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Robert McNamara

It can't have been easy, the last four decades, knowing that the first sentence of your obituary would include the phrase "architect of the Vietnam War."

Here's the start of Paul Hendrickson's classic 3-part series on Robert McNamara:

The word "Vietnam" never flutters into the room, not in the first visit, anyway. But like Banquo's ghost on Macbeth's stage, it seems to hover just beyond the automatic click of Robert McNamara's door. Once, he seems as if he is going to say it, comes right up to the lip of the word, then skitters off. This was the sentence: "It makes me goddam furious when people say I went over to the World Bank to do penance for . . . Defense." There was only a half-beat delay, and maybe this was the word he had intended all along.

And yet on other days, he brings up Vietnam voluntarily. The word and the place seem to seep out then like dark ink. "Obviously we made mistakes," he says, that high sawing sound back in his voice. "I mean, it didn't turn out like we planned." He is clicking a ball-point on the desk top.

From another Hendrickson story in 1988:

Mostly, though, he just pushed it all from him like rotten food. Old friends and associates and even those in his family knew it was best to keep away from the subject. He was like a man with the strangest moat around him.

The Portuguese have an expression for this: In the house of someone who has been hanged, one is not inclined to speak of rope.

And this, later in the piece, is especially damning:

Here is a chilling and little-known statistic on that: At the time Robert McNamara seems most likely to have lost his faith in the military aspect of the war, in the late fall of 1965, after the battle of the Ia Drang Valley, the official U.S. casualty figures stood at 1,335 dead and 6,131 wounded. That is a total of 7,466. Almost two years later, in early October 1967 -- which was approximately the time when LBJ began actively setting out to remove McNamara from the Pentagon, now convinced his once-awesome defense secretary had gone "dovish" on him -- the casualty figures had hit 100,269. Which is to say that nearly 93,000 people were wounded or met their death or were reported missing in the period of the defense secretary's disbelief.

There it was, the essential contradiction of a public man's life, cold and glinting on the legal page, acknowledged now by the man himself: that he had ceased believing in the military efficacy of a war that he had stayed on to prosecute anyway. And his countrymen never knew it, at least not for a long time.

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 6, 2009; 12:10 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Frantic Relaxation
Next: When in Rome


"The Portuguese have an expression for this: In the house of someone who has been hanged, one is not inclined to speak of rope."


Posted by: jlessl | July 6, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

JOEL! You talked to Bo
The White House dog, not me? But,
...I haiku bon bots!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

It can't have been easy, the last four decades, knowing that the first sentence of your obituary would include the phrase "architect of the Vietnam War."

OTOH there are 58,195 folks who traded in those four decades for a name on a black wall.

Posted by: kguy1 | July 6, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

SCC: I haiku bon mots.

I'm all upset now.
GRRR. Quick, where's my worry rope?
Sofa, bed, stairs-- found it!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Kguy. And needed to be said.

Posted by: jlessl | July 6, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Portuguese water dogs
Are NOT more quotable than me
Just more famous. Bah.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse


The original line was fine, Wilbrodog. Really it was.

According to MSNBC (so take it for what it's worth): "The current plan is for Al Franken to be sworn in tomorrow on the Senate floor at about 12:15 pm ET. Vice President Biden is expected to do the honors in his role of "President of the Senate."

The Post has a photo of a worker putting Franken's name up on the door of his office suite. But I can't link to it, because the Post doesn't have URLs for photos, for some reason.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

SCC: COUCH, bed, stairs

The time has come to
hang up my haiku collar;
life no longer counts.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

By the time I graduated from a high school on a military base in 1968, classmates were still pursuing Air Force or Naval Academy appointments, but absolutely no one saw any reason to voluntarily participate in the war. I applied to a couple of Quaker colleges that were probably totally overwhelmed with applicants.

One evening, my mom reported that the general was tending petunias in his yard rather than playing golf, so President Johnson's message must be something important. Sure enough, he announced his retirement from the presidency.

As a student at a very conservative state university, things were quiet until the Cambodia bombings of 1970. The change in atmosphere was sudden and drastic. By then, Johnson and McNamara were long gone.

Everyone seems to agree the two men failed, whether for continuing the war or for not prosecuting it with sufficient enthusiasm.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 6, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@kguy: not to mention the countless Vietnamese whose names aren't recorded anywhere.

Posted by: Southwester | July 6, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Joel, the quote was good, but ix-nay on that particular word. "People from Portugal" might be clearer to Wilbrodog.

He burnt his "Sonnets from the P** ** Dog" after Bo joined the White House.

Something about not wanting a young whelp like that to get credited with his work...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

While I don't remember 'Nam, I'd say there are a lot of walking wounded in America from that war.

It seems to me that the Commanders-in-Chief should have gotten their share of coals, too.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog always did tend to be a bit...well...dogmatic.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

What horrifies me is that a small insular group of powerful individuals kept reality at bay for so long. This scenario of mutually-reinforced delusion seems to play out again and again and again. And McNamara seems to be the poster child.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 6, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Not so many Americans seem to have appreciated the scale of destruction of Vietnam, including the deaths of a million or more people, enormous numbers of injuries (including lots of burns), severe health problems from herbicides, and devastation of agriculture and forests.

A bit like the second World War in the Philippines, but with herbicides and vastly more bombing.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 6, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

My brother sent me this last week. It seems appropriate here:

Ed Freeman

You're a 19 year old kid. You're critically wounded, and dying in the jungle
in the Ia Drang Valley,11-14-1965, LZ X-ray, Vietnam. Your infantry unit is
outnumbered 8 - 1, and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards
away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac helicopters
to stop coming in.
You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns, and you know you're
not getting out. Your family is 1/2 way around the world, 12,000 miles away,
and you'll never see them again. As the world starts to fade in and out, you
know this is the day.
Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a
helicopter, and you look up to see an un-armed Huey, but it doesn't seem
real, because no Medi-Vac markings are on it...
Ed Freeman is coming for you. He's not Medi-Vac, so it's not his job, but
he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire, after the Medi-Vacs
were ordered not to come. He's coming anyway.
And he drops it in, and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 2
or 3 of you on board. Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire, to
the Doctors and Nurses..

And, he kept coming back.... 13 more times..... And took about 30 of you and
your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.
Medal of Honor Recipient, Ed Freeman, died last Wednesday at the age of 80,
in Boise, ID . . .May God rest his soul.

Posted by: slyness | July 6, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Believe me, Johnson and Nixon got their share, Wilbrod. And it cost Hubert Humphrey his chance at the presidency (as well as his soul).

The tragedy of McNamara wasn't that he was architect of a bad war (though he was), or that he made mistakes (we all do that). It was that after he came to lose faith in the war, and knew it was unwinnable...he did nothing. Didn't stop it, didn't say what he thought, didn't quit, didn't tell people what he honestly thought. That was the Great Betrayal, not the war itself, which was bad enough as it was.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mudge, Johnson and his advisors indulged in groupthink in the very worst way.

Posted by: slyness | July 6, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Ana Marie Cox summed it up for me:

"Donald Rumsfeld now officially worst secretary of defense still alive."

Posted by: yellojkt | July 6, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@RD: I mentioned this book last week I think, but it's apt for the occasion: "March of Folly" by Barbara Tuchman, a chronicle of stupid decisions and stubbornness on the part of people in power from antiquity to Vietnam.

Posted by: Southwester | July 6, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

And, it is as if there was nothing learned by Vietnam. We hoped there would be, and now we have the Iraq fiasco, by a whole new set of powerful individuals with a knack for delusion and deception. But without a draft, we did not protest much, as did those against the 'Nam war, placing the not insignificant pressure upon those powerful people.

Our only defense, in the beginning, was that we were convinced we were fighting the enemy that had attacked us.

Yes, fear is a powerful tool as we've come to understand. We were not as fearful back then, but our brothers, our sons, our husbands and boyfriends were being drafted and that sure as he!! hit home in a very upfront, personal way.

Posted by: jlessl | July 6, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Southwester, that sounds like my kind of book. And very well said Mudge!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 6, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Very good chat with Robert Kaiser about McNamara now:

Posted by: seasea1 | July 6, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

When one looks at the Vietnam War and the war of today, Iraq, what did Americans learn from Vietnam? From my vantage point, I don't discern a learning curve or even an attempt at one. When Bush/Cheney started talking war, people seemed to be happy to go in that direction. Did Vietnam come up in the conversation? If it did, was there an impact? Obviously not the one needed. Our feet are quick to run to war. That hasn't changed much. Of course, that might change if we start sending the architect of wars to the front, to participate, instead of a photo-op. And I'm not talking about defending the country.

