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The Kennedy Brothers At Arlington

[I've been on Kennedy duty today. Here's what I wrote up for tomorrow morning's newspaper. Your thoughts are most welcome.]

They buried Ted Kennedy on Saturday in an area of lush grass on the gentle slope beneath the mansion at Arlington National Cemetery. Brothers Bobby and Jack lie nearby. Here in this resting place for thousands of soldiers, astronauts, explorers and statesmen, the Kennedys have come together through triumph and tragedy in what amounts to a family plot, a piece of priceless real estate overlooking the nation's capital.

The Kennedys occupy other turf as well -- sweeping terrain in the national psyche.

The country has seen in the past three days the equivalent of a royal funeral. Saturday's funeral Mass in Boston was attended by four U.S. presidents. The description of the Kennedys as political royalty might as well be a federal regulation.

Younger people might not understand why such a fuss has been made over a man who ran for president 30 years ago. It is hard to explain the Kennedy mystique to anyone who never experienced the tumult of the 1960s.

In the visitors center at Arlington is a blown-up photo from Nov. 25, 1963 -- a bullet point in the history of American grief -- with Jacqueline Kennedy, face twisted in pain, having just received the folded flag that had covered her husband's casket. Next to her is Bobby, stooped in anguish. Teddy appears to be at the margin of the shot, back to the camera. Only a few years later, before he was ready, the youngest son became the only son left.

Edward Kennedy was, as President Obama said with great understatement at the funeral Mass, "heir to a weighty legacy." For the citizens of the country, Kennedy's death concludes a narrative more than half a century in the telling. It's a familiar story by now: Joseph Kennedy Sr. had four sons and dreamed that one would someday be the first Catholic in the White House. That ambition bent American history for decades to come. The saga was often dazzling, and persistently tragic.

Now we know how the story ends. Quietly. Peacefully. The funeral Mass was somber and reverent, but it was preceded Friday night by a sometimes raucous, humorous celebration of the man's life. The last son died at home, among family, after sailing the Nantucket Sound almost to his final moments.

A vivid era in American history is rapidly fading. The Culture Wars that began in the '60s came to define the ideological battles of the next three decades, with Kennedy an all-purpose symbol of the values of the left and Ronald Reagan playing a similar role for the right. The issues defined in that era no longer throw off as many sparks. Obama, who came to power with a boost from the senator, has vowed to leave the divisions of the 1960s behind.

The baby boomers who pledged to bring about the Revolution now worry that health-care reform could undermine their Medicare. The space program is out of money. No one worries that Afghanistan will turn into another Vietnam; they worry it'll be another Iraq. The Beatles have become an interactive computer game. In Upstate New York, there was just a Woodstock anniversary -- the 40th -- but hardly anyone bothered to show up. Another page turned.

Click here to keep reading.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 29, 2009; 10:07 PM ET
 
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Comments

Well done Joel. Really, words fail me. And that is no small achievement.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 29, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Wonderfully written and moving Joel, thank you.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 29, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

joel, that's a really great tribute.

Posted by: LALurker | August 29, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Brillian Joel.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 29, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Yes, very nice, Joel. Good to know you were on duty today.

rainforest had a question in the previous Boodle about nicknames - how did John go to Jack, etc? I don't know, and have often wondered myself. I suppose there is a linguistic explanation somewhere. Maybe bia knows!

Posted by: seasea1 | August 29, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

It's a lovely, solemn article. There must be some Irish in ye, Mr. Achenbach.

And yet ... am I the only one who finds the family obsessed with the Kennedys a little creepy?

Perhaps I'm just dyspeptic. Literally - tried to make peanut brittle, burned it, ate some anyway. A mistake.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 29, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

As usual, Joel, you have captured the moment and its meaning to us with clarity and insight. Bravo!

Posted by: slyness | August 29, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

SCC brilliant.

Hopefully Obama will be able to inspire the younger generations the way the Kennedy's did our generations.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 29, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Actually, wikipedia has a good explanation about nicknames:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickname
"Before the 17th century most nicknames had the diminutive ending "in" or "Kin", where the ending is attached to the first syllable. (IE: Watkin/Walter/Wat-kin Hobkin/Robert/Hob-kin or Thompkin/Thomas/Thom-Kin.) While most of these have died away, a few remain such as Robin (Rob-in, from Robert), Hank (Hen-Kin from Henry), Jack (Jan-kin from John) and Colin (Col-in from Nicolas)."

Posted by: seasea1 | August 29, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Obama inspires much the same feeling, although he doesn't have the large family or wealth (no sailing or riding to hounds). I just hope our hearts don't get broken again.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 29, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Personally I am good with no riding to hounds.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 29, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I like a lot of the Spanish nicknames - "Memo" for Guillermo (the equivalent of "Bill" or "Billy" from William); "Yoyo" for Yolanda. Mine's "Beto" from Roberto.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 29, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if it's fair to consider the story of the Kennedy family - Joseph, Rose, and their children - as a story of the 20th century America?

Joel, great piece. The phrase "a bullet point in the history of American grief" I'll admit it, I winced. Appropriately, I think, given the context.

Extending that metaphor (or is it a similie) a little, has 20th century American politics been laid to rest this evening as well?

Feel free to discuss.

bc

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 29, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I crave italics. I need to say "Joel, you can *write*!"

Posted by: nellie4 | August 29, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, to be fair, it was Jackie who rode to hounds, and even then, drag hunting was pretty common (no actual fox was harmed). Glamorous, exotic hobbies of the rich, which were fascinating back then. Look what happened to John Kerry when he windsurfed - branded an out of touch elitist. It was a different time.

For a horse-crazy kid like me, the fact that Jackie was an avid horsewoman and Caroline had a pony was a real plus.

I like Russian nicknames, with the "sh" sound - Misha, Sasha, Natasha, Alyosha.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 29, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Joel, that was a lovely summation of all that the Kennedy family has meant to a couple of generations of Americans. Very nicely done.

Posted by: Kim1 | August 29, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Dear God, you moved me to tears, again,Joel, tonight, when I thought I had no more tears to shed. A most beautiful summation.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 30, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Very nice piece of writing there Joel.....very nice.

I am working of course,watching the original batman movie.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060153/
With all the action fight scene captions of "Pow" "Whap" and "Thwack"

Robin catches Batman in the phonebooth kissing Catwoman and utters this great line
"Holy Mush" It is just so flippin hilarious.I should really go back to work,but can't stop watching.

I really and truely enjoyed this Kit Joel.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 30, 2009 3:05 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

Redemption, Joel, I'm so glad you used that word, Tom Brokaw used it too, in describing Ted Kennedy's best, last years. You wrote a good essay, one that those of us who were in our early twenties when President Kennedy died can nod and murmur, "yes, that's right, that's about right at that time".

I'm so impressed with the love and honor that those in Massachusetts have pour on Senator Kennedy, and the warm, friendly response of his family, reaching out the mourners, all the day long.

Can't really see Teddy with the Packers, you know? Maybe I am shortsighted......

As long as a continuing generation of Kennedys feels that public service is their legacy, the Kennedy power will go on.

I'm doing extrodinarily well, with hardly any side effects from chemo, great efforts have been made for the comfort of the patient.

Need to read a few kits for catch-up now.

Thanks

Posted by: VintageLady | August 30, 2009 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Fantastic article. A wonderful tribute to Sen. Kennedy. Thanks Joel.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | August 30, 2009 4:01 AM | Report abuse

vl, glad to see you're doing well.

before this week, i was vaguely aware that ted kennedy's second wife had been a great help and influence. but after seeing how strong and gracious she's been the last few days, i just have to say that victoria kennedy is one class act.

Posted by: LALurker | August 30, 2009 4:04 AM | Report abuse

LALurker, how are you doing with the fires and the hurricane/storm comin'?

Victoria Kennedy shines. What a great lady to have for support in Kennedy's senior years. It has been hinted that she turned his life around, that's a pretty heavy burden for such slender shoulders.

I remember Joan Kennedy, of course. She and Jackie were iconic to the press and to the fasionista of the day. Unfortunately, Joan was dubed "a jet setter", an unkind description, I think. Jetting was a fairly privileged past time, and it didn't take too much "boarding of a plane" to be stuck with that label. Joan was lovely, truly the prettiest of the wives, devoted mother and wife, and she was a talented pianist, as well. All things considered, I thought she looked fine when I saw her briefly on tv a couple of times with the family.

Although off topic, slightly, sister Jean looked so healthy and fit, and Ethel looked well. I've been curious to see what is going on with Hickory Hill on 1147 Chain Bridge Rd. in McLean. (JFK & then, RFK house) It hasn't sold, there was a fire on the grounds a few years back, but it must be in pretty good shape as Ethel has held at least one party/fund raiser there, don't remember who for, tho, maybe Brian Moran (lost) or Creigh Deeds.....

