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Afghanistan and Zorn

The Redskins game was so ugly yesterday -- so vile in every regard -- that I kept wanting to switch to the DVR of the Stephanopoulos round-table discussion on Afghanistan. Because although Afghanistan may be a grim situation in which there are no truly good options, at least it's not utterly hopeless.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that, at the moment, it looks like Afghanistan will have a fully functioning democracy -- it'll be Norway, virtually -- before the Redskins win another playoff game.

The fate of the local football team doesn't matter compared to such epic events on the world stage -- but let's talk about it anyway. The reason we watch football is not because it matters, but because it doesn't matter and offers a relief, a diversion, an entertaining digression, from the aforesaid things that matter.

It should be fun to watch a football game. But in addition to the fact that the Redskins lose more often than they win, they're just no fun. It's like when you play Tic-Tac-Toe and realize that it's a dumb game and really isn't any fun after all. Watching the Redskins is, fun-wise, several notches below playing Parcheesi. The next time they play a game, I'll do something much more fun, like scrub the toilets. I've found stuff in the back of the refrigerator that had been abandoned months earlier that looked better than the Skins in the Red Zone.

There's all this talk about whether Zorn should go. I think Zorn is very likable. He's a class act. He was a good quarterback years ago. There is, however, no reason to suspect he should be the head coach of a team in the National Football League. He continues a tradition in Washington, D.C. of people being elevated to positions of responsibility far greater than their documented competence. Once in a while one of these folks turns out better than expected. But at some point you have to go with the evidence. When Steve Spurrier started 9-10 in his first 19 games, it was pretty clear that he belonged in the Southeastern Conference, beating up on Vanderbilt, not trying to lead a team against the NFC East. When Joe Gibbs started 9-10, you had to give him the benefit of the doubt because he is a Hall of Famer and had won three, count 'em, three Super Bowls with the franchise. But with Zorn at 9-10 there's just not a big evidentiary database to fall back upon and reassure yourself that he's the right guy for the job.

It seems like the bigger problem is that this team isn't really a team, that it's more of a kludge, with high-priced free agents duct-taped onto the squad every year. What's certain is that it has no confidence. Look at the play by play of the first drive by the Skins yesterday. The Skins march down the field. They hit three big passes to get the ball at the 9 yard line, 1st and goal. One incomplete, one two-yard run, and now it's 3rd down. What do they do? Campbell looks bewildered and calls a time out. The Lions are on their back foot, they're getting shoved down the field, but the Skins call a time out because everyone in the stadium knows we have zero confidence in what we're doing. And of course we don't make it on 3rd or 4th down and we get no points and the Lions take it back 99 yards.

And there's your ballgame.


Okay, I'm going to go back to studying those maps of Kandahar.

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 28, 2009; 8:09 AM ET
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Has Google Maps gone to Kandahar?

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Joel, Joel, Joel. You really must put the NFL in proper perspective. It is but a minor blip on the way to the college basketball season.

Cold and rainy Chez Frostbitten, as it should be this time of year, and a good thing too. All that 70+ weather in September just turns everyone into wimps. It takes a little hardening to cope with constant darkness and 30 below.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 28, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

BTW, my father used to tell me that, in Japan, there were street names and the houses had numbers but they weren't really hip to the advantages of putting the numbers in some semblance of order. I am wondering if that ever was true and if so, have they done anything about this? ... speaking of Google maps.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Frosti, you are a woman after my own heart. Football, indeed! Who cares? Let the basketball madness begin!

Posted by: slyness | September 28, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

After having my heart broken by the Pats two years ago I decided to emotionally detach from football. I rarely watch the home team play anymore but do enjoy games where I don't care who wins. That said, I was happy to see the Lions finally win one, sorry it had to be against the Skins.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 28, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

rt, I heard that about Japan too. Unfortunately it is also true in our suburbs here in the Midwest, thanks to teardowns. Trying to pick up the kids becomes an adventure, with the house numbers on streets jumping around - old houses are even numbers, new infill houses sometimes odd numbers, sometimes seemingly random. One town allows the so-called flagpole lots, where an old lot which was very deep now houses two McMansions, cheek by jowl, sharing a driveway.

About futbol - I got nothing.

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

ftb, do you still have relatives in the Detroit area? We might be related. My nuclear family left MI when I was 4.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 28, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I think the Tokyo address system is unique to Tokyo. Much of central Tokyo (dating back to when it was Edo, the capital of the Tokugawa Shoguns) was very carefully planned with distinct neighborhoods, canals, streets aligned to have unobstructed views of Fuji on clear days.

A city atlas of Tokyo, much like the A-Z atlases of London, breaks the city down into its component parts and allows you to find nearly any parcel. The system is odd, but it seems to work. The two cities are somewhat alike in that they're comprised of distinct neighborhoods with their own street names, etc. But Tokyo's subway puts most of the Underground to shame except for the new Jubilee Line, whose station across from Parliament is straight out of sci-fi. Nothing in either city matches the neo-Roman majesty of Metro.

I assume that intelligent cell phones have obsoleted those atlases--you used to see those A-Z's everywhere in London.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 28, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Why do I get the creepy feeling on the back of my neck that we're REALLY gonna need to open up the bunker for this one?

Notice that the women have commented, but the men are silent on this issue? It is because we are stoic, because we endure suffering and great existential angst in the blackness of Kierkegaardian Nothingness with bleak forebearance, knowing full well the futility of existence in the face of such abysmal play-calling.

It's time for Todd Collins. Also, get Brian Billick out of the Fox broadcast booth and make him head coach. Preferably by noon today.

Afghanistan can go on the back burner until this thing is fixed. It's all about priorities, people.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Games like this drives one to pay a lot more attention to college football. Wow, what an upset of them Fightin' Blue Hens, no?

Of course, when the Redskins were being done in by the Lions I was stuck in a seemingly-endless traffic jam. A horrible confinement of unknown duration with nary a reststop within miles. A nightmare of forced immobility.

Yep. I feel pretty lucky.

I care about the Redskins not only because of geographic osmosis, but also because I remember Jim Zorn from back when he was a quarterback with the Seahawks. He was universally admired as an intelligent and conscientious young man. And he drove a cool car called the "Z-Hawk."

Alas, as a quarterback he was limited by a frequently ineffective offensive line. The lad took quite a few really hard hits to the head. Which, now that I think about it, starts to explain a lot.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 28, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Morning all
I didn't get to see the redskins game,i went to the ravens/browns game instead and it was pretty much over after each teams first drive too.The browns threw and interception on their first drive and the ravens scored a td off of it.that was really all the points the ravens needed.

i must say,it is nice to finally have a team that produces td's in the redzone.After years of relying on great defense and kicking field goals,our team in actually scoring touchdowns.

It was a "glorious day for football" yesterday,the sun broke out during the tailgate party and it actually got hot sitting in the stands.Plus the game was in hand pretty in the first quarter and we could just sit back and enjoy all there is fun about an NFL game.

