as I did and who went to college and had careers, I'm afraid the chatter among most females will be Kinder, Kuche and Kirche. I'm afraid I've moved beyond, way beyond.

I'd be eager to see only my close childhood friend, who didn't attend my high school. The foreign exchange student was reported to be flying in from Australia, and Russ Holland with the State Department in Germany was said to be flying home for the event--but those reports were several months ago. I have no particular desire to look back.

After two days of hard driving to Cheyenne and two and a half days of hard driving home, I can say, without qualification, that the prospect of a road trip to and from Bakersfield across miles and miles of desert (despite Native art possibilities) holds even less appeal than before. I feel that the event doesn't justify the cos--especially to sit in a sterile Marriott.

Posted by: laloomis | June 29, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Most famous alum of my high school: John McCain. He gave a speech there my freshman year. I don't recall what the occasion was and I certainly don't remember the speech, but he took questions at the end. A Right-minded senior tossed him a softball. A few faculty members asked him things they probably planned to use later in class. Then a sophomore raised his hand. He happened to be the son of Democratic congressman. He was nervous and completely unprepared, but McCain had recently been publicly attacking a bill that included a so-called earmark in the boy's father's district. The boy asked McCain why he opposed the bill and gave the few arguments he knew for why it was not actually pork. McCain destroyed him. He made that poor kid look like a fool. He derided the argument and got everyone laughing at the boy. It was despicable. There were TV cameras there, no media. Just the faculty and students. This professional politician decided that it wasn't enough to soberly cite his reasons for his opposition. He had to make the only student with the guts to ask a tough question look like a fool. Even if my own political leanings weren't left of left of center, I will never respect John McCain as person.

Posted by: Southwester | June 29, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Haven't seen anyone mention the Supremes overturned the New Haven decision...

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 29, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes, DotC, plenty of beautiful antelope to be seen in Wyoming--2/3 of the national total reside there, per an informative roadside marker in the sagebrush grasslands. An immature moose in the meadow the first morning at breakfast, and deer and perhaps the same moose in the meadow at night. Sad to say, but moose novelty long gone, after multiple sightings of meese when I visited Alaska some moons ago. Thanks, Dave, for the heads-up on the USGS spelling of some instances of Bighorn.

Posted by: laloomis | June 29, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

We have a few state senators from our school. A couple of very successful lawyers. I now of one reasonably significant person at State, but nobody to make you point and go "wow" though.

Of course, we all know that Joel is being modestly disingenuous. Come on. A published author. A journalist for a pretty gosh-darn famous newspaper. Friends with several Pulitzer Prize winners who, I know for a fact, respect him all to heck. And let's not forget the whole minions bit. Besides, we are all expecting great things from those offspring. And, despite pushing the half-century mark, I think Mr. Achenbach still has a few pretty decent years left.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 29, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Sam Harris went to my high school; I think he is only a year or so younger than I am. I didn't know him then, and I've only learned about him on the internet. The name doesn't seem famous to me, but I'm assured that he is very well-known. How about it, does the boodle think that Sam Harris is famous?

Update: his official website says he quit school at 15, so I guess that explains why I didn't know him in high school. He wasn't born in my home town, either. So maybe my friends and family are exaggerating the connection a little bit. It just makes me feel very disoriented that he's supposed to be this glamorous connection for our backwater town, but I feel like I've "never heard of him."

Since it's a common name, I should specify that his original claim to fame was as the first big winner on Star Search.

* * *

Marques Haynes would have graduated from my high school, except at the time of his graduation, the school system was SEGREGATED and he attended Booker T. Washington High School instead.

Posted by: kbertocci | June 29, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

But what did Diana Ross do, S'nuke?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 29, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@Scottynuke: I'm trying not to think about it. The Supremes are the only part of the federal gummit that the Right controls and they'll be damned if they're gonna let some some wise Latina come on board without undermining her first.

Posted by: Southwester | June 29, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Few word combinations are more snortworthy than the phrase "disco duck". Here's a challange, see if you can get through the entire song without putting your head in your hands, shaking it back and forth and cringing.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | June 29, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

kb, never heard of either of those guys - or this Rodney Mullen person. The only famous person from my hometown was Jimmy Stewart - and he didn't go to high school there (and was just a bit before my time). His family went to my church, though. I've gone to quite a few of my reunions, mainly because it's a way to get together with a couple of close friends. Mostly everyone seems about the same to me...

Posted by: seasea1 | June 29, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

No question: Joel's the only one from his school who has minions, as Padouk rightly points out.

While I'm on my Ally McBeal kick, did anyone know Robert Downey Jr. could sing? (Well, Vonda carries him. But nice version of the Seger/McBride song.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Psst Yello, re Joel's page: the monster crush was for Sara Mullen not Rodney Mullen :-)

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 29, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The Ricci case puts the members of the Court into a sufficiently difficult paradox that I would have to call this one of the few instances in which I don't think I could have predicted their votes at the outset. On the one hand, ruling in favor of the plaintiffs (the successful (white) test-takers) strikes a blow against affirmative action, which the Court conservatives hate. On the other hand, ruling in favor of the city supports the authority of the duly elected authorities, and that's what the Court conservatives live for. I guess they decided that their allegiance to the social status quo is greater than their allegiance to the legal status quo.

Now, I suppose it's time that I actually go and read the article and gain some facts.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 29, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

My smallish HS class includes a conductor of a US Midwest orchestra. He’s already in the famous alumni photo line-up. I figure my best chance will be to eat a bigger bicycle than the guy in Guinness.

True story: when I was flying back to the home town just after having served in the former Yugoslavia, after taxiing to the terminal the pilot came on and said that he was pleased to advise that there was a celebrity on board, and that the local cadet band was going to be greeting our arrival. I have to admit that I was a little moved. What, for me? It was then that the pilot said that the person was a former resident that was now a famous opera singer.

I know I have a great deal to be humble about, but do I have to be reminded so often?

Posted by: engelmann | June 29, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Of course, it's being heralded as a decision about affirmative action being used unfairly, but that's not the basis on which the appeals court decision was made -- they didn't address whether the city's decision to rescind the test was right or fair, they only addressed whether the city had a legal right to act as they did, regardless of their reasons. I gather that the city could have acted in an openly racist way and the decision would have been the same. Lawyers, please correct me on this, but my understanding is that the appeals court is not empowered to decide whether an action is fair, decent, or just, only to decide whether it is legal.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 29, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Reading the actual article on the Ricci case suggests that my 12:56 was ill-informed, and that the appeals court decision was made cognizant of the issues of disparate outcome.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 29, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

My high school was on a small military base in a small state. Apart from two Vietnam fatalities (who are accurately remembered at the monument), no idea what came of any of them.

The Wyoming basins in a wet year are utterly different from the dry versions. Annual plants pop up (yellow spiderflower, Cleome lutea, for example). Bluebunch wheatgrass actually flowers. Areas that looked barren suddenly look grassy or saltbushy. Thinking of which, little silvery mounds of Nuttall saltbush grow at regular intervals on fluffy black bentonite. If you wanted to do a sci-fi film involving plants on the moon, that's the perfect setup.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 29, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@SciTim: I am very concerned about chipping away at Affirmative Action. I fear Ricci being used to defend places doing things like trying to test minorities out of police departments. After what happened in Louisiana, I don't see how people can make the case that we don't still need civil rights protections.

Posted by: Southwester | June 29, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks. Fixed. Another object lessen in the reliability of Wikipedia as a reference source.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Um, yello, while you're at it...could you delete that ridiculous 9/11 thing on the wikipedia entry for me? That's some fringe-theory thing. That story was actually completely messed up.

Posted by: joelache | June 29, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe I could not worry about it, ever. Yeah, that's a better strategy.

Posted by: joelache | June 29, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm no legal expert, but I did tell one of my brothers that I expected the SC ruling on the New Haven case to reverse the lower court simply because it would make the Sotomayor confirmation process that much more complicated.

From what I can tell, the case looked like a no-win situation for the city, and neither the New Haven Mayor or Justice Roberts looks to me like James T. Kirk.


Posted by: -bc- | June 29, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

All this disco talk makes me remember the '70s, watching Patti Smith kicking the teeth of an acquaintance (not a friend) after he threw a cup at her onstage. Ah, the carefree days of yore! Shweet!

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 29, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

So Madoff got the whole nine yards... or the whole 150 years...

Posted by: -TBG- | June 29, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@TBG: 150 years is pretty good, but don't you kind of wish they sentenced him to be really poor? He would have to cut himself off from all his family and friends (otherwise he could mooch off them) and just get by on a meager social security check and food stamps.

Posted by: Southwester | June 29, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

He screwed so many people, my guess is someone at the federal pen will return the favor this very day.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 29, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse


We'll clean out that whole 9/11 subsection when you get your Pulitzer. We need some window dressing to pass muster with the notability police.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I think my favorite line in Joel's Wiki page is: "His writing has been featured in the 2007 Word-A-Day calendar."

Posted by: -TBG- | June 29, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@SWer... yeah... I like that idea. As it is, his poor wife is reduced to riding the subway and living on only 2.5 million bucks.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 29, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

At my 10 year reunion (about an hour south of Joel's) this past October, I was surprised to see how little most people had changed. I also think the folks who put it together did a fantastic job.

I'm not super familiar with who's who from our high school, but other than a few teachers who went on to local politics, I don't think anybody has achieved particular fame - no star athletes, musicians, politicians, scientists, reality TV contestants, or what have you. But my class was known as overachievers, so maybe at the 20th reunion, that will change.

Also, I considered saying this in a previous kit, but figured it would get lost in the noise: I'm saddened by Michael Jackson's death, mostly for what could have been and wasn't over the last 15 years or so. Two controversies that stand out from my childhood revolved around him. My family sat around the TV to watch the prime time premiere of the video for Black or White, and I remember my mom getting bent out of sorts with all the car smashing and grabbing that went on at the end of the video. And then they replayed it! The other was a big fight between my brother, who wanted to buy the lastest album, and my Jewish grandmother, who objected to the "Kick me, k*ke me" and "Jew me, screw me" lyrics. Anyway, he's been missed, and he'll continue to be missed.

Posted by: tomsing | June 29, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes, he'll be missed. Just not by me. Jew me screw me indeed.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

tomsing, I had the same reaction to that video at the time - comforting to know that I wasn't the only mom thinking that. I had forgotten which song it was for - and I don't remember my kid being interested in watching it at all, thank goodness.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 29, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I think Ricci v Destefano is one of those classic "hard cases" which often make for bad law. I had predicted that it would either be overturned, or sent back to the lower court for more examination of the promotion tests themselves. The initial Janet Bond Arterton decision (available here: )is fairly readable, and shows nicely why this was one of those cases with no available clearly good outcomes.

