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Sausage on the Hill

My story this morning on health care legislation.

The bill, a work in progress called H.R. 3200, is already phone-book thick. The latest amendments this week swamped Room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building, home turf of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Some 250 amendments had appeared by Wednesday night, and the number jumped to 350 by Thursday afternoon. The amendments filled 39 file boxes on chairs, under desks and in the aisles.


Yeah, what Ian Shapira said.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 1, 2009; 9:52 AM ET
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Next: August Journalism Standards


Doubt I'll be first by the time I hit "submit," but anyway...

Is it really Saturday?? Been a heckuva week.

Haven't had a chance to backBoodle yet, so I'll just lead off with...

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

Aug. 1, 1785: The last ship of the Continental Navy, the frigate Alliance, is sold out of service.
1798: In the first of his three great naval victories, British Adm. Horatio Nelson’s fleet defeats the larger French fleet under Adm. Villeneuve in Aboukir Bay, Egypt; some historians now regard the “Battle of the Nile” as one of the most decisive and important sea battles of history, partly because of Nelson’s bold tactics, and partly because of its consequences: it stranded Napoleon’s army in Egypt and terminated his attempt to conquer the entire Mid-East.
1943: The U.S. Army Air Force launches Operation Tidal Wave, its longest low-level raid against the heavily defended oil fields at Ploesti, Romania, as 178 B-24 Liberator bombers depart their bases in Libya for the 2,000-mile mission, one of the bloodiest of the war; 52 were lost and only 35 returned unhit. More citations for bravery were issued for this air mission than any other in the war.

*caught-up-in-chores-and-all Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 1, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

From Wikipedia:

"Farnsworth designed and built the world's first working [i]fully electronic[/i] television system, employing electronic scanning in both the pickup and display devices, which he first demonstrated to news media on September 1, 1928,[1] televising a motion picture film, and to the public at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on August 25, 1934, televising live images."

Joel was four years off. And Wright was being a jerk about the issue. Go figure.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 1, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

SciTim needs better flyng mojo?

Or make-the-best-of-an-unanticipated-pit-stop mojo?

Off to catch the train again. Hopefully they won't skip my destination.

Posted by: Achaiku | August 1, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Joel, has there been any discussion of drug price caps and other controls?

This is a particularly hot topic with me.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 1, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, what he said.

Posted by: Yoki | August 1, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I am sooo with Ian Shapira...There has to be a way for agregators to pay the folks they link to, and other means to make journalism fair...

Posted by: slyness | August 1, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Like you couldn't predict this trope coming along:,2933,535608,00.html

They even beat me to the 'stimulus package' joke.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 1, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

My wife just called and her flight is boarding. I'm all set. I've cleaned up the bathroom, did the laundry, vacuumed the downstairs, and cleared my browser history.

Yeah, like you've never had to do that.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 1, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

My haiku was stole
I feel Ian Sherpa's violins
But what can I do?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 1, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Self-correcting cur.

Poetry not haiku.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 1, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Cadets, report to Command Center:

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 1, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm not on planetary zit control, Jumper. Go find another space cadet :).

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

You sciency types should read Dirda's column on books to encourage a young scientist/doctor.

Posted by: nellie4 | August 1, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Reading the other side: an interview with McCain on Obamonomics.

However, I noticed that he said 8 to 9 Republicans in his own party keep voting mega-pork. I would like to know who those guys are.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 1, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"It's only a lot of reading if you do it."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 1, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

My take on Ian Shapira's item is influenced by an audiobook I'm currently reading, "Free: the Future of a Radical Price," by Chris Anderson. The book is described and available for sale on Amazon:

But I got the audiobook for, yes, FREE. Anderson is giving it away; it's part of his business plan. His specialty is how to make money by giving things away. Mainstream media, take note...

Posted by: kbertocci | August 1, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

kbert - The new business models have been outlined for years. There's (understandably) some resistance. TV networks, for example, existed almost entirely as a conduit through which advertisers and content providers can get together. The actual job of providing viewers has always been the job of stations, who were hobbled by the networks' monopoly of content.

Enter the broadband communications age, and suddenly advertisers & content providers can work directly together, and throw their content out to whoever wishes to distribute it. Good news for everyone but the networks, who suddenly aren't quite sure what business they're in.

The newspapers have a similar problem. They were in the habit of operating like a TV network with in-house production, subsidizing their content production with advertising sales - to such an extent that they essentially valued the content at zero (until quite recently, you could buy the WashPost on the street for a quarter. Gimme a break! You can't go to a stationery store and buy that much blank paper for a quarter.) because it was so heavily subsidized by advertisers, and tried to pretend that they were merely a facilitator of consumer-advertiser relationships.

Well, other people can do that more efficiently, and that wasn't really the business they were in. Paper's cheap; folks like Wilbon, Pat the Perfect, Achenbach, Tom Schroeder, Milbank, etc. aren't. Give the paper away, and stop giving the content away, dammit.

The Post wasn't afraid to take on legal battles in the past, and shouldn't be afraid now. They need to start going after Comcast, AT&T, etc for a little of the consumer money that's coming their way through the aggregator pipeline. I've got no idea how much Gawker pays for their internet connection, but you can bet your buns it's less than they're making in advertising fees, and some of that difference ought to be flowing into the coffers of NY Times, WashPost, et al, who are providing that content to the eyeballs that the advertisers seek.

What's an Ian Shapira story worth to Gawker? I don't know, and you don't know, and Gawker doesn't know. But it's worth something, or Gawker couldn't pay its ISP bill each month. Let's start finding out!

Posted by: bobsewell | August 1, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Such a quiet little Boodle today.

I've had a nice shopping expedition with #2; we are shod and provisioned with beauty products.

It is very hot here today; I'd love to send some sunshine and a few degrees to my friends in Eastern Canada.

And it is almost time to think about what should be for supper. And wait by the phone to hear the status of the offer. Again.

Posted by: Yoki | August 1, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Yoki-you can send some of that heat south of the border as well (still well north of Toronto though). I am wearing a sweater and fleece socks as I type. I suppose I could close the windows, but our fresh air season is so short.

It's supposed to get up to 73 tomorrow, but then 5 straight days with highs no higher than the mid-high 60s. And this is August!

A brief note about the "good sense" of Midwesterners. Just file it away until the 2010 election heats up-a right wing nut job type AM talk radio station in the Twin Cities is playing nothing but classic rock all weekend. The conspiracy theorists were out in force on the community listservs claiming the "socialist Obama" and the FCC's plot to put all free radio speech out of business were to blame. Thankfully, someone pointed out that the station's web site foretold of this-explaining that the entire staff is getting a much needed weekend off. Sheesh...and they excoriated poor Rep. Collin Peterson (Dem.) for saying he doesn't like to do town hall meetings in his district because 25% of the people think the Pentagon and Rumsfeld were responsible for the Twin Towers coming down. I'm sure he was way under-estimating for the sake of "Minnesota nice."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 1, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, gosh, Yoki. If it's too quiet for you, I have a few more things to say on that topic (as well as some others).

