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History as Farce

We have long known that the U.S. went to war with Iraq under a false premise -- that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The standard narrative has always focused on GWB's cowboy motivations for pushing for the war and selling it to the American public. Now we read that Saddam wanted the world to believe he had WMDs because he feared looking weak in the eyes of Iran. Thus his refusal to permit weapons inspectors to snoop around was not (as Bush argued) because he was hiding weapons, but because he was not hiding weapons and didn't want his military emasculation exposed. This would all seem farcical in retrospect were it not so thoroughly slathered in tragedy.

--

Mark Sanford has to resign. And why shouldn't he? Does he believe that he owes it to South Carolinians to stay on the job? Yeah, he's really devoted to the people of his state -- on those occasions when he's not (wink wink) hiking the Appalachian Trail. The strong suspicion here is that Sanford wants to keep his job so that he has a place to go other than home, where he's a pariah. (Why not just fly back to Argentina? The perfect ending to the love story. Sell the movie rights!)

--

A quick follow-up to yesterday's item on what we do and don't do here in the news business.

We've become rather platform-obsessed. The ideal reporter is described as one who can tweet while podcasting. If you're coming out of J-school, please tell us you are so wired into the new technologies that you have bluetooth implanted in your teeth. But here's a talent that I find refreshing: Writing well. Show me you can put together a compelling sentence. If you can somehow mix intelligent ideas with vivid prose, fortified with original research, polished to a shine, I'll follow you to any platform you care to occupy. I'd even read your book!

[more to come]

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 2, 2009; 8:24 AM ET
 
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Next: Frantic Relaxation

Comments

Speaking of farce, WaPo's got John Bolton opining that it would be a good time to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070103020.html

(Or you can just google "cotton-pickin' minds" + "out of.")

Posted by: byoolin1 | July 2, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

So yesterday Yoki announces a hiatus and today I am first: coincidence? I think not.)

Posted by: byoolin1 | July 2, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

byoolin... you really need to post that link to the headline about the garment workers here for the boodle's enjoyment, too.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

We know that countries pretend to have weapons to make themselves seem fierce.
How about terrorist groups who want to recruit people - do they often take credit for enemy murders. I.e Bin Laden taking blame for 911.

Posted by: hdecotis | July 2, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

The Swaggering Saddam Scenario has long been a popular fallback position. Indeed, there are some who feel that Saddam really, really believed he had WMDs, and woe to the flunky who tried to disagree.

And while this does add a complexity to the simple narratives (and there are, of course, many competing narratives) about Just What Happened, the fundamental conundrum hasn't changed.

When individuals are given ambiguous data it is natural to interpret such data in a way that "makes sense."

Sure, one can talk about "alternative analysis," but in the end which analysis are you going to believe, the one that makes sense to you, or that one that doesn't?

Now, the technically correct way out of this is to reject all competing analyses and say "we don't know." But this solution is often not satisfactory to anyone when it is perceived, rightly or wrongly, that quick action must be taken.

And, of course, when the audience is composed of powerful individuals with extremely strong worldviews, ambiguity is not welcomed at all. Indeed, it can be viewed as an indication that the analyst is incompetent.

In a fundamental way, this is similar to the conundrum that Joel was discussing yesterday. Except the stakes have been known to be somewhat greater.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 2, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

By popular demand (if TBG requests it, that's popular enough for me):

@achenboodle If teenage boys read the news, this would be funny: "Probe fingers 1,800 American Apparel workers" - http://tinyurl.com/oxxpm7

Posted by: byoolin1 | July 2, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

tbg, i went to that camp once, too! how funny is that?

the narrative about wmds is a bit distorted on both sides of the political aisle. hussein did have a whole lot of yellow cake and he did have wmds or at least bio/chem weapons in the past (and even used them, no?). he just didn't have what we though he could have when we thought he did. and arbusto was a bozo, but y'all knew that.

Posted by: LALurker | July 2, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

hdecotis - this is a legitimate point. And it is sometimes far more subtle than many understand. For example, theorize an organization that is perceived as having near infinite power and infinite resources. An organization that is believed by many to be capable of single-handedly manipulating world events as if foreign governments, populations, and local forces were just meaningless background noise to nefarious Grand Schemes. Might it be possible that certain members of such an organization might be eager to embrace this dark image much like Pirates were eager to embrace their own exaggerated reputations?

But enough about Microsoft.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 2, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

hdecostis, if Bin Laden and the Taliban didn't do 9/11, who did? The IRA? The Illuminati? The Caryle Group? Larry, Moe and Curly? The Muppets?

Sheesh.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 2, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

BTW - I hope that my comment didn't in anyway support the notion that AQ wasn't responsible for 911. There are enough crazy conspiracy theories out there as it is.

The point is that it is legitimate, and useful, to recognize the tendency of organizations to claim exaggerated influence and power.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 2, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

For example, did you know that Taliban orthodoxy is that the Afghan fighters were *alone* responsible for the entire collapse of the Soviet Union. To them, no other factors mattered except their bravery and the Will of Allah. Once you understand that mindset, a lot of other things start to make sense.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 2, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Umm. If Sanders flies to Argentina might this not be viewed as an act of war?

And about platforms. I agree that great writing trumps all. In fact, quality always trumps the medium. I would rather watch "Dr. Strangelove" on an itty-bitty screen than say, "Patch Adams: in Hi Def.

Indeed, the latter makes me want to curl up beneath my desk and cry silently. But I promised I would stop doing that.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 2, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Sanford?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 2, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

RD, that was truly funny.

I sometimes think that all the wonderful charity work Bill and Melinda have done almost balances out the horror Microsoft has brought to the world. :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | July 2, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

TBG-thanks for the shout out in the last boodle.

MN Public Radio has some SC Rep. stalwart saying some very candid things like "Republicans always promise to make government smaller, and we haven't done it yet." "People asked me why we gave them Lindsay Graham, and I said 'Consider the alternative.'"