By the time it got to Sotomayor's 2nd Circuit Court panel, it was already destined to be appealed to the Supreme Court no matter how it was decided.

Posted by: bobsewell | June 29, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

At one time I was married to the most famous alumni of our high school, but over time Dr. K has dropped out of the top five, although they still display her picture in the hall near the trophy case (guess that makes her a trophy wife!). For a time she was overshadowed by some football kicker for the Miami Dolphins, but now even he has been put in the shade by Bernie Maddof's future roomie. Yes, I speak of none other than Sir Allen Stanford, financier, philanthropist, fraud, and several other things all of which start with the eff sound.

Posted by: kguy1 | June 29, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Not at all meaning to "one up" you guys (honestly, really!), but my mom, when they lived in Los Angeles, lived next door to the actor Jerome Cowan who played (among all his other roles (even in Miracle on 34th Street)) Miles Archer -- he was Humphrey Bogart's detective partner who was bumped off early in the film.

As for me, well I can tell ya that perhaps the most notorious person who graduated from my high school in Royal Oak, Michigan, was Tom Hayden -- the antiwar (Vietnam) activist and former husband of Jane Fonda. He worked for the school newspaper and was not allowed to graduate (at least in ceremony) because of an editorial he had written where the first letter of each word on the left margin going down spelled out GO TO H E LL (with no spaces, of course).

How many degrees of separation does this make for all of us?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 29, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, that should have been "alumna".

Posted by: kguy1 | June 29, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Marilyn Vos Savant was apparently in my husband's class in high school, although he didn't know her and she went by a different name (well, duh).

I only know this because she appeared on a "We can't find these people" list. I figure the folks putting together his reunion never read Parade Magazine.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 29, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Sorry -- the Jerome Cowan film to which I alluded was The Maltese Falcon.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 29, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@kguy: Ooo, Stanford, eh? That's a pretty good one. Which island did he ruin? Antigua, right?

Posted by: Southwester | June 29, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'm missing me some of that CqP.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Delurking for this post. Ahhh, not a word about the man who much more of an impact on my life than MJ, provided the background noise for a thousand TV mute buttons pushed. Yes, I'm talking about Billy Mays. All you boodlers, so wrapped up in your high courts, and the plains of Wyoming, not a bit of love for this pitchman par excellance. Who now will intrude on my ennui? Not the ShamWow guy I hope? Who will pitch the virtues of spot removal, without which, millions of hard working 'mericans will walk about looking like a third world refugees. For shame, boodlers, for shame, I go back to lurk mode.

Posted by: -PresterJohn- | June 29, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Ditto, 'Mudge...

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 29, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Me too, 'mudge. I'm sure she knows we're thinking of her with love.

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

LOL Prestor John! My daughter and I passed a shop with ShamWows prominently displayed and bowed our heads in respect.

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Um... Prester, we were like, totally on top of that yesterday afternoon.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 29, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

About ten years ago we bought some totally useless kitchen gadget from a pitchman at the Home Show in Timonium. Could have Billy Mays for all I know. If so, how do I file a claim with his estate?

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Sunday boodling? What a concept, Sunday is reserved for Baseball and lawn care. I should have back boodled but the thought of going through 392 MJ comments, from sui generis, was way too much for me to take. My apologies to the boodle.

Posted by: -PresterJohn- | June 29, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

PresterJohn... You have an excellent point. We were extolling the virtues of Billy Mays just the other day when my 6-year-old nephew walked past the TV while Mays was on a funny commercial for some ESPN show and said, "Wow... that guys sells *everything!*"

'Tis a sad day for America, indeed.

And Yoki... Mays is not the ShamWow guy... He's a whole 'nother story.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 29, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

My high school is not that old - I was in the first graduating class, but I think our most famous graduate would be the young lady who was on CNN's Hero's list for 2007 (winner I think), her work with autistic children is what she was honoured for.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 29, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Really?! I coulda sworn...

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

A long time ago we took the kids to SeaWorld in San Diego and saw ShamWow. One of the trainers rode him around and made him splash his tale, and we all got wet. (Wish we'd had one o' them magic towels to dry off with.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

SCC: tail. Although I'm kinda liking "tale," considering the context.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I heard a comedian (or possibly a boodler)ask how do you wash a Shamwow? If it absorbs as much water as they say it does, wouldn't it dry out the washing machine?

On another note, I won the prize today on the Travel Chat!

Posted by: Raysmom | June 29, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to file a Screenwriter's Guild treatment about the skulduggery that goes on behind the scenes of the cut-throat infomercial pitchman business. There would be two rival hucksters constantly undercutting each other to be the spokesman for crappy products. it eventually leads to the two in fight to the death. The big showdown occurs in a deserted television studio where the two guys try to kill each other using the various useless gadgets they sell.

Think 'Tin Men' mixed with 'Deathtrap'. The perfect casting would be Robin Williams and Jim Carrey as the thinly veiled lead characters.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

This Smoking Gun article should answer as many questions as it raises:

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@Raysmom: what an amazing pool! Aside from pools, those Cyprians sure do have good cheese.

Posted by: Southwester | June 29, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Waht Joel neglected to mention is that he was the highly celebrated MC of the reunion that presented dozens of distinguished alumni awards - and not a single one of them to a professional football, basketball, baseball, or hockey star. You, Joel (and Jerry) were magnificent.

Posted by: FLREBroker | June 29, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@Southwester: Not just cheese--everything I ate there was delicious. TBG will giggle, but I was unfamiliar with the concept of meze until that trip.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 29, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Every year my high school has a homecoming assembly in our large auditorium where alumni and the current students all sit together in the bleachers.

In addition to honoring the 25 and 50 year reunion classes, we have a roll call. The principal calls out each year in reverse chronological order and members of that class stand.

As the years roll backwards, the tension builds to see who is the oldest surviving graduate. As our school was founded in 1890, this has known to be quite old indeed. My goal is to be that person. Because, you know, he, or she, invariably gets a standing ovation and a special prize.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 29, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

That's typical AchenModesty at work. Thanks for spilling the beans on him.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks FLREBroker for that eye-witness report!


Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 29, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Spies, everywhere. (The "Jerry" refers to Jerry Carnes, Atlanta TV news journalist, just fyi.)

Meanwhile check out the latest on the John Edwards scandal -- gettin' crazy:

Posted by: joelache | June 29, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

A fine story idea yello, but I would submit for your consideration three words- Dan Ackroyd BASS-A-MATIC!

Posted by: kguy1 | June 29, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks mudge, for your 3:12, made me laugh.

Geez, it's only been recently that I have been able to maintain my equanimity whenever I see John McCain. His behavior and certain choices during the campaign caused my jaw to clench and occasionally I would growl at his image but lately I have been mellow. Now that dang S'wester got me all riled up again with his 12:09.

My high school has 2 famous alumni. Frank Zappa, pretty famous. Priscilla Barnes, not so much. She was the blonde chick that replaced Suzanne Sommers on that awful comedy with John Ritter. What was it? Three's company? Anyway, she really didn't end up all that famous, but my little desert town was all atwitter about it for awhile.

Posted by: Kim1 | June 29, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Let's see here... while my high school remains nicely obscure, my step-mother went to high school with Goldie Hawn, right here in Maryland, and my father went to college with Mr. (later Rev.) Jim Jones in Indianapolis. I attended college with the author/artist of the comic strip "Monty" (formerly "Robotman") -- well, for one year, he graduated at the end of my freshman year. Other famous alums of my university include Harold Ramis and Mike Peters. We're big with the cartoonists. And we have the only speed bumps in the world that were designed by, and construction personally overseen by, a Nobel prize winner (Arthur Holly Compton).

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 29, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Joel, Akers is nearly a week late on that one. The Andy Young thing came out last week.

Jeez, my high school must have been in the Witness Protection Program. I can't think of a single even remotely famous person. I don't think we have even 8 or 10 degrees of separation from anyone famous.

yello, your screenplay sounds like "Death to Smoochie."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I had an idea for a sitcom when I made friends with a guy who was a distributor for the Washington Times and he told me he lived next door to a Washington Post distributor.

I envisioned all sorts of madcap antics... hilarity ensuing and all that.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 29, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Does one of the guys in the Tragically Hip count? Has anyone outside Kingston ever heard of them?

A bunch of politicians and eminent physicians, a couple of superb authors and poets from both my high school and university, but I don't think that is the sort of fame we talking about.

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Here's an idea I'd be behind here in North America...

BRUSSELS, June 29 (Reuters) - Top mobile telephone suppliers have agreed to back an EU-wide harmonization of phone chargers, the European Commission said on Monday, hailing the pact as good news for consumers and the environment.

The agreement by Nokia, Sony Ericsson and other industry majors will mean phones compatible with standard charging devices are available in Europe from next year, said the EU executive, which has pushed for such a deal...

Posted by: -TBG- | June 29, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

laloomis, I almost missed the joke in your post and thought you were serious. I was at first confused that you would call someone a whiner then whining for a couple of paragraphs. I totally blipped over the clue of last-minute plans when the event is still months away; it was the mention of a 100-year old stadium at your high school that wasn't there when you went (how could that be?) that made me realize you were joking.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 29, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

The Hip count big time!!

Dan Ackr0yd attended, but did not graduate from my University, He given an Honourary degree though.

And while Yoki mentions obscure Canadian talent, it is time for the Canada day quiz again, this time very unfair. My first attempt was 50%, although a couple of times I second guessed myself and I was right on my first guess.

Part 2 is new and I haven't tried yet, not sure if I am ready for more ego deflation.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 29, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Nope, no Tragically Hip. If it helps, Maggie and I are both Tragically Knee'd.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 29, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"The Tragically Hip" is one of my favorite names of new bands as is "Southern Culture on the Skids".

It ain't a screenplay, but Steve Goodman wrote a song about the dangers of late-night television ads. It's called "Vegematic":

Posted by: -pj- | June 29, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

everyone should look up the wikipedia page for their home town. usually these pages list notable residents, many you've never heard of.

notables with roots in my home town include a porn star and a madam. yup, and it's really such a quaint little town.

Posted by: LALurker | June 29, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I live in my hometown, it includes two current award winning Canadian novelists, we are quite proud of that. Could be eclipsed by one of the founders of Tim Horton's though.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 29, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I'd read in The Daily Beast a few weeks ago that Ruth Madoff's long-time hairdresser and favorite restaurants had requested she not return. Other clients had complained. How one becomes a pariah in NYC.

