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More On "The Clinton Tapes" [Updated]

I've been so busy I've only had time to skim Taylor Branch's book on President Clinton (searching, of course, for the sex scenes). So it's too early for me to weigh in on this book in any substantive and intelligent fashion. BUT ... since this is just a blog, I'll fire away anyway.

I think the book works on three levels.

1. The Revelation. This is the sound bite, the quotable line, the thing you can display on TV in big letters during a cable TV shrillfest. Like when Branch, in writing about the Lewinsky case, says of Vernon Jordan, "In our glancing associations, I had picked up from Vernon an attitude toward extramarital sex best described as lighthearted or recreational." We learn that Jesse Jackson called Chelsea on her cellphone at Stanford when the scandal broke and said comforting words to her on a number of occasions -- and never mentioned it publicly. That meant a lot to Bill Clinton. We learn that Clinton complained that Ken Starr used the word sex 500 times in his report but never the word Whitewater, which was what he was originally investigating. We learn Clinton's response to terrorist bombings in 1997: "President Clinton stated flatly that Osama bin Laden, the architect of this coordinated terrorist attack, was eerily like the fictional villains in James Bond movies." [Headline for NYPost: "Osama bin Blofeld!"]

2. Peeking Behind the Curtains. Much of the book takes place in the White House private residence. They talk in something called the Treaty Room, and visit in "a kind of guy's retreat in the Solarium" with a ballgame on and jumbo grilled steaks to gobble. There are always ushers around, and Secret Service. At one point Clinton goes to the bathroom and the phone rings and Branch, unsure of what to do, decides to answer it. The White House operator demands to know who the heck he is. Eventually he hands the phone to Clinton in the john (shades of LBJ!).

3. History As Construct. Branch's book is not a bunch of transcripts. To the contrary, it

appears that the book is entirely backstory -- his account of the process of doing 79 taped interviews with Clinton over the course of 8 years. The transcripts will be released later. Branch struggles with the dual role of historian and friend. We see history as not a crystal-clear recording of what really happened but a fishing expedition of sorts. Branch knows he doesn't know everything. But he has tried to come up with a record of what Clinton really thought, contemporaneously. And Clinton was his eager collaborator.


More on the Judgment of History in my story of Dec. 18, 1998:

What's happening on the Hill this week is more than an up-or-down vote on the future of Bill Clinton. A battle is being fought for history's sanction. The lawmakers seem to realize that what matters is not merely what they do, but how they do it, what they say in the process, whether they can make a compelling case that they are taking the honorable path. These people know that history is not a neutral observer. It's not just a list of factual incidents, dates, names, titles and won-loss records. History judges.

Andrew Johnson got impeached and survived by a single vote, but history didn't record him as a bad man. The books say he got jobbed by partisan enemies during Reconstruction. The moral: Politics is a vicious game.

At one point this week Ann Richards, the former Democratic governor of Texas, stood on Independence Avenue, pausing while getting into a cab even as a truck honked repeatedly behind her, and said the Clinton case will go down precisely like Johnson's. "It was a vendetta to get him from the day he was sworn in!" she shouted.

In contrast to Johnson, Richard Nixon, the only other president to face a serious impeachment threat, is blamed for his own demise. The history books say he was a flawed man who kept lists of his enemies and operated at times like a mobster. The moral: Bad things happen to bad people.

Now comes the case of Clinton, with the moral of the story up for grabs. Even as the Congress is apparently split neatly along partisan lines, it's also generating some of its most carefully reasoned, heartfelt, nuanced rhetoric. For one of the few times in their careers these men and women can hold a news conference at which the national news media will show up in force. C-SPAN will televise their words, live. The reporters will pay attention and won't wander off in the middle of the speech. It is a perfect moment for statesmanship. Some rise to it. They quote from academic works and scripture. There are moments when it appears they haven't even calculated which line will be the sound bite.

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 22, 2009; 2:47 PM ET
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I am extremely proud of myself that I announced the new Kit before trying to take first!

Posted by: Yoki | September 22, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, very sorry to hear your news, unfortunately, I know just how you're feeling right now.

Nelson, excellent description of the AA process in the last Boodle. Congratulations on 21 years, I'll have 20, knock wood, in December.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 22, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Guys' Retreat in the Solarium? Isn't that like a Ladies' Retreat in the Garage?

Posted by: LostInThought | September 22, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks and Nelson...

Congrats on the time. Those are recovered years.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 22, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

sneaks! that's great. i must confess i haven't been to a meeting for a while. (nelson health alert): had emergency surgery for bowel obstruction in early june -- am now recovering from a broken rib. my friends and family are now simply shaking their heads with each new medical "incident." please, no extension of sympathies. it's simply the way it is.

well, except the rib part. i managed that on my own, trying to paint the bathroom up high using a chair instead of a sturdy ladder. fell hard and fast and came down on the lip of the tub.

stupidity it seems, is a trait that i still stubbornly cling to!!! :-)

Posted by: shellinelson1 | September 22, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes "dry drunk" also refers to family members who learn to react, compensate, protect, accommodate, pretend, etc. in response to family member with drinking problem.

The alcohol abuse shadow can cast a pall over the worlds -- both inner and outer -- of those who live with the troubled drinker.

And, particularly for children, the pall can be heavy, oppressive, and a screen against real selves and real worlds.

Some addictions are better than others -- but still, the addiction piece damages and interferes.

Just another occasion of "dry drunk" the noun.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | September 22, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

>emergency surgery for bowel obstruction in early june -- am now recovering from a broken rib.

That must have been quite an obstruction.

Posted by: engelmann | September 22, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

ShelliN....Rickoshea and I nursed ribs last year. Can you score some lidocaine patches!? Direct relief to ribs without the soporific effect of pain meds by mouth.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | September 22, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't think so, LiT. A guy's retreat in the Solarium makes sense to me.

It'd be pretty boring to get that all-over tan all by yourself.