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 2, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Mudge - quite so. I meant Sanford.

Sanders? Hmmm. Perhaps I shouldn't have skipped lunch.

I clearly have KFC on my mind.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 2, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

dbG... I don't think the Gates' philanthropy comes close to redeeming them. Just like Carnegie and his type. You can't ruin some people and then fix others. It doesn't work that way.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

That Saddam hiding the bomb that wasn't there bit really made me think about the Barbara Tuchman boom "March of Folly", a chronicle of events where those in power stubbornly kept to their original plans or ideas no matter what. I've often wished she were alive to write another chapter on the Iraq debacle.

Posted by: Southwester | July 2, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

SCC: book, not boom.

Posted by: Southwester | July 2, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was obvious that Saddam was bragging about stuff he didn't have. When I saw the headline on the story yesterday, I thought, Duh, and didn't read it. I also think the Afghans are more responsible than Reagan for the collapse of the Soviet Union. Wars are really not good, usually (duh).

Posted by: seasea1 | July 2, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

You've skipped lunch already? I haven't been in the office long enough yet to skip lunch today. You workaholic, you.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 2, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@RD: I think you're wrong on this one. But I wouldn't say Reagan was primarily responsible either. The Soviets collapse was brought about by a combination of disproportionate military spending and poor leadership in the form of Gorbechov. They did it to themselves, the US and the Mujaheddin just helped push 'em along.

Posted by: Southwester | July 2, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

This is fun... the White House Flickr photostream...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Southwester - I don't understand your comment about me being wrong. I just pointed out an accepted orthodoxy of Taliban propaganda, not something I personally believe. Since, you know, I'm not a member of the Taliban.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 2, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I haven't skipped lunch yet but I was in the office by 07:12. I love those 13-14 minutes Summer commutes.
I think I'll go for a falafel pita sandwich. With onions, tomato, tabouleh and hummus, of course.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 2, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Little known fact, Padouk: Colonel Sanders once ran off to have an affair with a Brazilian. Your confusion is understandable.

***********
Today in Nautical and Aviation History

1839: 53 rebelling African slaves led by Joseph Cinque take over the slave ship Amistad 20 miles off the coast of Cuba. (Also reported on June 30.) Cinque and his group sail the ship to Long island, NY, where they are boarded by a U.S. Navy ship. They were arrested and charged with mutiny, and taken to New Haven, CT, for trial. After several years of legal wrangling and a stout defense by former President John Quincy Adams, the group were found innocent and freed, and were returned to Africa.
1900: First zeppelin flight takes place on Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, Germany. Designated LZ 1 (LZ for Luftschiff Zeppelin, or "Airship Zeppelin"), and generically named for its famous inventor Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, it had a length of 420 feet and was driven by two 14 hp Daimler engines. The flight lasted 18 minutes before a part broke and it had to land.
1937 – Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan, send their very last message at 7:58 a.m. before disappearing over the Pacific Ocean near Howland Island while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight. The disappearance spawned dozens of theories, none proven to this day.
************

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 2, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

SW'er,
Before it collapsed, many economists were telling you why it (USSR) would collapse from within and within the Iron Curtain...

They were raping their satellite states of their raw materials. (just one cause, but a big one).

In fact, one could argue that, if it weren't for their military industrial complex, they had little to export from the USSR other than Oil and nested eggs.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 2, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

@RD: Sorry, I'm a little slow this morning. It's just that I bristle at the historical inaccuracy that the US "won" the Cold War. We only won by default; the Russians lost.

Posted by: Southwester | July 2, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

@russianthistle: I agree with your argument, but the primary cause of the collapse was dissension in the ranks. Gorby continued the escalation of military spending, which forced him to cut back on everything else. The scarcity that hit the public would have been fine in the minds of most of the Party elite, but Gorbechov also decided that he would win himself a Nobel by bridging the the gap with the West through Glasnost and Perestroika. That was too much for Party to stomach.

Posted by: Southwester | July 2, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I think it was seasea1 who brought up Afghan Mujahedin (sp?) vs. Reagan as a point of debate -- RD merely described the Taliban orthodoxy. And prior to 11:38, no one used the term "won": all references were with respect to the collapse of the Soviet Union, not anyone "winning" anything.

I'm not clear, from my unknowledgeable viewpoint, whether it is remotely fair to describe Gorbachev as showing poor or weak leadership. As russianthistle points out, there was evidence that collapse of the USSR was inevitable, but uncertainty on the timing. One may hypothesize that Gorbachev chose to manage the collapse with a minimum of destruction, rather than holding out until the last possible moment, followed by violent upheaval. After all, it could have devolved into conflict between newly-independent nations with nuclear weapons-launching capability. I recall relatively few nuclear wars back then, suggesting that perhaps Gorbachev was the best leader possible under the circumstances.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 2, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

But, SciTim, What about the Nested Egg factor?

Posted by: russianthistle | July 2, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

There were a couple of nuclear wars back then, Tim, but the liberal/leftwing media refused to cover them because it would embarrass...well....somebody. It was all hushed up.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 2, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@SciTim: It really depends on whom you ask. In the West, Gorbechov is generally well regarded as reformer, but most Russians believe he brought about the collapse that led to the chaos of post-Soviet Russia. True, there were no nuclear wars, but the country also had a total power vacuum that led to it being taken over by thugs who still hold a great deal of sway today.

Posted by: Southwester | July 2, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"There were a couple of nuclear wars back then, Tim, but the liberal/leftwing media refused to cover them because it would embarrass...well....somebody. It was all hushed up."

Ohhh.... is THAT why we were hiding under our desks in elementary school?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Also, if Gorby could have groomed a bald successor, the whole cycle of corruption could have ended right there.

Posted by: Southwester | July 2, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Ma Frostbitten just called-Hampton Roads bridge tunnel closed because of leaking, 22 mile back up on the Newport News side of the Monitor-Merrimac. Hope Kim wasn't planning on going anywhere this weekend.