Posted by: cmyth4u | July 6, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

DotC I think the most recent estimate for losses were 4 million locals in Vietnam (all sides amalgamated) and more than a million in Laos and Cambodia together. Of course Laos and Cambodia were not even officially at war with the US.
And for poor Cambodia, it was just a beginning...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 6, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

yellojkt, I was speaking with a friend this AM about McNamara, and about how he'll forever be mentioned in the same breath as Rumsfeld.

I suppose McNamara tried to make peace with his conscience later, and took responsibility for mistakes, though I can't say it was redemptive.

As my friend pointed out, at least he looked back at what he'd done (and didn't do) and the war relatively clearly.

One has to wonder if anyone in the Arbusto Administracion will own up to what happened and take some responsibility for their parts in it.


Posted by: -bc- | July 6, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

bc -

"One has to wonder if anyone in the Arbusto Administracion will own up to what happened and take some responsibility for their parts in it."

Snowball's chance.

And W (Arbusto, as you so aptly call him) will end up dying in his sleep, just as McNamara, however, W will have no regrets.

Posted by: jlessl | July 6, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse


Unfortunately I think one of the 'lessons' the previous administration took away from Vietnam was to never admit mistakes.

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

Well, whaddya know! I'm sitting right in front of my absolutely glorious new 24" iMac and I *finally* got my new handle set up.


However, my Safari browser is slower than a cold day in Siberia-- takes forever to bring up a page. Any hints will be welcome.

Otherwise, I have to stop playing and keep installing stuff, so I'm now outta here.

Good to come "home" tho.

Toodley-doodley to the Boodley from FTB!!!

Posted by: -ftb- | July 6, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

There were half a dozen or a dozen major lessons we should have learned from Vietnam, and I was shocked at the time that we didn't--that we were often re-fighting the same old arguments *I* had thought were larergely settled by, say, 1980 or so. Chief among them was the death (so I had foolishly hoped) that people would no longer equate anti-war protest with being anti-patriotic.

However, we *did* learn (and practice) four really huge leassons from Vietnam. That is, in the Iraq War, as stupid and unnecessary as it was, we:

(1) didn't vilify our own troops, or blame them for fighting that war, wrong as it was. In Vietnam the anti-war people treated the soldiers and returning vets very badly for participating. This behavior was almost totally absent this time around, thank goodness.

(2) Despite a handful of incidents such as Abu Graib and a few of the Blackwater incidents, I think the general level of atrocities and overall general brutality by our side was very much reduced this time around. It wasn't quite eliminated entirely, but I think it has been "better" by orders of magnitude. The stuff that happened in Vietnam was routinely stomach-turning compared to what we see today.

(3) I have no idea why, but the use of drugs and other low-level misconduct (such as fragging our own people) by our troops is likewise reduced almost to non-existence.

(4) Again I have no idea why, but the level of flat-out blind hatred and racism against the enemy in this war is soooo much lower than it was in Vietnam. Again, it hasn't entirely disappeared, but it is orders of magnitude "better" than last time.

Of course, I cannot credit the Bush administration with any of these accomplishments.

One thing we have NOT learned from Vietnam is our government is not taking care of injured, returning vets any better this time than last time. What I could never fathom in a billion years is why a bunch of so-called flag-waving "patriots" in charge of two wars would treat their own troops so badly. It has been a national disgrace, both times.


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

And what is Palin's high calling? Is she turning in the governor's job to become a priest or a minister? What other jobs fall under "high calling"? If God has called her to minister, then He also called her to love and not hate. And the people she incites, don't do much love, unless it looks like them and talks like them.

And Rep. King, the Republican from New York, and his remarks concerning Micheal Jackson and the media's coverage of his death. He does speak for many, and some here. And, he didn't back down when asked to repeat. I'm assuming, and I may be assuming too much, adultery and lying, missed his radar.

Gaffney, SC, is not the place to be right now. The news out of there this morning is that everyone has a gun, and sales are hitting the roof for guns and ammo. I suspect they already had the guns, just got more. I hope they get the serial killer that has caused so much grief and sadness for that community. I do worry about those guns, especially around children.

Posted by: cmyth4u | July 6, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon speaks truth to power -

"One thing we have NOT learned from Vietnam is our government is not taking care of injured, returning vets any better this time than last time. What I could never fathom in a billion years is why a bunch of so-called flag-waving "patriots" in charge of two wars would treat their own troops so badly. It has been a national disgrace, both times."

Yes, send them off to fight your war and abandon them if they are lucky enough to return.

Posted by: jlessl | July 6, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I just hope no stray bullets hit the giant peach.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 6, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

-ftb-, you should go through the Software Update (Apple Menu) a few times -- generally, there will be a few security-or-efficiency updates issued since the time your computer's system was loaded, and some of them can only load sequentially, which is why you need to keep doing it until you receive the message "No updates found." That may help your speed problems.

I use Safari. I have no problems with it. Maybe it really is slow, but I'm just sued to it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 6, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Tim, if you are sued to it, then ftb is your go-to gal.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"Sued to it"? Used to it.

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

I wonder if, perhaps, some of the differences in the Vietnam and Iraq era have to do with the draft. I mean, to me, the notion of volunteering for the military is fundamentally different than being forced to do so. So much seems to flow from that.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 6, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

thx guys. Actually, I've updated this puppy w/in a mere millimeter of its capacity.

Geez, I luv this machine! And I can hear all the prior Mac users saying: TOLD YA SO!!!

This little keyboard takes some getting used to, I must say.

Posted by: -ftb- | July 6, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Yet, there's the argument that people are less anti-war when they aren't at risk for being drafted.

Now, over the last 28 years with Republican presidents in charge, we have initiated a lot of military missions (not formal wars other than the two Gulf Wars).

How many of us can remember Guadancanal? Nicaragua invasions?

Seems that we were only worried if there was a risk of the nuclear option with the USSR. Banana republics were nothing to worry about.

Just a thought out there.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I think you may mean Grenada instead of Guadalcanal, Wilbrod.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Reading about Obama in Russia reminds me that we saw Burn After Reading last night and both really liked it. The Coen brothers are great moviemakers if you ask me.

FTB... I use Firefox and find I like it better than Safari. The new Safari has been very clunky to me and also seems to seize up a lot. Download Firefox at (and be sure to find the Linkification add-on so the links here show up as such).

I know you'll love your Mac more and more every day. I've been using one since 1987.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 6, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Of course the difference is the draft or lack thereof! When it's not your own family of friends fighting a stupid conflict, war, or whatever the spinmasters want to call it, there's less likely to be much opposition.

Posted by: jlessl | July 6, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

My one dogma's that
Good poems are like chopped liver-
nobody else shares!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Of course the difference is the draft or lack thereof! When it's not your own family of friends fighting a stupid conflict, war, or whatever the spinmasters want to call it, there's less likely to be much opposition.

Posted by: jlessl | July 6, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mudge. I knew you'd remember. Guadacanal was WWII, wasn't it?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post. Computer is slow today. Hit sumbit twice.

Posted by: jlessl | July 6, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

One, sole, lone, or.. hmmm.
Sole sounds tastier, doesn't it?
SCC to sole.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Yup, Aug. 3, 1942, to about Feb. 7, 1943. More or less (I haven't looked it up). A six-month campaign, seven major sea battles (we lost four or five), a dozen major land battles, and a thousands fights in the sky. Turning point in the Pacific Theater.

Hey, TBG, didja read the Ombudsman's column? "Fewer Copy Editors, More Errors." Nut graf: "Between early 2005 and mid-2008, the number of full-time copy editors dropped from about 75 to 43 through buyouts or voluntary departures. It has declined further since then, but Post managers won't provide precise figures beyond saying that six took a recent buyout offer. The need is so critical that most are being hired back on contract through at least the end of the year, and part-timers are taking up some of the slack."

The piece also quotes Chris Wienandt, an editor at the Dallas Morning News and president of the American Copy Editors Society, which has roughly 600 members [including me]. [There used to be 900 of us just a few years ago.]

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... I'm surprised the headline on that piece wasn't "Less Copy Editors, More Errors."


Posted by: -TBG- | July 6, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

While I'm at it, I feel the need to take attendence. We have too many missing members here, who are no doubt gadding about and skylarking when they should be Boodling.