Posted by: VintageLady | August 30, 2009 4:31 AM | Report abuse

i've been musing about senator kennedy's effectiveness, and while i agree with what's been said about his hard work, dedication, and great interpersonal skills, i think at least the bipartisanship partly had to do with something else.

when he finally gave up his presidential aspirations, he really had a lot of freedom to be goal-oriented with legislation and not worry about appearances. with his last name and his blue state, he didn't have to worry much about reelection, at least most of the time. being freed up that way really allowed him to get legislation done for its own sake and not have any self-interest or ulterior motives.

in los angeles news, we're having fires again. i'm really in an area that is not at risk of fires, except perhaps in the event of an earthquake damage. it has been smoky, and the pillar of smoke from the la cañada fire (some ~25 miles away) was spectacular and visible from where i live today. not a good sign.

Posted by: LALurker | August 30, 2009 4:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, VintageLady. Glad to hear you are well and strong. Stay so. You know you are in the fellowship.

I am burning the other end of the candle, so to say.

As an outsider, it is interesting to admire Joel's writing and evocation of something that I think may be essential, without entering into the feeling behind it. It might be that the affect that surrounds the Kennedys is peculiarly American, in the same way that Henry James used that word as shorthand for a lot of stuff the rest of the wide world neither understands nor appreciates.

And so, gracefully, I have tied Achenbach and James as great scribners, without submitting to their arguments.

Posted by: Yoki | August 30, 2009 4:41 AM | Report abuse

vl, i actually posted my last message before seeing your 10:31. the fires are quite bad due to the heat, but we've been lucky not to have winds. today's pillar of smoke such a sight because the normal pattern for fire season is that fires usually come with the santa ana winds, which disperse the smoke more quickly. of course, there is always lots of smoke, but today's massive pillar was striking.

here is one picture:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-0826-morris-fire-pictures,0,2039975.photogallery?index=la-me-fire29-6_kp5udanc.jpg

it's taken even further away from the fire than where i live.

Posted by: LALurker | August 30, 2009 4:57 AM | Report abuse

i have insomnia, so i guess i'll boodle hog a bit.

august 29th, 2009 was a bit strange if you think about it. ted kennedy's funeral preempted all the news that might have been generated for michael jackson's birthday (no complaints btw). and it was also the 4 year anniversary of katrina's landfall in new orleans.

Posted by: LALurker | August 30, 2009 5:55 AM | Report abuse

and about jimena, vl, we could use the rain, if that's what you mean. if it actually made it to l.a. as a hurricane, well, that would not be so good.

Posted by: LALurker | August 30, 2009 6:01 AM | Report abuse

I too winced at "bullet point". I thought maybe Joel was referring to a still from the Zapruder film. Otherwise, another brilliant elegy.

"He was not perfect. Far from it. But my father believed in redemption,"

There's that word again.

As far as devotion goes, I have it on good authority there are homes in the Boston area where portraits of JFK hang alongside the other typically Catholic iconography.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 30, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. JA, wonderful writing, and just a really beautiful tribute to the man. You do have a way with words.

I'm on my way to church this way with a heavy heart. We've had a horrific crime to take place in our little village. A mother and her son, and the mother lost the fight. There will be lots of prayers this morning. I'm asking for yours too.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 30, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

VL, glad you are doing well, thought of you often this week, I have a client who was also stating chemo this week. Many good thoughts sent in your direction.

Most of my day yesterday was busy with our eldest 14th birthday, house full of friends, but all well behaved. The weather even cooperated skies cleared and they were able to use the pool.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 30, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Continued good thoughts and wishes to VL, extra comfort to Cassandra this morning and cooling breezes and proper rain to LAlurker.

Joel, there are those of us who cobble words together for a living, and then there are those who WRITE. I'm the former for certain, and I one day hope to reach that higher plane you occupy so easily. BZ, Joel.

I'm hoping to visit Arlington soon and pay my respects to the whole clan.

*somber-yet-hopeful-on-a-quite-lovely-Sunday-morning Grover salute* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 30, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Morning everyone. VintageLady, I have also been thinking about you all week. Glad to hear you're doing well.

Cassandra, you and your community are in my heart as well.

Joel... what can I say? Another beautiful piece and right on target, I think. The end of an era, but I hope not the end of cooperative politics.

Hope you all have a great day.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 30, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Oh.. I forgot to say to LA Lurker that the picture of the smoke pillar is amazing. I can't imagine actually seeing that in real life. I hope the rain comes soon.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 30, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!

I fear in a world where the Internet allows almost unlimited length at practically no additional cost, pieces like Joel's will die. That he can write such a complete, yet relatively short, piece on deadline doesn't surprise me any more but I really appreciate it.

vl-good to see you here and doing well.

Cassandra-hugs

I have to head back up north today after a too short respite in the city. Only 3 more weeks until things slow way down with the vacation rental and I will be free of endless toilet cleaning.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 30, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Vowell's lovely tribute to Sen Kennedy--written at the time of the 2008 DNC.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/31/opinion/31vowell.html

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 30, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I could use some advice from those of you who have fostered dogs. #2, animal lover that she is, decided to foster a dog from a kill shelter. They picked him up Saturday morning and her dog absolutely would not allow this new dog in the house. She called me desperate for a place to keep him for a while. The poor dog has been through a lot and is very sweet but nervous, pacing around. On one of his pacings Saturday afternoon, he managed to leave a medium sized offering on the Oriental rug in the living room. Once everyone left, he slept in his crate for a few hours, then we walked him. After pacing around again he finally settled in the papasan chair on the porch watching the Sox game with “S.” He’s been fed and walked this morning but he still paces when out of his crate. #2 is coming to take him in a while to try again to introduce him to her dog. But I may have this dog for a week. Do I assume that as he becomes more acclimated, he will stop pacing? Any tips on #2 getting her dog to accept this new one?

Posted by: badsneakers | August 30, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I've fostered maybe 2 dozen, several overnight, most for a few days (on their way to a different foster home), the remainder from two weeks to (one only) 4 months.

It generally takes them 2-3 weeks to settle in. You spend the entire first week, at least, asking yourself why you're doing this because it's so much trouble! Then everyone gets into the schedule, dog included, and it's no big deal. All you can do is love him, give him some good exercise and food and let him sleep.

/more/

Posted by: -dbG- | August 30, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Random thoughts:

I have shed tears at the eternal flame in Arlington, and at the civil rights museum in Memphis, and this morning I was crying while jogging, listening to Ted, Jr.'s eulogy on NPR. I'm not one to look back in sorrow, but there are ongoing tragic implications for great lives cut short, and in Ted Kennedy's case, such widespread sadness for a large life come to an end.

In my more reasonable moments of describing my political views, I have on many occasions referred to myself as "a Ted Kennedy Democrat." For me that was a shorthand way of saying that I believe government exists for the purpose of creating an organizational framework to enable us to help each other.

I read a biography of Ted Kennedy a few years ago, and was most impressed by his concept that "You can get a lot done in the Senate, if you don't need to take credit."

I have no doubt that the Kennedy legacy is eternal, having shaped America in ways we will never be able to measure, and leaving a literal legacy into the future in the form of a family which continues to produce well-educated public servants with an ongoing commitment to progressive causes.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 30, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't worry about the pacing. He'll most probably settle down as he feels safer.

There are a lot of different theories to introductions. I'm lucky because my dogs are used to new dogs coming in and I can call them off if necessary. It's still always a little tense, though. Once I see the new one isn't going to fight, I let them all loose in my fenced yard and they work it out. Common wisdom, however, is you take them all to a neutral spot, a dog park, and let them meet there. #2's dog sounds as if he requires a neutral place, rather than his home.

Does she have baby gates? It's a good idea to keep them separated in the house until everything is good. Let them take a few days with nobody being cornered (which is why the fenced yard is good) or able to steal the others' food, they work into it themselves. (Unless they're really stupid, I've had one of those too). #2 can alternate time between both sides of the gate.

/more/

Posted by: -dbG- | August 30, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm a little surprised the shelter didn't have her bring her dog in so they could meet there, with a specialist. She may want to give them a call for advice.

Accidents usually happen within the first few days, hey, he's nervous, been through a tough time. Mine usually wake up around 4 am, so you're lucky there. I'd leave the crate open in case he wants to use it, but only crate him myself when I'm leaving the house--I don't know if you know how long he was in the shelter.

Do you know his breed? #2's dog? All but one of the labs I've fostered are pretty good with other dogs to start, then get better. Several have fit totally into my pack within about 5 minutes (which is how Mr. 4 month managed to stay around so long).

Yoki? How does it work with Berners?

Posted by: -dbG- | August 30, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to Boodledog, but one more thing.

At meetings, I always have lots of treats and dispense them liberally, everyone gets a fair share, one for dog#1, one for dog#2. You're trying to get them to realize having this other guy around is a good thing because good food appears.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 30, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

dbG... are you enjoying your last day of "freedom?" I'll be thinking of you tomorrow on your first day of work!

Posted by: -TBG- | August 30, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Joel, the highest compliment I can give you is to say your piece was equal to the hour.