Whoo-hooo- temp up to 69 and a glowing yellowish orb in the sky, might be able to take off my sweater for the 4th.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 2, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

fatuous small town gov't post- spent a good bit of the morning on wonky business development "new urbanism" reading wondering about Our Fair City's purpose for existing (besides people living here and not wanting to abandon their homes and businesses and start all over). Then, I get a call from a council member, who had a call from a constituent complaining that our ditches (along the state highway through town) "look like hell." In fact, they are a verdant green with few weeds and all culverts, speed limit signs, etc. neatly trimmed with a weed whacker. The grass is a bit longish (just over ankle height) but for crying in the night we aren't maintaining fairways at Augusta. So, the answer to the question of why we exist is "to keep the ditches mowed."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 2, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Interesting tiff at the WaPo...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/02/AR2009070201563.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@frosti: I thought the answer was 32.

Posted by: Southwester | July 2, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

For those into tennis, it's an all-Williams final at Wimby.

Posted by: Southwester | July 2, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, TBG, that really is appalling.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 2, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

TBG --

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbw6Nxf8dYU

Lewis Black on Nuclear Holocaust

(not work friendly).

"I'm hiding under kindling"

Posted by: russianthistle | July 2, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

About that "dinner with the editor" thing, it appears we in the boodle aren't paying our fair share for access to a Post writer. Shouldn't we raise our payment from "nothing" to something closer to $25,000 --- like $1.99 or so?

Posted by: nellie4 | July 2, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I read the article and I think we should get together and put a search party into full swing!

This could be the easiest money since we got 18 million from the US government to put the Uighurs up and get them Ice Cream and take them to the beach.

The Post lost $19 million. I think we can find it.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 2, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Lotta angry people posting to Howie's blog. Not, y'know, righteously angry. Just angry. Just because.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 2, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Weymouth canceled the dinners saying the fliers were wrong and she wouldn't dream of doing anything to "impugn the integrity of the newsroom." Believer her?

Posted by: Southwester | July 2, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I see that all that tax cutting for the rich is paying dividends. They are investing their excess capital left and right ... or at least left to drive the economic recovery.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/02/AR2009070200354.html?hpid=topnews

Real income of the average American worker is falling. Quality of life is falling. What happened?

Paging David Stockman!

Where is Phil Gramm?

The sad fact remains in the face of all those wonderful op eds over the years that the economy is driven by sustained and growing demand. That's it. Oh, and Keynes was right, too.

A couple of nights ago, I listened to a guy who wanted to drag me into a discussion about how the Dollar will lose its value because of the deficit. He was whining about the Obama Administration and the deficit. He was whining about Social Security. He was whining about Medicare.

We can't afford it. He was going to LEAVE the COUNTRY based on the outcome of the 2010 election. HAHAHA!!!!

Above all, the guy was whining about "hyper-inflation" ... I said, I have bad news for you: the solution to every economic problem like the one we face IS a cycle of inflation.

I then said that the outcome of an inflation cycle has positive aspects to asset holders which will take the pressure off of the debt to equity caps.

He went back to talking about the 2010 election.

I went back to talking about the resort towns on the southwestern coast of Turkey.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 2, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

SWer, she was probably referring to the folks at the Universal Desk.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 2, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

If the Universal Desk is infinite, is run by a Boltzmann brain?

Posted by: Southwester | July 2, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

A couple of quick items:
I see JA's coming to grips with web content management systems involving workflow processing. I've implemented a few, and found that despite the best efforts of developers and programmers, the most efficient content editing and publishing workflows develop organically rather than from whiteboards and diagrams. Developers who build in flexibility to accomodate the people (and the relationships of the people) using them will find them used more enthusiastically than rigidly enforced workflows. And they're easier to operate, because users won't continually attempt to subvert or go around them.

Folks, the 21st century is here, and staying current with industry tools and practices is more important than ever. I suspect it's because our toolsets enable our media to become a blizzard of information, and people are taking less time to admire and analyze the beauty and meaning of individual snowflakes.

Onto a related topic of WMDs, I note that North Korea has started their annual 4th of July fireworks show. Is it wrong of me to snicker at the North Korean leadership and their spectacular predictability?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | July 2, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Heading home now for the start of a long weekend. And feeling *darn* lucky that I will have a place to head back to on Monday.

Cheers. Y'all.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 2, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the Post should sell $25,000 tickets for lobbyists to have cocktails and dinner with the Boodle. Hell's bells, if we aren't state-of-the-art opinion makers, who is? And anyway, the rhubarb industry is already in our hip pocket. They owe us sooooooo big time. Ditto Lladro, Kincade, the International Garment and Doily Workers Union, the Service Dogs and Haiku Writers of America, Le Societe des Labourers de Poutine (acronym: RPTGM), the Mind Bleach division of Chlorox, and Evangeline Lilly's publicist.

$30,000 gets them dinner and a movie. Ask your server about our Daily Specials.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 2, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, we are rockin' ... money is flowing in now to the Boodle and there is no end in site.

Great choice on a lawyer, BTW. I thought hiring Louis Tully was a great choice.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 2, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"Developers who build in flexibility to accommodate the people (and the relationships of the people) using them will find them used more enthusiastically than rigidly enforced workflows. And they're easier to operate, because users won't continually attempt to subvert or go around them."

This should be posted on every developer's cube wall.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

We--and I mean "we" because my husband is working from home today--have been having many problems with our Internet connection this morning--very flaky, up, down, up down, which has prevented me from completing tales from Wyoming. Lunch is imminent, so we'll see how it--a good connection for more than a minute ot two at a time--goes after lunch.

Posted by: laloomis | July 2, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

For $4.99 I'll meet you at Starbucks and tell you about my years growing up in Gainesville.

For $6.99: Same thing only I remain silent.


Yeah that thing was appalling.