I think the skins will be alright,they got the players in place and it was only a matter of time before Detroit beat someone.It just happened to be the skins.Zorn as the coach,well i thought the whole hiring process of Snyder was done wrong,but that may be just me.You can't hand the coach after 3 games,at least i think you shouldn't.For the skins, we all knew it was going to be a tough year in the toughest division and really isn't the season measured on what you do against dallas?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 28, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I was oblivious to football yesterday. My wife and I went to brunch in the East Village with an old friend of hers we haven't seen in twenty years. He is a leukemia survivor who had to go broke to get Medicare to pay for his treatment. He is now couch surfing in Brooklyn while he finishes a training program to become a social worker. Puts life into perspective.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Scc; Hang the coach after 3 games

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 28, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I suppose, just for the record, one should note that the gloom isn't just because the Skins lost one game (two, actually, but who's counting?). It is because every fan realizes the entire season is in the dumper. This one confiirms the worst nightmares of Games 1 and 2. What it means is it isn't even October yet and we have nothing whatsowever to look forward to but 13 more humiliations. No prospect of beating Dallas. No prayer of even scorring against Philly or the Giants. It means we have a fair chance of beating hapless Kansas City in three we go, say, 2-14 for the year. Because fundamentally, there is no difference in this town between 2-14 and, oh, 6-10. The distinction between 2-14 and 6-10 is the same distinction between root canal without anesthesia and root canal while listening to Tiny Tim, even with novacaine. It just really doesn't matter.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Google Maps Kandahar,+Afghanistan&gl=us&ei=DdLASse3JI7p8QbY9b20AQ&ll=31.575611,65.75592&spn=0.392525,0.648193&t=h&z=11&iwloc=A

Posted by: wiredog | September 28, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Well out here on the left coast we are also having NFL blues. Nothing like having the air let out of your ballon by getting beat by a desperation pass from a 40 year old in the last two seconds to a fourth string receiver with extra long toes.

Posted by: bh72 | September 28, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

One of my coworkers is a Chargers fan. He's pretty happy with the season so far. I have no sympathy for the Washington NFL Franchise. They abuse their fans, build a cr@ppy stadium, and have the most insensitive team name in the history of professional sports. If they didn't play the Cowboys twice a year, I'd never have a reason to root for them.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

And o yes greenwithenvy, 'prevent defense' allowed Fare to go 80 yards in 80 clock seconds.

Posted by: bh72 | September 28, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

wiredog, I was looking for pics of street shots so I can find a good bistro.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The best change the Washington NFL Franchise could make is to get rid of the owner (see yello's 11:26 a.m. for details).

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Riddle me this: If the prevent defense is the most ridiculed strategy in football, why does **anybody** ever use it?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

@Weed: *Snort*

I'm laughing at myself here. You'd think an otherwise not entirely cretinous woman would be able to learn something of football, but to me this discussion is as incomprehensible as a discussion of quantum physics. I don't understand a single word you've said.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I *heart* you, Sneaks, for your Lions comment. I mean, yesterday's game was like winning the Super Bowl.

Wheezy, as much as I *like* you, I doubt we are related. The only relative of whom I am aware who remains in Michigan is my ^%$**^ brother, who lives in Bloomfield Township. There may be others, but I have no idea where they might be (or their names, even). My mother's family remained in California (LA area) and I have absolutely no idea where those cousins might be now. My father's immediate family went to Florida. Others of my grandparent's generation and their progeny went somewhere else (have no longer any idea of their names (first, last, whatever), although some stayed in the Detroit area for awhile, I think. Sorry. That being said, I've conveniently (and joyfully) swapped all of them out for a new family in Zambia, so if you *would like* to be related, Wheezy, that's certainly fine with me!

Posted by: -ftb- | September 28, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

John Riggins was interviewed this morning on WTOP radio and he just flat out said, maybe Zorn was not NFL coaching material, but a number of fine coaches would be having a terrible time with an loser owner like Snyder.

I have the distinct disadvantage being a fan back in the day of "the fun bunch", the hogs,
coach Gibbs (first time), and General Manager Bobby Bethard. An owner Jack Kent Cook(e).

Posted by: VintageLady | September 28, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Weed, "Chez Mustapha" makes a means sheep head roasted over camel dung coal.

Kidding aside, Afghani cuisine has some darn good entrées. I've had a couple of good Afhan meals in Australia and Toronto. The cooks have much better ingredients to work with in Western countries than over there, so the best place to have Afghani food is actually away from Afghanistan.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

VL... my mom was at a Redskin game a few days before I was born. That was 1957 and I've been a fan since then. You had to be one, growing up in a house with my mother.

I remember finding out there WERE playoff games when I was a teenager and George Allen got us there for the first time in my memory.

We had some good years, but we've mostly had bad ones. But just because I'm used to it doesn't mean I like it.

One thing this owner has done to undermine the team's performance is to sell a boatload of tickets to hotels and ticket brokers. That means that any any home game, there are tons of fans rooting for the other team. That certainly eliminates the 12th player so evident at RFK Stadium, even during the losing years.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The Pats went thru many years of bad owners and coaches. I'm not a big enough football fan to give you all the gory details, but trust me, it was embarrassing. Their first stadium was famously carpy. Someday the 'Skins will get better, I just hope the fans all live long enough to see it happen.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 28, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Well, how do you get rid of an owner?

Posted by: VintageLady | September 28, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Lousy play-calling is only one aspect of a coach's job (or delegating it to an offensive coordinator: same thing). The other major aspect is motivating the players and getting them ready, not only physically but mentally. To a large degree, he is also the one ultimately responsible for welding them into a team, not just a collection of individuals. He is responsible for morale. Putting together a good game plan is useless unless these other conditions are met.

Some players are self-motivated, and some players are also team leaders and morale builders themselves, Ray Lewis, for example. When it happens, that's great. But they are the exception rather than the rule. But what all the great ones have in common is that they are master psychologists, whether they use hate or fear or love or respect, or whatever. Almost every sport basically comes down to what is going on inside the athlete's head. That's where the coach suceeds or fails.

This one fails.

Sorry, Yoki (and others), I know we are boring you to death.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

If the r@@@kins win a prize for most racially insensitive name, I hereby nominate the Cowboys for the most gender-confused name in the NFL.

What part of being a cow do they NOT get?

What does that star have to do with cows anyway?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

For a minute I thought this headline was going to be a joke of some sort.

Alas, no, but it's tempting to write a story for anyway.

For instance--a convention of spelunking video gamers?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

It was not a happy evening at the nut house yesterday. Bad enough that the Skins stunk it up (again!), but I kind of expected that. Now the Stillers, OTOH, what's up with them? They outplayed both the Bears and Bengals, and wound up on the short end both times. It can't all be because Troy is down with a knee. The Redskins and the Steelers with the same record after week 3. And that ain't good.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 28, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

VL: Make him an offer he can't refuse? 'course, that is unlikely if the team sucks.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

... An Onion article on finding lots of worms while digging in the garden?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

As for the Skins problems, I think Zorn is probably in over his head. He may wind up being a decent head coach, but probably not in DC. One aspect of the team chemistry problem is that in these modern times the free agency and salary caps have made it really tough to keep a good core of teammates together for any length of time. A lot of that falls on the GM and the owner. I think Cerrato needs to go, and a Beatherd type needs to come in. As for coaches, Shanahan and Cowher are out there. I don't like Billick myself, but maybe that's a bias agains the Ravens in general.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 28, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

How to decorate for the Boss

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

A bloody horse's head, yoki?

Well, here's the thing, these owners have more money than god, so it's not likely an attractive offer would be made that Snyder would accept.

If the fans would just dump their season tickets and their skyboxes and stuff next year, that would be a start. But it's a shame, Redskins fans are traditionally the best in the world for the team .