Procrastinating a little while not working on a current resume, but since the lottery ticket I picked up didn't help I guess I'll do it now.

Have a good evening, al!

Posted by: -dbG- | June 29, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

My favorite Hip song, and at the top of my list for all time favorite rock song. Written well before Katrina.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 29, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I looked up my hometown in wikipedia, and the only name mentioned was that of my cousin--because he runs a corn maze on his farm every fall.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 29, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Corn mazes are cool!

Posted by: bobsewell | June 29, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

My high school Wikipedia notable alumni list includes mostly former or current pro athletes including 4 basketball players, 3 baseball players, and 2 football players and one co-captain of an undefeated paintball team. None of whom I recognize the name of, but I'm not a good indicator of sports fame.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Great idea, checking the hometowns on Wiki. Never thought to do so before. I discovered Charles Portis, author of True Grit, born in the town I was born in.

I was in from kindergarten to high school, four towns, and lived in two more prior to that. So I only claim the ones I like. Sorry, Skokie.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 29, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

On the Great Canada Quiz I scored 7/20 on Part 1 and 11/20 on Part 2. The question on time zones was a trick since they didn't allow for fractions.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

The slurpee question did me in yello - not exactly common knowledge, donut capital of Canada I would have had a better guess at.

And I question the joining the G8, as I think we were part of the G7, so assuming a trick question I guessed the year the G8 formed. My thinking process is so not normal :-)

9/20 on the Part 2, got almost all the Canada questions right, missed the more general ones.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 29, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, yello, for the tip on looking up the wiki entry on my high school. Since I don't have a hometown, per se (only a home county), my HS listing is more interesting.

Among the notables: "Austin St. John, (Born September 17, 1975) is an American actor best known for his role on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as Jason Lee Scott, the Original Red Power Ranger."

Posted by: -TBG- | June 29, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I looked up my high school. Of seven notable alumni listed, I had heard of only one. He was mayor of the city in the early 90's. One is Jeff Reid of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I had never heard of him. Of course, he graduated 26 years after I did.

Posted by: slyness | June 29, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Your 3:08 was funny RD. I lived those years but I am musically impaired so I was not made a slave of the rhytm. Thank the FSM, you don't want to see me in shiny polyester.

I have been to 4 high schools, out of 5 years (don't ask). One guy from my graduating class is a successful TV game show and variety host. He was a nice and congenial guy no surprise there. A nasty piece of work became a sports commentator on radio and TV. He's still a nasty piece of work.
In a previous non-graduating high school I was acquainted with someone would would became a famous playwright and theater director. He was a year ahead of me, in my sister's class. They were great friend, he was going out with my sister's best friend at the time. Then sh1t happened.

I painted all day. I was helped by my personal four-legged elf. Here's the dirty puppy and some flowers. It's rose time.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 29, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

My home town in Maryland (Towson) is listed as the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald (while he lived in Maryland and Zelda was at Sheppard Pratt, presumably) and Michael Phelps (current resident). But Wikipedia lists no one from my high school graduating class. My high school, however, makes the cut to appear on the Wiki page. The main entrance is unchanged since 1980, the last time I walked out the doors.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 29, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure you're joking at the thought someone who might not have a college degree would have nothing to say. I wouldn't mind an informal evening of discussion with Bill Gates, for example.

Also, if I wanted to make sure that a reuinion or gathering went the way I wanted, why, I'd pitch in and work on it myself. As far as I'm concerned, that plan's worked pretty well. For me, anyway.

I already knew who the famous person who went to my high school is, and that person got the heck out of there as fast as they could.

And nobody famous came from my home town - unless you extend things about 5 miles to include Washington DC.

*Tim, I have a relative that went to HS with Goldie Hawn, too. Gadzooks, I am *such* a local.

The Tragically Hip are way cool, IMO. "New Orleans is Sinking," "Poets," good stuff.


Posted by: -bc- | June 29, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

That's kinda fun. There are two people from my high school class with Wikipedia listings. The NFL player I expected, but I also discovered a guy I knew better, who apparently now has a popular political web comic strip and also contributes to HuffPo. Good for him. I didn't like him much, but it's nice he's doing well for himself.

Posted by: -bia- | June 29, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

shrieking... you're a great painter... those flowers look real!


Posted by: -TBG- | June 29, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

TBG, your fellow alumni and actor has his own wiki page that has all kinds of important information. I noted with interest that his current favorite color for cars was black, but oddly, his favorite colors for clothes were black AND white. How current is that information, though. One wonders.

Posted by: engelmann | June 29, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, the second batch of three more dead celebrities is complete: Joining Billy Mays are Gail Storm, 87, of "My Little Margie" fame, and impressionist Fred Travelena, 66, who was discovered and mentored by Rich Little.

The coroner says Mays died of heart disease, not a head injury.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 29, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm house sitting for the guy who drove the Anglia a well known Canadian comic tells about in one of his best bits. I don't remember the hilarious goings ons but I'm assured I was in the back seat singing

Posted by: Boomslang | June 29, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Boko... your 7:31 pm is why I love the Boodle!

Posted by: -TBG- | June 29, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Now that's the best story of all, Boomslang!

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Good catch TBG.
I gave the first coat in the entrance way of the New Door. It's a floor and a half high because the house is of a style popular in the late sixties known as High Ranch in these parts. The staircase goes east for eights step to get to the landing with the door and then there is eight more steps going west to the basement. I spent more time moving ladders than painting. That corner over the basement stairwell is a b1tch to reach.
It's on days like this I appreciate the pool. A quick dunking goes a long way in relieving heat stress.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 29, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

just popping in from the beach. Managed to get through O'Hare, on time, and arrived yesterday just past midnight. The weather is with us. Hid my scars with the muffler, and donned my aviator's helmet and goggles, just for gp's. *faxing some fresh shrimp and shrimp dip to the bunker*

Posted by: -jack- | June 29, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Good grief, if Wiki is correct, there are a ton of famous people who were from or lived in my hometown. Matt LeBlanc and Robert Morse went to my high school, years apart from each other and from me however. Jack Lemmon, Bette Davis, Jonathan Katz, Joe Rogan, Kathryn Erbe are among the actor types. Ellen Goodman, David Mamet, Anne Sexton, Isaac Asimov, Russell Banks and Charles Pierce are some of the literary ones. I know that Jason Varitek, the Red Sox catcher did and maybe still does live there too. The lists go on and on, but I won’t.

I was just talking to a friend the other night about our next high school reunion. We decided not to go. There were over one thousand people in our class, it doesn’t make for a cozy evening. The last one we went to was the 20th. I’d like to remember people, and be remembered, as we were then. I feel no need to see the ravages of time ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | June 29, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... the D-list comedians I follow on Twitter are all worried right now.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 29, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I just checked email and there was a message from the reunion committee, talk about a coincidence. I'm still not going but it was interesting to see the list of 'missing' people. Pretty much the ones you'd expect to be missing.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 29, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

A thousand in your class, Sneaks? There were 592 in mine (I know for sure, because we graduated in alphabetical order, and I was 590th). I haven't been to any of the reunions; I just wasn't that interested. The last one was $85 per person, which struck me as kinda spendy for a party in the ballroom of the football stadium.

Posted by: slyness | June 29, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Those are huge classes, my grad classes were around 250 for 12 grade and 99 for 13th grade. I was in grade 12 before we had over 1000 students in the entire school.

Next year my daughter will attend a school of 1400 - I think that is big.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 29, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Gale Storm? Oh, no! I loved My Little Margie. I even got some videos (yeah,tape) several years ago. The funniest bit was when she described her father essentially as an old f@rt in his 50s. Waitaminnit! That ain't old!!! Or, at least, it wasn't, IIRC.

I just sent an email to one of my former students in Africa -- he and I had lost touch, but he and my buddy in Zambia ran into each other at a meeting and started talking about me (so *that's* why my ears were ringing!). John is in Nairobi and I think he's from the same tribe as Obama (Luo). He is so sweet, and I'm hoping we'll pick up where we left off.

Gotta go.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 29, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

my high school wiki page turned out to be less interesting than my hometown. only notables noted - same p0rn star, a b-list actor (from my year - did know him a bit), a pro football player, and an ambassador to a not particularly consequential country.

Posted by: LALurker | June 29, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

13th grade/ Boy, your school district really liked to dial it up to 11, dmd.

My grad class had 252. I was co-chairman of the reunion 5 years ago. My co-chairman has since died (cerebral hemorrhage), and now I'm solo chairman of the next one. Probably in the fall. We had 70 people and former five teachers at the last one.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 29, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't agree more, Joel. Rodney was very cool and very real. Sara was also a total hottie.
But now my son wants to be a bass fishing, rock drumming skateboarder-physicist who sings Brazilian jazz and plays the French horn. Where do you major in that?

Posted by: gregpky | June 29, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

My high school has not graduated one single noteworthy person, not even in a creepy criminal way. It doesn't even rate a wiki entry.

Do know lots of people who turn up on news shows with analysis of this national security issue or that. Don't know if that's evidence of the erudite company I keep, or the shallowness of the pool TV news draws from. (surely the latter)

Nursing a horrible summer cold. Should be thankful it doesn't feel like summer. Not so unusual to be sniffling on a gray day where the temp doesn't break 60.

Off to bed after a dose of theraflu.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 29, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

OK, unless there's some special Wiki function I'm unaware of, I'm bumming...

Neither the entries for my home town nor my high school have any notable people mentioned.


Posted by: Scottynuke | June 29, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

about the b-list actor guy, he's been working steadily on many of the major daytime soaps, so perhaps he's not exactly b-list. what do i know.

mudge, that's a noble deed to chair your reunions. i haven't made it to any of mine, so i don't even know who's been in charge. never thought i'd be one of those who dropped off the end of the earth (one of the "missing" peeps), but i sort of have. i'll get back there someday hopefully.

Posted by: LALurker | June 29, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

E coli was found in a batch of the Nestle cookie dough, but they still don't know where it came from:

Posted by: seasea1 | June 29, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I got to the end of the Robert Wright book today and I feel like sharing the final paragraph with y'all. I realize it's not fair to Wright to do this because, really, the final paragraph is informed by all that went before. I also realize some people are planning to read the book and maybe don't want to read the last paragraph first (I didn't)--but those people can skip over. Anyway, here it is:

Though we can no more conceive of God than we can conceive of an electron, believers can ascribe properties to God, somewhat as physicists ascribe properties to electrons. One of the more plausible such properties is love. And maybe, in this light, the argument for God is strengthened by love's organic association with truth--by the fact, indeed, that at times these two properties almost blend into one. You might say that love and truth are the two primary manifestations of divinity in which we can partake, and that by partaking in them we become truer manifestations of the divine. Then again, you might not say that. The point is just that you wouldn't have to be crazy to say it.