I'm actually slightly proud of my post immediately above and my silly poem last night. I'm pretty sure that they represent my most valiant attempts to stay approximately on-Kit in my time here!

:- )

Posted by: bobsewell | August 1, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I thought your 5:07 was good too, bobsewell!

News flash: the real estate deal is done, complete. The condo is mine. This is a good thing.

Posted by: Yoki | August 1, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Yoki! It is a good thing to get what you want.

Posted by: Manon1 | August 1, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Sweet! Now Yoki has something resembling a porch, right?

Posted by: bobsewell | August 1, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely! Housewarming on October 3. Everyone's invited.

Posted by: Yoki | August 1, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Yay, Yoki!

I caught Chris Anderson on Charlie Rose's show the other night...meant to rewatch and link to it then, as they discuss the newspaper biz quite a bit, as I recall:

On the health care front - Bill Moyers interviewed Wendell Potter, former health care corporation CEO:
Very powerful. I'd like to sit Congress down and make them watch it, lots of media folks too.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 1, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

SCC - Potter was head of communications, not CEO. Also, he testified before Congress - still, I'd like to lock the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats in a room and make them watch this over and over till they get it.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 1, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, now that I've given you some of my precious insights into the future of the newspaper business, I'll take up health care.

Let's start with Econ 101: If you price a good or service below its market value, you will create a shortage of that good or service. Since only the uninsured with some money in their pockets (a fairly small group of people) actually pay anything resembling the going rate for health care services, everyone else is consuming with no real price feedback. Those who have decent insurance plans have little reason to economize, and those with no insurance and no money either get heavily subsidized care, or they die. [Well, I guess all of the above-mentioned folks die, but some people get more attention along the way.] None of them has any incentive to shop around for quality/price combinations that are attractive, in the way that other goods and services are regularly compared, and we have thereby created a shortage of health care services for those folks who don't have a bunch of money.

We are societally unlikely to explicitly say, "Screw 'em if they can't afford decent health care!" Ergo, we're going to have to try raising the incomes of those who can't afford health care (and encourage them to spend that extra money ON health care), lowering the cost of their health care, or some combination thereof. Hmm... What might work?

I hate to spoil a cliffhanger for you, but it's pretty simple. We have to create a (subsidized, no doubt) affordable system of primary health care providers for which people actually pay money that they can see, and within which they can exercise some choice. Cash probably won't work, but some system of medical accounts is probably do-able. If you want to contain costs within a system, you better believe that the constraints aren't going to come from the getting-money side of the equation. Better to enlist the paying-money side. Most folks, and especially not-so-wealthy folks, generally have an acutely accurate sense of what represents a good deal.

I genuinely believe that catastrophic coverage eventually comes down to a bunch of messy moral questions (much like abortion & racism & capital punishment) that have no easy answers. It may suck, but folks with more money will always be able to buy cooler toys and better service than them without. A heavily subsidized catastrophic plan to take care of many contingencies should be easy to work out, and no conceivable plan will take care of all contingencies, or save everyone's life.

This country is teeming with smart energetic people who'd be willing to staff medical clinics for relatively modest (but not paltry) wages, and potential patients who'd be willing to patronize those clinics if they had the wherewithal. How about we spend money giving the patients some wherewithal and some choice, and see how it all plays out?

Posted by: bobsewell | August 1, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

YAYYYYYYYYYYYY Yoki!!! *faxin' confetti and party horns* :-) *Snoopy dances*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 1, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Yoki!!!! Now, from personal experience of course, think twice (or much more often) about running for the Board of your condo association. It's so not worth it, no matter how smart you are (which you are), no matter your experience on the Boards of other organizations, no matter your charming personality (which you very much have). No matter any of those things. As important a role as it is, take careful thought before you plunge into it. It's a female dog, is all I can say.

And speaking of dogs, I saw two absolutely gorgeous and very, very sweet Grand Danois at my farmers market this morning. They met up with a little fur ball of a tiny yappy dog, trying to decide, I'm sure, whether it would make a tasty mid-morning snack. All ended up getting along swimmingly.

Gotta dry the hair now and see if it'll straighten right for me. Or indeed, straighten at all. A hairdresser I ain't.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, all.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 1, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Unless it is horribly, awfully, wretchedly dysfunctional, just say NO to condo board membership. Almost anything worth accomplishing on an even-barely-functioning condo board can be accomplished just fine as an informal advisor. Much the same goes for homeowner associations.

Of course, much the same goes for all political positions, and there are people of whom I'm quite fond who have taken on the burden of mayorships and the like. Somebody's gotta do it, I reckon!

Posted by: bobsewell | August 1, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Grand Danois - Those are the ones that are usually served with a brandy sauce, right?

Posted by: bobsewell | August 1, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

You're thinking of St. Bernaise, Bobsewell.

Those are more like Marmaduke a la Orange...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 1, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Oui, certainment!

Posted by: bobsewell | August 1, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm dying to smoke some good afghan. Not the type that goes on sofas.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 1, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I just stick with good 'ol Chow... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 1, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Just don't step in any Shih Tzu.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 1, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Kit and kaPoodle

I have been waiting to tell SD that whenever I read of the dreaded fashion faux paw
VPL (visable "knickers" line) I read this silently to myself as

Very Puppy 'comma' Large.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | August 1, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I think I did.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 1, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Or poodles, prithee
And ignore Labs' explosions
Pulis go this way, curs...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 1, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Rats. Finding it hard to think.
My preference would be to keep our algorithms and our gods separate.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 1, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

This is so boodle worthy

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 1, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Congrats, Yoki!A place of your own, it will be wonderful. We expect photos.

Posted by: slyness | August 1, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

congrats, yoki!! i'm really happy for you.

Posted by: LALurker | August 1, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I've heard your constitution described as a magnificent thing. It is lauded for its simplicity and it clarity and (without all the ammendments) its relative shortness.

Just saying.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 1, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow. big stuff at the Big Valley Jamboree.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 1, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that the Constitution doesn't actually explain where the money goes, dr.

People tend to insist on more detail when big sums of money are involved.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 1, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Yay Yoki! I’m sure you’ll be very happy in your new home. Our dryer has been fixed for not too much money, I am happy! It was the igniter and some other companion part.

I am way too tired to think much tonight. It was a perfect summer day here. I believe it was the first one we’ve had all summer. I spent the day in the flower and vegetable gardens weeding and tearing out some perennials that had become pesky. The vegetable garden is odd this year - due to the weather I assume. Beans aplenty, peppers coming along but other things aren’t doing so well. The tomatoes are there but very oddly shaped and some have rotted on the vine from the wetness. The summer squash is not very prolific and I have no cukes at all. The worst thing is the corn, beautiful tall stalks and not one ear of corn growing on any of them! Could be worse, I guess.

We went out for an ice cream in downtown Plymouth tonight and ran into an impromptu gathering of antique cars, altho’ it’s hard to realize that the cars you grew up with are now considered antiques! They were very pretty and “S” went nuts over a ’62 Corvette. Most of the cars had had substantial work done to them and even some of the 1930 vintages had automatic transmissions. Maybe bc can tell me why people would do that rather than keep the standard shift. To me it’s sort of like putting vinyl siding on a beautiful old house.