The part where I just about lost it was when Kiley Kennedy started reading her piece in the near-dark. She read half the first sentence or so, and then cried out, "I can't see anything!" Your could hear her anguish in her voice that shouldn't wouldn't be able to do what she had to do. It was all invisible on TV, in a way that was strangely appropriate, as Olbermann said. But who among us could not still picture the scene in our mind's eye? And in my own film of that moment, someone -- Ted Jr.?-- lept up beside her with a flashlight and let her finish reading her piece.

And this is Washington, in August, on a hot and humid summer evening. *Of course* there was that dramatic lightning behind the Custer Mansion at the dying of the light. Makes you wonder who might have been running the light board last night.

And none of this would have happened if the service hadn't been running two hours late. Punctuality is soooo overrated.

------------

As much as many of us are moved by this funeral, and by the Kennedy saga, it would do weel for us to realize how maqny people out there are unabashed Kennedy haters, loathers, despisers, for whom the media coverage and the adulation of the last four days have been an unbearable torment (TFB, Buddy). They are as far removed from what we here are feeling as it is possible to be. I'm sure Joel's essay is incomprehensible to them. In fairness to everyone, what they are feeling now is pretty much what I felt at the death of Richard Nixon" "Good. Bury the son-of-a-b1tch."

----

That Sarah Vowell piece DNA_girl linked to is really very, very good, and must have at least have a dozen really excellent lines (calling Pat Buchanan Richard Nixon's "personal Rasputin" was the best).

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 30, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

FYI, and repeating myself, but today is the birthday of Famous Dave of BBQ restaurant fame. Today they are giving a free dinner to anyone named Dave (see http://www.cheaptoday.com/deals/daves-eat-free-at-famous-daves/ in case you think it's an Internet hoax).

We're going today for my official birthday bash-- and we have no less than three Daves coming: son, son-in-law and #1 grandson (his middle name; middle names are half-price).

Dave of the Coonties, are you there? Omni? You out there this morning? I don't immediately know if there's any other Daves among the Boodle. Maybe some spouses, I dunno.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 30, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Joel's Kennedy bit--
Key details missing for me
This piece's better.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090830/pl_politico/26539

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 30, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Also go to http://www.famousdavesblog.com/?p=99

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 30, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Laughing, Wilbrodog. Very nice.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 30, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

dbG, thanks so much for the advice. I printed it all off and gave it to #2 who just left with the dog for the day. Her dog is a Louisiana Catahoula and this dog is part pointer and maybe part setter? #2 says that her dog will jump a baby gate so not sure how well that would work. She really would like to keep this dog for a while as a foster dog, so we’ll cross our fingers. He came from a kill shelter in Ohio and was trucked to NH where #2 picked him up yesterday, so I guess arranging a meeting between the two dogs would have been difficult. I understand and sympathize with the desire to help these dogs who would be put down if no one claims them in five days, but just as you can’t collect every beautiful shell on the beach, you can’t save every deserving animal either. I do thank you for your expertise and your quick response. Once again, the Boodle is an extraordinary place with the greatest imaginary friends anyone could ask for!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 30, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Likewise, sneaks!

Your daughter's predicament is why I volunteer with specific rescues who will be there if I have a problem. I learned a long time ago, when the shelter asked me to foster a puppy who turned out to have parvo (after 2 days at my house). I had to bleach every surface on the house and worried about my own dogs for weeks. Sometimes the *leaders* of the rescues/shelters aren't as concerned with their volunteers as they are about putting one more check in the saved column.

TBG, tomorrow's it! I'm in OSHA training, I don't know if it's all day or not. Wish I had another week to lie around and read, though!

Posted by: -dbG- | August 30, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

LaLurker, I clicked on your link to pictures of the fire and realized it's threatening my brother-in-law's house - he's in Altadena. I don't keep in touch with him much, I imagine he has had to take his dog and go stay with his kids. Poor guy. I feel bad that I haven't been paying attention.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 30, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

This is pretty funny...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdfJq7Xa4Mo&e

Posted by: -TBG- | August 30, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

bc, half expecting to see you at Louisiana Kitchen.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 30, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm vaguely unsatisfied with the commenters on the story about the 13-year-old Dutch girl who wishes to sail solo round the world.

I understand that it's a highly risky proposition, with near certainty that something will go badly wrong and a not-so-low chance that she might actually die. But a disturbing number of the commenters seem to think that because those things are true, then the parents (particularly the father) must be glory-seeking monsters with no consideration for the girl's well-being.

I'd certainly agree that the idea of the trip would be insane for 99.99% of all thirteen-year-old sailors. But I'd need more information before being so very certain that it's completely insane for this particular girl.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/29/AR2009082902297.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Posted by: bobsewell | August 30, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Trying an experiment... Even non-Facebook users should be able to see these photos from the game Friday night.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=132445&id=546906825&l=1eb8c02e6a

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 30, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I see 'em just fine, Scotty.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 30, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Lovely writing, Joel.

You Vintage Ladyship -- great to hear that you're doing well with chemo. From what I hear, the chemo drugs have come a long way since the 25 years from when my father was on them.

Cassandra -- so sad to hear about your news. Hugs from me, too.

Yesterday's birthday was filled with errands (intended along with the unintended), culminating in an outdoor theater presentation of Much Ado About Nothing at the Olney Theater. We stayed for the first act only, as it was very difficult to hear (not all the actors played to the balcony, as it were) and it started to rain softly. Nevertheless, a good time was had and now I am even closer to Medicare than I was yesterday.

dbG -- good wishes for your new adventure.

And, now, time for lunch.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 30, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

If my eyes ain't deceiving me, someone's flying a B-17 over western NoVa and the WV panhandle...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 30, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday +1, ftb! I could not feel worse than I do that I didn't send you these good wishes yesterday.

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

Well, the Flying Circus operates out of Bealeton every weekend. I don't think they usually have a B-17, but you never know who might drop in.

http://www.flyingcircusairshow.com/index.htm

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

Your eyes are not deceiving you, Scottynuke:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/18/AR2009081803827.html

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 30, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

ftb! I think I just dipped into a weight range that I wasn't at since before my daughter was born. As we attempt to march towards better health!!!

Happy Birthday, as well!!!!

Posted by: russianthistle | August 30, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Hope your birthday was as full of fun and friends as my daughters was ftb. Happy belated birthday.

Saw the pics on Facebook Scotty - very nice.

Bill Clinton gave a speech in Toronto yesterday singing the praises of Canada's healthcare, an event designed to be affordable to many but they were only able to sell about 10,000 tickets.

http://www.thestar.com/article/688437

Posted by: dmd3 | August 30, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Good searching Tim!

Posted by: bobsewell | August 30, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Ah!!! SciTim!!!! Thanks for the info. I had heard about the Hanger Dance a couple of weeks ago from the bassist (one of) of Radio King Orchestra, Jay. He said that there is nothing much that compares and well worth it.

Rick and Robin lead the band. The band is a very professional unit with tons of experience, if anyone is looking for a treat this evening.

Robin is one of three sisters who make up a very musical family including my great buddy, Suzanna Mallow of Red Letter Day.

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

Thank you, SciTim, I was worried it might be a Rip in Time or something... :-)

Go have a B-17 ride for your birthday, ftb!!! ;-) *HUGS*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 30, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

wheezy, i think some of alta dena has evacuation orders as well, but this is all relative to whether people live in areas near the undeveloped areas that burn (usually). sometimes people are told to evacuate due to smoke.

happy belated birthday, ftb!

which reminds me, isn't today ivansmom's birthday?

happy birthday, ivansmom, and many happy returns!

i can smell smoke from indoors, so i'll probably head to the nice airconditioned building where i work.

let's see if this posts - first post from my new macbook.

Posted by: LALurker | August 30, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Happy belated birthday ftb and Happy birthday to Ivansmom. I have some nice butternut squash ravioli I can fax to you both. At least I hope it's nice, waiting to see if #2 and her husband will be staying when they drop the dog off, so no dinner until later today.

Nice pics Scotty, you've got some zoom lens on that thing!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 30, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

This is the time of year when any random "Happy Birthday" is bound to find a proper Boodler target... *L*

Many happy returns to all my fellow Virgo Boodlers! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 30, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Fairfax's own Steve Marino was leading the Barclay's golf tournament at the start of the day and is still only one shot out of the lead. Fingers crossed for his first win!

Posted by: Raysmom | August 30, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, all. And a big HBTY to Ivansmom!

It's a lazy, lazy day for me. Everything that I expected (theoretically) to do today is now officially postponed to Labor Day Weekend. . . . .perhaps.

I grazed very, very quickly through some of the comments (non-Boodle) in response to Joel's column -- one or two did it, and then I came back "home" to the Boodle. I wonder what all those nutjobz are going to do without Ted Kennedy to kick around anymore. Well, to be fair, we had the same issue about Nixon, yet the Republican Party never seems to run out of those kinds of people, so we haven't had to wait very long.

I've been watching people gather at the pool, which is the view from my condo. It's hard to believe that on Tuesday, September will start. It's like I blinked between March and now and almost the entire year went by behind the blink.

And, Sneaks -- butternut squash *anything* is fabulous in my book!