_The Evolution of God_, by Robert Wright, p. 459

Posted by: kbertocci | June 29, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. As far as I know there are no famous people in my high school graduating class, or perhaps any of the classes which graduated from my high school. If they were I bet they're only famous locally. That's ok. There is too much fame. Of course, I went to elementary school with Joe Carter (of baseball fame). He was a really nice guy.

I went to my 30th high school reunion last year. It was surprisingly well attended and, equally surprisingly, a lot of fun. I think people came because they felt they should, but it created a critical mass of well-intentioned people. The old class distinctions (popular, geek, cheerleader, sports guy, outcast) were there but no longer important. It was as if all those desperately important high school categories became less important as we settled into adult lives. People with jobs, without jobs, college degrees or not (mostly not), kids or not, stay-at-home or not - every single person there had done or become something interesting over the intervening years. I enjoyed the chance to catch up, and to learn from and about so many people I thought I once knew.

In my experience event planning usually really comes together in the last two months before the event, even if you've had to reserve the space well in advance. I'm impressed by people who try to be on top of things several months early. I've headed up one or two major events a year for about five years (and hope to avoid that responsibility this year). I am always impressed by the people who plan things like reunions. It's a lot of hard work with a large "thankless" component, since there'll always be people who think you should have done it differently, even if they didn't take on any tasks themselves.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 29, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

That article confirms the theory that cookie dough was the culprit. We went to 'Food Inc.' this weekend which preaches the Fast Food Nation/Omnivore's Dilemma that we are too far removed from the food chain and that industrial procution is bad. Rather than make the food process cleaner and more inherently safe we seem to be adding more layers to the process. Rather than keep the slaughterhouses clean, we mix ammonia laced filler into the ground beef. Rather than keep contaminated water out of the fields, we want to irradiate all our produce.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

My graduating class was over one thousand. Really the upper limit of what a high school can handle. I've gone to my five, ten, and twenty year reunions and had a great time. Two years ago I went to the 25th and it was miserable:

This year the class of '84 held an all-years after party, but we didn't make the trip down. Three years until the big 3-0. We'll see how it turns out.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

See, on some level I disagree with this (not just yello, but others, too). The fact is, if we were all willing to bake cookies that we mixed from butter and eggs and pure vanilla extract and unbleached flour and cane sugar, our chances of being poisoned would only come from our own hands or those of our family members. That is an exaggeration, of course, perhaps even hyperbole.

The minute we let the food-industrial complex persuade us that it takes less time and tastes as good to eat prepared or semi-prepared meals, we fell victim to industrial-type, very nearly untraceable food-borne illness.

And, as a proponent and card-carrying member of the Slow Food Movement, I can tell you that, in re: prepared food, it neither saves money nor is more convenient nor takes less time and certainly does not taste better, than food made from scratch from, you know, basic ingredients. Yer average meal in either case takes 40 minutes to prepare, and 15-20 minutes to eat (for a family of four on a weeknight, averaged), but one is safe(ish) [provided you don't leave the toddler or the teenager to wash her own hands!] and nutritious and one is not. And only one tastes really good.

I know. I know. I'm talking only for the middle class. Well, darn it, I am middle class (now sort of genteel-poor) and so are many of us here. I except anyone from my screed who cannot afford fresh vegetables and meat. But really, there is a better way than Tub o'Cookie Dough from Central Processing Unit #37, for all of us.

See? Get me started on food and I'm as religious as an evangelical.

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what you're disagreeing with, Yoki. I was just passing something on that someone else brought up a few boodles ago. I still think it's really weird they found E coli in cookie dough, which is what yello was saying, in part (I think). We make most of our food from scratch.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 29, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Amen Yoki.
I will not buy the beef patty from Central Processing Unit #37, a.k.a. Bob's International House of Ribs, that contains the meat of 37 cows from 17 countries and 3 continents. Or 45 cows and 20 states as the COOL seems to favour these days. One cow per steak is enough, thank you.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 29, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

And in an attempt to go further off topic - here's an interview with Iranian author Marjane Satrapi:

Posted by: seasea1 | June 29, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

But I am a meat snob, I've established my credentials before.

Battery raised antibitiocs laden chicken? Hewww.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 29, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I am a meat and produce and staples snob, shriek. thanks.

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't arguing, so much seasea1, as objecting.

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I must shamefully submit to having purchased no name bulk staples, probably an inferior grade of metal, would explain why they didn't work that well and you don't even want to know about the the staplers. I shall repent at once. :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | June 29, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

*kisses* You just made me crack up in the middle of a *terrible* day and evening, dmd.

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Then my day is well served Yoki.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 29, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I was hurt once by a bulk staple. Evil, classless things.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 29, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

dmd, if you want to refer to inferior metal please use the moniker "white metal". This is the crappiest thing. Nobody knows what it is, including people who have legitimate metallurgist diplomas.

It's kind of funny too in other ways.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 29, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

White metal? You mean like this?

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Yello, that is too strange as I had just finished looking at this story before I checked out your link. Fortunately my computer is slow today so I only had a few seconds of that song - wrong just wrong.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 29, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

It all seems so serendipitous. I love it when a circular reference comes together.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 29, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

white metal=crapola=

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 29, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I just learned two things that I had not previously known:

(1) Paul Harvey is dead (although I have a vague memory of somene boodling this fact back when it happened, at the end of February).


(2) He and his wife were were fellow alumni of Washington University in St. Louis.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 29, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Just about 15 minutes ago, a *giant* Jackson wake started up at the Saddledome, two blocks over from my place. It's a little bit Pop and a little bit Disco. But very very loud. They're using the Jumbotrons and outside speakers and the party is spilling into the parking lot and out onto the street. Through the windows that look like rifle-slits at the top of the Dome, I can see people dancing like fools to Jackson's music. And hear them cheering after each video.

Now they are right under my windows, and still overflowing.

I estimate 5500 people or so (a huge crowd for Calgary).

So I may have to go down there.

Posted by: Yoki | June 29, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

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

Good evening, friends. Just wanted to pop in and say hello. Been a tough day. I feel so very sad tonight. My neighbor, the one that was giving us so much trouble, has died. She was hit by a car. We all complained about her antics, but I did not want her to die. Yet I knew in my heart of hearts, that more than likely she would go the way of an accident. No one was going to help her. No one even saw her, we saw the sickness. She was a ghost.

She came to the Bible study Wednesday here, and asked for Sprite. I poured a cup with lots of ice because it was so hot. She talked to me, calling me Sandra. She drank the Sprite, and I asked if she wanted more, and she said yes. When I gave her the second cup, she got up to leave. I did not understand what she was saying to me, but she said good-bye, Sandra. I told her to behave, and she said okay. Oh, how it does hurt. It hurt to see the things she did, but this hurts worse. The torture and pain of mental illness.

Mudge, I didn't realize you had such a strong dislike of Micheal Jackson.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cmyth4u | June 30, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm so sorry, Cassandra... *HUGSSSS*

We'd always prefer those folks find the help they need, but so many factors can get in the way.

*debating-which-scarf-goes-best-with-these-Dawn-Patrol-cap-n-goggles Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 30, 2009 5:09 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Cassandra, I'm sorry to hear about your friend. And no, my dislike of MJ isn't all that strong; it isn't visceral, and doesn't raise my blood pressure. I was just never a fan of his music, and thought he was seriously disturbed, going back a long way, and never got help, and was surrounded by sycophants. He made his own "bubble," and suffered thereby. Then when the antisemitic lyrics and all the pederasty stuff came along, well, I just had no respect for him, and no regard. So it isn't like I hated him; it was just more like he wasn't on my radar. So no, I don't miss him, and am a bit baffled by the sudden beatitude and sainthood people are throwing upon him. But I never got all riled up about him, as I might have about other people (certain politicians, for instance).

But that's no way to start the morning, so let us turn to something else.

Speaking of the Tunguska event, as we were briefly yesterday, today is its anniversary:

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

June 30: 1859: French tightrope walker Jean Francois Gravelot, who uses the stage name Charles Blondin, becomes the first person to walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls, in front of an audience of 25,000. Five minutes later, Gravelot repeats the feat, making the return crossing blindfolded and pushing a wheelbarrow. Won’t see that on Fear Factor.
1870: The Mississippi steamboats Robert E. Lee and Natchez depart New Orleans on history’s greatest paddlewheel steamboat race. Lee will arrive in St. Louis on July 4, a few hours ahead of Natchez.
1908: At about 7:17 a.m. local time an explosion of mysterious origin, estimated at anywhere from a 12.5 to 40 megaton nuclear explosion equivalent, occurred at an altitude of about 6 to 8 kilometers over the Stony Tunguska River region of Siberia. Various explanations for the now-famous incident include meteor, comet, asteroid, anti-matter, black hole, UFO, “natural” geophysical event, or the test firing of inventor Nikola Tesla’s “wireless power transmitter,” aka “death ray,” among other notions. Some 80 million trees were flattened for 1,500 square miles. Current thinking is that the “stony object” that caused it was a meteor about 150 feet in diameter.
1971: Soviet cosmonauts Georgi T. Dobrovolsky, Vladislav N. Volkov and Viktor I. Patsayev are instantly killed when a vent valve opens prematurely after orbiter module separation in their Soyuz 11 spacecraft, following a 24-day flight that had docked with Russia’s first space station, Salyut 1. Because the Soyuz was so small the cosmonauts wore no pressure suits. The craft used its automatic reentry procedure to bring the bodies back to Earth. RIP.


Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 30, 2009 5:50 AM | Report abuse


But there's also good news: we have a winner:

"Screamin' seafaring tale wins bad writing contest

The Associated Press
Monday, June 29, 2009; 8:48 PM

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A shambling sentence about screaming seafarers on the sturdy whaler Ellie May stood shoulders above the rest in an annual bad writing contest. David McKenzie, 55, of Federal Way, Wash., won the grand prize in San Jose State University's annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest with this:

"Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the "Ellie May," a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests."


Meanwhile, the Milbank/Cilizza Mouthpiece Theater likens Bobby Jindal to Kenneth the Page, which I think is a brilliant analogy. Jindal will be forever pasted into my brain that way.

Yoki, sorry your day was so bad yesterday. Hope today is better.