Posted by: VintageLady | September 28, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Shriek!!! someone yahoo'ed the front page of the post and it is making me want to toss. This imbed the washington post into one large ad is such a BAD idea.

Oh, Shriek, yes, I got distracted. I agree with you on Afghan food--very good. I have so many Indian friends and they are great cooks, but there is something about Indian cuisine that just gets to me. However, Afghan food, from my limited experience and being in American restaurants (so who really knows the true cuisine) was very fine.

(ps. don't let my friends know)

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

More sleep for fewer colds.

A mediation on how being more dog-like may make you happier.

(Yeah, anything but football. I saw the right six seconds of the Vikings game. Awesome catch, and Favre is making his teammates do their best too. 300+ yards passing.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

How to get a football team from the 1978 remake of "Heaven can Wait"

Former owner: He got my team. The son of a b*tch got my team.

Advisor to former owner: What kind of pressure did he use, Milt?

Former owner: All I asked was sixty-seven million, and he said "okay."

Advisor to former owner: Ruthless b*stard.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 28, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, we shall set the spread for lunch.

Italian wedding soup, with tomato base (hidden kale)

Crusty bread from Three Brothers on Kenilworth Avenue.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | September 28, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Can I come if I bring wine (and promise not to mention the 8-letter f-word)??? Pretty please?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

What a lovely lunch. I baked some delicious butter tarts just now; I'll bring them while they are still warm and gooey in the middle.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Ja bitte, 'Mudge, nicht "fahrvergnuegen" sagen...


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 28, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

So the soup is "Crouching tomato, hidden kale?" One of my favorites!

Posted by: nellie4 | September 28, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

CqP-I'd sell my soul for crusty bread. It is simply not available in MN. I mean the whole state, including the arty and otherwise culinarily acceptable Twin Cities. Mr. F took his pizza stone and mad bread baking skillz with him to FL and the last loaf he baked before leaving is long gone.

Fatuous garden post-in the triumph of hope over experience department I left some cosmos uncut this morning with plans to stretch the cutting garden season out for one more week. This is an exceptionally fine crop of white cosmos that look casual yet refined with blue hydrangea, Russian sage, a few flowering hosta stalks and some pale pink lilies left from a florist's bouquet. Cosmos larger than your hand that glow at twilight.

2 canceled appointments and a chore that didn't take as long as expected have freed up enough time for lunch. I have carrot cake, sans raisins, but with plenty of walnuts and cream cheese frosting. Made with home grown carrots even. Ma Frostbitten has been experimenting with sweet potatoes as a substitute for carrots, but I didn't grow any of those.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 28, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Yum! I'm in! Can I bring some Roma tomatoes? I still have some.

Posted by: slyness | September 28, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Will there be tea to go with those butter tarts?
'cause I heard that's real good.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 28, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

So I had a cuppa tea
And a butter pie
(butter pie?)
The butter wouldn't melt
So I put it in the pie...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 28, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Mein lips bin gesealten.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I used to be a Redskins fan. That is - used to be. Now don't get me wrong, I still enjoy a Skins game as much as any other fan, although be it for an entirely different reason. Get this, - I like to see them lose. Yes, I'm getting personal satisfaction from witnessing them blunder through another game.

And they haven't disappointed me yet this season!

Why have I turned into an anti-Redskins fan? Simple - Dan Snyder. He's the epitomy of all those corporate leaders that have run a winning organization into the ground while lining his pockets from believers gained during the past when the organization was respectable. He's essentially taken the game away from his fans. Case in point - during preseason, I tried to get the Skins game over the radio. I got good reception for 3 other games, but couldn't get good enough reception over his half watt AM stations he owns to make it worthwhile. Why can't I get a radio broadcast of the game even though I live right smack dab in the middle of his fan base? Doesn't he want me to listen to the game? How can one be a fan if they can't get the game?

One can surely bet It has something to do with money. I mean, I can just see Dan Snyder looking across the stadium, observing the empty seats, and planning on how he can fill them with Dallas, Eagles, Raven and Giant fans. Fortunately for the team, the cheers from so many anti-Skins fans at the next home game will offset the boos from his diminishing supporters when the athletes walk off the field after another pathetic performance.

Redskins season ticket holders = biggest chumps in sports history.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | September 28, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

To solve the racial sensitivity issue, I think it would be suave to rename the team "The Washington Potato-skins" thereby denying that there was ever a racial issue to begin with.

Of course, replacing their Fed-Ex sponsor with Snyder's of Hanover would also be befitting for the organization too...

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | September 28, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree with you more about Dan Snyder, WhackyWeasel. He's a terrible owner and I can imagine the only thing left to utterly disappoint us is to move the team... or threaten to.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone point to this great gallery of 30 Bad Inventions from

It includes such wonders as Honegar, or as the caption reads... "Inventor of a honey and vinegar mixture, called Honegar, Dr. DeForest C. Jarvis. Honegar was said to be a folk remedy for aches and pains, though it mainly sounds like a cure for lack of nausea."

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse


You don't know how HOW HHHHOOOWWW much I am laughing. Seems that some very very close relative to the weed made a post this morning suggesting that a certain college basketball team could join a fanciful league that would appear to go by the name NAUSEA

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

TBG-I'm not so sure the light up tires are that dumb, they're cool in a light up yo-yo kind of way. Goodyear experimented with different colors of tires, and things like "pinkwalls" over the years. Now those would be dumb.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 28, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

How would the following WaPo policy on Twitter posts affect Gene Weingarten:

“Post journalists must refrain from writing, tweeting or posting anything – including photographs or video – that could be perceived as reflecting political racial, sexist, religious or other bias or favoritism that could be used to tarnish our journalistic credibility.”

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Weingarten's safe, yello...

The key word is "credibility."


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 28, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

wacky, the thing about owners is, you basically have to ignore them, and just rule them out of the equation. In the long history of organized, commercialized sports, owners have a platinum tradition of being morons, idiots, and worse, b@st@rds of one kind or another, usually stingy, greedy, mean, arrogant, morally reprehensible, and lacking any conscience whatsoever. The tradition is especially rich in baseball, which pound for pound features some of the worst sumb!tches who ever walked the earth. This actually stands to reason, since commercialized basbeall was born during the golden age of the Robber Barons, the SOBs who ran the railroads and coal industries, etc., in the late 1800s, and it was only natural that a Venn diagram of baseball and football owners would be a subset of the pirates who ran the rest of industry and commerce. Charlie Comiskey, among the very worst; Walter O'Malley, who moved the Dodgers to California (only partly redeemed because he helped bring Jackie Robinson to the pros); Connie Mack, Robert Irsay, Gussie Busch, the list goes on.

The list of "good" team owners is probably shorter than the list of viable GOP presidential contenders; the only one I can think of who was actually "beloved" was Art Rooney. bc, Scotty, can you think of any others who were held in high esteem? (Jack Kent Cooke was tolerated, that's about all.) The Carpenters did OK in Philly, but I don't think anybody actually loved them. Ditto Ted Turner. I liked Bill Veeck, but because he was wild and crazy; he had plenty of enemies.

So Snyder is right at home among his fellow owners.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

RIP: Lucy of 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' Fame Dies

The Associated Press
Monday, September 28, 2009 11:45 AM

LONDON -- Lucy Vodden, who provided the inspiration for the Beatles' classic song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," has died after a long battle with lupus. She was 46.