Look, no Speedo tan lines on *this* derriere! Plus, I caught the end of that Florida win over Tennessee!

Are women getting grease under their fingernails in that garage (installing a supercharger system on a Miata, for example)?

Hmm, acutally, maybe so.


Posted by: -bc- | September 22, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Yoki -- I sent you an email with critter.

nelson and sneaks -- congratulations! I know it is one step (of many more than 12) at a time.

CqP -- you are so wise.

Hope Cassandra shows up soon. Glad you wrote to her, slyness.

Posted by: -ftb- | September 22, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Extending sympathy anyway Nelson, you've had a tough year, hope the rest of it is much better. I don't do meetings anymore but I know they are there if I ever feel myself getting crazy again. I'm almost a completely different person inside than I was back in the bad years. It also helps that I am in a healthy relationship. AA, therapy and getting out of a toxic marriage were the keys to my improvement.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 22, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Nelson!!! Badsneaks!!! Congrats to you both.

Yello, love the cartoon link, the comments are really funny, as is engelmann's comment on the cartoon at the end of the last book.

Also to the last boodle, I can only wish I had my head so stuffed full of info that stuff just flows out, think I need industrial strength stick-um for my memory banks.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 22, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

More astrophysicists in the news!:

A commenter at The Awl calls her NASA-astronomer-hot.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 22, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Wonk Clue™:

Taylor Branch did it in the solarium with the tape recorder.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 22, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

What's the Awl?

Carolyn Porco is an intimidating person.

I know the guy who did the barefoot part of the Abbey Road picture. Actually, I probably am at least familiar with all of the participants, only because planetary astronomy is not a hugely populous profession.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 22, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Faxing Yoki some peanut butter fudge.

My best high-school friend died the other day. Alcoholism figured in it so prominently one may as well say he died of it. It had become impossible to be a useful friend to him by the early '90s, for me. It is surprising me how much I am mourning his loss. He literally drove everyone who loved him away from him except his close family, and they are relieved in a sense at his passing. And all who knew him understand.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 22, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

You can find the Abbey Road Cassini Team picture here:

I see now that they doubled up all the parts after Carolyn. The resolution is not high enough for me to identify more than 3 of them (besides Carolyn Porco).

The red-haired barefoot guy is the science adviser for Battlestar Galactica, Zula Patrol, and Eureka.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 22, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

So Taylor Branch was a Morehead Scholar as an undergrad at the University of North Carolina. My recollection was that they were all preppies of one sort or another, who were recruited (with private Morehead money, of course) to add elite luster to the place.

I think NY Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni, author of "Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater" was also a Morehead.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 22, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The worst part of Clinton's sexcapades was their sheer pedestrian nature. Worse than pedestrian, the word I'm groping for is "sophomoric" or "juvenile." I mean, for crying out loud, MY sex life was markedly superior to his, apparently. And I think mine surpassed his by the time I was 17. And that's not what I want in a President! I want a Kennedy, a James Bond, a suave man of the world, a wise and discreet master of sexual subtlety and experience! Not a flipping Bozo.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 22, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The Awl is a blog run by Gawker Media ex-pats with contributions by current and erstwhile Baltimore City Paper editors Joe McLeod and Tom Scocca. It's a little deeper than most snarky blogs, but no less snarky. Here is the post that alerted me to Dr. Porco:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 22, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Well here is something else to make Yoki smile, and the copy editors groan. Even I wouldn't mix up gets with get's

Posted by: dmd3 | September 22, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Heh, heh. Jumper said 'groping.' Heh, heh.

/end Beavis laugh

Posted by: yellojkt | September 22, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

collegequaparkian -- thanks for the lidoderm patch tip. am into the fourth week -- past the acute pain state and into the "generalized discomfort and it sucks" stage. and your post on alcoholism and what it does to everyone in the path of the alcoholic is spot on. a nasty, nasty disease.

engelmann, i don't have a colon (see archives of the boodle from january of '07). so it's fairly easy for my gut to flop over on itself (like a kinked garden hose). it wouldn't unkink on it's own. hence the surgery.

my "health" history is quite colorful. won't get into it all -- suffice it to say there's normally something interesting happening with my body.

sneaks -- i haven't been to a meeting since may. i feel twinges of guilt, and lord knows this is heresy, but i feel i outgrew (at least for now) AA. i needed other avenues to explore. i picked up hot yoga to help recover from cancer surgery. i've gone whole hog into it, and am now studying the philosophy of yoga.

and i have studied buddhism, and practiced, meditation for a number of years now. it was actually buddhism that moved me beyond some places that i had gotten "stuck" in AA.

but i too, like to know the meetings are there in case my back-ups fail!!!! :- )

yoki -- sending hugs your way.

Posted by: shellinelson1 | September 22, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Dave, the Morehead scholar in my high school class is a doctor now. Mr. T has a cousin who was one, a Carolina grad in a family of NC State grads, she really stuck out. She's a housewife in suburban Atlanta now.

The Geekdottir could not STAND the girl in her class at NCSSM who got the Morehead. That child also went for and got the equivalent scholarship at NC State. (The Park, is it? Dunno.) Anyhoo, according to the Geekdottir, this kid was an airhead who couldn't grasp the elementary principles of calculus. The Geekdottir said the AP calculus test was the easiest one she took all year. She made a 5. And never ever thought about applying for the Morehead, although she graduated with honors from UNC-CH.

Me, I would have gone for it, just for the money.

Posted by: slyness | September 22, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Jumper-the words you are looking for, perhaps "eager collaborator."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 22, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Nelson, as long as you are ok, I wouldn't worry too much about meetings. I felt guilty at first too, but my life was crazy at the time and I couldn't find any 'good' ones nearby, and I realized after a while that I was feeling fine without them. I've made peace with my demons 'today' and if, one day at a time, I continue to do so, that's good enough for me.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 22, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like we are having a little meeting of Bill W.'s friends right here on the boodle. Wherever two of more of you gather in my name...