We're on pins and needles here. A good friend of ours -- the guy who did our renewal of vows ceremony at our 25th anniversary -- went into surgery yesterday for a 9-hour procedure to remove a stent that had shifted somewhere around his liver or spleen. He was supposed to come out of surgery at about 5 p.m. yesterday, and somebody was supposed to update us. But still no word, and we are worried.

Today is Scrapple Day at the cafeteria, for those what likes the stuff.

OK, Dawn Patrol, let's get to the Ready Room and out on the flightline. Those box kites out there won't fly themselves, you know.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 30, 2009 5:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh, one might note a bit pedantically (a bit?) that when the wind is from the Nor'east and blowing across Nantucket Sound, there is nothing to the southwest but open water, and so no particular spot of land upon which one could hear the screaming. Which is perfectly fine for a Bulwer-Lytton entry. The wind would have to be out of the east, and you'd have to be on Martha's Vineyard.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 30, 2009 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Way to stay current on the comedy material Dana and Chris. The Bobby Jindal-Kenneth The Page comparisons were growing stale when I did it four months ago.

And in my poll, Kenneth tied with Mr. Rogers and Orville Redenbacher for closest gubernatorial celebrity resemblance.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

And the link to Mouthpiece Theater if you can't find it on the home page.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

And one just for TBG: This morning on Channel 4 Barbara Harrison reported that Gen. and Mrs. Wherley (victims of the train crash) were going to be "entered" today at Arlington cemetery. Methinks she meant "interred."

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 30, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone. I'm feeling rather formal this morning, thence the greeting.

Cassandra, I'm sorry to hear about your neighbor. Such a sad ending to an unhappy life.

Yoki, I hope your day is better today than yesterday was.

Last evening I went out and cut the gardenia back to about six inches. There was one bloom left, which is now on my kitchen table. In a month or so, there will be many shoots off the remaining branches, and the bush will be much stronger. That is a hard lesson to learn sometimes, that severe pruning is good for plants. Also good for our lives, sometimes, too.

Posted by: slyness | June 30, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

I’m sorry about your friend Cassandra, at least now she’s at peace. Yoki, have a better day today. I checked out the website for my high school class last night and made the mistake of looking at the list of classmates who had passed away. One was a girl I knew quite well back then and lost touch with. I’m having trouble shaking the sadness. Ah well, maybe the sun will surprise us again today as it did yesterday. Grasping at straws here.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 30, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.

Cassandra I am sorry to hear about your neighbour, I had a dear Aunt who suffered from mental illness - it is difficult and so very unfair. I hope your neighbour is at peace now.

It is my birthday today, the sun is trying to peak through but it is expected to rain again.

I have to renew my license today what are the odds the picture will be a least a slight bit flattering?

Posted by: dmd2 | June 30, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. I'll take the Northern Border patrol Mudge. Nice day for flying but we may get thunderstorms later. There is more painting in my immediate future.
*stretching those ladder moving muscles*

Cassandra, that sacks. What was that woman doing being by herself if she was a danger to her life? Jeez.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 30, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Cool optical illusion:

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

My condolences on the loss of your neighbor. Any loss is sad.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Well dmd, I'll put the odds at very low. I'm a very white person, pink is actually a much better word to describe my flesh tone. And yet I look like a Mexican or Indian on my license picture. That's right, even the racial look is wrong. I blame the printer they used.
I'm up for renewal in August, maybe the next one will be better.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 30, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

The first disappointment during our trip to Wyoming was completely understandable. I called my maternal cousin on Tuesday, June 16, to say we'd be passing through Cheyenne on Monday, June 22 and would she like to get together for lunch? We had not seen Cousin Marilou and her former Boston University professor/husband Fred (who now, I learned, has congestive heart failure and type 2 diabetes) since 2000, when we previously visited Cheyenne and Wyoming.

What I learned during that phone call is that Marilou was scheduled for a double mastectomy on Monday, June 15, but a truly emergency surgery had bumped her off from the list, her surgery reassigned to Friday, June 26. She was hopeful for a good prognosis since the cancer was caught early.

When we were in the Wyoming State Archives on Monday, June 22, I was summoned by the only male staffer to his phone. Marilou had called to say that her surgery had, as of that morning, been rescheduled to Tuesday, June 23, and she begged off the lunch date. She gave us two hours' notice, and I completely understood her professed need to do laundry and more importantly, get herself mentally prepared for her ordeal, rather than entertain us at the Plains Hotel.

Marilou and Fred are also finally "going home," selling their architecturally unusual house in Cheyenne, halving their square footage and moving to Los Osos (the bears) just north of San Luis Obispo on California's Central Coast.

Their only daughter Nicole is marrying a Texan at the end of July, and completing her tenth year this summer as marketing manager for Cheyenne Frontier Days, the wedding taking place at the end of the rodeo. Her husband worked for the CVB in Cheyenne and they will live in Lubbock, where he landed a plum CVB job and has already begun his new position.

No burning earthly passion would ever induce me to settle in the flat-as-a pancake Texas panhandle (although it's far greener, and it rained on us in the Panhandle when we drove home), so I wish her luck--and fortitude. I would remain single and away from the plain southern Plains.

We stayed, when heading north, our first night in Hereford, Texas, where the entire small town smelled like a feed lot and fiberglass Herefords dotted the town, notable, too, for four immense granaries that dominated the skyline.

I was amused to look up on the Internet Frontier Days' entertainment schedule to see the opener is San Antonio's George Strait, who's teamed up with Julianne Hough of Dancing with the Stars fame. The rodeo doesn't kick off until mid-July, but I laughed to see Strait's name, given that he lives less than 15 miles up the road in the Dominion subdivision, when he's not on his ranch, of course, or on tour.

Posted by: laloomis | June 30, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Shriek, my husband is also a very white person, he is in fact nicknamed for the paleness of his skin.

One time he made the mistake of wearing a grey overcoat for his picture, for the next five years he went around with a picture that looked like it had been taken days after he had passed away. His skin was very grey.

In the game of who has the worst drivers license photo - he won by a landslide.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 30, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Happy, happy birthday, dmd!! I hope your picture turns out better than mine did. Have a wonderful day.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 30, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!

Cold with high overcast here. Excellent visibility. Yesterday at sunset, had spectacular view of the Andes covered with golden snow.

Off for a late dawn patrol, watching the six o'clock.


Posted by: Braguine | June 30, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday dmd! I hope it's a pleasant one, in spite of the trip to renew the license.

Posted by: slyness | June 30, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

So sorry to hear about your neighbor, Cassandra.

*fingers crossed for Mudge's friend*

Happy birthday, dmd! Let us know how the DMV pic works out. Although you know they only hire people that flunk out of school photographer's school.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 30, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, dmd.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 30, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' dmd the Groucho glasses and fright wig for the retake*

*and some confetti for good measure*


Posted by: Scottynuke | June 30, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Happy, happy birthday, dmd, I hope you have a lovely day.

cassandra - I'm sorry to hear about your neighbor. I echo badsneakers, whatever her demons, she's not in pain any more.

Posted by: Kim1 | June 30, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

For all of you who faced a difficult day yesterday - Cassandra, Yoki, Mudge, and anyone else I missed - I hope this day is a better one.

And I think it is, simply for the fact of dmd's birthday -- and dmd, the happiest returns of it.


Posted by: -bc- | June 30, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, dmd! I hope you are spoiled and made much of.

This is my last day of work until August 4. Why, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it ended around noon...

Posted by: Yoki | June 30, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Copious HBTYs to dmd!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 30, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Add me to the birthday wishes chorus.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, the whole month of July off! What luxury! I hope you have great plans and relaxation built in.

Posted by: slyness | June 30, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Great optical illusion, yello. I'm a fan of Akiyoshi Kitaoka. At first I said, hey, the blue and green spirals aren't moving at all!

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 30, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Please check out San Alfonso del Mar, Algarrobo, Chile. It's "world's longest swimming pool" made an LA Times photo feature on bizarre places. The thing looks like a beach real estate development gone metastatic. I can't think of anything equivalent in the US. Maybe Marina del Rey in the LA area?

The US Supreme Court has accepted a Florida case about beach renourishment and property rights. Calm news story at

Outrage at Fred Grimm's column, Miami Herald.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 30, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Can't remember if it was one of you who initially pointed me to this, but here's a rather vivid illusion-of-motion thingie:

Posted by: bobsewell | June 30, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

In a really odd way, this painting is tied to our big disappointment in Wyoming. Note that last Thurday was the 133 anniversary of the event, the art museum prepared for it last Wednesday by placing a vase of long-stemmed red roses on a small table to the right of this wall-sized oil.

I'll probably tell the tale of deceit tomorrow, since there are many loose ends still to tie up after a week away.

Posted by: laloomis | June 30, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I have been spoiled already, my husband went to Tim's this morning so I woke up to a fresh coffee waiting for me, eight year old made a card, and a present (picture telling me I am the best mom), she then just wanted to snuggle for a few minutes. Going to be hard to top that in my opinion.

Dinner out tonight with best friends and completed my license renewal in 15 minutes - I am blessed. I have to wait until the card arrives in the mail to see how bad the mug shot is.

Yoki enjoy your month off.

Thanks for all the wishes much appreciated.

Mudge thinking good thought for your friend.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 30, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I have been spoiled already, my husband went to Tim's this morning so I woke up to a fresh coffee waiting for me, eight year old made a card, and a present (picture telling me I am the best mom), she then just wanted to snuggle for a few minutes. Going to be hard to top that in my opinion.

Dinner out tonight with best friends and completed my license renewal in 15 minutes - I am blessed. I have to wait until the card arrives in the mail to see how bad the mug shot is.

Yoki enjoy your month off.

Thanks for all the wishes much appreciated.

Mudge thinking good thought for your friend.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 30, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Those Bulwer-Lytton winners were good, but no amateur can compare with the work of a true literary professional.

"It was a crisp and spicy morning in early October. The lilacs and
laburnums, lit with the glory-fires of autumn, hung burning and flashing
in the upper air, a fairy bridge provided by kind Nature for the wingless
wild things that have their homes in the tree-tops and would visit
together; the larch and the pomegranate flung their purple and yellow
flames in brilliant broad splashes along the slanting sweep of the
woodland; the sensuous fragrance of innumerable deciduous flowers rose
upon the swooning atmosphere; far in he empty sky a solitary oesophagus
slept upon motionless wing; everywhere brooded stillness, serenity, and
the peace of God."

from "A Double Barreled Detective Story" by Mark Twain

who also wrote, "No real gentleman will tell the naked truth in the
presence of ladies."