Her death was announced Monday by St. Thomas' Hospital in London, where she had been treated for the chronic disease for more than five years, and by her husband, Ross Vodden. Britain's Press Association said she died last Tuesday. Hospital officials said they could not confirm the day of her death.

Vodden's connection to the Beatles dates back to her early days, when she made friends with schoolmate Julian Lennon, John Lennon's son.

Julian Lennon, then 4 years old, came home from school with a drawing one day, showed it to his father, and said it was "Lucy in the sky with diamonds."

At the time, John Lennon was gathering material for his contributions to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," a landmark album released to worldwide acclaim in 1967.

The elder Lennon seized on the image and developed it into what is widely regarded as a psychedelic masterpiece, replete with haunting images of "newspaper taxis" and a "girl with kaleidoscope eyes."

Rock music critics thought the song's title was a veiled reference to LSD, but John Lennon always claimed the phrase came from his son, not from a desire to spell out the initials LSD in code.

Vodden lost touch with Julian Lennon after he left the school following his parents' divorce, but they were reunited in recent years when Julian Lennon, who lives in France, tried to help her cope with the disease.

He sent her flowers and vouchers for use at a gardening center near her home in Surrey in southeast England, and frequently sent her text messages in an effort to buttress her spirits.

"I wasn't sure at first how to approach her," Julian Lennon told the Associated Press in June. "I wanted at least to get a note to her. Then I heard she had a great love of gardening, and I thought I'd help with something she's passionate about, and I love gardening too. I wanted to do something to put a smile on her face."

In recent months, Vodden was too ill to go out most of the time, except for hospital visits.

She enjoyed her link to the Beatles, but was not particularly fond of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

"I don't relate to the song, to that type of song," she told the Associated Press in June. "As a teenager, I made the mistake of telling a couple of friends at school that I was the Lucy in the song and they said, 'No, it's not you, my parents said it's about drugs.' And I didn't know what LSD was at the time, so I just kept it quiet, to myself."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Gene Robinson on Polanski -- I think he nailed it:

Posted by: joelache | September 28, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse


The Maras (NYG) and Bob Kraft (Pats) are rather well-thought of in the NFL, AFAIK...

The Red Sox current ownership certainly has plenty of fans in New England, particularly because they kept Fenway and actually improved on it instead of going for a new (read: antiseptic but highly profitable) stadium.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 28, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Can you stand another copy and paste? I thought this was funny from the NY Post...

Translator collapsed during Khadafy's rambling diatribe


Last Updated: 5:53 PM, September 24, 2009
Posted: 5:38 PM, September 24, 2009

After struggling to turn Khadafy’s insane ramblings at the UN into English for 75 minutes, the Libyan dictator’s personal interpreter got lost in translation.

"I just can’t take it any more," Khadafy’s interpreter shouted into the live microphone – in Arabic.

At that point, the U.N.’s Arabic section chief, Rasha Ajalyaqeen, took over and translated the final 20 minutes of the speech.

"His interpreter just collapsed – this is the first time I have seen this in 25 years," another U.N. Arabic interpreter told The Post.

Breaking with protocol, Khadafy brought his own interpreters from Tripoli for Wednesday’s speech rather than use one of the 25 Arabic translators supplied by the United Nations, staff interpreters said.

"This is the best team in the world – most heads of state prefer to use U.N. interpreters because then – no matter what happens – they can blame the interpreter," one staffer said.

Khadafy told the U.N. that he was supplying his own French and English interpreters because he would be speaking a special dialect only they would understand, but staff interpreters said he actually spoke standard Arabic.

Those who have translated for Khadafy in the past said they could empathize with his interpretator’s exasperation.

It’s not just the zany conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination and swine flu that are a challenge, but the loony Libyan’s strange mannerisms.

"He’s not exactly the most lucid speaker," another Arabic interpreter said. "It’s not just that what he’s saying is illogical, but the way he’s saying it is bizarre. However, I think I could have made him sound a lot better."

Khadafy has a habit of repeating the same phrase over and over again, "which is good because if you don’t understand what he says the first time you can get it right the second or third time," the interpreter said.

The Colonel extemporaneous ramblings are a particular challenge, another interpreter said.

"Sometimes he mumbles, sometimes he talks to himself," he said.’

Ajalyaqeen, who had to rescue the bealegured interpreter, was given the day off yesterday.

"Ten minutes with Khadafy earns you a lot of annual leave," one interpreter said.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Gene Robinson makes a compelling case about Polanski. It really is about rule of law. And a serious law at that.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 28, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The more I hear about icons of 60s and 70s like John Philips and Roman Polanski, the more I think there was a lot of sick stuff going on in the name of creative freedom. All this peace, love, and happiness masked a lot of coercion and control.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's a rather sweet piece about Mary Travers written by Clarence Page.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 28, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Unlike nowadays, when things are so much better.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

yello -- I would argue that the sick stuff that went on (and continue to go on) did not go on in the name of "creative freedom" -- nope, it went on and continues to go on because girls and women are not valued, or, alternatively, if they are valued at all it is for whatever can be done to them in the name of gratification and, well, let's call it what it is, hatred. The trafficking of girls -- young girls -- from all countries is abominable and young girls (and if they actually do grow up -- women) have abominable lives.

I once had a contractor come over to do some work in my condo, who started telling me rape jokes. I shut him down and kicked him out.

And, yet, one can find high school girls from all walks of life (from wealthy families and poor families) who "agree" that if a guy takes them to dinner, or does something else "nice" for them, the guy is entitled to sex.


I think Polanski should do the time.

Posted by: -ftb- | September 28, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I've tuned out the Polanski case because I think there shouldn't be a statue of limitations on raping minors and then fleeing justice.

It's not as though this was a prosecution based on recovered memory 30 years later (Even then, if there were circumstantial evidence boosting the case, I'd say, go try the b***, too).

I feel keenly about this because I was threatened with rape once and never saw him again until 10 years later. I tried to get his name, etc-- and I felt bad when I heard about an actual rape at the college a year later- I couldn't know if it was the same guy or not.

Statue of limitations would have expired for an actual assault in D.C. I think, which bothers me. It's as though we're saying, hide long enough and it's as though it never happened. Never mind that rape can have permanent consequences to the victim.

In short, anybody who is standing up for this guy because he's a genius should be ashamed of themselves or be investigated for pedophilic leanings too.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

To follow up what I posted yesterday afternoon, is Zorn's Washington Head Coaching over/under Halloween or Thanksgiving?

And I, too, think the Snyder management team is ineffective at best and has demostrated a continued lack of competence at running this football franchise. At least as far as fielding teams that will win games regularly, anyway. Lord knows they're making money, but for how much longer?

I'd agree that Art Rooney set the gold standard for NFL team ownership by my way of thinking, though there is something to be said for the Green Bay Packers' non-profit, community-owned system.

If we *really* want to remove Snyder from ownership, let's start a non-profit company to do so modeled on Green Bay (the NFL will love that). We'll start selling shares in the corporation and once we have enough money to secure appropriate financing, we'll make a solid offer to the man and his co-owners.

$1 Billion ought to do it.

And if that does not work, perhaps there will be a suit suggesting that the current ownership group has consistently demonstrated a lack of compentence in management and improper care taken with the franchise, as well as business practices that are not in the public good. Perhaps someone could make a good case for such a thing to the NFL and the courts for removal of the franchise and awarding it to to an appropriate trust - a fan-centric management structure - rather than what appears to be a entertainment management corporation designed to seperate money from said fans.