Can’t stay awake much longer...

Posted by: badsneakers | August 1, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Ah CqP. The VLP fell in the pool today. Witches no.1, a very strong swimmer, couldn't control the very strong puppy and direct him toward the stairs. It was quite the scene. That dog is stupid and stupidly strong. But it was a gorgeous poolside day.
For the past couple of weeks the VLP has all of his five gray cells engaged in the pursuit of squirrels. You would think he would have chosen slower preys, like rocks or stumps, that he has a fighting chance of catching bit no, it had to be squirrels. *sigh* He is squirrel obsessed.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 1, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

That self-same thunderstorm is now blowing into Calgary with gale-force winds. I shouldn't be surprised if there is a hail event.

Some form of alarm in the building next door...

Oh well, at least it is cooling things off in time for bed.

Posted by: Yoki | August 1, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

A Yoki Pad.

For the coastally-oriented, magnificent aerial photos of rip currents in southern California last week are here:

Especially 14, 15, and 16.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 1, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Thing is, Wilbrod, if they try to write every penny in at the beginning, you end up with a piece of legislation that is a monster.

What you start with is a framework. Build a sound foundation, and then you can fancy up everything. What basic services do you need covered? Access to Doctors, hospital beds, nursing care, surgical care, lab work, etc., these ought to be equal covered access no matter who you are and how much money you have.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 1, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

OK, I've given myself a crash course in the dietary science of sugars. As far as I can tell, the consensus seems to be that you shouldn't eat too much of it, and shouldn't kid yourself that one form is somehow "healthier" than another. Sugars other than glucose bring extra metabolic loads, so bear that in mind.

Did I mention the "don't eat too much of it" part?

Posted by: bobsewell | August 1, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Home Owner Associations are pure raw democracy at their ugliest.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 1, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if we ever disscussed drugs, but up here, drugs are covered for certain problems. Each province decides what drugs will be covered and who wuill qualify for drug coverage, but if it a serious treatment, then you generally get it, though the drug list varies from province to province.

If it is an 'ow, I have an infection' sort of drug, you pay for that yourself, but you don't pay directly for the doctor, or any lab work to determine what the problem is.

There are exceptions as ever. When son1 had his first round of severe infection and had to go to the hospital 3 times every day (for almost 2 weeks IIRC) for an hour of IV drug therapy, it was paid for by social services, because he had not worked in months and had no funds to speak of. It was a relief to be done with that because he couldn't drive, he was generally too sick and was using T3's. AHC (Alberta Healthcare) paid for an IV pump to use at home when it became clear that his therapy was going to have to continue at home for several more weeks of treamtment, and all he had to do was go in when his supply of drugs ran out. Social services again covered his drug expenses. On his second massive infection, he was in hopital for 10 days of drug treatment for no other reason than that if he stayed in hospital the infectious disease guy would see him asap, which ended up being 6 extra hospital days. Had he had to go to the doctors office, it would have been 3 months and his orthopedic surgeon would not release him unless the disease guy saw him. In hospital, all drugs were covered by AHC.

If he would have had to pay for drugs it would have been about 2700 bucks. He paid for nothing else. Not the 3 stays in hospital (this includes his original accident), not the home care nursing afterwards, not the doctors or the specialists, or the nursing or the xrays or anything else. Son1, who had nothing, paid zip.

He did have an ambulance bill, which the City of Edmonton charged him and which social services would not pay. The province is working on putting ambulance care back into healthcare where it belongs.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 1, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

SCC for whatever the heck is misspelled.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 1, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Many congratulations to Yoki!

We are nearly packed and ready for vacation. Poor Ivansdad holds down the fort. I'll be Boodling very intermittently if at all. Y'all have a lovely week.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 1, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Just back from supper out at friends, gorgeous summer day and evening here - finally.

Yoki - congratulations so happy for you.

dr, just saw the story about the concert - frightening.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 1, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Yoki.

You need something like this:

Posted by: -jack- | August 1, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

By the way, regards fructose-- don't quit eating fruit just yet; moderation and wisdom.

Not all fruits are created equally sweet.

Looks like I actually prefer the lower-fructose fruits (per cup) myself-- raspberries, lemons, watermelon, tomatoes...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 1, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richard and Mitch Mitchell. Very cool. Yer Blues:

Posted by: -jack- | August 1, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Bye, Ivansmom, have a great time!

Richard Cohen wrote a column the other day which I read and sort of agreed with. He was wondering why Medicare couldn't just be extended to those with no coverage. It's very simple...I suppose the cost to do that, and then having everyone drop their private insurance to do that would not be so good...And I guess that's the single payer, government run health care system that so many Americans fear. But it makes sense to me. Seeing people lined up to get basic care dismays me. Tax the rich! Stop the wars!

Posted by: seasea1 | August 2, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

They look like babies.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 2, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

yeah, seasea. Especially Mr. Richards. That man must have nine lives.

Posted by: -jack- | August 2, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Back from Progressive rock tour,well back at work really.It was a great show Bigelf,Queensryche,Zappa does Zappa and Dream Theather as the host. I enjoyed Zappa the most,young mr. Dweezil Zappa plays the guitar almost as good as his daddy.His band had the Zappa sound down pat with all of it's intense notes and changes.It really sounded good since the last time I saw Zappa was 30+ years ago.

John Pertucci was his usual awesome self and his band played a great set.

It was an enjoyable show.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 2, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Stinkfoot, gwe. Drops the *F* bomb in the intro. NSFW or C, or anyone offended by the use of such language. Aside from that, this is classic stuff.

Posted by: -jack- | August 2, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh Jack I wish I could access that at work....but no such luck.....well maybe on the lobby computer,but I'll have to wait till everyone goes to sleep.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 2, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

If it's Sunday, this must be Bucharest
I fear I never wanna go home...

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 2, 2009 2:38 AM | Report abuse

I greet you from Limbo Airport!

The floor of limbo is tiled in marble, and all announcements are made first in German, then in English.

I never made it onto a flight on my first day here at the airport. Eventually, they sent me away to an airport hotel. A nice enough place, but still an airport hotel, and therefore unnecessarily expensive in certain arenas -- breakfast buffet was 28 euro (where is the symbol for that?). Instead, I came here to the airport for a couple apfelberliners (it seems like health food, until you realize you can still taste the oil from frying it, an hour later) and a cup of coffee for a meager 5.7 euro.

They begin check-in for my flight to Philadelphia in 24 minutes. I am sitting about 4 meters from the entrance to the check-in line and intend to be among the first. Last I heard, the ScienceSpouse will be driving up to Philadelphia to get me at 3:35PM (right, dear), instead of waiting for me to finally arrive in Baltimore 4.5 hours later.

Just enough time to get another cup of coffee and still be pretty sure of getting in at the front of the line...

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 2, 2009 3:47 AM | Report abuse

I have a seat on an airplane! Going in (sort of) the direction I want to go!