Posted by: -ftb- | August 30, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday (belated by one), ftb.

I'd give anything to go up in a B-17. *sigh*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 30, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Is today Ivansmom's BD? HBTY 2 U 2, IM.

Anybody else?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 30, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a lot of people's unbirthday, Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 30, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday everyone, and hugs for VL and Cassandra. Life is hard. Joy is fleeting, so it must be celebrated and savored.

I believe S'Nukes day is next, followed closely by mine. I too, FTL, am impatiently awaiting my Medicare milestone, if there's anything left in the till.

LALurker, stay safe. A friend's daughter organized an animal rescue and refuge. He sent me the newspaper article about it. There are so amazing people in this world.

DgB, back to the grindstone. Good luck. I certainly hope that your working conditions are the best.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 30, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh. My. God.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/30/AR2009083001361.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: -TBG- | August 30, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, everyone, for your happy wishes, and a belated happy birthday to ftb. I'll enjoy that butternut ravioli, badsneakers. It is a lovely clear relatively cool day here, very nice. One of the choir members gave me a birthday "cake" - a package of Mrs. Freshley's red velvet cream cakes (think Twinkies). I had not known there were such things. Very tasty.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 30, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- That does it -- OFFICIALLY! I've been watching (well, more like "watching") the Today Show since it started with Dave Garroway, and it's all over now. The show -- like all the morning shows -- are so dumbed down in regard to "real" news and analysis (oh, please! in regard to analysis), that I have used it for the past decade or so as background noise to my breakfast.

As for Ms. Hager's definition of "normal" I guess that the prevalent alcoholism of young people her age (not to mention smoking) is probably normal -- and it's certainly too bad that that's the case.

Normal, my @$$!!!

Posted by: -ftb- | August 30, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

One of the slaps thrown Teddy Kennedy's way is to identify the various opportunities he received as a "child of privilege." He's not the only child of privilege, however, and it's what you do with the opportunity that marks you for what you are. Teddy Kennedy became one of the most significant senators ever (whether that makes him "great" depends on one's political leanings, I suppose). We'll just have to wait and see what Jenna Bush Hager does with her opportunities.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 30, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you ftb... I stopped regularly watching the Today Show when they did a 20-minute "news" segment on the new lineup of Chevy trucks.

The SNL version of the 4th hour with Hoda Kotb and Kathy Lee Gifford is on-the-spot perfect.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 30, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Scottynuke, for some reason I can't see those facebook pics -- perhaps that's just as well.

I used to see a whole fleet of vinatage WWII-era aircraft every year at the late great Frederick Airshow. I'm pretty sure I Boodled about seeing a B-17 (likely the same one) and other really cool planes of that era flying over my house a couple of times a day. Nothing sounds like four big, bad radials throttling up as it passes a few hundred feet overhead. Sweet.

Managed to get stuck in Beltway traffic for the College Park Airshow and the arrival of Sen. Kennedy's body at Andrews yesterday. The fact that someone dumped a load of watermelons on the outer loop near Marlboro Ritchie Rd didn't help anything either, though my tires still smell pretty good.

Happy B-day, ftb and I-mom. S'nuke, you're going to have to wait until later this week, eh?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 30, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, not watermelons! That must have been a sticky mess.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 30, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Watermelons? Sounds cool and delicious.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 30, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Ha, Thanks for the Poms Scotty.

Back at ya: http://www.procheerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Eagles2009-header.jpg

Posted by: omnigood | August 30, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

A dissertation
seventeen syllables long
still takes forever...

http://dissertationhaiku.wordpress.com/

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 30, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes bc, I gotta be patient... *stompin' feets over in da corner* :-)

YVW, omni... *L*

And bc, at least now you don't have to worry for awhile about any air fresheners for the car, eh? "That new watermelon smell!" :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 30, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

HB, Ivansmom and ftb! And many happy ones for you both!

I went to a surprise party this afternoon for a friend who is 60 day. Her younger son, a gifted videographer, made the requisite show of family pictures. That was lots of fun, as was the party. It was a surprise, and her daughter did a great job planning and pulling it off.

Posted by: slyness | August 30, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I saw the Facebook pictures with no problems on an XP machine using Firefox and a fairly large simultaneous spyware, adblock, antivirus array running. All updates usually are applied on this box fairly quickly.

Around here they have begun calling a burger with chili and cole slaw on it a "Carolina classic" burger. What do they call such a burger (besides a "chili & slaw burger") elsewhere? In any case, it's what's for dinner.

I decided to crank up the AC because I'm fixing to put in a new kitchen faucet. Maybe even holes will have to be drilled. The AC is to keep my cool. Lots of cussin' is likely!

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 30, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I think I would call it messy.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 30, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Heartburn Burger?

Posted by: dmd3 | August 30, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Saw the pics fine, but couldn't figure out how to post a comment to that pic on FB.

The movie "Ghost World" is not everyones cup of tea I realize (some of you are coffe drinkers, tee-hee). But man, what a most excellent sound track...

Posted by: omnigood | August 30, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Late to Boodle today.

Excellent writing, Joel.

Happy birthday to FTB and IM!

Cassandra, I'm sending an extra hug your way.

Happy Sunday, Boodle.

Posted by: Moose13 | August 30, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I share ftb's sentiments regarding the Today Show. Lately there have been times when I just couldn't take the prattle any longer and just turned the tv off. But this does it for me too. How many women work and struggle to make it in broadcasting and they give a job to her! Ye gods!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 30, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Jumper,
At Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh, ALL the sandwiches come with cole slaw AND french fries, so they just call it a sandwich.

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2009/08/fries-are-not-condiment.html

My wife went to college in Western NC and picked up the slaw habit there. The first time my dad saw her order a hot dog with cole slaw on it, the thought it was an abomination. Here is a man that has traveled the world, but has never had anything 'Carolina style', so I would say that it is a rather regional preparation.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 30, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

These guys may be on to something.

The pigskin effect
Although many readers of this newspaper are surely Patriots fans, you might consider rooting for or against another football team, depending on your view of government. Economists compared the season record of the Washington Redskins to the number of pages generated in the Federal Register, which is the official record of federal regulatory activity. The two measures were significantly correlated, such that going from an average season to a perfect season predicted a 9 percent increase in the number of pages in the Federal Register for the calendar quarter. The authors theorize that agency staff, who live in the D.C. area (there was no corresponding effect for Congress, whose members should be fans of teams back home), are stirred by the Redskins’ success and/or are more likely to socialize with one another (or lobbyists) in a winning season.

Coffey, B. et al., “Regulators and Redskins,” Clemson University (February 2009).

(from the Boston Globe)

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 30, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

'night all. I watched way too much motorsports today. The Spa F1 Grand Prix this morning then a good bit of the NASCAR Nationwide on Montreal's Gilles Villeneuve track. They're is way too many cars on the track in Nascar. Nothing good comes of taking a hair pin turn or a fast chicane three-wide. But it was intertaining, between the safety pick-ups. Yes, it's not a safety car it's a safety pick-up. I'd like to see that thing trying to set the pace in Spa, Monza or Silverstone. Jacques Villeneuve finished fourth on the track dedicated to his father, his car on fire just like Barrichello earlier in the day.

I also made a killer poule-au-pot/chicken pot. With carrots, onions, cabbage and yellow wax beans. A side of Naan bread to slop-up the broth. Good stuff.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 30, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

SCC entertaining, Barrichello's, etc, etc

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 30, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Awfully good pics, scotty; and bc looks as if he is wearing his hair shorter than the time when I met you all at the megaboodle thingy, or maybe he just had a haircut. Nukespouse, of course, is lovely.

LALurker, the picture of the smoke cloud was scary. I was hoping the hurricane would come up the coast and dump a ton of rain on the wild fires.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 30, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday to all of you Virgos!!!! We Libras follow you with our love of balance in all things, and we also give great parties.....

My Virgo sister-in-law has a Virgo husband and they get along just fine, their house is terribly neat and tidy, tho.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 30, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

A vegetarian Indian roommate I once had would eat cole slaw-like sandwiches, Yellojkt.

The idea of slaw in sandwiches isn't just a North Carolina speciality, that roommate was quite desi and hadn't been to that state.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 30, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

It is a messy burger indeed. But delicious. And thanks to the Boodle, some other near-future burgers are going to have bacon and sharp cheddar on them. (hamburger was on special). The funny thing is, at the store, I was convinced the bacon purchase was my own decision. Of course later I realized I had been hypnotized. By you!

I am Lou Grant in the morning with coffee and TV news: at that time of day perky is the most horrific concept. I like to watch Mika Brzezinski even with that co-host: neither are all that perky.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 30, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Cole slaw on pork barBQ on a bun is southern, never had a burger under it all, should be good.

Cole slaw really could be it's own topic. My favorite is Col. Saunder's, his is much better than mine, but the main thing is that the cabbage be minced, with carrots and vinegar and good mayonaise and NO ONION.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 30, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Forgot a little sugar, cole slaw needs just a little sugar, too.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 30, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Not sure chili/coleslaw burgers exist under any name in Philadelphia, Jumper.