Yoki? You out there? You're quiet today.


Martooni? You haven't surfaced in quite a while. SofC? Cowtown? Rainforest? Aloha/MotP? I-mom?

All our legal beagles are very quiet today. That can't be good. They're probably all up to something neferious and uh...tortious with Alice a forethought, and habeus corpuscle (Latin for "I'll suck your blood"). Probably out filing writs of certiorari.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"Nut graf"?

I'd replace "kernel" for that, Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

That ombudsman article cataloged some doozy gaffes too. Somebody needs to start a Typos of the WaPo blog.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 6, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

@Wilbrodog: Here's an offering for you, but the Gigantic Dog can only write limericks:

There once was a dog in the boodle,
Who wrote poems to work out his noodle.
With Japanese verse,
He'd often rehearse,
To impress that cute fluffy poodle.

-T. G. Dog

Posted by: Southwester | July 6, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

scotty, nukespawn, and 'Mudge: My sincerest condolences.

Posted by: -jack- | July 6, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

mudge, i agree with every word of your 2:19.

cassandra, it is clear from palin's 4th of july facebook post that by "higher calling" she means the presidency.
she also alludes to others not finishing their terms, and i'm sure she has in mind obama.

Posted by: LALurker | July 6, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm here! Just habeas corpuscling away with Alice aforethought. Hee hee. Think I'll inflict that on one of our students, properly attributed to an imaginary friend. Who knows? With luck, they may refuse to work with me.

The Ivansclan saw most of Burn After Reading this weekend. By the end Ivansdad and I were laughing like loons, while the Boy wondered why we thought it was so funny. I think he was a trifle disturbed by our merriment. The Coen brothers are great and that was a good Coen brothers movie. The CIA guys made it.

Tonight is Ivansdad's and my 18th anniversary. I know this because he remembered it. Really I did too, sporadically, though I forgot which number it was. Of course I know what year we got married, I just didn't do the math. We're going to a fancy restaurant.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 6, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

A toast to Ivansmom and Ivansdad!!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Which reminds me: who here on the Boodle has been married longest? I've got 27 1/2, but I know there must be higher numbers somewhere. VL?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Yes... I was thinking this morning, Ivansmom, about what a great vehicle for carrying the story those CIA guys were. Better than a narrator any time.

I think the Coen brothers are geniuses. I loved the way folks in the movie kept saying "The Russians?"

Have fun celebrating your anniversary tonight, too! What kind of "fancy restaurant" are you going to?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 6, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I suppose I could do something with this headline, but I won't. "Bill's Prognosis Is Compromise."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

We hit 26 years just a couple of weeks ago, Mudge. And it's more than half my life now. That's a bigger milestone if you ask me.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 6, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Just over 14 for me and Mr. T, so we aren't even in the running. I'm okay with that.

Bravo, Ivansmom! Enjoy your dinner.

Posted by: slyness | July 6, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Boy, the Boodle seems to be about to go on the fritz...taking a loooong time to get here.

Anyway, wanted to point out that the Ombudsman article also mentions the Universal Desk:
"The Post this week began moving to a new, centralized "universal desk" intended to streamline the editing process for readers to get information in print, online and on mobile devices. Numerous copy editors told me they anticipate more errors will slip through as the kinks are worked out."

I saw Burn After Reading around Oscar time. It was ok, but I didn't think it was as good as most Coen brothers' movies. Brad Pitt was pretty funny.

Posted by: seasea1 | July 6, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Sad innings indeed. I heard a couple hours ago an old family friend died of cancer. I'm not sure yet when the funeral will be, maybe next week.

We have guests until next Monday. C'est la vie et le mort.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

You have me beat Curmudgeon. We're not married yet but come this October Mrs. D and I will have been living in sin for 25 years.
For the Canuckistanis out there we moved in together the night Brian Mulroney was elected for his first term. The restaurant couln't serve booze until the polls closed at 20:00. That stupid rule doesn't exist anymore.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 6, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I loved "Fargo" so much I bought myself a wood chipper.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 6, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

It will be 20 years of wedded Science, in a few months.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 6, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Happy Anniversary, Ivansmom, and may you have many, many, more.

Slyness, as long as you're hanging in there, you are certainly in the running.

Thanks, lurker. Doesn't sound like a good strategy for seeking the presidency, nor does polarizing folks. She may be seen as a quitter, instead of a go getter. But hey, this is America. Palin as president is like having Bush all over again. Please. Somebody needs to whisper in her ear.

Posted by: cmyth4u | July 6, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Happy Anniversary IM. We're one week from lucky number seven, when I think that itch is supposed to start.

Posted by: Southwester | July 6, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Somebody GOOD needs to whisper in her ear, Cassandra.

I think she's already heard whispering in her ear from somewhere else.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

28, for what its worth.

Posted by: Yoki | July 6, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

33 years a few years of co-habitation before that...seems like a lifetime...

Posted by: seasea1 | July 6, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

shrieking... I like your use of the word "yet."

Posted by: -TBG- | July 6, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh, hell, TBG, if I'd been married "half my life," that'd be ...what? 480 years or something like that? With the same woman? My god, the mind boggles.

Shriek, when ya gonna make an honest woman of her?

Cassandra, I don't think anyone has to worry about Palin getting elected to anything any more. She's a quitter-- and not only a quitter, but a quitter because she can't take the heat. Americans will tolerate a lot of crap from politicians...but quitters? No. (And "quitting" is *not* repeat *not* the same thing as not finishing your term because you were elected to a new one, or announcing you are running.)

There are few things more despised in this country than quitters, and she'll never be able to shake that reputation.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I think you're underestimating the stupidity of Americans, Mudge. I'm still worried.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 6, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I think we did this once before but can't remember the outcome. From the date calculator at

From and including: Saturday, December 5, 1981
To and including: Monday, July 6, 2009

It is 10,076 days from the start date to the end date, end date included.

Or 27 years, 7 months, 2 days including the end date.

Alternative time units
10,076 days can be converted to one of these units:

* 870,566,400 seconds
* 14,509,440 minutes
* 241,824 hours
* 1439 weeks (rounded down)

What say you 'Mudge?


Posted by: DLDx | July 6, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Palin will be a force. But that just shows how weak the Republican field is right now. I hope they can come up with somebody better. She scares the crap out of me.

Posted by: slyness | July 6, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Nice seasea1, 33! And I'll add my congratulations to Ivansmom.

Yoki, I think we need a finer calculation on that 28 years.


Posted by: DLDx | July 6, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

22.5 years for me and not much hope of catching up with the rest of you folk.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 6, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Ya got me, DLD.

9774 days from the start date to the end date, but not including the end date

Or 26 years, 9 months, 4 days excluding the end date

Alternative time units
9774 days can be converted to one of these units:
844,473,600 seconds
14,074,560 minutes
234,576 hours
1396 weeks (rounded down)

(Discovered it was 26 and a half years, not 27 and a half. Ah, the mind goes, the mind goes.)

Looks like I'm about fifth on the list, at least. Could be lower.


No, TBG, nothing to fear. She'll never escape the "quitter" thing. You never pick up your ball and go home because you don't want to play with the big kids any more. That is not a recoverable act. This goes back to all that playground socialization stuff and the "Everything I know I Learned in Kindergarten" psychobabble. But it is ingrained in all of this, and she broke the rules. She turned and ran away from the enemy. See "Four Feathers, The." This is bone deep in our culture. For her the question will always be, "If there's a crisis with Red Chinese, will you stay and tough it out, or will you get scared and quit?"

Can't ever be retrieved.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 6, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

This is sad, with all of you having admirable longevity in your marriages, and the only thing I can offer is that it's been over 20 years since my divorce. No prize for that! But I have a wonderful daughter and an amicable relationship with my ex (and his family as well!). Always look at the bright side, no?

Posted by: jlessl | July 6, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I refuse to put the actual number of years in print, because you will all study my posts for more signs of senility than they already display. Let me just say -- HA HA I WIN!

Posted by: nellie4 | July 6, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Just over 10 years for Mr. Moose and me.

Posted by: Moose13 | July 6, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Divorcing my first husband was the single best thing I've ever done in my entire life, jlessl. Best for me, best for him, best for the kids. I'm happily remarried, so is he, and the kids are sane, (relatively) productive adults. Much to be said for it. If you are happy with your life, that's what counts.

Posted by: slyness | July 6, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the good wishes, y'all. It doesn't seem like 18 years have passed. More like a few or forever. Of course, 13 of them were enmeshed with the Boy. I find having a child distorts time somehow. At least it isn't exponential.

