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Michael Jackson's Chemistry Experiment

Last night on CNN, Sanjay Gupta showed how the administration of propofal can almost instantly shut down a patient's breathing. What kind of doctor administers it in the home and then wanders off to the loo?

On the day Jackson died, Murray tried to induce sleep at 1:30 a.m. with Valium; at 2 a.m. with lorazepam; and at 3 a.m. with midazolam, according to the affidavit. After Murray failed to put Jackson to sleep with additional doses over the next few hours, Jackson then demanded propofol. At 10:40 a.m., the report notes, Murray administered 25 milligrams of the drug and continued to monitor Jackson for 10 minutes, until Murray left for the restroom. Murray told investigators that he returned after no more than two minutes and noticed Jackson had stopped breathing.

Oh. So I guess he didn't just happen upon MJ not breathing. I'm no legal wiz, but seems to me that the esteemed Dr. Murray may have some exposure to possible criminal sanction. See more here. He can honestly say, though, that it's not like he came into MJ's room and hit him with a baseball bat, or threw an electric toaster into MJ's bath while the singer was soaking. It's not like he forced cyanide down his throat. No -- he merely gave him a Death IV and then felt the call of nature at perhaps an inopportune moment. That kind of thing can happen to anyone.


Via the boodle, I see that Wikipedia is finally growing up, deciding that it is too important now to allow random people, nutjobs and axe-grinders to fiddle with what countless people now view as a standard reference.


My colleague Richard Cohen notes that Obama was the beneficiary of the historically weak Bush 43 tenure and the uninspiring McCain campaign. He writes: "It is just a slight exaggeration to say that any Democrat could have won, but it exaggerates nothing to say that Obama's message of 'change' was most eloquently expressed in the corporeal essence of the candidate himself." Well, gosh, he didn't just stumble into the job. Many Democrats wanted the gig and didn't get it. Hillary didn't win, nor did a slew of other esteemed Democrats. For a year and a half, from December 2006 to June 2008, Obama had to fight for the nomination. I'm pretty sure that the process didn't feel to him like one big lucky break. He earned it.

There's some truth to Cohen's larger point -- that Obama isn't explaining his policies in a terribly compelling way -- but once again (echoing Friday's blog item) there's an implicit suggestion that we are utterly dependent upon the presidency to show us the way through life.

We can't tie our shoes unless the president gives clear instructions!


Achenblog's big break: An attaboy from Washingtonian!!

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 25, 2009; 7:48 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: My Lost Decade
Next: Teddy Kennedy


Props to the boss for the recognition. I suppose that we may have to open the bunker and re-stock. This may generate more that even the front page alerts.

Oh, and good morning Boodle.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 25, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: jimward21 | August 25, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Did anybody go back and get the rest of them?

Posted by: --dr-- | August 25, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Good job, dr. Thanks for alerting the rest. I found this among my "must reads" this morning and thought of the boodle, of course. Wasn't this a topic just the other day?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 25, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

This impatience with Obama is the flip side of the anger with Bush. Both reflect the assumption that the President is more like a King than a Chief Executive. That is, while the President is immensely important, he isn't omnipotent.

While I believe that Bush did grievous damage to America, I also feel that the system of checks and balances, both formal and informal, in this country broke down. It is naive to place the blame solely on Bush.

And to expect Obama to do Wonderous Things all by himself is equally naive. Congress still makes the laws, and laws that are "pushed through" have a tendency of being quickly undone. Even though we have a new President, we still have the same government with the same inefficiencies and dysfunctions that we have always had.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 25, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Nice to be included with that list of blogs, Joel.

The Achendaughter is off to college? I'm sitting here thinking of all the pretty college photos you showed us earlier in the year, and my heart still says it really ought to be the 'sheep' college. You just can't go wrong in a place with wool.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 25, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

front page alert...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 25, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Yay boss! About time you got the recognition you deserve.

Posted by: slyness | August 25, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Congratulations to Joel on (a) ten years of steady and stellar information and entertainment and (b)making the washingtonian list. Some fame is good.

Housekeeping: special howdy & hug to Cassandra; also to Vintage Lady, good luck with the chemo; happy birthday, i think, to LALurker. engelmann, I loved yesterday's "Jerusalem" parody for Mudge. I sang it loudly in my mind.

Can you tell this keyboard "capital letter" key doesn't always work?

My own computer is currently running checkdisk, which looks like it is going nuts. Scrolling very fast and saying insufficient disk space to correct error in some index files. Or something. This is the third restart; the first two said something about a fatal error in the hard drive and no rebooting. I have two flash drives ready to copy everything else on there, should it actually open. My new laptop should be here within a week. It is a good thing I'm no longer using my current one for semi-official business.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 25, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Unknown hard error. Physical memory dump complete.

It could really be dead this time.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 25, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I think I got lost in the bunker. ;)

Glad to see someone giving the boss some respect.

Isn't WikiPedia abandoning its mission by doing this? I know this comes as a response to e-vandalism for controversial people, but it seems to be a slippery slope. If I'm not getting the expert information from whatever crackpot decided to write an article, maybe I should just crack open an actual encyclopedia.