Of course, leaving Limbo is always a chancy proposition -- am I going to Heaven? Hell? or just reincarnation and a second chance at life (my personal fave)?

And must I go with my mouth still tasting of stale donut-cooking oil, even after a second coffee? Perhaps beer (the national drink Lim -- I mean, Germany!).

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 2, 2009 4:38 AM | Report abuse

Safe travels home Tim.......and it would be heaven

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 2, 2009 5:34 AM | Report abuse

Safe travels, Tim. Amazing that the ICE train didn't stop where it was supposed to. The Frankfort train station is an incredible place, all that glass and what looks to be stainless steel cladding on the pillars.

The Germans have the biggest fire service trade show on the planet, about once every five years. Mr. T has been 3 times and took me the last 2. In 2000 it was in Augsburg and the heat nearly killed us. In 2005 in was in Hannover and we wore jackets the whole time. Next year it will be in Leipzig, and he's already making plans to go to Switzerland too. I'm losing interest in looking at fire trucks, I may go to the U.K. instead.

A rainy morning here in the high country. I only have one egg so I think I will rouse Mr. T to go out to breakfast.

Posted by: slyness | August 2, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Yes, it's raining. We had a beautiful day yesterday after all.

I thought the Catholic Church got rid of Limbo years ago. Looks like it's still hanging around.

What's next DNA_girl, Buda or Pest?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 2, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

The portable stage collapse in Camrose is making the news.

I wonder why the writer felt the need to say it was a country music festival. It was in Camrose AB fur crying out loud.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 2, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

I thought only unbaptized babies ended up in Limbo. Good thing you are getting out of there, Tim. Find a good guide like Dante or somebody.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 2, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

They got rid of limbo? I liked limbo. It was a place for second chances.

I have friends who have gone every single year, since the beginning. They love it, but I can't imagine anything worse than spending a long weekend, camping, packed like sardines, in a field with a hundred thousand of my closest friends. I like the music well enough but not like that.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 2, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Joel needs to start using a picture of him in his Crocodile Dundee hat as his official photo.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 2, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Haven't finished backBoodling yet again, but still...

Wouldn't you know it -- I had all sorts of yardwork lined up (back-friendly of course), and now it's raining and thundering. Darn. :-)

Headline seen at the Boston Globe:

"Why don’t we globalize US healthcare?"

Anyone else think that headline writer's a little late to the party???

I think I see 'Mudge's Sopwith on radar, on a safe course home, but just to be sure:

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

Aug. 2, 1909: After months of negotiation with Wilbur and Orville Wright, the U.S. Army buys its first powered aircraft, a Wright Model A Flyer eventually named Miss Columbia. The plane cost $25,000, plus a $5,000 bonus for exceeding the contract’s specified 40 m.p.h. speed requirement -- American aviation’s first cost overrun. It took three more years for the military to acquire a second airplane.
1943: At about 2:30 a.m. local time, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri, steaming at high speed on a patrol in the Blackett Straits in the Solomons Island chain in the South Pacific, runs down and cuts in half a U.S. Navy PT Boat without stopping or even being aware the wooden PT Boat was there. The PT was one of 15 80-footers sent to intercept the famous “Tokyo Express.” Two Navy crewmen died instantly in the collision, while the skipper and 10 crew survived. After an epic seven-day ordeal they were finally rescued. Thus was launched the legend of PT-109 and the presidential career of her skipper, Lt. John F. Kennedy. In 2002 explored Robert Ballard found the wreck and one of her torpedo tubes.
1964: Gulf of Tonkin Incident, Part I: three North Vietnamese PT Boats in the Gulf of Tonkin attack destroyer USS Maddox (DD 731), which is hit by a single bullet, and returns fire; Maddox also calls in air strikes from the USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14), destroying one of the PT Boats.

*somewhat-soggy-but-still-productive Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 2, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle.

That concert sounds fantastic, gwe.

dr, I never thought of limbo as an alpine meadow housing thousands of campers, but now I see it.

Glad to hear SciTim is on his way home.

Today, signature of the final purchase contract, dim sum with D, dinner out with the family. This is, for me, madly social.

Have a wonderful day, Al.

Posted by: Yoki | August 2, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Enjoy the vacation Ivansmom. Hope you are winging your way home Tim and not reading this.

Will be marching in a parade today, with an early literacy float. Have no idea what the Girl Scouts who made it think a float promoting parents reading to children should look like-but I'll find out around noon. Was going to skip it but this year's organizer showed up last year when it was my task to get volunteers willing to spend a Sunday afternoon marching with Chippie the Project Read Chipmunk.

Learned a little late that it was Colonel Tim Reese whose memo re: Iraq said "declare victory and go home." The full text is here-
Frustrating to see the real money lines in the memo ignored- Here's the section the press should be asking about, and the powers that be should be addressing
"This is not to say we can be defeated, only that the danger of a violent incident that will rupture the current partnership has greatly increased since 30 June. Such a rupture would force an unplanned early departure that would harm our long term interests in Iraq and potentially unraveling the great good that has been done since 2003. The use of the military instrument of national power in its current form has accomplished all that can be expected."

Mr. F and I have known Reese for years. No one in the army today understands the use of military force in the context of the greater political picture than he. Sec'y Gates et al ignore his advice at our peril.

Better get moving. Teen employees are running our nonprofit's consignment store today and I have the shop keys. I'm going to miss these kids when their summer youth employment gig ends-hope we can work something out to keep at least one of them on part time.

Anyone with extra summer heat can send it this way. 48 degrees here now, and that's up a degree since I poured my coffee. Brrrr.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 2, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

*Faxing 7C to frosti*

Posted by: Yoki | August 2, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Interesting reading this morning on the cancelled re-enactment of the Battle of Quebec City. A story about the small re-enactment that did take place. The video is also very good. I only read a few of the comments Ian Brown's sarcastic writing and the sentiments this issue raises I am sure would lead to some nasty comments. But the story includes quotes by two historians I referred to a lot while studing Canadian history so I enjoyed it - plus I really enjoy this writers work.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 2, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Funny how the NY Times printed Col Reese's memo. People have been saying even before we entered Iraq, "going into Iraq is the easy part... leaving is the challenge." I remember trying to explain my side of the discussion with folks about 4 years ago. They would say, if we leave now, 10s of thousands of Iraqis would die. I would counter that, by destabilizing Iraq with our attack, we caused that event to happen, sooner or later.

You mentioned Gates. To me, Gates is just a qualified Government senior b'crat who knows how to drive down the center of the road. Again, once in a country, an occupying force basically drives down the center of the road in its behavior. The occupation, on its own, creates a dynamic in the actions of the occupied state and its people.

The NY Times, as one may remember, was a big supporter of the invasion. Their own reporters would routinely pump administration propaganda straight into the veins of the US populace. I wouldn't want to suggest that if the Times and the Post had been more dramatic in their questioning of the so-called facts of pre-invasion Iraq, that we would have avoided the war, but certainly, the lead papers played their part.