Posted by: kguy1 | June 30, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Sorry thought I hit submit only once.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 30, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Linda, you tease! I'm all a-tingle with anticipation.

Posted by: bobsewell | June 30, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Happy happier, dmd. Say hi to Whitey for me.

Posted by: Boomslang | June 30, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, dmd!

Say, I wonder how Iceland is doing?

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 30, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Flight of four fighters (F-16s unless I'm totally mistaken) just went overtop the office at perhaps 1,000 feet, heading towards the east...

THAT was interesting. *Spockian eyebrow*

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 30, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

You've heard the phrase "a face only a mother could love..."

Posted by: Raysmom | June 30, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr *shivering* Them's some ugly mutts, Raysmom.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 30, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Not fair Raysmom. Pabst is just a smallish Dogue de Bordeaux. Its overbite is pretty strong but that's about it, its not an ugly dog. Sheesh.

I would worry only if things seem to be falling off the F16s Scotty.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 30, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they are filming some more publicity photos Scotty!

Posted by: dmd2 | June 30, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, not worriesome, Shriek.

Just a typically loud "finger four." I'm pleased they decided to stay subsonic.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 30, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Squiggy may be the ugliest dog I have ever seen, I thought it might be a pig at first.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 30, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

shriek, I thought that was what he looked like; his owner claims he's a "boxer mix."

Posted by: Raysmom | June 30, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Pabst like to lay in the sun. That nails it. It's a least 50% DdB, if not more.

Miss Ellie is ugly something fierce. Poor old dogs. The Ancient Giant Black Lab has cataracts, one open sore, warts and other old age defects but he is still rather presentable if you don't look to closely.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 30, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

'rather presentable if you don't look too closely.'

That's my goal!

Posted by: LostInThought | June 30, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday dmd! I used to have awful license pics. When I lived in Chicago, the pic was so bad twice I was accused of not being the same person. The last two I got looked like me, but in both I look like a criminal. Maybe it's my inner self coming through and I should switch to a life of crime.

Posted by: Southwester | June 30, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

laloomis, I can pipe up here as a native Lubbockite and say that Lubbock really isn't so bad. It's quite modern, not at all what people must think when they picture "Texas." The culture is interesting, lots of pioneer descendants living along side Mexican culture living alongside hints of German immigrant culture. The people in general are quite nice, and I still miss the smiling faces. The plains are beautiful in their own way, too.

The duststorms, though, are all kinds of unpleasant.

Posted by: schala1 | June 30, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

At least dmd isn't subject to the "no-smile" rule for license pics...

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 30, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Neely Tucker has an interesting "appreciation" too strong a word? of Mark Sanford's dilemma, which includes this graf:

"Happy love has no history," Denis de Rougemont wrote in "Love in the Western World," more than two decades ago. "Romance only comes into existence where love is fatal, frowned upon and doomed by life itself. What stirs lyrical poets to their finest flights is neither the delight of the senses nor the fruitful contentment of the settled couple; not the satisfaction of love but its passion. And passion means suffering."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 30, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

LIT, please - anyone who's met you knows you jest.

I'm striving for "able to be viewed directly without turning people to stone, causing blindness, or causing people to want to gouge their eyes out". These days, I'm stuck wearing a paper bag over my head that has a warning from the Surgeon General printed on it. The part about inducing vomiting bothers me a bit.


Posted by: -bc- | June 30, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Is there in truth no beauty, bc???

And I think Denis has been sniffing his ink a bit too much...

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 30, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

We are in fact subject to the no smiling rule for passports and licenses. Also, no glare, shine, background other than white, eyeglasses, head coverings or anything else that might make us look like something other than a criminal.

Posted by: Yoki | June 30, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse


17.5 years for Walters in the D.C. tax office scam!

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 30, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Non breed affiliated please, Mudge. Mutt is so ugly.
You can call me Mr. Natural.

I hope that this group can get us real dogs some respect.

Posted by: Buddy999 | June 30, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Buddy, is "non-breed-affiliated" like, oh, "AKC-challenged"? Perhaps "multi-sired"? "Randomly litterized"? "Parentally indiscriminate"?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 30, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, - Kolos, I ain't. I hate traveling in a box, for starters.


Posted by: -bc- | June 30, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Yoki I smiled at the sign for the pictures, you are reqired to have "neutral" facial features. Drivers licenses here can now be enhanced (for a fee) so as to be acceptable for ID for the Can/US border.

Now that I think of it my Nexus card picture may be the worst picture of me ever.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 30, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dear. Methinks at least two Boodlers (one of them canine) will find this grasf in Weingarten's chat umbrage-inducing.

"Then, on Saturday, I saw that The Style Invitational was running a haiku contest, which caused me to comment to my friend Tom Scocca that haiku, as an art form, is pretentious, pseudo-intellectual crap."

Oh, my. I foresee Gene coming to work later this week with some serious bite marks about his ankles and knees. To say nothing of some serious re-arrangement of his dioxyribonucleaic acids.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 30, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

And this exchange made me laugh out loud:

Arlington, Va.: Wait, what? What's a sliding pond? I'm from Long Island, born of Brooklyn-raised parents. Many a day I helped my mother make hamburgers or meatload out of chopmeat. But I've never heard of a sliding pond.

... What's "meatload"?

Gene Weingarten: I think you know, Liz. I think you know quite well.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 30, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"AKC-challenged" A trait I'm proud to share with you.
"Multi-sired" Biologically impossible but I guess you're just being insulting. I saw Dad just last year.
"Randomly litterized" See the first comment.
"Parentally indiscriminate" You chose your parents? Pretty clever for an ape.

Posted by: Buddy999 | June 30, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I wish someone had warned me about the great dane posts in Gene's chat.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 30, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I noticed that Weingarten recycled his tweet about the death of Billy Mays. I guess the joke boils down to:

Billy Mays:Michael Jackson::Bobby Kennedy:Jack Kennedy

There's something there that still bothers me.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Since most of you appear to be napping (lucky b@st@rds), I'll post yet another one from Weingarten:

"Your Replaceme, NT: Liz - when do you want to start the auditions for replacing Gene? It's not like it's a hard job - all you need is someone who knows a lot about things nobody cares about, is usually grumpy, often self-righteous and always a little smug. Pat can handle the grammar questions and we can ditch the poetry entirely. I was thinking Achenbach but he's too funny.... "

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 30, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I've got to admit, I'm going to miss GW. Even though he's gotten more obnoxiously opinionated over the years (and so wrong about dark chocolate, marriage, bumper-tapping, and just about everything else), I learned many things from that chat over the years. Such as the foot flush and the correct color undergarment to wear with a white blouse. He's promising once a month, but I predict it will wither away, like communicating with a summer boyfriend.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 30, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@Mudge: While much of my work is about as stimulating as being asleep, I'd hardly call it napping.

Over/under on how long before Weingarten is completely gone from WaPo? I say one year.

Posted by: Southwester | June 30, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

re: Yoki's earlier defense of slow food, and Buddy999's chosen appellation -

Full lyrics here:

- - -
Yeah, in the daytime I'm Mr. Natural
Just as healthy as I can be
But at night I'm a junk food junkie
Good Lord, have pity on me

Well, at lunchtime
You can always find me
At the Whole Earth Vitamin Bar
Just sucking on my plain white yogurt
From my hand thrown pottery jar
And sippin' a little hand pressed cider
With a carrot stick for dessert
And wiping my face
In a natural way
On the sleeve of my peasant shirt
Oh, yeah

Ah, but when that clock strikes midnight
And I'm all by myself
I work that combination
On my secret hideaway shelf
And I pull out some Fritos corn chips,
Dr. Pepper and an Ole Moon Pie.
Then I sit back in glorious expectation
Of a genuine junk food high!

Posted by: bobsewell | June 30, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

18 months.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

My neighbor was alone because she did not see herself as sick, and the state of NC was fine with that decision. Budget deficits, and all. Some of my neighbors believe there was foul play. I don't know.

The governor of SC now admits that he hasn't been exactly truthful. Is this a surprise to us? Does anyone really care? He needs to go home or go to Argentina, but please spare us the details. Please stop crying, it doesn't go well with trying to "man up". It sounds as if he's waiting for his wife's permission to leave. If that's the case, send him on his way. After all the light on this subject, sounds kind of hard to go back to the way it used to be. And a love less marriage is akin to torture. This man's nose is so wide open, two or three trucks could drive through, and still have room for a couple of cars.*sigh*

Posted by: cmyth4u | June 30, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

And what is the criteria? Three missed columns? Two missed chats?

It's actually sad to see him fading away. It's like reading Foxtrot in the Sunday paper. It just reminds you what used to be.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Breaking news - Minn court rules for Franken:

Posted by: seasea1 | June 30, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

His nose is "wide open"? This sounds like a euphemism with which I am previously unfamiliar. Do tell!

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 30, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Cassandra. Those hang dog eyes are the look of a man whipped pretty bad. I hope that when I earn a midlife crisis, I'm not nearly so pathetic.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

yello, I don't get the GeneW "joke" about the 4 names, either...not funny, or equivalent, if you ask me. I was trying to remember if the song came out before RFK was assassinated, and then they tacked on the verse about him, but I can't.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 30, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the outlaw and soon-to-be inlaw isn't going to Lubbock's CVB after all, Google News shows (the last two stories dated yesterday and today). When Cousin Marilou said her prospective son-in-law got a sweet deal, she wasn't kidding--until it apparently fell through:

Gee, wonder if the wedding is still on? Only child Nicole and her beau Darren have co-owned a house in Cheyenne for some time now. Will Nicole still market Cheyenne Frontier Days? Wonder if Cousin Marilou and her husband Fred will still move to Los Osos?

And isn't odd how misunderstandings start? I didn't say the people in Lubbock aren't nice; I simply mentioned how the flat plains in America's midsection--and northern Texas--don't appeal to me at all.

Posted by: laloomis | June 30, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@yellojkt: I'd call it when the column is completely gone, even if he still pops in for chats now and then. I'd put the o/u at a year or so, say right after the next Post Hunt. Then the column goes and the chats will fade away.

Posted by: Southwester | June 30, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

It's Franken-time!

Posted by: Southwester | June 30, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The song was recorded by Dion after the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. RFK was assassinated in June of '68 and the song charted in November.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The Minnesota Supreme Court has gone unanimously for Franken, concluding with the magic words--that he is entitled to a certificate of election. The end??

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 30, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@DotC: That's got to be it. If only the Dems could get really unite the party, they could take advantage of the super majority.

Posted by: Southwester | June 30, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

YAY! Franken is in! Congrats, frosti!