There is a good place downtown which calls itself a Euro-American ristorante. Whatever. All the produce is grown fresh year-round in their own greenhouses.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 6, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Don from I-270 reports he and his wife have been married 37 and a half years. Woo hoo! Vintage Lady and bh may be up in that range, too.

Happy Anniversary, Ivansmom and Ivansdad!

Posted by: seasea1 | July 6, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Happy Anniversary, Ivansmom and Ivansdad!

Posted by: Moose13 | July 6, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

nellie, now you have to tell us how many...or at least if it's more than Don.

Posted by: seasea1 | July 6, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Hope you have an enjoyable anniversary celebration Ivansmom, congratulations to you both.

19.5 for us - seems impossible that it was that long ago, one of the smartest things we did was marry in 1990 makes it so much easier to remember how long we have been married, also managed to have the kids in 95 an 00 also assisting for easy of remembering ages.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 6, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Dr G and I were talking last night about how we are enjoying our empty nest this summer... that we're still getting along fine alone with each other.

But then we remembered that we were married nearly 6 years before we had kids, so it's not new to us. In fact, it feels kind of right in a way (shhhh.... don't tell the kids).

Posted by: -TBG- | July 6, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy your second honeymoon, TBG. I remember my parents kept inviting me out to dinner whenever they wanted to go, and I told them to go alone.

After a couple times, they finally got used to having date night out alone, and eating more "up-scale."

Have fun, you crazy post-kid kids.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes, many more than Don!

Posted by: nellie4 | July 6, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Impressive, Nellie. You might qualify as the boodle matriarch.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Good heavens, Wilbrod! "Boodle matriarch" sounds positively horrid.

Posted by: nellie4 | July 6, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Wise woman then, Nellie?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Hehehe. To use the phrase in a book I read recently, a juicy crone, Nellie.

Yeah, it applies to me! And it's a great thing!

Posted by: slyness | July 6, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. D and I reached 15 years last month...on the day I started driving to Wyoming (that's often how it goes for us). I delayed leaving so we could at least have breakfast together.

Posted by: Hopeful_Monster | July 6, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I have seen your picture, and you are far juicier a crone than I!

Posted by: nellie4 | July 6, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Ii would agree with you, DLD, but the bond is very strong no matter what the state of the marriage per se.

Posted by: Yoki | July 6, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Here is a phrase for Curmudgeon, right off the on-line WaPo first page:

"requiring people to supply their social security number when purchasing a good or service"

Posted by: nellie4 | July 6, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

And this is at the end of the article about SSNs - Carnegie Melon Cylab. Sigh.

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

You know the weird thing? You know how when you make a purchase at your average retailer, they ask for your name and address and phone number and postal code? I am *amazed* at the number of people who just give them all that information!

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

Hi Yoki. Yes they've been on an amped-up carding routine around here, asking for date of birth when purchasing adult items. (That doesn't sound good, does it?) But seriously. I have had to develop a skill of instantly coming up with bogus replies. So far my favorite is to say "two five two fiver five uh five" subtly altering any normal flow that might make this meaningful, and cause them to enter a "halting" state.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 6, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Just don't knock them into an infinite loop, Jumper. That's not sporting, yanno.

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 6, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't give false information, Jumper, I just refuse to provide what they ask. And, oddly enough, they don't refuse to take my money in spite of my resistance to contributing to their databases that they later mine for nefarious marketing purposes.

Posted by: Yoki | July 6, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

He won't be saluted on that other side. He will be still hiding in his cascket; FOREVER!!!

Posted by: BOBSTERII | July 6, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

1060 W. Addison, Chicago, 60613 (Wrigley Field for those unfamiliar with The Blues Brothers) It's the address I always give for intrusive requests, and once to an MP, but that was a long time ago.

Had some insightful (to me anyway) things to say about McNamara but I'm not my usual thoughtful self on things military at the moment. As anticipated there has been a SNAFU with Mr. F's retirement to take the job of his dreams. Still might work itself out but it now looks doubtful that he'll be allowed to retire before next spring (not technically "stop loss" because they can't do it any more, but the result is the same). Too late to take the position. Had to stay away from the computer during business hours today lest I send intemperate e-mails.

Hugs to those that need them for tragedy among family and friends.

DNA Girl-I saw that NYT article about Franken. Just one quibble, Gov. Rudy Perpich was unusual, but the chop stick factory idea wasn't that strange an idea. Unfortunately the guy who got all the state money to build the factory didn't know thing 1 about chop sticks.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 6, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, twenty-eight is worth a lot. I've been married twice, and adding the time together for both will not net twenty or even ten, although I did stay with number two longer. Of course, the time on paper was much longer. Congrats to all of you that have hung in there.

Too late for me now. As Tom Hanks told his wife, (she was playing the wife of someone else in the movie, Restless in Seattle, I think) her chances of getting hit by a car were better than her chances of getting married at her age. Ouch.

RD, I think it's so wonderful that you love your sister, and even better that you said it out loud. I've regretted a many days not saying those three words.

I love all of you!

Posted by: cmyth4u | July 6, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Byline on the front page: Seriel Killer Suspect Slain. Where are the editors?

Posted by: -jack- | July 6, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

7-3-16 Boy, the second one seemed a lot longer while we were living through it.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 6, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, while I am reluctant to speak for anyone but myself, I think I can safely say that we all love you best.

You asked in the last Boodle what happened to the Boodle love? Nothing at all. Present and accounted-for.

Posted by: Yoki | July 6, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Ho Chi Minh was the architect of the Vietnam war, along with Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong. The American press was the architect of the communist victory, especially The Washington Post. There is no reason for anyone to object to this statement. According to the liberals, American forces in Vietnam were a mob of racist serial killers, and conservatives certainly have no reason to object.

The main reason for your coup d'etat against President Nixon was to bring about a communist victory in Vietnam. See, "Yes, Watergate was a Coup D'Etat," by Patrick Buchanan, July 17, 1997: http:watergate/info/analysis/buchanan.shtml

Posted by: markoller | July 6, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Patrick Buchanan is not an objective journalist.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Wrong, Mr. markoller. The reason Mr. Nixon ultimately resigned had to do with obstruction of justice, misuse of the CIA and the FBI, and withholding information requested by Congress by subpoena. There was no coup d'etat. The man, through the decisions he made, sealed his own fate.

Posted by: -jack- | July 6, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Here are the articles of impeachment, markoller, if you're interested.

Posted by: -jack- | July 6, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, my condolences to you and Nukespawn, also to Mudge. I’m afraid that when my ex-inlaws pass on, I’ll be wanting to dance, or at least twirl around a bit.

I was married for 31 years but I think my ex was only married to me for about four of those years. Been happily living in sin with “S” for 12 years now. I echo Slyness about the divorce being the best thing I’ve done in my life, except for having my two daughters.

Happy anniversary Ivansmom! Hope you have a wonderful evening. Two more days til vacation, I’m getting very excited. Good thing we’re driving as the pile of stuff that is going with us gets larger every day!

Posted by: badsneakers | July 6, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I have taken Thumper's mother's advice to heart.

Posted by: Yoki | July 6, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

What would that advice be, Yoki? I haven't seen Bambi in... 25 years?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

If you can't say anything nice, don't say nothing at all.

Posted by: Yoki | July 6, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's been a mixed day in the neighborhood. The Mac side is working beautifully. The other side, not so well. Been trying to install Timeslips and then Timeslips Remote. Apparently I had "old" codes which signified an upgrade rather than a stand-alone version. I called TS (Sage) 3 times (connected to Bangalore) and still couldn't come up with an answer. So I talked with someone in Sales who turned ugly on me ("it's not our fault that you got a new computer! For 50 bucks, we'll send you a configuration code which will work!"). I told him I'd get back to him. So much for customer service, eh? Could spit. Really!

Obviously, no work done today. Probably not tomorrow, either.

*appropriate and continuing expletives*

cya'll tomorrow.

Posted by: -ftb- | July 6, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Ah, too bad some people follow that rule TOO well, and others follow it not at all, Yoki.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 6, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

happy anniversary, ivansmom (and -dad)!

wrt palin, i think she'll be viewed as a quitter by many in the so-called gop establishment and certainly by the independents, the people she needs to have a shot in the general. her conservative following will allow her to be a contender, but she won't be able to win the gop primary. i also i can't imagine her really studying the policy issues to the degree necessary to get up to speed. her lack of knowledge will really show when she actually has to participate in a primary process.