Posted by: joelache | July 2, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Dubya attacked Iraq, because he was told it had no WMDs. Yeah, yeah, I know he said the opposite, but as Cheney might say, so? Notice how differently he treated North Korea after it did nuclear tests.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 2, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I'll be glad to take anyone fishing for a price, but usually the price is you buy the beer or wine and the worms and we go.

Here is a little tune cootie, just replace dance dance dance with fish fish fish.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h16BB7LZbs

Off to the river

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 2, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Joel, can you mail it in?

Posted by: russianthistle | July 2, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Linda's comments remind me why I am not that unhappy that I know longer own an ISP or work for one that provides what is generally referred to as Internet connection.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 2, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

russianthistle, loved the Lewis Black clip.

Went to one of his shows once and had a great time.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 2, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Joel, will you meet me at Starbuck's in Arlington? You pick the location-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T1RMuoQnKo

Posted by: kguy1 | July 2, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Took everyone across the sound on the ferry, and drove to Calabash last night for dinner at the venerable Seafood Hut. *faxing a couple of deLuxe platters to the bunker, with hushpuppies*

Posted by: -jack- | July 2, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh... Calabash seafood. I love that just a few miles down the road in Myrtle Beach you can get "Calabash-Style" seafood!

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

RT... don't you know that Joel is mail-challenged. He may phone it in, or even email or fax it in, but don't wait for him to mail it.

:--)

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh you silly people. EVERYBODY knows that Twin Lakes at the causeway at Sunset Beach is the best!

Actually, I think it would be difficult to get bad seafood at Calabash. My favorite, though, is Twin Lakes' hushpuppies, which they serve with honey butter. It is hard not to stuff oneself before the entrees arrive.

Posted by: slyness | July 2, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Moving on to what makes a good, perhaps an ideal, accommodations website.

On the Ranger Creek Ranch website, apparently no one has a last name. One wouldn't expect the stable of horses shown and named there to have surnames, but the owners should have them, including Doc, who goes only by a nickname. I always like to know with whom I'm doing business. In contrast, the owner of the Shell Campground and Cabins, where Tim and Dooley stayed, is Dan Tau and his name is given early in his website's text.

As it turns out on the Ranger Creek Ranch website, Andre, Corinne's husband, who is mentioned on the website as not being around much so therefore can't be seen, is back in Rotterdam. He couldn't handle the isolation of this ranch in a small basin of the Bighorns, and he and Corinne are going through an amicable divorce.

Second, I'd prefer information to entertainment. The five-minute YouTube video about the ranch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ms7npPgDBU

is hokey Hollywood entertainment, showing four women city slickers, the Billy Crystal "Slickers" story regendered. Sure, I admit that I enjoyed watching it the first time--the women guests wouldn't be able to hit the broad side of a barn with a firearm--before I ever set foot on the ranch. It provides a pleasant narrative and pretty pictures, but little useful information.

It's only when I clicked, after getting back home, on the link to snowmobiling at the ranch that I discovered the mention that the ranch sits at 8,300 feet. How likely am I to seek snow info during a stay at the ranch in late June? The ranch is not 1,000 feet higher in elevation than Shell, as I was told by Doc, but 4,000 feet higher. Are they so hard up for summer bookings that the truth gets stretched by 3,000 vertical feet? No wonder there are conifers on the 420-acre ranch (a 20-year lease from the U.S. Forest Service) rather than the deciduous trees at Shell Campground.

Third, there are no descriptions about the various cabins, nor any interior views or a video of the interiors. Therein lays the big rub. We were also told by Corinne, after the initial two-sentence confrontation with Doc, that we could stay the first night, and get our money refunded for the second night. The sun was setting, it had been a long day coming from Casper--throw in the long visit to the Dinosaur Museum in Thermopolis, an extremely relaxing hour's soak in one of three of Thermopolis' slightly sulfurous bathhouses, dinner at Dirty Annie's with Dooley and Tim and kids--and a long road to go down to return to Shell, so we consulted each other and decided to stay the first night.

Our next encounter would be with the Custer Suite.

Posted by: laloomis | July 2, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Do you mean Corine & Andre Cossée at the Ranger Creek Ranch in Wyoming?

http://www.guestranches.com/rangercreek/lodging.htm

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, where's a good, flakey Internet connection when you really need one?

Posted by: -dbG- | July 2, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I nominate Havel and Walesa as having some little bit to do with the SU's loss of federal dominion.

This news about Saddam is not particularly new, BTW. Although if it helps convict Cheney of anything at all I'm for it. Anyway, Saddam used torture, so he HAD to go regardless.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 2, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Butch Cassidy did hang out in Thermopolis.

There was also the cattle vs. sheep thing. Deadline Draw, a dry wash was a unilateral boundary. As in dead line.

I had sort of forgotten about Shell. Near there is Petes Hole, a gap in the Bighorn Mountain front. It seems the front collapsed, sending a long tongue of debris into the basin. The deposits are highly eroded, so it was quite some time ago.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 2, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Was that after Butch and Sundance robbed the Oracle of Delphi?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 2, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Kim O'Donnell has a potato-salad-orama going, at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/mighty-appetite/2009/07/wanted_your_bestest_potato_sal.html?hpid=topnews, asking commenters to post their fav pot-sal recipes.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 2, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Came in early so leaving early. For those departing the Boodle, have a safe and happy July 4th weekend. (Tomorrow being a fed holiday here, for those of you in distant lands.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 2, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

And stay safe with those fireworks. The DOT wants you to follow the regs-
http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/PHMSA/DownloadableFiles/Consumer%20Fireworks%20Advisory%20Letter%20FINAL.pdf -but safety still comes first. Following the federal and local regs actually promote safety for everyone, user and emergency responders.