I wonder, by the way, where Bob Wright's God would do with those in the former administration who bought into the "attack all those bad Arab countries" plan that was floating around the White House before 9/11?

Then again, enough has been written about those times to pretty much expose the nature of the Bush White House's dealings with the lives of both Americans and people around the world. We know what happened (if we bothered to read), but do we even care.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 2, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Yoki! Great news. Faxing you a hibachi.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 2, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Almost afternoon.

Driving me crazy...there's an article on the front page of WaPo about finding the remains of a Navy Captain killed in 1991, yet the date on the photo is given as 2002. I can't find anywhere to report the error (it's Sunday, who's minding the store?), but I figure maybe here, someone will read it and think "Wow. That can't be right" and fix the darn thing. Maybe that photo was released in 2002, but it certainly wasn't taken then.

Today is paperwork day. And laundry day. But it's also Bloody Mary day, which makes the paperwork and laundry not so dreary.


Posted by: LostInThought | August 2, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks dbG. Just what I need. Though I'll have to borrow a bigger grill for the housewarming!

Posted by: Yoki | August 2, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The raid on "green" energy funds to pay for cash-for-clunkers has me going nuts. I can see stopping the ethanol programs, but direct solar? Insane.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 2, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Yoki,this is what happens when the thought process is faster than the hands (multiply this by a thousand and you know what happens when I speak) and by the time the hands catch up they have forgotten half of what you meant to write?

That said, limbo could certainly be that but only if really bad 80's tunes were playing.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 2, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

So, the report is that people with the where-with-all to buy a car are getting a bonus to get off their duff and purchase a new car. We are then destroying older cars, which, when considering the marketplace, raises the cost (lowering the supply of used cars) for a used car for the poorer amongst us.

As they say, "In theory..." is supposed to help those in need, but, beyond the severe redistribution away from sustainables, we are again redistributing away from those who need our help.

AND, may I add, the real drivers, with their purchasing power, of the economy.

Every time I see one of those ads, I get p.o'ed.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 2, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse


Here's the trick for the deck. Small, but big enough to really cook a meal for a couple of people.

Get's to temp fast. Very nice.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 2, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

And it is kind of cute, too, Weed!

Posted by: Yoki | August 2, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Cash for Clunkers was supposed to help those in need, unless you define the auto companies as such. What I'm really trying to say is, it was designed to help the auto companies. The fact that you have to buy (or lease!) a new car pretty much takes less well off folks out of the picture. I wish it would help my sister, who needs a new car, but I think her current car's rated mpg is too high...

Posted by: seasea1 | August 2, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

It's bailing out dealers, Jumper by getting new cars sold. Used cars are not in short supply.

But you are correct, this program has a short-term hyperinflation effect on the worth of an used car that has mileage bad enough to meet the guidelines.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 2, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

There's also the ownership and use requirements, I think. I bought a clunker myself before this program went in effect, but even if I wanted to trade it in--

I couldn't; I can't and don't want to afford what I could trade it in for.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 2, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

But you need to think about it-- the minute those cars leave the lot, they become used cars with very good mileage.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 2, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Reaganomics-- trickle-down car ownership.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 2, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

OK, let me back up. I am not suggesting that the rule was designed to help the less advantaged, it is just that in most cases, though we always hear the refrain that the poor get all the money from the government, it is often not the case.

If you are part of the working poor, God help you.

So, we are talking transportation and the recession. We all decided that what this economy needs most is to help John Doe, Govt Network Security expert buy a new car, giving him what may approach about a month's take home salary advantage to him to push him to that purchase.

Bob NoCar is a near minimum wage employee who depends on public transportation to go to and from his job. Bob's metro/bus ride each day is taking longer and he is paying more for it.

That's all. If Bob ever is able to save any money to buy a car, he is facing a higher purchase price of a used car because of this program. All I am suggesting is that there are unintended consequences to this program that hurt the poor... (remember, the working and tax paying poor).

Posted by: russianthistle | August 2, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

On-kit...JA, hasn't anyone on The Hill heard about blacklining? Seems to me that would make the process easier. Surely someone's taken the time, no? I see the rationale behind making Congress do all the heavy lifting, but why make them carry it uphill?

Posted by: LostInThought | August 2, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The review for 'Evolution of God' was in the Opinion section of the dead trees edition today.

I tried to find that link from the WaPo sight menu but it isn't listed in the Books section. It is in the Outlook tab, but I used the search bar instead which took me to the On Faith section which doesn't even have a tab on the drop down menus.

The WaPo navigation system is completely dysfunctional. I have no idea how anybody finds anything on it.

The WaPoMag also has an intriguing article about a non-uranium based fission system that could actually decrease our nuclear waste problems.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 2, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

A higher price for a used car that qualifies under this plan, yes, Jumper.

But car dealerships now are in the black, and they can do better deals on used cars they already have, because those used cars aren't going anywhere (most of the customers are buying new).

It's like saying all used car prices will go up because red used cars are being bought dear and then destroyed.

This would be true.. if people could paint all their used cars red to sell.

But yes, I do agree this program is not intended to help the poor, especially not the urban poor.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 2, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Robin Givhan on swimming and swimsuits and physiques and such:

yellojkt, couldn't agree with you more. I was trying to figure out if a columnist (Jeanne something - can't even remember her name!) was still here. I used to read her when I could find Weingarten's column, and I'd see hers listed. That was several redesigns ago. The Seattle P-I just redesigned its site, to the point where I find it nearly unreadable because of the huge and obnoxious ad placement.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 2, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

That Givhan column is wonderful. Thanks seasea.

Posted by: Yoki | August 2, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon all.

Queensryche - man, I remember seeing them at the old Bayou in Georgetown... must be 20+ years ago. Before "Empire" and "Operation: Mindcrime" and stuff. Sounds like a good show, gwe.

Cash for Clunkers - like it or not, it appears to be working. Can't say I'm crazy about the need to destroy all of the Clunkers but if those are the terms, then so be it.

Speaking of which, that Givhan article was rather cheeky but cracked me up once I gave it wthe once-over. I just backed into it, but soon I was on the edge of my seat, torn between pounding out some backwork, and her peachy prose. A ripping tale, IMO.


Posted by: -bc- | August 2, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

That's the best hubba hubba I've read in a long time.

As for "normal physiques"-- depends.

Michael Phelps is built like a human dolphin: he must have the longest torso in recorded history.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 2, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I did find a picture that um, illustrates what she couldn't show. But tastefully.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 2, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Read your "Sausage on the Hill" story in my local Sunday paper, Joel. It was also on Good job! Your video with Bob was a bit rambling...glad FF was an option. All in all some interesting thoughts. Best part was your hat. Hats are fun!

Hope everyone is having a good day. It's warm and sunny here for a change.

Posted by: Windy3 | August 2, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Is it a quarter to four already? Is it August already? Is it almost 2010 already? Geez. Where has the century gone?