Posted by: LALurker | July 6, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I know you'll love your Mac more and more every day. I've been using one since 1987.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 6, 2009 3:04 PM

Reminded me of something I saw in the funnies today:

...and in other news,

Dave Barry is in Europe, the copycat:

Posted by: kbertocci | July 6, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Finally backboodled from last night to the end of the previous Kit's comments...

Mudge, sorry to hear about your family's weekend, and especially about that guy who's in the hospital.

*Tim, I'm with ya on CS Lewis -- just not my cuppa tea. Come to think of it, I'm with you and Wilbrod on Gene Wolfe - I haven't read a lot of his stuff, but what I have, I've liked. And yello, I'm not looking forward to the Last Dangerous Visions.

LALurker, one the reasons Palin may resigning as Governor *now* could be to allow her sufficient time to study policy issues and be ready to speak on them come the primaries in 2012.

Or it could be to hop in the pickup truck and go on a tour to visit every Chick Fil A in the continental US, giving folksy speeches from the pickup bed in every parking lot. The Parking Lot President Tailgate Tour.


Posted by: -bc- | July 6, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, ya convinced the hell outa me, there, markoller; thanks for the head's up. Except for the part about Lenin, who died in 1924 (three strokes and you're out), and Stalin, who died in 1953 (probably from rat poison).

Less, of course, mebbe they architected from Beyond the Grave. Tricky b@st@rds, them Russkies. (And, well, Georgians. Don't wanna get into that business again.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 6, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

She better not go to Chik-fil-a. My wife and I like that place.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 6, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'd like to put a vote in for Rasputin as having some architectural responsibility for the Vietnam War.

As usual, the eyes have it.


Posted by: -bc- | July 6, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Saw a delightful pair of gladiator sandals at the softball game this evening and thought of you, bc: hot pink flats. I asked the wearer, a friend of the Geekdottir, if they were Crocs. No, she said, her sister bought them for her in London, where they are popular. They were fetching enough to make me consider a hop across the pond to find some...

Posted by: slyness | July 6, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Raputin! Of course! The Evil Monk! Oh, why, why, why didn't I think of that? It was right there, all along.


So blindingly obvious. Discredit the Romanovs, allowing the Commies to take over. Then -- poofta! -- Vietnam.

Good catch, bc.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 6, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, not new per se, speech by Nguyen Cao Ky, although he ia a piece of work indeed.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 6, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

bc, i think it's clear that palin is considering running and plans to prepare for that. the question is how she will prepare. i'm highly skeptical that she's got the curiosity and intellectual stamina to really study policy. she's got a long way to go to build a knowledge base since it seems she hasn't even to read major newspapers regularly. maybe that's not true, but if she's going to spend the next few years studying, she's admitting that she was unprepared in 2008.

Posted by: LALurker | July 6, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

plum, sun kissed women
matured into juicy crones;
tasty, healthy treats.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 6, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

There's always a chance that someone grabbed Palin by the shoulders, shook her a few times, and said "Listen Up. You're future isn't in government, but in Party Politics. Get on the right road." She's got pull in fundraising as well as GOTV.

There's also a chance she's got her eye on something like Fox News.

I think the one thing we can count on is that she's not going away.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 6, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me if this double posts. I need some help, being baking challenged, with a sure fire dessert recipe that'll win the green apron in the upcoming men's bake off.

We did a good deed when I went to Chicago. A woman undergoing chemo, and whose daughter has a terminally ill elderly dog, posted in one of the Havanese message boards about getting a Hav, but only lhad the money to cover travel expenses. We responded regarding our boy, Oddball, the lone survivor of one of our girls' litters. I took him with me in the car and he's now in a new home. He's made friends with a shi zoo ( I had to deliberately misspell this in order to get by Hal), and of all things, a boxer. He stops by each dog's respective house when he's out for his daily walk. His new name is Louie, and I can't help but start humming the song when I think of him. Now he can do his job, and by all accounts, is doing it well. He reigns over the bed with his new master, the daughter of the house. As he should.

Posted by: -jack- | July 6, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

The McCain/Palin ticket fared pretty well in these parts. If she's planning a run in a bid to win the brass ring, she has a long row to hoe. Trouble is that she appeals to a broad segment of the electorate that gets their politics sound bite style. As for me, I'm going to kick back. the taper's section starts off with Iko, Iko, and I feel like listening to some cajun music.

Posted by: -jack- | July 6, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, glad to help, sir.

Slyness, the hot pink's not really my color, though I could go for a dark red/brick or camel brown. Have to keep my eyes open for a pair.

LAlurker, if Palin starts with the second summer semester this year and takes summer classes all the way through, I think she has enough time to get a Bachelor's (Foreign Relations or Poly Sci?) by the time the next election rolls around. If she can't get the RNC to cover it, I'm sure she could get a free ride at Liberty or pull some student loans to cover the tab.

Speaking of the RNC - LiT, I'm with you thinking that Palin might have a gig there.

All of a sudden, I'm put in mind of Palin heading a committee to look at Republican Presidential candidates much in the same way as Dick Cheney headed the Republican Vice-Presidential Search Committee for George W. Bush in the summer of 2000... "And the answer is... me! Ta-daaaa!"


Posted by: -bc- | July 7, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm talkin' 'bout hey now!
(Hey now!)
Hey now!
(Hey now!)
Iko Iko, I say!

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 7, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Jockomo feeno ah na nay
Jockomo feena nay

Posted by: -jack- | July 7, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Lovely bedtime story Jack, thanks!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 7, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole Over The Rainbow

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 7, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Love that, Jumper, and the jack/Tim duet was great. DNA_Girl, you also rock...and bc and LiT, etc, etc.

I inflict this on the Boodle, because it seems relevant, given that Joel and Barack are in Italy, and it touches on some themes we've discussed recenty. Bono's letter to Italy:

Posted by: seasea1 | July 7, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey jumper...

Here is another song that is a favorite. Henehene Kou Aka...

The neat thing about the video beyond seeing Iz is the opening shot of Manoa valley. You "almost" can see my old house... it would be to the right on the other side of the valley long shot.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 7, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Joel, have a great time in Italy. Try not to take someone’s eye out with your arm gestures.

I’m here Mudge, nursing a little headache and lurking the last couple of days. I blame it on the weather.

One of the lessons the US should have learned from Vietnam is to know the terrain of the country you are going to war with. The reason (plus others) why you lost in Vietnam was you didn’t know how to fight in that kind of terrain – muggy, wet tropical jungle. You make the same mistake in Iraq. The terrain in Iraq is the exactly opposite of Vietnam – dry, sandy desert and urban guerrilla warfare.

Posted by: rainforest1 | July 7, 2009 2:41 AM | Report abuse

After weeks of meeting with contractors, reviewing estimates, scaling back on plans, not hearing back from several contractors and finally agreeing to a contract with the one company that responded, the home repairs are underway.

During my vacation time with NukeSpawn, of course.

But also during a dry spell, which is wonderful when you're replacing gutters.

Timing giveth, and timing taketh away... *L*

And did someone say tune cootie?

D-N-A Girl,
Haiku, haiku all day

*dodging-a-hail-of-rotten-fruit-'cuz-the-Dawn-Patrol-crowd-would-never-waste-tomatoes Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Rotten tomatoes? Not in THIS crowd, fur sure...nobody here would EVER let a tomato waste like that!

Good luck on the repairs, Scotty. Always fun to have contractors in the house. We've been fortunate that the projects we have undertaken have been short. Two weeks of a kitchen renovation in mid-December was about the worst, I'm glad to say...

Good morning, all. I'm not feeling biscuits this morning, so it's scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheese on toasted croissants. Enjoy!

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

This morning while my father was reading the McNamara mega-obit, I asked him what people thought of McNamara at the time, since He Was There. I may be paraphrasing slightly.

"We all thought he was an idiot. You either try to win or go home."

"Gradual escalation just didn't work."

"There's his problem. He was educated at Berkeley and Harvard."

"We never should have invaded Iraq. Don't get in the middle of a religious war."

"I read a book by a junior Russian officer that was in Afghanistan. It sounded just like Vietnam with mountains instead of jungles."

"We should just pull out of Afghanistan too. Doesn't anybody learn from history?"