Happy Birthday, ftb & Ivansmom! Scotty, in case I forget later this week, 2u2! Any of youse desiring a package of Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets, just let me know.

I'm smiling about tomorrow. I'm excited I didn't have to be in bed @ 6 tonight and that I don't have to be up at midnight either.

badsneaks, how'd it go at meet #2?

Posted by: -dbG- | August 30, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

VL, I never cared for my mother's slaw, which consisted of cabbage, mayo, and celery seed.

Mr. T's mother made mustard slaw, which is what the community serves at their big barbeques: cabbage, vinegar, sugar, mustard, sweet pickles, salt, pepper.

I really like my aunt's sweet slaw: water, vinegar, sugar, cream, a beaten egg simmered on the stove and then poured over shredded cabbage.

Mustard slaw, chopped onions, and chili are wonderful on a hamburger. Maybe even better on a burger than on a hot dog. No ketchup necessary or desirable.

Posted by: slyness | August 30, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

A Montreal hot dog may be garnished with 'chou' which is really cole slow in the vinegary style, onions (fried, although raw is gaining some purchase) and mustard. I take all three. My slaw is shredded cabbage, carrot, onions sweated in oil with a hot vinerar/oil/sugar/hot mustard/mustard seed/celery seed dressing. With salt, pepper and sometimes caraway seed as an interesting touch.

Slippery slope indeed. After having socialized medicine we got ponies. Now the ponies are killing us. Or at least maiming us.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/severed+freak+accident/1943837/story.html
In French:
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/le-soleil/actualites/justice-et-faits-divers/200908/29/01-897146-tragique-fete-de-quartier-le-conducteur-secouru-rapidement.php

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 30, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

When I was counting carbs, I was surprised to find out there are more carbs in the KFC cole slaw than the mashed potatoes (thanks to the sugar in the slaw).

Gotta have sweet, creamy slaw on a BBQ sandwich. I was at a pot luck the other night and two people had brought "Oriental cole slaw" which included broken up, uncooked ramen noodles.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 30, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

HB to ftb and Ivansmom, HBTY!

Anyone in need of some excellent fresh brussels sprouts? I'll fax a few over just to prevent any more gluttony tonight.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 30, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I noticed the online Seattle Times had Joel's story last night - and it's on the front page of the dead tree edition - yay for Joel!

Many places out here serve Thai cole slaw, which has peanut oil or something in it. It's ok, but I like regular cole slaw better (no egg, no mustard, thanks). The Spot Tavern serves sammiches with cole slaw on them - seems to me the original owner was from PA somewhere, but I may be making that up.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 30, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

TBG, sounds like oriental salad-- the right kind of cabbage (napa), noodles, seasoning, sunflower seeds. It was a dish my grandma made for me when we came over to dinner, as I really loved it. I have the recipe somewhere.

Slyness, I dislike heavy mayo in cole slaw and prefer the mustard version, too.

One thing I learned about Russian food is that they are experts in slaw. So many different kind of salads using cabbage instead of lettuce, and most quite delicious, too. None of that mayo nonsense.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 30, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

dbG, good luck with the new job tomorrow, so exciting for you. I hope it is everything you want and more, you deserve it after your last place of employment.

#2 brought the dog back tonight (the butternut squash ravioli - made with wonton wrappers - was quite good). They took both dogs for a walk together and it was uneventful. She had the new dog in the crate in the house for a while with her dog, and that was okay too. She’s going to take this dog on Tuesday afternoon and see how it goes (she’s working three jobs tomorrow so won’t have time ‘til then). Meanwhile, he still paces like crazy but he’s wagging his tail more often and is very sweet. (No, I am NOT going to keep him, we’re just not ready for a dog right now. “S” is a bit put out by the whole thing - he doesn’t say anything, but I can tell.) Ah well, only until next Saturday at the worst. Meanwhile I’m seeing more of my neighborhood than I usually do. Quite peaceful here at night.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 30, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I believe it is well known that a hot pastrami and swiss on rye may be enhanced to advantage with a dollop of coleslaw on top. There are those who say a corned beef sandwich is likewise enhanced.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 30, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

SD, the Montreal hot dog sounds fab. I love fried onions!

The latest in haute hamburgers around here is having them topped with pimento cheese, preferably with jalapeno. Haven't tried that, but it sounds good.

Posted by: slyness | August 30, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

i have a confession - i have never had anything other than the sweet creamy slaw. i don't like it if it's too sweet or too creamy, but mixed with other things, it's generally ok. i also like russian fermented cabbage. now that's sour, sort of like uncooked sauerkraut.

btw, i'm using safari on this new macbook, and i keep accidentally enlarging or decreasing the browser font size. anyone know how i'm doing this? it seems to be related to moving the cursor and clicking in some succession or other. i'm not using a mouse, although i will probably get a new one to use.

Posted by: LALurker | August 30, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

All things having to do with the Kennedy funeral have been erased from the WaPo front page. Seems a little quick to me.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 30, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

in more fire news, the mt. wilson observatory is apparently about to eat it. all major tv networks have transmitters on the mountain as well.

a couple of people were injured because they stayed to defend their house against evac orders, thinking that when the fire came they could stay in a jacuzzi. quote from lat, which i'm sure slyness will appreciate:

"Two of the people injured refused a mandatory evacuation order, said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore. He said that the two didn’t realize how serious the threat of the fire was, and that they thought they could protect themselves by jumping into a Jacuzzi.

But when the 80-to-100-foot flames came barreling through their neighborhood, they were seriously burned, said Whitmore."

Posted by: LALurker | August 30, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Good luck tomorrow dbG.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 30, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

shriek, you made me laugh. My Mum, who used to live downstairs from Manny and Miriam in a Montreal West duplex and M&M babysat me from upstairs, always called Montreal slaw "greasy garlicy good coleslaw." Lacheim!

I still make it and take to the friends' cottages for the weekends.

Posted by: Yoki | August 30, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

apologies for boodle-hogging.

here's the link for the observatory webcam:
http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/towercam.htm

the webcam's linked from lat, so it may be maxed out, although i was just able to load it a minute ago..

hasn't gotten too close yet, but the lat reports that a couple of transmitters are close.

Posted by: LALurker | August 30, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

sd, I didn't watch the NASCAR Nationwide race from Montreal yet (I do have it DVRed along with the Grand Am race, though), but I will say that back in '88 I saw a spec Honda race there that had more metal-to-metal contact than any race I've ever seen that didn't involve a figure 8 course and trailers. The fact that they had something like 76 cars on circuit Gilles Villeneuve at the same time might have had something to do with it. That hairpin (my usual choice for seating at that track) was utter chaos for the first dozen laps or so. I've got some pics around somewhere.

Good on Fisichella and Force India for finishing a close second to Raikonnen's Ferrari at Spa today. And, well, a forgettable race for my guy Hamilton.

VL, my hair length (and volume) changes dramatically every 6 weeks or so. And that's not counting changes due to heat and humidity (it's curly Italian-style hair - never the same two days in a row).

Didn't watch the ALMS race from Bowmanville yet, either (a heck of a Canadian racing weekend, wasn't it?).

I managed to catch the FIM MotoGP motorcycle race from Indianapolis Motor Speedway while I was doing laundry. Sorry to see that my man Valentino Rossi dropped his Yamaha while fighting for the lead, but was pleased that Americans Nicky Haden finished 3rd on his Ducati and Colin Edwards 4th (IIRC).

Enough of the motorsports stuff tonight, I think.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 30, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Bowmanville, indeed, bc.

Posted by: Yoki | August 30, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I do hope they save the observatory at Mt Wilson. When I was about 13, my mother and I spent the night there in some tourist cabins (and ate some food that I still recall as "bad" at a sort of cafeteria.) My mother knew a man who was one of the astronomers, and he showed me how they used spectrometers to tell the composition of stars/planets/moons etc.

Also the first time I ever saw it snow!

Posted by: nellie4 | August 30, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

When I was in high school I worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken and made the coleslaw. Just recently the chain has changed the recipe; who knows why.

The internet was pretty bad about touting the wrong "original recipe" for that coleslaw last time I checked. Lots of people claiming their recipe is the original Colonel's and it's nothing like it.

The original dressing had lemon juice and cider vinegar, onion powder, mayonnaise and Miracle whip. (3 gallons Miracle whip to one gallon mayo as I recall.) I think we made about 30 gallons of slaw at a time. I wish I had written it all down in those days, I remember making it off a 3" x 5" card. My memory is not great, but it may have had a tiny bit of garlic powder also. Black pepper and salt of course. And sugar too.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 30, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

*Snort.*

Posted by: Yoki | August 30, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe only the composition of stars?

Posted by: nellie4 | August 31, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Evening all
When i worked at the crab house,I used to make about 15 gallons of cole slaw every other day.The stuff sold like crazy.We put a S***load of sugar in it.I got so tired of making the slaw,that 10 years later I don't like to eat coleslaw anymore. Thank goodness we didn't have to make the potatoe salad.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 31, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

So, the potato salad was trucked-in, pre-fab?

