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Getting What You Pay For

Though I embrace delusional thinking in general -- how else would I get through the day? -- I am a realist when it comes to money. There are no free lunches. The best things in life cost more than the so-so things in life. I pay my taxes in full (if I manage to get around to filing them). And what I want from the government is nothing less than honest accounting, realism, plausibility.

Unfortunately, that's not how it's worked most of the time in recent decades. Instead we have seen the government refuse to pay for its own policies. The government prefers to borrow money by the boatload, much of it coming from China and Saudi Arabia.

But health-care reform is not just a fiscal issue. It's a societal issue. The government's fiscal trajectory has to be viewed within the larger context of how we all spend money. It does me no good if the government is fiscally sound but I can't get decent health care. Sure, I have good insurance coverage now, but I'm in the newspaper business, which is a bit rickety as you may have heard, and I'm heading into that period in life when my employer is going to view me as worth more dead than alive.

So I want the system improved for everyone. With the costs realistically assessed. And if it costs more in the short run so that we can save money in the long run, sounds good to me. What I don't want is for anyone to make up fake numbers or pass a bill that isn't paid for.

At the NASA strategy session on Wednesday -- see my story today -- former astronaut Sally Ride kept saying that the committee simply couldn't find a plausible mission within the constraints of NASA's current budget outlook. She said, "It comes back to [panel chair Norman Augustine's] basic message: If you want to do something, you have to have the money to do it."

That applies to health care, too. The problem is not that we can't have reform. It's that we may not being willing to pay for it.

Extending benefits to tens of millions of people who don't have it will likely cost a lot of money over the next ten years. But the question remains: compared to what? Right now the system isn't remotely efficient. In any scenario, we'll spend more money in the future -- the cost curve is going to go up no matter what -- but if we make the right moves now, we'll spend less than we would otherwise.

The future really will arrive someday, and we really will have to dish out those hundreds of billions of dollars for health care.

Charles Krauthammer says that prevention won't save us any money, that in fact it will probably cost a lot. But prevention is a net societal good that's very hard to "score," as they say at the CBO. Healthier people make a healthier and more productive -- and richer -- society. The goal, folks, is to create a better place for us all. Improving access to health care for those who don't have it will have cascading benefits for everyone.

In fact, the CBO chief isn't all gloomy about expanded preventive care. Here's what Doug Elmendorf wrote, in part:

just because a preventive service adds to total spending does not mean that it is a bad investment. Experts have concluded that a large fraction of preventive care adds to spending but should be deemed "cost-effective," meaning that it provides clinical benefits that justify those added costs.

But Krauthammer is correct to suggest that the fate of health-care reform will largely pivot on the cost. That's also the message in Lori Montgomery's article today.

Obama needs to make the numbers more attractive. After the bailouts, the stimulus package, etc., the president really doesn't have any money to spend.

But remember, it's not just the cost to the government that matters -- it's the cost to the whole society that we should care about. That goes beyond the CBO's mandate. The CBO just looks at how legislation will affect the federal government's bottom line.

So can we afford to pay for health-care reform? Actually, there are a number of possible options. The question is whether the White House and Congress will be willing to suffer the political consequences of making difficult decisions on tax increases and benefit cuts. Obviously they don't want to impose a tax hike while we're still in a recession. Some economists would love to see the U.S. adopt a European-style VAT that raises a lot of money without affecting marginal tax rates. But that's a whole 'nother discussion.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 14, 2009; 9:03 AM ET
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Lots of good thinking there Joel. Thanks, as usual.

I'm sitting in the oral surgeon's waiting room in Charlotte while Son of G has four wisdom teeth removed. At this age I'm not sure if he has any wisdom to spare.

Tried to call Slyness (this was a last minute decision to come down here) but her phone's off. Slyness... Give my cell a ring if you're in town. Jumper too if you're around.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 14, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Good kit, JA. Calm, clear, rational thinking should win the day. A lot of time it doesn't. This is one of those times.

Many protestors are using the health-care town hall meeting to vent their hatred of President Obama, and the election results. That is not the place to do it, but these folks have to let that rage out so they take what they can get. Of course, they're spurred on by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and his hateful rhetoric. I realize that we should have opposing views heard but many times these folks go over what is real, and become just vile. When anyone supports hate and its attributes, especially where we devour and destroy one another, no one wins.

President Obama is trying to be inclusive. He wants everyone to benefit from America's success and future. We should help him.

When people hate, they act on that hate. I seriously hope that is not our end. May God have mercy on our souls.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 14, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

This is a very profound kit. (Which really isn't an oxymoron.) To me it all comes down to a psychological phenomenon I call "Tyranny of the Salient."

Paying taxes is salient, building up a ginormous debt, not so much. Changing the current health system is salient, the long-term repercussions of maintaining the status quo are easier to ignore. It's the mindset that there is never time to fix things right, but will always be time to fix things later.

It is what drives people to needlessly build up their credit card debt, play video-games instead of doing homework, or eat that third piece of pie. The immediate benefit is so seductively real, the long-term implications so blissfully vague.

Yet this is the mindset of children and the mentally weak. It isn't supposed to be the mindset of a great nation. Or at least not those we elect to lead it.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 14, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Life is not fair. TBG turns a maternal support visit into a high probability of impromptu BPH. I fear the best part of my day has come and gone with the great relief of discovering that I did not wash my cell phone after all.

Free-tricky word. Being free from worry about health insurance is worth a lot of "not free" to my mind.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 14, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"Yet this is the mindset of children and the mentally weak. It isn't supposed to be the mindset of a great nation. Or at least not those we elect to lead it." Yes!

I would like to hear more people ask "What kind of nation are we, and what kind of health care does that nation deserve?" We cannot be a great nation when health care is rationed (pause for effect) by ability to pay, or a byzantine agglomeration masquerading as a system.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 14, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Whether in health insurance premiums or taxes we are supporting a health care system before we need it [infrastructure investment?]. Why should I pay a hospital $12+ to administer ibuprofen when the pill is <$1? Even with health insurance personal bankruptcies are mostly due to medical bills. Is it that we most face recessions when a particular industry "overgreeds" society [remember last Fall?]. Care for profit is doing what would be expected of someone facing a reckoning; fighting like a cat upside down. Why are we defending the right of boards of directors to drive us into personal bankruptcies? Do we get to vote for BOD members? Are we not dealing with medical decisions approved by claims adjusters [Death Panels?]? Ever tried to buy eye care for a sports activity you are doing as preventive care for that high blood pressure all your relatives share?
It is sad to see journalism descend to publishing "name calling" and the "Obamanacht" tactics that have passed for objective coverage. What are the UK, France, Japan doing for health care? Do they have a private medical sector? Is it true that we have the best health care in the world and is it not segregated by ability to pay? Could it be that Journalists are afraid of politician's scare tactics?

Posted by: RUBENMORTIZ | August 14, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I never had any wisdom teeth...

But that was probably obvious to everyone a long time ago. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 14, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Morning Boodle,
One of the obstacles to health care reform is that to really do things right, somebody at least is going to have to pay more in taxes. The GOP has been very successful in getting most Americans to feel that taxes are evil, that the gummit'sa tryna rob yoo!! But, I think when people can see exactly what they are paying for, there might be more accountability and greater acceptance. If Congress can pass a bill that makes real, tangible changes in the health care industry, if people like those changes they won't mind paying for it so much. If Congress makes changes people don't like in six-twelve months, or passes nothing but fluff legislation ... well I think November '10 won't be kind to the current leadership.

Posted by: Southwester | August 14, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

When counting dinosaurs I always forget to include helicopter carriers to the twelve American aircraft carriers presently in service. This is more ships of this type than the total owned by the rest of the world’s navies. These huge targets will be useless junk at the bottom of the sea in the first 24 hours of a real war.

If the U.S. would reduce this fleet to something reasonable, it would make a lot of money available for health care.

The helicopter carrier Makin Island is anchoring off Punta Arenas today where it will stay a few days before proceeding to Valparaiso. This will insure a shower of newspaper articles articles about American sailors misbehaving ashore.

Another good reason to change the way the U.S. spends the money it doesn’t have.


Posted by: Braguine | August 14, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Brag-We could do well without an entire division+ on jump status as well.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 14, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

OK, Brother K. can toss out something about a good/well run national medical system that can't be debated. Or can it?

Flawed systems have been in place all over for decades. That's how people get paid to show up and do the work that they do. I would much prefer Chuck defend the current system with little ditties and then get back to me.

I further contend that many of the disasters of end-of-life treatment are just evidence of the system using the patients as billing mechanisms.

To be a tool to the whole death panel noise is to be a lousy American. We live in interesting times.

Especially now that certain provocative web sites funded by Republican money seem to have videos and images of Obama as a Nazi. (could it be those old Willie Horton people?)


No, not possible.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 14, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I steadfastly to countenance the notion that Krauthammer could be correct about anything.

Re: S of G: "At this age I'm not sure if he has any wisdom to spare." Methinks thou doth protest too much. We who know him know better. And anyway, he had enough smarts to be an S of G, didn't he?

I rest my case. Your witness.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

SCC: steadfastly refuse

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

SW'er, or put it another way, if the rich were paying for the military and NASA and roadways and electric infrastructure that make their world possible, then we poor could pay for our education and health care.

I have heard that the groups and individuals aligned against the change/improvement of health care in America have been spending more money than we spent for the '04 Presidential election.

At this point, if this is all they got and they are now politically hyperventilating with Nazi President web sites, then I think that is a good sign that, in September, we can just start the process. I think the reward to the Koch family should be a tax increase to help those unfortunate Americans who are still getting laid off.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 14, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

And I'm shocked to learn that Khammer somehow neglected to account for the societal benefits of preventive medicine, notwithstanding the cost. Imagine that.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Gerson's pretty good today:

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 14, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Monsieur Mudge,

I am amazed that so many billions are being spent by firms within a short walk of the Farragut North Metro Stop.

So many pockets are being lined over this that the best move one could make is invest in "The Palm."

If this weren't our country, I would be rolling on the floor in laughter, but alas ...

Posted by: russianthistle | August 14, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

You mean the lobbyists, Weed...or the Boodle BPHers?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I think that the term lobbyist has become a meaningless term. I think they have evolved into becoming political underwear.

I think they have gone way past the lobby and are now progressing into ... after a quick stop at the pocket.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 14, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. This is another well-reasoned, well-written Kit. I'm reading the fine Fforde Thursday Next "sequel" (fifth book). Two plot points are a sudden rise in society's stupidity surplus (caused by a surfeit of good sensible government), and an increasing inability to plan ahead or care about long-term consequences, as the concept of "now" shrinks. The content of much of the health-care reform protest strikes me as an excellent example of truth imitating fiction.

VintageLady, please add my good wishes to those from the previous Boodle. In case you haven't seen my previous recommendations I'll suggest again that you read my friend Jim Chastain. He's written a book on being a cancer survivor (he's since come down with new terminal cancer) as well as some good poems about health and about life. He's got a blog on our newspaper on living with cancer. He's very pointed and funny, as well as honest. You'll find him at

Off to a luncheon. Later.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 14, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Almost forgot - yellojkt, I loved your health care slogans. Those should be printed up and distributed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 14, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I have despised the term "the special interests" from Day One. Sure, it covers oil lobbyists, giant corporations, all sorts of nasty persons of little or no moral character, etc.,...but it also covers the AARP, NASA, the Boy Scouts, the Red Hat Society, the American Association of Prim High School Librarians, or whatever. The term really has no useful meaning. Some special interests are good, some are bad. And every single one of us, man, woman, chikld, and Curmudgeon offspring, is a member of a minimum of a handful of special interests. Every blasted one of us. It just depends on which one.