Posted by: Southwester | August 25, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I think it may be another Boodler's birthday today. Not to name names, but I'm green with envy that it's not mine. :-)

Posted by: -TBG- | August 25, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I agree, Southwester, that Wikipedia is pulling back a bit from something important, although I can understand why. If it becomes nothing but a collection of Spam and rants it will have no value as a source of useful information. My concern, though, is that if it simply begins reflects the conventional wisdom in all matters, it will also no longer be a source of thought provoking insights.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 25, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I think it's tomorrow. But I could be wrong.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 25, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Cohen's critique of Obama is only the tip of an iceberg of commentary and analysis that is universally wrong-headed (god, I hate it when I alone am absolutely dead right and everyone else is utterly blind). But here it is:

These aren't Obama's policies. There is no Obama health plan to explain to us, nor can he be criticized for failing to explain (better) to us that which isn't his in the first place. The media is stuck on the pattern of the Clinton (Hillary) health plan, and just can't shake itself loose from that.

The Hillary plan was crafter by her small group and put forward, only to be trounced (rightly or wrongly is irrelevant, as is the quality of that plan). The point is, that plan was delivered as a fait accompli: here it is, take it or leave it. And for this it was harshly criticized.

The Obama team (wisely in my view) chose a different tack. They let Congress draw up the plan, which whatever inoput Congress wanted. And in fact there isn't "one plan," there are no less than three bills in the House and two in the Senate, yes? Isn't that what's been reported?

So somebody explain to me how three bills drawn up by the House and two by the Senate consititue an "Obama plan"?

Even after the House and Senate get done reconciling all this stuff, how can this be "an Obama plan"? It isn't, by a country mile. Can no one understand this seemingly simple point? Does everyone have his/her head up his/her ---?

Where is the Obama/White House "ownership" of this plan? I just simply don't see it. First, until a bill gets reconciled and presented, there SIMPLY IS NO FREAKING PLAN at all, right? Nevermind whose plan it is.

Sure, Obama & Co. have had plenty of discussions and input, but how does that make it Obama's plan? The answer is, the media can't get around the fact that there is no plan yet, and that nobody especially owns it. It simply won't fit into a headline that way, and it simply won't conform to the previous Hillary pattern of a Hillary plan and Hillary ownership.

It's insane. The Emporer has no clothes. And yet the media reports plenty of facts contrdicting itself. There's been stories galore about compriomising away this or that, Grassley's input or lack of input, whether the public option is in or out or dead or alive. How can all this "sausage-making" (to use the common meme about crafting legislation) be reported, and yet the "plan" is talked about as though it exists as a single identifiable identy, AND an entity that somehow "belongs" to Obama, when in fact it doesn't?

(Never mind the Other Side's criticism; of course, *they* want to rest it on Obama's shoulders, all the better to shoot him down. But the *media* is supposed to know better.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 25, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Today is LALurker's birthday, if that's the point under discussion.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 25, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Wikipedia still has many faults, at least in the ways I try to use it. For example, the articles on the New York Stock Exchange manage to conclude without mentioning a single name of a human that has ever owned a seat on the exchange. Same with the article on Euronext who bought it. I'm a sometime contributor but luckily everything I've invested sweat on and has been vandalized, other editors even more assiduous than I have corrected quicker than I would have. (Sorry for that old experiment, yello - I turned into a good guy after that and I owe you a cold one)

Someone on this thing here I'm going to bet has more experience on the various (?) internet archives, and should see if they can help Joel get his columns back. I've never been able to navigate those things.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 25, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Ooh, neat, here's an explanation of California's breakdown of homicide, manslaughter law. Every state is different to a degree.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 25, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

It's also GWE's birthday, Mudge. We've got Boodle Twins!

Posted by: -TBG- | August 25, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: -TBG- | August 25, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Jumper... last night Dr G and I were discussing the vast difference between "manslaughter" and "man's laughter." I'd much rather be involved with man's laughter.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 25, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Thank you TBG! (Mine was last Saturday)

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 25, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, TBG (mine was on the 13th)!

Posted by: Moose13 | August 25, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, you so right. Sorta.

Obama has repeatedly voiced "preferences" for health insurance reform legislation that can rightly be called "His 'plan,' " except that he has only a minor veto threat to try and force any of his "preferences" into the final package.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 25, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Happy belateds to Moose & Shrieking Denizen. Mine is next Sunday.

Lovely explication of the fallacy of the "Obama plan" argument, Mudge.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 25, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Moose and Svirrel! We missed your birthdays! *mucho apologies and groveling*

I would sing HBTY, but me singing is never a good thing.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 25, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse


*gently banging head on desk*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 25, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, LAL, Moose, GWE and everybody else! I hope you have/had wonderful days.

Excellent explication, Mudge. The old saw about watching law and sausage being made certainly applies here. I think da prez has handled this correctly, but boy, is it a messy process.

Posted by: slyness | August 25, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Why do I suspect that Michael Jackson's doctor might've been better off had he been doing the drugging in Nevada?

Obama is in the difficult situation of pursuing rational policies in a political world dominated by crazies. He might as well be a dentist pushing fluoridation of the local water supply. My innocent dentist father tried that. He had no idea what was in store.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 25, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, that doesn't sound good. Good luck.

Thanks for the nice comments, especially to VL (all the best).

Posted by: engelmann | August 25, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, every time I see you here I smile and wave. You are a fine writer, by the way. Don't you dare go anywhere!

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 25, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

But what about the REAL new?s -- thirtysomething's first season is out on DVD. I always had a thing for Hope.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 25, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse
A very fine Happy Birthday indeed!

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 25, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

That description of MJ's final moments makes me wonder why there wasn't someone else around to keep an eye on him. You know, an aid of some kind. A well trained chimpanzee. Something. The irony that this man, who always wanted to avoid being observed, died alone is poignant and bizarre.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 25, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The Washingtonian shout-out is awfully nice. If only to confirm that people outside of your immediate minions really do read this stuff and enjoy it. Yet I take issue with the "Just for Fun" category. The Achenblog, I assert, is way more epic than simply a source of mirth. Alas, "Voice of a Generation" must not have been available.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 25, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Brett Favre the goat. Gotta love those crazy Minnesotans.