I do not necessarily endorse the views of my father. He is also a fan of Sarah Palin.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Well, Obama's out of the country, Biden's up on the Hill swearing in Al Franken, Scotty's on vacation, and two of my officemates have not yet reported in to work, so it looks like my other officemate, Lynn, and I are running the government today. I thought you'd probably want to know. And also be aware that we've got everything pretty well in hand.

As you may recall, I'm not a major Richard Cohen fan, but this is his best column ever:

Is there a summer flu going around? I know two people who are symptomatic.

Toasted croissants? Yum! Thanks, slyness. As always, you're aces, kiddo.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I got complete faith in you. You can't possible do worse than the last gang of idiots.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

SEMI-vacation, 'Mudge...

*faxin' a leave hours recover form* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Grrr. I'm trying to click on the latest Mouthpiece Theater episode and I'm getting a "maintenance" message from WaPo. So if they are doing maintenance on the MP Theater thing, why are they also featuring it on the front page, where it's gonna get a lot of clicks?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle! Took yesterday "off" and accomplished a half dozen little things that had been driving me crazy.

Don't know what's up with Mouthpiece Theater, but couldn't post a comment to Cilizza's blog. Serious misunderstandings re: Minnesota politics in that comment section, though it is pretty civil thus far.

Cohen's best sentence:
"Most of us would consider this weird behavior. In the GOP, it was seen as presidential timber." (writing of Sanford while in Congress, but applicable elsewhere)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 7, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Jack- a sure fire dessert recipe. Buy a couple boxes of inexpensive ice cream sandwiches. I like Blue Bunny brand, but they're not available everywhere. In a 9X13 (or larger) pan layer the ice cream sandwiches, cutting as necessary so that the bottom of the pan is completely covered. Repeat until you have 3 layers of sandwiches (if you use a deep lasagna pan you may have room for 4-5 layers). Spread the top with whipped cream, cool whip, or spray on some fancy squiggles out of a can of whipped cream-whatever you use completely cover the top. Put in the freezer until an hour or so before serving. Let soften at room temp, then cut and serve. The cut pieces will look like a fancy torte that you slaved over.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 7, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I liked "It has lost its mind." But you need the context: "Naming Palin to the GOP ticket -- a top-down choice by McCain -- was the most reckless decision any national politician has made in the longest time, and while it certainly says something about McCain, it says even more about his party. It has lost its mind."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Mcnamara and Mr. Freeman. A man who no longer believed but could not make the right move, and a man who did not have to move at all but moved so very very well. Two sides of the dastardly coin that was Vietnam.

Mrdr and I have 30 years this year. When I realized this, I sort of sat for a bit to soak that thought in.

And no to Palin. That voice is not at all presidential, and for pete's sake think of what the neighbours will say if you elect the weather girl.

Good morning everybody. May there be a tiny bit of magic in your day.

Posted by: --dr-- | July 7, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I dunno, dr. The tiny bit of magic in my day seems to be that most of the Boodle has disappeared.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Hm. David Brooks is a little easier to read now that he's not carrying water for nihilist b@stards in the White House. He has SO fallen for the cult(ure) of Obama:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 7, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps we need a distress signal:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 7, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Two American paleontologists--Barnum Brown--Kansan, for years associated with New York City's Museum of Natural History, and the first to find a T.Rex--and Frederick Brewster Loomis--New Yorker and paleontology professor at Amherst for decades--were well-acquainted. Their collaboration ended well ahead of the 1930s, when Barnum Brown excavated a motherlode of Sauropod skeletons in Shell, Wyoming.

The bones had started to weather out of the ground of Barker's Howe's land near Shell, acreage that supported a cattle ranch, and on which Howe raised lambs, and grew vegetables. Barnum's dig was beginning to yield so much fossiliferous material when he began excavating in 1932 that he stopped the dig and returned in 1934 with a much larger, 10-man team to harvest the 2,500 bones spread across a small horizontal area. This second effort was funded by Sinclair Oil, the company subsequently adding a dinosaur to its logo. Wyoming is a dinosaur graveyard, and the small town of Shell the Forest Lawn of the ancient reptiles. Railcars of bones were transported back to New York City, but the yield was so big that other bones, plastered and crated, were left behind in Shell, in storage, many of these destroyed by a fire in the '40s, about the same time the Howes stopped living on their ranch.

Reimbursement for excavation rights was an issue with the Howes. Brown and his workers were paid, some of the dollars coming from Sinclair Oil, but the American Museum of Natural History balked, stating its policy was not to pay landowners on whose land it excavated fossils. Howe, incensed, took the museum to court, but was awarded only $145, not the $2,500 he anticipated.

Posted by: laloomis | July 7, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

From 1936 to 1989, the bone fields, at what became known as the Howe Dinosaur Quarry became fallow, since excavation activity ceased. In the interim, there were many courtroom disputes about land definitions where dinosaurs are found, as well as tussles about the meaning of dinosaurs as land. Author Steve Fiffer devotes much ink, as well as an entire chapter to these issues in "Is a Dinosaur 'Land?'" in his 2000 book "Tyrannosaurus Sue." To greatly simplify, Fiffer's account--that deals with the largest, most fought over T.Rex ever found, the bones seized by the FBI and subsequently auctioned by Sotheby's, New York, to Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, with involvement by both Disney and McDonalds--has three land definitions: tribal, lands belonging to Native Americans; trustee, lands held in trust by the government for Native Americans; and titled, lands held by private individuals. Since there is no Native land involved with dinosaur finds at Shell, Wyoming, there are only two land categories: private and public.

Fiffer's book tells the story of the commercial fossil hunter Peter Larson and his for-profit Black Hills Institute. Fiffer also mentions twice in his first chapter Swiss paleontologist Kirby Siber, whom Larson met in the mid-70s at a gem and mineral show in Tucson, when Larson just was getting started in the business of selling fossils. Siber bought a pearl-white ammonite from Larson for $700, then promptly turned around and sold it for $1,400. On this particular fossil, Larson was scalped, but Larson's blow was softened since Siber did some additional business with the young entrepreneur. The early example about Siber's dealings is rather telling, however. Siber looms large in the bone wars of Shell, Wyoming.

Posted by: laloomis | July 7, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Officer, I swear it wasn't my fault!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 7, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm here... just trying to think of something interesting to say, although that's not really a requisite, is it?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

*Snort* DNA Girl.

I'm around, just busy with meetings, talking with my people on the road (I missed that part) and bothering the good public.

It's a special day for the Very Large Puppy. All it's favourite people are at work. Nobody to entertain him between 9:00 and 15:30. That dog been's lucky that way.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 7, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I hope everyone will read Bob Herbert's column today.

After the War Was Over

Robert McNamara realized early on that Vietnam was a lost cause, but he kept that crucial information close to his chest. How did he ever look at himself in a mirror?

Posted by: rickoshea0 | July 7, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Froomkin has been hired by HuffPo:

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Now chatting: "Sports: Sports Bogger Dan Steinberg"


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

SCC on the Sinclair logo, according to this website:

Sinclair began development of the apatosaurus ([formerly] brontosaurus) in its advertising, sales promotions, and product labels in 1930. The apatosaurus was registered as a Sinclair trademark in 1932. An exhibit at the 1933 Chicago Worlds Fair highlighted dinosaurs and established Sinclair as the company that featured the apatosaurus. Again in 1964 at the New York City Worlds Fair, Sinclair proudly displayed an exhibit featuring nine life-sized dinosaurs highlighting its unique association with the age of the dinosaur--an age representative of the beginning of the formation of crude oil.

Posted by: laloomis | July 7, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, you can rest easier. They got that serial (or seriel, or cereal) killer:

The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 7, 2009; 2:11 AM

GAFFNEY, S.C. -- The serial killer who terrorized a South Carolina community by shooting five people to death before police killed him Monday was a career criminal paroled just two months ago, authorities said.

Patrick Burris, 41, was shot to death by officers investigating a burglary complaint at a home in Gastonia, N.C., 30 miles from where the killing spree started June 27. Ballistics tests showed his gun matched the one used to kill residents in and around Gaffney over six days last week, said State Law Enforcement Division Chief Reggie Lloyd.

Investigators did not have an address for Burris. While evidence left no doubt he was the killer, they still had no idea why he did it.

"He was unpredictable. He was scary. He was weird," said SLED Deputy Director Neil Dolan.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

It's better than "bugger".

"He was unpredictable. He was scary. He was weird" and had an easy access to handguns.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 7, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Hummm. Looks Like Armstrong will be in yellow tomorrow. His team is destroying the field in today's team time trial.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 7, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. This vacation thing is growing on me; slower to start with each passing day.