Now let us hope that there will be no more appeals and that Pawlenty will do the right thing.

Just in time for the health care initiative.

*doing theoretical cartwheels and flip-flops*

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 30, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Kurtz says that Pawlenty said he would sign based on the decision.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Not so fast. The Minnpremes didn't "require" Pawlenty to sign it. They only said he was "entitled" to it. Why they left that tiny shred of wiggle room the FSM only knows.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 30, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Ya sometimes wonder about a person who continues digging himself deeper into the hole, because we've probably all done that at one time or another. But when a guy brings in a backhoe, a steam shovel, and other earthmoving equipment, builds a security fence around the hole, and starts running a tab at Domino's Pizza, ya gotta wonder:

"COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said Tuesday that he "crossed lines" with a handful of women other than his mistress - but never had sex with them. The governor said he "never crossed the ultimate line" with anyone but Maria Belen Chapur...

"During an emotional interview at his Statehouse office with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Sanford said Chapur is his soul mate but he's trying to fall back in love with his wife." [Oh, man is this marriage over. It isn't just toast, it is garlic croutons. It is krispy critters. It is S'mores roasting over an iron smelter.]

"He said that during the encounters with other women he "let his guard down" with some physical contact but "didn't cross the sex line." He wouldn't go into detail."

"Sanford also admitted he saw Chapur more times than previously disclosed, including what was to be a farewell meeting in New York chaperoned by a spiritual adviser soon after his wife found out about the affair." [He is now a seared Thomas's English Muffin with Napalm Marmalade. Perhaps the spiritual adviser was Padre Cutie.]

"He described five meetings with Chapur over the past year, including two romantic, multi-night stays with her in New York before they met there again intending to break up."

"He said he saw her two other times, including their first meeting in 2001 at an open-air dance spot in Uruguay."

The only person on the face of the earth who doesn't know what's gonna happen to this guy is...this guy.

*shaking my head*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 30, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

@mudge: I get the feeling after his wife throws him out and he has to resign, his "soul-mate" will be over him too. Just a hunch.

Posted by: Southwester | June 30, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't think so. I think she marries him.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 30, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Coleman conceded. Franken is supposed to speak in half an hour or so. Yay!

Posted by: seasea1 | June 30, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

So true, mudge. This guy is toasted worse than the cheese on the bottom of my toaster oven. Once you get him talking he just won't stop. Somebody tell him real men don't kiss and tell. Or 'cross lines' and tell. I remember one of the Virginia politicians (the one with a taste for beauty contestants) having a rather elastic definition of what constituted cheating.

I have heard of letting it all hang out, but this is waaaay too much information.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I also think that after Sanford tires of Evita (or she tires of him) and she can't help him win things he wants politically (as if that is ever going to happen again -- but then again "little boy" Bush won twice) like his current wife did, that love affair (if that's really what it is/was) is over.

Why does politics (with minor exception, alas) attract idiots?

BTW, I am now decidedly into the Mitford letters, and they are really incredibly compelling. Very funny, very weird. I'm into the period of 1933-1939, which brings us into the mad love Unity has with Adolf Hitler and Diana married (finally, after various divorces on each side are taken care of) to Oswald Mosley, leader (really Leader (capital L)) of the fascist movement in England. Jessica (the left-winger/communist) is getting a touch agitated at all this fascism. Honestly, these letters are really terrific.

Welcome to the Senate, Al -- hey, you guys, we *found* our Al!!!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 30, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm really shocked to learn that he did the sparkin' thing with more than one. I think people *do* fall in love, even when it is impossible and appears wrong, so I was sort of rooting for Mark and Maria. Now? I'm not so sure.

Posted by: Yoki | June 30, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The absolute killer line was that he was "going to try to fall in love with his wife again."

All the rest of it can be dealt with and perhaps forgiven. But not that one. Tell your wife somebody else beside her is your soulmate, but you'll try to fall in love with your wife agin-- no way. As they say in aviation, that's an unrecoverable spin. If he hadn't said it, he might (but I doubt it) have pulled it off. But having said it-- crash and burn.


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 30, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

IMHO, she would be a fool to have him now. I understand Jenny Sanford is a member of the Skil power tools family, so she doesn't need money, but Mark's gonna have to educate his children. I suppose SOMEBODY will eventually employ him, but not in SC, I hope.

Hey Brag, is this affair getting press in Buenos Aires?

Posted by: slyness | June 30, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

This story will have the very same ending as one of greatest political novels ever written, C.P. Snow's "Corridors of Power." Has the same plot, only the main guy is candidate for prime minister of England.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 30, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Holy cow! Talk about a man unraveling. I agree, Mudge. Flat spin.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 30, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, you there? The F-16 flyover was for the funeral of the couple killed in the Metro crash.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 30, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I've been waiting a long time for this...

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 30, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Poor guy. Just going along, minding his own business. Lets down his guard for just a second - a second mind you - and the feminine wiles come rushing in like Katrina over the New Orleans levees. Guy didn't have a chance.

*pushing Advocacy 101 text hard onto thumb so as to keep straight face*

Posted by: engelmann | June 30, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Jenny Sanford has a degree in finance from Georgetown (I think I read somewhere that she graduated summa cum laude), worked as an investment banker. So I don't get why she's staying with Mr Loser, unless she thinks it's better for the kids to try to work things out. She may be just now getting the full extent of the story, the way Elizabeth Edwards did (or is still).

Posted by: seasea1 | June 30, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Pretentious poet dogs
Rhyming in berets and togs
Don't bite moustached hogs.


...Why this mellow mood?
Trailing odors in the wood
beats reading rude dudes.

Spring hocus-pocus:
Sniffing grass next to crocus
Makes the heart focus.

(Higgledy piggle
On critics my pee jiggles
As their tongues wriggle--)

Wren rises up in glen
Vixen scurries from her den
I pen down my zen.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 30, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod here.

NOW, insisting that all poems rhyme is pretentious artistry.

Beat him with a cod, by G**.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 30, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Great moments in poetry:

8th Century B.C.: Homer (or somebody else with the same name) composes the Iliad.

1667: Milton publishes Paradise Lost

1922: T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land redefines modern poetry.

2009: Gene Weingarten twitters a double dactyl in perfect meter and rhyme.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I stopped following Gene W because I couldn't stand to look at his avatar anymore.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 30, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I mean follow him on Twitter.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 30, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

verbal diarrhoea:
real intellectual crap served
over the comm mode;
nothing pseudo or pretend
about that stinkin' pile o'...

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 30, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Ah, a voice of sanity. From E.J. Dionne:

I'm looking forward to following Al's career.

Frosti, you feeling better today?

Posted by: slyness | June 30, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

*Poke, poke*

It's dead, Jim.

Posted by: slyness | June 30, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

That would be entirely fitting, Raysmom... Didn't see them do the "missing man" maneuver, but then again I'm not sure where the ceremony was.

'Mudge, I'd say Sanford is in an inverted flat spin. *shaking my head*

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 30, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

After badmouthing the TX panhandle, the picture was painted that only the deepest truest love could make someone move there. To then insinuate that money might possibly be the motivation for the marriage is in poor taste, especially in light of the bride being a relative. Alas, no mention of concern for the outcome of the mother of the bride's recent surgery. And then there's spilling someone else's troubles all over the net. Sigh. The inability to empathize...I'm guessing tomorrow will be more complaining.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 30, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

You know, LiT, all those same thoughts crossed my mind earlier when I read those posts.

Posted by: Wheezy1 | June 30, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Do you hear the rain? It's deafening. We finally get the promised thunderstorms.
The AGBL and the Very Large Puppy aren't happy though, they both are thunder wussies.
The VLP used to go in his crate during thunderstorms, as long as the crate's top was covered by a blanket or towel.
Today, he sheltered under the dining room table because Mrs. D., Witches no. 1 and no. 2 were playing Clue on it. What a dumb dog. If the sky were falling on its thick skull he would most likely survive.
And it makes for a busy under table with that huge dog underneath.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 30, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

The final kicker on the thing Wheezy is that she doesn't even really know these people--the connection is purely happenstance--yet names and home towns are given along with details of their trials and tribulations, topped off with the off-the-wall speculation. The gall....

Posted by: LostInThought | June 30, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Ha! double dactyls are fun!
Is this correct? It's my first:

Hickory dickory,
Pulitzer victory
certified drama queen
sharp as a knife

Cutting edge genetic,
more to wit than a twit,
revels in strife

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 30, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, DNA Girl!

I wrote this a few weeks ago and must admit that I got help from the man himself; he rearranged a couple of commas and fixed a bad beat...

Gene "Chat Man" Weingarten
no-talent hack.

If he were fired then
we would be sorry, and
sign a petition to
bring his ass back.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 30, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

That makes more sense than his double dactyls, TBG.

Unfortunately I must abstain from double dactyls; such attempts could only take a turn for the verse.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 30, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, Wilbrod... we've got no rhyme or reason for doing them.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 30, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Pterodactyl swoops down;
Talon-ted dog in full flight
Bites himself free. Then,...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 30, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

There is jubilation throughout the land! But, and there is always a but, Coleman intimated that he'd have an announcement about his future soon. Odds are it will be a race for governor. Now I had it all pundited out that Michele Bachman would be the best Rep. candidate. The nutcase base would insure her endorsement, and the Rep.s in MN generally don't challenge the endorsed candidate in the primary (as Dems do far too often). Thus, the Reps would be stuck with a candidate who could not win a statewide office in MN. Now, Coleman would be favored over any of the Dems currently in the race, and there are legions-or about 18 if you count both declared and "seriously thinking about it."

Just had a phone call inviting me to a Franken rally in St. Paul tomorrow. Alas, not Al himself. I'll have to satisfy myself with the memories of the days when he would call to gauge my intent going into the county and state conventions. Dionne is right, he's going to surprise a lot of people.

Wishing for death from the dread summer cold, that or having my head removed and brought back all cleaned out.

Mourning the losses of boodler friends and acquaintances, happy birthdays and bon vacation where applicable. It's already been said, but Sanford=Flat Spin, without a doubt.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 30, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Took the ferry over to Southport today. Window shopping, hit the candy store and the Christmas store. Looked at very small houses that we couldn't possibly afford. Went to the fish monger in Oak Island, and put together fish chowder. If I could only make this stuff in our neck of the woods. Alas, no fresh fish. Happy Birthday, dmd. Thinking of your friend, Cassandra. Hope you had a better day today, Yoki. Thinking of your friend, 'Mudge. Nobody famous in my HS class. My Mom and Dad went to school with Rock Hudson, and my Aunt took some of the same classes at Northwestern with Charlton Heston. Peace be with all of you.