And the happy ending:

Posted by: bobsewell | August 25, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

RD, I agree that the "Just for Fun" categorization amounts to faint praise. I thought it would be funny if someone clicking through the recommendations read Achenblog, then continued on to the National Geographic website, read one of Joel's feature articles there, noticed the author and said, hey, wait a minute...

Fun, yes, but much more than "just" that.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 25, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

*joining Scotty banging head on desk* *slyness, we're gonna need more aspirin for the Shop Steward's Office. Maybe some bandaids, too*

"...a death book for veterans." [many expletives]

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 25, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Copious HBTY greetings to Moose and Shriek and LALurker and prospectively to Ivansmom (is it this coming Sunday for you or the one after?).

Sorry about the 'puter, Ivansmom. Me, I'm still all giggly about my Mac.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 25, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

In no particular order:

(1) Was M.J.'s doctor following the "Death Book"? Inquiring minds want to know.

(2) B.Z. on the B.Z., boss.

(3) On Wiki: My daughter's college has beat it into her skull that Wiki is *not* to be used as a ref. on *any* paper for *any* subject. Violators will be instantly beheaded. So, any time I dare venture forth a Wiki reference for anything as trivial as the time of day, I get a menecing child/parent-role-reversal glare.

(4) Sure wish Wiki would tell me why I can boodle some days, and not others.

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | August 25, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Don, it's very likely those intense Wiki editing sessions that are blocking your interwebz...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 25, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Mudge, I need to go to Costco anyway. Would you rather have aspirin or ibuprofen? Please check the TP stash and the wine cellar and let me know what else I need to pick up.

Some things are just too stupid to be believed. Death panel, indeed. As if we didn't ration care totally irrationally right this very minute.

Posted by: slyness | August 25, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Didn't someone recently have a suggestion for a fix when Firefox won't load the comments attached to news stories? I've been having that problem of late.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 25, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Aspirin, please, slyness. Ibuprofen upsets my stomach.

TP is running low. Ge the kind that unfolds over the top.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 25, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Weingarten just linked to what is likely the best headline/subhed EVAH!!!

Chihuahua With Earrings Stolen At Gay Bar
Police Seek Man With Britney Spears Tattoo


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 25, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I second bobsewell's request. (Although missing the news comments stories is sometimes a good thing.) I have found that Chrome doesn't seem to suffer from this problem, although I know this isn't an option for many.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 25, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm a naproxen person myself. Helps with the shoulder what starts to bother me something fierce if I've been overusing the mouse.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 25, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The confusion over Wikipedia is aggravating. If the article is authoritative, it has plenty of titles of books and magazine articles, many online, many not. As I recall, students usually have access to this weird place they don't want to go called a "library." Within walking distance, too!

I wouldn't use TV Guide as a reference on a term paper either, but I sure will pick it up if I want to know what's on TV. And for a fast guide on what to research next Wikipedia is pretty darn good. And free.

Wikipedia is not a problem compared to the sort of stupid anecdotal garbage out there on, oh, say Obama's birthplace, or "death panels."

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 25, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, LAL, moose, gwe, and er, everyone!

At times, the comparisons between Elvis and MJ seem pointless. At other times, not so much. Did the chemicals prolong these gentlemen's lives as much as they contributed to their ends? Dicsuss.

Mudge, I love it when you get on that 'I alone am absolutely dead right and everyone else is utterly blind' horse and ride it. Is that horse's name Rosinante?


Posted by: -bc- | August 25, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the Wiki lock down on editing articles going to apply only to those about living people? So, for example, Wilbrodog can still edit that stuff about siamese cats?

Posted by: nellie4 | August 25, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

On my ship the Rosinante
Wheeling through the galaxies
Headed for the heart of Cygnus
Headlong into mystery...

Thanks for the cootie, bc. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 25, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

It's not a bad idea to limit what folks can add to entries of living people on Wiki. But does that apply to groups of people?

I ask because my lovely son spent some time the other night editing the entry for a certain rock duo from the 1980s, adding for effect the word "w!ener" gratuitously throughout.

It only was up there for a few minutes, but I wonder if that wasn't the camel that broke the free-wheeling-editing back.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 25, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Ha, TBG! SonofG did it!

Happy Birthday to all the Boodlers with August birthdays! I have a friend who celebrates her half-birthday...which falls in Feb with my birthday, so I guess my half-birthday is in Aug (and her real birthday is in Aug, so I need to tell her Happy Birthday too). Whew!

I'm hoping that this health reform thing will all work out and Obama will look like a genius, but I have my doubts...If anything, MJ's experience shows that money doesn't get you the best care.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 25, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes to the birthday celebrants, we have 3 birthdays in the family coming up Saturday, Sunday, Monday.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 25, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Many happy returns of the day to gwe, LALurker, belated to shriek, moose, advanced to Ivansmom.

I am absurdly pleased for Joel to have this recognition, even though I agree with other commenters that the category is not perfectly apt.

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

As it happens, bc, "Rosinante" is virtually a sacred name in boating circles, being the class name of a very famous, sweet 28-foot yawl designed by (genuflects) L. Francis Herreshof; some have called her the prettiest boat ever built (I disagree, but that's neither here nor there. I am not a parishioner of the Church of Saint L. Francis, as it happens). And many another boater has appropriated the name; there are floating Rosinantes all over the place. (The name being the source of Pearl's lyric Scotty quoted above.)