A useless, counterproductive term.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I propose a tiny import duty - say one percent - on everything. Check out U.S. imports

Now is not the time for imposition of import duties, however. (I also would like a floating duty rate determined by a body such as the Fed, which adjusts interest rates at present, as a similar sort of control mechanism.) But that duty alone would pay for 10% of the entire U.S. health spending, public and private.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 14, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm worried that the woman who moved to North Dakota for a job doesn't grasp what the winters are like there. I hope someone tells her and helps her get her home and car ready.

Vintage Lady, add my thoughts for a good outcome to the others. Hope the Kit and Boodle humor helps.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 14, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, you get a tip o' the Jumper hat for "preventive medicine" instead of preventative or preventitative or prevenitatitative medicine.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 14, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

From the BBC on NHS attacks on USA TV ..

Posted by: RUBENMORTIZ | August 14, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever had a day in which, contrary to every rational measure (work load, weather, relationship status, whatever) everything just seems peachy? That's my Friday.

Posted by: Yoki | August 14, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse


I caught the last line of your 12:35 first and scrolled up, expecting some Vick commentary.


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 14, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - I hardly wish to put myself in the position of attempting to defend Krauthammer's thesis, but it's not exactly true that he entirely neglected to account for the societal benefits of preventive medicine -

[from the column]
"Prevention is a wondrous good, but in the aggregate it costs society money. Nothing wrong with that. That's the whole premise of medicine. Treating a heart attack or setting a broken leg also costs society. But we do it because it alleviates human suffering. Preventing a heart attack with statins or breast cancer with mammograms is costly. But we do it because it reduces human suffering."

Posted by: bobsewell | August 14, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Joel, is the comments box on your NASA article broken, is it just me, or is that the way you want it?

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 14, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

And comparisons on costs and outcomes [like life expectancy, infant mortality, per capita costs] ... So the best in the world; could be, some day.

Posted by: RUBENMORTIZ | August 14, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

It might be your browser, Jumper, comments on JA's article work fine over here.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 14, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Re: Special interests

As my brother the herpetologist once told someone, "You are a single issue voter on the question of abortion, call yourself pro-life and claim moral superiority. I am a single issue voter on environmental protection, so you call me a tree hugging ecology nut and an extremist who doesn't care about people's jobs. Not so, I do care about jobs and it is my job hug these trees and keep you short sighted Visigoths from destroying the planet!"

Posted by: kguy1 | August 14, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

You're not missin' much, Jumper, trust me.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 14, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Prevention is not to test for disease, but to promote wellness. Put down that junk food and take the time to relate to the food you eat. Calms you, nourishes you and keeps you from needing a bypass to make up for all that "freedom" and "lack of government intervention". Extreme sports anyone?

Posted by: RUBENMORTIZ | August 14, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Scotty. I did want to read some of them which I can't.

Here's supposedly a fungus that kills ants where the fungus wants them to die.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 14, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

i have been struck lately by the many suggestions that there is no money to pay for health care reform, nasa, armor for our soldiers, the clunkers program, etc.

so last week a slot machine palace opened in downtown pittsburgh. in the first 24 hours of operation it grossed $19 million, with a reported profit margin of 10%. and judging by the photos i saw, many of the people pumping money into the casino took a day off from going to town meetings to shout about death panels.

my conclusion: there is plenty of money.

p.s. you can raise my taxes tomorrow to pay for universal health coverage for all our citizens.

Posted by: butlerguy | August 14, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I have yet to have comments for a news article work with Firefox with any OS whatsoever, including XP, Vista, or OSX. Why some guru can't make the widget work with the #2 browser is beyond me.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 14, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

My last post "reefers" to "The Great 'Prevention' Myth". I read that he portraits the cost of preventing diabetes as costing more than treatment. My cost for walking, my cost for eating whole grains, my cost for having a beer instead of a soda; none are covered by health insurance but are the result of my Primary Care Physician's advise. How can this misrepresentation be considered worthy of publication? The studies are obviously not considering lifestyle changes as prevention. Bad Bad Statistician ...

Posted by: RUBENMORTIZ | August 14, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I actually meant to say "preventaceousness medince," Jumper.

Scotty, I actually have pretty mixed feelings about Vick. I may be the only person I know who thinks he committed a crime, went to jail, served his sentence, and thereby paid his debt to society. I never, ever, liked the guy, even before the dog thing...but it's my understanding if you do the time and pay the debt to society, you come out back at square one. Well, so much for theory.

There's a fairly strong part of me that says a guy who comes out of prison -- all other issues aside -- should be given a second chance, and shouldn't be unfairly penalized for the rest of his life. So I have a slight grudging admiration for Andy Reid.

All that being said, all the rest is simply just football talk: will he be any good, what's Donovan gonna do, etc. (Donovan actually spoke up on behalf of Vick, a week before he knew he'd be a teammate. So good for Donovan, too. Now there's a guy I always liked from Day One. A class act.)

The *good* thing about being in Philadelphia is that when fans boo him, it'll just be another average Sunday in Philly. They'd boo Mother Theresa, so booing Vick ain't no big thang.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I am so unused to agreeing with an entire Gerson column that I'm not sure how to react.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 14, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for second chances after prison.

What say we invite Squeaky Fromme to a BPH? I'll bet she's got some interesting stories.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 14, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

You're not the only person thinking that about Vick, 'Mudge. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 14, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

In Firefox try turning off the page styles. View>Page Style>No Style. Or Alt+v y n

Posted by: RUBENMORTIZ | August 14, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

On NASA...

NASA's budget was cut repeatedly by OMB. The Augustine committee can't find any exploration program that can exist in the cut budget.

Slide from the Augustine meeting

Here's the FY10 budget cut in May

Posted by: alanmoore | August 14, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Bob S., you have to take into account the W.H. buffer zone, though. We'd need an extra three tables for her unobstrusive "escorts."

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 14, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Bob, I'm with you! Let's give her a shot at it.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 14, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Vick has to sit out a six-game suspension before he can play. On Week Seven the Iggles play (drum roll)... the Redskins, at Fedex, on a Monday night.

Oh, BTW, in the continuing matter of the brouhaha over Hillary's umbrage at being asked wheat Bill Clinton thought, is everyone now aware that it has been established that it was NOT, repeat NOT, a translation error? That the kid really DID ask her what her husband thought?

So all the anti-Hillary umbrage can now please go away.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Any truth that Andy Reid has hired her, too?

Posted by: russianthistle | August 14, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

You'd have to be a pretty nuance'd kid to see that Hillary would be offended. it is just a lot of umbrage-echo.

Like a tsunami, if the wave form hits something shallow, it grows massive. Shallow as in so many media outlets.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 14, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

thistle - Squeaky or Hillary? Neither of them are to be messed around with, apparently.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 14, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Again from the at

"Like Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose sight was saved by NHS doctors, Mr Cameron [Opposition Leader] has very personal reasons to be grateful to the health service.

His profoundly disabled son Ivan, who died earlier this year, needed round-the-clock care, much of it provided by NHS staff.

Witnessing the dedication of health service doctors and nurses at first hand is said to have transformed Mr Cameron's attitude to public servants in general and made him a determined champion of the NHS."

Any one has private health insurance benefit for 24 hour care?

Posted by: RUBENMORTIZ | August 14, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The Iggles scouted her, Weed, but they've already got a pretty deep bench for defensive safeties.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Here's a thought. Other countries have some kind of universal, government-supported health care. The Repubs say, among other things, that government should never be in the health provision business. Free enterprise and the "market" will control health costs. And any kind of new taxes is the end of life as we know it. Now, between my contribution to health insurance and medicare, plus my flexible spending account contribution, I shell out $6,600 a year from my paycheck. I would be quite happy to turn that into a "tax" if I could get total access to the health care my wife and I need and want. Lets say that there are 100 million families out there working, and they shell out $3,000 a year. That's $300 billion. That ought to be good for something.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 14, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse


Ah, you and so many more people would say so. The best part about this is that, BY REPUBLICAN LOGIC, this will create JOBS!!!!


You know, remember when they said that raising the minimum wage would cost the nation 100,000's of jobs?

Well, lowering the business cost by so much will create, by their math, gazillions of jobs.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 14, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut you are correct in viewing your health premiums as a form of taxation. But we do not vote to elect the Boards of Directors for these private insurers. We do elect the folks that are going out of their way to protect these companies right to profit. Your right and your wife's right to access the health care you may need, well that is labeled "socialism". Are we that naive? "Keep the government out of my Medicare!". Oh really?? Please...

Posted by: RUBENMORTIZ | August 14, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

First of all - VL, our best to you, ma'am.
Boodle mojo's a powerful thing I think you'll get something good out of it.

"Back to the Health Care bill debates (do the GOP folks call it 'Health Scare' yet?) for a sec, has the naked 'GOP Obama/Dem '08 Election payback disguised as patriotism' reached it's hysterical peak yet? I wonder if they'll be able to sustain it in the face of an economic turnaround -- one could argue that the Dems and Obama might benefit from delaying passage of the bills and using the economy as an example of the Administration and Dem Congress successfully addressing large problems.


Posted by: -bc- | August 13, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse"

Now, some would suggest that the Government hasn't really run a balanced budget since Nixon took this country off of the Gold Standard, and that there's only moderate need for fiscal discipline to keep inflation from running amok (hint: don't look at those online national debt clocks that Joel pointed out a few years back):

If we're not going to put *that* genie back into the bottle (paying for the Iraq War would be a nice start), do we really have to start *now*? One would have to ask if we can get a nice big Homeland Equity loan from someone (hello, China) and just add it to the mortgaged futures we're occupying already.

I don't see anyone offering us a Reverse Mortgaged Future anytime soon, BTW.

I'd add that this Health Care debate is staring to remind me of 1994 all over again. The GOP leveraged that to a Congressional majority right around the same time, too. If the Health Care reform is defeated again, can the Dems prevent that from happening again in 2010?



Posted by: -bc- | August 14, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

...whereas having expanded government health care would also create jobs because one way or another more doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff would have to be hired, they'd just work for the gummint rather than private enterprise, and wouldn't have to carry that 20% overhead. But apparently *those* jobs don't count. When you're a Republican, creating government jobs doesn't count, only private sector jobs with 20% overhead.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

bc remember the surplus left by "immoral" and "unpatriotic" Pres Clinton in 2000? Has it been that long?

Posted by: RUBENMORTIZ | August 14, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes, they can, bc, because the dems are still pretty strong, whereas the GOP is near rock-bottom, which it was *not* in 1994. Which GOP bonehead is gonna lead the charge? There's no new Newt on their horizon.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I probably read it here, but on the off chance that you haven't heard this, the Republicans are determined not to let any truly comprehensive health care reform pass because it will prove so popular Democrats will win easily for at least 20 years. Apparently that's what happened in the UK when the NHS came into being, and they can't risk it.

"Sadly No" has a hilarious diatribe in favor of healthcare reform - at the mental and emotional level of the wingnuts:

Will this work to convince anyone? Sadly, No.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 14, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Creating government jobs not only doesn't count, it doesn't even exist according to Mikey Steele-
"And first off the government doesn’t create jobs. Let’s get this notion out of our heads that the government creates jobs. Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job."

Posted by: kguy1 | August 14, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd say testing food for poison is a job. But I'm not sure the FDA actually does that anymore!

In all the hooraw, I have not seen anyone point out that health care is a monopoly. And one increasing in monopolistic scope. It's illegal for a dental hygenist to clean your teeth without an MD present, and in North Carolina you can't even get a pair of eyeglasses without an MD's checkup. (That one is recent) I see no problem with almost ANY form of regulation of that monopoly, if monopoly is granted.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 14, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Face it, folks. The only way to cut the amount people spend on health care is to make them pay more for what they get. This sounds wrong but hear me out. If coverage pays 100% of the cost there is no incentive to "buy" efficiently. I"d get as many MRIs and treatments as allowed if nothing came out of my pocket. A system where the actual insurance cost is lowered...but only 80 or 90 percent of the actual treatments are covered is the way to go. People will then be less likely to spend big... and more likely to spend what they NEED. Big picture thinking, sure, but true.