When you see those candles rising in the sky have a thought for the hundreds of Chinese workers hurt or killed every year while manufacturing them. They apparently are getting better but the Chinese still have long ways to go on workers' safety issues.
Black powder, the main propeller in fireworks is quite a dangerous compound. It's possible that if someone would re-invent black powder and apply for registration at the BATFE (ERD) they would be denied.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 2, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly, the website TBG linked to for Ranger Creek Ranger has a picture of their great room that is wholly unrecognizable. I was working from the link to Ranger Creek Ranch provided by Shell Campground's home page. So I have to shop the Internet to get a last name?:

http://www.rangercreekranch.net/Home-Page.html

As far as Butch and Sundance, there's an interesting passage from McPhee about the same doc who treated both J. David Love as a young man and the outlaw Cassidy.

Posted by: laloomis | July 2, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

This 14' x 22' Custer Suite with the double bed, seating area, bathroom with shower, fireplace, and a porch?

http://www.rangercreekranch.net/Accommodations.html

Posted by: yellojkt | July 2, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Loomis... I forgot to mention that I think it's very cool that you had dinner with Tim and Dooley et al. How did that come about?

It's fun meeting Boodlers in person, isn't it? Now that you've been to a BPH we'll be expecting you on K Street with us some time.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

From Weingarten's update today...

Gene Weingarten: Important update!

Readers can have access to me for $79.95. Dana Milbank's price is $135, so I am the better deal.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

More important would be who throws in the free set of steak knives with their access?

Posted by: dmd3 | July 2, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Gee laloomis, you sure there wasn't just a misunderstanding? Maybe a collision of a Wyoming accent with a Texas one causing a mix-up? I imagine the extra 3000 feet might be a bit tough on animals pulling a conestoga wagon, but you were in a car, right?

Dinner with *Tim and Dooley...do tell. I know just proximity to *Tim makes my brain go all ka-blooey. How'd you do? Must have been quite an evening, what with two such fine examples of masculinity at your table (see why I only go to the occassional BPH? Toss in a yellojacket, a bc, and a S'nuke, and I'm lucky to be able to think sometime the following week. While there's something to be said for a man who isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, smart men are hot.)

Posted by: LostInThought | July 2, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

TBG, thanks for the kudos.

Been in this business long enough to have learned a few things.

dmd, I think the last thing I'd consdier giving indiscriminately to folks on the Internet is knives. Or any sharp objects, really.

Present company excepted.

Mostly.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | July 2, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

For evidence of my sharp observations and considerations of 6:14, go the online comments of most of the WaPo's columnists.

If I can't trust someone with a mouse, I can't in good conscience send them cutting impements, y'know?

Don't get me started on toasters, either.
Many internet users have bathtubs, too.

Though in some cases, they are used too infrequently.

All right, I'll stop before this comment becomes "bc's Postcard from Whineoming."

bc

Posted by: -bc- | July 2, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Good point bc, so easy to forget that the civility here does not exist elsewhere, read some comments on an article up here on Canadian immigration yesterday - ugly, ugly, ugly.

Should have gone with my other thought for the throw away gift - Sham-Wow.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 2, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

LiT, thank you for saying that smart men are hot.

Though I'm not sure what to make of the "something to be said for a man who isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer" phrase.

Er, can't I be fabulously good-looking, able to lift heavy objects, fix cars and plumbing, operate a reasonable outdoor grill, know something of sports and still be reasonably athletic myowndarnself *and* have reasonable grasps of history, science, food, politics, the arts and fashion?

And if I can't, it's OK.
I just wish someone had told me sooner.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | July 2, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

OK.. I can't decide... should I have a cocktail or a highball?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I know dmd. My wife and I saw 'The Proposal' and the portrayal of the ICE officer trying to deport Sandra Bullock was vicious and unfair. They act like he's the villain when he is the one upholding the rule of law against a blatant illegal immigrant. These proud patriots vigilantly guard this country against evil Canucki immigrants intent upon destroying our lifestyle with their love of hockey, poutine, and the Mackenzie brothers.

It's bad enough we hire Canadian actors to portray all-American icons and heroes like James Tiberius Kirk and Alex P. Keaton. Must we glorify them in our films as well? We need to herd these icebacks up and return them north to their beloved socialized medicine, cancon quotas, and bilingual cereal boxes.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 2, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Dumb but nice guys are easy to um... maneveur, bc.

It's like driving a trusty but slow brand X (your choice) vs a really zippy sportscar with tons of horsepower-- like a Viper.

One is awesome, but perhaps a little too challenging to use whenever you just need to get some milk.

The other, you might not ever get a lot of thrills, but at least you know you'll pick up milk without too much trouble.

Tinker with this metaphor as you wish until it makes car guy sense.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 2, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

TBG, two fisted baby! ;-) It is a holiday.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 2, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I think suggesting to a man that they will never provide many thrills might not be a good ego boost.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 2, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Dmd, that's why I prefer not to comment on a guy's brainpower.

It's rarely /all/ about the brainpower, anyway.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 2, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Well Canada did me well today,I made 6 floats downriver and caught over 40 fish,and still have enough worms for next week.

It was bird day at the river,I came across about 8 ducklings swimming in the river,that scurried up under some river grass when I approached them(No parent in sight). Then I was listening to dueling woodpeckers for about an hour, one after another,they must have been piliated cause they were loud.The geese flock or gaggle has more then tripled,to the point where I was leary to paddle towards them.I also saw a great blue heron(who I named sharon)and 2 hawks the flew upriver right over my head,so close i could hear their wings flapping.All in all it was a great day to be on the water.

now back to housework.

Oh, smart women are hot too,that's why I have a secret crush on all the boodle babes!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 2, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

A cocktail. Then another one.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 2, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Cattails, pine, blue sky
On the lake while we canoed
A bald eagle flew.

-Wilbrod-


Dumped at home with pork
cooking on stove all day was
real hurt-- of hunger.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 2, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Um Joel. Join the crowd. It matters not your pedigree or years of experience. It's a crap shoot out there. Be ready to move at a moments notice. Half of my belongings are now in storage. And I'm doing quite well on eBay I might add.