As far as steeds go, being a humble sort of person, I do not ride a horse, but prefer to go from village to village upon my mule, Dapple, a.k.a. Gunsmoke.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 25, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Mule, Mudge? I thought it was an a$$.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 25, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Peart, 'Mudge, Neil Peart.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 25, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I meant to say I thought you sat on your a$$.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 25, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, quick someone switch your t and l keys :-), can't believe the Queen of typos is writing that

Neil Peart - from the Buddy Rich Memorial concert

Posted by: dmd3 | August 25, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's a pic of Steinbeck's Rocinante:

and here's a fine picture of Don Quixote's Rocinante:

Posted by: bobsewell | August 25, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I *do* sit on my a$$, on my mule.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 25, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Glad you cleared that up, Mudge.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 25, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

You might even say, "I'm on burro'ed time."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 25, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I can't quite decide if it should be bc or me as Sheriff Daffy on the white stallion, with 'Mudge trundling along behind on Dapple...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 25, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

This is looking like the setup for a joke: "Three boodlers, Mudge, bc, and Scotty, ride into town, and walk into a bar ..."

You may finish it.

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | August 25, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Mudge says, "I haven't had a bite for days." So Scotty bit him.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 25, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking H&O, TBG. Once they came through here and I knew a friend may have gotten a gig playing guitar in their band. A few phone calls later, I discovered that so many people thought they were weiners that people were hanging up on me for even asking anything about them. I think in that case their assumptions made asses out of them. Not me.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 25, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

You are correct, Jumper.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 25, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Apparently in the Sideways / HBO version, John Adams did not ride mules to Paris. I had to solve a dispute on this matter using this link to Adams's own diaries.

In 1779 around December 15, Adams, their ship taking on water, lands in Spain and continues to France aback mules, or donkeys.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 25, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

For some reason, in a recent moment of cranky bitterness, I initiated an unnecessarily testy Facebook exchange. One of my Facebook friends, who happens to have the same name as I (except for middle initial; I chose him as an FB friend solely to keep tabs on my Doppelgangers) posted the following:

"[my name here] saw a bumber sticker yesterday that I thought was VERY appropriate: "So, how's that 'hopey-changey' thing working out for ya?" "

To which I crankily replied:

"Working out pretty well, thank you. Slowly digging out form the appalling mess created by folks who don't learn too well from history. Also working out for my conservative friends who somehow discover no contradiction in filling those hated civil service positions that make big government bigger. I may be a radical liberal (a notion which would amuse rather a lot of people who know me personally), but I am far from a hypocrite. More radical liberal notions I hold: people who break the law should go to jail; people who don't know how government works should maybe not permit themselves to vote until they do a little more reading; people who decry health-care reform as evil socialized medicine should refuse to accept Medicare, Medicaid, or VA health care for themselves or their family."

I hang my head in shame. Creating heat, not light. Resentment, where rapprochement might have been possible. I am ashamed. On the good side, I see that I made a stupid typo, which balances his misspelled word. Still, I expect irritable arch-conservative fallout.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 25, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I work for a wonderful individual who, after 60+ years, firmly believes that individuals do not "intentionally" do harm to each other.

I love the owner of this company, but even if Jackson's doctor didn't "intentionally" kill the guy paying for his services, it looks like he sure did, anyway.

"Intentional" harm or not, a lot of people are nothing but trouble. Get used to it.

Obama's problem is that he's a Democrat. The MSM heaps praise on "sensible" Republicans (even when they show up at town meetings packing heat). It's the Clinton years all over again, except, thank God, Obama and Michelle seem to have a pretty cool marriage.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | August 25, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

WaPo headline: NASA Delays Mission to Install Colbert Treadmill

From the story: "The Discovery crew will deliver seven tons of equipment to the International Space Station, including a treadmill named for Comedy Central host Steven Colbert. Earlier this year the talk show host won a NASA-sponsored competition to name part of the International Space Station, earning more than 230,000 of the 1.2 million votes cast.

"Despite his victory, NASA instead gave the comedian what he calls "the traditional NASA consolation prize": a treadmill with his name on it.

"C.O.L.B.E.R.T., or the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, will serve as the Space station's second treadmill. It's a bit louder and bigger than the first, but will help the crew complete the mandated eight combined hours of daily exercise."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 25, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

This just in from Martha's Vineyard: "A local tattoo artist who is also a waitress said the president was expected to be dining Tuesday night at a local and very expensive club. The White House has not put anything specific on his schedule for Tuesday night."

Film at 11.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 25, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday LA Lurker, GWE, and belated wishes to SD and Moose. Gee there are a lot of birthdays in August! Happily home from the dentist where I had a missing filling replaced and a small cavity repaired.

I tune out now when the MSM starts going on about healthcare reform. There is so much misinformation, so many bizarre comments from politicians and others who apparently either enjoy lying or are just too stupid to draw breath unassisted and I just can’t waste the time to be outraged anymore. That McCain and I forget who else, could say that things would be different if Ted Kennedy was involved, and that it was even ‘news’ just made me crazy. First of all, duh, of course it would be different you morons! And second, like Ted chose to get sick and not be able to take part in a debate on a subject he’s been championing for years! And have I mentioned how disappointed I am that Obama and his team seem to have miscalculated the impact of the whole frenzy? Sorry, I said I was tuning out didn’t I?