Posted by: -jack- | June 30, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

We need to introduce to the general Boodle one of CqP's favorite words, which I hereby use to describe Sanford: betwitterpated.

I love it.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 30, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

jack... sounds like paradise. I love that part of the country. We went to a pick-pickin' rehearsal dinner at Ft Fisher a couple of years ago.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 30, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Pick-Pickin, what is that TBG - shellfish meal?

Candy store and a Christmas store Jack - what a delightful way to spend a day.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 30, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse the starry night
goggles 'n' scarf set just right
tale spins for us all

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 30, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Glad you're up and about, frosti. I'm a bit concerned about the Tylenol and Vicodin recommendations, as those work well for me...and I've never been tempted to combine OTC and prescription drugs.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 30, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Oops... pig-pickin'!

Posted by: -TBG- | June 30, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Flea-bitten flea-schmitten
Buttlickers ripping out
diagnosed parasites--

Tickery lickery
Puppy precipitate's
talent to nauseate's


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 30, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this explains why Sanford is making bad decisions (he's getting advice from Jim McGreevey):

Posted by: seasea1 | June 30, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Rode Sopwith Camels
With beagles as co-pilots
Too much gunfire. Ugh.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 30, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, dashing heros
like you do doggoned good deeds
without a dogfight

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 30, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm dog tired. G'night all.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 30, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Me too.
G'night TBG et Al.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 30, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Not to go all Weingarten on you, but one of the lines has to be a single word.

Higgedly piggedly
Ole Joel Achenbach
Talks about all the stuff
Up in the sky

Shuttles and aliens and
quasars and little green men.
He's quite the guy.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 30, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

One of the things I've learned as I've gotten older is to not question anyone's motivations about love.

It's like gravity to me - you know it when you're in it, but I'll be darned if I know for sure how it works, much less how to control it. And I sure can't speak for what anyone else is experiencing. But I sure am glad it's there.

One other thing I learned is to try to remember to treat family and friends like treasures, not resources or sources.

But, that's just me.


Posted by: -bc- | June 30, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Psst Yello, that would be "li'l green men", no?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 30, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Woof. We had an unexpected thunderstorm here for about an hour this evening. We lost power for half an hour; I am in awe of our local electric company. They must have fixed it while the storm still raged. Ivansdad was out, so the Boy and I sat in the shelter of the carport and enjoyed the storm. The rain was sure nice.

Sanford: fool for love. There are worse things.

Thanks for the haiku y'all, and to DNA Girl for the Sinfest. I've become addicted.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 30, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

bc, I don't disagree. But as an adult, especially as an adult politician, it seems to me that you could deal with the situation in a much better way. If Sanford is really in love with someone else, he could get a divorce. Painful, difficult, maybe damaging to his career - but not as bad as this. He needs to shut up, get some therapy, get some good advice - but mainly shut up would take care of most of it.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 30, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Hi Al, been working my A!s off the past 31 days and haven't had hardly a chance to back boodle. Grounds keeper for the www.

shrieking_denizen you may have a cleb. Watch the video for the winner. Are your VLPs a relative?

Posted by: bh72 | June 30, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

In the spirit of posting stuff about people one doesn't really know well, my older daughter is looking through her school's phone listings and reading me strange names for kids her age. Reinhardt - OK, you think, the kid's from Germany, right? - no, his parents' names are Bob and Anne. And Auguste - another German kid, right? - no, his parents' names are Phil and Karen. Daughter knows Reinhardt and he has suffered for this name. What are these parents thinking?

Posted by: Wheezy11 | June 30, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I can take a guess. "Our precious baby bubby bunger boo is so extraordinarily special, gifted, beautiful, graceful and destined for great things, we need to give him/her a unique name, not something that the common people would choose. Let us look to great literature or classical art for his/her moniker!"

Or, maybe that was just me.

Posted by: Yoki | July 1, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Hi, Yoki! You didn't, really - don't tell me ... Dot #1 is named Nirvana? Or Brunhilde?

Posted by: Wheezy11 | July 1, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Well, her grandmother's given name was Minerva! (This is the truth.)

Posted by: Yoki | July 1, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Minerva's not bad. At least there's a nickname. Alas, poor Reinhardt - he has no nickname.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | July 1, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

No, but he'll look *fabulous* with a dueling scar.

Posted by: Yoki | July 1, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Yoki - I tried to look up what the dueling scar is in reference to and got completely sidetracked. I've got nothing.

Got to go begin the long process of getting assorted critters (and kids) ready for bed. Strange in summer, when even the teens stay up this late.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | July 1, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse



I like the wikipedia entry better, since it references dueling scars in literature as well as life.

Posted by: Yoki | July 1, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Almost done with the bedding-down process, but I had to respond. I do know what a dueling scar is. Just don't know of a famous Reinhardt from opera or literature who would have sported one. Is there such a hero awaiting my enlightenment and adoration?

Goodnight, Yoki and Al!

Posted by: Wheezy11 | July 1, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

dmd, hope your day was good and the picture turned out to be the best the license bureau has ever taken.

Yoki, a month off!!!

And a cluck-out to CqP:

gwe, hope all is well.

Posted by: -dbG- | July 1, 2009 3:15 AM | Report abuse

Right you are, DNAGirl.

That is why I need to leave sophisticated poeming to the trained professionals.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 1, 2009 4:51 AM | Report abuse

Yanno, it's way too easy to forget how to sleep in, even on vacation...

Then again, I think one could be forgiven for being a bit too excited about NukeSpawn's imminent arrival to properly enjoy extra shut-eye.

'Mudge -- Sanford's inverted flat spin includes a welded-shut canopy and a disabled ejection seat, perhaps?

And I can think of, oh, several million people who would be a better choice for "headlining" this sort of activity:

*waving-@-the-Dawn-Patrol-from-my-lawn-chair-on-top-of-the-control-tower Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 1, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. I'm trying to get ready to go out the door. Not so much on the "to do" list today. And that's good. My grandsons have not returned, still with the daughter, so it's pretty quiet. I'm getting used to it, yet I know this isn't going to last. I have the lizards, but they're not talking.

Mudge, Slyness, Yoki, Martooni, Scotty, and everyone here, have a great day. *waving*

I read Ruth Marcus's op-ed piece on Jenny Sanford. She seems to believe the jilted Sanford to be a role model. I'm not so sure about that. We probably need to see how this all turns out. I'm in Mudge's camp concerning the husband's statement of trying to fall in love with his wife again. I don't think that would work for me. It just does not make the passion ticker rise or even warm. I'm thinking Sanford wants to go, and some of this stuff he's saying has the intention of pushing his wife to make the first move.

Science Tim, when I was younger, much younger, that is what we would say(that guy's nose is wide open) about guys when they were head over heels about a woman. Just another way of saying one could lead them to the jumping off place, and say jump, alas, they would jump. My last boyfriend(long ago) was like that for a time, but I had threatened to beat him up, so I guess that doesn't count? (smile)

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | July 1, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. I'm feeling lazy this morning, so it's scrambled eggs and plain biscuits in the ready room. With fresh butter and assorted homemade jams, of course.

Scotty, hope that will be enough to get you through till the arrival of Nukespawn. Do you have any special plans for her visit?

Mr. T and I are going up the mountain today, separately. I'm taking my sewing machine and plan to stop at the super fabric store in the next county over to check out merchandise. It's on the way and I never get to stop, so I'm going to make my opportunity.

My parents would never go anywhere on the 4th because of all the publicity about terrible wrecks over the holiday. But there are terrible wrecks all the time; I wonder how how elevated the risk actually is on the weekend. Mudge, you got any stats?

Posted by: slyness | July 1, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Final weather stats for the month of June here: 27% of possible sunshine, 7.17 degrees below normal temps, and strangly, -.25 inches of normal rainfall. I mention this so you all know I wasn't just b1tching and complaining for no good reason.

Foggy again. I watched the fog roll in as I was leaving work last night. We drove to the Cape to visit #2 over a bridge we couldn't see, but by the time we reached our destination, the sun was shining brightly. Should have spent the whole day there!

Posted by: badsneakers | July 1, 2009 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Oh, just the usual stuff, slyness -- Zoo, downtown, amusement park, house repairs... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 1, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Richard Cohen is right on kit this morning. He went to high school with Ruth and Bernie Madoff. Ouch.

I can't believe Pabst the DdB mix won the ugly dog contest. He had quite the overbite but still, he was kind of cute.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 1, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Good morning you all. Joel, I really, really enjoyed your kit on the high school reunion. A few years ago my husband and I attended my 50th and it was the first one I had attended and boy oh boy did those people look old! ;-)

About Jenny Sanford & four sons. Where do they go if the gov continues to govern? I think she's well focused on the importance of her self respect and the well being of her children (which btw, the gov certainly was not). Anyway, I think it's a rotten shame if the boys have to be uprooted from their HOME and probably their schools in the fall, but the gov's mansion really is for him, right? As far as he goes, I tend toward the "he was awol to his constituents and the lt. gov should take over" camp. If his family has to leave the mansion, so should he, let the lt gov and family have it.....

Happy birthday to all.

Posted by: VintageLady | July 1, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Happy Canada Day!

Great to see you Vintage Lady!

dmd : Today is also my mother's birthday! And that you are Canadian makes this especially cool, what with it being, you know, Canada Day. I guess it would be like being born on the 4th of July down here. Which, coincidentally, is when my sister was born.

At least I think it was a coincidence.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 1, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

VL!!! LTNS!! *extra Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 1, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

New kit coming soon...

Posted by: joelache | July 1, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

In honor (Oh heck, in honour) of our beloved neighbors to the North

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 1, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Rick Moranis! And they didn't even identify him as one of the two most famous Canadians to Americans.

Was he Bob or Doug?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 1, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh... and Happy Canada Day!

Posted by: -TBG- | July 1, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

It was actually yesterday RD, but as a Canadian it is cool because I always have a holiday after my birthday.

July 4th is my best friends birthday, she is married to an American (dual citizen technically born in the US but to a Canadian mother). We had a joint celebration out last night.

Scotty, have a great vacation and enjoy your time with NukeSpawn.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 1, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday to your mom RD.

I had to sign in to WaPo for the first time in a very long time - usually it remembers me - strange.

My favorite line from the NYT link

My expatriate sorrow is that the weather has become warmer and the government colder since I left.

— SARAH McNALLY, a bookstore owner

Posted by: dmd3 | July 1, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

New Kit

Posted by: dmd3 | July 1, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

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