Posted by: steveboyington | August 14, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

steveboyington one problem with your thinking. When my retinologists sends out my angiography for a second opinion I did not request, I still am expected to pay. Medical charges and fees are not initiated by the patient, they have to be requested by a licensed practitioner. On the other hand, full coverage can take the incentive to profit from extending care out of the equation.

Posted by: RUBENMORTIZ | August 14, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Er, dentists are D.M.D.s, or D.D.S., Jumper... but point taken.

The AMA is like a guild, they certify people in their organization.

The states pass laws restricting who can practice. It's always a favorite thing because a license restricts competition, but also prevent customer dissatisfaction.

So thats why the woman who cuts your hair may have a diploma just to wield scissors near your ear and eyes and neck.

I would be concerned about that eyeglasses law-- optometrists should be sufficient for a basic eye exam, but they won't diagnose eye disease or systematic disease leading to eye problems such as diabetes.
But this is actually mandating people GET health care or be blind as bats.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 14, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

No, the analogy that people spend too much on health care because they don't shop around for it is deeply flawed, IMHO. I don't go for any test that that I don't have to, because I don't want to waste the time, and the tests hurt, even when they say it won't. I go because my doctor insists, just as I go for regular checkups because my doctor insists on that (and I have a chronic condition). Otherwise, I'd go when I break a bone and no sooner. I've never been presented with a list of options, from least expensive to more expensive, and asked to choose. Health care costs will go down when they charge less for the treatments and tests.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 14, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Afternoon all,I agree with Mudge on Mike Vick.I always like Mike Vick and his play making skills,I liked that he played at VA Tech.I liked the fact that he can throw and run and both can be effective.Before he got suspended,he had a great year passing the ball.The double threat he has must create headaches for every team trying to defend him.

I think he paid his dues to society and thensome,and will probably be paying for the rest of his life.He makes and already dangerous Eagles team even better.

And speaking of Eagles,I went for a river paddle with two great friends the other day a saw a Bald Eagle again and this time I got some awesome pictures too.Some in flight to boot.

My Ravens looked good against the skins last night.Although I really thought it was a lackluster effort by the Skins.Playing in the tough NFC east they will need to improve bigtime.The major drawback of the game was I watched it on NBC 4 with Joe Theisman as the announcer and instead of saying it was a nice play by the Ravens,he just found anything negative in which he could moan about the Skins play.Talk about a Homer on a homer station.

Well back to the city and work.My 3 day mini vacation was great.Great friends,good times and very relaxing.....

Have a great day everyone!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 14, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, did this smallpox cure actually work?

All I know is that I do eat it, and I've never had smallpox.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 14, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Snuck out with Mom to see Ponyo, the Miyazaki animation. The only animation I've ever seen with clouds of jellyfish, Devonian armored fish and maybe even a trilobite or two. Ponyo herself is a marvel.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 14, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I think I'll wait until that procedure goes on sale, then I'll take two.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 14, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Just for the record, my brain dropped a signal: I knew D.D.S. is correct. And I am not advocating back-alley appendectomies either. I was just emphasizing that there is not really a free market in these matters.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 14, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Reuben: Medicare already is a tax. The current problem with most health insurance plans is that they keep costing us more and giving us less options. I would like to be able to choose the doctors I want to see, not just those "in network". Without sounding too xenophobic, I like to have doctors who graduated from an accredited U.S. medical school. That's part of the reason for using the flexible spending account - so we can pay the freight if we need to go see the specialist we want. And I didn't even mention dental coverage. Our insurance plan stinks - Even in network, you have to pay for some things. Out of network, they only pay 50% of the "fair and reasonable" fees (as determined by them, of course). I've had to have two crowns done this year. The dentist charged $1,275.00 each. I got $330 from the insurance company. There has got to be a better way.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 14, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'm with seasea. I don't have the knowledge to shop cost-effectively for health care. How do I know which test I need, and whether not getting a test now will lead to something life-threatening and more expensive down the road? Or what the alternate treatments for whatever I've got are, and what the price difference means? I want my doctor to know, and I want to trust my doctor to make those decisions. That's why I like the whole "communicating best practices" part of the plan.

My most recent insurance experience was frustrating rather than life- or livelihood-threatening, but it illustrates the problem with health insurance as a for-profit enterprise. My first year in this new job in this new place, I found an in-network doctor and went for an annual physical, which is supposedly covered by my insurance. But no, they refused to pay, because I hadn't done the tedious little online health survey describing my eating habits, vague memories of past medical findings, etc. Note, this is not the medical history for the doctor. This is supposed to make me more aware of my health, or something, and tell the website which nagging emails to send me about eating whole grains. Yes, I got notification that I was supposed to do this before scheduling my physical, somewhere in all the new job new insurance new bank account new retirement plan forms. When I went to the doctor's office to pay the full bill, they reminded me that I have to do the stupid online survey every year. Apparently, when the insurance company instituted this rule, lots of people did it the first time but didn't realize it was an every-time thing and got caught the second year.

So the insurance company says this is about making me more aware of my health habits. All well and good. Of course, the added hoops that people have to jump through before getting preventive care mean that fewer people will get preventive care -- less for the insurance company to pay! And every year plenty of people will forget the stupid survey -- refuse those claims!

For-profit healthcare. Sigh.

Posted by: -bia- | August 14, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Excellent question, Wilbrod, and one which calls for a learned dissertation, as follows (take good notes, this will be on the mid-term):

There are more than 300 chemicals in chocolate, and among the better known are:

(1) Endorphins, which lessens pain and reduces stress, thereby making smallpox sufferers feel a little better;
(2) it raises serotonin levels, which has an anti-depressant effect, and believe me, having smallpox in those days was a definite downer of the first magnitude.
(3) a neurotransmitter released by chocolate called phenylethylaminenick-named "chocolate amphetamine." This produced a sense of excitement and alertness (surely this must be familiar, ladies?), which came in right handy when you were pustulating, turning black, and dying. Back then no one wanted to die feeling sluggish and bored. We also used to call phenylethylamine the "love drug" because it quickened your pulse rate, similar feeling ...well...shall we just leave it at "amorous"?
(4) it contains the lipid anandamide, which is unique due to its resemblance to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a chemical I am told is found in certain exotic plants, of which I have absolutely no knowledge or experience, personally, although I have heard rumors. Both anandamide and THC activate the same receptor which causes the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which leads to feelings of well being that people associate with a high. And as you know, anandamide is derived form the word "ananda" which is Sanskrit for bliss. Many cultures therefore considered chocolate to be an aphrodisiac.
(5) Theobromine can lead to mental and physical relaxation, but it also acts as a stimulant similar to caffeine. It can increase alertness as well as cause headaches. (It's aslo the reason you can't give chocolate to Wilbrodog--might kill him.)

So yes, Wilbrod, we did use chocolate to treat smallpox. The result was that it made you happy, relaxed, alert, horny, high, gave you a headache, and then you died.

I wish I had better news for you.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Chocolate seems like an appropriate treatment for lots of diseases. Except perhaps diabetes or morbid obesity.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 14, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

It's not good for treating acne, yello.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, Jumper. I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who could hook you up if you ever feel the ache to get your appendix out first.

All you gotta do is make sure your tetanus and rabies shots are up to date-- (purely for safety, of course), and you gotta swear you ain't no bleeder.

It'll all be done with you blindfolded so even if the ether runs a little low, you won't panic.

Any tongue and animal breath on your cheek is actually Spike. He's completely okay. Just don't make any funny moves.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 14, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for that masterly summary, Mudge. I had no idea 18th century biochemistry was so advanced, considering that oxygen wasn't even discovered until 1774.

All that chocolate savvy, and they couldn't even figure out why people turned blue and died in enclosed spaces.

Boy, those Age of Reasoners sure had their priorities a little weird.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 14, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"we did use chocolate to treat smallpox. The result was that it made you happy, relaxed, alert, horny, high, gave you a headache, and then you died."

Pretty much like life in any other era.

Posted by: Yoki | August 14, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Aschenbach said: "What I don't want is for anyone to make up fake numbers or pass a bill that isn't paid for."

But that would be so un-American, to actually pay for something we want. Do you want us to be like the Chinese? :)

Posted by: rohitcuny | August 14, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"Thank you for that masterly summary, Mudge. I had no idea 18th century biochemistry was so advanced, considering that oxygen wasn't even discovered until 1774." Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome
Good heavens! What did people breathe before 1774? No wonder life expectancy was a bit on the low side...

Posted by: rohitcuny | August 14, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm convinced that the M.O. of insurance companies is to refuse to pay x% of claims, regardless of reason, in the hope that the insured will just give up and pay it themselves.

For example, Raysdad had some tests done at a reasonable cost at an employee health fare. Blue Cross Blue Shield refused to pay for it, saying that the provider was out of network. Repeated reminders from us that our policy states that out of network is covered at 75% did no good.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 14, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Why, we breathed evil humours and phlogiston, of course. What else?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

How will we pay? You already pay. And your employer pays. Insurance companies broker your care, not doctors. What if the money you paid went to a National Healthcare Service instead of to the insurance companies? Why should it cost any more?

All those years you paid, but remained healthy. A waste of money? No. Sick people benefit. Then, when it's your turn, you benefit.

Instead of your and your company paying for insurance (what? Two grand a year? More?) you pay an extra 3-5% tax instead. You would only notice it when you go to the doctor and it's free.

Well, this is how it works in the UK, anyway. I'm an ex-pat yank. A 62-year-old, diabetic stroke victim. I was healthy until I was 50. Since then, I've been treated for gout (yeah, funny until you suffer it) had a nephrectomy (infantile kidney) been treated for a stroke (three MRI scans, 30 hours on the stroke unit, ambulance ride, medication) had a five-stent, two-artery angioplasty and I'm waiting to have the calcium deposits in my left shoulder joint filed down. (It's hell growing old.)

The cost? Nothing. Zilch. Free. How can you say no to that?

Posted by: freelunch | August 14, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Actually, we also breathed air, though it was often heavily scented with noxious odors of all kinds -- either that or French perfume, take your pick. It was an era when people were nostrilly challenged.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

They just breathed air, rohit (which was much cleaner than today, unless standing next to a Boston Baked Bean fan)...

They also attributed disease to "bad air"-- the literal translation of "Malaria".

They knew that chewing tree bark (quinine) or making it in a tea could treat this.

They also knew that bleeding people for various diseases was great. That's how George Washington died.

They also didn't know germs transmitted disease nor that washing hands in between patients was a good idea for doctors.

But they sure knew how to give enemas, so at least nobody had to die constipated.

Chocolate was a big discovery, all things considered.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 14, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Which is why I spent most of my time at sea. You generally met a better class of smell out there.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Except for Chili Night in the f'oc'sle.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 14, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Watched the Montana town hall. Very good, very civil. Obama is very good in that setting, which is why I thought McCain was nuts to suggest that they do joint town halls during the campaign.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 14, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Just a quick flyby to say my prayers are with you, VintageLady!

I'm sorry I missed your call, TBG, I was at the hospital making a visit when you called. Hope all is well with SonofG.

We're in the mountains and Mr. T is waiting for me to go to supper, so I'll check in later....

Posted by: slyness | August 14, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Vintage Lady, just checked in and saw you post, wishing you strenght, courage and love to see you through this difficult time and sending off super sized Mojo.

Joel was a fantastic kit, I do not gush mush but very well done.

Funny event while I was working today, one client has a beautiful waterfall and pond, the 10 year son was playing with a couple of cousins, each boy had a replica toy pirate ship which they launched in the pond and proceeded to have a pirate battle, it was a pleasure to listen to their creative and imaginative play and enhanced by the cousins very strong west indies accents - kept my mind of how hot and humid it was.