Posted by: badsneakers | August 25, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I think the "MSM" is really Chang and Eng, the original "Siamese" twins. There was a crazy one and a sane(r) one. (Quiz: guess which one is TV.) In this awkward metaphor, the twins share some common organs and not others. And the shared organs are not necessarily part of "crazy," although they may be. George Will and Eugene Robinson come to mind. Although crazy, like the swine flu, is contagious. (Look out, Gene!) Then again, what used to be known as the bullpen is not nor ever was immune from crazy either.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 25, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of treadmills and running and such, I noticed that the town of Mudgee, Australia hosted a marathon this past weekend. Didn't know our very own big guy was so famous.

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | August 25, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Look at Krugman's blog, Joel. He has "comments of the moment" on a sidebar.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 25, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Don, I am very big Down Under.

In a manner of speaking.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 25, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Everyone!!!
I am up in west by god,got greeted by the fawn in my yard,much bigger then the last time I saw it.It seems a little cooler here then the city,thank goodness.

I hurt my back at work the other night and Thankfully have an accupuncture treatment in an hour.It will be nice to get some relief and catch up with my favorite doctor in the world.

Thanks again everyone and a big Happy Birthday to everyone else.Lotsa Virgos on the boodle,no wonder I love everyone so much.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 25, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

hey, y'all. thanks for the birthday wishes. gwe, shooting some a bucket of sparkly confetti your way. sd and moose, belated birthday wishes to you. ivansmom, we'll get you on sunday.

vl, very best thoughts and boodle mojo for your treatment, and please don't feel like you can't share your thoughts when you're feeling down.

for my birthday i got mahself a big ole walking boot to immobilize my ankle. the good news is that it doesn't seem like anything too scary happened. it's sort of a combo foot and ankle sprain, but nothing broken, and nothing completely torn even though i can't do certain movements. got my prescription for pt, so onwards and upwards. counting my blessings.

Posted by: LALurker | August 25, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

eh, they're Leo's too.
Like I are. Just don't call me a virgin.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 25, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Being doctor to the star is a lot like playing the Price is Right. The one who administers nearest to the lethal dose, without going over, wins. Jackson's other doctors refused to prescribe, which is like bidding $1 with the expectation that the other contestant will exceed the lethal dosage. Only one doctor advances to the book round, but that's just in the game not real life.

Posted by: blasmaic | August 25, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I'm loving the comment of the moment, they are on point and funny!

"If ignorance is bliss, why are these people so angry?" Len Kaminsky

"Somewhere in this great nation of ours, Bill O'Reilly's math teachers are sobbing" The Countess of Nassau County

Posted by: slyness | August 25, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I was not-so-subtly urging Joel to adopt a similar policy. That way, all the Boodle could be regarded as the "compost" that would make highlighted comment-blooms better.

TV seems crazy lately. OMG they talked mean to terrorists! They said simply awful stuff! (while they were also doing horrible worse physical things to them, which the TV elides) So, a narrative is being set up. Never mind about physical actual torture, let's make it about mean talk. However, I'm a "liberal" to most, and I don't give a hoot about mean talk in the face of the other more serious allegations. It looks like a classic Rovian "control the script" sort of thing.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 25, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Ouch, bad transporter reaction I guess. The $%@ing sign-in screen kept saying my e-mail was not registered, then it wouldn't let me register for a new ID. Whew, 40 minutes later I've forgotten what I wanted to say, but seem to have arrived as myself.

Returned to Chez Frostbitten and a lifetime supply of snow peas, some gone right on to peas that need shelling. Carrots are tasting a bit sweeter for having some warmer weather and 5 count 'em 5! ripe cherry tomatoes. And why not put punctuation mid sentence? they're that good.

Happy birthday dear boodlers (as it applies)
Happy birthday to you!

Off to backboodle.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 25, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I fairly recently started reading this blog, and find Joel's posts very interesting. Also enjoy many of the commenters. But I've come in at the end of the movie. What is "boodle"?

Posted by: novelera | August 25, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Hello novelera! We call Joel's post at the top of the page the "Kit," and all our ramblings in the comments is what we call the "Boodle," as in kit and kaboodle. So we few, we happy few, are the Boodlers. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 25, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Hi novelera (great handle!); join the conversation, no matter how desultory.

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Novelera of
"fatuous gardening posts";
welcome! Play a while...:-)

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 25, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Welcome novelera, hope you keep posting.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 25, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Thank you all for the kind welcome an explanation of "boodle". My "handle" has a dual meaning. I'm a compulsive reader and member of two book groups (one book each per month plus all the OTHER stuff I wanna read). And I watch at least one Spanish telenovela at a time to sharpen up my Spanish comprehension. Not that I'm addicted to the plots, not me! Oh, no, not me!

Posted by: novelera | August 25, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

hello again. after my last post, i called in to make a physical therapy appt. they were like we can't get you in until 9/11, unless you can be here in 15 minutes. soooo. didn't quite make in 15, but got there quickly enough (with a little help from a friend, a real one that is.) now i have mobility exercises to do.

Posted by: LALurker | August 25, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Welcome, novelera! You will fit in with this crowd nicely. Maybe Scotty can link to mo's list of Achenterms, I never can remember where it is. That will be helpful, but don't hesitate to ask if something puzzles you. Be aware, however, that the sciency stuff puzzles all of us liberal arts types. Interesting and broadening, the discussion here. And sometimes puzzling.

Posted by: slyness | August 25, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

hi, novelera. once upon a time, i improved my russian greatly by watching santa barbara and simplemente maria dubbed in russian. i am totally serious.

Posted by: LALurker | August 25, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of sciency stuff, should I backboodle or watch Inherit the Wind on TV? I've never seen the Kirk Douglas one...

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 25, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Do both, DNA girl?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 25, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'll give it a shot...

I think I'm in love,
but with Robards or Douglas?
Wait, Cassandra called?
Rushing back to say hello,
but Darwin's call is potent...