But I wouldn't suggest such a thing.

Note: the word 'exploit' was not used in the construction of the above comment.


Posted by: -bc- | September 28, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

It's worse than that in Polanski's case because he was coming from a position of authority.

And trust me, no woman has ever felt obligated to have sex with me just because I bought her dinner.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Charles Bronfman, the Expos' first and long-time owner, set the gold standard for MLB owner IMHO. On the other hand, the double-timing stinking pile of buzzard vomit that came along a few years later, Jeffrey Loria, set the gold standard for treachery and semi-criminal conspiration. The conniving tool is now the greasy stinking stain at the top of the Marlin's organization.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I've pushed this idea before and Wired Magazine put it on their 12 Dangerous Ideas list:

Make NFL membership open enrollment. Any city that wants a team can start one. They then enter the B-League. Every year the bottom team in each division is replaced with the top team in the B-League for that division.

It's a genius idea because than every game counts. The cellar dwelling team has just as much incentive to win as the wild-card bubble team. It also gets rid of the endless jockeying for expansion teams and relocations.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Maggie, Maggie, thanks for that PP&M link -- but it has opened up a deep wound (that I'm actually laughing about). You might have noted Page's 3rd graf: "And yours truly [Page] assigned myself to muscle my way backstage to interview the trio [PP&M] for The Ohio University Post, America's finest campus daily, in my humble opinion."

Clarence is, of course, entitled to his opinion -- but a quick check of the records of the American newspaper Guild will find that the winner of its annual newspaper contest in 1968 (covering that very semester), was...(ahem), the Temple University News, which beat out the Harvard Crimson and the Lehigh Brown-and-White (as well as Page's paper) as the best college daily in the country. The esteemed editor-in-chief of that newspaper was my ex, and I was assistant editor, chief editorial writer, and consort to the editor-in-chief.

On the evening Page was interviewing PP&M, the E-i-C, I, and the rest of the staff were putting our paper to bed when we heard the news that Martin Luther King had been shot. We were literally minutes away from deadline, and had no time to do much of enaything, but we had to do something. So we tore out the editorial, whatever it was (probably even deep hypnosis would let me recall it, though I probably wrote it, whatever it was) and put in a traditional newspaper "mourning box" instead, with just the words "In Memoriam" and "Martin Luther King" in it. One of my finest hours.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, that plan sounds vaguely Socialistic to my American ears.

Either that, or it sounds like many European Soccer Club organizations.

Which may not be a bad thing.
But it ain't football.


PS: Is it?

Posted by: -bc- | September 28, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Shhh! If anybody finds out that European Soccer is the inspiration rather than pure American competitiveness, none of the right-wing xenophobes will ever support it.

Better yet, instead of having teams supported by dying rust belt municipalities, make them all corporate sponsored like Japanese baseball. We'd have teams like the Nike Swooshes and the GE Locomotives and the Coca Cola Bottle Rockets. And no corporation would dare use any ethnic slurs.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon all, a little late with this but Russianthistle, this might just qualify as a bistro in Kandahar, a Timmies,

Shriek if Bronfman exemplifies the high point for major league franchise owner - does that make Ballad the low water mark. :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | September 28, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Ballard was a small-minded, mean, money-pinching b@sterd, and a jerque as we say in French, but Loria is in his own league as owners go. A league of him and his buddy/accomplice Steinbrenner maybe.
I seriously believe that in any other activity they would have been prosecuted for fraud/collusion/monopolistic activity.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Well Ballard did go to jail! Tax evasion wasn't it?

Posted by: dmd3 | September 28, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Harrold did time for fraud. Like Lord Black of Crossharbour he had trouble differentiating the business' kitty from his own. What a tool he was.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Have I mentioned that moving sucks? Well, it does. And moving while looking for a job sucks twice.

That is all. Thank you.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I'll trade any current pro sports team owner for Peter Angelos.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Sympathy Yoki the stress of moving is enough to handle without any other stresses added in. Just remember you are remarkable, capable and strong - you can do this.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 28, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, been there. It can get better, but for now, the overwhelmingness really does bite.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Thank you dmd. Your words are like a dose of Roo's Strengthening Medicine.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, dmd and Wilbrod. Your words strengthen me.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

*faxing karma and brawny personages with strong backs to Yoki*

Posted by: -ftb- | September 28, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Yoki, moving is one of life's most unpleasant experiences. I hope all goes well, and that the job search is over quickly. You are strong, capable, and have mad skilz, an employer out there needs you badly.

Posted by: slyness | September 28, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Brawny personages with strong backs? That perfectly describes *me!* I feel embarrassingly girlishly flattered, in spite of the brawn and barn-door proportions. Nothing horrider than a large old woman batting her eyelashes.

Now, ftb. About that karma? Send lots more, please, by the next boat. And I'll forward it (express!) to them what deserves it.

Hmm, might I be entering the "anger" phase of grief? What say you, Boodle?

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Go right ahead, dear. Do you really need to send karma? In my experience, what goes around generally comes right back around to bite a person in the a$$.

Posted by: slyness | September 28, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I think those grief stages circle around us rearing howling heads in patterns and choruses rather than as stages on a flow chart.

Yep. Bet it is anger. And exhaustion. Wish I could fax muscle men like the Moving Wallenda Brothers. But, I think they retired to Bora Bora.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | September 28, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, you are a wise friend.

That was just what I thought, when my tiny perfect boss (and he *is* perfect) fired me. If he doesn't know yet that he's next, he's in denial.

When the long knives come out, easy targets go first. That is, people who speak up, do the right thing, will be the first to go under la nouvelle regime (shriek, please feel free to correct my grammar and usage).

Oooh, Yoki's ticked!

I was first. Not last. By no means.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

CquaP, I know and understand this. I think of it as being rapid-cycling bipolar, only stabilizing over time into a steady flow. Worry not, dear friend. I'm even poking fun at both myself and the wise-ones who think it a progression. All I hope for is stability over time. OK? I know about good days and bad days, broken down into good moments and bad moments, to hilarity and grief.

But, I have done enough hard things to know that eventually, we regain ourselves, if we are resilient and strong, even if we have lost something essential to that which we were. Then we are new, sadder, stronger, grieving, *fine.* And, new. Different. Not what we were, but what we are.

And valuable. Yes, always.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, courage. Sounds like you have the right attitude.

ftb, I agree with what you said in your 4:28. As I mentioned, I've been watching Mad Men, set in a time when women were treated horribly. It's better now, but only by degrees. On the other hand, I'm not sure why we're spending time and effort going after Polanski in another country. His reputation has been damaged, his work has been restricted. But I won't cry for him if he winds up serving some time. There is some speculation that this is payback for the HBO documentary that showed the judge in a bad light, so that's a bit troubling.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 28, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

CqP, you gave me a great image of Scylla and Charbdyis with the circling and howling heads.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Yoki... nice that you're not just figuratively moving into the next great phase of your life. Good luck with it all and remember I'm right there with you all the way.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Yoki, we speak of what we already know. But, good to say it aloud, right?

AND, the dogs of happiness and joy, and the kittens of coziness and abandon in the sunlight puddle, well they circle us too.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | September 28, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you are probably very right about not being the last.