Posted by: yellojkt | September 22, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Nelson, I think there is a time when one grows beyond, not outgrows, the need for such support. I saw it with friends for whom KinderMourn was a lifesaver. The important thing is to be able to provide the support for those who need it, when you are at that point. Congrats for your sobriety, indeed!

Posted by: slyness | September 22, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I sounded snarky about the Morehead Scholars program, because 'way back in the dark ages of the 20th century, it seemed a scheme to hire preppies so their elite behaviors would rub off on ordinary North Caolinians.

On the other hand, UNC received huge amounts of Morehead money back when making donations to public universities seemed unusual. That funding enabled UNC to thrive at a time when the state was barely better off than Mississippi.

Today's Morehead scholarship program seems one of the best opportunities available in American higher education.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 22, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse


That's a great Jack Benny/Mel Blanc clip!

Posted by: -pj- | September 22, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, so sorry about your friend. When a life is squandered and stunted, then the death can be very hard and also a release.

Remember, we should keep loving even if the disease prevents them from receiving the love within themselves. Taking in the love is part of transformation possibility.

I am glad you loved him well; I am sorry he could not respond to your faithfulness.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 22, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

frosti, I don't know who the eager collaborator or the collaboratee was. Clinton, my friend, me, Lewinski, or Yeltsin and Pizza Hut.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 22, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow! it got up to 97F today but due to the low relative..I mean low dew point it is already down to 80F at 6:30 pm left coast time. Forecast 52 in the morning.

Posted by: bh72 | September 22, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, 2 hours without a comment!

So sorry to hear your news, Yoki. It sounds as if you have the experience and contacts to line up a good new job in pretty short order, though. I hope that's the case. Must be hurtful now, but it will get better.

Posted by: Wheezy1 | September 22, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I forgot, thanks for checking in the other day, dBg. Can't divine from your comments if the new job suits you very well or not, but did definitely get the message that it's better than your old one!

Posted by: Wheezy1 | September 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

pj, yes.... I remember watching that scene as it was broadcast. amamzing.

We like to think that we have such refined senses of humor, but ...

Posted by: russianthistle | September 23, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Jumper and Awal, thanks for the pizza crust tips.

Yoki, sorry to hear about your unemployment. I hope you find a good one soon.

When I was in primary one, I had sought my brother’s help in math. Whenever I gave him a wrong answer, he would yell at me to the point that my father asked me not to seek his help anymore. My father said he would tutor me, but there’s limitation to his knowledge. He, like everybody else during that time, studied up till only primary 6. From primary 1 to 6, I was constantly being beaten and humiliated by math teachers whenever I gave a wrong answer. The fear of math is still in me after so many years. When I see a math problem, I stop breathing for awhile.

Posted by: rainforest1 | September 23, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Another near-tragic case of auto-numeric asphyxiation.

Posted by: engelmann | September 23, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Or, auto-mathic asphyxiation.

Posted by: shilohgun | September 23, 2009 3:16 AM | Report abuse

President Clinton was on David Letterman tonight and as usual he was very good.Yesterday I saw him on Larry King Live.So I guess he is making the rounds is support of the book.

It is supposed to be warm here this week,perhaps I may be able to go swimming tomorrow when I head back to west by god.

So sorry to hear about your job Yoki,but as everyone has said,with your mad skilz,it won't be long till someone is scooping you up.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 23, 2009 4:46 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Interesting tidbit this morning, as follows:

"Beatles sell 2.25 million rereleased albums in North America, Japan and Britain in 5 days"

Tuesday September 22, 2009, 9:28 pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Nearly 40 years after breaking up, The Beatles are still breaking records for album sales.

EMI Group PLC says consumers in North America, Japan and the U.K. bought more than 2.25 million copies of the Fab Four's re-mastered albums in the first five days after their Sept. 9 release.

Most of the records were broken for most simultaneous titles in the top-selling charts by a single artist.

On Billboard magazine's pop catalog chart, for example, the band had 16 titles in the top 50, including all 14 re-mastered CDs and two box sets.

The Beatles' original U.K. studio albums were re-mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London over four years and released to coincide with the sale of "The Beatles: Rock Band" on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii."

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 23, 2009 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Baucus, anger and Obama

I heard Obama mention "getting hit by a bus" as a reason to do something about health care. I groaned because I know that the bus company's insurance pays for my health care in that case. It's a bad example. So, being the paranoic conspiracy-theorist, I conclude that bus companies are going to weasel out of their obligations under any proposed legislation. Under this plan, they and any corporation can go around killing the public and the employees with forklifts, workplace toxins, collapsing buildings from shoddy construction, no safety standards, etc. etc., and while formerly their insurance companies had to pay for care required by these atrocities, in the future Baucus will have the people injured pay for their own care.

Okay, I'm being facetious. But "who's going to pay if you are hit by a bus" may not be the best analogy. Unless they really ARE planning to let somebody off the hook...

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 23, 2009 6:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle.

Heard on NPR this morning that today is Bruuuuuuuce's 60th Birthday.

I believe that this says something about Springsteen as well as myself.


Posted by: -bc- | September 23, 2009 6:06 AM | Report abuse

I saw that about Bruuuce myself, bc. We are getting old. I'm the age my dad was when he married my mom. He seemed so ancient when I was a kid, now I don't feel old. Context is everything!

Good morning, all. Cassandra, we're still missing you!

Another busy day ahead. I gotta stop taking on outside projects; I have enough of my own.

Posted by: slyness | September 23, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

'morning all.
Aaaack Yoki, that sacks. It's warm and humid in this first day af automn, that is quite weird but not as bad as what they gout in the South.