But still go to Italy. It'll be good for you.

Posted by: Windy3 | July 2, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey all,

1. Thanks for the July 1 congrats. You all really made up for JA’s oversight (I should be more forgiving - he did do a hockey kit). And a early happy July 4 for all of you too. We will be in Montana this weekend and I will be doing my part for cross border relations and economic stimulation.

2. gwe, you’re welcome. We sent those ones down special for you. I always make it a rule, though, to cut the trip short when I start naming the wildlife. Especially feminine names.

3. also for gwe (tune: American woman):

Canadian ‘crawler, come fish with me
Canadian ‘crawler, it’s fun you’ll see
Why not come and hang around my hook
Don’t spend your days there in that book
You’ve got more important things to do
Like helping me make seafood stew

Posted by: engelmann | July 2, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if she already knows how the election will turn out...

http://krystalballforcongress.com/

Posted by: -TBG- | July 2, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

That's Great Engelman,they have worked great lately,but I keep wondering where are all the american night crawlers? Have they been shipped to China for good relations or good eats?Or worm bracelets?

Sharon was the only name that rhymed with Heron and she was hanging around waiting for a handout or fishout I guess.I threw a couple up in the air in her direction,but she wouldn't bite.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 2, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

What's missing from Krystal's website is the state and district. I guess if I had a Krystal Ball I'd know that already.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 2, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

OMG. Are we going into the modern dark ages? Think about it. The weather, the economy, the lack of faith, etc.

Not me. No, I refuse. I have faith. I'm goin to heaven. :-)

But it is something to contemplate.

Posted by: Windy3 | July 2, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Amen re. smart women, greenie.

Wilbrod,your simile made me lol - Vipers do indeed have gobs of power and torque, but zippy they aint. 'tis a great bloody lump in the nose of that thing that pulls like a locomotive steam engine, but does not like quick changes of direction. And yeah, I love 'em anyway. Grin-inducing torque, for sure.

A Lotus or a Honda S2000 are what I think of as zippy - revvy engines, light on their feet, precision instruments.

Men are compared to cars all the time.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | July 2, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Boodle assistance required, dmddog has an eye infection, I have been given drops to give him three times a day.

Any secrets to actually getting them in his eyes - he is not impressed.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 2, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

VA's 1st District Jumper, from Prince William County down all the way to parts of Newport News.

Hot Dog TBG! I think you have just pointed me to a candidate the frostrents can get enthused about. Ma Frostbitten was just moaning this morning that "we moved 4 miles up the road and out of Bobby Scott's district." She's convinced only right wing gun nuts can win in the 1st, but Krystal's weapon credentials seem pretty strong. "Government should stay out of our gun cabinets and our bedrooms." That's a stance that could really get some traction (sorry for the pundit speak).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 2, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

dmd3-I have had great success with sitting on the floor in front of the also seated dog, eye to eye basically. With dropper, or bottle, hidden in one hand use the other to open the dog's eye wide (as if you were going to insert a contact lens) at the same time looking up at the ceiling as if you just saw something that might taste good. When the dog rolls his/her eye up to look at the ceiling you should have enough time to get the drops in before he/she catches on. Lots of hugs and praise after and I could sucker our dog Alex into sitting still for eye drops several times a day.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 2, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Was just reading about this and signed up, it is a free online collection of performances by the NAC orchestra (National Arts Centre). The collection spans the last 40 years. I do not see where you have to be Canadian to sign up, quite good and will probably be quite the time waste for me, my first search was for baroque pieces.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/07/02/music-your-tax-dollars-at-play/

Posted by: dmd3 | July 2, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

dbg's dogz add, to frosti's comments, cheese. Look upward to cheese, reward. :-)

Good luck!

Posted by: -dbG- | July 2, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams! Watched a documentary on PBS's Wide Angle tonight about defectors from North Korea. Worth a look, not just for their story, but also of the South Korean journalists who spent 10 months following the story-at no small danger to themselves.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 2, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

And if it ain't Baroque, don't fix it.

Posted by: Yoki | July 2, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, unfortunately the 'eye drops', don't drop more of a creamy sustance, he is a little testy today anyways after the vet visit - annual vaccinations, might be a little wary of my praise all that got him last time was a couple of needle pokes.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 2, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

dmd-if you are willing, and confident, flip the upper eyelid inside out over the tip of your forefinger and squeeze the cream onto it, then flip back. Otherwise the technique is the same. Not as bad as it sounds, but perhaps better to wait until morning.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 2, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I will try that Frosti, at 89 lbs he can be a handful when he doesn't want to co-operate.

Yoki!! Was hoping some baroque would bring about an appearance.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 2, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Butch Cassidy's remotest hideout was just off the Bighorn River where it exits the Basin and cuts through the mountains (now a reservoir). Unfortunately, the night glare from Billings was evident from there 25 years ago, and is probably worse now. The area had sharp-edged limestone rock that could slash truck tires. Expensive and potentially grounding. Probably a good excuse to resort to horses.

Saw the British Christian Bale portraying FBI man Melvin Purvis. Good job. Now if only bank robber Johnny Depp had seemed a bit more like a pirate. Oddly, Depp's accent seemed nearly as southern as Bales'.

The local art museum has a period painting portraying John Dillinger's girlfriend leaving the scene of his death. I assume they've got it on display right now.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 3, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

smear cheese on your face so he's busy licking as you put eyedrops in?

I'm fortunate I haven't had to do eyedrops on a dog yet. Wilbrodog is a brat enough about eardrops, until I figured out that warming the eardrops up first might help reduce the reactive earshaking.

_I_ hate having eye drops put in against my will. I might have to take up hypnotism if told to do the eyedrops on a pup.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 3, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Bc, thanks for the Viper feedback. I've never driven one, and am not likely to. I just know that most muscle cars are kind of on the broad side, and do not look like they're easy to park nor to drive at 5-25 mph.