To stray on topic has there ever been a study on what people stressed with medical bills might spend their money on if they didn't have to allocate so much to pay the bills - just curious. Might even be a mini stimulus on its own.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 14, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

No Tort Reform.

No Health Care Reform.

It's that simple.

Posted by: hclark1 | August 14, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm sending out for boodle suggestions. I want to take a day trip somewhere tomorrow to someplace outdoors but not outdoorsy, if you know what I mean. Any suggestions?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 14, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The Arctic Sea has been found, 520 miles off the Cape verde Islands off West Africa. She was supposed to be in Algeria, so she's a bit off course. Russian ships are racing toward her. Nobody's been aboard yet, so nobody knows what's going on. I suspect whoever is aboard may not know they've been located.

Somebody's gonna be in truuubbbb-ellll.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 14, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Paddleboat rides, yello.

Funny to mention Washington, the strong believer in inoculation (cowpox, was it?) I think inoculation's success brought on a wholly unfortunate belief in the universal efficacy of homeopathic medicine.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 14, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

First thoughts that came to my mind when I read Mudges 6:29, the Arctic Sea was lost - kind of big to lose but OK, then it was found off west Africa - now I am a little confused - perhaps it is a large ice floe they mean - then D'oh, now I get it. Too much heat and sun today I think.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 14, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Hang on here - I've seen the Arctic Sea, and it was nowhere NEAR the Cape Verde... what... oh... yeah, got it, "ocean" not "sea".

Never mind.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 14, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse


That's why I've been so confused all day.

Posted by: Yoki | August 14, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - While I'm sure that overall air quality was probably better at various times in the past, there were some pretty good-sized communities even a couple of millennia ago that were deriving most of their heat from burning carbony-stuff, in climates that needed a good bit of heat.

Not such good air, I'm guessing.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 14, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention the effluvia from horses, beasts of burden, humans, sewers and cesspools. Urban in 1292? Major carbon producers.

Posted by: Yoki | August 14, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I seem to recall that the infamous London fogs of the 19th century were actually smog, cf. Dickens and Sherlock Holmes...

Posted by: slyness | August 14, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

OK, small brag. I have been back in the office for 9 days. Today my youngest staff-member came to me and said, "I'm so glad you're back. I had no new vocabulary when you were gone, and since you've been back I've learned ephemeral, by fiat, carat, penultimate and more I cannot remember. And you never explain them, you just use them in conversation as though it is normal. I have to look them up!"

How sweet is that?

Posted by: Yoki | August 14, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Hah! Slyness, when my Mum and Dad lived in Oxford in the mid-50s (of the 20th Century), they still had coal-particle pea-soup fogs. They had thought it confined to the Victorian/Edwardian era, were at first thrilled it wasn't (Romantic literary imaginations at work) until their wee boy (first-born son) developed something dangerously close to asthma, from which he recovered when they returned to the clean dry air of Western Canada before his fourth birthday.

THEY knew it was smog, for sure.

Posted by: Yoki | August 14, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, Yokes, I'm almost jealous. I also get that feedback occasionally, and it's nice on so many levels. Feeds the ego, and makes you feel that you're doing a bit of good in the world. What's not to like?

Being a able to recommend (and provide) a book or two that helps turn a not-much-of-a-reader into a fairly avid reader is an even bigger thrill, I think. I've had that pleasure a few times.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 14, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Landlubbers. I'm surrounded by landlubbers. *sigh*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 14, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Longwood Gardens. Their restaurant is pretty good, too.

Yoki, yes!

VL, all good things to you and the Vintage Lord.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 14, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

What a wonderful comment by your co-worker, Yoki! I'm also impressed that he/she said it to you.

Posted by: -pj- | August 14, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Buy a lovely silk robe and dub thyself Yoki-Yoda, and now be throned before your language acolytes in the courts of torts and toils, eh, for you are a casually sesquipedalian queen.

A most fine compliment indeed.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 14, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I've been out all day and haven't finished back boodling yet. I just want to wish Vintage Lady the best. I am thinking of you and will also keep you in my prayers.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 14, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I know everyone has been anticipating this announcement, I shall now end the suspense, my moonflower has blossomed. Big thanks to all of you that spoke so highly of this annual that I decided to buy a few this year, such a beautiful flower and lovely fragrance. Eldest says the flower smells like Nana used to.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 14, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

yoki, you get a gold star today.

vl, many good thoughts your way for a successful treatment and quick recovery.

mudge, loved your chocolate therapy. that should definitely be one of the end-of-life treatment options when health care is reformed.

Posted by: LALurker | August 14, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

dmd, that's great! Nice pictures, too. It's CP who started us down this path, right? Although I've attempted to grow them for years but have not been very successful. After you mentioned your imminent bloom last night, I checked my plants and some have some tiny little buds, so I'm hoping to have flowers in a few weeks.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 14, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

very pretty, dmd.

Posted by: LALurker | August 14, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't really have time for boodling these days but have tried to keep up a little. Have been working on a transcript of the last AchenWright diavlog, as if it were a jigsaw puzzle or a cross stitch project, just a little at a time when I have quiet minutes. It's just about finished and I will link to it tomorrow night.

Now here's my completely ludicrous comment:

@Scottynuke: I also never had wisdom teeth. You're the only other person I've heard of with this condition. I'm taking it as further evidence that Mutants Rule on the Achenblog.


Posted by: kbertocci | August 14, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Hi, kb! Been wondering how you're doing. I still haven't watched the AchenWright thing, so will look forward to the transcript!

I had one wisdom tooth removed, but still have one because the dentist said it was too close to a facial nerve to risk taking out. I think I only had 2, in the lower row of teeth. I'm going to be without dental insurance at the end of this month...I'm hoping my teeth behave.

Mutants Rule! I like it.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 14, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

I may tie a bunch of Boodle threads together with this comment, come to think of it:

I had four impacted wisdom teeth and had them all removed in one visit when I was 20. Old-school HMO health care (yes, even for dental at the time) had the team anesthetize me with sodium pentothal and nitrous oxide.

Woke up feeling like I'd OD'd on a box of Mudge's Wonky chocolate bars: "...happy, relaxed, alert, horny, high..." and with a headache from the chiseling (yes, I heard them use that word while I was in twilight land) my jaws had taken.

When the nurse asked to double-check my card afterwards, I scribbled my phone number on a slip of paper and handed it to her with a big cheesy gauze-laden chipmonk-cheeked smile as I wobbled in front of her desk like a skinny 6 ft. Weeble.

For all that, those were the days when HMO health care plans paid for everything, and I never had to think about the money that procedure cost again. After I was done spitting enamel chips out, I mean.


Posted by: -bc- | August 14, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Ah wisdom teeth. I think the very cute Captain Rodriguez must have earned some kind of medal for the work he did on one-filled it as if it were just another molar, but it took a couple visits. Why would I endure such treatment instead of having it yanked? See bc's 10:18. I still have that tooth, and the other lower one. The upper two I had yanked in Korea by another military dentist. A little local anesthetic and brute strength, very interesting to be lifted out of the chair by your mouth, and it was all done in time for me to heal and go to the field as scheduled. In retrospect the Korean dental assistant seemed a bit alarmed, but I didn't understand anything he said once he lapsed into his first language.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 14, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Did everyone read Mackey's (CEO of Whole Foods) editorial in the WSJ today against healthcare reform. He's not just advocating insurance reform, either. He wants the 50 million uninsured to get their healthcare from charity, specifically a checkoff on income taxes where the 140 million taxpayers can donate if they wish. Sadly, No calculates that if each of the 140 mil donate $10, that's $28 per uninsured person, which they figure is enough to buy a box of bandaids, a bottle of vodka and a sharp knife to perform one's own surgery.

Why would a businessman whose business depends on people who are willing to spend more to buy earth-friendly, fair trade foods do this? Does it make sense to anyone? They say he sold a large block of his stock yesterday, in anticipation of the angry reaction. I have never shopped there, so it would be a little hypocritical of me to declare I will never go there again. Hope lots of folks give them up, though.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 14, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Boy, that editorial almost sounds sacrastic, after rereading it a few times...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 14, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't think people have given adequate consideration to the way that public expenditures for medical care are likley to rise if we make no changes in our system. We have two big programs (Medicaid and Chip insurance for children) which have a huge chunk of federal money but are administered by the states. States have considerable discretion to define the scope of their programs. I understand that the scope of the programs in a number of states is far narrower than is permitted under federal standards. What happens if Texas and a number of other states with what I consider inadequate programs decide to expand them. The federal cost will go up dramatically.

The cost for state Medicaid programs is likely to go up considerably for long term nursing home care as our population continue to age and standards and costs for nursing homes continue to rise.

The cost of the Medicare program is likely to rise simply because many employers no longer provide medical insurance to retirees. Medicare costs in the past have been reduced by employer provided plans. Medicare costs will also rise, because the population is aging and more will be eligible.

We still don't know the full impact of our current massive unemployment on Medicaid and Chip. A bigger population is eligible now than in the past. Even when the unemployed go back to work, reliance on government programs may continue. That is because employers have been reducing the amounts they pay for medical insurance over the last decade by forcing employees to pay a higher percentage of the cost. Many employers may refuse to provide any insurance at all.

There seems to be an assumption that federal expenditures will remain fairly constant if health reform is not enacted. I think that is wrong in view of the likely increases I have mentioned and probably many others. There will be large increases in federal expenditures even if the reforms now pending in Congress are not enacted.

Posted by: esch | August 14, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

>> wobbled in front of her desk like a skinny 6 ft. Weeble.<<

Hee hee.

Weebles wobble but they don't fall down!

Posted by: Yoki | August 14, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

'Ere, wots this then? Now there'll be no weeble wobblin' on the Boodle!

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 14, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Eh, Gov'nor?

Posted by: Yoki | August 14, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey Yoki!

Too late to swing by for a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine? I can make a simple salad with greek olives and feta.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 14, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Whaddya wanna listen to tonight?

Posted by: -jack- | August 14, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Yoki.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 14, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

As far as VAT, if that ever is seriously discussed, these townhall meetings will look like Romper Room, ie, the pitchforks and tar vats come out.

Posted by: BigMac4 | August 14, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Good night, boodle. Some hurly-burly is headed our way. Ere dawn approaches, we will endure hail, thunder, lightning, and mutant toad downpours.

Silicon beasties must be in bed before then.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 14, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: -jack- | August 14, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Not too late at all.

Say, here's a thought. We could gather at RT's for a nice dish of pasta (fabulous!) and 'mudge could tell us a story, while jack and I jam on guitar (I'm on an old National with a bottleneck).

Posted by: Yoki | August 14, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

A traditional:

Posted by: -jack- | August 14, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | August 14, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jack,

Posted by: russianthistle | August 14, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

So here is the dish. I have thin spaghetti tossed with sliced filet mignon with parmesan along with 1/2 roasted tomato and onion sauce that we cooked for about 6 hours and 1/2 Asiago and Feta cheese olive oil mixture that also has a good portion of Italian herb paste and sea salt and ground black pepper.

Ask me if it is any good!

Posted by: russianthistle | August 15, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

For jack

Posted by: Yoki | August 15, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Vintage Lady, my thoughts are with you.

Posted by: nellie4 | August 15, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

OK... here is the guy that bought my last guitar...

My buddy Torro is playing the "obscured drums" along with another great guy, Bill K. ... playing some Merle Haggard like he can't.

Don't get me wrong, I think Haggard has written some of the all time greatest songs... still love "White Line Fever"

Posted by: russianthistle | August 15, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | August 15, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Good evening all.

VL, the very best wishes heading your way.

Wilbrod, I think they've gotten away from the bloodletting scenario for GW, and moved on to adult epiglottitis (with the bloodletting possibly providing some relief). I'm guessing JA might know. Of course, there's also the myth that he's not really dead, just hanging out in a basement.

Another day is done. Happy dreams all.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 15, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Big day today. More to do tomorrow. I am getting ready for bed after watching too many guitar videos from the way way past past.