Australia, the Red Planet?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 23, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Now that Bruce is the AARP cover boy (literally: he will be re-recording some of his older material to better fit the age and lifestyle of him and his fans. Some tracks on the new album will include:

Born To Mall Walk
Atlantic City Tour Bus
Rosalita (Let's Stay In Tonight)
Retirement Home On The Hill
Where The Meds Are
Pink Cadillac With A Broken Blinker
I Need A Rocker

Posted by: yellojkt | September 23, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I just wanted to point out that Patti Scialfa is still pretty darn hot.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 23, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

And Bruce Springsteen gets to sleep with her. Life isn't fair. I need to update my kitchen pass list.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 23, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Bruce over the years

Posted by: LostInThought | September 23, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

"Born to Mall Walk" was cruel, yello. Just cruel. Maggie, ftb, VL, Don and I will get you for that.

(Yeah, yeah, it made me laugh.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 23, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Gee it’s quiet here today. I woke up late and am gearing up for more painting. It is supposed to rain tomorrow and Friday so I want to get a bit more done before a two day rest. I think I need it as my body is starting to complain about all the balancing on ladders and repetitive hand motions. Of course I have yoga tonight and dancing lessons start up again tomorrow night so it’s not like I’ll be completely idle.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 23, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse


What a horrible story about your math classes! I like math and it boggles my mind to think of people teaching it that way.

Posted by: -pj- | September 23, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Mostly Clinton will be remembered as an inconsequential president but the Senate's act of deciding that lying under oath by a sitting president is not an impeachable offense is a sad precedent.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 23, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Whereas the guy who followed him will be remembered as...?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 23, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Pick one:

(1) Worst president of all time
(2) Second-worst president of all time
(3) Third-worst president of all time
(4) All of the above
(5) I'll take Potent Potables for $200, Alex

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 23, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

What a "Groundhog Day" moment. Mudge poses a question and I anticipate the answer immediately. Who'd a thunk?

Posted by: kguy1 | September 23, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Words to live by-- from the PHB too

(PHB= pointy-haired boss)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 23, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

To me, Clinton's administration is notable for taking prudent actions that kept things under control. When I look back I can see an immense number of times when a lesser President could have taken a crises or situation and made it a thousand times worse. That his tenure is remembered as being "uneventful" is, to me, high praise.

Further, of course, he built up a surplus during good economic times, which seems to be the reasonable thing to do.

And as was the case with Michael Jackson it is foolish to use personal morality as the sole criterion for evaluating a public figure. The alternative is to hold up, as the Platonic Ideal, a carved stone icon. For granite statues very seldom do anything to cause moral offense. But they don't do much else either.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 23, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse


I was thinking about song titles too and for some reason I was thinking about:

Pink Rascal
Rascal Ranch
Bingo Days

Actually, I had a whole raft of AARP-influenced Springsteen song titles, but after making myself giggle, I realzed...

... that...

Gramps like us, baby we were Born to Run.

(At least I didn't mention the Dozing, the Incontinent and the E-street Shuffle).


Posted by: -bc- | September 23, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about inconsequential edbyron; I think he might fair better than other presidents of the second half of the last century. And I think if you skip the scandal and the dust that fell out of the air once that exploded (as I think it will continue to do over time), he might even be up in the top couple of decent ones -- economy/debt, trade, human rights, civil rights, international hotspots, etc.

About the Senate's vote...they didn't vote that it wasn't impeachable, they voted that he wasn't proven guilty... a distinction that I think will be made when that particular episode of history is taught to future generations.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 23, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

That's a good point about the Senate LiT. Alas, such subtle distinctions are lost on many.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 23, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Sad precedents for $20, Alex.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 23, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Kinda slow morning. Shout out to Yoki to see if she got my email of yesterday.

Hoping Cassandra is well while absent from the Boodle.

Posted by: -ftb- | September 23, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

More Springsteen re-releases

I’m on fiber
Pfizer all night
Born to gum
My resthome
57 children (all on my lawn)
Bypass heart

Posted by: engelmann | September 23, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

the boss is 60? wow. as for aarp -- they're going after the younger types these days. i got invited to join on my last birthday -- 50! i may be "medically retired" -- but i'm still young and vibrant. (tee hee hee)!

i think springsteen has aged wonderfully, and i love the way his music has followed him down the road.

i'm still jumping to his rock'n'roll on my ipod though. almost crashed the car listening to "rosalita" the other day.

i'm the type who can't sit still listening to music. i play air guitar, sing, dance, and generally make a fool of myself in public with my ipod on. don't care a bit.

slyness, your post about moving on from various "support" groups was nice. it is AA heresy. i live in an area where there is a lot of evangelical christianity. it has wormed its way into meetings in the last few years -- am really uncomfortable in many of the meetings now.

Posted by: shellinelson1 | September 23, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Hello boodle! Do hope we hear from Cassandra soon, Martooni too.

Gorgeous day here Chez Frostbitten, though not a completely happy day since Mr. F is on his way to Tampa. I have made arrangements to spend a weekend there in October so at least I have a date certain to look forward to. Also looking forward to shortening winter here by spending some of it in FL so there's that. But still...

Yoki-how's it going?

See T-Paw is making jokes now with climate change as a punch line. There was a time when he took it seriously and could be thought of as an innovator when it comes to state government and the environment. I do believe he jumped the shark of moderation a long time ago, but now he doesn't even pretend to be a centrist.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 23, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Frosti- You can't be a centrist and get the nomination in this world's GOP. You have to be "righter than thou". He's starting this stuff off now so that by the 2011-2012 primary season most Repub folks will have forgotten that he was closer to the center than too the fringe.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 23, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

SCC: the fringe.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 23, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

ebt-you are so right, that is correct. It makes you wonder if hubris and perfidy are requirements for the Rep. nomination as well. Taking positions that different from your body of work would seem to come from nowhere else, except perhaps a tragic accident or illness depriving the brain of oxygen and permanently changing your personality. (Which some have posited created Cheney's Darth side. Some say he was always a glass bowl.)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 23, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Virginia is going through exactly the same thing right now with McDonnell pretending he wasn't a hardcore rightwinger opposed to birth control (even for married couples), etc. He's pretending to be a normal, everyday, middle-of-the-road kinda guy.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 23, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

mudge-I've been watching that. Right wing nut job to win the nomination, move to the center to get elected. Whichever is the "truer" personality there's an enormous integrity issue.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 23, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I cal McDonnell a born-again centrist.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 23, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