Even without work, I find there is a tremendous amount of business to get through in a day, and I'm not all that motivated to tackle it.

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Mudge... it's called the Sports Bog...

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Really? Bog? As in cranberry bog? Peat bog? Or is there some hip, new Twitterish meaning I'm not aware of?

I never get these memos.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, Stienberg's "Bogger" title is simply an old typo that stuck, much to his amusement.

I'm sure you're familar with this kind of thing.

Speaking of stuck, I'm glad Froomkin found a soft LZ at HuffPo.

I had plastic Sinclair dinosaur toys as a kid - though IIRC most oil reserves are from plants and other non-animal biomass (it *is* a representation, after all). Still, it would have been a lot less fun to play with plastic palm trees - they just don't put up the kind of fight against little green soldiers like t-rex, triceratops and brontosaurs do. Even if I treated them as prehistoric proto-Ents, I suppose. One little green bazooka to a marauding plastic tree and *BOOM* - smoking toothpicks all over the place.

Actually, that *does* sound like fun.


Posted by: -bc- | July 7, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, we around here are right glad that Mr. Burris is no longer with us. The town where his fatal encounter with police occurred is one I travel through on my way to the mountains.

Here's the coverage in the local paper:

Posted by: slyness | July 7, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Here's the memo, Mudge...

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Ah. OK, Thanks, bc and TBG. I'm all hip and current and up-to-date now.

Now, to get through the next 24 hours of Michael Jackson madness. Methinks the entire universe has gone stark bonkers. My wife categorically refuses to watch any network programming whatsoever, knowing it will be filled with All-MJ-All-the-Time. So its just HGTV 24/7. Can't say as I blame her.

There are so many things about MJ appeal I just don't begin to fathom.

A little balm: only two months to football season.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Armstrong got his 40 seconds back but there are a few thousandth missing for the yellow jersey.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 7, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. We had a lovely time last night. I had duck breast with blackberry sauce, and a nice glass of pinot noir. Very tasty.

I am working at home today. The air conditioning is out in the State Capitol building and they don't expect to see it on today. Of course, I could sit in my windowless office and work anyway, even though it was easily 80 degrees in there by about 8:30 this morning. However, our servers are also in that building. It was 96 degrees in the server room by then, so they shut down the servers and computers and sent us all home. Most of the attorneys have something we can work on at home,and the administrative assistants and staff can't do anything without access to the servers. I brought transcripts to read.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 7, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Me too Mudge. New outfits that headline it - CBC, I'm talking to you - really ought to just dry up and blow away in the wind. One day, fine (under protest), but any more than that, and they do us a dissservice. How can any one think we are a serious continent if that leads our news.

Posted by: --dr-- | July 7, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Before I go, football is already begun here, in case that is any consolation.

Posted by: --dr-- | July 7, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I like Dan Steinberg when he's not writing about sports so much. Or about the offbeat ones, like curling and the spelling bee. During the Torino Olympics he mostly wrote about cheese and curling.

Gene Robinson's column about Palin was good too.

I may watch the MJ memorial...just because. Last night I finally saw the Martin Bashir documentary that caused such a brouhaha.

Posted by: seasea1 | July 7, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Football has begun, and the Stamps are at the bottom of the rankings. Stampeders, Flames... is it me?

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess I just have to suck it up and deal with it. (But it's sooooo unfair!!)

OK. Therapy. Here we go:

Today in Joan of Arc and UFO History

1456: Joan of Arc, 19, born in the village of Domrémy, is acquitted of charges of heresy after a re-trial by the Vatican. Unfortunately for Miss A, she'd been burned at the stake 25 years before. Her case was brought to the attention of Pope Callixtus III at the request of Inquisitor-General Jean Brehal and Joan's mother Isabelle Romée. Callixtus had the case re-tried in an ecclesiastical court and on its recommendation, Callixtus decided she was innocent of the charges and declared her a martyr.
For the new trial, a panel of theologians called 115 witnesses, and ultimately decided the case was baseless. And the charges against Joan? She was accused in part of violating Deuteronomy 22:5, the prohibition against cross-dressing -- of which, ironically, she was quite guilty.. ("The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so [are] abomination unto the Lord thy God.") The appeals court, however, decided (correctly) that the original trial court had ignored several doctrinal exceptions to the cross-dressing rule: women were in fact allowed to wear men's clothing if they were doing men's work, if it helped to preserve chastity and prevent rape, etc.
She got her name, incidentally, from her father, Jack Black. (Well, Jacques d'Arc, the Domrémy tax collector.)
1863: The first military draft begins during the Civil War; exemptions cost $100.
1865: Lincoln assassins Mary Surratt, Lewis Paine, David Herold and George Atzerodt are hanged at what are now the tennis courts at Fort McNair, in Washington, DC. Surratt's boarding house is now the Wok and Roll Chinese/Japanese restaurant in DC's Chinatown, and her tavern is now a museum in the suburb of Clinton, MD. Little known fact: her cousin once removed was F. Scott Fitzgerald.
1928: "The greatest thing since sliced bread" is invented when it is sold for the first time by the Chillicothe Baking Company, Chillicothe, MO. It quickly replaced the earlier claim, "the greatest thing since bread was wrapped." True.
1947: Major Jesse A. Marcel, of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office at Roswell Army Air Field, New Mexico, responds to a call from the local Sheriff's Department and drives out to the ranch of William "Mac" Brazel 30 miles out of town, where he recovers pieces of...something...which is said to be debris from a high altitude weather balloon. Or maybe it was a "flying disc" or "saucer," a.k.a. a UFO. Or maybe not. At any rate, this becomes the famous "Roswell Incident," one of the Big Three UFO incidents of all time. Were there alien bodies (stored, variously, at either Area 51 or Wright-Patterson AFB) discovered? You're reporter has put in a phone call to Scully and Mulder; stand by for their reply.


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse


Happy Birthday:
1906: Satchel Paige (d. 1982), one of the greatest black baseball players of all time (and the oldest rookies ever to play in the majors, at age 50).
1907: Robert A. Heinlein (d. 1988), one of the "Big Three" of science fiction (with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke), author of 32 novels, 59 short stories, and 16 collections; 5 more books and 4 collections were published posthumously. He won four "Hugo" awards contemporaneously, and three more "retro-Hugos" later on. In his final years was a dead ringer for John Locke in "Lost"; see if you don't believe me. He also coined the adage, TANSTAAFL, an acronym for "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."
1933: David McCullough, the great historian and "popularizer" (NOT a dirty word in my book).
1940: Ringo Starr, replacement drummer.

1890: Henri Nestlé (b. 1814), founder of Nestlé S.A., the world's largest food company. And as anyone can tell you N-E-S-T-L-E-S spells chocolate. In the Black Forest Swabian district of Germany, the name Nestlé means "little bird's nest." Go ahead, fascinate your friends with that one. And he changed his name from Heinrich Nestle to Henri Nestlé to sound like a Swiss. He invented the two products that women love above every other thing on earth: milk chocolate and infant formula. That the Nobel Prize was never given to this man is simply shocking. An outrage.
1930: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (b. 1859), noted biographer and historian of the great English detective Sherlock Holmes.

Today is Saba Saba Day in Tanzania (once upon a time known as Tanganyika and Zanzibar to us old timers, which we learned when people studied geography and before everybody started *&%$#^% renaming everything), and celebrates the founding of TANU, the Tanganyika African National Union political party. Saba saba means "seven seven" (7/7, get it?) in Swahili. Always thought "Zanzibar" was such a cool, exotic word-- and then they went and abolished the place.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, interesting thoughts about McNamara from your dad. Hope the visit is going well.

Seems like the chats are on the fritz - they come up in a tee-tiny little space for me...

Ok, off to see the circus in LA. (Did you know that the real circus, with elephants and all, is later in the week, so the elephants were going to walk in like they always do?)

Posted by: seasea1 | July 7, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

@mudge: gotta correct you. Satchel Paige was one of the greatest baseball players of all time of any color.

Posted by: Southwester | July 7, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

There is a tradition in my family for the men to get more cantankerous and opinionated as we age. My grandfather had a hobby of writing one paragraph (and often one sentence) letters to the editor and collecting the clippings when they were printed. Perhaps that is where I got my blogging gene.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

[bc, waking up from Post-Lunch Coma]
Huh? F. Scott Fitzgerald... removed?