A friend told me a few weeks ago about mindfulness and writing about the bad things in life--in a journal or so-- to help get it out of one's head.

Thankfully, experience does bring wisdom in the ways of backstabbers and the lack of self-blame.

You will rise, but yeah, THEY made a regular bollocks of your life just right now.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, my back's currently in the shop, but I'll fax over plenty of naproxen and proper libations for the afterparty... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 28, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

*searching madly for something useful to fax that hasn't already been faxed. Must be something around here...packing tape? No, only got about two inches left on the spool. Couple of lifesavers, look about six years old, that'll never do...piece of twine...ah, here! ooops no. An expired McDonald's coupon for a free breakfast burrito...broken pencil...a shotglass from Myrtle Beach...the cover of an old Joe Cocker cassette, with the cassette part missing, probably not a bad idea to throw that out now...a formica clipboard, broken hinge...a cash register receipt from autographed photo of the 1910 Fruit Gum Company, better hang on to Xacto knife handle, no blade (not a good idea to send her sharps right now, anyway, methinks)...a cast-iron toy airplane circa 1930...a really thick rubber band...some sort of coin from the Unuited arab Emirates No. 1 son brought back from one of his trips over there...a butterscotch lozenge, wrapper looks intact...a pale-green post-its pad with about four post-its left on it, with an unknown phone number scribbled on the top one...collected poems of Rod photo of the divine MS from high school...a packet of Splenda...a triple-A battery, probably dead...a really cheap calculator with the logo of a bank on it...a broken tape measure, 12 feet, English AND metric, might be a collector's item some day...a yellow highlighter pen with the cap missing...

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 28, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

And now it's impossible to fax Yoki something mudge hasn't already. Except, maybe, Kona. I'd fax you an imaginary dog, but I'm sure you already have one.

What helps when one is moving? Time, actually, to pack intelligently and unpack with a sense of possibility, not haste, building something new.

While there certainly are times that I hope karma is a bytch, sometimes the best revenge is simply dusting your hands off and moving on to something better. Just not worth your time.

Posted by: -dbG- | September 28, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you promised the Rod McQ poems to me. Sheesh. She won't get them all all.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 28, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. Geez. Spent half the day discovering that the Boy survived H1N1 but acquired a secondary sinus infection. At least they can fix that.

On Kit: I somtimes annoy Ivansdad by asking "Oh, was there a game?" This is also good when the big college games are on here.

Yoki: Be mad. Also, reward yourself for moving tasks with a glass of wine or a beer. Advice - wait for the latter until after you move the breakables.

Polanski: Actual statutes of limitations don't really apply here. He's admitted guilt and left before sentencing. When he gets back they'll impose a sentence. Any "statute of limitations" here seems to be one of public opinion, and the opinion appears to differ based on which public you ask.

Cassandra: I haven't heard from her either but am in touch with a professor who is in occasional contact with her and will try to find out more.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 28, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

True story. I interviewed for the first job at the department I'm still working for the day after we moved in this house. I was dead tired, they gave me the wrong room and I had to find the right one yet I got the job. I soon learned that at the time any engineer willing to work for the shekels the gunmint offered was sure to be offered something...

Hang it there Yoki, lawyers and their wranglers are a necessary evil.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I haven't faxed *any* of that stuff; I'm still looking for something appropriate that she would like that would be helpful.

You want the Rod McKuen, CqP? Stanyan Street, too? Well, OK...Man, that was a golden oldie back in the day. Two glasses of Taylor Lake Country Red, turn the lava lamp down low, and read a couple of passages of Listen to the Warm...

OK, focus, focus. Need to fax something to Yoki. A bookmark from the Edgartown, Mass., bookstore...a ticket from a Nationals game two years ago...the Playbill from West Side Story...a couple of popsickle sticks I used for mixing epoxy...a packet of brass paper clips (very choice!), there must be SOMETHING ariound here...a small foam globe stress ball...the instruction flyer from a Texas Instruments Ti-60...a 3-lb. exercise empty green Grolsch's beer bottle with that wire thingy top...a token from the Lehigh Valley Transit Authority for the turnpike tunnel...alittle small wussie stapler, out of staples...

I still need to find something for Yoki. It was Yom Kippur today, so I'm all out of chicken soup.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 28, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching "The Omega Man"(1971) the first remake of "I am Legend"(1964) that came before the "I am Legend"(2007) with Will Smith. It sucks so much it is incredible. Polyester leisure suits, leather gun holsters, zombies and vampires all in one. And yes, Charlton Heston is in the title role.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'll fax you a rabbit. Not for eating! She'll play with you while you move, nibble the cardboard boxes and such. Give her the occasional carrot and pet her nose. If you sneak her into your old boss's office and turn your back for a few innocent minutes, she'll chew through his computer cords.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 28, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

The Teams I root for As Losers Sports Broadcast Line Up:

Redkins v. anybody; Panthers v. anybody; Syracuse University men's hoops v. anybody in a major tournament; the Cubs v. anybody, and the Indians v. anybody. I would forego the telly for surgery on a day like this.

Posted by: -jack- | September 28, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, please cover your eyes. Wow. Panthers lead Cowboys 7-0 at the half.

OK, Yoki, you can open your eyes now.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 28, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

A rabbit!!!! Dammit, why didn't *EYE* think of that???

I guess because I don't have any rabbits around here.

I need a beverage.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 28, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Game comment from Ivansdad and Ivansgramps: The Cowboys are down at the half seven to nothing, with, as far as they can tell, an emphasis on the "nothing".

I must go and put Sinus Boy to bed, but I wondered: does anyone remember either the name of Cassandra's church or the call letters for the station with the radio ministry? I had thought of trying to contact them but realized if I saved that information it was lost when the old computer died.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 28, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

In the "The Omega Man", there is a young lady with an Afro hairdo wearing a leatherette vest. No kidding.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

A shiny red leatherette vest.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Miracles *do* happen, 'Mudge. *hoping the Panthers pull this one out*

Posted by: -jack- | September 28, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Charlton has found a lab coat and got all doctory on them. He's trying to save the kid from zombiness. Aaaaw gad.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Re: the town of Hamlet, NC:

"Senior Center

The Hamlet Senior Center is collecting Campbell Soup labels to assist in reaching the goal of receiving a 15 passenger van. Please keep in mind that the actual labels are not limited to soups only, due to Campbell Soup owning a variety of companies. To obtain a copy of the list of labels to collect, please call Susan Sellers at 910-582-7985." Cassandra mentioned the soup labels a few times. They must know her.


Hamlet Church-God of Prophecy
- - (910) 582-2226 - More
First Presbyterian Church
- - (910) 582-0111 - More
New Bethel Ame Zion Church
- - (910) 582-3313 - More
Fellowship United Methodist Church
- - (910) 582-0900 - More
St Peters United Methodist Church
- - (910) 582-0944 - More
First United Methodist Church of Hamlet
- - (910) 582-0078 - More
Second Baptist Church
- - (910) 582-3696 - 1 review
Jesus First Will Baptist Church
- - (910) 582-0889 - More
First Baptist Church
- - (910) 582-5732 - More
Hopewell Baptist Church
- - (910) 582-3295 - More

Rule out the three Methodists and the Presbyterian, and start calling. (I'll call a few, if you want to split them up.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 28, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

That a place called Hamlet has 10 churches floors me.