.z1ıʞs pɐɯ s,bqʇ ʎq pǝɹıdsuı ʇuǝɯɯoɔ ʇıʞ ɟɟo -dɔ ʎ11ɐɔıdʎʇ ɐ 'spɹoʍ ɹǝɥʇo uı

.ǝʌɐɔ s,oʇɐ1d uı buıbuɐɥ ʇɐq ɐ ǝɹǝʍ ı ɟı sɐ 'sɹǝ1pooq oʇ ʇno ʇnoɥs ɐ ʇsnظ

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 23, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

And to make you feel really old, Broooce is exactly two years younger than Alice Cooper.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 23, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The good news is it doesn't seem to be working. The Deeds people have just been hammering him mercilessly with TV ads about his 35 anti-choice bills and his bill to make birth control illegal (that one just blows my mind). Deeds appears to be catching up and I suspect will take the lead any day now.

Somebody please read Robin Gihvans' First Ladies piece and tell me where the headline, "First Wives Snubs" comes from. Cuz I'm not seeing it. It's mean to rhyme with "clubs," but...where are the snubs? No one is snubbing anybody, nor much of anything. (Yeah, yeah, grumbling about lack of copy editors, Part 37.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 23, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

And 21 years older than Ani DiFranco.

Other birthdays today:

Mickey Rooney
John Coltrane
Mary Kay Place
Jason Alexander
Ana Marie Cox

Posted by: yellojkt | September 23, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dear. CqP is in her cubist period again.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 23, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, I really like Mary Kay Place, especially in "The Big Chill." She should have had a bigger career.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 23, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 23, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

yeah, i'm watching deeds catch up with mcdonnell in the polls. but it's up to all of you northern virginians to push deeds over the top.

sadly, mcdonnell's "I was younger then" thesis (at 34) will actually make him a stronger candidate in many parts of this state. down here deeds barely any support.

obama won only won a few precincts down here last fall -- and they were all in predominantly black areas. mccain didn't win by large margins in other areas -- but he carried hamtpon roads.

the race is tightening up to be within the margin of error in some polls (4 points in one i saw). deeds has to keep hammering away at mcdonnell.

frostbitten1 -- yes, mcdonell has the same integrity issues with many in the gop. but he's a true wingnut. he's trying to play to the center -- but he sure won't govern as a centrist. he voted against using stimulus money for unemloyment benefits!

he'll be as bad as some of the other southern governors.

other gop pols have integrity issues for different reasons. as has been pointed out, the gop base is lunatic. really fringe crazed. so in order to win a primary, gopers are lurching into the crazy zone. (to wit: rick perry in texas flirting with the secessionists -- the the mittster going from a centrist governor of MA to positioning himself as a wingnut).

then they have to hope that moderates and independents will "forget" how insane the primary was. except that it's really no longer possible for a gop candidate to win with anything other than a lunatic platform.

that's why names like palin and huckabee are near the top in straw polls for 2012.

i just wish the dems were more united. but that's like trying to herd cats . . .


Posted by: shellinelson1 | September 23, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-it's a reach, and one that strains mightily, but could the "snub" be the male spouses not attending, or the schedule snubbing them by being so girlie. Other than that, I got nothing. Not only is it a story in need of a copy editor for the headline, it is a waste of Givhan's formidable talents. The women folk still travel in packs doing inconsequential things while their leader husbands work. So what? If the spouse group were mostly male, they'd be doing inconsequential things too-but probably in different venues like golf courses and major league ball parks.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 23, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Time for frostdaddy to put out a Deeds sign in the yard. Too bad they don't live on a busier street, but his opinion holds some sway with those neighbors who look to military retirees as paragons of patriotic virtue.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 23, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman"- best thing MKP ever was in. I always hated "The Big Chill" not for being a bad film but for being a Hollywood commercial ripoff of John Sayles' "Return of the Secaucus Seven", an earlier low budget film about growing out of the 60's which was much less glossy and much more sincere and realistic. It launched the career of David Strathairn.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 23, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

.ʇno sı ʇǝɹɔǝs ǝɥʇ

Posted by: yellojkt | September 23, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Deeds really needs to hammer McDonnell on what exactly he would cut from the general fund in order to divert more money to roads.

And McD's idea of selling off the ABC stores to fund roads! I just checked, and the ABC stores are profitable, to the tune of $200M+ per year. He says they can be sold for $500M. Which means that, in 2.5 years, the revenue stream will become negative (i.e., the sales proceeds will be gone as will be the means of generating future profits). *sarcasm on* Great financial management! *sarcasm off*

Posted by: Raysmom | September 23, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Have mercy on us who must contend with headaches and desist from making us read upside-down text, I prithee.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 23, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Apologies to Bruce. Tune: I'm on fire

I'm on Pfizer

Hey there Ethel are you all alone
You’re the prettiest thing in this rest home
I got a bad desire
I’m on Pfizer

I’ll tell you now baby I’m as good as new
With my replacement hip I’m pitchin’ woo
I can take you higher
I’m on Pfizer

Reminds me of my triple bypass baby
It hurt like hell, they left a six-inch incision
In the middle of my chest

At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And I checked my Depends, no, it’s sweat on my bed
Only you can cool my desire
I’m on Pfizer

Posted by: engelmann | September 23, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree! Stop it with the flipping! (A bit sleep deprived from taking my sister to the airport early this morning.)