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 25, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Welcome novelera.

I have discovered the moral hazard in vegetable gardens-gluttony. Unused as I am to having a good carrot harvest-well drained soil free of rocks was unavailable in our NoVA yard-I am finding their rich almost buttery flavor addictive.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 25, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Another reader. A person who, you know... reads actual books. Yay!

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I steamed about 2 pounds of green beans from the garden the other night, and we ate almost all of them. I was just out there checking on them and eating them raw. I didn't put carrots in this year - next year for sure.

Welcome, novelera! I haven't watched the telenovelas yet - for one thing, my cable provider keeps moving Univision. When I studied Japanese there were some great Japanese soap operas on here, which I still have on tape somewhere. Alas, the channel has been dropped.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 25, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Do any of you DC area boodlers watch International Mysteries on MhZ? Amazed myself one season when I was able to look away from the subtitles during a German detective show for 5-10 minutes at a time.

Yoki-forgot to mention I think desultory is a great word.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 25, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

The AchenFAQ:

Conveniently available by googling "achenblog". Usually on the first page of results.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 25, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Mayday! I am responsible for making a picnic supper for Saturday, and one of the co-picnicees thinks "meat is gross" but "doesn't like very many vegetables."

Umm, kind of tying up my culinary hands, here.

A challenge I shall rise to, sans dout.

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Plain vegetables are not appealing, Yoki, but delicious vegetable dishes are :).

Sounds like this person must live on pasta, milk, and eggs alone.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 25, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and fruit. Maybe beans, too.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 25, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Fried rice, chips, pie, soda?

Do your finest, Yoki, so it will fall upon at least one appreciative plate.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 25, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

How about easy dahi aloo puri for an appetizer?

Boil potatoes, chop into itty bitty pieces.
Chop tomatoes and onions and some green chilies too.
Mix 'em up, add salt, red chili powder and chaat masala (from your friendly indian grocery store) or a mix of cumin, coriander, and dried, raw mango powder (amchur).

Just before serving, spoon the mix onto crackers, top with a bit of yoghurt and date chutney (also available at the indian store), and cilantro.

Watch it disappear.

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

Here's what I'm thinking:

Skewers of melon, prosciutto and bocconcini as a starter dressed in a little olive oil and salt and fresh-ground pepper (he can pick the ham off, if he wants);

A main course of French-style savoury tart (pate brisee base with a thin ricotta/gruyere/nutmeg-spiced layer, fresh chopped spinach, pine nuts and lemon zest);

A tomato basil-vinaigrette salad;

Dark-chocolate-chip cookies and fresh cherries;

Bottles and bottles of San Pelligrino water.

Yes? No?

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

A friend hated eggplant and never liked it until she was served bhaigan (have I it right?)-- smoked eggplant, mashed and cooked with tomato, onions, tumeric, and chili and salt.
She had no idea it was eggplant until she was told. This is the beauty of Indian cooking :).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 25, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, DNA_Girl, if only. If only. Perfect!

But this is Calgary.

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, if he doesn't want it, I will gladly eat it.

Posted by: Moose13 | August 25, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

The coyotes here in Carolina have gotten out of control. No good will come of this. They have taken at least four cats here in the last year, three fairly recently including my neighbor's beautiful Siamese crosses. The animal control man said his department "didn't bother wildlife" as a policy. I live right in the city.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 25, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure about the skewers (I don't know what bocconcini is, and I dislike melon), but everything else I would eat, Yoki.

Remember all the other grateful plates awaiting you :).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 25, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I'll be there, Yoki. (I wish!)

Posted by: seasea1 | August 25, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

What Calgary needs-
savoury summery snacks
served by spicy girls

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 25, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

You should all come up! We're going to the international fireworks-with-music competition finale. It'll be fun.

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

bocconcini are little balls of fresh mozzarella

Posted by: Moose13 | August 25, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Twinkie Scallopini?

Just trying to be helpful, with a verrrry limited specification here.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 25, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I will say once again that when the stray dogs are rounded up, the coyotes move in.

If coyotes didn't eat the cats, hawks and other wildlife could, too. Or they'd get stuck in drains, run over, etc.

Cats are prolific precisely because kittens rarely make it to their first birthday in the wild.

Anybody who cares about their cats should keep them indoors or live with the risk of having a free-ranging cat. I have never known anybody to keep an outdoors cat for more than a year or so without SOMETHING happening to that cat.

Including, in one grisly incident, an nutcase shooting cats and dogs with arrows right in a town neighborhood. The cat lived, but lost one leg and was rehomed to be an indoors cat after that.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 25, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Mozzarella would certainly help the melon go down. Okay on the skewers, then :).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 25, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Ah, baingan bharta-
spice serves real well to disguise
brinjals and the like

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 25, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

To plagarize Yoki, many happy returns of the day to gwe, LALurker, belated to shriek, moose, advanced to Ivansmom.

frosti, congratulations to the MotB, your daughter's uncommon sense and not having to find a MotB dress.

VL, all good things.

Cassandra, always, you are held very dear here.

I had a post-offer, pre-job physical today, complete with 16 page questionnaire to be completed prior to the physical. Anybody out there still have their vaccination records from 50 years ago? Anyone? No, well they'd titer your blood to check for measles, mumps, chicken pox, too.

I turned down their kind offer of free tetanus and hepatitis shots and hit Trader Joe's on the way home (note to self, do not make this a habit).

Am beginning to wish I'd taken off 2 weeks between jobs instead of one. After my X-boss woke me on Sunday, I've started turning off my phone at night. Last night, I missed 3 calls from the X-job. Actually, I guess I didn't miss a thing!