So they're really the car for very straight roads like the autobahn but not country roads, mountains, city driving, etc?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 3, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I've come up with a new one

Lambada: The Forbidden Dance

Explained as a Baseball Metaphor


Posted by: omnigood | July 3, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

First light

First twitter of bird

Good morning, you all

Coffee's ready, hot water for tea.

Posted by: VintageLady | July 3, 2009 5:33 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Hello, Vintage Lady, and coffee would hit the spot this morning. Not feeling so well, but perhaps that will change as day moves forward. I have the gang. They're sleeping now. I'm hoping to feel better by the time they get in gear.


Mudge, Slyness, Martooni, Scotty, Yoki, and everyone, enjoy your Fourth, and stay cool. *waving*

Posted by: cmyth4u | July 3, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Quick drive by on my way to town for a big shopping trip this morning. So busy this week the cupboard is nearly bare (even by my bear with refrigeration standards). The neighbor cat had a friend with him this morning, but it couldn't figure out how to get in the screen porch. Thankfully this one has a home too because we are at max cat capacity Chez Frostbitten. Just after they left two deer came through, in no particular hurry. I think they might have been casing the joint for a garden raid later.

The espresso maker is all set up, just twist the knob clockwise to brew, counterclockwise to steam the milk. See you latte.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 3, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Buenos dias, todos--

Cassandra, I hope you feel better soon. Give those kids an extra hug from the boodle.

Frosti, you're making me think of yin and yang this morning, you with your chilly morning temps and hot coffee, me with my tropical sunrise and frozen fruit for breakfast. I just got a hand-held blender and I am the smoothie queen now. I keep all my fruit in the freezer, cut up in small pieces. This morning's smoothie contained: plain nonfat yogurt, a LITTLE honey, peach, pear, banana, raspberry, strawberry, melon, grape, orange-pineapple juice. YUMMMMMMM!!

NPR featured a reading of the Declaration of Independence this morning. I developed quite a dislike for George III, listening to it.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 3, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Three days of July, three days of rain. I hope it's not a trend.

dmd, dmd2, dmd3,
Witch no. 1 or myself have been butting ointment in the eyes of the Ancient Giant Black Lab every day for more than a year. It has become an easy routine but at first the rolled eyelid was the better technique. If it's solid enough don't pour from the bottle but put a dab on the soft tip of your pinky to apply on the eye corner or eyelid. Good Luck.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 3, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Morning. I'm moving kinda slow today. We were awakened by loud firecrackers at 2:58 a.m. The house below us is rented to (male) college students. They do not keep civilized hours. Yawn.

Cassandra, I hope you feel better before the kids wake up. Thanks for the hot water, VL, maybe the first cup of tea will revive me.

Mr. T is gone to Lowe's for supplies he needs to finish the stair project. It's supposed to be a delightful day, weatherwise, so I'd better get moving.

Double yawn.

Posted by: slyness | July 3, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Oh dear, don't dislike old Georgie, Kb. He was really just a crazy old coot. :)

Good morning everybody. Coffee is on, I have a free day, and then am down to 2 and 3 days a week for the rest of the month. while I love my work, the idea of having more sitting on the back deck in the sun time, tickles me to no end.

Cassandra, So sorry to read about your neighbour and I hope you are feeling much better soon.


Posted by: --dr-- | July 3, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

dr -
2 or 3 day weeks?
It isn't the recession that is cutting the work week statistics... it's dr.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 3, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I listened to that reading of the Declaration this morning, and enjoyed it very much. At times, I could almost hear the writers gritting their teeth as set the words down on paper. Couldn't help but smile at that.

Cassandra, I do indeed hope you're feeling better, and that all the joys of family and friends put a smile on your face, too.

Speaking of smiles, Wilbrod, a Viper is indeed much happier on a 140 mph sweeper than in a parking lot autocross. And if I were autocrossing, I'd much rather have the Lotus or Honda.

I'm a lucky guy to have done a fair amount of those kinds of things.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | July 3, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Whew! Not sure what happened, but despite a marvelous time at the Zoo (love the new Asia Trail!) yesterday's trip ended with one heckuva headache! Kinda felt migraine-y, but all's well now.

I read the hard copy version of the Hussein article on the train ride into D.C., and my reaction mirrored most of yours -- "Tell me something I DON'T know."

I'm a lucky guy too, bc, for knowing you and all my other Boodler friends. :-)

*off-to-the-Aquarium-this-time Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 3, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Today is #1’s birthday and next Wednesday is #2’s. When they were little this was a great excuse for a 4th of July pool party. Now that they are grown and live on the Cape, even managing to see them is a logistical problem because of the traffic. Luckily #1 and family are going to her SIL’s cookout today and will stop here on the way. Still don’t know how I’ll see #2 for her birthday.

The sun is trying to come out after a complete wash out yesterday. Some areas of the state had flash floods from the t-storms. The weather on Cape Cod has been significantly sunnier than here, which is opposite of how it usually is. A very strange weather pattern so far this ‘summer.’ The air conditioners aren’t in the windows yet as there have been no truly warm days. I just dragged out the blender for smoothies, which are usually a staple of summer, but this year seem more like something I ‘should’ be making even tho’ drinking one forces me back into my fleece to stay warm.

Posted by: badsneakers | July 3, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Morning Al!

The AT&T National was such a good time! I never thought that watching a bunch of guys chasing a little white ball could be so much fun, but it was. On the first day, not only are there more guys playing, but there are no crowds (unless you want to try to see Tiger). One thing you don't see on TV is how fast those guys walk--I was exhausted by the end of the day.

Happy Fourth to all. We're off to the country house later today. The weather promises to be excellent for much porch sitting, wine drinking, and book reading. Ahhh...

Posted by: Raysmom | July 3, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Happy start of a three-day 4th of July Weekend to those who indulge in this peon to fireworks, patriotism and potato salad.