I picked up a couple of cool giant containers from the appropriately called Container Store this morning (on sale) and have been stuffing them with receipt files (that is, large banded envelopes full of receipts by year). I'm way behind in my shredding, but I figure that this will cut down on my clutter and force me to file/shred as I go. Um, sure. But in collecting stuff from the top of a set of cardboard containers which at one time served the same purpose, I found (gratefully) some of my memory cards for my camera, one of which contains all my Africa pictures. While I have them on a CD, I was heartbroken when I couldn't find the original memory card itself. And now I have it!

Nevertheless, the transferring of the envelopes from one container to another reminded me (YET AGAIN, dangit!) that I am no longer of a younger age when I had all the stamina in the world (well, not quite, but you know what I mean). Not anymore, man.

*huffing and puffing*

I think it's time to settle down in front of the Buick Open and replenish my energy supply. Such as it is. . . .

The BPH is scheduled for Thursday, right? I want to combine it with a trip to the Copyright Office to file something for a client. Lemme know, 'cause I want to be part of the @Southwester send-off.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 2, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Seasea - This is who you remember:

I also think she is a wonderful writer. And because of her excellent memoir "Fifty Acres and a Poodle", whenever I hear the word "poodle" I always mentally append
"but not one of those yappy little ones."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 2, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I can hold my nose about the car clunker cash, but to take funds away from alternative energy in general is the most short-sighted, insane, lemmings-off-a-cliff thing I've seen contemplated. Any Democrat who votes for that should be defenestrated.

They are advertising all these weird financial instruments on TV lately, too: job insurance, car loan lose-your-job insurance, etc.

Not to mention that there has been practically zero legislation as of August 2009 regarding financial regulation of out-of-control corporate entities.

And of course the health care legislation looks like it is going to end up by handing vast sums which could be going to actual health care over to insurance companies, presumably so they can give hundreds of billions in bonuses to their highest paid executives.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 2, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

There would be 100 senate votes for the insurance reform proposals alone.

It's the other money-laden stuff you mention that is holding up the process, and rightly so.

I do agree on the regulation. I'm big on regulation, properly applied.

It's very frustrating, but it's been less than 6 months.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 2, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

RD, when we decided to take my aunt's poodle when she felt she couldn't care for him, I immediately thought "maybe he is one of those yappy little ones."

(But thankfully, he is not.)

Posted by: nellie4 | August 2, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

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

Hello, friends. Yoki, I'm so happy for you, and hope you enjoy your new place. May God bless you and your new hearth.

Just stop by to say hello. I'm really sleepy. Slyness, Mudge, Scotty, Martooni, and everyone, have a wonderful day. *waving*

Enjoy your vacation, Ivansmom. It has rained most of the day here, and still doing the wet stuff. A good day to sleep.

As for cash for clunkers, you're right, it doesn't help the poor, but not many things do. I'm glad it does help some.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 2, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Cash for clunkers has a lot of benefits. Taking monster polluters off the roads (although I bet lots will go to Mexico and further south, and still be operated, cranking out side-effects of bad mileage). There is a certain trickle-down effect which will lower the price of used cars for the poor - although that effect has just been partly nullified if the junkers are actually melted down. Which they probably should be. It is conceivable that it should be ended now that it has been a success, rather than try to extend it to a point where it changes from being a useful tool into making the taxpayer a useful tool.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 2, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I assume rain has ended in your part of the world. There were over 3 inches in the rain gauge at the mountain place when we left this afternoon - all of which fell since 5:30 last evening. There was rain here too, but I couldn't tell how much. Enough to make the grass grow!

For supper I had sliced tomatoes with chopped basil topped with balsamic vinegarette. Yum! I'll do that one again!

Posted by: slyness | August 2, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The cash for clunkers cars have to be destroyed. The engines are frozen with a sodium silicate solution and the cars are crushed. They do not re-enter the marketplace here or anywhere.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 2, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

RD, thanks! I finally came up with "Laskin" but Googling didn't come up with anyone. She's been gone a year, eh? Ah, well...

I just got back from a friend's place. He tried to do a Cash for Clunkers deal yesterday, but the dealer kind of gave him the runaround - so my friend walked away. You'd think dealers would be happy for any business, but apparently not.

Hot here again. We're supposed to get rain later this week - we really need it.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 2, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Nellie, I've never met many (if any) yappy poodles of any size.

IMO...I think it's the owners that make them yappy.

The yappiest wee dog I ever saw trying to threaten Wilbrodog was steadily ignored by its owner-- and the dog was trying to get the owner's attention and input as to what to do. The lady might as well have been a lump for all the leadership she gave.

Oh, and she petted her dog when we walked on. Way to train a dog that yapping big dogs off is the ideal behavior.

If I had a tongue in my head I'd have given her a not-so-polite earful about not letting her dog harrass working dogs and how she was ruining the image of a fine breed by her indifference.

But then, I've survived this far precisely because I don't.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 2, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

HOME!!! *happy sigh as I collapse into my chair*

Yoki, I see some congrats, but haven't been able to backboodle far enough to find the source. I assume they refer to you getting that condo? (If so, happy Snoopy real estate cakewalk.)

[Secret message to a Certain Boodler: when we got home late this afternoon we found a big padded envelope out of which emerged three doilies. My wife said, "Now who would send you doilies? Uh...OK, never mind.] [So thank you.]

Thought for the day:

"Those who forget the pasta are doomed to reheat it." -- George Santayana

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 2, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Vacation scorecard:

Books read:
Churchill's Defiance, by Michael Dobbs
The Brass Verdict, by Michael Connolly
Havana Bay, by Martin Cruz Smith (second time)
About a quarter of The Steel Wave by Jeff Shaara

Books purchased;
True at First Light, Hemingway, a first edition, $8 in a ritzy antique store
The Steel Wave, Jeff Shaara, 7 bucks on a remaindered books table at Shop-Rite
You Don't Love Me Yet, by Jonathon Lethem, $4.98, remainder at Barnes & Noble, but a first edition
Early Poems, Edna St. Vincent Millay, $3.50, cheapy Dover edition, but I'm not proud
Spoon River Anthology, Edgar Lee Masters, $2.50, cheapy Dover edition, see above.
The Emperor of Ice Cream, and Other Pomes, Wallace Stevens, $5.95 cheapy Dover edition, see above.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 2, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Mudge. Why did you interrupt all that reading with travel and beaches anyway?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 2, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

So when IS the BPH this week, anyway? Did we decide on the 6th?

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 2, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Consoling poetry for boodlers who won't be at the S'wester farewell BPH

The Rarest Thyme

For you I would have built a herb-garden,
Not a pathetic patch for mint and chives

But a real olitory, with old-
Fashioned southernwood and rarest thyme.

I might have built a wooden seat between
Two plants of rosemary, their astringent

Scent seeping through your workshirt to the clean
Flesh of your back. I would have grown a plant

Of basil for you to stroke into form;
And, certainly, a row of lavender

To infuse carefully over a warm
Stove, for you to sip at whenever

The world became darkened with sick headaches,
Or a loss of blood whitened your small hands.

by Thomas McCarthy
(hat tip to 3QD)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 2, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I know it's been mentioned before, but one of the ways to navigate the online paper is to do it as if it was the paper paper.