Posted by: Yoki | August 31, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't eat fried chicken for years. But when I quit work at a steakhouse it didn't take long at all to get back to the enjoyment of a good steak.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 31, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Yeah the potato salad was brought in from Mrs. Minicks salads and it was yummy.

Also Jumper,I didn't stop eating seafood since i worked there.Still love all of it.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 31, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

LAL, sounds like a very sensitive trackpad. If you press a modifier key, in this case the shift key, while moving the curser forward you get a zoom in. The solution is to develop a lighter touch as Apple hasn't 'fixed' it yet.

And also, Happy Birthday to Virgos.

Posted by: omnigood | August 31, 2009 3:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning you all, Coffee's ready.

In thinking about cole slaw, (deep thoughts), I recall that Famous Dave's has pretty good cole slaw, although a little bland. Didja have any, mudge? We have the chain restaurant right in our Oakton Shopping Center on Rt. 123 and it is a tasty place to go for country style food with lots of ribs & chicken and token fish. Rolls of paper towels on dispensers for backup on the table when your napkin gives out. No finger bowls, but the little "wipe your hands disposable things" are included. I'm on their birthday list,so next month I will enjoy their onion rings, which are quite good.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 31, 2009 5:54 AM | Report abuse

My new catch phrase:

"For I have eaten the slaw!"

http://basicinstructions.net/?p=1159

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2009 6:03 AM | Report abuse

OK, I'm going to post about chemo, so those of you who are not interested, please scroll down. I've noticed from time to time those boodlers who have had family and friends with cancer, have mentioned it. For folks like ftb, whose family member had chemo 25 years ago, let me assure you, times are better for the patient.

First chemo was last Tuesday. Prior to that, the large oncologists' practice of which my doctor is a member schedules a 2 hour chemo orientation class, given by one of the RNs, for patients and their partner, friend. It was very helpful and answered tons of questions regarding the personal aspects of reactions and lots of technicals like white and red blood cells, the various chemicals for various cancers, who to call if you need help afterwards.....you name it, it was probably included.

Once in the chair on Tues. morn, before the chemical (poison) drip-drip begins, benadryl, anti-nausea meds and steriods are given, either by iv or orally or a combination of both. This wonderful cocktail keeps you going strong for 3 or 4 days, before you may become fatigued, etc. One of my SILs worked the entire eight weeks she was on chemo, amazing. She had a private office, so was fairly sheltered from infection, she was in an ob/gyn situation, so they were all healthy. If you do have side effects, orders for prescription drugs have already been written and given to you after a thorough review of your medical history by your team of doctor/nurse/backup people.

I received Carboplatin and Paclitaxel, one..then..the other, to be able to judge the reaction of each. Took longer the first time, should be done in about 4 hours on Sept. 15. I will also receive a third chemical, Avastin, when the surgical procedure I received in my chest cavitiy is completely healed. Note, Avastin is being given to me for lung tumor, but Senator Edward Kennedy received it for brain cancer, it didn't help him. It DID put brain cancer/tumor into remission for a lady who was diagnosed about the same time as he was; she was briefly interviewed on one of the NBC coverages this past weekend. She was about my age and grateful to be given more time on this earth.

I will have the standard 6 treatments, one every 3 weeks (blood work and doctor's appt. just before next treatment), should be done with first go round in early Dec.

Hard part is keeping away from infection, not getting to go to many places, but husband and sons and family and friends are good for me. Maybe some of this information has been helpful, you never know.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 31, 2009 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, happy Monday. Ham biscuits and appropriate beverages at the correct temperature on the ready room table.

VL, thanks for sharing your experience. It's interesting to hear the account from a participant. I hope everything continues to go well for you!

LALurker, sad about those two who thought they'd be okay in the Jacuzzi. Wildfire is not something to mess with. I see that a couple of firefighters died also. Scary, and so sad.

Posted by: slyness | August 31, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm the squeamish sort, but I made it through your entire post, VL. Thanks for sharing. This is nothing I have any experience with, so I am glad to have such a lucid description of the procedure.

It all sounds so barbaric. I can't wait until McCoy can just wave his tricorder. Hang in there, your (virtual) friends are with you.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

VL -- you are brave. Prayers to you and either lemon ice or homemade pudding.

Off to first day of classes. 66 new names and faces to learn in two days...

A is for Alex
B is for Brittany
C is for Clara
D is fro Drew.....

Will think kindly on BCdot and Kimdude and RDdude....others in college I am missing? A good day to them, too.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 31, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

*SIGH* Somehow the fridge door here in the office was cracked open all weekend. It was HOT in there this morning, and don't ask what the milk looked like... :-O

Sneaks, tell "S" I'll buy him a good lobster roll for his forbearance with the pup. :-)

VL, glad to hear it's so well-planned out these days. Just remember the Boodle is completely antiseptic -- as long as it's not the full moon and bc gets, well, you know... :-)

slyness, I think wildfires bring out the Darwin Award winners in some people. *SIGH*

And if you haven't seen "District 9," yet, please do. It's got its uncomfortable moments for sure, but the lead actor does a great job in his Kafka-esque role. :-)

*Happy-Birthday-for-those-who-need-it Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

LALurker, with the new Macbooks, you can get the effect you describe by putting two fingers on the trackpad simultaneously and spreading them apart -- that will enlarge the font. Pinching them together decreases the font. In most web pages and in the Finder, sliding two fingers, together, towards the screen ("up") will scroll the window upwards; sliding the two fingers away form the screen ("down") scrolls the window downwards. All except in Google maps, which is irritating; the same actions that scroll the screen up or down, enlarge or diminish the field of view in Google maps, and they do it really fast, so it's kind of disorienting and hard to recover the scale you actually want.

However, I'm a little surprised that these things are happening to you as a default condition. Check the Trackpad panel under System Preferences, and you should have a full plate of options there that you can decide amongst. Amongst which you can decide. To pick from.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 31, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

At first, I had harsh thoughts for the hot tubbers (originally I wrote "tubers" which would be kind of funny under other circumstances), but it occurred to me that it's almost certainly the only large reservoir of water they had. They probably got stuck because of foolishness, since they should have evacuated, and went to the tub as a desperate last resort to avoid death. Too bad about the superheated air. I doubt they really thought "hey man, wouldn't it be cool to watch the fire from the hot tub?"

Very sad about the firefighters.

CqP, I find you can get great mileage from calling all students "Ralph", especially the female students. This establishes you as eccentric to begin with, and exempts you from learning names too quickly. The only problem is if you have a student actually named Ralph. Fortunately, it is not an extremely common name these days. You could also go with "Michael", which is common enough that you could be forgiven for over-using it, or tilt their world by using "Shlomo."

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 31, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Wow... I saw Tedy Bruschi's last game. *SIGHHHH*

http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2009/08/31/patriots_bruschi_is_set_to_announce_his_retirement/

And Paul Byrd is still pitching for the Sawx???

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

E is for Emma (my mother's mother)
F is for Fanny (Frances, my father' mother)

Lemon ice is just dandy, CqP.

G is for Gregory
H is for Herman :-)
I is for Irving

Posted by: VintageLady | August 31, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

M is for Madison...
T is for Tyfanni...

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

J is for Jack
K is for Kimberly
L is for Leon
M is for Micah
N is for Noah
O is for Oscar
P is for Penelope
Q is for Quentin
...

Posted by: slyness | August 31, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Vintage Lady, thank you for sharing your experience with chemo. A good friend is doing her second go-round for ovarian cancer. She had been good for about a year and a half. I am thinking of you and praying for you.

Sad about Tedy Bruschi but I hope they find a place for him in the Pats organization, he’s a keeper. I’d rather see him retired than going from team to team looking for just a few more years of limited playing time and risking injury.

I’ll tell “S” about the lobster roll Scotty. I think the issue is that he thinks I’ve been taken advantage of by #2. Of course no one can do that unless you consent to it, so it’s my own fault. The dog is cute but I can’t trust him alone anywhere in the house, as it’s not dog-proof. We’ve had our walk and after letting him pace the sunroom for a while, he’s back in the crate. I’ll make sure we have a lot of walks today.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 31, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... Vintage Lady... so good to hear your experiences firsthand. I have a friend who is a chemo nurse and she loves the job. Feels very fulfilled and happy to be helping people every day.

You know that we are with you in that chair.

About fires and hot tubs... I remember asking my mother wouldn't you'd be safe from a house fire if you just got in a full bathtub. Her reply? "That's how they cook lobsters, isn't it?"

Posted by: -TBG- | August 31, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

VL, so glad you are doing well.

I am currently waiting for the plummers to return, they will be breaking part of the concrete floor in the basement to repair a previous modifications to the piping. Apparently when the basement bathroom was put in, it was done without permit and the pipes where not connected properly, rather than the proper joint, one pipe was inserted into the other effectively blocking most of the drainage for the pipe that drains our kitchen and main bath. Then as some point a golf ball found it's way into the pipe (Fore!).