Posted by: -dbG- | August 25, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

dbG, you totally rawk!

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your help, cook-'mudge.

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

There's an Indian spice store 'round the corner, Yoki! Let me know what you need and I'll send it.

Off to bed. Tomorrow I'm meeting my cousin at King of Prussia mall for lunch. Oh, the travails of staycations!

Posted by: -dbG- | August 25, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

dbG-dodging the MotB dress bullet was almost the best part of the surprise nuptials. The best was seeing the dott so happy with none of the pre-wedding drama apparently so common these days.

Here's hoping the current economy makes for a permanent reduction in the fortunes of the wedding industrial complex.

As it happens EYE have my shot records from infancy. They are in the old yellow booklet type record the Army used to use. You only need a yellow fever shot once to have the importance of not losing track etched in your little gray cells forever. A little refrigerated gamma globulin in the cheek isn't any fun either. Wiki tells me they don't do the gg any more-so there, on kit at last.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 25, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, I think half the boodle just had or is about to have a birthday! Many happy returns to LALurker, GWE, Mudge, Moose, SD, Ivansmom, and anyone else I missed. We can add my mom to the mix, hers is next Monday. And also Galileo's telescope which clocks in at a sprightly 400.

I don't know when yours is, but Happy Birthday anyway, Cassandra.

Welcome, novelera. It's nice to meet you.

Take care of yourself, LALurker. Ankle and foot injuries often need lots of care.

Posted by: -pj- | August 25, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, to all of the August boodlers.

Best wishes to you, VL.

Posted by: -jack- | August 25, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to novelera and any Washingtonian readers who have braved the A-blog and gotten this far down in the comments. Here are the FAQ's:

They haven't been edited for a while, and it's a wiki so everyone should feel free to make any changes you feel appropriate. Our boodle wiki won't go all elitist like Wikipedia. Not while I'm around. Power to the people, right on!

Posted by: kbertocci | August 25, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: -jack- | August 25, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: seasea1 | August 25, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Just popped in, thought about complaining about the current state of Health Care, decided better of it, and am moving on.

To bed, of course.


Posted by: -bc- | August 25, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Good evening all. Hope everyone has had happy birthdays with hugs and kisses and cake.

JA, kudos on the kudos.

About the Cohen piece (I know, silly me, on-kit at this late hour!) but I can't help but think...they've done it again. Taken something benign and twisted it until it looked like death panels. Except this time, the catch phrase is 'teachable moment'. If I recall correctly (something I have trouble with from time to time), the quote was about turning down the volume, listening, and finding a new road to forge our way ahead as a more cohesive unit. Somehow or other, it's been twisted into Barack being our 'teacher.' What's that about? He's our elected 'leader'...yeah, explaining things is a part of both of those jobs, but that doesn't make them the same. And then Cohen goes ahead and builds an entire argument around Obama as teacher. Did he also view GWB as a teacher? In a what-not-to-do kind of way, maybe.... Seems to me a few powerful people are able to dictate the vocabulary of debate, and thereby affect the core of the debate. The real issue. All because no one stops them.

All this talk about Obama not being a good teacher...let me take this opportunity to say I'm not a good electrician. And about Obama having taught before...I used to be a barmaid, but you're going to have to fix your own darned drink.

Today was a good day, and tomorrow's looking pretty promising as well. Sweet dreams all.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 26, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Yoki | August 26, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Senator Kennedy is gone:
This is so sad. I didn't think he'd last long after his sister's death...

Posted by: seasea1 | August 26, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

r.i.p. senator kennedy

i knew he wasn't doing well when he didn't attend his sister's funeral.

Posted by: LALurker | August 26, 2009 2:44 AM | Report abuse

The end of a dynasty. RIP Senator Kennedy.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | August 26, 2009 3:01 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Kennedy is assuredly a major figure in American history. He was an effective senator over an extraordinarily long period.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 26, 2009 3:11 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday to all the Boodlers who were born in August.

VL, hope your first chemo session went well.

Cassandra, things will get better just don’t go mad first.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 26, 2009 4:05 AM | Report abuse

From the previous boodle :
Just saw this & had to post, because I believe I was one of the early readers & posters. I read & lurked a lot, posted a tiny bit, but not enough for anyone to remember, especially now that I've not posted in ... years? But I still read the achenblog & enjoy reading everyone's comments. Happy 10th!

Posted by: mat00 | August 25, 2009 3:46 PM

Hi, mat00. Good to hear from you. I’m relatively new on the boodle. I started lurking in 2006 but didn’t post until Mar/Arp 2007. I remembered my first post was on the stock exchange in China. Boko said something and I had wanted to chime in. Unfortunately, the post was devoured by the cyber monster.

By the way, anybody seen Boko?

Welcome, novelera.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 26, 2009 4:08 AM | Report abuse

Florida's ancient glyptodonts (armadillo-type critters the size and weight of compact cars) had tails with spikes at the end. It turns out that males were very proficient at using those spiked tails, presumably to whack rivals for females.

We lost so many great animals, so recently. The Florida Museum of Natural History has a fabulous room of skeletons. Most of them might still be around, had people behaved better.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 26, 2009 4:31 AM | Report abuse

R.I.P. Sen. Kennedy... *SIGH*

*shuffling sadly off to Dawn Patrol*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 26, 2009 5:14 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Well, certainly less so, with the passing of Sen. Kennedy.

Thanks for pointing out the difference between participating in the spectrum of legislative debates (public and representative) as part of knowledgeable, responsible citizenship and being led like livestock, LiT.