Just click "TODAY'S NEWSPAPER" beside the logo on the front page
( ) and use the sections on the left. The nuclear energy article & Weingarten's column are right where they should be in the Magazine, the review of the Wright book is safely nestled in the Sunday Outlook section.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 2, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, bob, I'll try to remember that when I become befuddled.

Gosh, Mudge, I can't imagine who would have sent that (but that is why I asked before I did!).

Posted by: seasea1 | August 2, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, good points about C4C.

Also, remember all the money and effort the previous Administration and Congresses expended trying to push corn Ethanol as an alternative energy program?

*That* didn't work out very well.


Posted by: -bc- | August 2, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Mr. Curmudgeon. I liked Smith's Havana and Connelly's always a treat, but it will have to wait for pocketbook. I just finished the last Bank's affair by Robinson and started on a book of a popular vampire serie I'm not sure I like. Very chicky that one.

It rained all day. Sadly, there are more tomato plant deaths to report as the Mediterranean Queen is not a semi-aquatic plant. The Italian heirloom Cuor de bue (Ox hearth) seems to be doing better than most. I only want a tomato or two at this point, the season is officially ruined.

It was so humid that despite pretty decent temperature (24C/75F) I was slipping and sliding in my own sweat installing a very small stretch of self-locking floating floor. The foam undercover is deadly when wet. Tonight, it's kind of dry and it's supposed to hold for tomorrow. We'll see but it was a very pleasant evening to walk the dogs.

Faxing "wetness" out west.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 2, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, SD. I'll fax some tomatoes your way when they ripen, which may be very soon. Best tomato season ever here!

Posted by: seasea1 | August 2, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I believe the BPH is Thursday, August 6.

Having a great weekend. Picked up Daughter yesterday after five weeks of camp and shortly after picked up Son of G from Dulles. He flew in because a cousin is visiting from Ivansmom's neck of the woods.

Daughter's friends have been here most of the weekend, too, so we went from an empty nest to a full one overnight. I must say... I liked the peace and quiet, but I like this chaos much better.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 2, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I wonder which review is true at first light?

Publishers Weekly
A sometimes entertaining, sometimes trying read.
Library Journal
Twentieth-century American literature could not end on a brighter note than the publication of this book.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 2, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

SCC ox heart

Clunkers for safety? How about buying back those fuel efficient but deadly rice burners with no or little passive safety features? Those late 80's to late 90's small Japanese bombs are killing the young.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 2, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

How far back do you have to go to have no passive safety features? My (now my son's) '99 Camry has air bags. Even our 1990 Camry had those dopey grabber seat belts. My son had a classmate's relative get killed at a drag race as a spectator, not even as a racer. It's risky behavior that is killing teenagers. As it always has.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 2, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I used to have a Stutz Bearcat that had no brake lights. But I guess that doesn't exactly count.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 2, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Clicking on the TV Comcast guide, I saw that Leonard Cohen's London concert was on on one of those interminable fundraisers on PBS. So now I am entranced with it. If you can put up with the horrible interruptions, PBS can connect you with your past.

Suzanne takes you down to the river takes me back to the my past.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 2, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Quite a few herbs grow well here. Some half-price oregano plants have been spreading all summer, no irrigation, no nothing.

Lemongrass is limited by being in a competitive neighborhood. Heliconias and caladiums managed to shade out and kill some mint, but a thyme-like thing is prospering.

Rosemary hasn't ever looked very healthy, but it persists.

Those heliconias are rhizomatous, new stems popping up a few inches from older ones, so it's time to limit their spread by cutting a fair number of flowering stems.

My 1990 Geo Prizm (a Toyota Corolla hatchback assembled in Fremont, California) had seatbelts but no airbags.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 2, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I hate yard work. We have a wrought iron fence around 2/3 of the yard, and wire fence about the rest. I usually farm out the pruning/weeding to one of the locals that work cheap, sometimes with predictable results. I haven't tended to the various forms of vegetation in the perimeter for something like 5 years in some parts, and nearly 10 years in others. One side of the wrought iron fence was nearly overgrown, thus with shears, a saw and an axe in hand, I had at it. The wrought iron is clear, making that side of the house visible, weathered, but grand in scale, and there are two spoils piles on opposite corners of the lot that have enough biomass to create large signal fires. I will never have the skill it takes to be a lumberjack, and am sorely reminded of the reasons why I *despise* pruning.

Posted by: -jack- | August 2, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. I see it's been an especially quiet night.

Today in Nautical, Aviation and Saskatchewan History

Aug. 3, 1492: Small cargo ships Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria depart Palos, Spain, with 88 crew under the command of Genoese navigator Christopher Columbus; his objective is to find a shorter route to “Cipango” (Japan) and the East Indies. This he fails to do, but he makes history nonetheless.
1958: In one of the most dramatic incidents of the post-war submarine era, Capt. William Anderson takes the world’s first nuclear submarine, USS Nautilus (SSN-571), under the 50-foot-thick Arctic icepack to the North Pole, and sends the now-famous message “Nautilus 90 North.”
1979: Nicole Evangeline Lilly is born in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada. She stars in the TV series “Lost,” which is about a jet plane that crashes on a strange island serviced by a submarine (if you were wondering what the nautical or aviation connection was, or whether this was just some groveling, pathetic, lame, gratuitous attempt to work her into this almanac).

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 3, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Is Ms Lilly young enough to be your daughter? Just trying to be a buzz kill.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 3, 2009 6:57 AM | Report abuse

My brother-in-law has restored the '66 Corvair (yikes!) and it even has the original seatbelts. He took us for a spin when we visited recently. It's not a comfortable ride, only good for trips to the grocery store and the swim club. Rough, noisy, and no A/C. I'm glad he was the one with the mania and not Mr. T.

Good morning, all. It's a foggy morning in the Carolinas, we've got one good snowfall coming.

SD, watch your fax, I'm sending tomatoes. The Romas are doing well, the Early Girls not quite so but still okay. Thank heavens for people like SonofG who will take them off my hands.

Into the day! This week I must finish my chapter revision and send it off. I wish I could come up with some photos. Mr. T hasn't been helpful; I'm going to have to corral him and see what he can do for me.

Posted by: slyness | August 3, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Thanks for the tomatoes slyness. I can't believe it's August and we are still on hothouse tomatoes.
It will be a sunny dry day today so there is hope yet.
I fished a smallish toad off the pool's skimmer for the umpteen (18-20?) time this morning. The little guy enjoys the spinning ride apparently but I swear it starts to look chlorine-bleached.

I'm using this cool morning's refreshing temperature to make a chili. Little meat, lots o'beans.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 3, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Goot Morninckz, Boodle!

Fri. 31 July

After a long chase of stolen car, police detained 10 year old driver known as Cisarro who's been previously arrested 15 times.

The court ordered him detained in a temporary home for abused children.

Sat. 01 Aug, 15:00 hrs.

Six children, at least one of them armed with a handgun climbed over the home's fence and overpowered the two unarmed watchmen.