Really incredible how clear the pictures are from the camera they send down the pipe, I was expecting a blurred black and white picture but the picture was extremely clear and in black and white.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 31, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

R is for Ralph
S is for Stephany
T if for Tyfanni
U is for Ursula
V is for Vendela
W is for Wilma
X is for Xena
Y is for Yanni
Z is for Zelda

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Back when my wife taught gifted and talented, I used to look at her class rolls and play "boy or girl" based on the name. I usually only managed 75%. Now that she teaches English Language Learners, I don't know if I would do better or worse.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

A golf ball! How does a golf ball get down a drain!?!

But after reading VL's post, it's all in clear perspective, isn't it DMD? I'll take plumbing problems over health problems any day.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 31, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

So true TBG, hey sh*t happens :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | August 31, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Yeah.. sh*t happens... and then a golf ball clogs it up!

Ewwwww.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 31, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

No, didn't have the cole slaw at Famous Dave's, VL. Had the Wilbur beans and sliced apples.

I brought home a take-home box with nearly a full half side of ribs, one and a half corn muffins and some brisket, intended for my lunch today. Last night my son ate the ribs. &^%$#@^%$#&

Watched a great movie yesterday afternoon, called "The Hurt Locker," about an EOD bomb disposal guy in Iraq, well played by Jeremy Renner. Theoretically, the movie also stars David Morse, Raf Fiennes, Guy Pearce and (be still me heart) Evangeline Lilly. And indeed they are all in it. Morse appears for perhaps 45 seconds and has four lines. Pearce is in it for 72 seconds and has five lines. Fiennes is in it for 48 seconds and has six lines. EL is Renner's wife and is in it for perhaps 38 seconds, and has two lines, both of which I can repeat here:

[spoiler alert]

First line (answering telephone): "Hello? [pause] Hello? [pause] Hello? [he, Will, is calling from Baghdad, and hangs up without talking] Will?"

Second line: EL and Will are in the kitchen. He's telling her about an incident in Iraq. She's washing mushrooms in the sink. EL: "Will you chop these up for me?"

That's it. I'm not kidding or exaggerating.

The rest of the movie is all Renner and two guys you never heard of, but who are very good. And for all my carping, it is very good, very tense. I really did spend the first hour sitting on the edge of my seat, and especially during two bomb disposal scenes (among half a dozen) in particular where I couldn't help saying, "Ohhhh s----."

There's also a very good, very tense sniper-versus-sniper scene in the desert.

Apparently it is some kind of small Indy film directed by a woman named Katherine Bigelow. You don't normally think of a woman directing macho guy war movies, but she does a great job, and really knows how to build in tension.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I've been on my summer merry-go-round and missed the news of Vintage Lady's trials. I'm glad to hear things are going well, VL and I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. Iknow you come down to my area at times. If you are ever down here and need anything at all, please let me know.

Posted by: Kim_1 | August 31, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

The strangest things find their way down the sanitary drains. The summer I worked maintenance at a summer camp I fished out a (bent) fork and a pair of shorts out of the main drain. A kid (he was sent back home the next day) filled one toilet with sand and onother one with grass, leaves and twigs. Shopvaks are a good thing.

I don't know what to make of it but I read a couple of major US paper this last weekend and say nothing about that story. I picked it up in the Times last night. 8 homicides in the same trailer doesn't qualify for national news anymore?
http://savannahnow.com/node/775367

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 31, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

The hubby and I caught "The Hurt Locker" a few weeks ago. We thought it was great, but I was jittery for days after watching it. It took 3 glasses of wine afterwards for the tenseness to ease away.

Posted by: Kim_1 | August 31, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

SCC papers and saw, not say. *sigh*
I clearly need a third coffee.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 31, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Shriek, that trailer park killing earned a "special report" on the radio as we were driving yesterday...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

It was on the TV here last night and this morning. The story of the girl kidnapped for 18 years is getting a lot of play here, too. They're now looking at the kidnapper for a string of serial murders.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

What do y'all think of Bob Dole's op ed this morning?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/28/AR2009082802603.html

Posted by: -TBG- | August 31, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

*Norm McDonald voice*

BUBDOLE!

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Bob Dole doesn't seem to know what is going on. He "thinks" he knows. He thinks those guys Max B. and Grassley are controlling things and can right the ship, but he is really wrong. They are, in fact, adding the confusing structure of the debate of which Dole is complaining.

It is nice, however, that Bub Dole is considering the health care issue so important.

He then adds the simple problem with Republicans: they hate government involvement, unless they are directing it and they can impose their "values" on us or look at our email or ... pay for trips for them to see their mistresses.

Bub Dole. Exactly, Nuke.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 31, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Well,TBG, I just read the Dole op-ed and, while I might agree with him on some of what he wrote, i don't generally agree on other stuff. I do think Obama should roll up his shirt sleeves and leave his apparent detachment behind. He has got to get involved and show us that he is.

The Republicans are begging for Obama and the Democrats to show them the respect which they were loath to do under Little Boy's administration. Even if Obama were to pay more obesiance than he has already done to the Repubs, their MO right now is to get in his way and, if at all possible, try to humiliate him in the process. Dole may now be a nice guy and all that, but he is at heart a Republican, and I think that's all that matters to him. Nowhere in his op-ed did he go after the screaming idiots and their enablers, and, you will note, he tried to pare off some of the aspects of the plan which are desirable (at least to me).

Indeed, it looks like whatever is passed is not going to take effect before I try to hoist myself (with the help of my cane and my friends) onto Medicare -- but a lot of people will die unnecessarily before the law takes force, and that will be a real shame.

{changing topics}

Your Vintage Ladyship (it's the only way I know how to call you, my dear) -- thank you so much for your update. Yes, indeed, a great deal has changed in the oncology world since my father was in it. It looks like it has much more humanity in it now than it did before. Keep your chin up and keep on boodling. Virtual families have none of the toxic "family politics" so you know you can always count on a laugh and a hug (multitudinous).

Cy'all later.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 31, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Got an e-mail from my brother-in-law yesterday evening - his part of Altadena was not (at that time) evacuated, but the fire was two miles away and visible from his house. Air very smoky.

So when's the rain from that Pacific hurricane supposed to reach them? Soon, I hope.

Luck to you, Vintage Lady.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 31, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!

Spent the morning fuming and remembering Teddy Kennedy's admonition to not seek credit. The seamy underbelly of elementary/middle school robotics programs is giving me the vapors.

TBG-Except for that bit about not needing a public or co-op option now, the Dole op-ed appears to make good tactical sense. It may even by what Obama plans to do when the timing is right.

sd-sad to say, if it's not on NPR or the boodle I don't know about it. (Not precisely true, I do check other online news outlets and the Northome Area News, which is published 2X per month.) Your comment was my first acquaintance with the trailer park murders.

The Today Show has a 4th hour?

Need some major boodle mojo-Bro Frost-in-law is seriously ill and in need of a liver. A BIG liver, pronto. Am headed home to Newport News in 10 days, hoping it's not too late to be of some use to Frostsis #1. A far gentler soul than I, she just went through her grandson's major illness.

vl-good wishes to you, and thanks for the chemo description. Good to have the veil of mystery lifted.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 31, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Good thoughts to you and the BIL, frosti...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if I want to read Bob Dole's opus but the Back Hand Slap Award of the days goes to Krugman of the NYT. He gets both Bush and Cheney in one swift move.
"In fact, surveying current politics, I find myself missing Richard Nixon.

No, I haven’t lost my mind. Nixon was surely the worst person other than Dick Cheney ever to control the executive branch."

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 31, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"The seamy underbelly of elementary/middle school robotics programs."

My new favorite expression.

Frosti... bigtime mojo sent along to your BIL.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 31, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Frost, Mojo being offered for your brother in law.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 31, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Once in between jobs I worked setting up trade shows / conventions in our convention center. There was a National Jailers' Association show and I had to go under my theory of learning something completely out of my normal routine. It was fascinating. One of my favorite vendors was selling something called the "muffin monster" which was an industrial-strength disposal grinder to attach to sewer pipes. Apparently prisoners jam LOTS of stuff down the toilets. They demonstrated their in-line device grinding up blankets, steel forks, etc., into tiny bits the pipes could then easily handle. No golf balls.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 31, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Dole reminds me of another time when, although I rarely agreed with them, the Republicans were not completely shrouded and smothered at all times in the powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 31, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I know my grinders.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 31, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Adding your brother-in-law to my prayer list, Frosti. It's getting awfully long, that list. Is there anyone in his family who could share a liver with him?

Posted by: slyness | August 31, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Thanks, Vintagelady, for your report. Hugs and best wishes to you (no infections here!). My friend Jim (jimchastain.com) has had 35 chemo treatments over the last couple of years (liver and lung cancer). The treatment process seems a lot better than it used to be.

Frostbitten, good luck to your brother-in-law, and hugs to your sister and you as you wait.

DNA Girl, the haiku dissertations are amusing and disturbingly addictive.