Posted by: -bc- | August 26, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

In a somewhat beneficial circumstance, at least President Obama is in close proximity to Hyannisport if they have a local service soon.

I'm sure we'll see a major to-do in D.C., and rightly so. And now we'll see how quickly the Mass. Legislature can get off its duff and do something about an interim appointment until a special election can be held.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 26, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy. May we pass a decent insurance reform law in your honor.

Morning, everyone. Hey Cassandra!

My schedule is off this morning because I had to take Mr. T to work.

I'll leave the ham biscuits in the warmer, so help yourselves. It's walk time for me!

Posted by: slyness | August 26, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... got up early this morning and now have time to Boodle Before Work. The death of Sen. Kennedy makes me sad. He was often a punchline, but was really a statesman and I believe his legacy will prove that.

On a personal note, in the manner of "it's all about me," my mother died of the same kind of brain tumor five years ago this summer. She never ate anything "bad" for her; she walked a couple of miles a day; she took care of herself like very few people actually do.

When I hear folks like the Whole Foods CEO (and Jesse Ventura) claim that we don't need health-insurance reform, we just need to take better care of ourselves, I think of Mom.

Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy, and thanks for all you did for your country.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 26, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

RIP Teddy. Our local stations have preempted the networks this morning to spend all their time on Kennedy’s life. The interesting part is the reporters’ personal remembrances of him. They all seem to have stories of Kennedy’s warmth and kindness towards them. They are not glossing over his faults or scandals but are stressing that he did an awful lot of good for his state and for the country. It is very sad as he was the last of the line.

I don’t know what the legislature here will do about succession but I hope the vote to get a placeholder in there quickly, mainly because of healthcare. I know it makes the Dems look partisan (duh) but healthcare is more important than how things look.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 26, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I've got a new kit coming momentarily on the passing of Teddy Kennedy -- just some initial thoughts.

Posted by: joelache | August 26, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Too bad about Ted Kennedy. TBG, I hear you on the brain tumor-- that can happen in childhood too, what are toddlers supposed to do, not lick playdoh so much?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 26, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Honest, there IS a new kit floating around out there...we'll rope it in shortly...

Posted by: joelache | August 26, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

TBG, your mother always sounds like she must have been an exceptional person. I'm sorry I never met her.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 26, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The new kit hath arrived!

Posted by: Raysmom | August 26, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I really don't know how to express my wonderment at how some hold deep dislike for Sen. Kennedy to wish his impending death on him like he deserved a terrible outcome when many have done much worse or behaved so poorly around him (say in the US Senate) with very little similar sentiment from the angry.

It's like their anger towards Kennedy was stuck in a time capsule. What's more, the very recent comments from Grassley and McCain about the Health care reform failure being Kennedy's "fault" were shockingly immature for old men ... seeing as they represent us all, those who are very rich and those who are suffering and going bankrupt ... just about everyone.

It is no surprise that United Health Care will probably get its wish to become the Halliburton of health care. Check out Keith Olbermann's unit on them. It is becoming abundantly clear that those with insurance are going to be blind sided by UHC when they find out just how much out of pocket expenses are going to rise in a year or two.

This whole debate is so much of a game of charades. The current chair of the company is closing in on about a billion dollars in pay and compensation in a relatively short period of time.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 26, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Yikes. That's quite a mess over there.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 26, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Gosh, those people are really vile. I hope the Boodle peeps find us here.

Posted by: Yoki | August 26, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Yoki, TBG.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 26, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: -TBG- | August 26, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Hey, what's the New Pelecanos, "The Way Home," about? Have you read it?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 26, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Hey, 'mudge!

Posted by: Yoki | August 26, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I need you guys to slightly chill a Malbec for my for later after work.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 26, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

AND help me type good.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 26, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

If I ever die (I haven't quite made up my mind about that yet), please feel free NOT to write an online, comment-enabled piece about me.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 26, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Bob, ok. but mudge would do a good job. ... just in case you change your mind. Me? I was going to leave my copy of Buena Vista Social Club with Ry Cooder here while I am at work.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 26, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

For a price. Bob, if you'd like to have been a former ambassador or something in your obit, let me know. We're running a special this week. We can also clean up any youthful indiscretions, unfortunate romantic liasons up to and including marriage, encounters with the criminal justice system, etc. There's also an outside chance I can get you to have attended Woodstock-- there's a couple of vacancies left.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 26, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse


You should write the ultimate Conservative Senator dies obit.

Possibly starting a paragraph with the phrase...

"After asking his fifth wife for a divorce while she was choking on a piece of steak, ..."

There has to be a mention of the DC Madam and a pool party with Silvio Berlusconi.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 26, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

My sister's goal in life was to be sure that her obituary didn't say she was captain of the baton corps in high school.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 26, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen the new kit yet. I suspect I would rather stay here and talk about the predators and carrion eaters that infest my neighborhood.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 26, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

jumper, it isn't bad at all. Joel is watching the ship.

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

Jumper, I told ya that you should never have bought that townhouse in the Mews at Vultureville.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 26, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

There was a weird story recently about the vultures that eat the dead of the Parsi in India, and how the awful secret was that the vultures have left town, several years ago.

As far as the coyotes go, when they begin taking our elderly and children I suppose the animal control people will react.

I have lived here 20 years and until coyotes moved in, wild canines, whether dogs or the foxes, were not a serious threat to housepets.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 26, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Okay, killing the bunker is just wrong. Sorry.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 26, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Jumper-things haven't been nearly as bad as you might expect out in the open. But, it doesn't hurt to keep the door open here.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 26, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

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