Here's something that might let us rest with a smile:

A great artist doing a great song.

Hey, the composer was featured in many of the posters used in the Savoy Brown video up boodle... Richard Thompson.

Check out Thompson and his son Teddy (who wrote the songs for Brokeback Mountain)

doing one of my favorite live versions of any song ... its so simple and so beautiful (IMHO)

Posted by: russianthistle | August 15, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

RT, that. is. incredible. Thank you.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 15, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 15, 2009 4:12 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 15, 2009 4:18 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Got a lot to do today, including a 200-mile roundtrip to Hagerstown and back. But first...

Today in Nautical, Aviation and Aquarian History

Aug. 15, 1281: A typhoon at Hakata Bay destroys some 4,000 ships of Kubla Khan’s Mongol fleet during his second attempt to conquer Kyushu, Japan. The typhoon drowns 100,000 of the 142,000-strong invasion force. The grateful Japanese refer to this typhoon as kamikaze, “the divine wind,” a name they will resurrect 663 years later. The second time it didn't work.
1914: France’s Lt. Cesari and Cpl. Prudhomme fly the world’s first combat bombing raid, on the Zeppelin sheds at Metz-Frescaty, Germany. Damage was slight. Alors.
1935: Famed aviator Wiley Post and even more famous humorist and movie star Will Rogers are killed in the crash of Post’s Lockheed Vega, near Point Barrow, Alaska, during a flight to the Far East.
1945: Japanese records show the launch of the last seven kamikaze aircraft of World War II, though U.S. Navy records show no attacks were received this day. Japan’s 1,321 kamikazes have sunk 34 Navy ships and damaged 288 others.
1969: At about 5:07 p.m. on this Friday afternoon, folksinger Richie Havens comes out onstage and begins to sing “Handsome Johnny” at a music festival in upstate New York. A farmer named Max Yasgur agreed to turn over his 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel (literally, "House of God") 43 miles from the town of Woodstock for what was billed as “An Aquarian Exposition,” also known as the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, as the first of an eventual 32 musical acts perform over a rainy three-day weekend. About 186,000 tickets ($18 each, or $24 at the gate) were sold, but about 500,000 people showed up (though if you polled the nation today, 83 million people would tell you they were there). It is a little-known fact that two people died during the event (one a heroin overdose and one guy run over by a tractor while sleeping in a hayfield), but it evened out because two babies were born, one in a car and one in a helicopter. (There were also four miscarriages.) Havens was supposed to start off with a 40-minute set on his acoustic guitar, because the major electrical systems weren't ready yet for the other acts. After the set, promoters ask Havens to go back out and sing four more songs. They do this to him six more times. After he sings every song he knows and runs out, Havens is forced to make one up on the spot; it is based on an old spiritual called "Motherless Child" and becomes his great anthem, "Freedom." Yup, he made that one up as he went along. His set wound up lasting 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 15, 2009 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Nice Julia Rappaport piece about Martha's Vineyard, Maggie O and my favorite spot on earth:

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 15, 2009 7:02 AM | Report abuse

VHi had a good Woodstock special last night. Showed some of the background stuff, talked to the producers and other behind the scenes people and ordinary people who were there. It was very good. I'm sure they'll rerun it.

Busy day for me and tonight we see Tony Bennett. dmd, hooray for your moonflowers, nice photos. Hot day ahead, everyone find a way to keep from overheating.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 15, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Nice pic dmd. Ah the benefits of living in the banana belt. I had nice moonflower buds once or twice but they never bloomed.

Canada leads the way on the war against zombies:

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 15, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

This is an interesting article several years ago, I read a story on the development of the technology that makes this story possible. Not sure at what point our former PM became involved in the project. I think there is a lake in BC where this is also being done/or will be done. The purpose of the technology is to harvest the trees without disturbing the environment of the water.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 15, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Hey, dmd. I worked with Joe on that project in the early stages. That is why his cell number is still in my contacts, though I don't use it willy-nilly :)

It is actually pretty cool and has minimal impact on fisheries or anything else environmentally sensitive.

Posted by: Yoki | August 15, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and happy weekend, all. We've already been to the farmers market, where I blew $19 of the $20 I had in my wallet. Goat cheese, corn, sourdough bread, all the usual purchases. Yum.

My moonflowers are blooming, much to my surprise. I didn't think they would. Here in the mountains, the fuschias are blooming like crazy, the coneflowers are at their peak, and the cosmos look good. I'll take photos and post them when I get home tomorrow.

Two falls ago, Mr. T took down the ugly board fence at the side of the driveway and replaced it with local locust posts and rails. Yesterday, we took the old boards to the landfill. Now I can think about what to do with the little side yard! It's a small space, with the well in the middle, but I have visions of a lovely little garden bower. I put a birdbath on the well cover, but that's not working out. Too much debris from the trees and such fall into it, and it breeds mosquitoes. Lots of native rhododendrons, though.

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

LiT, that may not be just a myth.

I won some wooden teeth from an old guy in a basement poker game some time back.

Dude went all in on a bluff and couldn't cover when I raised. I don't take credit or IOUs, so out come his choppers and go onto the chips.

At the call, I showed him three beauties and a pair of sevens to his pair of 10s.

Muttered something about Brandywine and Philly and stomped away from the table.

If he wants his teeth back, he's gonna have to pay up.


Posted by: -bc- | August 15, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Gee, slyness, I'm on my way to my own farmers market right now this very minute. I sure hope you left some stuff for me!

Getting the Saturday errands (which keep evolving) actually done on Saturday (I hope) and then an early morning one tomorrow and THEN I'm going to get the backhoe in gear and take it into my office. Maybe. . . .

Had the second round of PT yesterday, and wowie-zowie, was it great. I feel it in my abs, my thighs and especially my tush. I actually think this PT thing is going to help me out considerably, so I can wait for whatever insurance reform plan comes outta Capitol Hill. Maybe before I die.

Have a magnificent weekend everyone!

Posted by: -ftb- | August 15, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

*waving @ 'Mudge on his way to and from Hagerstown*

Weed, I'm quite certain that if I'd been around to ask if that dish was any good, you would have responded in the past tense... *L*

*in-the-midst-of-mail-gathering-and-flowerbed-watering-and-such Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 15, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse


Bad, bad idea!!!

Then again, we ARE talkin' the Nats, so...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 15, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Hi all... Son of G is recuperating nicely from having four impacted wisdom teeth removed yesterday. As long as he's on the percocet for now he's pain-free. The cheeks are a little chipmunky, but not horribly. He'll be ready to start school on Monday (yes!).

dmd... your flowers look beautiful. And "the flower smells like Nana used to" has got to be one of the highest compliments ever--for the flower.

one more question... why in the world are these town hall meetings being held during the work day? Who came up with that brilliant idea? They don't even play World Series games during the work day anymore!

Posted by: -TBG- | August 15, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

TBG, so glad to hear about SoG. Give him my best, and tell him I said don't forget...percocet is *NOT* to be considered a recreational pharmaceutical. Seriously, though, glad that's done and out of the way. His future wife would thank you (men are the worst patients).

Posted by: LostInThought | August 15, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear Son of G is doing well. Does that make you Dr. Mom? :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | August 15, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I would hope the Percs aren't scheduled to overlap with classes, TBG! I hope SoG is up and around soon! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 15, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

TBG, give my best to SoG as well.

Tell him I said that as hungry as he is today (and was probably last night), that he should stay away from the pizza. It may seem like a good idea, but it's not -- trust me on this.

I was left alone in the evening after my wisdom teeth were removed (see above), and wanted more than chocolate milkshakes with egg (thanks, Mom) and soup, so I drove myself over to the closest Lido's and acquired a large cheese pizza, took it home and ate it. All of it.

This was a mistake.


Posted by: -bc- | August 15, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Here's Richie Havens with "Freedom"

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 15, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, if you like Martha's vineyard, you should check out some of its history.

The one I like best is "Everybody here spoke Sign Language: Hereditary deafness on Martha's vineyard" by Norma Ellen Groce.

Also, in Samuel Sewell's diary, he mentions one of the early deaf inhabitants of Martha's vineyard, who settled there in 1694-- a Jonathan Lambert.

Lambert was a master of a slave ship (sorry), and according to Dr. Banks' history of Martha's vineyard, he was sent to Quebec in 1695 to bring back prisoners.

Not much else is known about him, even if he knew sign language, but his descendants did.

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

TBG, that probably explains why so many of the town hall participants are on Medicare.

Hope Son of G is all recovered soon.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad to hear that SonofG is doing well. Such a relief to have that over with. Back in the day, I actually spent two nights in the hospital and had mine out in surgery. The progress in how that operation is done is a very good thing.

I loved Robin Givhan's column today:

She has such a novel and refreshing view on life, and expresses her view so well.

Now, I have to admit that I haven't paid close attention to the nuts and bolts of health care reform. As an old policy wonk, I see that the crux of the matter is where we decide that efficiency and effectiveness should intersect. I wonder if the best solution is to declare health care a natural monopoly like law enforcement or fire protection and go from there.

The basis for this thought is in my memories of the battle in the middle 1990's over prehospital care. At that time, for-profit ambulance companies were competing with fire departments and rescue services over who got to treat and transport people to the hospital. By the time the recession of 2001 rolled around, the answer was crystal clear. The for-profit folks couldn't make enough money and pulled out of lots of communities.

What happened in my hometown is instructive. The local mom and pops ambulance service was bought out by AMR. They didn't want to provide emergency services so they stuck with non-emergency transport. They couldn't make money and closed the operation down. So the county EMS service had to pick up non-emergency transports as well.

In places where for-profit companies provide emergency prehospital care, they have contracts with local authorities which give them subsidies so they don't go under when the folks they transport can't/won't pay for service.

I'm thinking a properly set up health care system would be similar. Set up incentives for the for-profit players to provide services at a given level of efficiency and effectiveness and shop around for the best contract. To ensure that services are provided as they should be, have a strong review program in place, starting with complaints filed with the local physician by dissatisfied patients, with third party review.

Just my two cents...

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I was arguing with Bailey about the definition of "serial killer" (because of two instances lately - one was for gain, and more recently there has been one in North Carolina ignored for too long, speculation being that it is because of prejudice towards the general class of the victims - see )

So in the midst of proving my point I also came across this which chilled me, thinking of certain right-wing radio / media types:
“The motivation for mass murder for the Disciple Killer rests outside the killer. The leader of the group demands the action. The killer wants acceptance by the leader-this is the psychological gain, the expressive gain. This psychological acceptance is paramount in the need hierarchy of the mass killer; he feels he deserves psychological approbation only if he carries out the wishes of the leader” (Holmes, 5).

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 15, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Must be dog days of summer here in the boodle, I was looking for a way to procrastinate but the boodle is sleeping. Help save me from my cleaning, and laundry.

A helpful tidbit from me, pulling the weeds from in between the interlocking bricks is probably not the best activity in full sun, when the temps are in the upper eighties with high humidity. On the bright side I may have lost a few pounds!

Posted by: dmd3 | August 15, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

dmd, you are a glutton for punishment, weeding in the sun like that!

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I’m killing time too dmd. Too hot to nap, too soon to shower for tonight. There’s a gorgeous sky with small puffy clouds but no wind and the humidity is fairly high. #2 keeps calling for fashion advice. They’re going to a wedding tonight. She bought a beautiful dress but wanted my opinion on accessories. She also borrowed our camera as theirs is broken. I hope she takes better care of ours!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 15, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

This is an amusing story about Bob Dylan:

And this, not so amusing:

I'm procrastinating too. I should be working on applying to a gummint job...oh, the paperwork.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 15, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, I deduce your cri d'couer was due to the Strasburg signing and contract $10.5 cool beans), yes? Me, too.