The young Afro-do lady now wears an orange mu-mu, a huge metal beads collar and big loop gold earrings. *note to the director: we know already she's not white*

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Shriek, Hamlet has a pop of 6,000, one-third of them black. The remarkable thing isn't 10 churches (none Catholic), the remarkable thing is it doesn't have 15 more.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 28, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

That's gotta be Rosalind Cash, shriek.Only her second movie after her debut in "Klute" (great flick). She was all over TV sit-coms and dramas in the 70s and 80s. Died in 1995.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 28, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I know, I know one Lord and all that....

Us Frenchies were all united behind one Universal Church yet built churches for many parishes. Mark Twain famously said you couln't throw a stone in Montreal without breaking a church's window. Same difference?

The kid is still headed toward zombiness but there is hope. Chucky is on it. The Afro lady wears a very fetching aubergine jumpsuit now. Great bod.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

The kid is saved, thanks Chuck. Nothing is perfect: he is sporting an Afro now.
*note to the director: we knew he is not white fur crying out loud, no need to telegraph it willy-nilly*

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Yoki, sounds like it's OK to get revved up to move ahead. Drop it in gear, pop the clutch, and floor it.

The 'boys came out for the second half ready to play, and now they're up 10-7.

SD, keep your eye on that Mathias guy, he's trouble. I always loved those dystopian Heston movies of the late 60's/early 70s: Planet of the Apes, Omega Man, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green; yummy bad movie goodness (or is that good badness?).

weed, that was a pretty interesting F1 race at Singapore. Not a track that encourages a lot of risk-taking, but all kinds of extra-curricular activity there.


Posted by: -bc- | September 28, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

LA Times is reporting that Polanski's lawyers provoked the arrest. Shades of Willie Nelson's "Pancho & Lefty".

NY Times' Tuesday science feature is on currents. Neat stuff, probably major practical consequences in many contexts.

And Champagne bubbles are far more important than had been previously understood. This no doubt means you should sip Coca Cola from high quality Champagne flutes with a bit of rough glass at the bottom to encourage bubble formation. Except Coke is so highly carbonated, it won't matter. But will some science major at a university with the equipment analyze the flavor effects of those Coke bubbles?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 28, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't look good for Chuck. The leatherette lady has those glazed over white eyes now. Her Afro has turned grey. Those are not good signs.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

All this is way fine. Love love love, to the Boodle-people.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Chuck got a stake in the heart or summting. The water fountain was red with blood.

I missed the final action because of a bathroom break. It's the washing that kills me. 15 minutes of hand scrubbing with steel wool and detergent, nail brushing with the polypropylene brush and soap and the final bleach rinse under running hot water made me miss it. I sure hope H1N1 resides down there, it's never going to enter my respiratory tract.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Hi, all. ftb, don't know what I was thinking - even in its current reduced circumstances Detroit is pretty big. Though I do have a cousin who married someone in Bloomfield.

Ivansmom, hope the Boy is better soon. Does this mean you and he can forgo the vaccine with confidence? My kids have had serious colds in the past few weeks and I wonder if we can just call that "the flu" and do without the sticking. We'll probably go ahead and get stuck to be safe. The Boy has had an actual diagnosis, though ...

Also, glad to hear you're better, Badsneakers. My rib is better too.

And sending even more backbone strength to Yoki, though I doubt more is required.

Getting too tired to be awake. I think the last showering interloper in *my* bathroom is finishing up. 'Night, all.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 28, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

mudge, you should fax yoki a special batch of your homemade perkiness, made from your super-secret recipe.

yoki, i'll try to fax you some good moving weather. we've got some to spare.

Posted by: LALurker | September 28, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

No football game for me. It was part 2 of the Ken Burns National Park series. Gawd, he can make anything boring. Then it was HIMYM and Big Bang Theory on DVR. Sheldon lost a really, really classic Flash in a bet (Oops, spoiler alert). Then it was Glee highlights before the new episode Wednesday. Classic line: "You got me drunk on wine coolers and I felt fat that day." As Rick Springfield said so musically, "Isn't that the way love is supposed to be?" I'm trying to figure out if my wife was laughing at the show or laughing at me laughing at the show.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

OMG. I just watched an episode of Project Runway, and I thought it was pretty good.

I'm doomed.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 28, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Bonus classic line: "Hi, my name is Kurt and I'll be auditioning for the role of kicker."

That was even on-topic.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

And I thought my Top Chef obsession was bad. You better watch some football, pronto, before it takes.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

lol, scitim. yello is right. you better take measures.

Posted by: LALurker | September 29, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh I forgot to tell everyone that there is a new addition to our tailgate vehicles.A former Baltimore city ambulance that was bought on ebay from York PA.Of course it is painted purple and black(we know someone who does nice work,for cheap) Several of the tailgate crew are mechanics too.The sirens and lights still work and it is an EMT unit.And EMT stands for Everyone Must Tailgate.I took some pictures but have yet to upload them.

And the license plate reads meatwgn.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 29, 2009 5:32 AM | Report abuse

Truly awesome.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 6:12 AM | Report abuse

It was pretty neat yello,and one of the things I can say to Redskin fans.No matter how bad the team is doing,you can always still have fun tailgating and people watching.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 29, 2009 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all.

The less said about football, the better.

My morning routine is interrupted this morning, as I am invited to breakfast at a local country club. It's a fundraiser for the local group that houses relatives of hospitalized folks from out of town. My friend the IRS audit agent is on their board and asked me to come. I hope the food is good!

SD, Hamlet is a nice little town. This is the South, of course there are a bunch of churches. The railroad made the town, and Amtrack still runs through it. US 74 used to run right through the middle but a bypass has been built so now you have to have a reason to go into town. It's on the way to the beach for us. When Cassandra talked about walking around the lake, I knew exactly what she was referring to, having passed that lake many times.

Mudge and Ivansmom, you may not get an answer at her church. I got the impression that they didn't have a staff, which wouldn't be surprising for a small church. We can but try. I've checked the obits in the local paper to no avail. Thank heavens for that.

Posted by: slyness | September 29, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone, went to bed early last night trying to sleep off the cold/flu,H1N1 that I have.

Shriek, giggled at your Omega Man commentary last night dmdspouse was watching it as well. I took a pass having seen it many times in my youth, still remember the Good Friday our family went to see it, it was my brothers birthday, he chose the movie, I was 7 - never quite recovered from it and have avoided most scary, violent and sci fi movies ever since. That said I have seen the movie a few times - it was popular in our house.

Cassandra really wishing all is well with you and that you are just too busy to check in.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 29, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra is not registered at the two local hospitals. I think if she could let us know she's okay, she would.

Posted by: -CB- | September 29, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

I'm too sexy for my shirt.

There, I said it. Just thought I'd leave you all with that tune cootie stuck in your heads.

Carry on.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. I've seen the O-man a few times as well dmd, I just felt silly last night. It's one movie that hasn't aged gracefully but still fun to watch as a period piece or a parody of itself if you wish.
The rain keeps on falling, it's a good thing at this time of year.

The hockey season starts Thursday. Yep, we're there already.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 29, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm now the back-up person for painting as we've gotten to the tall ladder stage. I get to wash the inside windows and the storms. I also want to plant the daffodil bulbs today if it dries out a bit from the rain last night.