**********
Today in Nautical and Aviation History

July 3, 1898: The Battle of Santiago Bay, Cuba, Spanish-American War: All six ships of the Spanish fleet led by Pascual Cervera y Topete, Almirante (Admiral) of the Spanish Caribbean Squadron, are destroyed by Commodore Winfield Scott Schley and his "Flying Squadron," joined by Rear Adm. William T. Sampson and elements of his Atlantic Squadron. Cervera had broken the Navy blockade and made it into Santiago Harbor by some briliiant seamanship. When he attemped to break out at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning, hoping to catch the Americans during church services, he found himself seriously outgunned.
1952 – The SS United States sets sail on her maiden voyage to Southampton. During this voyage, the SS United States takes the Blue Riband away from the RMS Queen Mary; the ribband goes to the ship that holds the record for fastest Atlantic crossing (3 days, 12 hours, 12 minutes).
1988 – United States Navy warship USS Vincennes shoots down Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.
2002 – Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon, the 10-story Spirit of Freedom, from Northam, Western Australia, landing in Queensland Duration and distance of this solo balloon flight was 13 days, 8 hours, 33 minutes (14 days 19 hours 50 minutes to landing), 20,626.48 statute miles. The balloon dragged him along the ground for 20 minutes at the end of the flight. Fossett's top speed during the flight was 186 miles per hour over the Indian Ocean. Fossett had five previous attempts before this success, and then repeated the feat four more times. Fossett disappeared over the Sierra Mountains in 2007 and his body was found more than a year later. A DNA test was needed to identify and confirm the remains.
2006 – An asteroid known as 2004 XP14 flies 268,624 miles past Earth. It is roughly estimated to be between 300 and 900 meters wide and is classified as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" (PHA) by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, MA.
********

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 3, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom,

Not only do they walk fast, but they don't make as many stops as the rest of us golfers do.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 3, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Mudge,
are you suggesting that 2004 XP14 would not have burnt up in the atmosphere?

My thought is that, if there still are some dinosaurs left somewhere on the planet, that would have been the coup de grace.

sounds like it would have been a weather maker.


Posted by: russianthistle | July 3, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom, I just finished reading Hiaasen’s The Downhill Lie, it’s a great and very funny book for all golfers or wanna be’s.

Posted by: badsneakers | July 3, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Happy 4th of July weekend! I heard the recitation of the Declaration on my way to work this a.m. (sniff, sob) and enjoyed it also. What a gorgeous morning here, it was extremely difficult to walk into work. Fortunately, we have a BBQ this evening at a fun friend's home so I won't miss all the fun.

My daughter is coming home from camp tomorrow and I can't WAIT to see her. TBG is right, the weather has been cr@ppy up in NY, but she's had a wonderful time.

Leaving for Tech on Sunday for my son's orientation. When we signed up for that orientation, all we were thinking of was to get an early orientation so he could get the classes he wants. It didn't occur to us until a few days ago that we would be leaving on the last day of a 3 day weekend. CRIMINY! I think we're going to have to leave at 0600 to avoid the traffic.

frosti - I guess there are still tie ups this a.m. from the massive traffic jam frostmom told you about yesterday. Glad we missed that! Apparently there was water in the tunnel part of the bridge. Hmmmmm, makes me very nervous...I don't like those bridge tunnels, anyway...now I'm REALLY not going to like them.

Posted by: Kim_1 | July 3, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: -dbG- | July 3, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

And this being part of a major holiday, there are some other noteworthy milestones:

1608: Québec City founded by Samuel de Champlain. (Hey, you know I'm always looking out for you Canuckistanis.)
1754: French and Indian War: George Washington surrenders Fort Necessity to French forces.
1775: But does George give up? Hell, no! American Revolutionary War: George Washington takes command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, MA.
1778 – American Revolutionary War: British forces massacre 360 people in the Wyoming Valley massacre. Principle bad guys were American loyalists and their Iroquois allies from the Seneca and Onondaga tribes, and a few Mohawks. Some 30 to 40 Patriot prisoners were tortured to death, and 244 scalps were taken.
1863: The final day of the Battle of Gettysburg ends with Pickett's Charge as some 12,500 men in nine brigades led by Generals Geroge Pickett, Johnston Pettigrew and Isaac Trimble. Confederate casualties were over 50 percent, with a tremendous loss among the officer corps.

Happy Birthday, Franz Kafka, Tom Stoppard, Fontella Bass, Paris-born/Washington, D.C.-raisedYeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), and Tom Cruise.

RIP, Motzart's mom, Trigger (1932-1965), Jim Morrison, Mr. Magoo (Jim Backus), Don Drysdale, Boot Randolph.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 3, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and one for Wilbrodog (sorry I forgot to include it above): Today is the start of the 40-day-long "Dog Days," according to the Old farmer's Almanac (in the Northern Hemisphere, of course; YMMV, Brag and Rainforest).

According to Wiki: The term "Dog Days" was used by the Greeks (see, e.g., Aristotle's Physics, 199a2), as well as the ancient Romans (who called these days caniculares dies (days of the dogs) after Sirius (the "Dog Star", in Latin Canicula), the brightest star in the heavens besides the Sun. The dog days of summer are also called canicular days.

The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius, the Dog Star, rose just before or at the same time as sunrise (heliacal rising), which is no longer true, owing to precession of the equinoxes. [Wilbnrodog, please avert your eyes:] The ancients sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.

The Old Farmer's Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the ancient heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. These are the days of the year when rainfall is at its lowest levels.

According to The Book of Common Prayer (1552), the "Dog Daies" begin on July 6 and end on August 17.

Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies" according to Brady’s Clavis Calendarium, 1813.

----------

Uh, sorry, there, Wilbrodog.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 3, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

This was ROME, Mudge. Sheesh.
I'd go mad from Roman heat
Praise god for AC.

(And for Minnesota
Where nights are cool and colder
And heat waves are few...)

-Wilbrodog-


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 3, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

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