Good point-out on the Givhans link, slyness. Some good lines from it:

"What *does* one wear to a town hall meeting on health care when the sole reason for attending is to shout down one's congressman like a peevish teenager in the midst of a hormonal rage?"


"If not for the prohibition on signs and banners inside these meetings, one could well expect to see some of these volatile worker bees wearing face paint and foam fingers, albeit the highlighted digit would be one expressing foul displeasure rather than competitive rank or skill level."


"...few things irritate venters more than having their high-decibel rants met with the exaggerated serenity of Nurse Ratched. It's the ultimate kind of power play -- a political rope-a-dope -- and the non-responders know it."

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 15, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

SCC: offer, not signing.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 15, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

seasea, that story is just too, too wonderful--I've gotta post it in its entirety:

"Bob Dylan Stopped By Cops, Asked For ID In New Jersey Shore Town"

(Associated Press) Rock legend Bob Dylan was treated like a complete unknown by police in a New Jersey shore community when a resident called to report someone wandering around the neighborhood.

Dylan was in Long Branch, about a two-hour drive south of New York City, on July 23 as part of a tour with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp that was to play at a baseball stadium in nearby Lakewood.

A 24-year-old police officer apparently was unaware of who Dylan is and asked him for identification, Long Branch business administrator Howard Woolley said Friday.

"I don't think she was familiar with his entire body of work," Woolley said.

The incident began at 5 p.m. when a resident said a man was wandering around a low-income, predominantly minority neighborhood several blocks from the oceanfront looking at houses.

The police officer drove up to Dylan, who was wearing a blue jacket, and asked him his name. According to Woolley, the following exchange ensued:

"What is your name, sir?" the officer asked.

"Bob Dylan," Dylan said.

"OK, what are you doing here?" the officer asked.

"I'm on tour," the singer replied.

A second officer, also in his 20s, responded to assist the first officer. He, too, apparently was unfamiliar with Dylan, Woolley said.

The officers asked Dylan for identification. The singer of such classics as "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Blowin' in the Wind" said that he didn't have any ID with him, that he was just walking around looking at houses to pass some time before that night's show.

The officers asked Dylan, 68, to accompany them back to the Ocean Place Resort and Spa, where the performers were staying. Once there, tour staff vouched for Dylan.

The officers thanked him for his cooperation.

"He couldn't have been any nicer to them," Woolley added.

How did it feel? A Dylan publicist did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Friday.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 15, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Yes, 'Mudge...

Or rather, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooo... *trailing off* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 15, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse


Seriously, Shah Rukh Khan is really well-known, he is like the Tom Hanks of Bollywood.

They must not have had any Indian-American screeners at Newark Liberty, because then he'd have been detained for 3 hours-- doing autographs.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 15, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes it is one of those days to do things in small quantities, just had to run to the store and my car was telling me it was 34C before humidity, came home and smelt gas in the pool area. Being an incredibly huge chicken about all things fire and explosive I yelled for dmdspouse. Apparently eldest had been outside tanning and her 2 loud pops from the general area of the propane tank, she said it was like a gun - could be slightly exagerated. Had dmdspouse call the fire department to see if it was safe for him to return the tank - answer yes, however, he called me over to kiss me and tell me he loved me before he left. He has instructions to call when tank is exchanged and all is safe.

Our company is arriving soon and I am so ready for a cold beverage.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 15, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I wouldn't have recognized that photo as Bob Dylan, either-- and I've seen him on TV.

Now, do you really need to have ID while walking around somewhere? Is it legal to detain somebody for not having ID?

This is not a light issue, actually. It's only humorous because Bob Dylan is so famous.

A lot of black people have the same issue-- they had better walk around well-dressed and/or with ID or...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 15, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Didja see Colbert King's column today, Wilbrod? This one really takes the cake:

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

In another case of supposed mistaken identity, the Canadian woman stranded in Kenya has finally arrived back in Toronto. This is one lawsuit that I believe has merit - crazy the lengths she had to go to to prove her identity.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 15, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I stumbled across Ghivan's piece this morning - it's defnintely snortworthy.


Posted by: -bc- | August 15, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

What I thought was funny about the Dylan story was that the young cops seemed not to recognize his name, even. Or his "entire body of work". At least they didn't haul him down to the station in handcuffs when he couldn't produce ID, which showed some sense, since he wasn't doing anything except walking and looking. And I'm imagining him answering them with his soft mumbles...wonder what he was thinking...

Posted by: seasea1 | August 15, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I think what's funny in the Dylan story is that when they asked him "what are you doing here?" He answered that he was "on tour."

Posted by: -TBG- | August 15, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks and Maggie will get a chuckle out of this --

Massachusetts has sales tax, N.H. doesn't. Now that Mass. tax has gone up, the Boston Globe has made a stunning discovery:

"Some Mass. consumers say they are driving to shop in tax-free New Hampshire. (Miss X), left, of Lowell was shopping at the Mall at Rockingham Park in Salem, N.H."

Anyone who looks at a map will see Lowell and Salem are practically a stone's throw apart... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 15, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who might be interested, there will be a "classic" (and I mean CLASSIC) tear-jerker coming on at 8:00 (Eastern time) on TCM.

*drum roll*

"An Affair to Remember" with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.

I haven't seen that film in absolute ages, so I'm gonna watch it tonight. Curiously enough, my tears have never been jerked by this film. But it's a good one, nonetheless.

Now I've gotta go take care of long curly hair and turn it into long straight (-ish) hair before the movie comes on. I've got a bit more than an hour. Yeah, that outta do it.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 15, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

hey y'all,

here's a more detailed version of the dylan story. very funny indeed.

my home county in joisy.

Posted by: LALurker | August 15, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Went into BigBoxOHousewaresandotherfinestuff this afternoon to buy a wok. Found a nice one as a demo, but none in a box. Young salesgal said she would call the desk and see if I could take the floor model. They asked her what the item was. She said, reading the tag, a "wook."

Is it really possible that someone about 19 would not know what a wok is?


Posted by: nellie4 | August 15, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

The morning after the Dylan incident was when we went on vacation to Long Beach, NJ (not to be confused with Long Branch about 30 or 40 miles to the north).

I love that the policewoman's name is Buble.

ftb, yes, I saw "Affair to remember" is on, too. I'm watching it too. I understand if at the end you need a tissue. Being a manly man, I will merely need to clear my throat.

A good flick to write to.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 15, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's certainly not illegal to wander around without ID. Every time a case like that moves up the legal ladder, it gets bounced.

Whether it's legal to detain someone is a slightly different issue, and depends on lots of things. As has been noted recently, it's not illegal to say all sorts of scathing things to police officers, but that doesn't mean that you won't be detained and/or cited, even if the case ultimately goes nowhere.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 15, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, civil rights have indeed been reduced in this country such that you may indeed be hauled to headquarters or taken into custody like Dylan was, for walking without ID, for >any reason<. And also it is now illegal to refuse to give your name to a policeman. I base this on some Supreme Court decisions in the last few years I read about.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 15, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Nothing wrong with my memory:

"In a dissenting opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that Mr. Hiibel "acted well within his rights when he opted to stand mute." Others who disagreed with the majority were Justices David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer." 2004

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 15, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

*faxing ftb a hanky*

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 15, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

*OK, two hankies*

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 15, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

A fine mini-BPH was held today. Son of G, TBG and I met in a good Indian restaurant and chowed down. We all ordered but they then brought it all out in serving dishes family style, which was fine with us! Son had some achy wisdom tooth places by the time it was over, I think he overestimated his readiness for solid food. But he now has had mighty nourishment to stoke fast healing. He has some of my all-natural organic tomatoes too, now.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 15, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

"And Affair to Remember" has been around since forever. If you take it apart, it have a slender plot reflecting the movie mores of the day, a bunch of silly and sentimental children sequences to plump it up, and for 50 years I have had my eyes fill at the ending. I used to sob, but I am older now and I just tearfully dribble.

Posted by: nellie4 | August 15, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

And "From Here to Eternity" up next. I'm not gonna get much work done tonight, methinks.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 15, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Here, as promised yesterday, is the transcript to the July 30 diavlog featuring Achenbach and Wright.

I'm falling asleep so can't stay up to boodle. Best to all. <3

Posted by: kbertocci | August 15, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Here's the link to the video:

Posted by: kbertocci | August 15, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

You all may be wallowing in TCM, but I'm having a marathon. Good stuff!

My dear Vintage Lady, you have my deepest hopes for your your help.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 15, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Mini BPH! That's great!

I like An Affair to Remember too - the part that makes me cry is Cary's grandma. She is such a sweetie, and then all that's left is her shawl...*sniff sniff* And I kind of like that no one's rolling around naked - all left to the imagination.

Bill Moyers had another great show last night on health care:
Even the other segment with David Frum made sense.

And I believe if we could clone Obama and send him all around, he could solve all the problems...I really do.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 15, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Oops. I forgot to mention my commiserational thoughts to SoG for his ordeal. (He's my most favorite 20-something after my anarchist daughter:) (to quote a famous Nichols & May quip: "you never write; you never call!)

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 15, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

And just one thing more thing, then I promise to shut up: ( for you locals, it's 88.1 on the radio, on Saturday night has a truly exceptional evening of roots music, starting with music from the Smithsonian Folkways recordings, then Fiona Ritchie with music from the Gaelic diaspora, then American Roots out of New Orleans. Seasea, you would truly love listening. Mudgie, you would too. Then I'm thinking that GWE, BC, and Scotty would as well. Well, I guess the list is endless...

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 15, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

‘Evening all. Yes Scotty, for years residents near NH have been driving up there to shop, the increase in the MA sales tax may send a few more people north, but in general, for most people (and especially for anyone south of the Mass Pike) driving to NH isn’t cost effective unless the purchase(s) is going to be huge.

Just got back from Tony Bennett. It was a 7 pm show which “S” decided was early so the crowd could make the early bird special, hit the show and be home in bed by 10. Never saw so many ‘old people’ out at night before :-) Bennett was excellent, he still has a very strong voice tho’ obviously not what it once was. His four-piece band was superb. His daughter Antonia opened with a 30 minute set. She was good, a sweet clear voice, but she’s no Tony Bennett.

Those two stories, Colbert King’s and the Canadian woman stuck in Kenya, make me angry. What has happened to common sense? Don't bother answering that.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 15, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Also in trying to catch up, glad to hear son of G is mending well after the wisdom teeth removal. Not a fun experience. dmd, I assume your family is still in one piece and the propane tank has been exchanged. I completely agree with Nellie about An Affair to Remember altho' I'm not sure I could watch it, even now, without sobbbing. This makes me mad because I know what's coming and that I'm being manipulated by the darn thing and I cry anyway.

Too hot here, I'm going to bed where the a/c is cranking.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 15, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, maggie, maybe that station has a streaming feed on the Internets. My NPR station took Fiona Ritchie off many years ago - no idea why. I should track her down again. Yes, we could have a regular Woodstock here on the Boodle. Sneaks, that's funny about the "old people" - ha! Nice that you got to see him.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 15, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

It's Saturday night, and from high atop the Terminal Tower in Cleveland...

Excellent assortment of songs last night. Thanks, Jumper, Yoki and RT.

Posted by: -jack- | August 15, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

For excellent Sat. night listening I like Radio Heartland from Hot Jazz Saturday Night on WAMU is another favorite.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 15, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

kb, thanks for that transcript! A true labor of love, I'm sure, because I bet they talked over each other a lot. Very entertaining.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 15, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes, my family are all in one piece, apparently the tank had been overfilled, which blew out the seal (the sound my daughter heard), also apparently quite common.

New tank in place for a lovely meal with friends, they are vegans so it was a split meal food they could eat added with food we could eat as well as food we could all eat. Learned that some vegans do not want utensils to touch meat and then veggies - a little over the top?

Sat outside this evening with the lights on and torches beautiful very warm and humid and oddly no bugs - first hot night in quite a while. Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer.