Posted by: seasea1 | September 23, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The short sightedness of the ABC scheme is nothing new in
Virginia. Much has to do with the fact that the Guv is a one term job, no succeeding yourself. So we get George Allen who restricts parole and committs to build a bunch of new prison space followed by Jim Gilmore who reduces revenue with tax cuts and leaves office with a half billion dollar budget shortfall.

Couple the one termer rule with the fact that the Va Guvs are always elected in off-off election years (low turnout guaranteed), and you have a recipe for irresponsible campaigning.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 23, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Something tells me that McD knows a few liquor retailers that would like to get a sweetheart deal.

I didn't know VA still had ABC stores. I go to NoVa for Two Buck Chuck because they can't sell it in Maryland.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 23, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse I the only one seeing long strings mostly of cubes, not letters? It's not backwards otr forwards letters or upside-- it's just cubes. And the fliptext Web site converts only about one in five cubes to letters.

Also, is anybody else having a lot of trouble getting the page to refresh or update? I think it is that double-whammy Airbus ad doing it. But I'm getting a lot of freezes just after the Airbus ads load and start moving, and no kit or boodle. VERY irritating.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 23, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Good point yello. The Virginia legislature has a long and storied history of being in the bag for the wine distributors. One of them would probably be more than happy to snarf up the ABC operation.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 23, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, engelmann! I wonder if you could get Bruce to record it as self-parody?

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 23, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

What's the matter with their wine distributor policies, Raysmom? I thought they were pretty good, especially coming from Maryland, where the policies are awful (until very recently couldn't ship in from out-of-state, and it took a lawsuit to get it). I know Fairfax is being irrational about letting that winery start up, but the other counties seem to be doing fine. Virginia has a *great* winery business, with something like 167 vineyards. What's wrong with that?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 23, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The liquor wholesalers in Merlin don't own the legislature, but they have a controlling interest. When I go wine tasting in CA and have to ship it back to a dummy address in VA because they are forbidden to ship to MD. Giant PITA.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 23, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you need one or the other Unicode fonts to see the upside down letters, "Arial Unicode MS" or "Lucinda Sans Unicode". Don't know specifically which one is being used.


Posted by: DLDx | September 23, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, the problem has been with the distributors influencing the legislature on the rule for a winery self-distributing. For years, Virginia wineries were unable to ship out of state for this reason. The late owner of Swedenberg Winery battled them for years on this, and finally succeeded, to a limited extent. The less wineries can sell direct to customers, the more they have to sell through distributors. Granted, it's not as restrictive as in Maryland.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 23, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah but it's a great excuse to go on wine tasting tours...

Posted by: kguy1 | September 23, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

kguy -- thanks for your 3:34. it's right on target.

also, phasing out the ABC stores is really absurd.


Posted by: shellinelson1 | September 23, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Nelson, had to chuckle about AA heresy. I can see that a support group like that would see itself as for life. Personally, I grew out of Mensa. When I had a baby, I just wasn't into staying up till 3 in the morning with a roomful of folks with whom I had little in common but an IQ number.

Posted by: slyness | September 23, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Just found out I'm getting a brand new work computer next Wednesday. What fonts it will have I cannot say.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 23, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh Yoki...I hope my jobless journey no more will be an inspiration for you.

It's a 100 degrees here on the inland side of San Diego and mid-30's back in Colorado with snow/rain. Seems to be the norm now...extreme weather patterns. But I'm not complaining.

I think President Elvis Clinton has a nice ring.

Posted by: Windy3 | September 23, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh Yoki...I hope my jobless journey no more will be an inspiration for you.

It's a 100 degrees here on the inland side of San Diego and mid-30's back in Colorado with snow/rain. Seems to be the norm now...extreme weather patterns. But I'm not complaining.

I think President Elvis Clinton has a nice ring.

Posted by: Windy3 | September 23, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Windy3 | September 23, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Just checking in. I think the backwards upside down letters are cute. Of course I learned to read upside down as a child and backwards isn't much farther a stretch. Handy skill, that.

It looks like the Boy will soon be done with his foray into H1N1, which is apparently what he's had all week. Like most cases around here, which are numerous, his was fairly mild. It sure do hang on, though. Darn fever never got high, but isn't low yet either. Doctor says that as per CDC they're assuming all flu cases are H1N1, since that is what is out there now. It makes no difference to treatment; in fact, unless you have asthma or are immune-challenged they're not treating it either. They do advise prophylactic treatment for any at-risk people in the household, but not for healthier types. They aren't testing to confirm unless you insist; it has to go to state health department for the test, there is no treatment difference, and you still are encouraged to get both flu shots when they come around.

I myself have had the low-grade fever and sore throat but nothing worse, and Ivansdad and the rabbit appear unscathed. I stayed away from work anyway, partly because I might be carrying something and partly because everyone there was much happier if I was not.

Beautiful fall week here, cool enough for open windows and no nasty wind. Would that we felt well enough to be out in it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 23, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

And Engelmann, brilliant "I'm on Pfizer". Good thing I wasn't drinking anything - I have enough trouble corralling this keyboard as it is.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 23, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I just asked the IT guy who sits in the next cubby how I install one of those fonts.

He had no idea.

He's 22. (And in fairness, very good. He's one of our help desk guys, but not the obnoxious kind. Me, I have medical conditions -- and five kids -- that are older than him.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 23, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Yes, "I'm on Phizer" was nose-spray worthy.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 23, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Just have a few minutes, but engelmann - very good.

Hot and muggy here today, rain threatening and sprinking every once and a while but we need more, just a trace of rain now in 23 days with above normal temps and lots of sunshine - nice as it has been everything is dry.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 23, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Englemann, that was terrific! dmd, muggy and breezy here with some rain (not much) coming. We've had enough rain that the grass still needs to be mowed every week. I bought two packs of daffodil bulbs that need to get planted. I made a map of the yard last spring so I'd know where to put them - now I just need to find the map!

Posted by: badsneakers | September 23, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"I have medical conditions that are older than him."