I thought he's where I left him in Rockville, hangin' at the corner of Viers Mill Rd. and the Pike. Might have to swing by there on the way home to check in on him.

And I always heard the Big Three as Asimov, Bradbury, and Clarke -- the ABCs of Literature, some called them. Always heard Heinlein described as a sort of a 4th Musketeer, like Fred Pohl.

But, I never did have a Futurians' Membership card and never won a Hugo or Nebula, so my opine counts for about zilch.


Posted by: -bc- | July 7, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

You can count on the Alouettes to beat the Stampeders Yoki. When it's not a frigging Grey Cup game that is. @!&**!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 7, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Clarke was British and Bradbury never wrote all the much 'hard' science fiction. IMHO, while Pohl was very influential he really didn't hit his stride until the 70s, long after Asimov and Heinlein stopped being relevant.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I was just paraphrasing from the Heinlein obit material. For what it's worth (and I'm sure bc knows this), Bradbury denies being a sci-fi writer. "First of all, I don't write science fiction. I've only done one science fiction book and that's Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal. So Martian Chronicles is not science fiction, it's fantasy. It couldn't happen, you see? That's the reason it's going to be around a long time—because it's a Greek myth, and myths have staying power."

I actually don't agree with Bradbury's self-assessment, but there it is.

I think the real problem is saying "the Big Three," when maybe it ought to be "the Big Four."

I accept that correction, SW.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Yoohoo! Anybody here? I see that has been having some issues. Did it drive everybody away?

Posted by: slyness | July 7, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I used to say Gulliver's Travels was one of the first science fiction novels but I get angry shouts so I quit saying it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 7, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

And then, of course, there was the nonsensical designation of "Dean" of science fiction.

Mudge, pauvre M. Nestlé could not possibly have won a Nobel because he made his last chocolate bar in 1890 but the Prizes were not instituted until 1895, and the Prizes must be awarded to a living person (living at the time of the announcement, at least).

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 7, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Not nonsense at all:

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 7, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, the Sun-Sentinel printed this on the letters to the editor page today, maybe your dad would like it:,0,4094531.story

Posted by: kbertocci | July 7, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I love that, kb. I'm so glad they published it, too.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

According to, that title belongs to Murray Leinster. (Wikipedia does not confirm this.)

Not to mention Alan Dean Foster or Dean Koontz.

How delightfully random. I wish more residents of Florida understood the use of that device.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

And so: on that day, and in that time, and at that URL, the Boodle died.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 7, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

so Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

Posted by: LostInThought | July 7, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

JUST got on the Internets. Trickier here than it ought to be.

FYI lots of old buildings and bridges here and more statues than you can shake a stick at. This place looks like it has a history going back literally hundreds of years. I'll post photos when I can.

Posted by: joelache | July 7, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I ran into this on a site called Fancyclopedia:

'Dean of Science Fiction: By general tradition, Robert A. Heinlein. (At one point, a mundane TV talk show host introduced Ray Bradbury as the DoSF, and a viewing fan muttered, "Nonsense, he's a guest lecturer in Gothic Literature.")'

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I need pictures of the Forum! My classics professor gave us a slide show of Rome in my freshman year, and I was terribly taken by the sight of the Saturnium. The bottom two floors were Imperial or Republican Rome, the upper three floors were Renaissance, and the window air conditioners were 1960's. I loved that picture.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 7, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The Achenbach has landed.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

So far I can't tell if JA is in Italy or Pittsburgh.

Posted by: Southwester | July 7, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm really tired today -- still trying to load stuff on to the new 'puter and getting used to the Mac world. I think most of us (or perhaps all of us) who came from the PC world tend to over-think things and it gets in the way of understanding that things don't have to be so difficult. That being said, there were some things which I rather liked on the PC side (don't quote me, please) which don't exist on the Mac side. Nevertheless, I'll get used to it as time goes on.

However, I still can't get much work done. I tried to find a file which purportedly was transferred in the marathon session over the weekend, but it doesn't seem to be here. I may have to power up the old machine and send some files over to my external hard drive and pick them up that way instead of trying to recreate them.


Posted by: -ftb- | July 7, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Will my pictures do Tim?

I'm not sure where the Saturnium is, but it might be under that rubble somewhere.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Since Foster would be the "Alan of Science Fiction" and Koontz doesn't write it anymore, I will stand by my opinion.

Here's an interesting article on the Supremes

Time for a new half-ter internal HD. Or half TB, whatever. Under $100, I'm there.

The internet is buggy today.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 7, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the world of Mac. If Steve Jobs wanted you to know where that file was, he would have put it on your desktop.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Just got in and sat down for the first time today, TBG as you are well aware having something relevant to say never stops me from commenting on anything.

I have been boycotting any MJ news, but I did read this this morning and I agree,

And as the the CFL - Yoki, Shriek - I have the Ticats - sympathy PLEASE.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 7, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, sure, Tim, that's all in the fine print. But doncha think inventing milk chocolate and baby formukla warrants a little, yanno, winky winky at the rules? A little retroactive attaboy?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 7, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

New, Mudgey, kit!

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I think I'm pretty high up on the marriage list. 49 3/4th continuous years, less one day. Of course spread over two wives. The first turned out not so great. Married the second wife the day after the marriage first was finally legally settled.

I owe Mr. McNamara about three years of employment. When I got out of the Coast Guard 1-'65, I landed a job at McClellan AFB, Scramento, CA as a 'management engineer.' A job category Bob invented I think at Ford, where we would go around and work sample people and try to tie the labor requirements to some function of the volume of responsibility so if the volume responsibility changed the work force would be porportionaly adjusted. There were five air force logistical bases at the time but no correlation could be statistically linked to such things as acreage, miles of runways, number of building etc for the base civil engineer and the number of busses, truck drivers, etc for base transportation (the studies I worked on) between the five bases. Anyway, I parlayed my job there to one I Hawaii with the air force, first as a 'management engineer' trying to make air freight to and from Vietnam more efficient and then got into HQ PACAF as a manpower planner for the civil engineer. While we applied Mac's formulas to add base civil engineer forces as squadrons were deployed around Vietnam and Thailand, we also accessed all the other base functions 10% of their manpower to build houches. While the army was living in tents the air force was to housed in air conditioned houches and even multi-story concrete apartments. After a while I was invited to top secret briefings to prepare for the 'long haul.' There I lost confidence I what I was doing. My son was only three and plans were being discussed that would have still had us in Vietnam when he would be eligible for the draft. Also the powers to be didn't like my suggestion on how to end the war. We were getting daily reports on the tons of bombs dropped, which didn't seem to deter the Viet Cong much. The Vietnamese are very entrepreneurial, so I suggested we drop dollar bills. That way the Viet Kong would all be walking around looking at the ground to find the dollar bills and not be looking up to shoot down our planes. And in a few months they would have enough money to go back home to start a noodle shop and the war would be over. Some smart officers reminded me of the military-industrial-complex and suggest I go back to San Francisco and join the hippie movement.

Posted by: bh72 | July 7, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Stand by...technical issues

Posted by: joelache | July 7, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Joel... did you break it all the way from Italy?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

bh72... your dollar-bill idea is the same as my husband's: build a Reebock factory.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I didn't mean to break it...Honest...

FYI have posted some pics from Italy.

Posted by: joelache | July 7, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse


"Tomatoes, apparently, now serve as tools for diplomacy."

The boodle influence is incredible!

Posted by: dmd3 | July 7, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dmd3 | July 7, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I rarely watch local television news except for the local five-minute weather segment in the evenings. Tonight, I broke my habit of not watching and was majorly disappointed with a story teased "Mammoth Find" on the local ABC-affiliate station. Ursula Pari was at the anchor desk and Charles Gonzales was reporting the story titled by the station, "Archaelogical Find at Fort Sam Houston."

Archaeology is the study of ancient cultures, not ancient bone remains, and mammoths are relatives to mastodons, but are not mastodons. Long story short, mastodon bones were unearthed very recently at Fort Sam Houston. Even the military reporter who covered the story for the local paper contacted, as an expert, a director of the "UTSA Center for Archeological [sic] Research."

What, are there no paleontologists in south Texas, let alone local media folks who know what paleontology means? Encountered a father of two young girls from Seattle at Ranger Creek Ranch who didn't know the difference either between archaelogy and paleontology. That said, his family was at the Red Gulch Dinosaur Track site near Shell on the same Thursday morning almost two weeks ago as we were.

Posted by: laloomis | July 7, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

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