As for radio, both my parents and I would often listen to WOWO from Indiana a classical station that could be received on clear nights. There was always something fun about searching the radio dials to see how far away the radio stations were, since the radio waves transmit better in a northward direction we could often pull in radio stations from around the US eastern seaboard or midwest, something about listening to those stations on a hot sticky night was just wonderful. Used to love roaming the dial to see how many different baseball games I could get. Can't believe I am wistful for static radio reception - lets see satellite radio match that :-).

Off to sleep, night everyone.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 16, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

OK before I go this made me laugh, a 'moon' actually hundreds for DHS. I really do think you have nothing to fear from out invasion plans.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 16, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

If this is Dresden, where are the tralfamadorians
The sun shines now on the Frauenkirche dome
If this is real, I must be time traveling
I fear I never wanna go home...

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 16, 2009 3:12 AM | Report abuse

Happy to see you, DNA_Girl.

But, be careful. We're mostly good readers who remember.

Not so enticed.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2009 3:24 AM | Report abuse

Happy Sunday. I was listening to NPR on my jog this morning, there was a story about the U.S./Canada border. It seems both sides are stepping up patrols and enforcement due to smuggling, which is summarized thus:

Canada => U.S. : High-quality marijuana
U.S. => Canada : Cocaine and guns

I would like to apologize to my Canadian friends and neighbors. On behalf of the United States of America, I'm sorry. Here's hoping that "stepped-up enforcement" won't lead to atrocities and civilian collateral damage. I don't suppose Canada needs to worry about a military invasion quite yet; probably Mexico would be higher on that list.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 16, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. The heatwave is still on. We might get ripe tomatoes off the plants that haven't died from water exposure after all.

We spent a few hours on the water yesterday and we had the opportunity to look at cool pictographs (red ocre drawing) made by ancient First Nations tribes. Nobody knows when they were made but they are old. The air was hot and the water was cool, it was a perfect beach day.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 16, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

kbertucci, you should add cigarettes to the U.S. => Canada traffic. It's a big business for the Mohawks around here.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 16, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

dna_girl, as yello said, unless you produce photographic evidence, it didn't happen.


Posted by: LALurker | August 16, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

obama on health care:

Posted by: LALurker | August 16, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Today is more canning-tomatoes day. (Shouldn't it be called "jarring tomoratoes"?) We're using the cold-pack method.

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

Aug. 16, 1814: At about 7 p.m., convoys and fleets of British Admirals Malcolm, Cochrane and Cockburn converge off the mouth of the Potomac River in preparation for an assault on Washington, D.C. The next morning, an American lookout at Point Lookout (hence the name) named Thomas Swann spotted the 46 ships and sent word to the capital that an attack was coming.
1960: Air Force Capt. Joseph Kittinger sets a still-standing record for the highest parachute descent when he jumps from a test balloon gondola at 102,800 feet (19.5 miles) over Tularosa, N. Mex., falling 84,700 feet (the world’s longest delayed drop) in 4 minutes 38 seconds and hitting 614 m.p.h. before popping his ‘chute at 17,500 feet.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 16, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Capt. Kittinger's hair must have been seriously mussed, a 1000km/h!

Speaking of Jumper, I was referring to a comment I believe you made on a NYT article about breastfeeding. Your comment got stuck in the "Comment of the moment" window for more than a week. If another Jumper with eerily similar credentials as yours made the comment, I apologize.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 16, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Is the US worried that the high-quality marijuana in Canada will hurt the trade of the ordinary-quality stuff here?

Morning all... Son of G is looking a lot like John McCain this weekend (walnuts!) but seems to be recuperating well. We had fun with Jumper last night, but SofG may have overdone it with the spicy Indian food.

I was supposed to go home today but think I may stay an extra day so I can make sure he's in shape to start school tomorrow. It also may mean a get-together with Slyness. :-)

Posted by: -TBG- | August 16, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of "Walnuts," this is kind of weird...

Posted by: -TBG- | August 16, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

shriek, Kittinger had a full head of hair when he jumped out of that gondola. He was bald by 35,000 feet.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 16, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Just got back from a sojourn to IKEA in College Park with a friend to stock up on Swedish food. It's Crayfish Party (kräftskiva) time in Sweden now, so IKEA had some frozen and already cooked crayfish (from China!) in bags for sale. I demurred. It is an enjoyable time, but I didn't think the cost (~$15/bag) was worth it (at least for me). I stocked up on Kalles Kaviar and some cheese (with caraway seeds), so I'm good to go for about 3 or so months.

And, yes, CquaP, I *did* wave.

After resting my back, I am intent on continuing to organize my office. No, really. Really. . . . .


Posted by: -ftb- | August 16, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm horrified there is another "Jumper" out there. It wasn't me. I can only envy a friend I know who became, years ago, "Phalanxausage" because he knew FOR SURE he would be forever unique. Alas, my chosen name is common enough for multiplicity. Curse the other Jumper!

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 16, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The "other" Jumper, your evil twin so to speak, was from SC and mentioned being an engineer, director and published author despite not being breast-fed...

I didn't know about you being a published author (or not) but that was close enough.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 16, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, you could always change or add a first name to your handle. We'd recognize you.

WereGordon Jumper comes to mind. or WKRPJumper...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 16, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

... "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!"

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 16, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Factoid found today after reading about California's Open Source Textbook Program:
The state of California currently spends more than US$ 400M annually for K-12 textbooks.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 16, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Gobble gobble! But keep all bird-eating dogs away, please!

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 16, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle. Fresh sweet corn for brunch before Mr. F heads back to St. Paul. Imported corn, from the northern Twin Cities suburbs. Our corn, and when I say "our" I mean in the general vicinity Chez Frostbitten, is just starting to tassle. Unless we have a freakishly late frost the harvest will be sparse this year. Pumpkins the size of tennis balls at the after-school program garden. I hope at least some are of the Jack be Little variety and thus will be orange in time. The only thing I'm sure we'll get are peppers as there are about a half dozen ready to pick now. Last year we ate cherry tomatoes for robotics team snack from mid-August to October.

kb reminded me to announce I've been burnishing my foreign policy cred. Saw Canada last week from International Falls. Didn't have time to go across to Tim's, or more correctly didn't have time to get back from Tim's. Homeland Stupidity sure cramps regular life around here. Might've been worth the effort if I had a few guns.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 16, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

TBG, per our conversation I got curious whether the new phones have voice-recorder capability. Googling revealed those apps are widely available.

I got interested because of my former boss who was continually saying one thing, then denying later he said it, usually (always) to cover his behind. (And one crew of contractors who would do the same, resulting in code violations). I figured if I just recorded every applicable moment of my workday I could end the prevarications.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 16, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I thought we bestowed upon you honourary citizenship Frosti?

Posted by: dmd3 | August 16, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

dmd-with or without honourary citizenship it's not your side of the border crossing that causes the problem.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 16, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The radar shows small but violent storm right overhead. It's about the only weather action in the whole state. It's lightning and thunder and downpour. Sheets of sideways rain pelting the windows. Each bolt makes me think the electricity is surely discharging enough to make continued websurfing okay. Boom! And a veritable river of runoff over my neighbor's driveway. No lawnmowing today.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 16, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

When living in Wyoming, I listened to news radio from Los Angeles when sleepless. Entertaining place.

Looks as though Billy will become a hurricane, well offshore from Florida. Will have to watch surfers doing their stuff on nice big, clean waves.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 16, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

It's a beautiful rain, Jumper. Son of G has some lovely, hot pink crape myrtles outside his window and the contrast of their color against the greenery in this stormy lighting is pretty stunning.

My new iPhone 3Gs has voice recording technology built in, but there are apps for the older version of the phone as well. I'm sure other phones have the capability too. I guess it would be pretty easy to record someone surreptitiously but is that Kosher?

I remember Son of G in elementary school wanted to secretly record his friends with a little voice cast-off recorder someone had given him. When I told him that was wrong, he said adamantly, "Linda Tripp did it!!" Can you argue with that?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 16, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

SCC: cast-off voice recorder.


Posted by: -TBG- | August 16, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Of all southern plants I miss crape myrtles the most and TBG has captured them at their best. Something about the green of a southern storm and a ripe watermelon colored August crape myrtle.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Put up 13 quarts of 'maters. Add them to the seven quarts last week. It's an embarrassment of riches. I think we must have planted them on a nuclear waste site, and they're mutants.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 16, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you just reminded me I must fire up the zucchini soup-making machine in this heat. It's only 31C/88F but we ain't used to it.
I must have 20lbs of yellow zuccs and 10lbs of striped green&black ones. No embarrassment of riches on the 'maters though.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 16, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I picked *2* red tomatoes and some green beans - just enough for accompaniment to dinner tonight. Mudge, I'm sure there are plenty of takers for the canned tomatoes if you don't have room.

Lovely day today, and supposed to be a summery week ahead.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 16, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Santiago's Happy Hour

Yes, it has arrived. The happy hour, written in English is firmly established here. HAPPY HOUR.

However, it has some variations from the American version.

One bar advertizes a mojito CHP for 3,100 regular, 3,500 happy hour price.

It makes sense, after all happy hour is something special, a time to be happy and pay more.No?

I have succesfully avoided happy hour for months. Then I got caught. It was happy hour, I ordered a mojito and got two
for 3500 pesos(US $6.50).

Enjoy your weekend, Boodlers.


Posted by: Braguine | August 16, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, I *knew* I shouldn't have entered into the "tidying up the office" sphere. I have made more piles of stuff to deal with next weekend and all weekends beyond. But I somehow was able to put two huge Container Store trunks (and quite nice to look at) where several piles used to be (and are now, alas, elsewhere on the floor).

I'm definitely not a "neat freak" but I don't like much clutter, either, so I find myself caught in the limbo of what's left. My back is demonstrating to me that it doesn't like me much right now, so I'm sitting -- but I really did try to be conscious of using my tush muscles for all the picking up and setting down activities. Well, the tush muscles don't like me, either, so I'm feeling quite put upon and I've promised the body that I will wait another week before transferring all that stuff at least to another room before exercising enough triage to either file it away or take stuff to the dump.

The maters sound lovely, Mudge. How long to they keep (or is that too funny a question to answer?)?

Toodles boodle, for now.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 16, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

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

Hello, friends. Vintage Lady, I went back and read your post in the last kit. I am truly sorry about your troubles, but I'm happy that you have a wonderful husband and family to help you. I will keep you in my prayers, and please keep us informed on how you're getting along.

A lady that lives not too far from this neighborhood was robbed yesterday. She's in a wheelchair and lives alone. She opened the door because she knew the person. After robbing her, the robber threw her out the wheelchair, probably angry because there wasn't much to steal.

I worry about my dad, too. He admits to being nervous about living alone because of his age, and his closest neighbor is blind. I go just about everyday. I told him I would do whatever I need to do to help keep him safe. He thank me, but more than likely, he's going to tough it out. I'll keep going.

Hello, kbert, good to hear from you. Hope all is well with you.

I'm stuffed. One of the deacons took me out to lunch after church.

Have a great evening, folks.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 16, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon boodle.

ftb has shamed me into at least thinking about heading upstairs to the office loft. The rain keeps pouring down so I doubt I'll have a chance to get the lawn tractor out to mow today. But, I should stop mooning about and looking longingly out the window at the garage where it is parked.

Mr. F and I divested ourselves of a pile of junk at Our Fair City's annual flea market yesterday. Made a few $ for our local robotics team and liberated ourselves from some stuff that we've dragged around for 17+ years.

Interesting e-mail exchange between Mr. F and Pa Frost-in-law. Pa made comments about Senators and Congressional Representatives getting "free" health care. Mr. F had to disabuse him of that notion, and tell him that their insurance is the same coverage he'd be eligible for in his new job. But, he's not taking it because military retiree coverage is better and cheaper.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 16, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

frosti, i agree, you should stop mooning...