Ha, Mudge! I may wind up using that line way too soon for my taste, too.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 23, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Thats why I photograph my garden badsneaks, helps me remember what is where and I do not have to remember the "safe spot" where I hid the map, which is the same safe spot all my stuff goes - and rarely emerges from.

Back later.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 23, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

It's been quite awhile since I've thought about Unicode fonts, but wikipedia has a pretty good discussion about them. It says (and this is what I was thinking) that the fonts are built-in these days. You might want to check your browser settings - Tools-Options-Content-Advanced (in Firefox). Or if you're using an old OS/browser on your work computer, that might be why they're not there. Maybe gummint 'puters keep the fonts locked down...Unicode was necessary to display things like Chinese and Japanese character sets correctly, and I remember fooling around with them back when I was studying Japanese (15 years ago).

Posted by: seasea1 | September 23, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Pics protect owners
should naughty gnome acts occur
to folks passing gardens.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 23, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

hey mudge "He's one of our help desk guys, but not the obnoxious kind"... whatcha tryin to say???

for all the blueness of northern va - va is still a very much red state... i think nova needs to suceed from the confederacy already!!

yoki - *hugs*


Posted by: mortii | September 23, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse


Wilbrod asks haiku
Be retracted on poor taste grounds
--and I miscounted, too.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 23, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Don't Google 'naughty gnome acts' from work. You might end up here:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 23, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Getting back to the Deeds/McDonnell race, I suspect that Deeds will succumb in the race by committing "truth". He wrote in his op/ed yesterday: "As a legislator, I have voted for a number of mechanisms to fund transportation, including a gas tax. And I'll sign a bipartisan bill with a dedicated funding mechanism for transportation -- even if it includes new taxes." As a general rule in Virginia, admitting to even considering raising taxes is like admitting that you beat your wife. I'm sure McDonnell will jump on this as the campaign closes and trumpet that he will never raise taxes, while not telling folks that he intends to drain the general fund's social and education programs to pay for some transporation improvements, and at that knowing that there isn't enough in there to make a serious dent in the needs of the state. (See, Jim Gilmore)

Posted by: ebtnut | September 23, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the concept of a one-time governor (tempted by governour there) failed from the start ?
Après moi le déluge?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 23, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Hi all... Just checked Daughter's Blackboard page (the way her school keeps in touch online) and noticed they have a "Swine Fly Update" for us to read.

Is that some kind of "when pigs fly" scenario?

Posted by: -TBG- | September 23, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

shriek... you can be Governor of Virginia more than once, just not consecutively. Weird, I know.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 23, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Mo!!!! (Again with the hugging!) Sorry--I was referencing the Jimmy Fallon obnoxious IT guy skits on SNL. You KNOW I didn't mean you.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 23, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Yello, anybody who googles naughty gnome acts from work...

Is probably NSFW himself.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 23, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

(You know we love you, but we really do need to intervene with you on this.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 23, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Fatuous garden report-if the frost will hold off we'll have dozens of wonderful carving pumpkins out of the children's garden at the after school program. I took a tour for the first time in 3 weeks and nearly needed a machete to get out. Looks like we'll be stuck with about 200 lbs of unripe tomatoes (no exaggeration, composted manure and fish guts are our organic guru's secret) but the Jack Be Little mini pumpkins only need a few more days of warmth and the big ones about 2 weeks. The cucumbers should have been harvested a while back, one was the size of a cricket bat. Corn was a complete failure and deer got all the broccoli before the kids got the fencing up. All in all, for our second growing season it was pretty successful. Next year the pumpkins get their own patch.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 23, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

*poke poke*

It's dead, Jim.

Posted by: slyness | September 23, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Spicy legal issue-- ignition interlock devices.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 23, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

That's a good article, Wilbrod. I can't really see why the interlocks aren't more popular. Of course, there would be lots of ways to circumvent one, I would imagine. Assuming the device is smart enough to recognize real human breath, as opposed to a fan, I can imagine children of offenders being pressed into service to breath into the machine for a parent.

Posted by: Wheezy1 | September 23, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

But if they were sober enough to do that...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 23, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Any Gleeks on the boodle, besides yellojkt? Superb episode tonight

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 23, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Frosti... still watching, delayed on the Tivo. I love this show.

My name is TBG and I am a Gleek.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 23, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I am a gleek as well, and eldest is also a gleek.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 23, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow... now I know what the Redskins need!

Posted by: -TBG- | September 23, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Glee made me cry for the second week in a row.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 23, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Do we sing at my big fat Gleek wedding?

Do we lilt at my big fat leek wedding?

Do we show off at my big fat sleek wedding?

Do we praise the Fifth Guru at my big fat Sikh wedding?

Posted by: Yoki | September 23, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I watched Glee last week and thought it was ok - ie, would watch again. But with my son in charge of the remote tonight, it will be next week till I catch it.

Saw Julie and Julia with my sister - liked it a lot. Very funny, and I learned quite a few things about Ms Child I did not know. The local PBS station is using her old episodes as a fund raiser. We giggled to see her truss a chicken last night. What a lot of string she used!

True fact - my kiddo has tattoos on his inner arms from his elbows to his wrists. Quotes from Dune - "Fear is the mind killer" on the right, "I will face my fear" on the left. He's had them for years, apparently, but was careful to wear long sleeves when he visited. Not that we would have cared, once he was an adult...and mostly we've seen him when it's cold here, at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 23, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

seasea-this week was better than last. They'll have it up on line tomorrow.

yello-me too

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 23, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad your son is visiting, seasea! Do you mean to tell us you JUST saw his tattoos for the first time on this visit?

I've like Glee more and more with each episode. This one was great. The characters are wonderful.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 23, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Last week's Glee was a little week. This episode's was fantastic. There were plot points galore and I just love the Beyonce dance.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 23, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how long kids can hide tattoos. Frostson has one from knee to ankle on his outer calf that I think he still thinks I don't know he has.