I'm very concerned about Cassandra and I hope the Boodle's detective work can find her and that she's okay.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 29, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning y'all. Thanks to slyness and CB for your work so far and thanks to Mudge for the numbers. I'll do some calling today.

I am at work and confidently hope to be here for a full day, or what passes for one anyway. The Boy is at school. All is good.

Wheezy, the doctor said we both should get both flu shots even though Ivan had it already. My doctor said the same.

Morning alert: it was a beautiful walk into the building. The sun was just coming up, the sky was light and very clear and looked very big, the air was crisp, and there was (astonishingly for Oklahoma) no wind. Behind the traffic noise were the birds shouting for joy, and behind the birds was the big peaceful stillness of the day.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 29, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes, that was a cruel thing for me to do. I acknowledge that. Mudge, you ask, what has put you in such an ugly mood this morning (especially given your usual pwerkiness, you are quick to add)? The answer is Richard Cohen's op-ed. I don't know what irks the steamy heebie-jeebies out of me more, the stupid, arrogant, smarmy headline/command, "Act Like a President," or the deck, "From health care to Iran, Obama the candidate has yet to become commander in chief." (N.B. For a couple hours, the crack WaPo page makeup persons didn't even both to say who wrote this stinker; now it reads "Cohen: From health care to Iran...blah blah blah." Or it could even be the actual piece-of-crap op-ed itself, I dunno. Sometimes I just think Richard Cohen specializes in being a [bnickname for Richard] for no particular purpose.

I can't even BEGIn to find out what "Wittes: Obama's Dick Cheney Moment" might be about. I don't know who Wittes is, and don't want to find out. All I can determine is the WaPo online people enjoy being provocative like this just to pi$$ people off. I suppose this is thought to generate page views, I dunno. But I'm seriously beginning to dislike pretty much everything about the online WaPo and Marcus Broccoli's desire to "pay more attention to conservatives."

I don't like the flip "A Cross in the Crosshairs" hed either. Nor the editorializing hed "Defense Bill Laden With Pork" over what purports to be a straight news story. Is that somebody's opinion? What's the source? Or is the WaPo just going to make the claim without attribution? Because the deck under it doesn't support it: "White House sends a generally supportive message to the Senate about the pending bill." So where's the beef? Because the inside hed doesn't say it contains "pork," it says it contains "billions in earmarks." And what is the lede abuse in the story? It's about a REPUBLICAN senator's earmark for $10.8 million to a university that gave him $10k in campaign contributions.

Jaysus wept. Tarring Obama and the White House because of a possibly abusive GOP earmark.


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse


And as though earmarks in a defense bill were unheard of. Never mind equating earmarks with "pork," in the first place (some are, some aren't). And what, perchance, might the actual facts be? "Thomas Gavin, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget, said Monday. "The results speak for themselves. Earmarks in the defense appropriations bills are down 27 percent in the House and 19 percent in the Senate. This is an important step forward in the president's drive to shape a government that is more efficient and more effective."

What's that you say? Earmarks are actually DOWN???

Pish-tush. We're not done here. "Those figures are the most flattering the White House could have used: They refer to the number of earmarks in the bills, not total spending. Total spending on military earmarks in the Senate declined by only 11 percent from the $3 billion approved by Congress last year."

So. Let us recap. Earmarks are down 27 in the House, 19 percent in the Senate, and spending is down 11 percent.

But no. Let us not put that in the lede. Let us instead yammer about a piece of GOP pork.

Say, Mudge, you might ask, exactly what proprotion of that defense bill are the earmarks? Funny you should ask. It comes out to 00.41 percent. Yes, less than half of one percent. Total. This is a figure that does not even appear in the story, only the gross numbers do ($2.65 billion in earmarks out of a total of $636 billion); I had to do the math myself.

So yes, this is a story about a defense bill that contains less than half a percent of "pork" earmarks.

And you wonder why I’m testy this morning.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, you're too sexy for any shirt.

*Tim, I've been watching 'Runway' for years. It's good stuff, and I'm glad to see it back on the air with Gunn and Heidi.

I tell myself that it's as much about design, engineering, manufacturing and art as anything else.


I wonder if Zorn's studying the Red Zones at Fed Ex Field the way McChrystal (and Joel) is studying maps of Kandahar?


Posted by: -bc- | September 29, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

OK, so I can't fax ALL the naproxen to Yoki just yet... Where's my heating pad? *SIGH*

Those muscle relaxants really work -- could barely get out of bed this morning.

*slow-and-careful Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

From the Cohen column:

"These Persians lie like a rug."

Wow. Just wow.

Gawker has been running a feature where they ridicule Cohen as the World's Worst Writer. This one clinches it. I fear he is suffering early onset dementia. That is the most charitable explanation.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Wonkette calls Cohen the World's Worst Writer. Gawker merely calls him "staggeringly terrible."

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I, for one, am quote glad 'Mudge spared me becoming apoplectic over the op-ed.

Sudden, violet movements are a veryveryverybad idea today.


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

SCC: quite

I blame the relaxants...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I think that what I liked about Runway is that the participants are actually meeting realistic challenges, and they are doing it by creating something real. I am not a fashion guy by any stretch (have you SEEN my favorite piece of clothing?), but I appreciate seeing people working creatively.

And Heidi Klum is not bad to look at, either. That German accent is excellent for delivering harsh judgments and dismissing contestants who lose. Tim Gunn does not do anything particularly for me.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

OK, Boodle, here's your chance to outshine the other "nattering nabobs":

Posted by: ebtnut | September 29, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I could get used to steak for breakfast. It was good enough to make the effort of listening to a less-than-dynamic speaker worthwhile. Now, back to the real world...

Posted by: slyness | September 29, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

ebt -- I saw that and thought it had "Boodler" written all over it (hello, Mudge, yellojkt, etc.).

I think it's an great opportunity for someone to start a new career. Provided someone is not interested in continuing a current career, that is.


Posted by: -bc- | September 29, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Glad to be of service, Scotty.

I'm tempted to say "I've got your back," but given the trouble you're having with it, I'm not so sure I want it all that much. How about "I've got you covered" instead?

I ahte muscle relaxers. I have enough trouble maintaining verticle as it is.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

That particular bit of wordsmithery is quite apropo, 'Mudge.

I'm trying to avoid any relaxers today -- "puddle" is not my most flattering pose. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'm not a fan of "Richard" Cohen. He's a bit too narcissisticly precious for my taste. I put him pretty much in the same category as Will and Kraut. They only write to hear themselves speak.

I'm still ruminating over the apologists over the Polanski capture. There are far too many who think his "brilliance" trumps what he did to a girl who was a minor -- even if it was more than 30 years ago, and even if she has stated that she wants to move on as now a woman in her 40s. I really don't like this point of view, as I can disclose to the Boodle that -- as an adult -- it's been more than 30 years since my rape. I don't think of it often anymore, and it rarely bothers me, more than 30 years on. But it does come to mind under circumstances like this, with people like these. But even if it hadn't happened to me, I would feel the same way. Exactly.

Snuke -- hope your back feels better.

And speaking of backs . . . . Back to work. . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | September 29, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"Sponsor shall determine, in its sole discretion, what constitutes a "regular column", "major national publication" and "contributed"."

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 29, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, that was too brief to make sense.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 29, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

New kit coming very soon...

Posted by: joelache | September 29, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

And there it is!

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Gadzooks, Mudge, JA's going to get us in trouble.


Posted by: -bc- | September 29, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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