Posted by: LALurker | August 16, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

In the middle of the storm, I caught up with TBG; she and I went to the grocery store and visited while SonofG slept. We had such a pleasant visit! SonofG looks rather like a chipmunk right now, but it's okay, the teeth are out and he'll be fine. I'm glad his mother was able to come and take care of him.

We didn't get as much rain as others but all of it is welcome. I wouldn't mind getting some rain from a tropical storm, but just rain, nothing else and not too much.

Posted by: slyness | August 16, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm delaying making dinner, and found that "Damn Interesting" is back in business! They were off-line for about 8 months and I had almost given up hope of reading them again. Since I learned of the site here (I think from bc) I decided to spread the word.

So now I can put off cooking even longer. Have a good end-o'the-weekend, everyone.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 16, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

And, don't forget, frosti -- military retiree coverage is not only better and cheaper, it's GOVERNMENT OPERATED.

Sorry for shouting, but sometimes people can't (or won't) hear what you're saying.

And frosti -- thinking about decluttering is the first step. In fact, I've been on the first step for ... *counting the years* ...

Posted by: -ftb- | August 16, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Very good story about tennis by Ton Shroder(!):

Andy Murray won the Rogers Cup in Montreal today.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 16, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

SCC - Tom Shroder - Ton is his larger brother...

I think about decluttering a lot, but rarely do anything about it. I need to clear out the desk and files upstairs, so I can put stuff from downstairs there. I have lots of time, no excuses, but still haven't done it. I am using up tiny bits of leftover sock yarn to make baby socks for an imaginary knitter friend, which is a lot more fun way to declutter.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 16, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

ftb-could it be military retiree coverage is better because it is GOVERNMENT OPERATED?

seasea-you are so industrious. I think it's a good day when I get out the sock bucket and make pairs out of a couple months of accumulated singletons.

A cousin took a four day weekend to spend in the gallery at Hazletine. I'm trying to find her in the crowd but those TV camera operators keep focusing on Tiger.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 16, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse


Y.E. Yang takes the PGA Tournament away from Tiger Woods over the last 9 holes.

Great stuff.

Yang made some really great shots on those last 9 holes with an eagle on 14 and a bold approach over a tree on 18 that put him about 6 ft. from the pin.

One could argue the Tiger's putting became suddenly mortal today and he really needed it to be better than that to compliment his conservative driving and iron play.

But it looked to me that Yang played a gambling, aggressive round to win, and indeed he did.


Posted by: -bc- | August 16, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

seasea, I am a *ruthless* declutterer. Really quite cruel. An old friend who has only known me in the family home recently came to my apartment, and said, "Oh my God. You know how, sometimes, you go into someone's space that is just full of stuff, and wonder how they can live like that? And then you come into a space like yours, and wonder, how can she live like that?" This made me laugh out loud at myself.

For me the big thing is, that I have a very jumpy and cluttered mind and this causes anxiety. So if I keep my physical, inhabited rooms clean and tidy, there are fewer calls on my emotional and psychic resources. And this is a good thing for me. I don't recommend it for everyone. But sometimes, indulging a small but not pathological penchant for OCD-like behaviour has its place. Its uses. For me. I can see a clear path, when the road is clear.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Sounds good, Yoki. If picking up and putting away is automatic, it's certainly less to think about while doing.

The challenge is to get that habit developed. It is still a very conscious process for me and I often forget when I am too busy with a project.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 16, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, I may be an eccentric "normal" (a 5 on Yello's scale of tidiness), but I don't like having tons of stuff-- too many moves have taught me to winnow down considerably.

I suspect travel has taught you similar habits.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 16, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Joel's done more science. Midwestern neutrinos, this time. Quote:

"Five hundred miles to the south is the pitcher [baseball, not lemonade]: Fermilab, a sprawling U.S. government laboratory west of Chicago where physicists do violent things with tiny particles."

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 16, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

My plans to take a day trip turned into a weekend getaway to Pittsburgh. I am now familiar with the concept of using french fries as a sandwich condiment. Pics to follow.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm feeling rather resentful. Do I really post so often that the considers it good policy to hold every second comment I make?

I mean, I feel as though I hardly comment at all any more. Now, it appears, even rarely is too much.

Hmmmmmm. Message for me, there, maybe.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Cool, yellojkt, wondered where you had gone. I would have recommended Fallingwater if I had thought of it, and knew you were going so far afield. Beautiful country, interesting house.

My tendency toward being a pack rat has been tempered by cleaning out my dad's house. He kept everything. Mr seasea is a declutterer, so that helps. He spent all week getting stuff ready for a garage sale, and then hardly anyone came - he was very disappointed.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 16, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

We had been to Fallingwater several years ago. I briefly toyed with hitting Kentuck Knob on the way back, but we had lingered to long at the Frick estate this afternoon to really pull that off.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Everyone in my house is a packrat of a slightly different variety. It makes for a very cluttered house since nobody can cast (out) the first stone.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I meant to say to frosti that it's not so much that I'm industrious, but I am a world class procrastinator. Plus making tiny little socks is really fun.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 16, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, maybe it's just the regally esoteric vocabulary you use; no doubt the wirty dird filter is finding myriad hidden innuendoes embedded in those long words.

em-bed-ded. Oh my, now I'm doing it.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 16, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

YJ, Kentuck Knob is definitely worth the trip, more so than Fallingwater, IMO.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 16, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

hehe, Wilbrod. Testing, testing...









Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

It's been on my short list for a while. Next time I am in southwestern PA for sure.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse


Looks like fairly large, clean surf at the beaches for next Saturday and Sunday thanks to soon-to-be hurricane Bill, which should be passing east of Bermuda.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 16, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

By "were-Gordon" did you mean a Gordon Setter, Wilbrod? I'm looking at nice pix. If I were a dog I'd be proud to be a Gordon. Hope you didn't mean I reminded you of a Liddy. Hmm... I'm unarmed, I fear.

I'm a fan of Damn Interesting, too. Glad it's back on. I checked it weekly while it was on hiatus. There is now a book out with the same name. It's, well, you know.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 16, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

It was a pun on your name Jumper, Gordon Jump, and sure, why not-- a gordon setter, although Gordon Jump looked NOTHING like a Gordon setter.

More a bulldog. A lonely bulldog waiting for the call to fix washing machines.

I hoped the WKRP reference would tip you off. Ah well.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 16, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse


That would be me.

Posted by: Yoki | August 17, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Holding head and other parts in bazaarness of about 20 minutes ago.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 17, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Bazarrness? Someone try to sell you a Turkish rug? Are you haunted by the ghost of Billie Mays?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2009 5:40 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. What happened that was bizarre last night? Tiger getting beat?

Anyway, good morning, Al, and happy Monday to all. One thing I dislike about August is that the days are getting shorter, so it's not light when I get up. I much prefer not having to stumble around in the dark, but I'll survive. It's happened every year that I can remember, and it will happen this year too.

Egg, cheese, and ham croissants on the ready room table this morning. Enjoy, everybody!

Posted by: slyness | August 17, 2009 6:49 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Hey Frosti, did the Boss dropped by lately? Neutrinos gone wild:

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 17, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

THEY say it's a neutrino detection device, **I** say it's a secret weapon aimed at the International Falls border crossing for when the invasion comes.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, Boodlers!

Brag's alert.

Trouble in Paradise.
Two flights to Rapa Nui (easter Island) were cancelled yesterday. The reason:
Twenty Rapa Nui activists occupied the island's only runway to protest immigration from Europe and Chile.

The protest ended when the Governor agreed to review immigration policy and open up talks with community reps.

Over 7,000 immigrants have settled in Rapa Nui creating social and ecological pressures on the island.

Posted by: Braguine | August 17, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

"Antedeluvian": occurring before or priot to the deluvia. I hope that clears up this contentious topic once and for all.

Wilbrodog, keep your distance. There's a dog flu that has hit this area. It isn't fatal, and it doesn't transfer to humans, but it'll make you a sick puppy.

Today in Nautical and Virginia History

Aug. 17, 1590: Delayed by the Spanish Armada’s unsuccessful attack on England, Capt. John White returns to Virginia’s Roanoke Colony to resupply the settlers there, and discovers they have all vanished without a trace, including his three-year-old granddaughter Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America. This was Roanoke’s now-famous “Lost Colony.”

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 17, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Dead? Already? Jeez. Must have been *quite* a weekend.

The crosissants were great, BTW, slyness.

"Bill" is a really stupid name for a hurricane. Just sayin'.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 17, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!

No boss sightings here, but I'm glad to have his latest piece at hand. As with any kind of government spending and/or building of science related stuff there are a few BANANA types around (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything). Some Fermi scientists visited I-falls and more than a couple managed to "explain" things at a level that so obscured the basic idea behind NOVA that a county commissioner friend said he feared all they did was fire up the opposition.

Slyness-if you don't like getting up in the dark, sleep later. That's my method anyway.

Off to get a cup of coffee before heading out to our Community Technology Center (glorified name for 5 computers with Internet access for free public use). We managed to come up with enough $ for wages to have the bathrooms painted and some other odds and ends knocked out. We always have volunteers to step up and do things, but it will be nice to have the work done in a day or two instead of over several weekends.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 17, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Surfers doing early retirement to Rapa Nui (Easter Island)?

I'm sure it's neat place, but actually living on such a remote island seems kind of an odd choice.

When will New Zealand get around to calling itself Aotearoa? Or we get around to calling the Pacific Northwest volcanoes by their pre-European names? Jefferson might be worth a mountain, perhaps Adams, but Rainier, Hood & St. Helens? Who were they?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 17, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I like that solution, frosti! I just wish it worked for me, I wake up regardless. It's a result of old age, I think...I *did* sleep through the night, last night, but that's because I didn't drink enough water yesterday so I didn't have to get up in the middle of the night...

Posted by: slyness | August 17, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

We’re finally in a prolonged stretch of real summer humidity and heat. I have closed down the house and will soon fire up the a/c units. A summer cold seems to have found me and I feel carpy. There are errands nagging at me but they may have to wait. I took some cold medicine so will see if it allows me to function today. Otherwise, the sofa and some unfinished books will do.

Slyness, now I understand the getting up early thing. Even tho’ I’d rather sleep a bit longer, my internal clock has me up by 7 am.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 17, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... today is Son of G's first day of school. He's starting a Graphic Arts & Imaging Technology program at the community college here in Charlotte. I'm jealous and want to attend with him.

He's already left and I'll stay here and wait for him to return. We have an annual tradition, begun his first day of Kindergarten, where we have cookies and milk and he tells me about his first day of school. I'll head back home after I've heard all about it.

He's not so puffy today and his pain is alleviated now by a combination of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen--no more narcotics. We're both glad I came down to nurse him along.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 17, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

The New York Times has a good op-ed piece on "health care's generation gap" by Richard Dooling.

Unfortunately, Dooling mentions paying for pills for restless leg syndrome. I suppose restless leg is overdiagnosed, but the usual drug is now generic and cheap. I have the condition, and the pills have made it possible to sit and to get through the night without periodically getting up for an unwanted stroll down the street. It's also nice to be mostly awake during the day.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 17, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

*hack hack sniffle sneeze*

Jeezy-peezy, I hate summer colds... But at least I can recover at home and not infect the whole office.

*properly-sanitized-for-your-protection Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 17, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, Scotty, what do we have to do to keep you healthy? You've had a rough summer, man.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 17, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Scotty and Sneaks... hope you recover quickly from your summer colds. They are no fun at all. (Although the couch and a pile of books does sound wonderful.)

Posted by: -TBG- | August 17, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I'll post and the boss is sure to show up. It happens every time I post just before heading out.

Have a good day, Al.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 17, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

see. New kit.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 17, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Dunno what it is, 'Mudge... But I think I'll live. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 17, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

We haven't had a quiz for a while, so here's a good one: Harry Potter Character or Hideous Skin Disease?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 17, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

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