I think I've mentioned the Great Slaw Discord in the Ivansclan, between Vinegar (my family and all right-thinking people) and Sweet (those other persons). This is remedied with (a) two batches of slaw for large occasions or (b) a vinegar cruet at the table for me.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 31, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Bob Dole's op/ed this morning reminded me of several boodler's wish that Obama would just flop legislation on congress's desk and tell everybody to pass it or else. That Bob Dole is advocating this approach would make me nervous.

I would tend to treat all unsolicited advice from the opposite party as suspect and begin looking for the ulterior motive. I can think of several reasons off the top of my head why this might not be a prudent approach.

Either way, I've always thought Obama's biggest challenges are going to come from the left. He is already taking a lot of heat for staying the course too much on most international (read 'land wars in Asia') policy.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

VL, thanks for that brave and descriptive piece about your chemotherapy. My thoughts are with you, as are so many others here.

I'm not sure I agree with the idea that Obama needs to roll up his sleeves and plunge in to the Health Care legislation up to his elbows. Seems to me that he's the President of the US and has a lot of other things to pay attention to -- a couple of wars, the economy, etc.

I suspect that if he allows himself to get svcked into that morass and it becomes an expected behavior by the citizens and legislators, then the GOP might be able to manipulate that to their advantage, dicatating where and how he spends his time and effort, and labeling anything that does not work despite his best efforts a personal failure on his part (not even going to reopen the discussion of strong-arm tactics).

Given that the economy appears to be turning in the right direction now, I think that from a big picture perspective, he'll be a more more effective Executive in the long run if he sticks with the current game plan.

But that's just me.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 31, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

And my mojo is at the disposal of all who need it more than me, which seems to be an awful lot of people lately. Have at it.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

bc,

Excellent points. The GOP, for the purposes of misleading direct mail, could use more direct involvement by Obama. I was going to suggest that Dole's advice falls in the category of one of Uncle Remus's more colorful tales. Health care could be either a briarpatch or a tar baby. But then I thought better of it and took a pass.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to all for the mojo. Getting out on the lawn tractor for half an hour helped my mental health a good bit.

slyness-unfortunately the people of appropriate size in his family have health issues that keep them from donating. Mr. F is in great health but not one of the compatible blood types.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 31, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

frosti, good thoughts for your sister and bil.

vl, thanks for sharing.

slyness, i'm very sad about the 2 fire fighters. towards the two people in the jacuzzi, although i'm sorry for their injuries, i feel more annoyed because people in socal should know that fires are that dangerous, and when people take such risks, they inevitably further tax emergency personnel.

thanks omni and scitim for the mac advice.

i started to read the bob dole article and had a similar reaction to yello - i was very suspicious. wouldn't the repubs just love to be able to blame the fate of health care squarely on obama? wouldn't that just be a dream for upcoming election advertising? i'm pretty cynical.

Posted by: LALurker | August 31, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

TBG beat me to it, but I, too, was going to cast "The seamy underbelly of elementary/middle school robotics" in bronze. It needs to be carved into marble somewhere.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I wanted to wish you good luck with chemo, Vintage Lady.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 31, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I agree with bc--Obama doesn't have to become involved.

Dole's piece is disenguous for several reasons:

1) "Obama's approval numbers would jump 10 points if Americans knew he was fully in charge." And if the plan fails, as Dole and all other GOP hope, his approval will drop 20 points, which is what they want.

2) "would also stir more Republicans to become active for reform in critical areas." Yeah, sure, Just what we want. More active Republicans, whose ideas of reform are...what exactly?

3) "Members of Congress ... support their president, but they also want to be employed, with a good health plan..." Hello? Exactly which members is he talking about?

4) "Once the president has staked out his position, which will provide room for amendments, the debate will narrow, and bipartisan bargaining and other political maneuvering can begin." Bipartisan bargaining will begin? Nah. Dole simply wants Obama to commit to a specific plan so they can begin to riddle it with machine gun fire. This is really Dole's entire point: to get the health reform things tied to Obama, in order to create a lose-lose situation. If the reform bill ultimately fails, then it will be Obama's fault. If it gets passed, then it will be criticized as a lousy bill (for whatever irrelevant reason) and will be Obama's fault.

5) "I believe the [health insurance]industry is responsible and would clean up its act, as needed, as soon as possible." Uh-huh. A lot of big industries clean themselves up witghout outside intervention. Happens all the time. Take banking, for example. Airlines. Phone companies. Pharmaceuticals.

6) "I think it best to avoid the "reconciliation" process, by which part of a plan could be written into legislation that requires 51 votes, and not 60, on its way to passage." Gee. Wonder why.

7) Now this is a flat-out lie: "Republicans have different ideas but for the most part are positive about reform..."

8) This is what Dole *really* wants: "Obama should get the credit if legislation passes but, more important, get the blame if final legislation draws only a few GOP votes and brings more taxes, more government and more spending."

The only good thing about the piece is that it departs from the general view of "Obamacare" as already being Obama's baby. Dole acknowledges that the president is NOT tied to any particular plan, and at the moment can't be attacked for ownership of one.

You can't accuse someone of failure to lead unless you first make him the leader. That's what Dole's trying to do. He wants Obama to lead on this so he can fail on this.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

'Xactly, mudge.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I definitely had a bang-my-head-on-the-table moment when I read Dole's contention that the insurance industry would clean up it's act as needed. I mean, you couldn't make this stuff up!

frosti - I'm so sorry to hear about your BIL's illness. Best wishes to your family.

Posted by: Kim_1 | August 31, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh

My

FSM...

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/08/sedalia_missouri_you_should_be_ashamed_o.php

*SIGHHHHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, so sorry about your BIL, hope things go well for him.

Mudge, thanks for dissecting Dole's piece so I didn't have to waste time reading it.

Well, #2 came and took the dog home. She felt guilty that he was stuck in the crate most of the time. My yard isn't fenced, my house isn't dogproof and his constant pacing and trying to get into everything meant I had to watch him like a hawk. So I'm glad he's gone and hope he acclimates to her dog. Lesson learned here, we're not ready for the care a dog requires and I will never be guilted into saying yes to something like that again. Now to finish cleaning!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 31, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"S" still gets the lobster roll, though. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

New (Guest) Kit!

He thanks Achenblog Managemen. I wonder who that is.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 31, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Memo to Joel to pass along to the Online Style Desk, and other parts of the Online machinery (as opposed to the dead tree peeps, who know better) as needed: Head shots need captions.

Case in point: Kurtz's column today (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/30/AR2009083002518.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2009083101332) features a head shot of a guy with a beard. There's a photo credit: it was taken by Goh Seng Chong of the Bloomberg news service. Great. But who the hell is it? Kurtz's first three graphs don't mention anyone; they set up his premise (which is fine). The fourth graf in its entirety is a 15-word graf that says: "If Obama is losing Paul Krugman, can the rest of the left be far behind?" So is that Krugman? I don't know; I'm not an economist groupie. Some pundits I know on sight, some I don't. Ditto Nobel Prize winners.

The fifth graf only mentions Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page. Is it page? (I actually know it isn't page. Page is a black guy. This is a white guy.)

The sixth graf is about David Corn. I've read him once in a while, but wouldn't know him if he spilled his latte all over me in Starbucks.

The seventh graf is about Frank Rich. Ditto. Read him once in a while, wouldn't know him if he back into my car in the WalMart parking lot (unlikely for either of us).

The 12th graf mentions Arriana Huffington (the pix isn't her), Richard Cohen (not him) and Gene Robinson (also not him). Three faces I know. Not any one of them.

A few grafs later assistant press secretary Bill Burton is mentioned. Wouldn't know him if we both ate lunch at Taco Bell at the same time. Later Lee Siegel and Jim Hoagland are mentioned. Ditto and ditto. Then Joe Klein. I kinda think I know Joe Klein, but I'm not completely sure. Might be him. But why would they put in a photo of a guy mentioned in the 29th paragraph?

But then, why put in a photo of a guy who is only once mentioned in a 15-word sentence?

The thing is, the guy looks a bit like Ben Bernacke, who isn't mentioned at all. I don't think it's him. I'm guessing it's Krugman. (The 15-word Krugman sentence doesn't even make much sense in context, unless you already know about Krugman's recent column, which is never explained other than this brief, obscure one-liner.

I'm not criticizing Kurtz; he had nothing to do with this dilemma. I'm criticizing the Online desk, which puts up head shots without identifying them. And if you click on it, it still doesn't tell you who it is.

C'mon, desk guys. Jeez. We covered this in 1965 in Journalism 101. Identify the person in the photo. It was right there on page 2.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

as usual, thank you, mr. joel.

i spent friday afternoon and evening in airports. there was coverage of teddy's passing on the concourse television monitors. as i sat and blinked back tears listening to robert jr. talk about his uncle i also looked around the large room. there were people of all ages and ethnicities sitting in silence, watching respectfully. i caught a few glancing my way--they could tell it was touching my memories, etc. everyone was kind, and i was not embarrassed. we honor our dead by expressing the grief, each in our own way.

thank you again for reminding us why.

Posted by: butlerguy | August 31, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

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