TBG-agreed on Glee.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 23, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Some of the lines were so spot on. Loved "got me drunk on wine coolers and I was feeling fat." and of course "I'll be trying out for the part of kicker."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 23, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

TBG, yep, never saw them before - they're huge. I thought maybe they were temporary, felt marker, or something. He doesn't have piercings (that I know of). I guess I thought he inherited my squeamishness for such things. Cool quotes (not that I'd want them tattooed big as day on my arms!).

Posted by: seasea1 | September 23, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Here's the thing about the tats. I got my first one at 28, and my second at 48 and my third at 50. When my old white-haired mother saw them (we were crammed into a tiny dressing room shopping), she was taken aback, shocked, but when I 'splained, OK with them. She realized I'd made a rational decision. And now she's really interested in the new art I have commissioned. She (78 years old) sees, now, that it is both art and adornment.

She wasn't quite so comfortable with the piercings. Now she is.

All we can do is express ourselves. If we don't, we cheat people who love us.

Posted by: Yoki | September 23, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Wrote this earlier, and forgot to hit submit...

JA says
"Branch struggles with the dual role of historian and friend. We see history as not a crystal-clear recording of what really happened but a fishing expedition of sorts. Branch knows he doesn't know everything."

I find those tend to be my favorite history books...there's a palpable friendship (even if the guy's dead and is just sorta hanging out in a basement), the feel of a fishing trip. You end up reminded that you don't/can't know everything because everyone involved is just human.

Happy dreams all.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 24, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Oooh! Freaky. Centered.

Posted by: Yoki | September 24, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Yes - the centeredness! I hit refresh and it went back to "normal".

And yes, Mr seasea and I thought it was funny our adult child felt he needed to hide the tattoos. As I told him, if he was a teenager, I'd be a bit concerned, but he was in his mid-twenties when he got these.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 24, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

So I am working late nights still searching the internet for weird things.Came across this website and you gotta check out these shots.....Pretty cool

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 24, 2009 5:59 AM | Report abuse

LiT, Heisenbergian Uncertainty suffuses the human experience, AFAIK.

I suppose that makes humans more Storytellers than Relaible Observers.

In many cases, coolerful of beverages may be involved. Salut.


Posted by: -bc- | September 24, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse

I thought I've run across some weird stuff. Well, I have. But those basketball guys are weird too. I wonder how many tries it took to get that Aggie basket.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2009 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Now here is some hard hitting journalism willing to get to the bottom of an issue:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. Hey, Cassandra, still missing you, please check in!

This has been an upside down morning because I had to take Mr. T to work. Since we're going up the mountain in a little while, it didn't make sense for him to drive and then have to come home. But it upsets my routine. Oh well, I need to be an adult about it.

bc, haven't read the whole article yet, but I suspect there will be many compromises for earth health in our future.

Posted by: slyness | September 24, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

I too am having a strange morning as I've been awake since about 5 am, just couldn't sleep. Have already started laundry and am in my painting clothes but not quite ready to go outside. I confess to being clueless about the source of soft tp. Now that I know, I'll attempt to find a more tree friendly type.

Yes Cassandra, where the heck are you and are you okay?

Posted by: badsneakers | September 24, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning everyone.

As most people know, there is great concern over this H1N1 "Swine flu" strain of influenza. But fear not. This morning I was handed a free "Pandemic Awareness" refrigerator magnet.

So now everything shall be right as rain.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 24, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Today, as you all know, is National Punctuation Day® (what? some of you *didn't* know? Scandalous!! Didn't you all get the memo? Heads will roll!), viz., or as TBG and I like to think of it, one of the High Holy Days of the year, this one being Yom Interpukzie (you'll just have to trust me on this one).

This is actually the sixth such annual observance, and if you go to that link, you'll learn this observance is being observed with a baking contest (I know: it was the first thing I thought of, too). You have until the end of the month to send a sample of your baked product (which is in the shape of any piece of punctuation) to the address provided (no, it isn't *my* address). Yes, I suppose cupcakes would do for periods, colons and ellipses, but I think you're gonna sacrifice a lot of style points if you go that route.

Carry on.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

A caret-shaped Carrot Cake, maybe? A hash hash? A prime prime rib? Umlaut au lait?

Posted by: LostInThought | September 24, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

We also have a flu pandemic corporate strategy RD Padouk.
No, it doesn't involve holding the vaccination clinic earlier than its traditional date in mid-November. (Yes we get free vaccine but still no free coffee.)

Until then I can squeeze my foam puck/stress reliever inscribed with all the information I need:

Get an annual flu shot
Wash your hands frequently
Cover up when you cough or sneeze
Keep shared surface areas clean
If you get sick, stay home!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 24, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

A punctuation peeve: I have noticed an increasing tendency of late for people to label this symbol: / (the vergule, aka "slash") as a backslash. A backslash, of course, is this symbol: \. I believe this is a sign that we all are doomed.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 24, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I always thought "the vergule" was one of those seldom-used internal organs. Or maybe a starchy vegetable.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 24, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps we could resolve this problem by calling it a "foreslash," Tim.

I don't know why that made me think of circumcision.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

New Kit! Or so it appears.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 24, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

We have an H1N1 strategy at the store, but I fear we are doomed. We can wipe down all the keyboards and phones with all the antiseptics wipes we like (we used to do it with good old soap)but it isn't going to make us safer.

We work with money and it's the money that shall bring it in.

::::;;;;''''""""...,,,???!!! Just a little something to celebrate punctuation.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 24, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh great. I'm punctuationally challenged as it is. No matter how many times I look things up an odd circumstance will arise and I get confused again!

(I know punctuationally isn't a word. I don't know whether I should have put a comma after 'as it is' and or a comma after 'look things up.' See what I mean?)

Posted by: badsneakers | September 24, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The vergule looks like a typo of "virgule" (comma) to me.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 24, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

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