The gang, together with Cisarro escaped in a taxi.

Sun. 02 Aug. 0300
Police spots Cisarro on the street and arrest him. This time he is locked up in a police station while judges try to figure out what to do with a 10 year old for whom there are no criminal laws and must be returned to the custody of his parents.


Posted by: Braguine | August 3, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Brag, are you sure someone wasn't filming a modern remake of "Oliver Twist?" *SIGH*

'Mudge, glad to see you found the handover note. I tried to work on the ship-in-the-bottle for you -- sorry about the mizzenmast.

*Once-more-dear-friends-unto-the-work-week-breach Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Surely it was an act of God, She didn't want to hear Kevin Costner sing.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 3, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm... maybe this stick isn't sharp enough.

Posted by: Southwester | August 3, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@Sou'wester: And I was just about to go all McCoy on the Boodle... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Gorgeous holiday Monday here, clear and sunny and warm. Three days of nice weather such a treat.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 3, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

morning Al, I'll try to post before Joel puts up a new kit. Been working a lot at the Britt so have only been able to lurk while getting down the morning coffee and getting the ibuprofen work its wonders on the back and knees. off for week now.
We had a thunder storm saturday evening that dropped the temp from 100 to 80 in a couple flashes of lighting. Got a half of inch of rain. Really helped the lawns. Although it pretty much washed out the second night of the classical festival at the britt. The orchestra stayed in place and played an abbreviated performance to the diehards that they invited up on the stage.
Picked the first zuke friday and the first red tomato yesterday. We keep having frost well into the middle of May so everything go set out late. But got lots of green tomatoes and zukes coming on now.

Posted by: bh72 | August 3, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Just though I'd share this: a few minutes ago I was introduced to a new hire at my soon-to-be-former job. He's supposed to be my replacement. However, my last day is August 12th. That means in eight workdays, I'm supposed to prepare this guy to handle a position I've essentially created personally over the past four and a half years, the primary component of which is an extensive knowledge of all the technical systems of the company.

Posted by: Southwester | August 3, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Just popping in to say that I'm at home now. We decided that it would be silly to wait out my 3 hour lay-over in Phully for a one-hour flight to BWI, so the ScienceSpouse and the ScienceKids came to get me. Probably not such a great option. The flight was delayed on the ground in Frankfurt for 30 minutes, which somehow delayed scheduled arrival by 1 hour. Then there was weather at Philly, which delayed it by another hour. Difficult getting away from the Philly airport due to traffic, no decent places to eat along the way. We got home about 11, instead of the 8:45 it would have been if I had just flown to BWI.

Today, I'm getting ready to leave again tomorrow for 2 weeks in Hawaii or traveling to/from. Most of which will be spent at high altitude, but I will get one evening and one day at sea-level, at the end. If all goes well. That, at least, is the plan. But at least get to finally do some science on the Big Ouchie on Jupiter.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 3, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' Sou'wester the Bunker's copy of "Vulcan Mind-Melds for Dummies"* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

*Tim! You should have texted me!

I would have sent you to a little dive not 5 minutes from the airport whence you could have re-entered 95 almost immediately. Great pizza and cheesesteaks.

I'd appreciate any spare mojo y'all have lying about. I'm waiting for them to phone me with an offer. I'm sitting here with my cell and all my reiki'd talismans and for the first time in this process, I'm nervous.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 3, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Alternately, *Tim, I'd have sent you to the place down the street--a reputed mob hangout with good seafood.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 3, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I'd fax *Tim the "Jet Lag for Dummies" copy, but I see he donated it in the first place...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Got my fingers crossed for you, dbG. Suspense is always so nerve-wracking.

Tim, at least you were with your family during that time! I hope the trip west is easier than the one east.

Posted by: slyness | August 3, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' dbG a couple of spare "Ommmmanepadmeommmm" I found in the bunker's closet* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Nothing says family like a long road trip in bad weather. Unless of course it's coupled with one child who gets motion sickness and another who is pining for some boy who doesn't know she exists and a "check engine" light glowing really red in the dark night. (There's also the obligatory "S/he's on my side!" "Nuh-uh, air's free." arguments.) Aaah, the joys of family.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 3, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

LiT... the best line I heard on a road trip with another family, from the two girls on either side of 3-year-old Son of G...

"MoooOOOooommmm.... He's looking out my window!"

Posted by: -TBG- | August 3, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Hahahaha! And I thought I had it bad! The only response I can think to that is "don't be too hard on him honey. One day you're going to be married to someone just like him. If you're lucky." or "Can you look in my purse for the box with the little yellow pills please? Thanks."

Posted by: LostInThought | August 3, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

dbG, good luck!

Southwester, you mean you didn't document all that? heh heh

Posted by: seasea1 | August 3, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the president of Iran gets a new MacBook Pro when he is inaugurated...

Posted by: -TBG- | August 3, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The food choices between the Philly airport and Columbia are:

a) The 291 strip just south of the airport which has a lot of nice diners, restaurants, and mom and pop places.

b) The Delaware and Maryland turnpike stops.

c) North East, MD which is a very quaint small town about fifteen minutes of the highway at Exit 100.

d) Bel Air (pronounced 'blare'), MD at exit 24 which is a big strip mall area with every chain known to man.

e) White Marsh which is now only a half hour from Columbia and you might as well eat at home.

Of course, there is always back tracking north a little ways and getting to Tony Lukes for a roast pork with rabe.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 3, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

TBG, in re: SoG, can I tell you how happy I am that your husband's name isn't Sam?

Posted by: LostInThought | August 3, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'll be a good guy:


Posted by: yellojkt | August 3, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Bel Air is Route 24, not exit 24.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 3, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

What's for lunch? Someone have some 'maters to go with a little fresh lettuce and bacon of unknown (but probably factory farm) origin. I have some good swirled rye.

Two teen employees were no call/no show this morning so I'm home taking care of my own priorities and trying to calm down enough to be the grown up when they finally do surface. Take all the news of how the current economic prospects are affecting those just entering the workforce with a grain of salt-they are totally without a clue!

Good luck dbG!!

DotC- Have I mentioned tropical garden frenvy lately? I never quite got good at selecting and caring for plants in your clime. Your assessment of the FL real estate market would be appreciated. A look at our neighborhood in Tampa reveals inventory is down, but foreclosures and short sales need to clear out before there can be any appreciation. I'd settle for some sign we're at the bottom-but don't want to get irrationally exuberant about it. Mr. F is going to move back into the house anyway when our renters' lease is up in the spring.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 3, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The problem with these many fine options for off-highway dining is that two of our number are vegetarians. Many of these establishments, like German restaurants, have only one rather bewildered answer for the question "Do you have vegetarian food?" The answer is "Well... we have chicken." Sometimes, they have a more complete answer: "...and turkey."

And then, of course, there is the difficulty of avoiding pork, avoiding lard, and separating meat from cheese.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 3, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

If you are trying to avoid pork, lard, and mixing cheese and meat, Tony Luke's is definitely NOT for you.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 3, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

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